Northwest Florida Outboard Service Reports & Reviews (1)
Victim Location 32526
Total money lost $1,500
Type of a scam Other
Regarding : Sunbird boat repair & Jim Lawrence, my experience.
Jim L Lawrence
2040 Renegade Lane Milton Fl 32583
On 05-14-2021 : I responded via text message to a craigslist ad posted by jim for boat repair.
He replyed back and we agreed to meet at his house on Monday 05-17-21 to discuss.
On 05-17-21 : I met with jim and his helper byron, we ran the motor and a compression check which I did not see the results of but jim and byron did, I was on the boat and jim told me the engine needed a rebuild and that he would do a complete rebuild for $2750.00. I asked if he could also fix the engine tril unit which had developed a leak and he said yes no problem and I also asked if he could get the tachometer working and he replyed yes no problem. I asked if he could do all 3 repairs ( engine, trim, tach ) for $3000 total cost and he said yes no problem. He then said he needed a deposit for the parts of $700, I had $400 cash on me and gave it to him, drove home and came back within an hour and gave him the other $300, total $700. He said the work would be completed and I would have my repaired boat back by the end of the week. I was actually surprised to hear him say that as I would have expected a few weeks. At no time did he offer me a repair order or a receipt for my cash deposit. I didnt say anything because jim is in his late 70's in age I assumed he is just old school and a hand shake was good enough, boy was I wrong.
05-20-21 : Jim calls me and says I need a engine block and that it was $400-$500 dollars. I droped what I was doing and went to his house and he showed me corossion on my engine block and said he would have to drill out the stuck bolts. I said fine in the interest of not delaying the work and keeping to the previously agreed schedule. I gave him $500 cash and again he did not offer me a receipt for my cash.
….13 days later....
06-02-21 : After texting a few times asking for an update on my boat and receiving no reply I finally called jim and spoke to him, he told me he could not find a block and would give it 1 or 2 more days and either find a block or drill out mine which I found odd . As soon as we got off the phone I did a google search and found several blocks for less money than he said it would cost and they were available for immediate sale. I did not say anything to him as I gave him the benefit of the doubt that maybe there was something specific about my block even though I didn't believe that to be true.
….19 days later....
06-21-21 : After a couple more attempts at getting an update via text message with no reply, I texted jim and told him I was coming to get a few things out of my boat which I did. When I arrived there was 10-12 boats there, many of which were not there when I first left my boat meaning they must have come in after mine and were in some state of disrepair. When I arrived jim was off loading an outboard motor and discussing with the owner the cost of repair, immediately I noticed he wrote a repair order for this person, but not me, hmmm, why was that. After a few minutes jim pointed to my orginial block and what he said was my replacement block sitting on the floor and said that the new block was shipped missing a part ( a metal cover ) but that it was shipped and due to arrive that same day ( convenient ) and that was the missing part arrived they would finish up my engine. Once the outboard guy left I asked jim for a receipt for my cash and he said....yeah yeah just write one out and Ill sign it, I had one prepared in my pocket and had him sign it. I then asked if I could see my repair order as he had a clip board in his hand with several repair orders on it including the outboard guy who he just wrote out, his reply was... oh it's around here somewhere, I didn't say anything. I told him I would be waiting for his call.
….15 days later....
07-06-21 : Still have not heard anything from jim regarding my boat so I am going to check on it.
When I arrived..... a bunch of the boats that were there on my last trip were gone and there was 8-9 boats there, mine had not moved and my motor was still on the floor. I asked jim for a work order and he looked through his clipboard of work orders and of course did not find mine because he never did one so he finally wrote one out. He asked me what we had agreed on in terms of price and I had to remind him of the agreement which was $2750 full rebuild plus $250(max) to repair engine tilt seal leak and tachometer repair. He agreed to do the tilt seal and tachometer at no charge for being an [censored] ( his words not mine) . I reminded him that initially when I dropped the boat off he said he would have it rebuilt and back to me by the end of the week and now 7 weeks later my engine is dismantled and sitting on his floor, I also questioned how could it be that on my last trip (06-21-21) he told me the missing engine part that was supposedly was to have been delivered that day never showed, he cant provide a tracking number and weeks later its the same story. He said he would check on it and call me but I asked for him to check it now and provide some proof that the part was actually on its way because I was at that point very close to taking my boat to another dealer for a New Engine Repower. He goes into his house and returns a few minutes later with some ebay papers that showed he had looked at the missing engine part but did not include an order # or tracking # so I could not tell for sure if he did in fact order the part. He said he would have my boat repaired and back to me the following week (07-13-21), I asked him if he could have all the repairs done correctly by the week after (07-20-21) to allow for no more excuses and he agreed.
07-08-21 : Text from Byron to me
Good Day, Sir. Your part has not arrived yet. The FedEx Lady told me just a while ago the the trucks from the east coast were not rolling cause of the hurricane. So, if that's where the parts are coming? It may be first of next week. They were to be here yesterday (07-07-21). It's not here. Will keep you updated as I know what's going on. Thanks, B
The fedex lady ??? really ??? how about a tracking # and the parts are shipped from Missouri per the ebay sellers website so the whole hurricane narrative is “BS”
07-13-21 : Less than a week remaining so I texted Byron to see if my parts had arrived and as of this morning (07-14-21), no reply.
07-14-21 : Text from Byron
Good day, sorry I didn't see your text yesterday. Your parts did not show up over the weekend. Jim reordered them monday. Not exactly sure when they are to be here. I believe (don't hold me to it) Jim thought they'd be here this week. Have your boat pulled into the work area so when they show, we're going to get right on it. In the meanwhile, I've begun to attempt to separate the piece we need from the others. It's a tough go. So far I'm not moving as quickly in accomplishing the task as I would like. Again, wish I had lots better news. Sorry again for not getting back to you sooner. My bad. B.
07-16-21 : Text from Byron
Haven't forgotten. Get an answer today. Everytime he goes to check the Mrs. Grabs him for something else. I'll get you an answer today. Even if I have to figure out how to do it. Please bare with me. Sometimes the middle is smooth, sometimes it's a full blown hurricane. Thanks B.
07-21-21 Text from Byron
Man, you must have been reading my mind. I was thinking I needed to give you an update.
There were a couple of engines I was working on before your parts came in. One was the Suzuki, Jim's working on that now, electrical trouble. The other was the one from Arizona. I should, hopefully, keep your fingers crossed, think good thoughts, have it done tomorrow, and then you're next. Hopefully, I make my goal. Which is to have yours done Saturday, for you to pick up. Trust me, I want to get you back on the water as quick as possible.
Thanks, keep asking, B
07-24-21 text from Byron
Good Day. Wish I could say your boats ready for pick up. Not able to. Was starting to put things together and discovered the pistons are to big for the cylinders. Totally frustrated on that. Checked everything else yesterday to make sure pistons were the only parts that have to be reordered. They are.
I feel like a broken record. As soon as they get here I'll get things together. So very sorry. I was excited that I was going to finally get you going, and then this.
Have a great weekend . B
07-26-21: 10 week anniversary
07-27-21 : Picked up my boat with my outboard engine in pieces, did not get my deposit refunded or my boat repaired
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