I have a 2004 15HP Honda Outboard — BF15, popular model, they are all over the place. Several years ago I decided to branch out & try Colchester area marine repair shops. This year was Saba Marine’s turn. They screwed up just about every aspect of the job.
Wednesday April 3rd
I know Saba Marine isn’t a Honda dealer, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Talking with Cameron at their service desk, I went over that I wanted the impeller replaced & the carb adjusted a bit, & asked if Saba Marine had someone who could work on my Honda outboard?
“No problem,” Cameron assured me, “it will be ready this time next week.” It dawned on me as I was driving away that Cameron had forgotten to take down my phone number, so I drove back & made sure he wrote it down. I shouldn’t have bothered.
Wednesday April 10th
One week later & no call yet from Saba Marine. I gave ’em a ring, their service department doesn’t answer, I leave a message.
Thursday April 11th
No call back. Am I surprised? Kind of. They seemed to have their shit together.
Friday April 12th
Now I’m worried I won’t have my outboard back in time for the weekend, so I call Saba Marine again.
First attempt, no answer from service. Second attempt, I’m on hold & hang up after 10 minutes of muzak.
Third call finally gets someone (Cameron) on the phone. My motor isn’t ready. The aftermarket impeller they had ordered out of their parts book was the wrong part — “a book error” — the replacement hasn’t come in yet. “Next week!” Cameron assures me.
Thursday April 16th
The week is almost over with still no word from Cameron. By now it’s been 15 days, double the expected wait. I call Saba Marine, no answer again in the service department. I leave another message.
Friday April 17th
No return call. I’m realizing Saba Marine was a big mistake.
Thursday April 23rd
Week three, still nothing. I’m sure my outboard is done & Saba Marine just hasn’t called. I call Cameron. My outboard is still not ready. The second impeller they ordered was yet again the wrong part & they had to order an OEM impeller which hasn’t arrived. Cameron will give me a call if by chance the motor is ready in time for the weekend. I know how that will work out.
Monday April 29th
No word from Cameron. I call mid-afternoon & tell Cameron I’ll be in tomorrow to pick up the motor. Cameron says a load of parts just arrived & my impeller is probably on it. He’ll try to have it ready.
Tuesday April 30th
Cameron calls (HOLY SHIT!!) at 4PM & leaves a message that my outboard is ready. It’s been 4 weeks.
Wednesday May 1st
At Saba Marine to pick up my outboard, I ask Cameron for a discount, whatever he thinks is fair, 5% … 10%… Cameron won’t look at me as he explains he feels bad & never should have accepted my Honda to work on. Fine, but whose fault is that? Hadn’t I asked that exact question before I dropped it off? That’s right, I had.
Can they do anything for me to make it right? Nope. I pay full price & leave.
The Ineptitude Doesn’t Stop There
I get home, put the outboard on the boat & the stream of water out the check port is clearly blocked — it’s a a weak trickle, at any RPM. I didn’t pay $300 & wait 4 weeks to have my outboard piss like a 105-year-old man with prostate problems. It’s debris in the tube that Saba didn’t take the time to clear out.
They also wired the cowling permanently shut with hobby wire — there’s no sign of the stainless pin that was there when I brought it in — but you get the idea.