In the world of American business it is usually thought that competition improves service, with todays economic situation competition is eroding and it is survival of the fittest.
From the Northwest maritime world comes news from the San Juan Islands, in particular Friday Harbor, WA where for those of you who do not know it, the SSCS cult leader 'Wats-his-name' has a home. No this Post is not about him - you do need some relief - it is about a takeover, merger, purchase, whatever, of two local assistance towing companies. The skippers of one used to work for the other and had a falling out, change-of-heart not really any business of NAUTICAL LOG but having lived in a small fishing village we know everybody knows every other body's business. Such news travels and all the way to South Florida the boating world being surprisingly small.
Now it seems in the coming season the operators of TOWLINE, the breakaway company, have joined with the Vessel Assist franchise organisation. This means the breakaway skippers will be back working for Vessel Assist Towline (VAT?) which will be - themselves. Ah! village politics.
In the past NAUTICAL LOG has been critical of the TOWLINE choice of vessels and some of its seamanship but local methods differ and what looks weird in one area works fine in another. The real test in this coming season will be since there is now no competition in Friday Harbor, WA whether the merger will mean better service for the boater which after all is the required end result - or should be. So NAUTICAL LOG will be interested because in the past there have always been glowing reports of each assistance incident - with the new bosses will that be allowed to continue, without competition we wonder.