Originally Posted by ShackAttack
Exactly. My partner said it sounds like a business model for a local robbery ring. Steal a Navtours dinghy a month and turn it in later for some cash. Win-win for both Navtours (who got $6K from me) and the thief. It's also easy for someone to accidentally take the wrong dinghy or to loosen your lines at a dinghy dock
while getting their dinghy on/off. I think the charter company should absorb those risks like Moorings does.
Dinghies are not only easy to steal, but easy to damage; and charterers lose them on a regular basis. If it's a small company, unlike the Moorings, they may find dinghy insurance hard to find and it's a big hit for them to cover. I remember one six week period in Tortola when Moorings/Sunsail lost
twenty dinghies! We were doing a survey
for the Tourist Board, which is how I knew the statistic.
Since the charter company seems to have a good reputation, why not check to see if any guests have had problems with having had a dinghy stolen. And why not ask them directly how often this happens and if there is some way to pay for insurance? I am guessing that part of the problem is simply losing and damaging dinghies, in addition to theft. Much of this can be avoided by lifting the dinghy every night, which is what I do.
Unlike the Moorings, which, in Tortola, has literally hundreds of dinghies, which are assigned to an individual charter depending upon number of guests, rather than permanently assigned to a particular boat, this company probably has a dinghy assigned to each charter boat. Dinghies are not that easy to replace. In the BVI, for example, you may have to wait for weeks to get the right size, design, etc, so it's much more than a financial hassle. For the Moorings, with their huge dinghy fleet, it's not the same problem. I bet the Moorings charter costs more, too, as it usually does, but the OP has not mentioned if this is the case. There are lots of things that go into the charter price
with the Moorings, such as their extensive marketing
, and they have probably simply factored in the cost of issues with dinghies, but that's a guess.
I am also guessing that the company in question goes to great lengths to NOT lose a dinghy, whether by carelessness or mischief, and probably finds the best way to ensure that the charterers pay attention to everything is to make them responsible. It's probably worth further discussion with them. And if my choice were to be responsible for locking the dinghy everywhere I went, and lifting it every night, or risk $6000, I would consider it a pretty easy decision.
As a matter of reference, I have an insurance policy specifically designed for crewed charter boats and offered only to that group. My dinghy is covered but only if I keep it locked.
I don't know why every business practice that is not what one is used to, at home in a completely different environment
, or one that is a part of a business the operation of which the commentator is completely unfamiliar with, so regularly excites suspicion and paranoia, rather than a simple curiosity for why it is so.