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Old 01-29-2018, 05:48 PM   #1
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Weird Marina Interaction

The rudders on our boat are very far back from the props. It makes for a smooth running boat but means little or no prop wash effect on the rudder. This makes single engine maneuvering interesting. We were anchored in a very small hole in the wall and I wasn't confident about getting the anchor up and the boat pointed towards the opening. Getting her into a slip was out of the question. (One engine down if you saw my recent post.)

I was pleased to find out that our TowboatUS Gold towing insurance would pay for a boat to stand by and assist if necessary. I called the marina for out slip assignment and was told that we could not dock there if we were receiving any assistance from TowboatUS. Huh!

I pushed back a bit and asked why, if I wanted the tow boat there just for insurance in case thing got out of hand, they had a problem. "That's just the way it is. TowboatUS can't come to the slips with you even if you are under your own power.

We finally worked it out that, if I docked the boat on the outside without assistance, the TowboatUS boat could stand by and they would take our money.

For the record, it was one of the best landings I ever made, probably because I was really paying attention. A little wind on the dock helped but that same wind is now bouncing us against the fenders. It would have been nice to have been inside but I couldn't have had the tow boat come in with us to protect us and the other boats.

Anybody heard of anything like this?
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:18 PM   #2
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Does the marina have an affiliation with a competitor to TowBoatUS ?
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:21 PM   #3
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Never have heard that and have seen boats towed into many marinas. Have never experienced it as an assistance tower, usually marinas thought we were magic.

I think the marina policy is FOS.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:26 PM   #4
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I have not but I can imagine the reason is receiving a boat that is not in seaworthy condition could be a LONG TERM liability and a big time PITA. Apparently, my marina has no such qualms as I've seen many towed after impact, but we also have an operating boat yard here that can handle it. I certainly feel for you and have considered the same plan recently when I experienced a shifter cable failure.

Lucky for me, my slip is right behind the USCG Vallejo boats. I called them on my cellphone to make sure they had no operations going on that might inhibit my approach to my slip. They said the coast was clear and I got in with a "swish". If anything went wrong for me getting into my slip, I could have asked for help without a radio from my lower helm door.

Another option is to anchor outside and launch a dink to assist in the docking. Of course, that requires 2 boat operators and probably radios.

Glad it worked out for you! Great thread topic. I bet we'll hear some interesting stories...
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:39 PM   #5
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Some marinas have rules that boats must be capable of moving under their own power. This is to prevent the marina from becoming a refuge for derelict boats.

Perhaps this was the case here. Perhaps that's the rule and someone was enforcing it a little too strongly.

I'm sure if one is on a long term contract, the marina would allow you to be towed in but they would want to see the boat repaired in a reasonable time frame.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:32 PM   #6
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Did you ask the Tow Boat if they were aware of this and if they knew why it was the marina's policy? If no answer there, I would call TowBoatUS national headquarters. Might also tell the marina that you'll be happy to inform others and recommend other marinas in the area without querky policies.

Imo, it's ok to have a policy like that if you're prepared to explain why.

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Old 01-29-2018, 07:39 PM   #7
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Roger, File a complaint with management.....
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benthic2 View Post
Does the marina have an affiliation with a competitor to TowBoatUS ?
Not that is evident.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:47 PM   #9
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Maybe it wasn't wise to tell the marina you were having a tow boat to assist in the berthing. Can understand why a marina wouldn't like to receive an unseaworthy craft as a new tenant.

If the engine couldn't readily be returned to operation, initially towing the boat to a boatyard would be an option.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:51 PM   #10
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Saw something a bit different. Boat came into the marina, captain was yelling that his boat was sinking and needed to be hoisted out. Unfortunately the hoist had a boat in the slings. The marina would not let the sinking boat tie up. They stood by with rescue equipment and hauled the people out of the water after the boat sank. I asked why the wouldn’t let the boat tie up. They said it was liability. Since the boat was not a marina customer all the liability falls to the boat owner and the Coast Guard. If the boat had been tied to the dock then the liability falls on the boat owner and marina.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Saw something a bit different. Boat came into the marina, captain was yelling that his boat was sinking and needed to be hoisted out. Unfortunately the hoist had a boat in the slings. The marina would not let the sinking boat tie up. They stood by with rescue equipment and hauled the people out of the water after the boat sank. I asked why the wouldn’t let the boat tie up. They said it was liability. Since the boat was not a marina customer all the liability falls to the boat owner and the Coast Guard. If the boat had been tied to the dock then the liability falls on the boat owner and marina.
Still sounds like a jerk thing for the marina to do.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:55 AM   #12
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Maybe it wasn't wise to tell the marina you were having a tow boat to assist in the berthing.
Far, far better to have had this discussion by phone than yelling at the dock or over the radio. Those TowboatUS boats are painted red so it would have been kind of hard for the marina not to notice.

We were operational and able to get there under our own power. This really should have been thought of as a steering issue rather than a propulsion issue.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:32 AM   #13
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All of these situations are hearsay as to WHY the marinas allegedly have these policies.

I have experienced everyone and unless I come from a strange area run by marina managers who HAVE worked in different geographical areas so even that would be strange, no boat being towed in would be turned away unless it was a wood hull or was actively an explosion hazard due to fuel.

A broken down boat is hardly an unseaworthy craft by definition, one ccoming in under its own power even less so. Often something simple and the boat is on its way again. If its a floating wreck is one thing but a transient boat by definition was travelling one minute and the next needing a marina. Any boat could pull in with serious problems and be tied up....then declare they need to stay for an engine change lasting weeks or months.

Hard to believe, but sometimes the manager doesnt fully understand all the policies of the marina, and I have seen more than one get in trouble for their (lacking) judgement calls.

Not allowing a towboat or sinking boat in in my experience is more of a liability than not. Especially in a liability crazy state like NJ where I boat and work.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Saw something a bit different. Boat came into the marina, captain was yelling that his boat was sinking and needed to be hoisted out. Unfortunately the hoist had a boat in the slings. The marina would not let the sinking boat tie up. They stood by with rescue equipment and hauled the people out of the water after the boat sank. I asked why the wouldn’t let the boat tie up. They said it was liability. Since the boat was not a marina customer all the liability falls to the boat owner and the Coast Guard. If the boat had been tied to the dock then the liability falls on the boat owner and marina.
Make sense, but still sucks.....
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:04 PM   #15
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All of these situations are hearsay as to WHY the marinas allegedly have these policies.

Not allowing a towboat or sinking boat in in my experience is more of a liability than not. Especially in a liability crazy state like NJ where I boat and work.
Crying "liability" is often done due to ignorance of when liability might actually apply. In the above example I agree with PSN.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:40 PM   #16
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How many hundreds of times have I heard, "The law won't allow us" or "Our insurance won't allow us." Even "It's against company rules." A huge percentage of the time it's just not true. It's someone told someone who told someone and then it was so.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:59 PM   #17
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I'm changing marinas. I've been reading the rules at the new one. Four pages of rules.

Now some folks don't think marinas should have rules but as someone who has been kept awake until 4 AM by partyers and has had his dog attacked by unleashed dogs roaming the dock and has stepped in dog poop not picked up by irresponsible dog owners, I think rules are necessary at times.

BTW: the last three boats to come to the marina I'm leaving have been towed in and still don't run, nor do the owners seem to making any effort to repair them.

Having the rules in writing and having the contract require that the rules be followed goes a long way towards everyone understanding the rules.

Of course, for anyone who doesn't believe in rules, pick a marina that doesn't have any. Your choice.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:44 PM   #18
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I'm changing marinas. I've been reading the rules at the new one. Four pages of rules.

Now some folks don't think marinas should have rules but as someone who has been kept awake until 4 AM by partyers and has had his dog attacked by unleashed dogs roaming the dock and has stepped in dog poop not picked up by irresponsible dog owners, I think rules are necessary at times.

BTW: the last three boats to come to the marina I'm leaving have been towed in and still don't run, nor do the owners seem to making any effort to repair them.

Having the rules in writing and having the contract require that the rules be followed goes a long way towards everyone understanding the rules.

Of course, for anyone who doesn't believe in rules, pick a marina that doesn't have any. Your choice.
I do believe in rules. I also know sometimes they're misinterpreted or misapplied and sometimes they're just made up on the fly. Most marina leases I've seen have something about boats having to be operable, but they typically have some clauses that would allow a boat waiting for repair on a temporary basis. In the OP's case the boat would run. So, if the lease rule said boats must run, then interpreting that to mean it can't be brought in by a tow company is overreaching. For instance, you could have something wrapped around your prop and need to get it in and then go dive.

Rules just have to be in writing and fairly applied. There may also be appropriate exceptions but they can't let everyone be an exception.

I talked to one large marina manager a year or so ago. His key was he would never rent a slip long term for any boat he hadn't personally seen. No calling in and leasing a slip. They'd have to rent as a transient until he could examine. As in any rentals, a lot easier to turn them down than to get rid of them once they're there.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:53 PM   #19
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I don't think anybody's advocating for marina anarchy with no rules. A marina crew just standing there next to a travel-lift watching somebody's boat sink -- that's the issue.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:45 PM   #20
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Wrapped a line around my prop in Boston Harbor. SeaTow put me right into my slip. He was clearly very proficient with the maneuver. Not sure what the marina's policy is with transient boaters. I suspect they would do whatever they can do to help as long as they have an open slip.

If a boat is already in the lift then someone needing an emergency haul is SOL. They should be calling for a tow boat with a dewatering pump or if danger of sinking the USCG.
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