Already in 2009, Monte Friesner was so "fed up and tired of all of this bullshit" with the Panama Sailing School that he announced he was going to sell it. This was his response to an email to him from then-captain Miguel Botero, forwarding complaints from clients about a leaking blackwater holding tank and other maintenance issues. Writes Botero:
As a member and part of Panama Sailing School it is my responsibility and obligation to inform you about several things regarding our current costumers.
First of all it is important to keep the captains informed about what is included and basically what services we will be offering to clients; that way we won't give a bad image of Panama SAiling School, for not being able to answer specific questions regarding the extra services offered besides the course; theres no better marketing than a satisfied costumer that goes back gome and talks beautys about their experience here.
Before you keep reading this email I want to clarify that the costumers are not mad or anything; they are just unhappy on how things were offered to them but didn't happened as it was stipulated, so far they have been extremely satisfied with the professionalism and quality of the course and they still want to take the whole package.
These were the complains they were telling me, again this all happened in a friendly and positive way, and basically they were giving PSS recomendations for the future.
They are staying in a boat that has a terrible odor coming from the bathroom leaking holding tank water (the one I have been cleaning twice a day, in the morning before and after every day of class).
The only flashlight on the boat is not working; I already gave them one from my house that works. This was reported in my previous maintenance list.
Today during the class they asked me who is going to be our navigator for the ASA104. I answered that we will decide that after the last day (ASA103), before going to Contadora, depending on how well they are sailing, and then we would see if we need one. they told me that they were charged for one navigator, so they want to have one on board.
About the foods no one knows how are we going to deal with it... they said they were given two options, one was that PSS would include all the foods, and the other one was that they will be transported with the captain to do the groceries. who is going to pay that transport? I don't have a car... Also who will pay for their food as well as the Captain and deckhand´s food?
Solutions that me as a Captain can bring to some of this problem are:
About the odor, keep cleaning it everyday until we solve the problem, hopefully as soon as possible becasue im using chlorine to clean the bilge water which is really bad for fiber glass as well as the pipe system of the head.
About navigator we have two options, we can either bring Samuel Botero or we have the option of Shirley Alvarado, specially since we are going to start offering course for females it could be a good opportunity to get her more involved in PSS.
About the food, if PSS is going to inlcude food then we should have the system we have been using in previous ASA104, have the $80 dollar budget, or if they want have the other option, of them paying the food then at least have a $40 dollar budget for Captain and Navigator.
Let me know what do you think about this, ill call you tomorrow as soon as I finish Filling up the water tanks of French Kiss, right before buying the groceries.
Ok Monte have a good night, talk to you tomorrow
To anyone reading this, it would seem that management - Friesner - is dropping the ball, and that with some organization and clear thinking most problems could be solved overnight. But to Friesner it is all just "bullshit", as per his response:
I am going to sell Panama Sailing School. I am fed up and tired of all of this bullshit with each Class.
Stop the further class with these people today and I will give them a full refund.
I am cancelling all further classes and charters.
The reply of a deranged person indeed. But remember that Friesner was never in the business of a sailing school to actually run a sailing school, but to pose as a yachtsman in the local business and finance community. With a leaking sewage tank, that might however not work so well.
The Panama Sailing School is no longer something he can sell, by the way. It's an empty shell, with neither offices nor a boat.