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  #1  
Old 11-08-2008
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Disappointment in fellow sailors

Today was the start of the annual Around the County Race here in the San Juan Islands (http://www.oiyc.org/race_book/race_b...ty_2008_SI.pdf.
The start of the race is just a little way from our marina here on Blakely Island so we always get a bunch of boats here the night before the race. This year through default, rather than choice, Laurie and I are kind of in charge of the marina because the operator left abruptly in early Sept. and the community is trying to figure out what to do long term(the homeowners lease the store and fuel operation and transient moorage from the owner). This means that we are trying to keep the bathrooms, showers and laundry clean and supplied, ice in the self service freezer, garbage cans emptied, etc as well as selling gas and diesel for an hour on Saturdays. The marina is a beautiful little place, well protected and there is a very nice cabana right on the waters edge with a big brick fireplace, picnic tables and a refrigerator for boaters use. The store is now closed so no supplies are available(http://www.blakelyisland.org/gallery/MarinaAerial.jpg ). Transient moorage is on the honor system, it's well posted and the forms and envelopes are at the front door and you just drop them through the mail slot. Generally it works very well, most people are honest and realize that it's tough for a small marina to make ends meet with such a short season around here. So the boats start arriving yesterday afternoon, I was down working on the Laurie Anne, so I move the power boat over to a small slip so there will be another easily entered 42' slip available and help with the arriving boats. In talking to the boats I assisted I told them that the store was closed and moorage slips were at the door to the store. I went down last night about 6pm to check on the place and there were only three boats payments (out of 15+ boats) so I went around the docks and cabana and reminded everyone that the moorage slips were by the door. Everyone was having a good time and there might have been a little beer being consumed .
I went back to check at 9pm and there were only three more envelopes. I again went around and knocked on windows and reminded everyone about moorage (I wasn't as friendly about it this time). At 7am this morning I was down there and not a single payment had been made. I had to go around and collect from about a dozen boats and listen to how they "were just going to pay" as they were preparing to leave with engines running. To the ones that had paid early I wished them best of luck in the race, the others just good riddance.
For perspective, just the weekend before the Bellingham yacht club had their annual turkey fry in the cabana and they had 16 sailboats and every single one of them paid in advance and left the place clean.

So is there a basic difference between racers and cruisers, are racers generally a******s, or was this not a fair representation(I know you can never generalize, but just for discussion)? I've never been in a race and have never been around racers as a group.

John
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Old 11-08-2008
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So sorry you had that situation, John.. it really doesn't speak well for that group at all. Certainly not something you should have to put up with.

Generally in our experience the racing crowd will always do what's "right" esp if it will maintain the conditions for said races to continue. Obviously as the marina overseer you are now not overly keen to see that event return. This is certainly not in the racing fleets' best interests.

Unfortunate, to be sure, - I sincerely hope this is not a pervasive attitude amongst racers in general, and can only say that locally we don't see that type of thing much. But all it takes is a few bad apples.

Perhaps a note or letter to the host club is in order here.
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Old 11-08-2008
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Sometimes I think it's racers in general. To be honest I've not hung around too many sail boat racers either, but had a garage that was located near a drag strip, used to do a lot of work on race cars, and many of the racers who came by needing work done would pay big bucks on the parts, but would fight tooth and nail about repair costs or towing and storage fees. travelers (RV and camper crowd) would pay with no problem, mostly they'd just ask beforehand what the expected bill and timeline would be, and I'd always do my best to keep to it. Edit: where I lived it was the main route to a couple raceways, and to the blessing of the bikes, so I got a lot of through traffic, and it was almost a sure bet that the racers would try to scam on things, was a shop rule that racer's vehicles were stored inside and not placed out in the lot when finished. Ken.

Last edited by merc2dogs; 11-08-2008 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008
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Faster- I may write Orcas Island Yacht Club, but I don't believe there were any local boats here, mostly from out of the immediate area ( large cities to the south of us? ), and of course, no Canadians .
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Old 11-08-2008
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No Canadians, they are great Inventory people. Last in, first out. It happens out here to John.
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Old 11-08-2008
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I think it's just human nature. Absent the capitalist imperative there'd have been no monies forthcoming. Reminds me of the debate over public properties versus private properties. Trust me; had you not demanded payment and the slips had been free, you'd have had a mess of trash to clean up as well! Obviously the operator was under-paid! (g)
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Old 11-08-2008
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Gee, John... That's just shocking to me.

I just can't imagine skipping out on paying slip fees.

I think a letter to the editor of 48 North would be appropriate, and perhaps effective...

David
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Old 11-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post
....I think a letter to the editor of 48 North would be appropriate, and perhaps effective...

David
EXCELLENT idea, David!

And John, if the Orcas Is YC was the host/sponsor club, or one of them, I'm sure they'd like to know about this whether the offenders were members or not.

But David's idea is great, maybe edit your post down an tad and send it to them. No one there will condone this sort of thing.
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Old 11-09-2008
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It might also help if you start a black list...

If you post the names and homeports of the boats that were the bad apples... you'll probably get better behavior out of boats in the future...

Posting the list to the marina's website and the local sailing publications, like the race results newsletter or website, would probably be most effective. Sending out a letter to other local small marinas would also be good.
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Old 11-09-2008
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I think that's a good idea David, thanks for the suggestion, as Faster says, they won't condone that type of behavior. I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed in their attitude, there was even one guy that was whining about there not being any firewood for the fire or a grate to put over it to cook on (there was some firewood-not much, and there was a grate, as well as Weber charcoal BBQ's). I just found the whole experience disturbing, they have expensive boats, the latest of gear, kegs of beer, but they feel OK about stiffing a little marina the slip fee? What's up with that? And by the way, Sailaway, there was lot's of garbage to pick up and garbage cans overflowing right by the big dumpster.
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