Agree on all points.
At one town where I frequently anchor, I make sure to be a good customer to the marina where we get water. I call ahead to let them know that I'm going to fill up that night (when the dock is empty). I buy all my diesel there. (We went a whole year between fillups.) Then with my $350 receipt I go say hi to the owner, and just thank him for the several water fill-ups and mention that I make it a point to get all my diesel from him. I tip the dock boys really well (they take our garbage). I have the kids go in and buy ice cream, or whatever they want.
I should also mention that my crew is briefed (on the way to the dock) that the reason we go there is for water, even though we're buying diesel. They are to make sure that the water starts flowing the instant we get there. My son fills the tanks, and everyone on board knows that he is doing the most important job, the reason for being there. You see, it takes a long time for 1,000 liters of water to flow through a narrow little garden hose -- much longer than it takes to buy fuel. The crew is briefed that we are there to get in, get water, buy things, and get out fast. If we are buying ice cream, it's to help keep the water flowing. If I'm in the store buying something it's to keep the water flowing. You get the idea.
The owner very naturally doesn't like sailboats. Given some of the sailors nearby, I understand completely and try to be the exception. Fishing boats come in and buy $5,000 worth of diesel in 30 minutes, tip everyone $100, and leave. Don't believe me? Look at the numbers on the pump when you get there. That man has X feet of fuel dock to keep his business afloat, maintain his facility, pay his empoyees, pay insurance, pay a ton of taxes, feed his family, send his kids to school, and keep the strength of will to deal with cryptic regulations. And he has to do all that in 60 days, some of which are bad weather. And some of those 60 days are hurricane-deserted like with Irene last year, which kept the tourists away even after her near miss. (Most of the big boats left for the season. The foliage turned brown and the tourists stayed away.) How would you like it if someone came to your place of business and stopped everything -- dead in it's tracks -- for 3 solid hours? Admit it, you'd blow a freak'n gasket. 30 minutes in his 60-day season is the same as 3 hours in your 365-day year. If you aren't aware of this and you stroll around like you're entitled to everything you touch, while watching charter boats line up nearby waiting to get in, then your a selfish a-hole. Strong words, but put yourself in his shoes, it's not all about you. (Not saying the OP fits into this category, by the way. To the contrary he shows a good awareness of the situation.)
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
The best minds discuss sailing. I don't know why. It's a mystery!
Last edited by Bene505; 02-03-2012 at 12:13 AM.