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Old 04-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #101
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A maritime attorney is fully capable of filing a breach of contract suit. They do it all the time. That's where you're misunderstanding maritime attorney's. They don't only deal with maritime laws. They deal with all things boating related. The vast majority of their cases have nothing to do with maritime law. They are contract law but in the boating industry. Some are even labor law with owner and crew disputes. But they are industry specific. Look at the practices of some maritime attorneys and you'll see the breadth of what they deal with. But a key element of this case is what the reasonable expectations under the contract were based on industry standards and whether the defendant breached or failed to fulfill that contract and also whether he was negligent in the performance of his duties under the contract. Any lawyer not familiar with boating, captains, deliveries, navigation would be less than ideal in trying to address the issues.

There may be some maritime attorney's who only deal with maritime law, but that is not the way mine are nor the way most in the Fort Lauderdale area are. And the majority of litigation they handle is simple contract with builders, shipyards, repairmen or other service providers such as delivery captains and freight companies and owners as well as insurers. In fact one large area is owners collecting from insurers post accident.

Again, based on my own knowledge as well as asking my primary attorney, if I had this situation I would consult with my maritime attorney. I'm not dealing in total hypothetical but in attorneys I do work with and have on retainer. However, ultimately this is not something I would likely pursue based on the dollar amounts involved.

We are both saying the same thing just using different words.

As I stated any attorney that would be handling a case like this would have to understand contract law. If he or she is also a maritime Attorney it does not hurt.

The way I met my wife was over a Contract dispute with Caterpillar over damage done to my vessel when their Techs installed the new power plants as well as some issues over the power plants. In the end by time my wife was done with Cat's Attorneys in the settlement hearing they were crying and waving her off just to settle the whole deal.

Yeah, I am stuck with her now! No divorce court for me I would lose me A**.

Happy Cruising

H. Foster
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:16 PM   #102
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Now we've got the internet lawyers involved.

Seeking legal advice on the Internet is a bad idea. And remember the legal advice you get here is worth exactly what you paid for it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:03 PM   #103
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Now we've got the internet lawyers involved.

Seeking legal advice on the Internet is a bad idea. And remember the legal advice you get here is worth exactly what you paid for it.
We are all about internet advice on TF. Possibly with as much legal BS time as BB and HF, I found little to fault in their thoughts. The OP has been given several courses of action, it is up to him whether to proceed.

My guess is this Capt has skated on non performance issues before and will do it again. As a very smart person said, there are just as many below average as above average Capts. I'll take it a step further and say the Bell Curve predicts 5% of the Capts don't have both oars in the water and the one wet ore is sculling backwards.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:56 PM   #104
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OK I was just following along and minding my business but now that the PHD's are on board I need to say something about the delivery business. I am a full time professional mariner with 40 years at sea, now retired. I do deliveries and on board training as one of my retirement hats. People make mistakes, no doubt the boat owner has made a few. no doubt so has the hired captain. The navigational confusion at the site of the grounding seems considerable. ( If there was doubt why did the owner chose to go below?) Can the OP prove the running gear was not damaged before the grounding? If every delivery captain needs to hire a maritime attorney to write his contracts and carry a few million dollars insurance then be prepared to pay a grand or so a day or do your own deliveries into unknown territory with your rudimentary skill set. Trained Captains with experience go into unfamiliar areas all the time, that's their job. the first time I took a 225 ft. supply boat to Bombay I hadn't been there before but it was right where the charts and pubs said it would be. Normally insurance for a relocation trip is paid for by the boat owner. Lower deductible, captains credentials approved by the insurer a rider for the route and weather etc. Was this discussed beforehand? Bill 1600T Ocean Master
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:23 PM   #105
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Once again, thanks for all the advice. As I stated before, I am not planning on pursuing action against the capt. as it is just not worth it for the $ involved and its time to move on and enjoy the boat and learn from the experience.

The main thing that rubs me the wrong way on this whole deal is that I paid the Capt. a significant sum of money to do the delivery since I was a new boat owner without what I thought was enough experience. He put us aground because he did not do any route planning. You can blame me for hiring him, not doing the route planning myself, not carrying low insurance limits, etc. This was not discussed and my contract with him did not state these as requirements and his contract implied that he was responsible unless mechanical or weather related. However, if that is how professional captains operate, which I doubt it is for most, I am not impressed.

The other thing that bothers me is that if he would have agreed to split the cost of the repair with me he would still have netted a nice paycheck for the trip. But he will not respond to calls or emails since I got the total for the repairs.

So you can close the books on this one. He is going to skate by on this one other than any ramifications he may face from not having filed an accident report since I have filed one as the owner to fulfil the requirement.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:27 PM   #106
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But he will not respond to calls or emails since I got the total for the repairs.
Remember all of that when it comes time to write a review about the experience. No one else should have to be ignored like that for any reason. There are too many great delivery captains to choose from.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:16 PM   #107
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Unfortunately, in every profession there are people who do bad jobs and get by with it. We just have to be careful not to attribute the actions or performance of a few to the entire group. I hate the task of finding anyone new to do anything. Can't avoid losses completely with service, just try to minimize it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:19 PM   #108
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The guy made a mistake. One mistake. It's hard to find someone who has never made a mistake and will never make one.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:29 PM   #109
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That section of the ICW has always been and will probably continue to be one of those spots that require extreme caution. The entire bay has only one main opening-the ship channel and shoaling has always been evident along with dredged spoil areas. Actually a dredge blew up there once hitting some un (until he hit it) exploded ordnance abandoned by the navy years ago.
I would have questioned going through Colorado River locks on one engine in the 25mph wind conditions. Then I would question whether your depth sounder was working properly. Usually whether I think that I am in the right channel or not if it shows less than a foot or two under me, I tend to slow or stop. If I am in doubt, follow a towboat. At any rate I would consider your damage to be done by too much speed for conditions as are most. An "experienced" capt. should have used all tools including the depth finder.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:38 PM   #110
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Once again, thanks for all the advice. As I stated before, I am not planning on pursuing action against the capt. as it is just not worth it for the $ involved and its time to move on and enjoy the boat and learn from the experience.

The main thing that rubs me the wrong way on this whole deal is that I paid the Capt. a significant sum of money to do the delivery since I was a new boat owner without what I thought was enough experience.
If you don't mind me asking...what was the contact amount...per day, extras, etc...why is it "significant compared to what you may pay a lawyer for 1/2 as many hours?????

He put us aground because he did not do any route planning.
What do you consider route planning??? If the trip was along the ICW...how much planning is really required???? First day out if you have to pull in and make a repair...the whole rest of the trip is "off schedule and tides and weather...etc..etc...

You can blame me for hiring him, not doing the route planning myself, not carrying low insurance limits, etc. This was not discussed and my contract with him did not state these as requirements and his contract implied that he was responsible unless mechanical or weather related. However, if that is how professional captains operate, which I doubt it is for most, I am not impressed.

Be careful...the best captains may NOT be the ones full of legaleze and paperwork and contract standards...why?...because they have never really needed all that to protect themselves for minor stuff...but now that everyone wants their head on a plate...it's becoming time...it's one of the main reasons I don't do deliveries that much and rarely move anyone's boat unless they are a very close friend.

The other thing that bothers me is that if he would have agreed to split the cost of the repair with me he would still have netted a nice paycheck for the trip. But he will not respond to calls or emails since I got the total for the repairs.

Again...what did you pay him???? What you consider a good paycheck often for many good captains is not all that good when you look at a years pay doing the job...and if you WANT extraordinarily professional captains...yes it has to be a full time job and commensurate pay.

So you can close the books on this one. He is going to skate by on this one other than any ramifications he may face from not having filed an accident report since I have filed one as the owner to fulfil the requirement.

He's not required to file anything...you are if you consider the "accident" costing more than $2000 in damages.
I cant side with either person because there's a lot of info I just don't have but neither does anyone else here but you.

Deliveries with owners aboard are sometimes the worst jobs to take. When I had owners aboard..I refused to be considered the captain...I was "the navigator advisor"...it spelled out that I was just there to be asked questions related to getting some place safely. I did it that way just for the very reason that life ain't perfect and getting sued for something negligent is one thing...but getting sued when there's a lot more to the story ain't gonna happen to me if I can avoid it.
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