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Old 08-04-2012, 09:34   #46
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Re: A moral dilemma

Go ahead and sell him the boat. We all started learning at some time. You might want to warn your CG buddies where he lives and "suggest" that when they see the boat, a courtesy safety inspection might be a good idea, as well as checking to see if he really did get the operator's certificate.


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Old 08-04-2012, 10:02   #47
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Re: A moral dilemma

I would sell. He wants the boat, you want the money. Can't see any morals to it.


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Old 08-04-2012, 13:21   #48
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Re: A moral dilemma

Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
this fellow really came across as having absolutely no idea what he's getting himself into.
Take the money .
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Old 08-04-2012, 13:29   #49
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Re: A moral dilemma

I'm of the opinion that he is an adult. Take his money. Odds are he will have a few bumps and minor accidents and learn some judgement.

At the same time you need to document all of your interactions with him up to this point, and the advice you have given him and what you have shown him and all of his responses as well as your can recall. Do it today, sign and date it. I can't be sure about Canada but I expect they are just like the US, contemporaneous notes carry a lot more weight than recollections well after the fact.
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 08-04-2012, 14:48   #50
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Re: A moral dilemma

At the end of the day, you have to live with your own conscience. There is a balance to be struck here, it seems to me, between your perception of his inexperience and his free will to make his own decisions.

Do you have any legal obligation to him? No, this is a simple business transaction. Do you have any moral obligation to him? No one here can tell you: you are the only one who can decide what actions or omission of actions on your part violate your own standard of ethical behavior.

You know that realistically, you can control nothing once the deal is done: he has free will and will be responsible for the outcome of his decisions & actions. You can, however, try to advise him based on your experience and observations, but even his response to your advice is a matter of his volition.

If I were in your place, and I had the same genuine ethical compunctions you have, I'd at least address my concerns directly with him, tell him it's a lot of boat for someone with no experience, that he's starting out on a huge learning curve, and recommend that he adopt the attitude of a student and immediately sign up for the courses I had in mind. I would hope that the buyer would recognize my long experience in the CG and genuine concern for him and his family, and would receive my counsel well.

I might also invite him to contact me regarding anything related to the boat or his use of it, and maybe be able to remain a resource for him during his nautical apprenticeship, and perhaps even develop a friendship.

What he does with my advice is ultimately up to him, and recognizing that, I would be satisfied that I'd done what it was in my power to reasonably do, and be able to sleep well.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-04-2012, 15:31   #51
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Re: A moral dilemma

20+ years ago I was on the other side of this scenario, wanting to purchase for cash a Cal 40, when all my previous sailing experience was in a Flying Junior and later a Rhodes 19. That seller offered concerns also, and I did feel like I was getting in over my head. The deal went through, I day sailed for a couple of weeks and did a weekend to Catalina Island. Then refitted for extended cruising and matched the purchase price on systems. On my first off shore to Mexico, I was pinching myself to see if I was dreaming. You know that certain sense of satisfaction you get when you think outside the box on a major purchase, and discover you couldn't have made a better choice.
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Old 08-04-2012, 15:50   #52
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Re: A moral dilemma

You can die on any boat as a result of inexperience or operator error or both.

Your only moral obligation is to encourage him to take safe boating lessons given you know he is a newbee.

If something happens to him or someone else onboard you could then tell yourself that you did everything in your power to keep him safe.

You have to remember that he always has the choice to buy a another boat and then not take lessons and then get himself into the same amount of trouble as if he had bought your boat.

Life begins where land ends.
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Old 08-04-2012, 16:57   #53
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Re: A moral dilemma

I work on the theory Buyer Beware. Not only should they know what they are looking at, they should also know if they can handle it. Sell the boat, and wish him happy motoring.
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Old 08-04-2012, 17:00   #54
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Unless your a politician, its not your place to think for others.

Sell the boat.
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Old 08-04-2012, 17:18   #55
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Re: A moral dilemma

sell it to him. warn him that the water is not a forgiving mistress, to take it one step at a time, and learn to navigate and the rules of the road. He's going to buy one from someone anyway.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 08-04-2012, 17:23   #56
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Re: A moral dilemma

How would you feel if you where the buyer and doing some research and ended up here. Sell him the boat say "Thank you", that is it sell the boat.
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Old 08-04-2012, 17:47   #57

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Re: A moral dilemma

Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
I have a chance to sell our 25' express cruiser (not an easy sell nowadays) to a fella with a young family. He has Zero, absolutely Zero experience with boats of any kind. Spent two hours yesterday explaining every system of the boat and how to operate it. He didn't even know what a bilge blower was for.

He seems adamant this is the boat he wants.

I really don't believe this is an ideal first boat for this guy. I'm afraid he'll hurt himself or his family with it. The boat is powerful enough that if operated improperly it could be dangerous. If he's going to operate it where he says, a large but shallow lake with plenty of good ole' Canadian Shield granite outcroppings the first thing I can see him doing is ripping the outdrive or props off it it.

He hasn't taken any boating courses and doesn't have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and has absolutely no idea what he's getting himself into.

I guess the dilemma is, do I sell it to him (take the money and run) and wish him luck or refuse to sell it to him and maybe save him or his family some grief.

Personally I wouldn't do it. I had a similar situation with my first sailboat. I knew its structural integrity was compromised. Someone wanted to help me sell it and take a commission. I told him no and salvaged it. It was the right thing to do.

You can't save this guy from his own stupidity but you don't have to be part of putting his family at risk.

Teenagers shouldn't be given Maseratis, either.
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Old 08-04-2012, 17:48   #58

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Re: A moral dilemma

Originally Posted by anjou View Post
I know what your thinking. A friend sold his motorbike to a young guy who was killed a month later, and he never forgave himself.

On the other hand, where do we draw the line in interfeering in other peoples lives?

I cant help you with your dilemma, that if for you to decide, but I know what a toughie it is

You could view it purely selfishly. Does the owner want to live with the fact that he contributed in any way to the consequences?
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Old 08-04-2012, 17:52   #59

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Re: A moral dilemma

Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
That's a big part of it, 32 yrs in the Coast Guard. I've seen the results of reckless operation a boat a few times.

I don't think there's any deception on his part and there's certainly none on mine. He seemed more concerned with the capacity of the holding tank than how many fire extinguishers were on board.

I think I'll send him a kindly worded e-mail outlining my concerns and a few recommendations. If he's still willing to buy the boat I'll sell it to him. Really, it's none of my business what he does with it after the money has exchanged hands.

Well, he's a beginner. He hasn't been on here to hear about someone had to discharge their fire extinguisher in an emergency.

I wouldn't decline to sell it out of my feeling of responsibility toward the other person. He's just going to go off and do something else that's stupid and reckless. He's a stupid, reckless man.

But I don't want to be any part of it. I don't want to hear about his accident later. That's just me. I'm not saying that anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. It is what would be right ... for ME.
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Old 08-04-2012, 18:02   #60

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Re: A moral dilemma

Originally Posted by Doug Brown View Post
In my surveying days I use to encounter owners who didn't want me either onboard or to do the survey that their insurance company had requested.

This usually lead to a 15-minute lecture about how un-necessary the insurance survey was, etc, etc.

Since I didn't want to listen to a 15-minute one sided speech, I would politely interrupt and say the following:

"Look, I don't care if your boat sinks, or catches on fire or crashes into something - we can easily replace your boat - it's only money.

But what if your wife or children or grandchildren were on board and got injured - or killed? I'm just trying to prevent that."

Always worked - they shut up and started paying attention to what I was doing and how they could fix the deficiencies (there were always deficiencies).

So, my advice to you is to mention/stress what could happen to the wife and kids if he buys the boat without knowing what he's doing and some accident occurs.

If he still wants to buy it, you've done all you can.

However, at the end of the day if you are still uncomfortable, just say "No Sale" and send him on his way. Somebody else will eventually come along.

It's easy to forget that what we do is inherently dangerous.

When I was 19 I ran into an old friend from high school. I asked her how she was, and she burst into tears. Seems her fiance' took her out on his fishing boat, and started to teach her how to operate the outboard motor.

She accidentally zoomed the motor up. Somehow he got thrown into the water, without a life vest. She didn't know what she was doing, and he was injured. He drowned because she couldn't get the boat back to him.

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