Bali Haulout, Indonesia
23 May 2015 | Bali, Indonesia
The pirates of Serangan Yacht Service will hold you on shore till you pay their arbitrary and changing ransom. Ruth, the local yacht agent lead us into this deal. But how nice, because of all the money she cost us, she gave us 10% off of our mooring bill. Ruth owns no moorings but rents out moorings owned by Serangon Yacht Service and boots up the price.
We have made some mistakes operating Brick House over the past 8 years. But there is a number one, top of the list, biggest mistake which supersedes all others. And what a terrible experience it has been. This mistake was the decision to haul Brick House out of the water in Serangan, Bali. We had some damage to the skeg and keel. We could have carried on another thousand miles northward to Malaysia where we knew there was a proper yard with a travel lift and prices for haulouts were very economical, but we thought it prudent to make the repairs as quickly as possible. We didn't need help- we simply needed to haul the boat out of the water for two weeks so we could make the repairs ourselves. This is not the time to go into details but I feel a civic responsibility to post basic information to warn other cruisers so they have the information to avoid the terrible situation we experienced in Bali. We have since heard that some cruisers were warned when they arrived in Serangan, Bali, by other cruisers, who have their own negative stories about dealing with the local yacht facilities and yacht services. But those cruisers tend to speak in hushed voices while they remain in Indonesia. We somehow missed getting the word but it did not matter as we were working with a trusted agent to help us arrange everything. But we were lead astray by this local Bali based , well known professional yacht "agent" who arranged everything for us. It was all in emails, the prices, what was included, like electricity, pressure washing etc.. Once hauled out of the water, we became captive to changing and arbitrary costs. Through this professional agent, we originally had agreed to pay an exorbitant $1,580 USD to be hauled out and put back in the water 15 days later. In the end, we were forced to pay an incredible and arbitrary $2,484.00 USD (after much stressful negotiating) for the same thing. We did all the work and we supplied all of our own materials...we are talking ONLY about a haul out/in, 14 days on the hard. Even the pressure washing which was supposed to be done was a joke. The pressure washer was an electric toy producing less pressure than a normal garden hose. Plus, when hauling then launching, these people were not careful and deeply gouged through the forward section of fiberglass of the keel to expose the lead ballast. They would not take responsibility for their damage and would charge me another $400 to lift the boat off the keel into a position for me to repair the damage. This we did not do so now we have to haul out someplace else to repair the damage these people caused. The people who operate the haul out facility are the biggest and most unpredictable thieves. Contracts, hand shake agreements, honesty, are things that are not understood here. Cruisers are seen as floating ATMS that have no daily limits for withdrawals, and who only come to Bali to provide financial security, even if it involved no service or product in exchange.
This situation is reminiscent of what has been posted about a haul out facility in Port Villa, Vanuatu. Now there are two places in the world cruisers need to stay away from.
In Bali, we made a few new friends who we would like to see again. However, far too often, because of this place being a tourist trap and a stopover for cruising yachts with perceived pockets overstuffed with cash, many new smiling friends have dollar signs for retinas. In Bali, you can trust no one, even those who have been touted as honest on previous postings. Lombok island, to the east of Bali, is far more tourist friendly and interesting. But more on this later.
If you are sailing with an organized rally, do yourself a favor and skip south east Bali and go to Lombok. But beware the smiling, helpful, "agent" in Lombok! The one primary yacht "agent" there is no better than the other thieves....more on that situation soon.
Due to too much spam coming into Sail Blogs from Indonesia, Sail Blogs has eliminated the ability for anyone in the Indonesian area to leave a comment. If you would like to leave a comment but get blocked, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it in the main body of the blog.