I purchased a Crest tritoon at Big Thunder Marine in May of 2019. It is now August 30th as I wright this review. I wanted to wait to see if the experience had any chance at getting better before I wrote this review. But sadly the continuing saga of sloppy, shoddy, careless and totally inept performance by virtually every person I came into contact with at Big Thunder,continues. Let me say at this juncture the one and only individual at Big Thunder that I encountered that performed their job with excellence, integrity and professionalism was the sales person Trista Vossman. She did what she said she would do and when all the rest of the personnel, including Sales Manager Tim and Service Manager Jim, were either lying to me or just in general doing nothing to address my issues, Tristan was at least trying to get some answers for me.
I could go into detail about the innumerable ways this transaction went from bad to worse but I don't know how much room I have here. But in an effort to give you some kind of idea of the type of people you are dealing with at Big Thunder let me just share a few of the bigger issues so you can get a slight flavor for how this outfit runs. When I got ready to close on the purchase it wasn't until I was reading the documents that I found out that the brand new 2019 Crest pontoon that I was about to purchase was outfitted with a 2017 Suzuki outboard motor. When I balked at this the Sales Manager had the gall to tell me that "it doesn't really mean anything, the motors aren't sold by the model year that's just the date of manufacture." He then proceeded to tell me that the 2017 motor would have no impact on the value of the package. Obviously total BS which was evidenced by the fact that they made a considerable financial adjustment on the price to get me to accept the boat with the 2017 motor. Imagine trying to sell this boat at some later point and explaining a 2017 motor on a 2019 boat. According to the sales manager Tim, it happens all the time, nobody else ever complained about it. When they delivered the boat to me it was not only filthy but it had a long ding in one of the pontoons. I reported it to them within minutes of the boat being delivered and after a discussion about that problem they agreed to install a protective film and bumper strip in lieu of replacing the pontoon. I agreed to this settlement but of course after I got the boat back it did not have the protective film on the cone portions of the pontoon, which is really the way the process should be done. But doing anything right and professionally is not really part of their business model. I can give you example after example of many really poorly business practices but just writing this review doesn't do anything but aggravate me all over again. Two more quick examples and then I will go away. When it was time for my 20 hour maintenance check I called to make an appointment. I told them the appointment was for my 20 hour maintenance check on a "new" boat. They would not create an appointment for me until I could give them a credit card number. I happened to be on the boat at the time and did not have a credit card with me so they told me to call back with a card # and they would make the appointment at that time. During this call they also informed me that to do the 20 hour service would require that they pull the boat out of the water and that would be $40 to take it out and $40 to put it back in. Really on a brand new boat? I took it somewhere else. There service department called a month later wanting to know if I was bringing the boat in for my appointment. I said I was never given an appointment day or time because I never called back with a credit cart #. And now finally here we are at the end of August and I decided I didn't like the way my trolling motor had been installed. By the alleged professionals at Big Thunder Marine.
Believe me if you saw the pictures of this installation you would swear it was done by the middle school shop class. Nonetheless when I removed the "through deck" bolts to reinstall the trolling motor properly I found out that the mounting bolts were just plain bolts. Not stainless steel, as any professional boat tech should know, not even galvanized, so of course because they are through the deck and constantly exposed to the water they were already rusted. Really, this is professional installation. I disagree. As I stated these are only a very few of the issues I have experienced with Big Thunder but let me say that they actually did a follow up phone survey shortly after I purchased the boat. And the survey taker was rapidly taking down all of my issues. When I had gone through the entire recitation of issues the survey taker asked if I would be willing to speak with anyone from Big Thunder and I stated that I would welcome the opportunity. I never heard a word from anyone. Like I said Trista did an excellent job on her part but the rest of the experience has been horrendous. I had people lie directly to me in person as I stood in front of them, and it happened more than once and by more than one person. I would not recommend Big Thunder Marine to my worst enemy. Crest boats, I love mine but, if I were Crest I would be running away from this outfit. Unbelievably terrible operation. I wish there was enough room to tell you each and every issue I have experienced but I think you get the idea.