Our boat needed a quick bottom cleaning and a simple bottom paint job. The manager Brad, quoted us between $1,700 – $2,200 and would take two weeks to complete. The boat is 30’ and a flat bottom with only 286 square feet of painted area required, 2 weeks should be more than enough time. I asked for the quote in writing but Brad insisted that on the island, a verbal quote between businesses was just as good. After all, we moved to the laid-back island one year ago and this handshake type of trust is what we liked about it here.
A few days later on January 27, 2020 we brought the boat to them. Our boat is a historical commercial tour boat and our only source of income. Any extended downtime would cost us the tourism season. Well, soon the promised two weeks was three, then four and so on… 6-1/2 weeks later, with only the cleaning performed and listening to every excuse in the world from Brad, we decided to take the boat elsewhere but the owner Tom Papesh holds your boat hostage once he has it in his yard on stands. Tom immediately came out yelling about all of his lawyers he has and that the boat isn’t coming off the stands unless he gets paid. Wow! Paid for what Tom?
Putting our boat on stands and only cleaning it? Please let me know what I owe you for this and I’ll pay and be on our way, but Tom wasn’t going to let that happen. He really thinks he owns every boat in the yard until he decides to release them. He definitely didn’t want to see the boat taken to a neighboring marina which is where she was headed to be handled professionally. Tom asked me what Brad quoted on the job and just shook his head with no mention of the job costing more than the original quote.
He insisted the boat would be finished in a few weeks, so we agreed only because he wasn’t releasing the boat without a legal battle. We stopped by during the next few weeks and the workmanship was horrible and painful to witness. We let them know several times and took pictures. At this point, ending this nightmare was more important than this amateur work. We already knew we had to bring the boat to a reputable company to be completed properly once we get it out of there. Now, on April 8th (almost ¼ of a year) from the day we brought the boat to them they called and said the job was complete.
Upon arrival, the boat was hanging from the crane instead of on its trailer as if it was Tom’s prize hostage. In the office with a scared look on his face for good reason, Brad hands us a 4-page itemized bill, certainly not the original take my word for it quote, and we definitely never agreed to a time and material job. I simply turned to the last page for the total because whatever they itemized was pure lies. I think they wanted a confrontation and we wouldn’t stoop to that level. The total was $6,215.38. As shocking as this was and much higher than his max $2,200 quote, I wrote the ransom check just to get the boat out of there.
This was Tom’s revenge for us wanting to take the boat elsewhere and commenting on his substandard work. Well, tourist season is over and we now hold the record for paying the highest price in the industry for a bottom paint job, thanks to York Road Marina and Illegal Impoundment Business. This was consumer extortion at its best. The States Attorney’s office has been notified about their business practices and I’m sure karma will catch up with him. If you have a boat there, or are thinking about bringing one there, be careful.