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Old 11-16-2015   #31
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 44
The other side of the coin

From the borrower's perspective (not this case) I was graciously loaned a rig on my second Marsh/MFS trip. Knowing what can happen to boats on marsh from a previous trip, I was relived to get below dagger with no major/minor incidents. Scouting Rubber on the right is not recommended and for good reason. Pulled into the eddy and the fresh rock slide on that side of the river. Hit the beach before I could get out to stop the boat and just above water line was a FU rock that put a 3"X2" hole dead center, front chamber of my mentors boat. Got it river patched, got down, got home and took the time to really do the job as if it was my own. Sewed it up, inter and outer patches. Showed up to his house tail tucked, WITH CASH IN HAND to buy/replace his raft. He declined but gives me shit every time he sees me on the water. He since has loaned me commercial volumes of gear with no questions.

The point: Don't borrow it unless you are willing to pay for it.
Bring back everything better than you found it. (make a list)
Loan only to those that you are willing to let know "what for" and still be friends.
Loans should be held to a business standard. What a commercial outfitter would do. (Charge him for cleaning and replacement)

When he comes over, sit him down, pour a beer and let him know how you expected this to go, where you feel slighted, and how he can make it up to you. If he can't, let him know never to ask again. It is much easier to keep friends and business separate. In the future conduct loans as business.


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Old 11-23-2015   #32
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
Originally Posted by Grandie View Post
I guess I just assume (no jokes please! ha!) that people will act like I do.
My life got a lot easier when I stopped doing this ^^ myself.

There are a few things that in my book, are not borrowed among friends:
-Money (given maybe)

There are too many things that can go wrong...and even though I know I would take care of their (insert listed item here), it's just a conversation I'm not wwilling to risk having with people I care about.

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Old 11-23-2015   #33
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
I have loaned boats many times, and have a spotty record of being happy upon return. At this point I only loan to people that are worth more to me than any gear and who have earned trust.

I have borrowed rigs too and have tried to be super careful but occasionally have lost straps or caused wear. Those things are replaced brand new with a bonus of some sort. Boats are returned clean, dry, promptly and with hugs and stories.

What I would expect from my friend: Repaired drop bag, New GPS, help cleaning whatever is left to do.

What I would do if I was the borrower: New GPS in an box, new drop bag, gift certificate for car detailing/wash to make up for being an incompetent cleaner.

More and more I just tell people "yeah, you should probably just rent everything, it is easier on everyone."
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Old 11-23-2015   #34
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
Wise words for my old man, "If it flys, floats, or f#*ks, your better off renting." I don't loan or barrow for all the reasons above. There are way too many outfits willing to rent want you need to get on the river.
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Old 11-23-2015   #35
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 429

I went to undergraduate at a Western State Colorado University. I also worked for our outdoor program which gave me access to rafting equipment. As an employee I could basically get free raft rentals. Over the course of my time there I used rafts for a Grand Canyon trip, salt trip, two cat canyon trips, and several ruby through west water trips.

For a bigger trip I would have a meeting with the manager and organize a post trip service day. During this day we would fix the rafts 303 them for the winter and otherwise clean the outdoor gear shop.

One winter after a fall cat canyon trip we did with 18 students, resulted in the equivalent of 18 persons service labor for a day. We had every strap cleaned, daisy chained and organized by size after that trip. And the grovers were so clean you could serve salad out them.

Before trips, I would always charge each person an extra $50-$100 to create an emergency fund to replace lost or broken equipment. We used this for straps and oars and other things. And returned the leftover after every trip.

So from my life experience I think it is possible to loan your a boat to a friend our group and it work out equitably. But you need to have an agreement or contract before hand. You also need a friend that has demonstrated the ability to be a person that will not disappoint you.

Like the OP am easily disappointed so I do not loan gear out 99% of the time. If a friend asked to say use my long boat for a Grand Canyon Trip I would still ask for $75-$100 for the use and have them agree to pre trip to replace the boat in full if it comes back damaged.

This ideal comes from another thing I learned working at our college rental shop which was if you rent something for free or close to free the users is less inclined to take care of it.

Example a group of students would pay $50 to rent a raft for the day to float the Gunnisson. During their float they would get roaring drunk then return the boat at the end still drunk and with the boat rolled up dirty with several empty beer cans inside. At which point I would have a conversation along the lines of you can either clean the boat or buy it. The second option is easy we just charge $5000 to your card on file and you take the boat home. They always cleaned the boat.

In sum:
1. Loaning gear done right is an equal exchange over time.

2. This almost never happens because the folks that need gear are usually in that position because they cant afford the gear they seek and unless given an accountably structor before the loan to safe guard both parties, the loan outcome will likely disappoint the lender.

3. It's better never to load gear to anyone, if you haft too make the loaner pay something to used the gear and have a contract to keep them accountable.

4. Do not loan expensive gear to anyone.
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Old 11-23-2015   #36
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 781
River equipment is so specialized that most nonboaters could ever imagine how critical it is to maintain. Way too easy to screw up a boat. I would only consider loaning my boat to someone more experienced than myself but then that person wouldn't likely need the boat.

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