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Old 03-13-2016, 09:57 PM   #1
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Should a motorized boat using public waterways be required to have insurance ...

Every time I see an abandon boat sunk in or by a mooring field I wonder why the state doesn't have the owner remove the vessel. When talking with the authorities, (local marine police, sheriff or Florida Fish and Wildlife), they say that they are not sure who the last owner was and they probably have no insurance to pay the bill, if they could find them.
Shouldn't you have to prove that you have insurance when you renew your annual state license?
Do we want to be traveling the waterways passing uninsured vessels?
Anchored next to uninsured vessels?
When was the last time you saw a car on I-95 abandoned sitting there along side the road for days on end?
Why should our waterways be any different?
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:04 PM   #2
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You are assuming that the boats were actually licensed. Abandoned boats are not licensed or insured and often finding out who is the legal owner is a challenge then if you do actually finding the person is another matter. If you do happen to find them, 9/10 times they have no financial resources to pay for the removal even if they are ordered to by a court.

I have linked to this a few times, but this is what WA state is doing. Getting adequate funding is always the problem, but in general I think the program works pretty well. Derelict Boat Program
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:10 PM   #3
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Every time I see an abandon boat sunk in or by a mooring field I wonder why the state doesn't have the owner remove the vessel. When talking with the authorities, (local marine police, sheriff or Florida Fish and Wildlife), they say that they are not sure who the last owner was and they probably have no insurance to pay the bill, if they could find them.
Shouldn't you have to prove that you have insurance when you renew your annual state license?
Do we want to be traveling the waterways passing uninsured vessels?
Anchored next to uninsured vessels?
When was the last time you saw a car on I-95 abandoned sitting there along side the road for days on end?
Why should our waterways be any different?
There are abandoned cars all over the place.... So am I right to assume that you think that every P.O.S. Chevy you pass with red tape for a taillight and the trunk lock is punched out has insurance?? You pass (or get passed) every day by more uninsured.. and likely unlicensed drivers than you will in a month on the water.
Lets get the states to use the monies in the boaters fund that a lot of states collect to deal with derelict boats.. and quit just absorbing it int their general funds.

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Old 03-13-2016, 10:16 PM   #4
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Removing a boat is expensive and derelicts are usually worthless to resell. Cars are easy to move and store. They often have some value to resell or part put so the tow company can make their money back. I do, however, think some liability insurance should be required or to prove self-insure status.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:49 AM   #5
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Removing a boat is expensive and derelicts are usually worthless to resell. Cars are easy to move and store. They often have some value to resell or part put so the tow company can make their money back. I do, however, think some liability insurance should be required or to prove self-insure status.
I agree on both points.

I had a chance to talk to some DNR officers one day and I asked why nothing was done about the six or seven apparently abandoned boats downstream of my marina. I asked why they couldn't just contact the owners and demand that they have them removed. The answer was that all the owner had to do was say that he sold the boat and doesn't own it any more.

On the liability insurance issue, I would really like to see liability insurance on boats mandatory. As it is, a person can buy a boat, run it into your boat and sink your boat and kill you and your family and just walk away scott free.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:53 AM   #6
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Funny though...see the thread on a guy looking for the derelict 50 something Hatt that even could be a sinker?

Even will pay to remove it (probably hasn't seen the salvage/towing estimate)
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:07 AM   #7
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Greetings,
"...all the owner had to do was say that he sold the boat and doesn't own it any more." OK. Where's your receipt for the sale? Where is the documentation for the transfer of ownership?

In some jurisdictions, car ownership remains registered under the sellers name until said ownership is officially transferred at the local DMV office. Not a big deal to apply that to boat ownerships. That way, the seller would be fully responsible for any costs for removal of the derelict vessel. Pleading ignorance would not be an excuse and seldom is in the eyes of the law. No documentation? You're responsible!
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:08 AM   #8
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We don't get to make the laws and we don't get to enforce them.


If you give me money for my boat and I give you a receipt or bill of sale, I don't own it any more. I can't force the new owner to register it.


This is why the derelict boats fall through the holes. Unless a jurisdiction is willing to write laws and enforce them by impounding and towing, these boats will remain on the waterways until they sink or fall apart.


With so much taxpayer money being spent on other things, derelict boats fall low on the priority scale. And with EPA regulations, a $500 removal can turn into a $5,000 removal.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:33 AM   #9
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But like a car in some jurisdictions UNLESS you go to the DMV and turn in the license plate you can be held liable for any accidents/damage caused by your old vehicle.
So maybe the states could do similar? Force/enforce the seller to go to the office and have the boat removed from their name for liability. At least then they would have some record of the current owner?
Of course all of the above would only work in a perfect world.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:44 AM   #10
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I have heard of people going to the courthouse and having contracts such as vehicle sales and other written but simple agreements recorded just to avoid what RTF posted.

I too have heard about " to the last registered" quagmire. You may ultimately win with a personal bill of sale but it might cost nearly as much as the salvage.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:49 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. WK. "I can't force the new owner to register it." Agreed but it CAN be made a requirement by the state that they (the state) be made aware of the sale by the seller. Simple as an on-line form stating name of seller and name of buyer and until such time the sale is registered, the seller still owns the vessel and any costs applied to it.

Read under Notice of Sale (first paragraph): Florida DMV Title Transfer

Honest folks would have absolutely no problem with this but it may cause dishonest folks to think twice about simply dumping their boats and walking away $$ free.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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Pgitug,
Free country? ... Less and less so.
Your'e proposing the cost of boating re issues having nothing to do w boating be raised again? A short time ago one didn't even need insurance in a marina. You want boating only to be done by rich guys? You would'nt like it in Alaska. Lots of old hulks to offend you. People paint pictures of some and most think they are beautiful.

That said I agree w you. People should be forced to pick up their garbage. Coffee cup or 50' boat. When I first started driving one didn't need insurance for a car. As we "progress" there are more and more requirements to do anything and less and less responsibility among the people. Most places that people ride bicycles they are required to buy and wear a helmet. All these laws are breeding people to be less and less responsible. Walk across the freeway? Of course .. "I'm sure there are laws in place to cover any dangers".

There used to be cheap moorage and quite widely availible but more and more insurance and dock quality came about probably as a result of some do-good local politician that thought boat floats should be nice like the ones at his yacht club. So the laws got more and more restrictive. And the old marinas w their old floats got torn out. Same w housing. Condemning old houses and build cheap houses that last not 1/4 of the time the old houses did. The rich people control the world and are offended by others not like them and those rich people make laws that force others to conform even at their expense.

So Pgitug try and come up w some solution to the problem that dosn't involve the good people paying for the irresponsible.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:56 AM   #13
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Greetings,
"...all the owner had to do was say that he sold the boat and doesn't own it any more." OK. Where's your receipt for the sale? Where is the documentation for the transfer of ownership?

In some jurisdictions, car ownership remains registered under the sellers name until said ownership is officially transferred at the local DMV office. Not a big deal to apply that to boat ownerships. That way, the seller would be fully responsible for any costs for removal of the derelict vessel. Pleading ignorance would not be an excuse and seldom is in the eyes of the law. No documentation? You're responsible!
If you trade your car in at the Ford dealer, turn your tags and registration in to DMV, I'm pretty sure your not liable for it until the next owner titles and registers it.

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Old 03-14-2016, 12:56 PM   #14
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With all the Twits walking the streets TWITTING

, are you demanding they too be insured for who ever they walk into?
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:33 PM   #15
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Seems far simpler to add $10 to every boat registration annual fee to cover the removal of derelicts.

As for required liability insurance, there would need to be a line. The old guy living on Social Security that has the 20 year old 16' runabout with the 10HP outboard ought to be given a pass. That will probably be me in 20 years.

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Old 03-14-2016, 03:20 PM   #16
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Several different subjects in one

First, as to having hull insurance to cover abandoned vessels. There is no insurance policy that would cover such under a hull policy. Some cover salvage but wouldn't even cover that when the boat was abandoned, especially if illegally done so.

So, now to liability. Yes, I do believe every boat owner should be required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance, much as on cars. Should that policy also cover salvage and environmental damage? Yes, absolutely minimum amounts on those as well.

Would that policy then cover salvage of an abandoned boat? No. Not unless insurance regulations were to be changed and dictate it do so. So I still do not see this helping on abandoned boats. They key is declaring them "at risk" and removing them from the waterways before they sink and salvage costs increase tremendously.

Now, the idea of an additional registration fee to cover salvage. I'm completely in favor. There are 922,000 boats registered in Florida. Just think what could be done with $9,220,000 based on an average of $10. Perhaps a sliding scale from $5 to $25 based on size of boat.

One other thought. For those boats not registered in FL, an annual anchoring permit of $5 to $25 as well, $5 or $10 for the vast majority of boats.

Then you just need a decent derelict vessel law.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:54 PM   #17
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So, now to liability. Yes, I do believe every boat owner should be required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance, much as on cars. Should that policy also cover salvage and environmental damage? Yes, absolutely minimum amounts on those as well.
So the person with a 16' runabout, a row boat, or sailing dingy needs to have insurance? How do you feel about bicycle liability insurance?

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Old 03-14-2016, 05:04 PM   #18
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So the person with a 16' runabout, a row boat, or sailing dingy needs to have insurance? How do you feel about bicycle liability insurance?
Our HOA requires golf carts to have insurance and to provide the HOA with proof. Fortunately, I don't play golf!
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:06 PM   #19
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So the person with a 16' runabout, a row boat, or sailing dingy needs to have insurance? How do you feel about bicycle liability insurance?

Ted
I believe any boat that requires registration should be required to carry liability insurance. That would include a 16' runabout. Would not, in most places, include the row boat or sailing dinghy.

I do not feel bicycles should be required to have liability insurance as they aren't motorized. Put a motor on one and then it generally requires a tag and insurance.

Just think a consistency between boats and autos makes sense.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:15 PM   #20
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There are 922,000 boats registered in Florida. Just think what could be done with $9,220,000 based on an average of $10.
Perhaps not nearly as much as one might think or hope. The recent recovery and subsequent government destruction of a 96' wooden tug that sank here in Juneau cost over $2,000,000. Sure, it was a big boat, but the costs associated with environmental cleanup or disposal can be far higher that what one might guess.
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