Live Your Dream. Sail around the world.

Topless & Scammed

How do I begin? It’s been a tough week. Really tough. I will not mince words; We’ve been scammed. Scammed for many of thousands of dollars. We feel humbled. Defeated. Everything is so clear when you look back. Our mistakes are so obvious. We trusted. We took someones word. We believed in the good of a human. We’ve paid for our mistake. We’ve bought a small car except it was never delivered.

Before we left Deltaville Virginia, we had hired a reputable local company to build us a hard top. Our previous top was cloth and had worn out. We met multiple times. We discussed in detail the new design. There were many details. Maximum height due to the boom. The fact we needed to walk on it. Rain catchment. Slope. Angle. Cutouts. Angles of ropes running into the cockpit. We were assured everything would be perfect. The best of the best. The finest quality. We were told that we would be sent drawings and pictures as the top progressed. Little did we know the fleece was being pulled over our eyes. Our ears were being filled with exactly what we wanted to hear. Lies

Fast forward a few months. We arrive back in Deltaville and find the fibreglass top mounted to our boat. Great! Wasn’t the prettiest thing but it was done. It needed some modifications but Ernie was amiable to having them fixed. Then things started to unravel. The centre of the fibreglass became a sponge – Water had penetrated the fibreglass top. We found several cracked welds. We found burn marks in our deck from them welding on the boat. The nightmare had begun.

Fast forward again. Many arguments. Stress. Worry. A yelling match that ended with a crane coming in to remove this faulty top & frame off our boat.

We have now walked away from our deposit. $7,500 gone. Poof! We’re reeling. But in the end this construction was not fit for the high seas. Cracked welds, spongy fibreglass is not something we will risk having come down on our heads while on an offshore passage. Our timeline to leave is likely shot. We will probably miss the Salty Dawg Rally to the British Virgin Islands. We’re gutted.

I was talking to a friend yesterday and mentioned our scenario and the consequences to our timeline. I explained that we may not be able to do a direct passage and instead (have to) pick our way down thru the Intracoastal waterway into Florida. Across to the Bahamas.  Down thru the Exuma island chain. Quick stop at Turks and Caicos and finally to the Virgin Islands. Now if you look at it that way, our life is pretty awesome! This too will pass.












David linton
December 26, 2018

Sail on True Blue!! you remind me of any Australian never say die attitude …. we call it true blue.
both of you sail on turn this around.


October 22, 2015

Hi Ben,
Fellow blog reader just pointed me to your blog and I put 2 and 2 together. So sorry to hear what happened. Looking at the pictures, the delamination now makes perfect sense. Water penetration into the core is never good. Seems like many corners were cut in the build, so it is probably best that you got rid of it/them.

Wish there was something I could say or do…but just remember this indeed will pass and karma will catch up with them…while you are sipping fruity drinks in some pristine tropical location.

Take care and good luck with your trip. If you find yourself near Mobjack bay in the next couple weeks, stop by and say hi. We are rushing to get our project done so we can head south before it gets any colder.



Paul C
October 9, 2015

“What, noooooooo!!” is what came out of my mouth after reading the first paragraph. Sorry guys, but smart move cutting your losses. Still many good days ahead of you both, and those scammers will get what’s coming to them.


October 9, 2015

Oh my. I hated reading this and am so sorry to hear this happened. Gutted is right. Sending so much positivity towards your departure. xoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxox


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