To be fair, there were only a few clients that caused major damage from an incident. None as bad as Neal's story. Most just caused a gouge or nick in the fiberglass or some damage to the lower unit.
At a shop rate of $120/hour and a few to several hour repair + parts/materials, these were usually a $500 to $2,000 mistakes.
Break Out Another Thousand, right?
For some clients and many boaters though, it's not about the damage. It was about the frustration, stress and often flat out embarrassment as they pulled up to the docks and just couldn't get it landed... without some help from someone on the docks.
(The dealership was on the water, so I saw my clients often... and the one's that passed on training ALWAYS struggled... they also were the most frustrated!)
One evening, while going out with my family a client came back to the docks and just couldn't get in the slip. Watching from a 100 yards away, it was obviously not going well... Then, the YELLING STARTED! Then the #$%@&!
Not only was Patrick frustrated he couldn't pull in the slip; with a couple friends on the boat you could tell his stress had turned to embarrassment. And then came the yelling at his wife and 12 year old boy who were trying to help out certainly caused some 'additional conversation with his wife' later that night!
What did he have in common with Neal? That's right, he said "I've driven my buddy's boat Matt, I'm good to go!"
Again, my fault for not insisting we go over a few simple things that would have made his evening end on the positive note it should have!