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Old 08-12-2012, 03:39   #1
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How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

Kinda following on from the (most!) recent insurance "discussions" .

No "right" answer - just curious as to attitudes when "encountering" other folks on boats, at sea or in harbour / docked / anchored / rafted up etc.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:36   #2
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

I think damage falls under tree different categories: deliberate, as a result of negligence and acceptable (as in wear and tear). In my book, as a non smoker, a gigarette burn on wooden table, or plastic sink basin,or a singe mark on a carpet or upholstery is not acceptable as wear and tear as I forbid smoking below deck.

Similarly, if a saloon table was damaged by someone sitting on it, I would think that to be negligence as the saloon table is not a seat. However, if someone damaged a seat by falling against it as the boat pitched, it would be unavoidable and therefore I would judge it acceptable.

But what if someone else was on the helm and bashed the dock, taking a bit of bark off the topsides? I guess it depends on whether the helmsman claimed to be experienced, or if they were not so confident and I urged them on. Wear and tear is tough to determine and depends upon your own style of care.

Some people are totally anal about caring for their property, others understand damage must occur.

I rather suspect most people would judge wear and tear according to the attitude of the person who caused the damage. If they are sincerely apologetic and don't try to hide the damage, most decent people would accept it. If, on the other hand they tried to hise the damage and became agressively defensive, then they pay and probably go for a swim as well.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:55   #3
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

I think the best bet is to just keep everyone else off the boat, cos their all bloomin idiots anyway, and the few brains cells they do have just seem to disengage when people get on a boat.

On a cruise I gave everyone one of those thermos mugs. Said keeping them clean was their own responsibility, and USE them for all their drinks, so that WHEN they tip over they wouldn't make a mess. How pissed off was I when they opened a bottle of red, got the plastic cups out, and then proceeded to throw them all over our cockpit cushions? Well, I'll tell you. I was VERY pissed off.

But not taking on crew seems to do the trick OK.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:58   #4
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

My standard answer to everything, it depends.

First criterion, if damage is cosmetic only I would apply the "foot rule" as in, if you can't see the ding from 5 feet away then fugitaboutit. Of course, everyone has a different limit on their foot rule. I have known some OCD types that use inches instead of feet. I knew one guy that could see a ding at 20' that I couldn't see at 2'. Depending on where and what kind of damage I would probably go with maybe 5' or 10' rule.

If cosmetic but glaringly obvious like a big gouge in the topsides then it would come down to circumstance. Was the damage inflicted on my boat by some drunken idiot or from glaring stupidity? Was the perpetrator an arrogant twit in a high dollar dock queen or a nice guy living on a small cruiser that represented his entire net worth? Was the incident totally the fault of the other guy, an act of God, or caused by a third party (boat A drags anchor, boat B's anchor is fouled and boat B drags into me).

Then I would consider the extent of the damage. Minor and something I could fix myself with a minimum of trouble I would consider paragraph two to make the decision. If major and clearly the fault of the other guy then I would ask the other guy to pay or fix it unless there were mitigating circumstances. For example, if the other guy was a homeless, decorated, widowed, single-parent war vet, living on a small boat with five kids I would let it go.

In general, if your boat gets away from you and you rip off my bow sprit I'm asking you to get me a new one.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:28   #5
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

If you are talking about someone hitting my boat I don't know if I accept any damage as "wear and tear".
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:57   #6
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

Up to my very substantial insurance deductible amount, if I don't see the damage being inflicted on my boat then I have no choice but to suck it up and treat it as wear and tear. For example I've had a few chips in my toerail that seemingly materialized out of nowhere--clearly wear and tear. If I witnessed the events leading up to the damage, then it would be a (subjective) judgement call whether some other party was at fault or not.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:01   #7
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

Good thread.

I now know not to raft-up with Don (). Actually, I avoid rafting as the bump potencial due to wakes from express cruisers seems unacceptable and is hard to blame; I'll anchor a rode length away and dingy over. Easier to end the party at night too.

Acceptable damage? I think the first response was dead-on. Fortunatly, only once wsa I really rammed (I was docked) and it ws easily resolved.

It helps that I apply the 50-foot rule and need glasses. Regarding other people's boats, I like to dock near boats that show fender wear on the topsides (means they cruise) but no big dents on the nose (means they can't dock).
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:52   #8
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

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I now know not to raft-up with Don ().
As long as you bring your own 5 foot diameter fenders and I agreed ahead of time to the raft up I'll accept some "wear and tear".

PS - amount depends on the quality and quantity of the beer you bring!
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:12   #9
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

A fair bit unless they have finished off the rum bottle
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:12   #10
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

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Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
On a cruise I gave everyone one of those thermos mugs. Said keeping them clean was their own responsibility, and USE them for all their drinks, so that WHEN they tip over they wouldn't make a mess. How pissed off was I when they opened a bottle of red, got the plastic cups out, and then proceeded to throw them all over our cockpit cushions?
It'd be almost enough to make you wish Kuwait was dry...

Way, way back when I was there it was only Johnny Walker; so precious no-one ever spilled a drop.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:15   #11
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

It definitely depends. It depends on the scale, and of course whether the damage was accidental, or due to outright negligence. If the damage is minor, I usually ignore it either way. After all, my boat is not some prissy delicate baby, and life is not always as you want it to be.

Secondly, I do my best not to put our boat in obvious harms way. I anchor well, and in safe locations, I avoid being close to obvious idiots (people who don't know how to anchor, for example), and I almost never raft.

With regard to guests on board, if I've invited someone to come aboard, then I've already decided they are decent people, and want them on my boat. If they spill some wine or take a nick out of my gel coat or cabinetry, I will likely assume it was done unintentionally, and would take it in stride.

Now, if the damage was due to clear negligence, and the amount is significant, then I would insist on restitution. Of course, these are usually the people who don't give a damn anyway, so it's likely going to be difficult. But in reality, these people are rare anyway. In my experience most people are decent folk who will do their best to deal with damage they have caused.
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Old 19-12-2012, 09:52   #12
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Re: How much damage (by others!) would you accept as just expected wear & tear?

How prudent was the person who did the damage, given the conditions?
If someone was authorized to helm and was (soberly) docking into your slip in a stiff crosswind in bad weather, and the slip was narrow and had sharp bits sticking out, it would be hard to fault that person for damage.
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Old 20-12-2012, 14:33   #13
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Step one. Is it damage I would normally repair myself? If yes, no worries. If no step 2.
Step two. Is this damage that can be repaired within my insurance deductible? If yes, negotiate with damager to fund the repair. If no step 3.
Step three. Call insurance company to get repairs done. Negotiate with damager to pay the deductible. If damager agrees we're done. If no step 4.
Step four. Go to court, lose a friend, don't get paid. Learn a life lesson...
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