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Old 07-18-2012, 09:22 PM   #41
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I understand your position, Marin, but I have to ask... How much time have you spent here?

NC boaters watch the storms VERY carefully, but no matter what, those f*ckers will turn on a dime, speed up, stop, wiggle around, strengthen, weaken... look like they are weak and then power up again. There is no way to tell what they will do, where they will land, or how strong they will be when they get here. There is usually a VERY small window to decide to move, stay, or pull. If you want to spend all summer wasting thousands of dollars running to a boat yard (IF you can find space) or arranging to stick your boat in an insecure hole for a week or more while it passes, they you are more of a man than I seem to be. Like many, I assume, I still have a certain level of obligation to the homestead and must continue to work to afford boating. Keep in mind that if our boat is getting hit, there is a high likelihood our HOUSE will get hit too.

Hurricanes are all different and the marine business is not huge in NC. Sure there are lots of boats, but in places up north where nearly every boat gets pulled for the winter, boat yards capable of handling that number of boats are more common. Down here, we have about 10 yards that pull boats and most could only hold a couple of dozen if they pack them in. Sure, you could stuff it up in a creek, but there are all new challenges associated with that move.

Many people just can't afford to, or are unable to, run like Chicken Little every time a storm gets a name. Therefore, we are forced to weigh our options, do the best we with the info we have. We all try and look out for each other. The staff at our first marina had a plan and has never lost a boat. They utilize the boating community to care for the boats during the storm. Our current marina went way beyond when Irene came. They, the live aboard boaters and some other locals, tended the boats and checked lines right thru the storm. They were given rooms in the hotel and kept the people away from the marina up on the news. It was a heroic feat.

**BTW, we don't have storm surges. We are 40 mile inland. We DO have rising water due to wind. It often takes 10-12 hours to come in and just a few to leave when the wind shifts after the eye passes. Our marina also has 20 pilings.**

Are we violating the rules? Breaking a contract? You betcha and all parties, boaters and staff, are involved. Nobody wants their boat wrecked and fewer still want their boat to wreck somebody else's dream boat. I have been told straight up by the marina staff that NC law does not allow them to force us to move. Nor are they going to be liable for removing it. What would or could they do? Set it adrift? There are 250 boats at our marina and about 4 staff members. If the yards are full and they can't spend the time to anchor your boat out... What could they do? Could the argument be made in court that, regardless of marina policy, some people have neither the time or ability to care for their boat before a storm and the policy is unjust? Then, would not the negligence then be equal because NEITHER party did what was necessary to secure a vessel in their care?

I am partially just being argumentative. I am not a lawyer and didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Still, my point is that staying put, being where the people are, is usually the better play around here. Regardless of "policy". You need to have lived your whole life in NC where hurricanes are like poker and you cannot double-down on every hand. For many, if not most, you have to play it safe. Legal or otherwise, we are a family down here and you don't kick out family during hard times.

Tom-

**PS EDIT** Bess said... What did Marin say to deserve that rant? I don't mean it to sound that way. I am just trying to put you in the head of an east-coaster. At least a portion of them. I hope you don't get offended by it.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:04 PM   #42
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I don't want to lose the boat, but like Tim I don't want to lose my life protecting it.

After seeing the photos and video of boats piled on top of each other and strewn along the shore in heaps I don't know what the chances would be of coming through that uninjured or undead if an owner elected to stay on board. There wouldn't be anything a human could do at that point to prevent lines from breaking or docks from separating and so on. They'd just be along for the ride.

So I'm not questioning the wisdom of not staying on board during the storm, only the wisdom of ignoring a marina's policies and letting the legal and financial cards fall where they may when the storm hits.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:37 PM   #43
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Katrina

We moved our 28' Bayliner to Bay St Louis Mississippi the summer before Katrina. I asked "what do you guys do in the event of a hurricane?". "Everybody comes here" I was told. "We all work together to move the boats out and help get everyone tied up". Guess what. Mad chaos. Fend for yourself was more like it. You can see our Bayliner sitting at the bottom. Also notice the house we had to walk around to finally get to the marina 2 days after the storm(we live near Baton Rouge) and finally notice the water/ trash line at the interstate overpass. That's interstate 10 at hwy 603, probably 7-10 miles inland! They have a monument there now. And that is why I am being proactive with this. Paul (Swampu) is going to run me to some hurricane holes upriver. I plan on setting a backtrack and being ready I the event of a storm!!


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Old 07-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #44
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Well this has certainly been an interesting discussion.
A few probable facts.
1. There is not enough space to pull all boats out of the water if a hurricane hits. My guess is that most boat owners if asked to leave a marina will not leave for the above reason. There are perhaps 10% of boat owners that will find a hurricane hole or tie their boat upriver. This is just not practical for the majority of us. I myself do not have the knowledge or time to properly secure a boat in a hurricane hole or upriver. And like a previous posted mentioned, I'll be spending most of whatever time I have securing my house.
2. In Florida regardless of what a contract states, the marina cannot force you to leave or call the police and at gun point force you to remove your boat. They can however hire someone to do this, but they are liable for any damage done to your boat. So my guess is they will leave you alone, but if your boat causes damage it's likely they'll go after you. They may not renew your contract, but I doubt they could get away with having you forfeit any money if you paid in advance.
3. Question: With all the opinions here about getting sued, how many of those boat owners whose boats you see piled up and totaled after a hurricane were sued by the marina and are now destitute? Besides Florida can't afford any more destitute people and the judges know that.

With that being said, I found a marina close by that for $500 a year will guarantee a place for haul out during the hurricane season. I forfeit the money if not used and it's only guaranteed for one season. I have no doubt that using this service will in anyway protect my boat as the concrete pad used for storage is just slightly above sea level. But I've complied with the marina contract and perhaps I won't get sued as much if my boat breaks loose and lands on a house killing all inside because the storage facility location is not in near as nice a neighborhood as my marina.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:47 AM   #45
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For whatever reason I did not reaize you lived in Florida so did not equate your situation with the state law that marina's cannot legally force you to leave the marina in the event of a named storm even if they have policies that state this.

But insurance companies being what they are, I would imagine that a boater who legally refused to adhere to the "move your boat" policy might still become a target of the marina's insurance company if the boat could be shown to have caused damage by remaining in the marina.

I guess what this really shows is the need to add a fair amount of additional expense to the anticipated ownership costs if you want to boat in a hurricane region.

Newbies ask the forum about buying a diesel cruiser and we tell them about ownership costs---- insurance, moorage, electricity, fuel, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades--- all the costs of owning a boat other than finance payments if the boat was financed. But for someone making this inquiry from a hurricane region they maybe should include something the rest of us don't--- the cost of prepping and hauling or moving the boat, either themselves or by someone they pay to do it for them, in the event of a hurricane coming their way.

While hurricanes are not an annual occurance in the same place over and over again, the threat seems to be. So it's impossible to say "No hurricane coming our way this year." So while a boater may only have to cough up the cost of moving or storing his boat once during his ownership of it, you never know when that "once" will occur.

So perhaps in hurricane-land the average cost of ownership, which we usually quote as averaging 10 percent of the purchase price of a (used) boat per year, the figure should be more like 15 percent, particularly if one does what Timjet is contemplating doing, which is pay an annual, non-refundable fee for a guarantee of a place to put the boat in the event of a hurricane.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:40 AM   #46
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So perhaps in hurricane-land the average cost of ownership, which we usually quote as averaging 10 percent of the purchase price of a (used) boat per year, the figure should be more like 15 percent, particularly if one does what Timjet is contemplating doing, which is pay an annual, non-refundable fee for a guarantee of a place to put the boat in the event of a hurricane.
Exactly right Marin. But in my case I'm shelling out another $500 and the cost to move it to the haul out facility, not to protect my boat but to comply with the marina's contract.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:31 AM   #47
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With that being said, I found a marina close by that for $500 a year will guarantee a place for haul out during the hurricane season. I forfeit the money if not used and it's only guaranteed for one season. .
Hey Tim,

I'm curious. Is that just a reservation fee, or does that guarantee a space and pay for one or more storm haul outs? If it will cover a haul out in case of hurricane, it is probably a good deal.

Most yards on the East Coast are first come first served. My hired captain has instructions to get the boat over there early ahead of the crowd. It also helps to have a "local boy" that they know and do business with regularly.

On another note, it seams that the hurricanes that hit the West Coast of Florida are not pushing as much storm surge as the ones that hit the northern Gulf Coast. The storm surge that came in with Charlie was not that large. Not that it couldn't happen, but it doesn't seam likely. With Charlie, there was a great amount of wind damage. North Captiva Island took the brunt of the surge. Fortunately as you said, the West Coast of FL has few hurricanes.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:40 AM   #48
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If I thought that my marina's "vacate if a hurricane is forecast" clause was in violation of a state or local law, I would take a copy of that law, march into the marina office with my lease contract, and demand that the manager stike the clause out and initial the changes.

If I were a marina owner or manager and one of my tennants refused to comply with the terms of his or her lease, I would terminate the lease and evict that tennant.

Anyone keeping a boat in a marina would do well to study his or her lease and understand it or have someone explain it. The lease is designed to protect the marina. You may be really surprised to read the "fine print".
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:44 AM   #49
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Here in the panhandle of Florida I am doing business with a marina that will guarantee haul out and a parking space for a fee. If you don't use it for a hurricane haul out you get a free haul out and block for up to 5 days at the end of the season. Our big one was hurricane Ivan with storm surge of 12 feet or more on bays as far as 10 miles inland, yet this marina/boatyard has enough elevation to handle that kind of surge. A few boats were blown off their stands but that was it. My costs since I paid early was a little more than $1000.00, but than I took insurance that excluded named storms and the premium was $1000 less than with named storm coverage. In the case of hurricane coverage they require a hurricane plan so one isn't home free with hurricane coverage even at the higher cost.

Not sure if this is the way to go but that is what I have done for this year. And, if no hurricane, use plan to haul in the late fall to do bottom job etc. 5 days haul, block, etc. free.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:52 AM   #50
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I guess I am lucky. My marina requires that the boat be moved out in the event of a hurricane, but they have the ability to haul it and put it in the dry stack building. I only pay if this is needed and they will do it automatically, I don't have to be there (but I would be there to turn off the refrigerator and remove the food). It's $90 for the haulout and $30 per day while it's out.

The marina can handle all but three or four boats that are too big. These have to go somewhere else to be hauled.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:30 PM   #51
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$90.00 for haul out. That is a great price. I would be concerned if they dry stack the boat however. The dry stack building here are huge, tall, and wide. I would worry about them blowing sides off or even falling down in a big blow. Not sure what the marina will do with those boats that haven't reserved a haul out and block space. We keep our boat at the house dock but the open bay is not a good place to stay in a hurricane. 12 foot surge in Ivan and destroyed my daughter's house with the surge. I'm across the road and our land elevation is only 9 feet, but my house had some elevation. I have 5 acres, lost 30 trees in Ivan and 40 trees in Dennis the next year and some roof damage each year to say nothing of the lost RV, truck, and car when the surge brought water where it had never been in the past 100 years. My loss wasn't bad but my daughter lost everything. But that is the price one pays to live in Florida on a beautiful bay.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:11 PM   #52
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I understand your position, Marin, but I have to ask... How much time have you spent here?

....Bess said... What did Marin say to deserve that rant? I don't mean it to sound that way. I am just trying to put you in the head of an east-coaster. At least a portion of them. I hope you don't get offended by it.
I just saw your post. To answer your first question, thankfully almost none. And certainly none with respect to boating. We visit friends occasionally in Winston-Salem, I and now my wife and I have for years visited a good friend from college who lives in Christiansburg and teaches at VT. And I've directed projects at our Charleston 787 plant several times in the past couple of years. That's it.

So what I know about living in the southeast wouldn't cover the head of a pin. And I intend to keep it that way.

I was reacting more to the legal issues that seemed to be under discussion with regards to marina policies concerning moorage and hurricanes. While I can certainly follow your points about the unpredictable nature of hurricanes and locals pulling together and doing what makes the most sense, policies be damned, I wonder if that attitude is understood in the offices of the insurance companies which these days are as likely to be controlled from Singapore or London or Hong Kong as they are from Cincinnati or New York.

A few months ago as was discussed on this forum, we had a major fire in our marina. An entire, twenty-stall condo boathouse was destroyed, all twenty boats burned and sank, and two people died. A month ago or so after returning our boat after a haulout to our temporary slip, as my wife and I headed back up the dock to go home here came a whole crowd of people accompanied by a couple of policemen. Probably a good twenty or thirty people, all of them wearing expensive clothes and carrying expensive still and video cameras and having a gay old time laughing and joking as they walked down the dock.

Given the law enforcement accompaniment we assumed they were headed out to the site of the fire, which at the time was still largely untouched except for the raising of the boat the deaths had occurred on.

My wife stopped in the port office to pay our moorage and asked the woman at the counter, who she knows fairly well, what the crowd of camera-toters was all about. The woman rolled her eyes and said they were all lawyers and representatives of the insurance companies involved and they were there to gather visual evidence of what had occurred. My wife commented that they all looked so happy. The port lady said,"They are. When they were in here they were all comparing notes on how much this investigation and the subsequent lawsuits are going to earn them."

So that's insurance companies (and lawyers) these days. And it's getting worse, not better.

I wasn't faulting Tim for his attitude--- I'd feel the same sense of frustration in the same situation. But no matter how frustrated one is, or how illogical a policy might seem or be, the People In Charge tend to not give a crap. And the more removed from the scene they are--- and in this age of consolidation and mergers and buyouts they tend to be very far removed indeed--- the less of a crap they give.

Which generally means you lose and they win.

The course of action Tim is taking seems to me to be the most sensible under the circumstances he has described. Unfortunately, hurricane or no hurricane, it's costing him a bunch of money which drives up the cost of his boating. And whether or not it will actually safeguard his boat should a storm show up won't be known until the storm moves on.

But at least he has safeguarded himself from the equally unpredictable actions of the insurance folks and their lawyers, which these days are probably potentially far more damaging to a person than any hurricane.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #53
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I would only say that in the case of 20 boats, a multistory condo that I assume was attached to where the boats were, and an event where multiple deaths occurred, that the stakes are much greater. I'm not sure it's a totally fair comparison. But when with a strong storm... I suppose it could be.

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Old 07-19-2012, 04:07 PM   #54
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WOW!Reading all of this makes me glad my boat will be sitting on a trailer far inland.I wasn't aware of all the perils,besides the storm, of keeping a boat in a marina.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #55
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I would only say that in the case of 20 boats, a multistory condo that I assume was attached to where the boats were, and an event where multiple deaths occurred, that the stakes are much greater. I'm not sure it's a totally fair comparison. But when with a strong storm... I suppose it could be.

Tom-

You misunderstand. The boathouse was what they call a condo boathouse. Someone built the thing (about a zillion years ago in this case; it was in terrible condition) and then sold the individual stalls to individual boaters. So the boathouse is (or was) owned collectively by the boat owners who kept their boats in it.

So even though this type of long, multi-stall condo boathouse is in a marina, it has the same status as an individual boat. The owners collectively pay the port's moorage fee for the boathouse, and they are responsible for its upkeep, safety, wiring, plumbing, docks, etc. They, through their insurance companies, are responsible for any damage the boathouse and the boats in it might do to the marina or other boats in the marina.

in this case the fire, cause still undetermined so far as I know, caused damage to the new dock and slips the marina is installing immediately behind it. So I presume some of those lawyers and insurance people we saw on the dock that day were representing the Port of Bellingham and any claim it may wish to bring against the boathouse owners for the damage the fire caused to the port's new dock project.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:24 PM   #56
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WOW!Reading all of this makes me glad my boat will be sitting on a trailer far inland.I wasn't aware of all the perils,besides the storm, of keeping a boat in a marina.
Ask Woodsong about sitting safely inland.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #57
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Ask Woodsong about sitting safely inland.

Oh boy.Now ya gone and dun it.I'm scared to ask for fear of leaving my boat on the trailer at home.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:40 PM   #58
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Oh boy.Now ya gone and dun it.I'm scared to ask for fear of leaving my boat on the trailer at home.
Best put it in the basement.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:50 PM   #59
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Best put it in the basement.

Ummm, we don't have many houses with basements up here in the foothills.Guess I gotta go dig a big hole with a big ramp now.




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Old 07-19-2012, 07:42 PM   #60
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WOW!Reading all of this makes me glad my boat will be sitting on a trailer far inland.I wasn't aware of all the perils,besides the storm, of keeping a boat in a marina.
And cost of insurance! "Tidal waters" means big bucks down here. Even if it is up a river that runs to a large lake.
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