If you want to get ripped off by a pervert, rent a boat from Brion Darby at Action Boat Rentals, at Pineland, FL.
We sold our boat earlier this year and are working to buy another..we had our family vacation planned on North Captiva, so we arranged for a two-week boat rental for a 25' center console fishing boat. We agreed to pay $2500 for the two weeks and agreed to pay cash so Brion would not incur credit card processing fees. We were to pick the boat up on Saturday at noon and return it at noon on Saturday, two weeks later.
We thought he must be respecatable and honest being located within the Pineland Marina......not so!
Brion seemed very respectable on the phone and provided us with all the needed information. When we arrived with all of our gear on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. he even helped us pack the boat. We all noticed the heavy wear and tear on the boat and motor, but he assured us it ran like a top and would perform well for us. We didn't go over the boat in detail, our error, because we had refrigerated items and two loads to get everything out to the island so were in a hurry. We made the trips to the island with all our gear and called Brion to report the fact that the engine didn't always start, you had to repeatedly move the shift lever into forward and reverse to get it into the correct spot so it would start. He said "no worries" just move it around. We even called his brother and supposed business partner, Andrew, and he said the same thing.
We went out fishing Sunday, the following morning, and it was a nightmare. When we started to pack the boat with fishing gear, all the holds were full of someone elses debris, empty beer cans, dirty towels, gloves, an overnight bag, garbage, and all filthy! The fish box in the bow was full of water and would not drain. There was no wash down system other than a small hose that trickled water. When we called Brion to ask how to drain the fish box and use it for fish, he said it was part of the bilge system!! How dumb did he think we were? We have had boats for over 50 years!
We caught bait and put them in the live well. The baffles are missing inside the well, so with each wave the bait were slammed into the sides, killing most of them. When you opened the well, the waves would slosh the bait out and over the side. The ones that did survive died due to the lack of water flow in the well.
Drifting the pass with the engine off was dangerous as we couldn't be sure how long it would take moving the shifter for the motor to start. This could cause a serious problem since there are always other boats you need to be able to avoid...needless to say, this was not a good situation to be in for 14 days of a fishing vacation. Brion and Andrew assured us the boat was in great condition and would start as needed!!
We did our best on Monday fishing, just keeping the engine running, sucking fuel, and we bought shrimp, since the live well was a torture chamber for bait. We were all happy to be together but it was not a fun day on the water.
Late Monday, the live well finally died, so we really couldn't fish. Called Brion and he said to drive it to Pineland for repair. We did so and they fixed the live well motor so there was an adequate flow of water. Still no repair to the sloshing and killing the bait........
We thought we would drive to the store since we had paid to drive to the marina for the repair, and we paid $150.00 for fuel in the boat. A lot of fuel because we had to keep the engine running since we didn't know if it would start!
We loaded the boat with groceries, pulled away from the dock, and the engine died for good. Brion came out and tried to start it to no avail. He brought around a small flats boat and loaded our groceries on it and told us to use that boat until the next day.......six of us on a flats boat? Really?
I called and told him I just wanted to cancel the whole agreement. It was ruining our vacation and I was going to rent a new boat from Four Winds Marina the following morning, Tuesday. He said it was going to cost me a lot of money. I said I would bring the flats boat back to him early Tuesday morning, and I wanted my money back. He said he would give me $1100.00 and charge me $1400 for the 2.5 days of boat rental from hell. I had paid in cash, stupidly trusting him, so I really couldn't argue too much.
We got a great rental from Four Winds and got into our vacation.
I did send Brion an email asking him to do the right thing. I offered to pay a reasonable amount for the usage of the boat, but he was unwilling to agree. So we paid $1400 for 2.5 days of renting a horrible boat!! $560.00 per day for a boat that should not be out for rent!
The worst thing though was three of our kids were by the tiki hut on the island ordering food and the server was asking them about vacation. They talked about the nightmare with Brion, and the server said he knew all about it, including my email to Brion. Then, in front of several other people and our children, he made a lewd comment about my breasts!
It was all I could do to keep my husband and sons from visiting Brion the next day as the comments all came from him. I did call him about it and he denied everything, of course.
So if you want to get ripped off by a pervert, rent a boat from Brion Darby at Pineland Marina, Pineland, FL