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Old 12-31-2015, 07:57 PM   #1
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berth width...what would you do

Hi everyone. I have another "what would you do" issue...

Here is the story...

We went away to work in usa prior to christmas. My boat remained in the berth which i own. It is a 25m x 6.5m berth. Our boat is 21mx5.5. We fit easily in our allocated space with room to spare.

While away a large brand new powercat moved in to the berth next to us. We have no barrier between us. The berth is same size as ours with the 6.5m beam space. Their boat is taking up 19m of length which is fine but is using 7.1m of beam space due to dimension of multihulls and also that they are fendered off etc. So they are 60cm or 2 foot too big.

Issue is when our boat is in its berth there is less than 3foot between us. We are in a blow off berth with the typical prevailing wind so no room for error in docking.

So tell me how you would deal with this.

The powercat is brand new made of carbon fibre and a very expensive boat. Nice people etc and Re renting the berth right now...

We will talk to management of the marina about the powercat dimensions and politley request they be moved.

Your approach would be what?

Thanks
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:21 PM   #2
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I think you have the right approach here - reality of it is if you were to bump the cat on your way in one evening you are the only party that is going to have any interest in the argument that he was encroaching on your berth - and that carbon fiber repair is going to superbly expensive.

If I understand the situation correctly you own your slip and the cat is renting - even more reason for the cat to get moved pronto.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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Yes, the fat cat has to move! I would only tolerate it if it were one-off, emergency or overnight AND I did not need to leave and re-enter my berth.

Take a look at the sub-lease for you own berth. I would expect there to be reference to the maximum beam for a vessel in the berth. I think normal is 0.75 m less than the width of the berth lease. Based on your info, max allowable beam for a boat occupying the berth would then be 5.75m.

Assuming 0.3m for fenders then this leads to 0.9m gap between two maximum sized boats in the berths. About the gap you say you now have. Your marina might take this approach, saying the 0.9m you have is acceptable. But I would still not be willing to tolerate it.

In any event, your approach is what I would do: polite, but firm.

Around Brisbane the approach to oversize varies a lot. My home marina (Dockside at Kangaroo Point) is quite flexible. It has only one officially designated cat berth, but always has visiting cats, some fairly long term. They need to encroach onto the adjacent berth. The Manager seeks approval of both berth owners to put a cat in there, and each receives 75% of normal rental. Sometimes a shorter skinny boat can use the remaining space, giving berth owners full return, but not often.

Rivergate Marina was going to allow me to occupy a 15m berth even though I need at least 16m. I was there for a short period, and they always seem to have overlength boats in some berths. Its about occupancy and rent income.....

On the other hand, Raby Bay Marina and I believe the various marinas at Manly and Scarborough/Newport are very strict: you must be at or under the limits, including allowance for fenders and clear space to adjacent boat. Such places usually say 'insurance requirement', which may or may not be the reality. But I think it is the correct approach. I think you have a solid footing given you own your sub-lease, but I would read both it and the Head Lease document as a first step.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:00 PM   #4
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I think you have the right approach, too. It's probably just a matter of time before that three feet of clearance disappears either due to strong winds or an error in maneuvering judgement on somebody's part.

The situation you describe is one reason more and more harbors in our area are including the "footprint" of a boat in the formula for calculating moorage fees, not basing the fee on length alone.

And it's not just the multi-hulls, which are few and far between in this region. A lot of the newer monohull sailboats are getting extremely beamy, some of them to the point that the slips on older docks cannot accommodate one of them and another similar-length boat of "normal" beam safely at the same time.

So rather than lose the income from two boats sharing a slip, harbors have started charging the wider boats more to make up for the lack of a second boat in some of these slips. In some cases a lot more.

So you might want to mention this trend to your harbor authority. Their eyes may light up at the notion of generating more income from the wider boats.....
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
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Reality is you purchased on a certain basis and anything contrary to that is impinging your rights as an owner. I think your approach is right and ultimately, I'd be unbending in this situation. The Marina operator should have verified size initially and not allowed the boat there.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:31 PM   #6
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I know a chap who is very adroit at Australian law. Bruce, you're the man.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies so far. Am glad you see it the same way i do.

Tomorrow i get to return to my berth as i have been away on the boat and hiding from winds. So have to dock tomorrow but the cat will be there when i do. It has been a solid 20kn cross breeze for days now...blowing across my bertb and into the cat. Shall be interesting to see how this goes. Will need some help on the dock...even if i line it up perfectly i am not in position for long. I have a bow thruster but boat is 70ft so will have to manage the engines to keep boat pushed against my dock...

Shall let you know how this all pans out.

Happy NY.

Insequent...i actually saw you leave the river on boxing day i think. I was at rivegate and left boxing day too and went to straddie then back home before the week of 30kn southerlies. Where did you hide?
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:12 PM   #8
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Bo
I left late on 25th, so the boat you saw on Boxing Day was not me. I was at Sandhills at southern end of Moreton Island. Its good for winds that do not have any westerly component. But I left earlier than originally planned and was halfway down the river towards home before the storm front arrived a few days later. Seebreeze.com.au is your friend. When I saw a week of over 20kn wind forecast I was outa there! I do not like anchoring out when sustained strong winds are about, some waves always refract around islands and still rock the boat too much for a comfortable sleep.
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:13 PM   #9
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Bogans, I totally agree with what most above said.. Like you, I own my berth, and also have a blow off berth with regard to prevailing wind. The other boat is a bit smaller than mine, so we have about 10 feet between us, and when we are returning on a windy day we are glad of that clearance. Yours is nearly twice the size of our boat, with way more windage, so even with bow thruster, etc, (which we don't have), I can imagine coming in hot, & with wind is 'interesting' in any case, so with only 3 feet of clearance from the other boat, it is just not reasonable.

Most marinas have over width berths for cats, often at the approach gangway end where they leave a wider clearance to the back, or at the outer end. Surely management can come up with a better solution than a recipe for damage - not to your boat, hopefully.

Evil thought... as his is new...dropping the concern to the owner of the cat re potential damage coming back in will probably have him banging at the admin door for a better berth asap, and save you more bother..? He'll then be the agitator...
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:23 PM   #10
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IIRC Bruce was in a situation not long ago where he was moved to a berth with very little gap between boats. He moved Marinas.

Seeing I'm chilling on the boat on a quiet day I did a little digging. Basically its a can of worms. I own my berth (sub-lease) and it says:
" The Sub-Lessee shall not attempt to secure a vessel larger than that recommended under AS3962 “Guidelines for Marina Design”.
The next clause basically states that an oversize boat owner is responsible for any damage, arguably whoever caused it. But a long legal fight there no doubt.

So I found a copy of the Standard mentioned above. It says that for berths over 20m the 0.75m difference between boat beam and berth width should apply, but under 20m this reduces to 0.5m. The Standard also says that for a double berth of 25m length (Bohans owns half a 25m double berth) the double berth width should be 14.5m, whereas his is only 13m. The Standard would allow 2 x 6.5m beam vessels in a 25m berth of their recommended width. So Bo, your marina was not constructed in accordance with the Standard. Which is ok I guess - its just guidelines afterall.

The Head Lease my marina has with the Queensland government gives different numbers again. Not sure whether the government standardised their marina lease of not, but Bo's marina very likely has the same provisions. The Head lease for my 18 x 6 m berth, which has an adjoining berth the same size, would allow a boat beam of 5.75m for each boat in a double berth. That is not practical. Under the Standard boat beam should be no more than 5.5m in my case. The Head Lease then goes on to say the Marina manager can vary allowable dimensions at their discretion.

Its unfortunate that the situation is not clear cut, and that this discretion is allowed. Fortunately, it appears that my marina recognizes the issue of boat (mostly ferry) wakes in the river and policy is to limit boat beam to 5.25m for berths my size despite the 'rules' and guidelines that exist.

It is conceivable that Bo's marina has the same provisions as apply to me, and thus has authority to put the fat cat next to him. But he might be entitled to some rent for the part of his berth the fat cat is using? We are back to the polite conversation approach again.
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:44 PM   #11
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Hi Brian.

It was you I saw. Yes the 25th it waz. Got my days mixed up. We headed back from straddie to mooloolaba and arrived before the wind set in too. But our berth is being used now as we said we would not be back so a nice home owner allowed us to tie up on his berth at his huge house. Big relief.

Thanks for info on the berths. My lease is at my office so will check it out. The plan says 25m long and 6.5m wide.

Peter. I agree if i just bought a 4mil boat made from duflex and carbon i would not want a big grp boat weighing 55 ton docking close to me either...but i will do my best and not damage him but we will have all fenders out on his side. A 100ft horizin docked there recently and it was not an issue regarding beam. Shows how wide the cats are.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:21 PM   #12
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Can't give advice, it seems that you have a much more comfortable standard in the US with regard to berth space than we have in the EU. Here it is quite normal that they are very tight. It is very common that you are not able to enter your own berth with fenders outside i.e. you have to rely on the fenders of your neighbor during berthing, you can just kick them out if you are already inside when the vessel is not moving any more.

Nevertheless I would try to convince the harbor master (right word? We say Hafenmeister in German or Havnefoged i Dansk) that the oversized neighbor should move to another berth ...

Happy New Year!


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Old 12-31-2015, 11:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insequent View Post
It is conceivable that Bo's marina has the same provisions as apply to me, and thus has authority to put the fat cat next to him. But he might be entitled to some rent for the part of his berth the fat cat is using? We are back to the polite conversation approach again.
Or maybe the suggestion I made at the end of my post above..?

And thanks again for that warning to check Seabreeze, Brian. We changed plans and entertained our friends at home. Much nicer, especially as it was quite windy, even at home, 20ks inland, so it would have been really honking out on the Bay.
Certainly not the weather to be docking in with minimal clearances like Bohans has been left with. Benn's moored up there at Mooloolaba isn't he? Be might come on with some advice based on personal knowledge of the place...
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohans View Post
But our berth is being used now as we said we would not be back so a nice home owner allowed us to tie up on his berth at his huge house. Big relief.

Peter. I agree if i just bought a 4mil boat made from duflex and carbon i would not want a big grp boat weighing 55 ton docking close to me either...but i will do my best and not damage him but we will have all fenders out on his side. A 100ft horizin docked there recently and it was not an issue regarding beam. Shows how wide the cats are.
They let out your berth to a visitor, when you own it..? What sort of an outfit is it? I would be spittin' chips if I came home a bit early because of weather cracking up, only to find my berth occupied..! What if you hadn't known a friendly canal side home owner with a vacant berth..?

Anyway, that aside, it still can't hurt to drop the concern re possible 'unavoidable' damage in inclement weather, just in polite conversation, like...
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:50 AM   #15
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berth width...what would you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by waddenkruiser View Post
seems that you have a much more comfortable standard in the US with regard to berth space
obviously I had a beer too much on yesterday's New Years party - didn't realize that you were discussing about marinas in Australia, not in the US
Sorry!



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Old 01-01-2016, 06:03 AM   #16
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berth width...what would you do

It might be that the written EU standards / regulations with regard to marina berth space are looking similar to yours, although reality differs.
If so there is a chance that berthing life in the EU would improve in near future


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Old 01-01-2016, 09:29 AM   #17
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If you can reach the marina by phone before your return, tell them your concerns, and that at the very least have the cat fendered up extensively, even if they have to borrow some. Try to have them get an experienced person on the dock waiting for you so you can get a long spring line to them as you enter the slip that they can belay and pay out as you go in. Assuming you are going bow in, then with the helm turned away from the dock you will tend to stay to your side as you enter. I faced this issue more than a few times, with a wide and high windage boat, and being a not particularly adept manueverer.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:32 PM   #18
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Never did like double berths.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:11 AM   #19
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I would contact the renters and offer to rent the extra space they require for $1,000 a month , or you will put a lien on the boat or have it hauled for trespass.

They will quickly contact the renter in a dither.

Stir the pot a bit, a squeaky wheel gets noticed.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Never did like double berths.
Nor do I. It was a rude awakening coming to FL after years of being spoiled in CA with full length fingers on both sides. Then you get the marinas here that are not only double berths, but the one finger you do get is ridiculously short and narrow. This is what is making me avoid Harbortown in Merritt Island. We love everything about the place except the docks.

We've not even bought a boat yet, and I'm already having nightmares about docking

To the OP: An advance call to the marina management should (in a perfect world) get some action. Please keep us posted on what transpires.
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