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  #11  
Old 02-02-2012
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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.)

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 02-03-2012 at 12:13 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2012
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At a different marina a couple miles from the mooring location, we filled up with water (and bought diesel). We had completed the sale and the tanks were full. I saw my sister had driven her car to the marina. My teenage neices were onboard the boat and had received the "get in, get water, buy diesel, and get out fast" briefing. Actually, they had sailed with us before on weeklong trips. They knew what we were doing why we were doing it.

Well, my neices started strolling down the very long dock to say "Hi" to their mom -- headed away from the boat! Note that they had spent the day with their mom at the beach. I called to them and they kept on going. It was frustrating to see them strolling away. They could easily get a ride from their mom, so I left.

I did *carefully* watch to make sure they hooked up with their mom. When I saw them together, and saw they all knew we were gone, I set course and headed back to the mooring location. "Hey, where you going?" they all yelled across the water.

I take water availablity and the good will of the nearby marinas seriously. (And we probably all had beers on the boat that night.)

Regards,
Brad
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Old 02-03-2012
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I've been told the Vineyard Haven marina on Martha's vineyard will not allow it's mooring customers to use any shore facilities. Not the bathrooms, garbage, nothing. 10 to 1, I've seen sailboats on the moorings and power boats at the dock. The power boats are probably paying $5 per foot per day and grabbing a few thousand in fuel before they leave.

I will grant that there are no sailboats that are actually going to bridge the gap with shoreside purchases. Nevertheless, the ill will that must cause just seems like bad business karma. I would never do it. I would sooner take the moorings out, if I had a problem.

By the way, I tried to stop at this marina for fuel once and their pumps were broken. Karma.
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I've stayed at Champlins, on town moorings, private moorings and anchored out.
They all have their plusses and minuses. Champlins like all the other options can get crazy during peak season. It is what it is. I know what to expect if I stay there and have always been treated well. ( have received the respect, that I have given. )

If I've had a long day (s) of sailing, I'll sometimes stay at Champlins upon arrival to Block, so the crew can relax, get showers, I can take on water etc, charge batteries, and use their bb-ques, and pool etc. @ $4.25 per ft it gets expensive. Early the next morning, I'll head out in the dinghy to try to obtain a less expensive town mooring, failing that, you can call the harbormaster and obtain a private mooring, or anchor out for free.

As an alternative, there are pay showers at Fred Benson town beach an easy walk along corn neck road.

Like them or not Champlins is a private business, using services that are provided for their guests is basically " theft " of services. We can rationalize it anyway we want it doesn't change the reality. Condemning them for protecting their private property rights and the rights of their guests to not have to wait in line for a shower behind all the freebies seems a little disingenous. There's also no confusion that " guest" means someone who pays for a slip or " raft up" as often occurs there, not someone who runs up a bar tab. Anyone that owns or runs a business, especially a service business, can relate to the various rationalizations that people give for thinking that they're entitled to more than they've paid for. For those that might take exception to this, I will simply say, that it's not personal..it's business. Sometimes, it's better to ask permission than have to ask forgiveness.










@ 4.25 per foot, roughly $150.00 a night.
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Last edited by Tempest; 02-03-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Tempest,

Although I think you are technically correct, Champlin's view regarding 'theft of services' seems to have changed a bit after their proposal for expansion was denied after a lengthy and I'm sure very expensive legal battle. The story I related at the beginning of the thread regarding my 'theft of services' experience was back in the day when Champlin's provided the Freedom Launch which brought you to and from your boat in the anchorage to their facility. On this particular weekday afternoon, we visited the bar up by the pool area, and as I recall, even asked the bartender if it was OK if we grabbed showers while enjoying a cocktail or two. No lines, no impact, no hassle - and Champlin's was kind enough to even save us the dinghy ride! At this point, unless I was pursuing donuts, as far as I was concerned, Champlin's was the only marina in the harbor.

Now, though, things seem to be different with them. No more Freedom launch (I think it runs now at a charge, but no more 'freebies' at all). No more 'liberal interpretations' of policy for customers of all types, 'guests' now has a strict interpretation judging from Rob's unfortunate experience. I also related a more recent negative experience at the fuel dock which was pretty unusual by any professional standard, in my view. Nowadays, it's all strictly pay as you go - and apparently we weren't paying enough. Considering the legal bills they are probably looking at, I can't say that I blame them - but I think it could possibly be counterproductive over the long haul.

Take care,

Bill
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Hi Bill, I tried to temper my comments, by saying it's often better to ask permission, than it is to simply assume a right. As you experienced, more often than not, people in the service business really want to say yes, and will try to accomodate you, if they can.

I haven't had to fuel up there often, It's never been a problem..could have been a bad day...

I agree with some of the other posts, that it's a little too crowded and loud there for me.
( Champlins) in peak season. Though, when I was last at anchor, this past summer, we had a boat drag past us heading for a power boat behind us. I had to call the harbormaster. The tow boat got there just in time to avoid the collision. The anchorage is no picnic, I much prefer a mooring. I like block island, but I'm thinking that it's not the place I want to be in July and August any more. It can tax ones patience. Someone tossed a cigarette on my brand new inflatable a few seasons ago at the dinghy dock, put a nice burn mark on the tube, by the time I noticed it and flicked it off, the person was lost in the crowd.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Hi Tempest,

You've hit the nail right on the head - the service business is about service, but it has to be reasonable and sustainable. Having some sensitivity to that reality (and as related by our colleagues here) hopefully mitigates any possible negative impacts - but then there are the jerks. Running a service business in the 'modern age' must truly be a daily challenge.

I agree with your sentiments about Block I in general, particularly in July and August. The Admiral's family is usually out there sometime in August so we're typically obligated for a one- or two-day stopover, but it is indeed becoming more of a challenge. It's funny you mentioned your dinghy - we were at the Oar one night and watched someone toss several garbage bags into our dinghy while they climbed out of theirs onto the dock! It's this kind of stuff (similar to your experience) that makes you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible - and Block I certainly qualifies!

Take care,

Bill
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Old 02-04-2012
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Too bad, it seems like a very nice place to sail to. The only one time I was there was a week after laborday monday, after Irene. Had a whole pier to myself! Think I'll skip it over the summer unless a midweek one nighter.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melliott0352 View Post
Too bad, it seems like a very nice place to sail to. The only one time I was there was a week after laborday monday, after Irene. Had a whole pier to myself! Think I'll skip it over the summer unless a midweek one nighter.
Crazy, but mid week during the height of the summer won't be any different. You'll need a reservation for a slip and, if you can get one, you may be rafted to another boat at some places. Many go out for a vacation week, drop anchor for the night and pull it at dawn and start cruising the mooring field for departures. It can take days to get one, as the moorings can't be reserved.

When there this past Sept, I asked the Harbor Master about the summer, as I hadn't been back since May. Crazy as always, he says. He said there were 2,500 boats in the pond over July 4th weekend. I estimate there are only a few hundred slips and moorings.
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Old 02-04-2012
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I go sailing to get AWAY from people.
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