• REMINDER - COVID-19

    Any content, information, or advice found on social media platforms and the wider Internet, including forums such as YBW, should NOT be acted upon unless checked against a reliable, authoritative source, and re-checked, particularly where personal health and liberty is at stake. Seek professional advice/confirmation before acting on such at all times.

    Users who are found to promulgate FAKE NEWS on the forum in regard to this issue, intentional or otherwise, may find their access terminated. It is your responsibility to provide references to bona fide sources.

    FAKE NEWS, in this regard, is that which is posited by organisations, media, etc., that is repeated on the forum, or used to support personal opinion/hypothesis posted by users - FAKE NEWS is not necessarily the personal opinion/hypothesis being posted in itself, any issues with such should be challenged respectfully.

Best service from a Marina I've ever had

jonic

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2002
Messages
4,059
Location
Solent
As some of you know, we are currently cruising in the USA with two kids. This has become a bit arduous of late due to weather, some rough passages and the boat recently demanding a bit more than an oil change and wash down.

Compounding this we needed to leave the boat in the USA and take a 3000 mile road trip to Canada. On the recommendation of a cruising friend we left the boat in http://www.pleasurecovemarina.com/ Pasadena, Chesapeake Bay. We knew nothing about the place but the rate was good and the docks etc all looked in good condition hurricane wise.

On our return late at night three weeks later we were pretty frazzled by the kids after such a long drive. "Are we there yet Daddy?". "No! There's still 2990 miles to go." We were even more strung out to find the aft hatch above our bed was not closed fully, so we had a nice soaking wet bunk to climb into at 11 pm. The next morning I discovered most of the batteries had boiled (my fault) and the simple passport matter we had to resolve would now involve a one and a half hour drive at 6.30 am through rush hour traffic to Washington DC with all the family - and finally the newly repaired mainsail was 25mm too big to furl properly.


Cue Dockmaster Travis.

He took one look at us, took the pi** out of our British accents and sprung into action. Nothing was too much trouble for the guy. First he drove us to the airport to drop off the hire car, then to get new batteries, and onto another store to get fresh groceries (there is nothing within walking distance). He offered use of his car whenever we needed it and amazingly said he would drive us to Washington DC at 6.30 am, wait for us at the UK embassy for as long as needed then drive us back to the boat. Sure enough at 6.30 he was there and with two screaming fed up kids off on another drive, kept his sense of humour, and us sane.

He was straight back to the boat the next day to see if we were OK, or needed anything. He took the garbage away, and then insisted on driving my dead batteries back to the store so my credit card would get a $18 refund.

I have never known such customer service focus from a dockmaster/marina manager.

Then Frank the security guard seeing me trying to amuse the kids, gave us directions to a hard to find playground and let me push them there in a marina trolly.

Today Travis helped us haul out for what was supposed to be just a lift and scrub, as we are in a hurry to get south. He baby sat the kids whilst we got in the slings.

However the hoped for scrub soon become an obvious need for an antifoul job.

Cue Geoff and Brant from the attached shipyard.

Geoff took one look at Nicola's face at the thought of three or four nights on the hard in semi wintery conditions with the kids and said, get out of here for the afternoon. We'll get you sorted. It was 1.00pm

Before I could ask, Travis had already given her his car keys, so we set off.

At 5.05pm we returned. Brant had us blocked off in the best spot and plugged into electricity. He and Geoff had a team of eight, sanding, masking and re-painting the double bootstripe and antifouling the hull. By 6.15 the whole boat was painted.

Give us half an hour in the morning and we'll change your anode, paint where the blocks are and have you back in the water they said. Grinning.

Then they insisted that we should not unpack our groceries, but formed a human chain to get them from Travis's car and up the ladder onto the boat.

If you plan to stop somewhere in the Chesapeake or need some work done, I cannot recommend this place highly enough. They work hard, care about you and have a great sense of humour. ( They're especially good at British accent impersonations. Travis even pretended to be enthralled by my description of a good old British breakfast of boiled egg and soldiers.)

No trade links with them etc, just a very satisfied customer.

Travis, Brant, Geoff, Chuck, Steve, Frank and all the team who's names I'm sorry I can't remember, thank you so much.
 
Last edited:

jonic

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2002
Messages
4,059
Location
Solent
Insurance can be expensive, but we found by booking online with budget and ticking the non US citizen box, insurance was then included free. Sometimes it wasn't, but re-logging in would bring the free deal back up again.
 

Grehan

Active member
Joined
11 Jun 2001
Messages
3,661
Location
Inland France + Oxon.
I doubt the post will be of any future relevance to us Grehans, but thanks nevertheless. It just goes to show - if you get excellent service, human beings actually going out their way to help other human beings, kindness even, you want to tell other people about it. That's pretty good marketing/p.r, in my book. Well done, John. Sorry you've had some problems, hope they're now behind you. Have a great rest-of-the-voyage. :)
 

Saguday

Active member
Joined
28 Feb 2006
Messages
3,254
Location
Me: Zummerzet Boat: Plimuff
Ah, the Chesapeake Bay, it's a great place with great people in my experience.

Likewise I highly recommend the good folks at Gratitude Marina in Rock Hall who helped us out enormously when we bought our boat and have remained firm friends ever since. Their sister marina Osprey Point is one of the most attractive places we've ever stayed, I could happily live there. They've all gone out of their way many times to helps us Limeys out :)

But why on earth did you drive that far to Canada? Flight cheaper and quicker shorely?
 

oldvarnish

New member
Joined
15 Jul 2005
Messages
1,881
I wonder if we've put our fingers on something here. A few winters ago, I left our yacht in Fort Rachel, Mystic. On return the following spring I was greeted like a member of the family, driven wherever I wanted to go, taken out for a burger and made to feel more welcome than anywhere I'd been before.
Is it simply that US marina operators are just better at service than the ones back in the UK?
I've no particular fault to find with UK marinas (price apart) but we all know that sinking feeling when you've got a problem and the first face you meet gives you the look of death - far too common in home (UK) waters.
 

prescott56

New member
Joined
22 May 2005
Messages
295
Location
Sardinia
Best sevice from a marina

Hi J,

Sounds a bit like Club Nautico Palma....heheheh
Hope you are all keeping well.
Roy
Danbrit
 

Sandyman

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jun 2007
Messages
7,332
A heartwarming story about excellent wonderful people. This world needs more people like that. Thank you.
 

DockmasterTravis

New member
Joined
23 Oct 2009
Messages
1
Thank you

John & Nicola,
I just wanted to Thank You for the wonderful things you've posted. Jeff, Brant and everyone were able to read you blog about us, and we all appreciate your kind words of thanks. We wish you and your family a safe and adventurous journey. I will certainly never forget you guys. Travis Zeeler, Dock master, Pleasure Cove Marina.
 

jonic

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2002
Messages
4,059
Location
Solent
Update

Hi Grehan, Roy and all

Sure enough they were back at 9.00am on the dot, the boat was finished and back in the water within the hour. "Sorry we took so long said Brant".

Here's some pics of the Pleasure Cove team.










 

Foxy

New member
Joined
8 Mar 2006
Messages
476
Location
North Wales
Fantastic! In the Chesa near Oxford and heading to Deltaville for bit of sprayhood work on the first week of Nov. Need a haulout for antifoul (too cold to dive it now!) Will be sure to give them a go if they are south of us.
Welcome back, by the way! If there is anything we can do to help, gissa shout.

P&S
 

jonic

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2002
Messages
4,059
Location
Solent
Hey Foxy

I wondered where you might be. Do you still have your charts etc to sell as we would like to buy them? We'll be here over the weekend, then heading south on Monday. If you need a paintjob, definitely give these guys a go. See you soon.
 

BrianH

Active member
Joined
31 Jan 2008
Messages
4,684
Location
Switzerland
Let's face it folks, this has more to do with the intrinsically friendly and helpful American manner than commercial instincts - although that is a natural follow-up and benefit from it.

I have absolutely no experience of US marinas but many years of interfacing with my company's US business and find this friendly and democratic attitude of fairness and helpfulness to everyone such a refreshing change to the UK's rip-off mentality and social pigeon-holing. Talking of which, I guess I have now put the cat among them.

So, running and ducking outta here.
 

Robin

Well-known member
Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
16,659
Location
home again, where democracy needs no guns
We are due to move to the Chesapeake end 2010 to live aboard so have big grins. We will be on the SW side of the Bay in Virginia though in the Hampton Roads area near the entrance to the Atlantic but having spent 3 weeks there last Easter looking for a home base marina have to say that it really is a very friendly place. SWMBO is American, a Hoosier (from Indiana) and the folks from there are some of the friendliest I've ever met but they are matched so far at least by those we met in Virginia and the Chesapeake.
 

Saguday

Active member
Joined
28 Feb 2006
Messages
3,254
Location
Me: Zummerzet Boat: Plimuff
Robin, the people in the Bay are great you'll love it there.

Here's some of our examples:

At Deltaville Marina the shops in the town are a way away (it's a good flat bike ride but a long way with young kids as we had). No problem, call the local supermarket, can you give us a ride in? Yes of course - this means the lady manageress of the store drives out in her own car, picks us up, lets us shop not only at her store but the others in town and then drives us all the way back - no charge.

At Hampton (a town with it's share of problems but which is trying to pick itself up) we pulled into the city-owned pontoons right in the centre. Go into the city offices with the kids to pay for our stay. "Are you all living on the boat?" Yes, actually, at the moment, we're exploring America a bit before we have to go back to England. "Well we like families here" and she insisted we only pay 2 nights and give us the third for free. This sort of thing makes you feel wanted and we spent quite a time exploring around there (must see the Virginia Air and Space museum)

Dodging depressions when we headed back up the Bay we scooted into Reedville just north of Deltaville. We went into one of the creeks and threw the hook down and waited for it to pass. Three other boats joined us during the day and so we waited. Well, we had 2 days of torrential rain and very high winds, never getting off the boat. On the third day it cleared a bit and stopped raining - and we heard a shout from outside. A guy had rowed over from shore and said he had the house just over there and he'd been watching us and would we like to come over to his place for a drink and something to eat in the evening? Of course, so off he went and invited the other boats and we all went over to his house for supper. He was a retired schoolteacher and had seen the kids on board and of course seen our red ensign and told us his wife was visiting England on an antique hunting holiday :)) ) We had a great evening with him and the others (one boat was a British couple who'd emigrated many years ago) and he gave the boys jam jars so they could go firefly hunting. A splendid evening and one we will always remember, so thank you Spud for your hospitality.

Captain Parkes who owns Parkes Marina on Tangier Island helped us many times: a ride on his scooter to pick up groceries for the boat, including a quick tour to show us this unique place. We ran low on cash and there are no banks or cash machines on the island so he took us over to the mainland in his fishing boat to get to a bank, and of course brought us back again. And he told us a lot about th eIsland, it's history and the challenges it faces today. Tangier Island is amazing, a very special community and place, we stayed there 4 or 5 days and I long to go back and see how they are doing.

I've lost count of the number of times marina staff at Gratitude in Rock Hall sorted things out for us, drove us places and did odd jobs and small kindnesses. Having kids on board in America definitely opens doors but when you come down to it the people are just naturally helpful and don't do it just because they will earn a buck. Rock Hall in particular became like a second home.

It's why the Chesapeake is one of my favourite places anywhere and certainly the place I most want to go back to in the US.
 

Foxy

New member
Joined
8 Mar 2006
Messages
476
Location
North Wales
Hi Jonics

Yup stilll have the charts! Holed up for today's potential 'wind & rain drama' in a little cove at entrance to Choptank. Will prob head towards Soloman's tomorrow Where are you? Can change direction accordingly!
 

Saguday

Active member
Joined
28 Feb 2006
Messages
3,254
Location
Me: Zummerzet Boat: Plimuff
Hi Jonics

Yup stilll have the charts! Holed up for today's potential 'wind & rain drama' in a little cove at entrance to Choptank. Will prob head towards Soloman's tomorrow Where are you? Can change direction accordingly!
Blimey, our old stomping grounds... I am jealous :D
 

jonic

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2002
Messages
4,059
Location
Solent
Foxes

We are still at the Pleasure Cove Marina, which is in Bodkin Creek. But this is north of you at the entrance to the Patapsco river. (The one that runs on to Baltimore) Unless you want to get an antifoul job here, we can meet you further south next week. I'll pm phone and email details.

Lovely weather eh?
 

Foxy

New member
Joined
8 Mar 2006
Messages
476
Location
North Wales
Cool! Got the PM thanks, will call.

We need to be in Deltaville for a week from 1st Nov etc so sure we can work it out!
Yes lovely weather! The upside is that we are in a beautiful isolated cove (rather bizarrely still have internet access!) and have a great excuse to do nothing at all.... which we are doing superbly! Just hoping w dont get the 'flash bangs' later though!
 
Top