Jan 25, 2021
Who got it right: Shakespeare or Barney?
On borrowing from and lending to sailors
POSTED BY Alan Jacobson
Beneteau 40CC “Imagine II”
Shakespeare said: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Barney says: “Sharing is caring.” But Shakespeare didn’t live on a boat. If he did he’d know that no boat has room for everything you’ll ever need. This marks the only instance in which an upholstered dinosaur was wiser than the Bard of Avon. Because some times you gotta borrow; some times you should share. Case in point: Two days before Hurricane Isaias arrived, my car went kaput. But I still needed to get to my storage unit – which was miles away – to offload some stuff that was vulnerable and to provision the boat just in case Isaias made provisioning impossible after the blow. So my friend Nelson loaned me his car to run my errands. When I jumped in, I made a point to look at the gas gauge – I planned to return his car with as much gas, if not more. Because a borrower should always returns what he or she borrows in the same condition, if not better. Years before and many named storms ago, a boat owner asked me whether I could spare a 1/2-inch dock line to secure his boat. I didn’t have 1/2 inch, so I loaned him a coil of 5/8 and asked him to return it after the storm. But a week after the storm, he still hadn’t returned my dock line. So the next time I saw him, I asked him about it and he said he would return it. Hours later, he returned with a tangled 25-foot dock line. I didn’t make an issue of it, but I had loaned him a coiled dock line and he return a tangled mess. Will I continue to loan things to other sailors? Probably. Will I loan something to this particular sailor? Probably not. Because a borrower should always return what he or she borrows in the same condition, if not better. Barney didn’t say that, but I bet he would.
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