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Author Topic:   Whaler in the News- Bummer!
caddis posted 07-05-2001 04:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for caddis   Send Email to caddis  
Saw this on another forum:

It's the outboard, not the boat!

Toad2001 posted 07-05-2001 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
This made the National news in Canada! I didn't realize its a Whaler.
I have had very bad luck with my nearly new Mercuiser 4.3 Vortec sterndrive engines in the past. I also had problems with a brand new small o/b Merc. I am looking to eventually re-power my whaler and would consider buying anything but a Merc.
Whaletosh posted 07-06-2001 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

some points to keep in mind when judjing Mercury to harshly.

1) This could have happened on any brand motor. I owned a 13 Sport, just like this boat. The motor was a gem, started perfectly everytime; never coughed, sputtered, puked or died. Just ran and ran, stopping only when I turned of the ignition.

2) This whole event might have been prevented if a little common sense were applied by the couple. Did they have an anchor? If so why didn't they use it? Why were they boating within 400 feet of a dam anyway. Both of them have MS, and a restricted in their mobility. I wouldn't advocate they should be barred from boating, but perhaps they should have stuck to smaller lakes, where currents aren't as much of an issue. What if one of had simply fallen overbaord? To their credit they were apperatnly wearing PFDs (not reported by CNN). But even with a funtioning motor would a person with limmited mobilty be able to help person with similar disability to get back on board, all the while fighting a 6 MPH current? I wonder if I would be able to do so; and I have permanantly attached swim ladder and a lot more grab rails, and can bench press my own weight, and am as nimble as five year old on sugar.

The boat was left to fend for itself. Mr. Barbeau the owner claimed he was going back to the dealer to demand a new boat. In today's litigous society, he will probably get it plus some money. Not, if I was on the jury. Certainly, if this hadn't happened and the motor continued to be a problem, Mercury should have fixed it. But, they never got the chance. The foolish owner destroyed it early on. Plus, did the owner break the motor in properly? Based on the statements he made it doesn't sound like it. So, he takes a new boat and motor to one of his areas more dangerous boating spots, on his second trip, without proper equipment, and fate rises up and bites him. He of course blames Mercury and Boston Whaler and his dealer by extension. Seems unreasonable to me but that is what happens in our "blame somebody else" culture.

Bigshot posted 07-06-2001 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
If I went there and grabbed the boat, would that be salvage? I live in FL so it is not an issue, but just wondering.
JohnT posted 07-06-2001 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnT  Send Email to JohnT     
whaletosh sez: "Mr. Barbeau the owner claimed he was going back to the dealer to demand a new boat. In today's litigous society, he will probably get it plus some money. Not, if I was on the jury."

That statement struck me as well.

This is why it's important for all of us to serve when called for jury duty.

FWIW, as an attorney, I doubt that he will get a new boat or anything for his trouble (other than having to pay an attorney to tell him he has no case, I hope). Based on the statements in the article, this would be a tough case to win for Mr. Barbeau. I worry about the general perception that anyone who has something unfortunate happen to him can go to court and be compensated as though they won the lottery. That's not how it works, despite news reports to the contrary. The poor decisions that make the news tend to be newsworthy because they are unusual.

Sorry to be off-topic, but I can't let a comment like that go unchallenged. Our courts aren't perfect, but it's really unusual when they're that bad.

My $.02

Toad2001 posted 07-06-2001 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
I wasn't referring to the precarious predicament the owners got them selves into, he shouldn't have been there, or at minimum he should have had serious ground tackle. The situation itself was self inflicted. My observation is simply that my Mercs in the past have let me down.
For all I know this bozo ran out of gas!
Maybe as with all things "they don't build em' like they used to". If you knew the history of my experience with nearly new Mercury products you would feel stung too.
Bigshot posted 07-06-2001 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
The guy was an idiot. Buys a new boat and does not buy a $20 anchor or horn. He was yelling to the people on shore. He/she was lucky he had pfd's. The only reason he might get something is because of sympathy publicity. They could also use this to their advantage to say he was saved by being in a whaler,etc. If they get the old boat back, then I would assume they might give him anew one, and suck up the difference of a grand or 2. You can't buy that kind of gratuitous publicity.
Whaletosh posted 07-06-2001 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

After reading my post agin i could see how you might misinterpret my initial statement. I had really good luck with every Mercury (3 total) that I have owned. The same is true for the 2 OMC outboard I have owned. If you had terrible experience with Mercury motors you are certainly within your rights and probably should get something else. Competition is the only thing that will make companies produce better products.

Fortunately, you have lots of choices. Which is the way it should be.

I guess what I was trying to state is that this could have happened to any brand of motor. Heck for all we know the vent was closed on the gas tank, which would shut down the motor. Without facts we can't assume that the motor was truly faulty.

Could Bigshot get the boat and claim a salvage fee? I would bet that unless the boat is in an area subject to the Corp of Army Engineers or the Coast Guard or some other federal jurisdiction, state laws would dictate salvage rights. Could very well be that whomever gets the boat could claim salvage rights. The main between a tow and salvage is whether the vessel, crew, or cargo is in peril. No question about that here, that boat is definately in peril; if still stuck there.


tarbaby posted 07-06-2001 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for tarbaby  Send Email to tarbaby     
Too bad ignorance is'nt painful!
GAwhale posted 07-06-2001 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     
NOT to add fuel to the fire, BUT your best price on a new Whaler will come with a Mercury outboard.

To get the great price of approx $8,500 on a new 13 footer the choices are:
25 H.P. four stroke Mercury
40 H.P. two stroke Mercury

Toad2001 posted 07-07-2001 02:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
A funny caption for the picture would be:
"Don't worry honey, its unsinkable"...
dfmcintyre posted 07-07-2001 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
and it looks like the rescue boat was a whaler also....
dchris2 posted 07-07-2001 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for dchris2  Send Email to dchris2     
We've all done stupid things. In irons on a Hobie 16 in the Houston ship channel with a freighter bearing down was my beauty. Hopefully, this guy will remember plan B next time. I pick up my 13' sport in about 10 days. Can anybody tell me where the anchor line attaches to the Merc 40 ELPTO?
jimh posted 07-09-2001 08:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Before blaming the engine, how about considering the gasoline?

Perhaps water in the gas, or even no gas, could have put this boat in this situation.

Considering the pressure on the hull from the flow of water over the spillway, the guy is damn lucky he was in a Whaler. If that was a 14-foot aluminum fishing boat it would have folded and buckled in an instant.

RichAA posted 07-16-2001 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for RichAA  Send Email to RichAA     
This happened a couple of miles from me. I used to live by that dam and I've watched a couple of similar rescues there, some without a happy ending.

It's beyond me what some people will do with boats.

P.S. My Mercury 40 has never been anything but perfect. Still, I wouldn't be anywhere near a dam like this and by the way, the area is marked with huge orange signs all over the place. And it seems like every year or two this happens. The one I watched a few years ago, the rescue boat (Whaler) eased up close from the lower side of the dam and almost had the guy out when the water coming down caught just the edge of his bow and flipped that Outrage like a bath toy. Luckily the crew and the boater were pulled out by a seemingly insane (brave) chopper pilot.

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