He Motor Boated Himself

, , , , , | Right | September 27, 2019

(My husband and I own a mobile marine repair business. We do not have a shop; we repair boats dockside or in a person’s backyard. I have submitted several stories about things that happened at our business but this one really shows the stubbornness of some people. Keep in mind that we charge a minimum of $100 to even look at a customer’s boat and then give advice, so we are paid many times just for our expertise. We get a call in March from a gentleman about getting his boat ready for spring. My husband sees ice in the motor.)

Husband: “Um, sir. Did you winterize this boat?”

(Winterizing a boat entails several things. The biggest step is making sure all the water is drained out of the boat and motor before cold weather hits.)

Owner: “Winterize?” *laughs* “This is the South. That is why I moved here to get away from all the cold weather. You don’t have to winterize anything down here.”

Husband: “While we don’t normally have the cold weather you see further north, we do get temps below freezing during the winter months; plus, you have stored this in your yard in the shade underneath a tree canopy. This motor is full of ice and I don’t even want to think about the ice that may be under the deck. The only thing I can suggest you do is get a heat lamp out here and put under the boat. Let it warm it up for a couple of days and then we can see if the motor is damaged. I won’t charge you to come back and check on it.”

Owner:What?! That is ridiculous. You have no idea what you are talking about. It didn’t get cold enough for ice to form. You have the keys; just start it up.”

Husband: “No, sir. I will not be responsible for what will happen.” 

(My husband wrote on the invoice what was wrong and that the customer was ignoring advice, and insisted that the owner sign it. Then, he handed the man his boat keys. The owner told him he was being silly, climbed up in the boat, and started it up. The motor roared to life and owner smirked at my husband. A few seconds later, there was a huge boom which jolted the boat partway off the trailer, the motor stopped, and black smoke poured out. He stood in the boat, stunned, for several minutes. Embarrassed, he asked my husband to look at it . My husband told him he wouldn’t even have to. The motor was blown and the guy ended up doing over $20K worth of damage to the motor and boat. Why pay us for our expertise and advice if you aren’t going to listen to it?)

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