Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Do You Hear Me?

(0:59) Lately I've been noticing boater reviews complaining about poor marina communications. Some have been about a lack of response on the VHF as they approach. Some about not answering the phone and returning messages. Some have complained about both.

(0:52) I've read about boaters who after several attempts have given up and moved on to another marina. In each case, the boater's frustration led to a diminished review. Don't let that happen to you.

(0:46) I have addressed this issue in various ways in multiple Minutes in the past including the two below:


(0:40) All marinas, especially those who court transient boaters, must have a way to monitor the VHF radio. There is no excuse. And this means always monitoring the traffic. If you don't have someone in the office at all times, then get your dockhands portable radios.

(0:33) I've heard the excuse that dockhands may drop them overboard or lose them or break them. And that will happen from time to time. But it's still a small investment compared to the potential return.

(0:27) I just checked Defender and you can buy a floating handheld VHF for around $100. What's your typical nightly charge for a transient? How many nights are you willing to lose to save the price of the radio?

(0:20) The real point is that boaters expect you to be available on the VHF radio, instantly. Every effort should be made to accommodate that. If I can't reach you via VHF, I'll wonder why. And if I then turn to my cell phone and still receive no response, I very well may move on.

(0:12) I'm not unreasonable. It's not necessary that you take care of me right away, but you do need to acknowledge me, let me know you will get to me shortly, and then do that.

(0:07) There is absolutely nothing more important than responding to a customer. Let me know I'm being heard and I'm more likely to give you my business.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.