When Island Dreams become Nightmares …

Back in April this year Bob and I finally returned to Daisy in Grenada. Due to a serious escalation of Bob’s heart problem, we had been unable to return to Daisy as planned in October, instead we found ourselves frantically researching heart surgeons, and making plans for surgery and recovery.

Our (planned) few weeks back in the States turned into almost six months away. Understanding that arrangements were needed for Daisy’s care, she couldn’t be left in the marina unoccupied for more than a month or so. Bob contacted “Island Dreams” a yacht management company, we had, had bad experiences in the past with this company, but we were between a rock and a hard place, there is no other yacht management company in Grenada that we could find, so it was Island dreams or no one, no one would in hindsight have been preferable…

Bob had several telephone conversations and emails with the company owner Mark Sutton with regard to his requirements for Daisy’s move from the marina and out onto the hard. We had assumed (our fault) that Daisy would be taken to Spice Island Marina and put on the hard there. We were surprised (and saddened) upon our return 5 1/2 months later to find that Daisy had been taken to Grenada Marina, somewhere that for personal reasons we would never choose.

There she stood out on the hard with all her fenders still hanging on the sides, fender covers rotted and falling apart from being left out in the sun. All the lines were thrown around on the decks, just left there staining the decks and rotting in the sun. Possibly the worse discovery was that the back stay had been disconnected from the mast, the mast was left unsupported, with one of the deck lines flimsy tied from the backstay to the lifelines and swinging to and fro rubbing a hole in our new (expensive) bimini. The satellite cable had been ripped out and thrown aside.
The covers on the instruments had been left thrown under the dodger, and left there to fry in the sun, one $700 instrument is now all but useless as its been totally fried. According to Mr Sutton, they didn’t remove the instrument covers, the people who work for him know the waters so well they don’t need instruments when they move boats; this sets my alarm bells ringing loudly, that anyone could consider themselves so clever they don’t need to use instruments, fine with your own property if you want to take those risks, but Daisy was not their property she is a two million dollar boat belonging to one of their clients.
It remains a mystery as to who removed the covers?

Inside the boat we had yet more shocking surprises, the curtains had been opened and left open allowing the interior of the boat to heat up to an extent where all our framed art work and pictures (that have hung in the boat for the last 8 years) had fallen from the walls and smashed, there was broken glass everywhere. We always leave one of the portholes open to allow the heat somewhere to escape, according to Mr Sutton they never leave any windows open, he implied that it was quite stupid to do so.

The speed instrument in the hull that should always be removed when a boat is hauled, was left in place, this is usually removed as it’s where the straps that lift a boat sit, and would be damaged if left in place, anyone who knows anything about boats knowns this, and yes ours was damaged.

The worst thing for me was the fridge; again a professional organization would know to leave open fridge and freezer doors when a boat is empty and out on the hard. Despite several emails and phone calls to Mr Sutton requesting that our fridge be emptied and turned off, this was obviously ignored, we did receive an email thanking us for our “comprehensive list of jobs” and assuring us that all would be taken care of.


When I opened my fridge door I was greeted with a petre dish of bacteria, living insects and God only knows what else swimming in a pool of green acrid smelling liquid, I’m sure you can imagine what a fridge full of food left in 100 degree + heat for 5 months would look like. All the fridge shelves had rusted with the coating on the shelves peeling off rendering them totally useless.

There was so much wrong on the boat, I could only imagine it had been a deliberate act of sabotage, because I just couldn’t believe that any organization, no matter how inept or inefficient would be that delinquent. According to Mr Sutton it was simply a matter of “a breakdown in communication” and he was very sorry.
In an effort to make things right:
Our lines were taken and power washed, the satellite cable reconnected, the fridge cleaned although they couldn’t do anything about my damaged shelves, all monies paid were refunded, obviously a way to absolve Island Dreams of any further responsibility.

It was unfortunate that due to a serious health issue we had been unable to return to our boat Daisy as we had planned, but these things happen, and that’s why we need to rely upon “professional yacht management companies”.

Our boat had been taken to a marina as we had requested, the wrong marina, but that was simply a misunderstanding, but it was dumped there and then ignored, our requests for her care ignored. The cost to us (due to their “miscommunication”) was huge, in both time and money; the cost to Island Dreams, will be that I will tell everyone about our experience with them.

Although since this has happened I’ve spoken to so many other yachtsmen that have horror stories of their own about their experiences with Island Dreams, its actually a challenge to find anyone who has anything good to say about them. I would suggest that they rename their company “Island Nightmares”.