Bad Time with Abaco Bahamas Charters - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-29-2008
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Jetsetter is on a distinguished road
Bad Time with Abaco Bahamas Charters

We are currently stranded at a harbor in the Abacos because the 42 Lagoon Sailing Cat that we chartered a week ago is leaking hydraulic fluid, the batteries are going dead and will not hold a charge, half the boat's power is out, including the fans, a/c, microwave, and electric windlass.

The owner of the company, Jim, has been extremely unresponsive when hailing him on VHF, and resentful when we resorted to calling him because he failed to answer VHF, or e-mails for over 12 hours. He had no solutions to offer and gave us a phone number to call for technical help.

We are now on the phone (at $2.00 per minute!!) to the electrical rep for Lagoon in Miami. The call has taken 25 minutes so far to try and trouble shoot the system. The rep has informed us that Abaco was well aware of the problems with this boat, and that they are waiting for parts, but neglected to disclose any of these issues to us in our briefing when we picked up the boat.

I understand all the nuances of taking a boat and having responsibility, but there is no excuse for the complete lack of disclosure on the part of Abaco Bahamas Charters. The net is that the owner and his staff have limited, if any knowledge of boats and their workings, and it is at your peril that you should charter from them.
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Old 05-19-2008
Capt Rich
 
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Dzedzej is an unknown quantity at this point
Sorry to hear that, it give all of us a bad rep when this happens. If you ever have problems like that again or before you go find a crewed charter boat (not one of the big companies) and email them or us. We can describe what is going in the area, and while we will not bad mouth the other charter companies, we will suggest thing you may want to ask before arriving.
ie
One local company had a local captain smash a boat in heavy seas that he should not have been in and injured guests and trashed boat. While would try not to say bad thing we would suggest that you ask if your captain has a clean record...
Also get name of the boat you are chartering as soon as possible...they hate to tell you because it changes alot depending who broke what last week

Rich
Sea Devil Crewed Charters
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2008
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Jetsetter is on a distinguished road
I heard about that captain, from the captain who had to rescue the boat back to Miami without a rudder. What a mess!

We are still in the midst of trying to receive the refund of our deposit from Abaco Bahamas Charters, who have done nothing to reimburse or respond. They have also failed to reimburse us for two full days we lost out of the charter,($1700) to say nothing of the out of pocket expenses of being stuck in a marina for two days ($300), and the long distance calls we had to make on our cell phones to the technician in Ft. Lauderdale $400) in order to just get the boat running long enough to return to Hope Town and go home.

We learned a lot from this trip. I will not charter again without a direct referral from someone I know well enough to put $10,000 at risk based on their opinion. I have learned that we will likely not charter our boat out when we get it. Given the way that this guy handles the boats he manages for ABC, and the company who hired the captain you spoke of (who was well-known to be a loose cannon even before that disaster. I"m no longer inclined to trust my million dollar boat with some one who is just interested in turning a buck.

I do agree that its a shame for those who do the best job they can for their customers and boat owners, but it seems like those companies are very few and far between these days.

Oh and did I tell you that he tried to pin a pre-existing ding in the hull on us too? It just never ends. It's a good thing we filmed the whole thing.
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Old 05-20-2008
Capt Rich
 
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References

Yes please get references from any boat you are chartering, not a general ... yes I chartered with ABC on one of their boats and had a great time. Get the boat name and when guest chartered 2006 does not work for 2008 get some from last 6 months. And yes he is a loose cannon,
Rich
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Old 05-20-2008
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It appears that the boat you chartered is a Lagoon 420 which is a new electric cat. There have been a lot of problems with these boats in charter and the systems are complex. It also in charter use if you run the AC has a very high fuel burn. Almost double a conventional cat. I would have considered another boat with a converntional setup. There are very few people who understand this boat and how to maintain it. Even the factory reps don't understand some of the issues that have come up. I would put this more on the boat then the charter company. On the subject of VHF calls you do realize that VHF is line of sight and has limited range. The potential of a Lagoon 420 type boat is great but the reality is not quite there yet. If you want a trouble free trip stick with a standard boat.
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Old 05-20-2008
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Hopetown is across from Marsh Harbour, it is centrally located and unless they were north of Whale Cay VHF will reach to most harbour, also many locals will relay calls by phone.
This is a smaller area that VI's and many of the local business have a trans boost on VHF
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Old 05-20-2008
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Charter

This is also another reason I think crewed charters are better, the crew makes their money from tips...they will make sure you run all week, of course I am a crewed boat captain so I lean that way. And on a crewed charter they will let you do and run as much as you want, again they make their money from tips.

Rich
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Old 05-20-2008
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jetsetter-

I hope you paid for your charter using a credit card. This is one place where doing so is really critical, since the credit card company can act as the 900 lb. gorilla when it comes to your satisfaction with the charter, and getting your money back in the case of the charter not being what it was advertised to be, such as was the case from what you've said.

If you did pay via credit card, then you can call your credit card company and tell them what happened and can generally dispute the charges.
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Old 05-20-2008
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To "C" or not to "C"

This is just the type of horror story I would like to avoid. Newer boat, reputable company(suspposedly)....sounds like a crap shoot to me.

Having the charterer take care of, or making them handle the problem by calling Miami for factory rep. technical help, way beyond comprehension!
I feel for ya Jet!

Gee, where do I sign up?

Bob
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Old 05-20-2008
Capt Rich
 
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Charters

Its not just the companies, too many cook/captains, when you have had 7 different groups drive the same boat over 2 months...it kills the boat. Many of these companies idea of a checkout is checking to see if check cleared. We have sat near a local base and watched boats drive out of a slip and into a dock, had to duck for a couple.

Rich
S/V Sea Devil
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