Belly Up

BONEHEAD BLUNDER: Ignoring advice
THE BONEHEAD: Another regular, long-term customer
BONEHEAD RATING: 5 (x2)
WHAT HAPPENED: This older gentleman has a well-known brand of fishing center console that has scuppers on the inner deck that discharge overboard. Nice, but when there’s a lack of communication between beginning and end, it ain’t all good. He found me where I was working on a boat not far from his home. His boat was almost under at the stern. I loaned him my portable 1,500 gph pump and jump-box. I called him before I left the job I was on. He was just finishing a sandwich while considering how to get the massive pump into the tiny access port. I went there, flipped the pump sideways and pumped the hull mostly dry, but as I was pumping I saw water rushing aft along the sides. I told him it was probably water that had flowed forward, but it could also be from a broken scupper hose, and since he was hauling the boat the next day, why not pull the stern onto the beach, just to be safe. I ordered a rectangular hatch that would give us better access to replacing the broken pump and finding a leak.

The next morning, an anguished call: the boat was upside down. On shore? No, he’d taken it to a friend’s boathouse — a friend who would help him in the morning — and tied it with one line at the bow and the stern. The boat was turtled when he got there, lines still keeping it from going under the pier or walkway. Again I suggested the possibility — now probability — of the broken scupper hose, and told him he’d better get his insurance agent involved now.

LESSON LEARNED: This gentleman will get 347 opinions and do things his way, so I’m assuming any lesson he learned is one he absorbed in error. Since I have essentially the same hull, my boat is scheduled to have the hoses replaced. I listen to me.

Bonehead Blunders

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