Man Fed Up When Boat Repair Runs Aground

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Robert Klinski went more than a year without his boat after dropping it off at a local repair shop. Klinski bought his 1998 Yamaha Exciter with hopes of enjoying it with his family.

"It was something to buy to enjoy with the family and basically go up and down the Intracoastal," Klinski said.

He says the boat was in fair condition, but he decided to have the engines rebuilt to ensure a worry-free ride.

"The boat did start, it did run, but it was gonna need work," Klinski said.

In February 2018, he paid Jet Ski Broward $2300 to start the work. He says 6 months later, the mechanic told him to drop the boat off because the engines were ready to be put in.

"I assumed once he got the boat, engines are going in, right away," Klinski said.

After a year and more than a dozen phone calls later, his boat still wasn't ready to be picked up so he called NBC 6 Responds.

Unlike a car mechanic or auto repair shop that is required to register with the state, maintain a license with the county, and in some cases have at least one certified technician on staff, we found there are different requirements for boats.

"There is no licensing requirement to be a mechanic on boats and yachts," said Russell McCaffery, Dean of Transportation Programs at Broward College.

He says though marine technicians aren't required to have a license, there are recommended certifications they can obtain.

"If they are trying to make a living out of it you want to make sure that they are certified and have gone through some kind of training program," McCaffery said.

He says his students can graduate with up to eight certifications from the American Boat and Yacht Council, a group that sets standards for safe construction and maintenance of boats. McCaffery recommends boat owners check to see if the person working on their boat is certified.

"Just like with any investment, consumers want to protect that investment," McCaffery said.

The ABYC told us the owner of Jet Ski Broward was unsuccessful in completing a certification with them.

After our calls to the company, Klinski did get his boat back but it wasn't working.

"I'm done with the boat experience," said Klinski.

When we spoke with Jet Ski Broward, the owner blamed the delay on the age of the boat. When he gave Klinski the boat, he also refunded $1,000 of the deposit.

If you want to verify if a boat technician is certified with the ABYC you can search on their website.

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