Click for Ocean Alexander Click for Llebroc List Your Boat Click for Northern Lights Click for Glendinning

Water delivery - non payment

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Yachtguymke, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,218
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    It's not a matter of money. It's a matter of respect, principle and entertainment. The Irish are known for enjoying a good donnybrook. I've always had a personal 3x's rule. Treat me well and I'll treat you 3x's as well. Do me bad...................... Again, nothing to do with the dollars. Could be $100K or $1.00. It's all the same to me.

    You went on the hook $20K for someone whose own bank didn't trust him enough to honor his credit card????????????????:eek: He didn't think to just have the money wired to the marina, or even get a Pay Day loan? Guess it's better to have someone lend you the money for free than to pay 27% interest (which is probably his rate if his bank is refusing his card) or 300%+ on a P.D. loan. You're a very lucky man to have gotten paid, and very lucky that you can afford to lose $20K, plus give away 2 weeks of your professional services. Did he at least pay you the interest and vig on that $20K loan? That'd be about $5,000 at Pay Day loan rates. If I did that I wouldn't need to worry about anything. My wife would slit my throat the minute I walked in the door, and I'd give her permission to do it.

    Big question. Would you ever work for him again without getting paid in full in advance?
  2. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Easton, Md./Ft. Lauderdale
    Didn't this owner just purchase this boat from a brokerage that you're with? Did he finance it? If so I think the lender would be keen to know that he is already racking up potential liens against their security.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,885
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    NYCAP- my time is also worth money. I'm not going to chase someone for months and make it a personal vendetta to collect a few hundred dollars. It's not worth my time or energy when it costs me more money (loss of time) to pursue a few hundred bucks. To make it personal is really childish. It's business and sometimes things happen in business. If it was several thousand, then I just hand it to my attorney and tell him to go ahead with it, rather than deal with it myself. I did that once to a divorce attorney, who never refused to pay, he just didn't pay and kept stringing me along with an email every 7-10 days asking for something else. He paid the day after my attorney slapped him with a civil theft suit.

    The other situation was different. I had worked for the owner for several years and he was always very good to me and paid me right away and I trusted him. The credit card we had kept putting A LOT of expenses on as I was delivering the yacht. SO it got maxed out, it had nothing to do with his bank trusting him. However, it was also at the time when the entire financial world collapsed for everyone, including him as a big developer. So, yeah, I put it on my card and got the boat home.....and yeah when he scraped together the money 3-4 weeks later he paid me in full and I did continue to work for him for several years after that. But it was an expensive trip, $100k the Great Loop. I wasn't going to let the mates go unpaid at the end of the trip and have to wait for it, so I paid them myself. A few years later he took on 3 partners in the yacht a few years later, and I ran the boat for one of them and didn't want to work for that partner ever again, that partner took over the decision making on repairs, only wanted to spend money on cosmetics and none on a lot of maintanence the boat NEEDED. So I just told them I didn't want to run it anymore.

    If you've been working for the guy you're working for on the Hatteras great loop trip and he's always been good to you and reliable and you fuel (without him on board) and the credit card doesn't go through and you can't reach him on the phone. Are you going to leave the boat tied to the fuel dock and book a plane ticket home or just put it on your card and have him re-imburse you?

    I just don't get the general NY attitude where everyone is not to be trusted and you stick them to the coals regardless of what it costs you. Sometimes financial hang ups do happen to good people at times. Business is business and money is money.......whatever is the most profitable course of action for me regarding non payment, is the one I will take. I am after the end of it all, working for a living. My reputation as a Captain is stellar, and I am concerned about that as well, but someone shorting you has nothing to do with your skills or competancy. But I'm not going to go crazy chasing someone down, or worry myself for $200.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,218
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    To me it's important to not only have a reputation as a skillful captain, but also as a person not to be taken advantage of. The last things you want to do is be the last owner of a boat or the last person who lends someone money. As for the amount, I'd pay $200 for a night's entertainment. Holding someone to task is entertainment for me, and I schedule it for when it's convenient for me. So to me it's like going to the movies. Ever watch legal drama's on TV? I don't believe in lawyers (although they're a necessary evil). So I never let out more than can be handled in Small Claims Court. That way I handle everything myself, and get a night's entertainment for a $27 filing fee. Back when I was in the business I once got a $16,000 account that had been through (2) collection agencies, and a lawyer who took judgment. A judgment and a Metro Card will get you on a subway. It's toilet paper unless you have their assets. I made 4 phone calls, and collected the money. I took $8,000, the attorney took $1,600. After waiting years the creditor got $6,500. I've dealt with people who would kill your whole family for a fraction of that loss, because they know word spreads about soft touches. I'm sure there are many who will be happy to know that they can take $200 from you and not have to pay it back. Ten of them means $2,000. Is that your number? 100 loses you $20,000. Think you know 100 people who could use some free money?

    A few year back we had a fellow named Rockerfeller (not Rockefeller) come out to the Hamptons. He took those folks for hundreds of thousands of dollars at a few thousand each, because he knew they wouldn't want to make a fuss. Eventually he ran into someone who objected to being taken advantage of regardless of the amount. Were it not for him Rockerfeller would still be making the rounds today, and probably on a yacht.
  5. rhinotub

    rhinotub Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    los angeles
    Why not call the PB Post + have some reporter do an article @ this guy? Or this phenomenon?

    High wire act snake oil charming entrepreneur's can't afford body blow bad PR.
  6. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    East Coast
    Nycap your are a funny guy. It may be personal satisfaction but at the end of the day you are still losing even if you do collect your entire bill. I'm with J on this. Why spend countless billable hours chasing down deadbeats? I've gone through the process and won't do it again. Next time I get to a fuel dock and the cc is denied I am walking away. The boat can sit there until the owner comes and picks it up and settles HIS bill.
  7. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    stuart,fl.
    most of the time the card is run after the fuel is in the boat....

    but, as I once witnessed ( '65) when a lien is put against a documented vessel, it goes thru federal courts, and if judged to be legit, the looser pays for everything including all lawyer's fees............has it changed ??
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,885
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    No, the looser does pay, but you're paying the lawyer up until there is a judgement and that can add up quite quick. Also depending on the state it might be better to go civil over maritime.

    My situation was in FL and the bill was around $6000. Florida has a civil theft law, where you can sue the person for 3x the owed amount plus attorney's fees. Needless to say it made the Divorce Lawyer pay the full amount the very same day he was served and it was settled in full, out of court. Him being an attorney, I would think if he had a leg to stand on, he would've fought it just to play hardball since he could represent himself for free.

    Another thing. All of my exchanges with him were via email and I had everything in writing, especially date/time stamps and how it went back and forth for 2 months.....At 2 weeks I asked him for payment, he asked me for copies of my invoices where I purchased all of the parts, then I would reply, then he would wait 7-10 days to reply.....finally at 2 months I emailed him with it's been 2 months, you can pay your bill within 48 hours and take a 10% dis
  9. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    East Coast
    In my case I put the lien on the boat. It was documented in Babylon NY. I had to go to Long Island to file the lien. I waited the correct amount of time as required by NY state law and then filed for foreclosure on the boat. After I filed for foreclosure I got notice from federal court in NY that the owner had filed for bankruptcy and the boat was being auctioned off. I was so far down the list of creditors that I recieved absolutely zero.
  10. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,425
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    Standard procedure for most marine industry professionals that I know when a client won't pay is a USCG/Maritime Lien.

    As far as not being a matter of money but being a matter of principle, my attorney once told me he loves people with principle.
  11. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,266
    Location:
    Beaufort, NC
    Yachtguy
    Sad to say, but the world is full of frauds! Deliberately bouncing a check or committing a theft of service is criminal in many states. You may have your choice of states depending upon how this transaction sequenced. In criminal actions, the prosecutor very often seeks retribution of fees so its worth a try. It might be a good idea in the future, do a pre check on your customers before you go? There are services for that. If your customer resists, that might tell you something. If he doesn't want to get checked, do a big escrow with your bank . If he doesn't want to do that, stay ashore and have a beer. Another thing you might want to check is that your client is the actual owner and has insurance that covers YOU. Get yourself named as an additional insured. Ask your lawyer about all these issues. I WISH YOU GUYS HAD SOME ASSOCIATION THAT WOULD REGULARIZE ALL OF THIS STUFF IN A STANDARD AGREEMENT?? I've suggested this before, but was told that it would cut into business??

    I am an attorney, but I am not offering legal advice here, just responding as a member.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,218
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I started an association up here. No dues. We brought the day rate up from $125-200 a day to $400, and set up a referral system so everyone made money and nobody had to worry about losing a client, so more clients got taken care of and everyone had more business. I ran it for a few years. But when i tried to get someone to take over, since there was no pay there was zero interest. This is a business that will never organize.
  13. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,266
    Location:
    Beaufort, NC

    Maybe there is a service market for Carl, off site?? He certainly has the clientele
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,218
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. You know I did it for free, but there's no saying it has to be. The business really does need a union, but I doubt I'll ever see it. Recreational captains are too independent, too distrusting and too spread out nationally and internationally.
  15. weto

    weto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    NOR CAL
    So when you Capt's do deliveries you get zero money up front ? Or does it depend on the individual contract ?
  16. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,266
    Location:
    Beaufort, NC
    BTW that was supposed to read "restitution", he may seek retribution, but that don't get you no $$
  17. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,425
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    Been paid up front only a few times. Those were flat rate one day deliveries where it was just easier because the owner was there at departure but not going to be there at the other end.

    Never been paid up front for multi-day trips. Plane tickets and money for expenses yes, but not crew wages. I charge by the day so the total gets figured out at the end.

    I've done 2000 mile deliveries and paid for two weeks of nightly guest dock fees and bought $25,000 in fuel with nothing more than the owner's credit card number written on a post-it note. Never got turned down.

    I have fronted money too but I'll only do that for clients that I have a solid relationship with.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,218
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I get all estimated expenses up front, a credit card or enough cash to cover all estimated fuel, dockage and food, and a median estimate for all salaries. i.e. I've made the run from NY to Miami in 5 days and 23 days, depending on boat, weather and sea conditions. So I'll get 2 weeks of salary up front and bill if it takes longer. Most times though I'll be giving a refund of unused expenses and salaries. If someone's money needs to be hung up it's to be the owners, not the transporters. I'm just a working guy, not rich enough to support a yacht, especially someone else's. He is.
  19. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,266
    Location:
    Beaufort, NC
    NYCAP- my time is also worth money. I'm not going to chase someone for months and make it a personal vendetta to collect a few hundred dollars.

    CaptJ

    I would think that at least filing the lien which is really fairly simple would help your fellow captains. If the next captain does a search of his potential client he will see that lien and take evasive action.

    Keeping a list of these deadbeats could be part of your association's service if one ever gets formed? Maybe it could develop a closed forum for working captains only?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  20. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,266
    Location:
    Beaufort, NC
    I get all estimated expenses up front, a credit card or enough cash to cover all estimated fuel, dockage and food, and a median estimate for all salaries.

    NYCAP
    How does the 'salary' thing work - are they your employees or independents? Who does the 1099 tax filings - which get "crazy " for 2015.