Sure, Dog. I would say that it was pretty clear in the OP that she was asking for a replacement boat. And explained that the existing one had a trashed, leaking transom. Agreed? Now, let's look at your first reply...
Exactly what are you looking for? A free boat???
I could be wrong but I'm going to guess that the 3 question marks is the international signal for "are you freakin' kidding me???". Would that be close to what you were thinking at that point? You think that came across?
Then this zinger...
How did it get into such bad shape—certainly that did not happen overnight? Why did you not address the issue prior to it becoming such an issue, especially given that this boat is also your home??
So now you've asked her to first explain how she could be so negligent of her current boat - "especially given that this boat is also your home".
That's pretty confrontational dude. Can't you see that? You've not addressed her actual question. You've put her on the defensive.
Now, one could say that these are perfectly legitimate questions and you had no ill intent. But you've also said since that you suspected her from the beginning, that she was just throwin' up a "sob story", and she's just looking for a "free handout" (back to the ???), etc.
Maybe you honestly didn't mean it as a slam. But you have to admit, it came across that way.
I've pointed out that fixing a transom on a boat is often simpler, cheaper, faster than getting another "free" boat. [/B] Yet, TW did not want to post any information towards that much more reasonable solution.
This what I mean about the "gauntlet of logic" you set up. She needs to abide by what you consider to be "reasonable" to have any credibility. But here's the kicker...
Sway said in his beatdown EXACTLY the opposite of what you've just said above:
"Anyone with the modicum of knowledge that it takes to maintain, let alone restore, a boat knows that structural deficiencies, such as a delaminating transom are the best reason to walk away from any boat, free or otherwise. "
So, what seems a "much more reasonable solution" to you, doesn't seem so to him. And now she's getting it from both sides.
I'm just saying you guys go in with pre-conceived notions and rhetorical fists flying. How do you expect people to react?