I’d like some genuine feedback on a personal ethical question I am chewing on. Its a bit embarrassing because I got shafted.
A few weeks back I discovered that the boat I bought has some problems.
That is very bad when boats are meant to spend most of their usable time in the water…
When I bought it I could see that the hull was shiny and new looking after being re-sprayed. I am no rocket scientist but I know that new paint could be hiding something… So I said to the seller ‘just give me a straight honest answer. Is the hull intact or is there any crap under there I should know about?’
‘No – she’s rock solid’ he replied.
He lied… or maybe (and this is a big maybe) he wasn’t aware that the hull had dramas. And of course I trusted him…
The problem is that basically the hull is developing cracks across the beams and the fibreglass on the bottom of the boat has separated from the cross members. It means its life span is greatly reduced and will need around $2500.00 of repair if done professionally. This was all covered up when I inspected it in January.
I discovered all this because a small crack developed – which I had fixed – which came back again. It is possibly going to return – possibly not. My guess is its more than likely to be a problem again at some point.
So the question I am facing is what do I do?
I know how I felt driving home to tell Danelle that I just blown a stack of our $$$$ on a lemon.
Options I see:
1. Do I spray it and sell it to some other poor bloke who will then do the same? That really is not an option I can entertain ethically or morally. I would hate for someone else to feel what I felt and to lose what I have lost. Hard to imagine Jesus taking that route.
2. Leave it as is and sell it for the best price I can get hoping no one sees the cracks? I may even make money on it? Seems a bit unethical again”
3. Intentionally take a loss and sell it as is without informing the buyer?
4. Tell any prospective buyer that there are hull issues?
It really isn’t worth me fixing it – even if I did it myself. Are there other options?
Right now it is sitting in a boat yard on consignment. The guys in the yard looked it over and told me they could get me $4K in the hand for it (I paid $5K + $600.00 in repairs/improvements). I was hoping for more, but said ‘ok’. I would rather someone else sell it than have to do it myself. Its in there for a month. I’m not sure if they know about the cracks. I haven’t tried to hide them in any way but as I was watching my kids at the time they were inspecting, I’m not sure how hard they looked. I’m not so sure I’m even ok with saying ‘their responsibility’. I was last Saturday when I was just mad about it all. Now” not so sure.
I guess I am wondering what I need to see as my responsibility in it all.
Yesterday I was going to strip the hull, tow it out to sea and whack a star picket thru it and create my own artificial reef – take it out of circulation for ever! Today I am wondering if I am over zealous in my endeavour to try and do what is right.
I really do want to do what is ‘right’. As much as I feel lousy and embarrassed about the $$$, I would rather lose dollars than cheat someone.
I was on a retreat yesterday and we were given two passages to read. Phil 2, Isaiah 55. These verses struck me.
Phil 2 “Consider others better than yourself”
Isaiah 55 “My ways are not your ways” says the Lord.
Is it cheating someone to sell it with known flaws and not tell – especially if those flaws are visible to anyone who looks?
Am I anal about this?
I have been seriously tempted to go the re-spray / cover up route – I have also considered giving the hull to a playgroup as a cubby house. My pendulum swings!