For my birthday, my husband decided to rent a boat for us and two other couples to take out on the river for an afternoon. He decided to go through Grafton Harbor as that seemed to be the main boat rental facility in the area. The actual time on the boat and out on the river was terrific. We drove the boat up river a few miles, put the anchor down and floated for about three hours, then drove the boat back to the marina. It would have been the perfect way to spend the afternoon had our experience ended right as we pulled up to the dock. But once we exited the boat, we were informed that we had damaged the prop and it would cost $220 to replace (nearly the price it cost to rent the boat for four hours). We were honestly dumbfounded as there was absolutely no foul play whatsoever the entire day. We stayed in the middle of the river portion they outlined for us — not once attempting to dock or get too close to shore, always avoiding the tree branches. We didn't even drive the boat remotely close to its top speed as I was 7 months pregnant and didn't want too much jarring. When we went to inspect this "damaged" prop we couldn't make out anything beyond a tiny ding to the black coating on one of the blades — which my husband said could have even likely been there before we took the boat out as most of the prop was below water when the guy walked him around the boat before we took it out. We're not boat experts by any means, but this certainly didn't look like anything that would prevent the prop from performing at an excellent level, let alone require the entire thing to be replaced. One of the younger staff on the dock apologized and unintentionally admitted that "this has been happening a lot lately, and it's just unlucky." But an older worker quickly shushed him and aggressively insisted that no, this never happens and we must have run over one of the many pieces of debree in the river. My husband, who hates conflict, quickly handed over our credit card to cover our "damages" (even though myself and all of our friends were advising against it for the time being). Our friend then questioned that if in fact this is a probable outcome from normal usage, why were we not warned ahead of time. Then the man got really heated and told us to "get off my dock." No apology. No rationalization for why the entire prop needed to be replaced over such a minor ding. Long story short, even if you are the most cautious boat driver, if you rent through Grafton Harbor know that there's a good chance that you will be one of the “lucky ones” who get blamed and overcharged for the incidental damages from normal use.
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