The New Flat Rate
“Hey Dad, I’m up here at the marina, did you know your boat sank?” I almost screamed as I said, “What are you doing at the marina?” He told me the boat was turned sideways only held up by the dock ropes that hadn’t broken yet. I had a sinking feeling myself because I knew it had to be my fault.
You see I had wanted a ski boat ever since I was a 16-year-old kid watching a small waterski show at Lake Bronson Minnesota. As that professional ski boat went back and forth with those twin 135 horse Evinrude engines I purposed in my heart that one day I would own one.
Own one I did! I loved it so much that quite often I would take my lunch breaks at the marina just so I could sit in that beautiful boat and smell the marine grade vinyl. Usually I would reach over and start the engine just to hear all 240 horses roar to life.
But that fateful day I had done one more thing. Yes, I went to have lunch with my blue beauty and I had listened to those horses roar to life but when I was done I reached down to open the petcocks and drain the water from the engine so it wouldn’t freeze. Just to be safe I also unhooked the 1″ hose that feeds fresh water from the lake to the water pump to cool the motor and then I tucked that hose under the engine.
When my son called me I knew immediately that my actions had to have caused a siphon to start and I also knew for a fact that I had sunk my own beautiful Ski Boat.
I was crushed.
Have you ever felt that all was lost and even worse that it was your entire fault? I know by now any of you that are boaters are probably in tears wondering what in the world I did next.
Well, I went to the marina with a winch, 100’ of rope and a 2” gas powered pump. It took me about 5 hours working alone to get the boat upright and pumped out.
Why did I work alone? Because my baby was hurting and I needed to suffer alone with her. You boaters understand. Anyway to make a long story short I parked that boat in the woods, called my insurance company and heard these precious words that still warm my heart today: “Yes we pay for stupidity, but only once.”
Well, I decided that day that once is enough for me.
Oh it’s true I still make an occasional mistake. But I refuse to go down with the ship. It’s my ship, my company, my business and when I make a mistake or when circumstances cause the water to rise – I fight back. I do something about it. You can too!
Today I’m sitting in my new Supra Sunsport 320 horsepower radical wakeboard boat as I write this article.
My message today is simple: Life isn’t perfect. But when you’ve done all you can do to keep the boat above the water, you can rest in the knowledge that seasons come and go. And sometimes something unexpected comes along. In my case it was a beautiful new boat that State Farm bought me.
What will it be for you?
Rodney Koop/ founder and CEO of The New Flat Rate