We used Dream Yacht Charters in May, 2016. The boat was only a year old, but was maintained very poorly. The boat stunk so bad, I had to sleep outside most of the trip. The generator stalled out every hour of so. Had a mechanic out to look at it, but nothing he could do, we just had to keep re-starting. Doesn't work if your trying to sleep with the a/c on at night. One cabin a/c unit didn't work at all, one cabin had no lights, one cabin's toilet leaked
Many other small broken things that you would not expect on a new boat.
We have chartered from Conch many times, although their boats are older, much better maintained then DYC.
Ouch! That one will and did hurt all around. This is easy for me to say from an armchair 2,000 miles away with some 20/20 hindsight. I was not there. I have been there sometimes without success.
But, many miss the real purpose of the "checkout" some think it is all about checking us out to take the boat. The contract and legal terms of the "demise charter agreement" are there for the reverse. We are supposed to be inspecting the boat and her machinery before we take acceptance. For that reason we always push for the sleepover. If the boat "stunk" my travel companions(wife, three daughters) would make me refuse acceptance. I always start and run the generator for hours before we leave the dock. Generators have been our greatest trouble on charter boats. The modern electronics in them will shut them down at the first sign of something not right. That very specific electronic control module is also subject to its own failure, troubles, and gremlins. Yes, we do get some grief from the dock staff about running the generator at the dock. There is always some compromise reached for me take take acceptance of the boat.
Our key points, do a sleep aboard, inspect and fully operate anything you want to work during your trip. Never be in a rush to get underway. Send some of the crew off to shop, a pool, explore, lunch.... with a plan to be back to leave between 2 and 3 for the first anchorage after those interested in the boat have exercised all the important bits. Always have the smallest of the crew start and run the outboard before acceptance.
It can take hours for a trained technician to troubleshoot a generator spontaneously shutting down. If the control module is bad it may take time to source that unit specific part.
No idea why your boat stank? But, many of the modern boats with holding tanks and holding tanks bypassed have issued that can usually be cured with a good flush or chemical treatment. A bunch of bleach can work in a pinch. Sometimes even Tide and a great deal of freshwater. If the boat stunk there was a source. Bilge, orphaned tank, fouled tank, or maybe the AC coils. Tide, Gain, Bleach, Dawn, Vinegar... could have likely cured that at the dock. Note: Never mix Dawn and Bleach. The generator... never, ever count on nor promise an operating generator. Squid to unknown gremlins are taking them out of service in every anchorage every night.
At the end of the day. As hard as it may be. We should always be ready to refuse acceptance of the boat. At that point a "miracle" may just happen right their on the dock, right in front of you.
Many would refuse a problemed hotel room they were signed up to pay $100 per night. Why should we treat differently a vessel we are lined up to pay over $1,000 per day for?
Edited by StormJib (01/03/17 12:16 PM)