Boatie cuts up inflatable dock as case stalls in court

Brad Smith is just about to cut up his Fab Dock and take it to the tip.
Brad Smith is just about to cut up his Fab Dock and take it to the tip. Mike Richards

A PROTRACTED legal battle before the Small Claims Tribunal has prompted a fed up Gladstone boat owner to take matters into his own hands.

Brad Smith had taken Fab Dock Australia owner Dean Howard to court because he believed a $10,500 inflatable dry dock didn't protect his boat from growth while it sat in the Gladstone Marina.

Mr Smith said they went to court on February 22 and he was told "a decision would be made in two weeks".

But Fab Dock owner Mr Howard said the decision was complicated and had wider ramifications for the inflatable manufacturing industry.

Six months later Mr Smith took a day off from running his own business to cut up the Fab Dock and throw it away.

"They are dredging the marina and we had to move the dock and the boat," Mr Smith said.

His boat and dock were towed because "the growth stuffed the motor while I have been waiting for a decision".

"I just want to move on," he said.

Fab Dock has sold hundreds of docks in Australia and Mr Howard said this was the only case of a disgruntled customer.

"He treated it so poorly and (the magistrate's) decision could have an impact on the inflatable manufacturing industry," he said.

"If she finds in his favour, any inflatable product that fails, including your tyre, it's not your fault."

Yesterday, Mr Smith "hoped to hear when a decision would be made".

The Department of Justice confirmed a decision would be made on Friday, August 21, after The Observer asked what was causing the delay.

Topics:  gladstone marina

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