Before you consider buying a new or used Larson Boat, obtain a copy of their 'weak' warranty, and also go to the following link to get an idea of what to expect from Larson if you have a problem. http://www.griperadio.com/page.cfm/ID=Larso1
I'm certainly glad we didn't settle on the Larson, but got a Sea Ray instead. Recently my dealer made the comment that the boating industry is years behind the auto industry in customer service and satisfaction. He said too many people expect the same level of service. Too bad, I'm a very loyal customer when treated fairly.
Sorry to hear about your problem. Three years ago I bought my first boat, a 17 foot bowrider with an 115HP O/B. I knew nothing about boats at the time and soon discovered the floor was rotted in several places. Since the boat was 15 years old I decided to fix it myself. I invested about $150 and 12-15 hours into repairing the boat. It turned out to be a pretty simple job. After 2 1/2 years the floor is rock solid.
Since you best efforts haven't budged the folks at Larson, you might want to consider repairing it yourself. If you're interested let me know; I'd be happy to send you a step-by-step explanation of how I fixed my boat.
Thank for the offer! With summer coming up, I have started fixing the floor my self. When I am done with it, it will be much better than it was from the factory. Then it gets sold. Some body will get a real good price on a boat with a great floor and crappy customer service.If you want to see the pictures of my mess, go to Zing.com go to directory hobbies-boats, page 2
Larry, I sure hope that you don't get mad at me someday! I see your name ALL OVER the'net and hope you get some satisfaction from Larson. Unless they are idiots, they will try to make you happy so you go away, but I'm not optimistic. Good Luck! Kurt
I have watched the very negative dialogue about Larson on this forum and others -- there has been one person that responded positively about their boat/experience with Larson Boats. They got hammered. I'm going to make it 2 for a positive Larson experience.
I own a 1995 Larson 280 Cabrio (29 ft LOA, 10 ft beam) that I purchased this spring from a local marina -- before that it had one previous owner that took meticulous care of the boat. The boat was commissioned in 1997 so it had 3 years of use (367 hrs on single Volvo 7.4L with Volvo DP outdrive).
We had the boat properly surveyed by a "SAMS" certified surveyor. While nothing of significance was found, it was a critical first step in our understanding of this boat and what +/- it had. Even if we decided not to buy the boat, the learning experience was well worth the money. The next step was a thorough water check out -- as others have posted, check everything and if it doesn't work get your dealer to fix. If they won't don't buy it. Remember, the buyer is in control. Ours to date has been very accomodating -- they replaced some lettering, put on bottom paint, buffed and waxed entire boat, change motor oil and outdrive lube, shampooed carpets, and did virtually everything we asked for. To date, we have been out 6 different times (15 hrs or so) and are completely satisfied with our choice of Larson as a boat, the upfront money we spent to understand our purchase, and our dealer.
Additionally. the previous owner (traded up to a Larson 330 Cabrio) had thrown out the manuals. I contacted Larson and they have 1) supplied all original manuals, 2) offered to extend the hull warranty ($500 for 2 years), and 3) been very accomodating on various other information requests that I have had. So far I have nothing but very positive comments about Larson boats.
Learnings from my experience and the dialogue I have seen posted: 1) ALWAYS have a resale boat surveyed -- this was Larry's main failure. A proper survey should easily have found any problems as severe as he describes. 2) DO your homework. Buying a boat is not a trivial issue -- it is the buyer's responsibility to be educated and aware. 3) BUY from a reputable dealer. Talk with other boaters -- see 2) above. 4) DON'T expect miracles from the manufacturer. While I agree from what I have read that Larson has been less than cooperative, there is a balance of responsibility. Larry is the 3rd owner and as aperson that spent 4 months looking at resale boats, some people seriously mistreat their boats. Buying used boat IS a buyer beware issue. See 2). above.
Overall, I slip my boat in a marina (owned by dealer) full of other Larson boats. While I am sure all is not perfect, I have talked with many Larson owners and generally they are a happy bunch. I would suggest that anyone who reads Larry's emails and automatically disregards Larson boats is making a mistake. I am not suggesting that Larson is the boat for all, but if you look hard enough you will find irrate owners of all brands of boats (and cars, TV's, couches, etc...) -- even on this page I have seen irrate Regal and Seaswirl owners. If you follow this line, the list of "possible" boats to buy gets real small, real fast.
Be aware, do your homework, take responsibility -- enough said. I am sure this email will generate a bunch of negative emails. So be it. Happy Boating.
It is a wonderful thing that you have had good success with your Larson boat. But you may have overlooked the fact that my 174 is a ski boat, not a big cruiser, so it naturally is exposed to a lot of water. Yes you are right, I did overlook having the boat surveyed, but that is no excuse for Larson's attitude concerning the situation, or the lack of quality that went into my 'lower retail' boat.I too asked for and received a manual and lots of prices for accessories that I wanted. All is good when money is to be spent! I feel that by letting the public know about this situation and encouraging others with similiar experiences to also voice their opinions, maybe the boating industry will attempt to catch up with other industry standards. I have not heard from anybody having a problem such as mine with larger boats, only the smaller boats. So the owners of the less expensive boats get taken? Maybe it ends at 28 feet!
Here is an excerpt from the lastest response to my problem from my griperadio.com site. It appears that we small boat owners suffer in quality, possibly because there is not as much profit?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I too have had the deck in my 1994 Larson All American rot out. My intent is not to help put Larson out of business, but rather have them build a better product. If Larson had gone the extra step of laying even a layer or two of fiberglass and resin over the wood deck, I wouldn't have had to spend at least $400.00 and countless hours removing and rebuilding the deck, the way it should have been done in the first place........ http://griperadio.com/page.cfm/ID=Larso1
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