Tracker Boating Center — Boat repair overpricing
If you fish in the Tims Ford/Woods Reservoir/Normandy Lake Tennessee area, please be advised:
If you need boat motor repair, think very seriously before taking your boat to the Tracker Boating Center on Tims Ford Lake near Winchester Tennessee. Two weeks ago my boat motor quit running while launching at the Lost Creek boat ramp. The motor is a 1999 25 HP Johnson with electric start and tiller steering. The boat is a 16 foot aluminum flat bottom. Living near by, I took the boat to the Tracker Boating Center near the State Park. The boat would not start and was getting no spark at the spark plugs. Figuring the problem was the Power Pack, I priced the part at the parts counter. The first power pack they priced me was in the $90 range but when I looked at the part it was for a 2 cylinder motor and mine was a three cylinder. After getting the number off the motor and going back in, the parts man looked the part up and quoted me a price in the $170 dollar range. He also said that the problem could be something besides the power pack and convinced me to put the boat in their shop for repair.
Two weeks later, when I called, the repair department manager told me that they had changed the stator and that didn't fix the problem so they replaced my stator and had ordered a power pack. He said they had found a leak in the oiler line and had put a clamp on it. The next day he called to say that my boat was ready. When I asked what the repair would cost, he told me that he hadn't figured it up yet. Red flags went up in my head. When I picked the boat up I was given a bill for $568.38. To put it mildly, I was surpised. When I asked for details, I was told that the power pack was $332.00. When I told him the quoted price from two weeks earlier, I was told that the parts man who gave me the price no longer worked there and that he had given me the price for a different part. They also charged me 2 1/2 hours labor at $65 per hour. Two for replacing the power pack, which involved two screws and a half dozen wires, and 1/2 hour to put on a hose clamp.
I think I was overcharged for labor because the mechanic didn't know how to troubleshoot ignition problems and started swapping parts and I think I got the old bait and switch routine on the parts prices.
I'm an electrician by trade and can't afford expensive boats or expensive repairs. That's why I fish out of an aluminum boat with a small motor. Unless you have plenty of money, and don't mind spending a lot to get slow sloppy repairs done, I suggest you take your repair business somewhere other than the Winchester TN Tracker Boat Center.