Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-10-2013, 13:14   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 931
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Question Incompetent boat sitter

Boats in the Caribbean 6000miles away, she was left on a swinging mooring.
I like to spend money with the locals not give it to foreign owned companies. So, when leaving the boat, I employed a local 'boat sitter' They had a good local reputation and had done some work for me that was satisfactory. I lent them the dingy and outboat and asked them to run out to the boat once a week, check batteries, bilges, mooring lines and generally that she was in a safe condition. I said I was happy for them to spend time on the boat if they wanted to (makes it look occupied). I asked them to get in touch f there were any problems and left a contact sheet with them. I also went trough the basic systems with them and they agreed they were fine looking after her.
After only two weeks they had problems. These where minor, start battery failed and some water in bilge (apparently) so they took the boat to the dock. All fine. the trouble was they did not tell me. I think they had lost my contact details. Instead they got an unknown 'engineer' to look at the problem. He removed the dead start battery and disconnected other batteries. They left all the electrics switched on and did not hook up the shore power. I only found out about all this when I got the marina bill which was for alongside berthing not a swinging mooring, when I queried the bill the marina said "didn't you know the boat was brought in 3 weeks ago?". When I tried to get details from the boat sitter I got a text message asking for $1000 for work done including $150 for gas and oil for the dingy!!!! They also claim to have cleaned the boat and washed all the cushions because it was 'filthy' - charge $80. (This may be true as she had been in the boatyard for a repaint for 2 months but I did not ask them to do it).
After several phone calls and a letter of complaint I finally got an email from them but it still did not explain what had happened or what the state of the boat was so I then paid the marina engineer (a proper one!) to go and look at the boat for my own piece of mind. His report indicated no lasting damage. Batteries were disconected but still charged. A dead start battery was left in the cockpit, the solar panel was left on the foredeck and not connected, boat was tied up but not connected to shore-power, bilges where dry.
Needles to say I terminated the agreement with the boat sitter! and fortunately I have crew arriving in about 2-3 weeks who can sort things out.
This has been a lot of worry and hassle plus it has cost several hundred dollars in additional berthing charges.
I now have to decide what to do about any payments to the boat sitter and will have to ask the skipper to pay him which I am sure will not be comfortable. I also can't afford to have the boat held up in port for a dispute.
What does anyone think;
Should I tell him he was sacked for gross incompetence and is getting nothing?
Should I pay him for work such as the cleaning that he did do OK and a reasonable amount for gas for the dingy?
Should I try to negotiate a compromise and pay him what it costs to 'not make a fuss'
Always looked after my boat myself up till now and never been in the Caribbean so I haven't a clue how to deal with this!

Thanks
__________________

__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 13:21   #2
Registered User
 
WebWench's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: VA, USA
Boat: S2-9.2 CC & IP40
Posts: 285
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Can you negotiate a settlement with the caretaker and have him sign a document stating that he is paid in full for all the listed services and will have no further claim against you....before you give him the first penny?
__________________

__________________
WebWench is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 13:22   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,130
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Pay up. You got shafted. Expensive lesson but not an unfamiliar one. I once got back to my boat to find the lines to the mooring buoy nearly chafed through. The mooring owner was supposed to check on it regularly. Luckily I had also unshackled my anchor and put the chain on the mooring block (old truck engine blocks) just in case.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 13:27   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
re: Incompetent boat sitter

If it was me I'd pay the tab, count it as an expensive lesson, and move on. If you get the bill down a bit do it but not at the expense of getting into arguments or hold ups with your clearance.

There are some Mexicans in Banderas Bay I'd trust with my boat but only because I've known them for over a year and they're competent mariners.

In every harbor there are some established mores and experts. So and so is the mechanic, so and so is the boat sitter, so and so is the diver. For me I wouldn't dream of letting anyone touch my boat unless I saw them in action over the course of a few weeks and got comfortable with their work.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 14:12   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 26
re: Incompetent boat sitter

My daughter is a live-aboard in Nuevo Vallarta with experience in boat-sitting in Loreto, Baja Ca. Would it help to have her check the situation and report on possible fixes? Send me a private message if interested.
__________________
ranchhand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 14:24   #6
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,761
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
re: Incompetent boat sitter

sometimes it only takes a few months to know someone for over a year, eh?!!
rodlmao.
there are some few trustworthy souls who actually DO care for boats as you wish them to do. extremely rare. ask me how i know.
it doesnt matter in what part of the world you happen to keep a remote other boat..is all the same.
yes i still have a boat in a remote location,. thank the gods that my caretaker is reliable.
it is difficult at best to make sure all is as you wish it to be.
good luck and i hope all works out well for you.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 14:52   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post

(...)

Always looked after my boat myself up till now and never been in the Caribbean so I haven't a clue how to deal with this!

Thanks
Fire the idiot, hire a competent person. Pay the bills. Swallow the pill. Learn the lesson. Move on.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 15:26   #8
Registered User
 
Andrew B.'s Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 347
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Smells like a scam to me. Actually a double scam. Boat sitters spreading their ill gotten gain with a marina. All they would hear from me is "the check is in the mail" until my arrival.
__________________

"The best cure for sea sickness, is to sit under a tree."
~Spike Milligan.
.............."Life's not fair, and people don't act right"~Me.........
Andrew B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 16:01   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,130
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
Smells like a scam to me. Actually a double scam. Boat sitters spreading their ill gotten gain with a marina. All they would hear from me is "the check is in the mail" until my arrival.
It's not your arrival you have to worry about, it's your departure! You might not be able to leave until the matter is settled to the satisfaction of the locals.

Pay up, get out, and forget it until you have to leave your boat somewhere again. Then remember the lesson.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 16:15   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,505
re: Incompetent boat sitter

We had the same experience last winter while in the Med. trusting some local boatnik pirates who did virtually nothing while we were away. They appeared to be a nice, hard-working couple, two small children, a dog and a cat, liveaboards in the same marina. 'Ended up paying the bill and moving on with a lesson learned... felt like suckers. Will never trust a "local caretaker" again, better off with a few folks from the cruising community with common interests keeping watch while away for a short time (a week or two). Otherwise, the boat gets hauled out and parked in a secure, gated and guarded storage yard... well worth the peace of mind and much, much cheaper in the long run.
__________________
Kenomac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 16:36   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 28
re: Incompetent boat sitter

This is something that has been on my mind lately as well....we are moving towards purchasing our first boat sometime next year. I live in Phoenix and would berth it someplace on the West Coast, preferably SoCal. The boat would be unattended for potentially weeks at a time. While I understand the desire for a boat sitter for a boat on a ball (or anchor..) is it customary for people to hire a boat sitter for a boat parked in a marina when it will be left alone for weeks at a time? I don't want to haul it out between uses as it will be my goal to sail it at least once a month....if not a lot more.

This became more top of mind lately while researching insurance options and learning that their is an out clause for the insurer if it can be proved the boat wasn't "maintained in sea worthy condition". The scenario I worry about is a leak at a seacock, bilge pump can't keep up (or is off for some reason) and it goes undiscovered until my boat is half sunk or worse tied to the dock!
__________________
Dtm67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 16:58   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: So Cal
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 943
re: Incompetent boat sitter

DTM67 - In your case, I'd just make friends with some of the others at your dock. "Weeks" in socal is unfortunately normal. There's boats near my slip I've _never_ seen anybody on, and I'm at the boat 3-4 times a week.

Being close to "stuff" (depending on what marina you're at) you can mount wifi cameras, bilge monitors, etc..
__________________
jeepbluetj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 17:05   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtm67 View Post
This is something that has been on my mind lately as well....we are moving towards purchasing our first boat sometime next year. I live in Phoenix and would berth it someplace on the West Coast, preferably SoCal. The boat would be unattended for potentially weeks at a time. While I understand the desire for a boat sitter for a boat on a ball (or anchor..) is it customary for people to hire a boat sitter for a boat parked in a marina when it will be left alone for weeks at a time? I don't want to haul it out between uses as it will be my goal to sail it at least once a month....if not a lot more.

This became more top of mind lately while researching insurance options and learning that their is an out clause for the insurer if it can be proved the boat wasn't "maintained in sea worthy condition". The scenario I worry about is a leak at a seacock, bilge pump can't keep up (or is off for some reason) and it goes undiscovered until my boat is half sunk or worse tied to the dock!
If you park it in San Diego let me know. I can recommend some good marinas and depending on the marina I can recommend some stand up guys who can check in on things.

Most of the "zonies" that had boats in San Diego came out a lot in the summer but the winter would pass by and a few months of absentee-ism would set in. That hooks up well with the storm season for Southern California so it does help to have someone checking in on things.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 17:17   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 931
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Thanks for all the support, I still feel like a sucker but now don't feel like the only sucker. I sacked him when all this came out and am offering some payment to save hassle for the crew when they pick the boat up as I won't be there.
She had been on the hard for 2 months for painting but is a wooden boat and in Caribbean weather leaving her out of the water for longer than that would be disastrous, wood dries out and splits. The marina staff are now keeping an eye on her but cant do it on a swinging mooring. Fortunatly crew are arriving in a couple of weeks which will solve the problem as the marina is fully booked for the season so could not give me an alongside mooring (they found one for a short time while I got sorted) IGA, excellent service.
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2013, 17:38   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 28
re: Incompetent boat sitter

Rebel Heart and JeepblueTJ...thanks for the advice. I've added it to my ever growing list of things to consider that are part of the boat purchase! I am very much a research and budget heavily then pull the trigger kind of guy and this forum's participants are an amazing resource for newbies like me.
Roland_stockham...sorry to hear about your experience!
__________________

__________________
Dtm67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Trade: Boat Sitter in Boston Area karyndonahue Classifieds Archive 0 12-06-2014 17:23
Crew Available: Crew or Boat Sitter available BobCosta Crew Archives 0 27-11-2013 11:08
Incompetent Plumber Recourse Microship Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 29 29-06-2010 21:06
Crew Available: 'Boat Sitter' Available CharlesFCook Crew Archives 2 12-02-2010 05:43



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:09.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.