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Scenario....
I am always taking friends out fishing in my boat, which we trailer to the ramp with my truck.

When we arrive at ramp, I always back boat down to water, put truck in park, I get in boat and 1 of the friends parks truck. Each time, either they offer or I ask if they are comfortable parking trailer.

When we return from fishing, typically same guy who parked trailer, will get dropped off at dock, and then back trailer down ramp for me to drive boat up on ramp (he also knows where its parked). He then pulls me out of water. At this point, 1 of us would drive my truck back home.

This scenario plays out 9 out of 10 times I take people fishing. Unless I have zero trust in person to back up trailer or they know they can't do it.

Issue
Yesterday, buddy who goes to retrieve truck parked it a little tight and jack-knifes it to get it out of parking place, placing large dent in my tailgate.

Question:
Who's responsible for paying to get tailgate fixed (it's only a year old, new Dodge Ram...nice truck)? This is the first time this has ever happened (that I know of) in my 20 years of taking people fishing.

He immediately offered to pay, and felt very bad about it. I get it, I've been on both sides of this, so I was cool about it....stuff happens. He has parked/retrieved trailer in 4 or 5 other fishing trips with me. More I thought about it, I did allow him to get truck....but when he's using it, he's responsible for it....Right?

Thoughts?

and thanks
 

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He is responsible.

A couple years ago, we were visiting and staying with my wife's sister in Yorktown Va. We were going to Virginia Beach and she backed down her driveway into my wife's 1 year old car. We all felt bad but she screwed up and she paid. Over $1,000 in damage.
 
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Man is he a good friend? If so file a claim with your insurance. If not then accept his offer to pay. Next leave your boat with your guest and you park the trailer. My 2 cents
 

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Thats why you have insurance. Insurance stays with truck no matter who is driving.

And thats why you drive your own truck
 

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Thats why you have insurance. Insurance stays with truck no matter who is driving.

And thats why you drive your own truck
Who covers the deductible? Mines $1000
 
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If he was driving it his insurance will pay to fix it or should. I had a REALLY bad experience myself this year because I did the same thing with some people. I tore up my boat though. He offered to pay for repairs too. No more letting ANYBODY back up my rig other than my son.
 

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the Susan Lucci of OGF
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show us a photo? I did about the same thing to a friends truck a long time ago, except I made a dent in the lower fender right behind the rear tire, it was a fairly new chevy. I offered to pay, he said no and it was still there when he traded it in. battle scars are what we call them.

if that's not an option, I agree with misdirection, just split the cost its not worth losing a buddy over.
 

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If it was me and similar things have happened I’ve just let it go you either trust them or do it yourself
This ^ I agree with Magic Marker. when you take someone and trust them responsibility is yours. If they are in or on your property the law looks to you. I do just like you and I always ask if they are good to back it in, if I let them do it it's on me. I rarely have anyone else do the launching or trailer backing. The guest usually are left holding the dock rope. I have one buddy I let launch me as I sit in boat, but everyone else is a guest and have no responsibility. Ethically and as a friend he was right to offer and my opinion is let him help pay the deductible for whatever he can afford. This is where friendships often part, so weigh the value of your friendship I smashed my tailgate with my boat trailer a couple years ago and it cost me $1600.00 for a new one painted and installed. I only had a 500 dollar deductible.
 

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Username checks out.... tough spot to be in. Do these friends that fish with you ever offer to help out in other ways like paying for boat/truck fuel, bait, offer to buy dinner etc? If not splitting it wouldn’t be a bad suggestion.
 

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Pretty fussy about my boat and trailer. I do the backing and retrieving to not put my guests in that position. Bumpers on the side of the boat keep them from worrying about nicking up the sides of the boat while they hold it. After a few years of awkward situations about gas money, I don’t ask or accept it either. Figured I’m going anyway that’s why they are my guest. A lot less hassle in the end.
 

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Bud n Burgers
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I'm really not in the "no one drives my stuff but me" crowd and with that said, because I'm cool with someone driving my launch and load vehicle, I would accept nothing from them in a similar situation. I get all the other points but if it were me, I would just take care of it. Hope it works out amicably between you and your Bud, not much worse than a friendship going south over money.
 

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I rarely let anyone else back my boat in, the only exception is a buddy with his own boat.
You gave your friend permission to back the trailer, it's on you.
 
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