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I am trying to help my buddy look for an extended warranty plan for his 2000 200HP Ficht manufactured by OMC. I have spoken to Bombardier and they will cover engines manufactured by omc in 2000 and 2001 only for one year from documented date of SALE. This is exactly what ACCESS has said.

Bombardier covers the engines that they began manufacturing in October of 2001 for 2 years, with no formal plans for extended coverage beyond that at this time (they are working on several options).

For those who have the OMC made motors there are plans for extended coverage available through independent insurance carriers. My buddy would need to get such a plan in effect before June 2002 since that is when the warranty that Bombardier is assuming will expire (he purchased the boat last June).

Bombardier gave us a list of 3 companies that were offering extended plans and their direct numbers. They are PINNACLE, FIRST PROTECTION and PASSPORT MARINE SERVICES. There are other companies offering extended plans that we found by doing searches on the internet. We called several of those and asked for their written coverages, limits , exclusions, etc.

One common requirement that had to be met, was that there still must be an original OEM warranty in effect or they will not offer coverage. A couple of these companies were adding on additional "surcharges" based on the amount of time remaining on the OEM warranty. If your coverage is expiring in a week you will be quoted a higher premium than if it still has 6 moths or more to go as ACCESS stated. Some of these companies did not care how much time remained, but rather what make is the motor and is it fuel injected.

One company , TGI adds $75 to all their premium quotes if the engine has EFI.

The majority of the plans, unfortunately, tacked on substantial amounts to the premiums when they heard the word "FICHT".

We spoke to SUFFOLK marine, which is an authorizes factory OMC dealer who accepts the PINNACLE plan that BOMBARDIER reffered us to. The quote for 2 year extended coverage was $2400.OO. When asked which OMC model it was, our reply was met with "Oh, it's that engine! There is an additional $450.00 surcharge for that particular engine on top of the $2400.00".

We tried the dealer who the boat was originally purchased from, only to be told that they had not signed with any company that offers extended plans as of yet (for the OMC-made engines).

FIRST PROTECTION had a new person in charge of the NY sales area, and could not find any marine service dealers that had signed with them as of yet. She could tell us that she would try to find out who would be accepting the plan and include that list (which has to be minimal) along with their application, terms of coverage and brochure. When asked about cost of the plan, she responded, " That is determined by the dealer who sells the plan and takes the particular make and model of the engine into consideration."

PASSPORT MARINE is sending literature, terms brochures, lists of participating marinas, etc. But was not really too hepful over the phone.

The same is occurring with several other companies that we found in our internet search. The cheapest quote that we came across was $1390 for a 4 year plan that seemed to cover a lot but we have no idea how reputable the company is.

For anyone that is going to purchase an extended warranty for their boat/motor, keep several things in mind.

1. The plans are almost always underwritten by an insurance or casualty company. Insurance companies are profit driven! They are not underwriting a plan that is NOT going to make your money, their money!

2. Make sure you have written terms, limits, liabilities, exclusions from coverage, parts covered/not covered, deductibles clearly written and included in your contract.

3. Ask about coverage on such things as block charges, towing, haulage,storage, hoist outs and LABOR RATES!. You may purchase a plan that pays much less for hourly labor charges than your favorite machanic wants to charge for his excellent service. YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE! The repair facility may honor the plan as payment for most, but not all aspects of the repair. What if the boat has to be hoisted, put on blocks and sits for 3 days waiting for a part? Whos is paying for all of this? Assume nothing!
4. Know your deductibles! This is just like auto insurance. How much of the repair is coming directly out of your pocket. Is there a deductible for each repair incident? Is there a yearly deductible that has to be met? Etc. Etc.
5 What are your obligations. What maintenance has to be documented? Are receipts for normal maintenace and up-keep, ok? Can I do the maintenance myself or do I have to use a designated service facilty?
6. Who pays the repair facility? Does the plan pay the facilty directly and timely? Do I have to pay the facility and then submit the receipts for reimbursement? When do I get reimbursed? The reputable plans will usually pay the provider of service directly.
7. Before signing up for any plan, try to find someone who already has the same paln and has had to use it. Check with the service department at a participating dealership, but not the same dealer you use or purchase the plan from!

Now, on a different note, my buddy is happy with the motor! He had to get the retrofit for the leaky fuel injector problem. The dealer also recommended a hotter plug with indexing rings since there was a soot problem at trolling speeds. The soot has lessened, now that the engine is fully broken in and the plugs have been upgraded. It has performed almost flawlessly all last season right up until Christmas. It is powerful, responsive, relatively quiet and fuel efficient.

The only dilemma he has is to decide what to do . Spend the money on an extended warranty, or see if it might be worth it to trade into a newer motor. And what newer motor would he want? Another FICHT, but a new one , maybe even the 225 HP!

By the way, if anyone knows of dealers that handle repowering and trade ins, we would appreciate the referral!

Hope this helped someone, somewhere!

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