BOAT REPAIR REGULATIONS
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SUBCHAPTER 23. DECEPTIVE PRACTICES CONCERNING WATERCRAFT REPAIR
“Customer” means the owner, or any family member, employee or any other person whose use of the watercraft is
authorized by the owner.
“Director” means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
“Repair of watercraft” means all maintenance and repair to such watercraft, its engine or motor, but excluding lubrication,
oil changes, installing light bulbs, and other such minor accessories and services. No service or accessory to be installed
shall be excluded for purpose of this rule if the Director determines that the performance of the service or the installation of
an accessory requires mechanical expertise has given rise to a high incidence of fraud or deceptive practices or involves a
part of such watercraft essential to its safe operation.
“Watercraft” includes but is not limited to any craft, boat or vessel, powerboat, sailboat, motor sailer, mono hull, catamaran
or trimaran, documented or registered (if required) in the State of New Jersey or by any other agency having authority to
document or register watercraft.
“Watercraft repair dealer” means any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of performing or employing
persons who perform maintenance, diagnosis or repair services on any watercraft, its propulsion system (internal combustion
or electrical, inboard or outboard) or the replacement of parts including, but not limited to, hull planking, fiberglass
sections and standing rigging, and shall include, but not be limited to, boat dealers, repair shops (fixed, mobile or marina) and
marinas where such maintenance, diagnosis or repair services are available. Excluded are those persons who engage in the
business of repairing watercraft of commercial or industrial establishments or government agencies, under contract or otherwise,
but only with respect to such accounts.
13:45A-23.2 Deceptive practices: watercraft repairs
(a) Without limiting the prosecution of any other practices which may be unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act,
N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., and to afford customers of watercraft repair dealers similar rights and protections afforded to
customers of automotive repair dealers, N.J.A.C. 13:45A-7.1 et seq., the following acts or omissions shall be deceptive
practices in the conduct of the business of a watercraft repair dealer, whether such act or omission is done by the
watercraft repair dealer, its employees, agents, partners, officers, or members, or by any third party who performs
such service at the request of the watercraft repair dealer.
1. Making or authorizing in any manner or by any means whatever any statement, written or oral, which is untrue
or misleading, and which is known or, which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known to be untrue
2. Commencing work for compensation without securing one of the following:
i. Specific written authorization from the customer which states the nature of the repair requested or problem
ii. If the customer’s watercraft or any part thereof as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-22.1 is presented to the
watercraft repair dealer during other than normal working hours or by one other than the customer, or in
other than distress circumstances, oral authorization from the customer to proceed with the requested repair
or problem presented, evidenced by a notation on the repair order and/or invoice of the repair requested or
problem presented, date, time, name of person granting such authorization and the telephone number if any,
at which said person was contacted.
3. Commencing work for compensation without either:
i. One of the following:
(1) Providing the customer with a written estimated price to complete the repair quoted in terms of a
not-to-exceed figure; or
(2) Providing the customer with a written estimated price quoted as a detailed breakdown of parts and labor
necessary to complete the repair. If the dealer makes a diagnostic examination, the dealer has a right to
furnish such estimate in a reasonable period of time thereafter, and to charge the customer for the cost of
diagnosis. Such diagnosis charge must be agreed to in advance by the customer. No cost of diagnosis
which would have been incurred in accomplishing the repair shall be billed twice if the customer elects
to have the dealer make the repair. Should it be necessary to haul the watercraft and or transport it to the
repair facility where the maintenance, diagnosis or estimate is to be made (in all but distress circumstances),
charges for such hauling and/or transportation shall be disclosed in advance and itemized
separately on the estimate or invoice; or
(3) Providing the customer with a written estimated price to complete a specific repair, for example “repack
stuffing box”; or
(4) Obtaining from the customer a written authorization to proceed with repairs not in excess of a specific
dollar amount. For the purpose of this subchapter, said dollar amount shall be deemed the estimated
price of repairs; or
(5) If the customer waives his right to a written estimate in a written statement, signed by the customer
obtaining from the customer oral approval of an estimated price of repairs evidenced by a notation on
the repair or invoice of the estimated price of repairs, date, time, name of person approving such estimate,
and the telephone number if any, at which such person was contacted; or
ii. If the customer’s watercraft or any part thereof as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-22.1 is presented to the repair
dealer during other than normal working hours or by one other than the customer, obtaining from the customer
(1) A written authorization to proceed with repairs not in excess of a specific dollar amount. For the purpose
of this subchapter, said dollar amount shall be deemed the estimated price of repairs; or
(2) Oral approval of an estimated price of repairs evidenced by a notation on the repair order or invoice of
the estimated price of repairs, date, time, name of person approving such estimate and the telephone
number, if any, at which such person was contacted.
4. Failure to provide a customer with a copy of any receipt or document signed by him, when he signs it.
5. Making false promises of a character likely to influence, persuade or induce a customer to authorize the repair,
diagnosis, service or maintenance of any craft or its propulsion system.
6. Charging the customer for work done or parts supplied in excess of any estimated price given, without the oral
or written consent of the customer, which shall be obtained after it is determined that the estimated price is
insufficient and before the work not estimated is done or the parts not estimated are supplied. If such consent
is oral, the watercraft repair dealer shall make a notation on the repair order and the invoice of the date, time,
name of person authorizing the additional repairs and the telephone number called, if any, together with a
specification of the additional parts and labor and total additional cost. The watercraft repair dealer shall obtain
the consent of any customer before any additional work not estimated is done or parts not estimated are supplied.
7. Failure to return replaced parts to the customer at the time of completion of work, provided that the customer,
before work is commenced, requests such return, and provided that the parts, by virtue of their size, weight or
other similar factors, are not impractical to return. Those parts and components, that are replaced and that are
sold on an exchange basis and those parts that are required to be returned by the watercraft repair dealer to the
manufacturer or distributor, are exempt from the provisions of this section.
8. Failure to record on an invoice all repair work performed by a watercraft repair dealer or for a customer,
itemizing separately the charges for parts and labor, and clearly stating whether any new, rebuilt, reconditioned
or used parts have been supplied. A legible copy shall be given to the customer.
9. The failure to deliver to the customer, with the invoice, a legible written copy of all guaranties, itemizing the
parts, components and labor represented to be covered by such guaranty or in the alternative, delivery to the
customer of a guaranty covering all parts, components and labor supplied pursuant to a particular repair order.
A guaranty shall be deemed false and misleading unless it conspicuously and clearly discloses in writing the
i. The nature and extent of the guaranty including a description of all parts, characteristics or properties covered
by or excluded from the guaranty, the duration of the guaranty and what must be done by a claimant
before the guarantor will fulfill his obligation (such as returning the product and paying service or labor
ii. The manner in which the guarantor will perform. The guarantor shall state all conditions and limitations and
exactly what the guarantor will do under the guaranty, such as repair, replacement or refund. If the guarantor
or recipient has an option as to what may satisfy the guaranty, this must be clearly stated; and
iii. The guarantor’s identity and address shall be clearly revealed in any documents evidencing the guaranty.
10. Failure to clearly and conspicuously disclose the fact that a guaranty provides for adjustment on a pro rata
basis, and the basis upon which the guaranty will be pro-rated; that is, the time, the part, component or item
repaired has been used and in what manner the guarantor will perform. If adjustments are based on the price
other than that paid by the customer, clear disclosure must be made of the amount. However, a fictitious price
must not be used even where the sum is adequately disclosed.
11. Failure to post in a conspicuous place a sign informing the customer that the watercraft repair dealer is obligated
to provide a written estimate when the customer physically presents such watercraft to the dealer during
normal working hours and, in any event, before work is commenced except in distress circumstances. In
addition, copies of any receipts or document signed by the customer, a detailed invoice, a written copy of any
guaranty and the return of any replaced parts that have been requested must be provided. The sign is to read as
“A CUSTOMER OF THIS ESTABLISHMENT IS ENTITLED TO:
1. When a watercraft, its propulsion system (internal combustion, electrical, inboard or outboard) or any part
thereof is presented during normal working hours, and in any event before work begins, a written estimate
price stated either:
(A) PRICE NOT TO EXCEED $ and given without charge; or
(B) As an exact figure broken down as to hauling, transporting, parts and labor. This establishment has the
right to charge you for this diagnostic service, although, if you then have the repair done here you will
not be charged twice for any part of such charge necessary to make the repair.
(C) As an exact figure to complete a specific repair.
2. For your protection, you may waive your right to an estimate only by signing a written waiver.
3. Require that this establishment not start work on your watercraft, its propulsion system (internal combustion,
electrical, inboard or outboard) or any part thereof until you sign an authorization stating the nature of
the repair or problem if you physically present the watercraft here during normal working hours.
4. A detailed invoice stating charges for parts and labor separately and whether any new, rebuilt, reconditioned
or used parts have been supplied.
5. The replaced parts, if requested before work is commenced, unless their size, weight or similar factors make
return of the parts impractical.
6. A written copy of any guaranty.”
12. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a watercraft repair dealer to provide a written estimate if
the dealer does not agree to do the repair.
13. Any other unconscionable commercial practice prohibited pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.
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Law Offices of Howard A. Gutman,
230 Route 206, Mount Olive, New Jersey 07836
(973) 598-1980, E-mail Howian@aol.com
New York Office
305 Madison Avenue, Suite 449
New York, New York 10165 (212) 886-4838
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