Archived Trailer Guys Questions
Boat Trailering Guys:,
Folks, I took delivery of a new, trailerable sailboat from the manufacturer in January 2005. It came with a bunk-type trailer designed specifically for my hull, but manufactured by a different vendor. Recently, I became aware that despite using the supplied trailering strap to secure the stern of the boat to the trailer, the hull has shifting during trailering and there are tire scuff marks on the hull chines. While I'm concerned at the potential for hull damage, I'm much more concerned about the potential to damage a tire while trailering at highway speeds and the obvious safety implications. The trailer manufacturer has stated they designed and manufactured the trailer to the specifications provided by the boat manufacturer, even though they were concerned with the potential for hulls to come into contact with tires. To solve this problem, they have offered to sell me a new axle and U-bolts at cost ($150) plus shipping as an oversized parcel from southern California to Washington State. This trailer was manufactured on October 26, 2004 and is within the warranty period that covers materials and workmanship. I feel that proper design is part of workmanship. Since this is a safety problem on a new trailer, I don't believe I should have to pay for an error or bad decision made by the trailer manufacturer. What should I do to assert my rights...or do I really have any in this situation?
Answered on: 8/2005
It would seem to me that if the trailer manufacturer knew that there was a design flaw that they would stand behind the product, especially if it is still under warranty. If I were in your shoes I would contact the BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau for their assistance. The cornerstone of this BoatU.S. service is its Dispute Mediation Program. They handle hundreds of complaints similar to yours each year. You can contact them at 703-461-2856.
Boat Trailering Guys: