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View Full Version : Cracked tower - low hours UPDATE


Overdraft
02-03-2013, 03:02 PM
You might remember this thread about my cracked tower.

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=50529

The update is a $ 2,400.00 bill from the dealer to me to repair the tower. I am not pinning this one on the dealer as he is not responsible for the engineering and design of this tower - yet none the less reduced the hours on the file and passed on the parts at his apparant cost.

A tower cracked both sides on a SKI BOAT!? Come on...MC is fortunate they don't have a serious injury or death on their corporate conscience for a tower landing on one of my passengers - scares the heck out of me actually. Still waiting for a plausable theory as to why this happened on a 100 hour boat that spends the entire summer on a lift, is dealer maintained and travels on a trailer to and from the cottage on a paved roads once a year.


Brand loyalty - sorry not anymore.

mikeg205
02-03-2013, 03:09 PM
repair tower? any word from MC? Can it be safely repaired? or are they replacing the broken parts...

Overdraft
02-04-2013, 12:57 PM
As crazy as it sounds - they sold me the parts $ 1,700.00....balance was for labour from the dealer. The dealer tells me he didn't mark-up the parts. This is plain wrong - in my opinion of course.

mikeg205
02-04-2013, 01:05 PM
That crack could have really hurt someone.... good no one got hurt. Anyway it's boat right -- Bring Out Another Thousand... :)

Aric'sX15
02-04-2013, 01:06 PM
well not to stir the pot, but doesnt it have a warning on the tower to not tow tubes from it?

scott023
02-04-2013, 01:17 PM
I can see the issues from both sides... the boat is 5+ years old, and there's no telling what was pulled from the tower, of if there was ever any monkey business that caused the tower to crack.
That being said, if it was my boat, I'd be choked that I had to cover the cost with so few hours on it. But then again, I have never pulled a tube from the tower either.

madcityskier
02-04-2013, 01:21 PM
Probably best not to start all of this again. Suffice to say I would be frustrated as well, yet I feel there is more to this than just a sudden crack with no previous signs of a concern.

Cloaked
02-04-2013, 10:13 PM
Without seeing the tower and weld joint, I will say this from first look; the skewed angle of the weld joint on the inside of the angle could possibly have had undercut at the toe of the weld. Thus a stress riser point, thus a weak point for material failure from cyclic stress. Merely a guess from a limited view but I can clearly see the opportunity for undercut (a weld defect that impacts the base material) to have a part in the origin of the crack (on relatively thin wall material allowing a crack to begin).

Take it or leave it.... :)

I say manufacturing weld defect....and I also say KAKA to the price that guy gouged you... What exactly did they do to repair the issue? Cut out the cracked component and reweld in a new piece? Repair the crack with filler material (I hope not)? I am not making light of the cost or scenario, I'm curious as to the process of repair to justify some $2,400. Heck, a new tower is just around $3K, no?

$0.02

mikeg205
02-04-2013, 10:19 PM
Without seeing the tower and weld joint, I will say this from first look; the skewed angle of the weld joint on the inside of the angle could possibly have had undercut at the toe of the weld. Thus a stress riser point, thus a weak point for material failure from cyclic stress. Merely a guess from a limited view but I can clearly see the opportunity for undercut (a weld defect that impacts the base material) to have a part in the origin of the crack (on relatively thin wall material allowing a crack to begin).

Take it or leave it.... :)

I say manufacturing weld defect....

$0.02

You stay at a holiday inn last night cloaked? ;)

Cloaked
02-04-2013, 10:20 PM
You stay at a holiday inn last night cloaked? ;)
lol.. .... I snagged a room in the Holiday Inn Express.... :D

mart_it
02-04-2013, 11:07 PM
2400$!!! wow!
Probably took them 1hr max to cut and re-weld!

MIskier
02-05-2013, 12:50 AM
The front half of the tower would have been replaced, a complete tower runs about 5k

petermegan
02-05-2013, 04:41 AM
Without seeing the tower and weld joint, I will say this from first look; the skewed angle of the weld joint on the inside of the angle could possibly have had undercut at the toe of the weld. Thus a stress riser point, thus a weak point for material failure from cyclic stress. Merely a guess from a limited view but I can clearly see the opportunity for undercut (a weld defect that impacts the base material) to have a part in the origin of the crack (on relatively thin wall material allowing a crack to begin).

Take it or leave it.... :)

I say manufacturing weld defect....and I also say KAKA to the price that guy gouged you... What exactly did they do to repair the issue? Cut out the cracked component and reweld in a new piece? Repair the crack with filler material (I hope not)? I am not making light of the cost or scenario, I'm curious as to the process of repair to justify some $2,400. Heck, a new tower is just around $3K, no?

$0.02

I am with him :D

Jim@BAWS
02-05-2013, 08:37 AM
2400$!!! wow!
Probably took them 1hr max to cut and re-weld!

Not correct..If the tower is being rewelded the way it should be, some of it must disassembled and the wiring removed. It is not as easy as just re welding it. Don't jump to conclusions till you have all the details

Jim@BAWS

mart_it
02-05-2013, 12:23 PM
Not correct..If the tower is being rewelded the way it should be, some of it must disassembled and the wiring removed. It is not as easy as just re welding it. Don't jump to conclusions till you have all the details

Jim@BAWS

I agree with the wiring having to be disassembled and part of the tower in order to weld but basically part of the job is just cutting and re-welding. No way that should of cost him 2400$. I understand not everyone here on the board has a tig welder and the skills to use it but that's a pretty easy job to do!

LaRue
02-05-2013, 12:52 PM
wow! that price is ridiculous. :mad: Last year we bought a NDT with two racks for $2500 shipped. Not to make you feel worse but i feel bad that you felt you had to pay that kind of money for a tower weld repair. I hope you have no more expenses.

FourFourty
02-05-2013, 01:01 PM
I agree with the wiring having to be disassembled and part of the tower in order to weld but basically part of the job is just cutting and re-welding. No way that should of cost him 2400$. I understand not everyone here on the board has a tig welder and the skills to use it but that's a pretty easy job to do!

Agreed..... Removing the wiring is a 10 second job. Simply de-pin the connectors, and pull the wires up through.

When I had my 2011, I removed the entire ZFT-3 tower, replaced the 18 gauge speaker wires with 12 gauge and reinstalled in about 2 hours.... Removing one of the front supports, and removing the wiring from it, is less than an hour worth of work.

I would find a local shop that specializes in welding/fabricating, and get a quote from them.

broncotw
02-05-2013, 03:52 PM
In my opinion, minus any evidence of some type of collision, I would think MasterCraft should cover this..... It's pretty obvious the weld did not fail.... This would lead me to believe the metal failed.... $2,400.00 would be a bit tough to swallow....

I would also consider filing a claim with my insurance carrier in the event MasterCraft would not help out.....

FourFourty
02-06-2013, 08:54 AM
It's pretty obvious the weld did not fail.... This would lead me to believe the metal failed....

I think it would be an act of "good will" for MC to help out with this, however, your statement above is the reason that I would say that MC is not responsable. That extruded aluminum tube is going to be 99% identical to every other tower that MC made in that time period. Nobody else is cracking tower frames, so it would suggest, that the tube, that was used, is strong enough for its intended purpose.

If the weld had failed, that would leave more for interpretation....

It is an odd failure, though. It would be very hard to determine the actual cause. I am surprised that so many think that MC should cover this, when the boat is way out of warranty. (even if it has only 100hrs). Every other manufacturer, on planet earth, is going to have the same response, in most cases. I think we need to remember that we are talking about a BOAT here.....

I feel bad for the owner, but I think he should look elsewhere for the repair. This job could be done by a reputable welding shop for less than 25% of that quoted repair..... I would scribe alignment marks on the tube, remove it from the boat, and bring it to a welding shop. Have the welding shop sleeve the tube, bevel the edges of the crack, and weld it all back together. Based on the repairs that I have had on the aluminum booms on my grain trucks (they are essentially a 10" diameter version of this same thing. and yes, they crack periodically as well), this should cost less than $250.00. It may run upwards of $350.00 if the sleeve needs to be machined to fit.

kyfooter
02-06-2013, 08:55 AM
Sure sounds like poor customer service, and an unfortunate business decision on MasterCraft's part. Unless the boat looks abused, or shows signs of hitting the tower on something, with 100 hours on it I give the benefit of doubt to the customer. Never mind the unbelievable pressure/torque it should take to crack a steel/aluminum tube...Can't understand how the metal would crack before a rope would break.

But...what's a customer worth? Fix it right, and take care of the customer and we all read about it and get energized about MC standing behind their products (or those of their suppliers). Stiff a guy, and we all read it, and give second thought that we could be that same person. Since when did $100,000 on a toy become insignificant, and something that customers should settle for being less than perfect?

That $2,400 could well be worth 2-3 future boat purchases from Overdraft (which will probably still happen...it will just be a Nautique or BU). What a shame.

FourFourty
02-06-2013, 09:01 AM
^ This is what I don't understand.... It is a 6 year old boat!! Do you think ford would replace a control arm on a 2007 F150 just because it only had 10k miles on it???

kyfooter
02-06-2013, 09:42 AM
I get we'll all have different opinions on this, but the last I checked, an F-150 cost about $30,000-$40,000 or so and rarely does a new X-anything sell for less than $80,000 - $120,000. So now we're into comparing the boat to 7 series BMWs and Mercedes, both of which have standard 4-year 50,000 mile warranties. For a major failure though, most companies do consider mileage in the event one is close on warranty.

Certainly, none of us can say with certainty that it was either a failure due to the owner's neglect/accident, or failure caused by a manufacturer's defect. Some will say the boat is out of warranty, too bad. If a brand wants to promote themselves as the leader and charge a premium for their product, my belief is their customer service should be above and beyond as well.

100 hours is the equivalent of about 2,500 - 4,000 miles...yes, I do believe overall condition of the boat comes into play.

As is the case with any consumer product, expect less and you'll get less. As a rather loyal fan base, demand more and you just might get it...or you'll take your business to a product line that does deliver more.

bsloop
02-06-2013, 10:15 AM
$1700 sounds premium for the repair parts but how much did the Canadian factor come into play?
Shipping is significant as were duties and taxes most likely.

For metal tube to fail like that indicates some kind of metallurgical weakness or weakening. Granted, I have never studied tower failures but in the same token, you just dont hear of towers breaking across the tube. Tube bending or tearing out of the mounts seem much more likely than a shear crack from general towing or tow abuse.

Tough situation for the OP. I can understand MC position especially if there was good faith to replace the tower parts at a minimum manufacturing cost.
Glad it is repaired and hope you can get more years of enjoyment.

Looking back at the old thread, one thing that I did not see considered was the effect of small oscillations over time creating a sufficient fatigue at a weak point? The crack appears at a potential stress point where there was reinforcement, a weld and what appears to be a hole on the opposite side.

I propose, even though the boat was only used 100 hrs over 5 years, the cumulative time of the boat sitting on the pole lift exposed to wind and wave action may have been able to create subitle flexing that over time, weakened the tube/joint. This could be a very unique set of circumstances due to; duration, type of lift, method of lift installation and even regular wave/wind action where the tower was allowed to oscillate at a weakening frequency.
Aluminum is known to be light and strong but also brittle.

I have a pontoon with rigid aluminum top. After a rough storm, I arrived to find the top partially collapsed. Upon inspection, I found four welds had failed allowing the top to fold. Looking closer, the other 4 points had already been bolted due to the welds breaking. When the wind blows out of the north, our end tie is unprotected and waves are allowed to come straight at the end of the dock, hitting the pontoon broadside and rocking it significantly. Since it is an end tie, only one side is tied off allowing the other side to bob greater than if it was tied into a slip.

Cloaked
02-06-2013, 06:27 PM
......For metal tube to fail like that indicates some kind of metallurgical weakness or weakening........HAZ and undercut.......

The weld didn't fail. I suspect a weld-induced defect of undercut into the material in a HAZ. Stress point / cyclic failure....

$0.02


.

CC2MC
02-06-2013, 11:12 PM
That really stinks. The little I have dealt with my local dealer, I have been pleased. Granted, I have not had an issue like this before and hopefully never will. I am, however taking my tower next week over to the manufacturer so he can add tower breaks so I can park it in my garage without having to completely remove the top portion. He is only charging me $250, which I though was very reasonable. The hardest part for me is to transport it 3.5 hours there and another 3.5 hrs back home.

When I worked at CC, I saw them take some boats that were well out of warranty and fix them for the customer under a warranty claim just to keep the customer happy. They absolutely did not have to do that, but that is also the kind of thing that will keep a customer coming back. I saw a 5 yr old SN that I thought was a new boat. As it turns out, the customer had returned it a couple times bc they were super picky so they just ran the boat through the works so the customer could not bring up anything else I found out after the fact that it was not a new boat bc it looked that good.

maristardd
02-06-2013, 11:41 PM
There's a big 'ol grommet and wire sticking out the other side of the tube where the crack dis-appears around the top - we didn't get a backside photo. Seems like that hole and any potential problems with corrosion or stress around that would be a significant contributing factor given its right in the fracture line?