First time I swore at a customer - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 53 Old 07-20-2015 Thread Starter
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First time I swore at a customer

I was scheduled to do a sea trial on a Benneteau 285 last sat. Then we were to move the boat from Milford, CT to Oyster Bay LI on sun.

He bailed on Sat, a last minute funeral but still wanted to go Sun.

I agreed, reluctantly since the boat is unknown to both of us.

Last sat we were supposed to sail the boat but when I got to it it was not rigged. So we spent the afternoon rigging the boat and it got too late to sail. At least the engine worked and I found out the head was broke so he had the yard fix that. Also no steaming light.
We put on the state numbers too.

Sat I texted him about if he had flares, life jackets,Type 4, horn. Nope so I picked that up for him sat pm.

He and his wife were with me and we were half way to NY when it came up in conversation that he was so busy with work he never got around to buying insurance.

I thought about it for a minute and decided some tough love was necessary. I called him a Fxxxing Axxhxx in front of his wife. I told him we was risking my captains license and my retirement and I was not pleased.

I did get his attention which is what the intent was. He figured he was only risking his 18k for the boat. I explained the deal with liability and how if you have assets you have to have an insurance companies lawyers on your side otherwise you are on your own against professionals.

I also told him he had to get a rotted out topping lift fixed ASAP.

I totally expect he is going to have some "events" in the near future. He doesn't like GPS's and just likes to sail where it makes sense to him. Apparently he sailed small boat in Oyster Bay. It seems to be the only harbor where their is deep water almost everywhere and many buoys you can take either side. On the way over he was always suggesting we go the wrong way over shoals and rocks.

I tried to impress upon him that in many harbors you have to follow the channel.

It worked out pretty good in the end. He gave me a tip. His wife took notes and will hold his feet to the fire.
She was on my side.

He had taken a sailing class a couple weeks ago and still didn't know any of the rules of the road, lights or horns.

It amazes me how smart relatively wealthy guys can be so clueless.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
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post #2 of 53 Old 07-20-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

who was the captain? the captain should make sure all the STUFF that is needed is ready for the trip. Swearing at the crew almost never helps but might make the captain feel better, Not.
I think you learned more then the owner. never let the owner run the delivery.
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post #3 of 53 Old 07-20-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

Some times a person needs a wake-up call!...Dale
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post #4 of 53 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

David, Please don't take this the wrong way, But, What the heck are you doing to yourself? Last week it was a 6 hour round trip drive to a sail on a 15 ft overloaded boat, now this mess? Unless the instructor rates are much greater in Conn. than they are in N.J. You are busting your ass for peanuts. if you keep taking on these kind of jobs, it's going to suck the life right out of you, along with the joy of sailing.

On your other thread you were asking about the incremental costs of spending an additional 50 grand on a boat. I'd be asking what is the cost to your sanity to keep taking on this kind of work, when it can't possibly be worth the $.

Teachers, need to control the environment as much as possible, you're letting the tail wag the dog here.
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post #5 of 53 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

Scary thought: This owner doesn't sound like the worst, by any means. He actually listened to you.
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post #6 of 53 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

Interesting story. Hard to condone cursing at a client, but from your description, someone needed to get their attention. Odd circumstance that you were laying out money for things on such a small boat. You must have been reimbursed or I'm sure it would have made the recap.

However, this premise has a flaw.

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I told him we was risking my captains license and my retirement and I was not pleased.
Even if they had insurance, you are typically not covered. The insured party, the one who the insurance company protects, is the owner. 99% of the time, when the deliver skipper is "added" to the policy, it is only as an authorized operator. That means the owner is still defended, if the authorized operator causes a loss, but the operator is not defended, unless they are added as an additional insured party. Most call their insurance company, explain the delivery and get a rider for that captain and those few days. The insurance company is often only saying, "sure, I will still cover your losses when that bloke is driving your boat on those days". What they are thinking is, "I'm not covering that blokes liability and if I have to pay the owner to repair the insured hull, I will just subrogate my loss and sue the captain, since it was their fault". That's why people are often surprised that the rider is fairly inexpensive.

In the industry of skippers and instructors, I am very surprised how many consciously go without coverage. Many actually accept it, others just aren't aware.

You want to be an additional insured party or have a waiver of subrogation on the clients policy and your own liability coverage.
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post #7 of 53 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

A friend of mine in the delivery business says he's willing to fire his customers.

Just saying, David. Don't blame you for reacting, and think it was kind of you to continue on this job.
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post #8 of 53 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

"It amazes me how smart relatively wealthy guys can be so clueless."
David, I grew up boating (power and sail) in Greenwich, Ct in the late 50's early 60', its not that they are clueless, they feel they are exempt from the legal and natural restrictions of mere mortals.
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

Albert Einstein had the reputation of being a fairly poor sailor. Although, owned several over his lifetime. Your level of intelligence does not mean you know everything.
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post #10 of 53 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: First time I swore at a customer

Why put yourself in this kind of position at all? There's some wisdom in the question: "Are we having fun yet?" :-) You have a lot more patience than I'd have. Maybe if you keep doing this, you can make a pre-sail checklist to give people to be checked off before you'll even consider making an appearance at their dock to board their boat.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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