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Thunderbird Marine Corp

Phone: (604) 921-7484Fax: (604) 921-7486View Additional Phone Numbers5776 Marine Dr, West VancouverBC V7W 2S2

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BBB Accreditation

On 02/12/2014 this company's accreditation in BBB was revoked by BBB's Board of Directors due to unresolved complaint(s).

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered Thunderbird Marine Corp's rating include:

  • One complaint filed against business that was not resolved.

Factors that raised Thunderbird Marine Corp's rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Billing / Collection Issues0
Problems with Product / Service0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews Customer Reviews on Thunderbird Marine Corp

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience
Neutral Experience
Negative Experience
Total Customer Reviews 0 Customer Reviews

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)
07/22/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

As a 'new' boat person, I came to Thunderbird Yacht Sales (Thunderbird Marine) believing that dealing with a Licensed Broker provided us with the confidence and comfort in knowing that we would be getting what was advertised and knowing that a BC Licensed Broker has an obligation of Duty of Care to insure that we; as new buyers, are protected.

The vessel "**********" was purchased on March 1, through and based on the recommendations of Thunderbird Yacht Sales, Mechanical Survey by ************** (recommended by Thunderbird Yacht Sales) and Boat Survey by ************ (recommended by Thunderbird Yacht Sales)
Promoted selling features of the vessel were: well maintained, 25 knots, rebuilt engines, ***** "heater was being fixed," as well as other things in the promotional brochure and on-line webpage advertisement.

The following deficiencies were discovered after the purchase:
* "Well Maintained"
This boat was anything but well maintained.
All seacocks were seized and required full replacement.
As this was part of the survey we accepted the additional cost of repairs. However; this turned out to be the tip of the iceberg in that there was very little maintenance or care of **********. This has become more and more evident after the purchase and after the trusted advisors cashed their checks.

* Black Mold: was prevalent throughout the vessel and in particular under and around the front cabin bed. (photos taken)

* Dry Rot: was prevalent throughout the vessel particularly in the upholstery backer boards. (photos taken, samples kept) We have replaced one upholstery section in the aft lounge. $200.00 so far.

* ******* Outboard: required overhaul - $360.
Was told in great condition. "Starts with one pull"
With great effort we eventually got it running, but only in reverse.
Required minor overhaul and new shifting components.

* ***** heater was totally broken required complete replacement - $2360.

* Air Conditioning/Heating system
Required pump head rebuild. (I paid for the repairs)

* Starboard Engine, Port Engine - rebuilt ??
Thunderbird Yacht Sales told us that both Engines were rebuilt and had 20 hours on them.
We have confirmed that the Engines were only worked on, NOT rebuilt and have well over 200 hours on them. The Starboard Engine runs hot and loses coolant 'internally.'

* Port stuffing box cannot be adjusted. Shaft too short (wrong shaft) (Discovered by ************** after the purchase) (confirmed by ********************** underwater survey)

* 25 Knots:
Cannot attain (or even come close to) factory suggested cruising speed of 20 knots at 2250 RPM, or the 26 knots at WOT (2800 RPM)
Testing done on clear day, no wind, calm water, slack tide. Test done in two directions. Video taken of the testing.
1400 rpm = 7.2 kts
1600 rpm = 8.1 kts
1800 rpm = 9.2 kts
2000 rpm = 9.8 kts
2200 rpm = 10.0 kts
2400 rpm = 10.6 kts
2600 rpm = 11.5 kts
2800 rpm = 13.7 kts (Recommended 7.4 Engine WOT)
At the time of the on-land survey **** was queried by my partner as to the propellers appearing to be too small. Props should be 21x25 - they are not! Which translates to nearly double the fuel costs.

I retained the services of ********************** to discover what props we have.
The report cost $180.00 and states:

"Your starboard prop is stamped (in fact, it looks to have been stamped more than once, indicating repairs and/or resizing) with the ******* name and the size and diameter: 21 x 23. You've indicated that the props should be 21 x 25. We think the stamped size is correct. We took a rough measurement from the blade edges to the centre of each prop, and carefully examined the pitch of each. We think that both props are roughly the same diameter and pitch. Also, we measured approximately 2.5 inches from the blade tips to the hull on both sides of the boat.

We don't think either prop is badly damaged enough to cause excessive vibration or reduction in performance.

The port prop has no stamp we could see. This is unusual in our experience: most prop shops stamp their work.

Although it is extremely difficult to determine without removing the props and placing them next to each other, the props do not seem to be identical in some minor ways: We think the cupping along the trailing edges is slightly different (steeper and more abrupt on the port side) and the hubs may not be the same length and/or thickness. In particular, there seems to be a flaring at the front of the port prop hub.

Also, the shafts do not seem to be the same length. There is more room aft of the strut on the starboard side than on the port.

We are guessing, but it looks to us that in addition to both props being slightly undersized, the port side drive system has been repaired and/or renewed, but not to make it identical with the starboard side."


As we had other choices, I would not have purchased this vessel or, paid the price I did had I known the vessels true condition.
I relied on the advice and guidance of Thunderbird Yacht Sales to perform their Duty of Care to ensure that I got what I expected and I was getting what I was told I was getting.
I also relied on the Mechanical Surveyor and the Boat Surveyor recommended by Thunderbird Yacht Sales. Both****************************** *** missed many important items; all of which have led to a very expensive mistake - all this under the guidance of Thunderbird Yacht Sales (Thunderbird Marine.) In total, I estimate that $8600 was received by the professional advisors listed above whose advice I trusted, none of whom performed their respective duties properly.*************************************************

Desired Settlement
I seek compensation for all items that were missed.
If Thunderbird Marine is willing to make adjustments and repairs to ********** and ensure that the vessel is brought up to the condition that was represented, I am willing to forego my time and minor expenses in the numerous small repairs and write it off as a learning experience.

I am not willing to write off the extraordinary costs that came to light after the purchase.

If Thunderbird Yacht Sales is unwilling to bring this matter to an acceptable conclusion in a timely manner, we will seek compensation for all time and expenses.

1. ***** Heater, Completely non- functional
Complete replacement - $2160.

2. ******* Outboard Motor -Transmission full of water and locked in reverse gear
Overhaul and new shift components - $340.

3. Navigation wiring, nothing connected
Hired Marine Electrician - $300.

4. Props, Shafts, etc.
The scope of damage and costs to repair are unknown as I do not know the exact extent of the problem. It will require additional survey expenditures to get an estimate of what is actually required.
If I get this done, the costs will continue to rise and as such we are willing to accept that Thunderbird Marine use its local influence to achieve the following more efficiently:

a) complete inspection on land by ************* and someone qualified to assess exactly what damage has occurred and how to best bring the vessel back to original specifications.

b) replace props to correct size and pitch as specified by ********************* (21x25x1.75) and ******** (21x25x1.75)

c) replace driveshaft(s) as necessary to correct size and length as specified by ********************, (1.75"x79")

d) inspect rudders for damage and correctness and replace as necessary to ******* specifications ******* *********** (Rudder#*****)

e) inspect other components in the port and starboard driveline for damage, correctness, alignment etc.

f) align port and starboard engines with corrected driveline items listed above.

I respectfully request that Thunderbird Marine immediately refund the extraordinary costs of the ***** heater, outboard motor, electronics repairs and underwater survey in the amount of $2980.00. I further request that Thunderbird Marine immediately assume the responsibility and cover all costs of inspecting, restoring and/or repairing the driveline to ******* Factory specifications as indicated in the Offer for Sale.

As time is also a factor in this, I seek compensation for the expenses of mooring at ********** Marina while the boat is not safe to use.

Business Response
In resposnse to your complaint forwarded to the BBB on June 4, 2014.

Thunderbird Marine deals with any and all concerns in a fair and business like manner.

Our role, as a yacht broker, is to assist in marketing an owner's vessel, finding and assisting a potential buyer, and facilitating the various aspects of the deal. This includes communicating price offers and counters, assistance in showing a vessel, and assistance in scheduling a buyer's consultants with respect to mechanical and vessel survey. Lastly, the yacht broker, upon satistaction of a "deal" would assist in the paperwork to close the deal.

In the case referenced here, Thunderbird Yacht Sales, did all of the above professionally and in accordance with our own, and industry, standards.

Thunderbird Yacht Sales can not comment with respect to the actions or resolutions provided by other "advisors" listed in this complaint, but will offer no compensation for the services Thunderbird provided as a yacht broker.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Thankyou for the opportunity to respond.
At no time during the course of our purchase was I allowed to meet with or discuss details of the boat with the owner. I based my final buying decision on the credibility of Thunderbird Yacht Sales as a Member of the BC ************* Association and the implied credibility that comes with that status. Thunderbird Yacht Sales is who I bought the boat from, who I wrote the check to and whose word I accepted in trust as to the condition of the boat. ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************



Industry Comparison| Chart

Boat Dealers & Brokers

Additional Information

BBB file opened: 01/11/1973Business started: 01/01/1952
Contact Information
Principal: Michael de Pfyffer (Chief Operation Officer)
Business Category

Boat Dealers & Brokers

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Thunderbird Marine Corp

5776 Marine Dr

West Vancouver, BC V7W 2S2

To | From


1 Locations

  • 5776 Marine Dr 

    West Vancouver, BC V7W 2S2

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in the Lower Mainland, Thompson - Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon.. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Thunderbird Marine Corp is in this range.


Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.


Additional Phone Numbers

  • (604) 921-9011 - PH:
  • (604) 921-7434 - PH:

BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.


BBB began including complaint response text in BBB Business Reviews on March 4, 2014. BBB reports the complaint response text for all reportable complaints against a business that are received electronically.


Industry Tips for Boat Dealers & Brokers


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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

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BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

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