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Old 09-19-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
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Private Dock Rental Agreement

I have always had my boat in a marina, but I have an opportunity to rent a private dock. We're looking to put some basic agreement between two parties. I've tried Google it and searched the forum, but didn't find anything that would apply to private dock rentals.

Does anyone have a link to some templates I could use?

Any "gatchas" I should be looking for that shouldn't be missed in private rental?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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If what you or the dock owner do bothers either of you on contract is going to make it work. Just decide how expenses relating to your dockage will be measured and paid. Discuss any lifestyle and privacy issues upfront if you will be living in his backyard. You could have a trial period if you want. I don't know how tenancy laws apply to docks.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
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To avoid future legal issues, now might be a good time to consult with a marine attorney and see what he comes up with.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:09 PM   #4
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I did this when we bought a previous boat a while back. The owner wrote it up to protect him such that I was responsible for the dock any damage that was created by my boat including storm damage. I was not real comfortable with that but if I was on the other side I would want the same thing. It really is only fair. You should cover storms and damage in your agreement so that you both know what is expected. Of course I would hope my insurance would cover that but since it is an act of God it may not.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:26 PM   #5
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You could start with your marina lease agreement and modify it to suit the situation. This may be more geared to protect the marina or dock owner than the boater though.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alex F View Post
I have always had my boat in a marina, but I have an opportunity to rent a private dock. We're looking to put some basic agreement between two parties. I've tried Google it and searched the forum, but didn't find anything that would apply to private dock rentals.

Does anyone have a link to some templates I could use?

Any "gatchas" I should be looking for that shouldn't be missed in private rental?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Have a lawyer draw it up on your behalf. A standard agreement, even if you found one, could be dangerous as every state and every municipality is different. Liability can be a huge issue. Proof of insurance by both parties. Indemnification. Allowed activities, parking, access to boat. And the legality of doing so in the area.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:11 PM   #7
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Have a lawyer draw it up on your behalf. A standard agreement, even if you found one, could be dangerous as every state and every municipality is different. Liability can be a huge issue. Proof of insurance by both parties. Indemnification. Allowed activities, parking, access to boat. And the legality of doing so in the area.
Amen. Your boat is worth a lot of money. An attorney is cheap by comparision.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:43 PM   #8
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Won't comment on hiring a lawyer (although paying a lawyer is definitely the highest and best use of money) but would suggest that whatever agreement you come up with you run by your insurance company. Some/many/almost all of the marine insurance companies will cover "contractual liability" for the damage your boat causes to the dock. However unless you have your insurance company review the liability you have assumed in the lease (contractual liability) you won't know whether the insurance company will cover the damage.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:18 PM   #9
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Won't comment on hiring a lawyer (although paying a lawyer is definitely the highest and best use of money) but would suggest that whatever agreement you come up with you run by your insurance company. Some/many/almost all of the marine insurance companies will cover "contractual liability" for the damage your boat causes to the dock. However unless you have your insurance company review the liability you have assumed in the lease (contractual liability) you won't know whether the insurance company will cover the damage.
What Marty said. He covered the high points well.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:18 AM   #10
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If a handshake doesnt do it for you , you are at the wrong place.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:37 AM   #11
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If a handshake doesnt do it for you , you are at the wrong place.
Handshake is fine until some sort of major event/accident takes place and then it takes court to unravel the liability and the insurers refuse to pay. Contract is to protect both parties, but more to clearly outline legal responsibilities. Good contracts don't lead to conflict, but instead help avoid it in the event of completely unanticipated events. Marinas are in the business and they sure don't go by a handshake.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:46 AM   #12
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In my experience, once you get a lawyer, the other party will need a lawyer and then a good deal will begin to circle the drain. If you can't put an agreement together between the two of you, go to a marina; it will be cheaper in the end. IMHO, our society has reached a point where reasonable people are "protecting" themselves with belts and suspenders and the only ones getting rich are the lawyers. Hope I'm not offending any lawyers on TF. Howard
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:00 AM   #13
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As the boat owner, I don't see where a contract is needed. You have a place to tie up, you pay the agreed amount. Your boat is presumably insured. What further protection do you need?

The dock owner may require a contract, as his exposure is greater due to possible injury to your party. Or whether to require you to remove the boat in case of a storm. But that is his call.

If he does not want a contract, why push one on him? Good way for him to say "nevermind".
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:06 AM   #14
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If a handshake doesnt do it for you , you are at the wrong place.
Amen brother. In my experience the first mention of a lawyer would/should make either party spin on their heels and burn out of there. If the face to face vibe isn't there, no lawyer in the world can correct what could come, because they're already having negative/pessimistic thoughts, and that alone usually makes it come true.
And for the record I've had many long term relationships with marinas and major boat builders solely on handshakes. Any contract can be blown apart by an attorney if the good intent was never there, hence the saying "he with the most lawyers always wins". When they don't, they usually make movies of the event. All prevented by just walking away.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:25 PM   #15
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A handshake agreement is fine until something bad happens, then you get into the "but I thought you said...." situation.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:12 PM   #16
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All that is said and good about the lawyer...but make sure someone...either you, the renter or the lawyer presents you with whether or not renting you the slip is even legal...an "illegal" rental agreement doesn't mean much even if written up by a lawyer

...yes of course if you want to sue that's it was a valid contract in your eye....good luck with that one...
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:43 PM   #17
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If a handshake doesnt do it for you , you are at the wrong place.

Couldn't agree more. If you think a marina rental contract (or any rental agreement for that matter) is there to protect the boat owners best interest try reading one.

Do any of you lawyers draw one up for the harbor master to sign?
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:51 PM   #18
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I couldn't agree more with all of you!!
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