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Old 04-14-2018, 07:14 PM   #1
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Charge for pump-out?

I'm traveling north on the ICW and stayed the night at a South Carolina marina. After paying the overnight fee, I also paid a fee for electricity (common), but also $10 for a pump-out.

I expect to pay for a pump out when that's all I do, but thought it should be included with dockage.

Am I off base here?

John
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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It depends on the marina. If the marina took federal or state funds to construct or refurbish there pump out station, the pump out is supposed to be free or there is a limit to what they can charge (I don't remember which ). Based on my experience, I would say that at least half the time it's free if you paid for dockage or a mooring.

Was at a marina in Brunswick GA and had a $2 Environmental Fee added to my bill. Didn't catch it till after I left. Things like this are annoying. Not going to waste my time calling them, but may stop somewhere else next time.

Ted
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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I have always used the pump out at a fuel dock when buying fuel. I have never ever had to pay for a pump out. I guess if you had the pump out at your slip I could see why they would charge - especially if they have built the capability at each slip or wheeled down a cart.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:57 PM   #4
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I think I have seen it all possible ways...
Some installed by towns w/ Fed / State grant $ are free - especially DIY ones

I have done some research for a possible State / Fed Grant application...
I believe pump outs installed w/ Fed Grant $ can charge a "reasonable" fee - same for launch ramps and transient docks installed / refurbished w/ Fed $

Some towns docks don't / can't charge for staying especially of it's a canal wall or similar owned/installed w/ Fed/State funds but they sometimes charge for electricity they either installed or pay the bill for

Private marinas free to do as they please and will likely depend on local customs...
Some I know of season slip holders free - transients pay
Some will include a pump if you buy significant fuel

I got a little upset once at Town operated Oswego Marina (Lk Ontario @ Oswego)...
After filling w/ fuel and paying for pump out they wanted to charge for water! Their rationalization was if they don't charge everyone will stop & want to fill up w water!!

I almost lost it
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:05 PM   #5
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I also questioned a $15 pumpout fee and got a blank stare when I asked if the fee was more if I had instead of a 30 gallon holding tank a 100 gallon tank. The attendant ask the boss in the office and was told not charge me for the pumpout. I was also buying fuel. They had first mentioned that they pumpout into a shore holding tank and have to pay for truck pumpouts which hauls to sewage plant to justify the fee which I totally understand. A better fee setup might be timing the pumpout and charging accordingly.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:19 PM   #6
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Both of my home marinas (Maryland and Florida) dont charge transients or slip holders for pumpouts. I still tip the attendant. All 3 mooring fields I was in this winter, pumpouts and water were free. Not all places nickel and dime you.

Ted
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMF1984 View Post
I'm traveling north on the ICW and stayed the night at a South Carolina marina. After paying the overnight fee, I also paid a fee for electricity (common), but also $10 for a pump-out.

I expect to pay for a pump out when that's all I do, but thought it should be included with dockage.

Am I off base here?

John
We've encountered all sorts: free with overnight stay, or a fee they set, or a maximum fee of $5 in the case of a subsidized installation.


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They had first mentioned that they pumpout into a shore holding tank and have to pay for truck pumpouts which hauls to sewage plant to justify the fee which I totally understand. A better fee setup might be timing the pumpout and charging accordingly.
Our marina is like that. Not a State subsidized installation, and they in turn also have to pay a honey wagon to pump out their on-shore tank. A couple of years ago the honey wagon raised their fee something like 400% so our fee at the dock went up too.

Complicated somewhat by the local Fleming fleet; I think one of their holding tanks is about 6x the size of ours... but the marina doesn't really have a viable way to figure out how to charge "by the gallon".

-Chris
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:28 AM   #8
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In all my travels I have never been charged but I know places do. In Ft meyers we fueled and the a sign said $15 for pump out, not sure if they would of charged us after getting a few hundred $ in fuel
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:54 AM   #9
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Tarpon point in Cape Coral used to charge $40 for a pumpout. It was free I believe to the slip holders and fuel customers. There was a county dock with a pumpout station about 2 miles away that was free. When the municipal one was broken (frequently for a while) Tarpon Point would be burdened with sailboaters looking for a free pumpout. For a while they put up with providing the free service. When word got back to management that the sailboaters weren't even tipping the dock hand, the fee went into place.

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Old 04-15-2018, 08:15 AM   #10
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Can confirm that many do charge.

$5 I also believe is the max if Fed funding.

Some dont charge or lower the price.....but only if you buy fuel or a slip.

Sensitive areas like the Fla keys dont charge at all because of grants that I bet are tied to making a huge NDZ of the whole area.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:45 AM   #11
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I was pretty surprised when I stopped at Narrows Marina in Tacoma. I was in the process of pumping fuel when I asked about using the pump out. The young man told me that even with buying a couple hundred gallons of fuel, it was still going to cost me 5 bucks. I stopped the fuel and took my business elsewhere.

toni
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:06 AM   #12
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it was still going to cost me 5 bucks. I stopped the fuel and took my business elsewhere.

toni
Really?? Considering the environmental advantages of providing pump-out services and the infrastructure costs to the Marina I think $5 is quite reasonable. We charged this at our Washington Waterfront city docks and I NEVER had a complaint when I worked there as an attendant. The Most I've ever paid was $10 at a high end Marina with reasonable transient docking (River Dunes, NC). My Home port marina is free, but it is private and we own our slips and pay a yearly assessment.....

Guess you showed them....:-(

Use a bucket and take it home with you...(I had a friend who did this BTW...)
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:55 AM   #13
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They lost 100 bucks on fuel profit to collect 5 bucks. Virtually every other place around here is free.
Plus, they bumped their fuel price when a nearby place closed up. They want to make every penny they can? Fine. But they won't get mine nor that of many folks I've steered elsewhere.
Capitalism works both ways.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:03 AM   #14
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$100 of fuel price or pure profit?

I know some marinas that lose money on fuel just to keep slip holders, etc happy about convenience.

just an hour ago I was talking with a marina employee about how some boaters have no clue what charging rates a marina needs to charge to exist.

he agreed that better to not deal with those that feel boating should be done on the cheap and work with those that get it.

where I am from and cruise I wish there were 10X as many marine services and facilitiies....it would control costs but more importantly make boating a lot easier/less stressful.

So for now, I agree to pay the price to make boating services available through decent pricing...and the price of a pumpout being not much more than 2 craft beers or a couple glasses of wine. Some people just never put things into perspective

Right now in plenty of places they dont exist .....as often the profit margin is pretty minimal.

who here works for less because they like it?

If it was $100 worth of fuel and not pure profit, I bet they just as soon not have you back anyhow as you probably wouldn't smile when you were tipping the pumpout guy to boot.....
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:11 AM   #15
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I was pretty surprised when I stopped at Narrows Marina in Tacoma. I was in the process of pumping fuel when I asked about using the pump out. The young man told me that even with buying a couple hundred gallons of fuel, it was still going to cost me 5 bucks. I stopped the fuel and took my business elsewhere.

toni


Iíve never used the pump out at Narrows. Iím a bit surprised they charge a fee. They certainly can, but they already have a couple of competitive disadvantages for a fuel dock. I would think that from a business standpoint they would make it free with fuel purchase.

I have rarely gotten fuel at Narrows and never with my current boat. It was a bit tight to turn my 40í sailboat around in the fairway.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:45 AM   #16
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I have a service that pumps out my boat. I have to be out for more than two weeks before I need to think about pumping out.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I was pretty surprised when I stopped at Narrows Marina in Tacoma. I was in the process of pumping fuel when I asked about using the pump out. The young man told me that even with buying a couple hundred gallons of fuel, it was still going to cost me 5 bucks. I stopped the fuel and took my business elsewhere.

Free is rare, around here. And sometimes "free" only when included with dockage.

I can't begrudge a marina a buck or two here or there when I know they've got costs too. Our own marina in particular, since they also have to pay to get their own storage tank pumped... but even the inexpensive $5 subsidized places have costs associated with pumping out, and that $5 likely isn't covering all that.

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Old 04-15-2018, 03:13 PM   #18
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An area can't be declared a "no discharge zone" unless the requester (usually, the State) can prove that there are sufficient pump-out facilities.

This usually leads to a flood of money for pump-out stations at places (like marinas) which would otherwise have no interest in installing one. And, at least where I've seen it, this usually stipulates a maximum allowable fee (like $5 or $10.)

Once the NDZ is enacted, there's very little motivation to maintain the free equipment. As pump-outs get harder to find, the price goes up, and nobody really cares to enforce the $5 rule.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:26 PM   #19
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In Minnesota and Wisconsin I've never NOT been charged for pump out in my life. Prices have ranged from $3 to $20, regardless of whether we're paying for a slip or for fuel. I'd never expect it to be free.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:38 PM   #20
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plus, its the one thing that most tip for, so adding on a few bucks when like I said before, its not much more than a drink or 2 out.... hard to get excited about.
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