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Old 03-22-2017, 07:59 PM   #1
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Boat Owner or Yacht Club at fault?

So we took ASD to a local yacht club for their annual St. Patty's day celebration. Water is high on the Columbia, heavy current and lots of trash in the river.

We parked outside the club house as we do every year, except I was sided tided. No big deal, as I always have moored here and folks have side tied to me.

So the yacht club has a dock master. A 40 Tolly Craft tied up directing ahead of me to the end dock. He told the dock master he wanted to temporarily park there until his friends arrived and then he would move. In the mean time a 60ft Hatteras arrived and the Tolly didn't want to move, so the dock mater had him side tie to the Tolly.

The next morning, Saturday, I and the owner of the boat I was side tied to, approached the yacht club's dock master and voiced our opinion that we did not like having the 60 footer tied to the 40 footer directly in front of us. Dock master told us we would be OK and not to worry about it.

That night as the party is going on, the live band playing, I am outside and as I am looking toward the river, I can't believe my eyes! The Hatteras is leaving! Then my stomach fell into my big toe, as I see the Tolly craft still tied to the Hatteras. The current caught the bow of the 60 footer and the forward third slams into my bow pulpit! The crunching sound was bad. I am running down the dock hitting the windows as I am running down the dock. I jump on the first boat and then my boat. My anchor was lodged into his side, then move up, snaps a railing stantion on the Hat while my railing is sitting on his bow. Man I was pissed!!!!

So damage wise it isn't so bad as it appears. He broke a piece of Teflon wrapped around the pulpit and some gel-coat damage. Popped 3 screws on my railing. Busted my flag pole with the Canadian Ensign with a cover. I am having the boat hauled out on Friday, where I plan to lower the anchor and take all the weight off and then see if there is any further damage.

If there is significant damage to my bow pulpit, I plan to hold the yacht club responsible. Thoughts?
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:08 PM   #2
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Not sure the yacht club was at fault as they didn't do anything I haven't seen before or would recommend....

That said, why was the 60 footer still tied to anything when departing?.....sounds like the error was there....but I don't have enough details....
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:11 PM   #3
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Call your insurance people and let them handle it. That is, if you have coverage. If you don't want to file a claim, I'd talk to the owners of the boat that hit you. No use causing a disturbance with the dock master/yacht club. Hopefully, it can be remedied thru the boat owner/insurance.
Dockmasters have long memories.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:15 PM   #4
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Looks like the 60 did a mistake. The guy decide to depart and hit you, don't see the yacht club fault here.
On your picture, 3rd one, there is a black line is it a split in your bow pulpit?

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Old 03-22-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Yes I have insurance. The Tolly was tied to the cleats on the dock and the cleats let go. The reason I am thinking the club is responsible because, even after we voiced an alert, the club refused to tell the Tolly to move. Too much strain on the cleats....
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Not sure the yacht club was at fault as they didn't do anything I haven't seen before or would recommend....

That said, why was the 60 footer still tied to anything when departing?.....sounds like the error was there....but I don't have enough details....
I think the 60 footer "departed" because the 40 footer's lines broke from the strain of the two boats. At least that's how I'm understanding it.

I think I would call my insurance company and let them sort it out. They can go after whoever they want.

That said, each skipper, and nobody else, is responsible for their boat. The Hat broke free, and that's it's skipper's responsibility. That boat came down on you and did damage. Why it broke free isn't your worry. So I would only focus on the boat that hit you..

He tied up to the 40 footer and relied on it to hold, so he might try to go after the 40 footer, but heck, he decided/accepted tying to it. and probably shouldn't have.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:22 PM   #7
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Tom: "The Hatteras is leaving! Then my stomach fell into my big toe, as I see the Tolly craft still tied to the Hatteras. The current caught the bow of the 60 footer and the forward third slams into my bow pulpit! "

My interpretation of the quote is that neither boat was leaving intentionally, but the current/wind/debris had been too much for the Tolly's moorings.

As a guest at the YC marina, you very likely have assumed liability for all risks. Unless you can show gross negligence on the part of a YC employee - impossible - this is between you and the negligent Hatt, having failed to stay where he was, and the negligent Tolly, having failed to stay put.

My own first reaction would be to talk with the other 2 boaters, see if either will step up, then fix it myself. If either steps up, send them your invoices. If not, be sure to tie as far from them as possible in the future.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:25 PM   #8
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hmmm.... is this going to devolve into which type of anchor would have done more damage to the Hatteras ??
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:29 PM   #9
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Oooops...didn't read between the lines...if the cleats pulled out, then yes the marina could have some liability if the Hatteras was not doing anything but sitting.

I go with notify your insurance company and let them handle it.

Chances are they would get involved somehow....and would like to know anyway.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
Yes I have insurance. The Tolly was tied to the cleats on the dock and the cleats let go. The reason I am thinking the club is responsible because, even after we voiced an alert, the club refused to tell the Tolly to move. Too much strain on the cleats....
I think that's between the Tolly owner and the yacht club.

What you have is a classic chain of events. I agree that the club is part of the chain, but all you need to worry about it your link, and that's the Hat that hit you. The Hat's grip will be with some combination of the Tolly owner and the club. And the club and Tolly owner will probably point fingers at each other.

But when you look at it considering that each skipper is responsible for his boat, you could say the Hat owner made a mistake by agreeing to tie to the 40 footer, and that the 40 footer made a mistake by allowing the Hat to side tie.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:32 PM   #11
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To be clear, the 60ft Hatteras and the 40ft Tolly ripped the cleats out of the dock
The Hatteras was NOT departing. The captain and his wife were asleep...
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:36 PM   #12
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What about the manufacturer of the screw used to fix the cleat or the sawmill that provided the lumber the cleat was screwed on?
Ok I know it is not funny
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:44 PM   #13
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You and the boat to which you were tied apparently recognized the potential problem. Maybe you should have moved. You say you were pissed. Maybe you were pissed at you. Not what you want to hear, I know.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:48 PM   #14
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To me the Hatt owner is primarily responsible, as he overloaded the mooring capacity. The straw that broke the camel's back. Having said that, the Tolly owner contributed by over-staying and being uncooperative. 'Waiting for friends' seems to have been a ruse to get a spot at the dock. He extended his stay to over 24 hours by your description.

It seems the dockmaster was a bit too passive, not wanting to upset anyone. He ought to have given more thought to your concerns. Chances are he has no real experience, just someone at the Yacht Club acting as a parking attendant.

You saw the risk, and knowing that I don't know how you managed to sleep the first night. Although it might not be as convenient I think I would sleep better by anchoring and taking the tender to the Yacht Club.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:54 PM   #15
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Good thing you let the dockmaster know of your concerns about the Hatt side tying to the Tolly. Almost as if you could see an accident waiting to happen. Prudent to let your insurance know, maybe file a claim. You don't have to act on it if you, the YC and the other owners can come to a reasonable settlement.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:54 PM   #16
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I was an insurance adjuster for 22 years. I handled auto and motorcycle claims. I did not handle marine claims. If this happened to me I would gather as much evidence and information as possible. Pictures, diagram, names and contact information of parties involved and witnesses. I would file a claim with my own insurance company. I would pay my deductible to the repair facility and my insurance company would pay the remainder. Your insurance company will sort out liability. They will try to subrogate against the at fault party (s). They may be able to collect all or part of their expenses and your deductible. I expected there will be a lot of finger pointing and denial of fault. It is not uncommon for some or all parties involved to be unhappy with the final resolution.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
You and the boat to which you were tied apparently recognized the potential problem. Maybe you should have moved. You say you were pissed. Maybe you were pissed at you. Not what you want to hear, I know.
As stated above, we let the club know about our concerns
I was pissed after the incident
I was pissed because we notified the club of a possible mishap, yet they took no action.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:20 PM   #18
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It may come down to an insurance claim.

We left early the next morning as he was pinned against the dock with the current. Good thing too. When he was leaving he took a line from his windlass to a post on his stbd, up river. I guess he thought he could winch hos bow up enough to get him stated. He started to motor up attempting to put some slack in the line. He throttled up more, sucked in a lod and there pieces of wood fling everywhere. Frustrated he applied full throttle, snapped the cabe and part of the dock flew into the bow, nicking his wofe as she hit the deck. Would have killed her if she was standing. As he is leavind he tore up the club's dock. Had I not left early he would have done major damage to me.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:32 PM   #19
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On that information,I`d say the Yacht Club and its Dockmaster are responsible. They managed and directed the docking of the vessels. Neither the Tolly nor the Hatt could know or reasonably assess the strength of the dock attachment points. The Yacht Club is in possession and control of the dock, would be taken as knowing the strength and condition of the dock facilities, and has a duty to dock users, especially paying users,to dock boats in a safe and secure manner. That the dock attachment failed, presumably in the absence of unusual weather or other events, likely speaks for itself, suggesting the YC got it wrong.The dock could not withstand the load the YC, by its Dockmaster, imposed on it when he directed the docking positions.The YC was controlling the docking and location of vessels, it is responsible for that and what flows from it.
The contract if any between boats and YC could be relevant.
I don`t see the concern you raised with the Dockmaster as related to what happened, just a general concern really.
Whether ASD claims on insurance or elects to deal with YC direct is up to ASD. If the latter, at least lodge a report.
I`m here, you`re there, laws differ, I`m retired, I hope the above is a good guess but that`s about what it is.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:37 PM   #20
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Tom, just an fyi, the language in your insurance policy may state that you have an obligation to notify them if your boat is involved in an accident, whether you file a claim with them or not.


I think you may have a hard time pressing a claim against the YC. As was mentioned above if you docked there you assumed some liability. As to the Tolly, he should have known better than to let the Hatt side tie to him. He also should have doubled up his lines to secure against that extra load. That wouldn't have helped if the dock cleats pulled out unless he had added extra lines to extra cleats to spread the load.


Me? I'd get a team of drunken leprechauns to represent me in all legal proceedings and hope a pot of gold (and some Klondike Bars) come my way. In looking at the photos above, I'm betting we have an argument going on soon about your anchor!


Good luck with this mess. I'd let your insurance company foot the bill and subrogate against others. You may also have to sue to get your deductible back unless your insurance company gets it for you.
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