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Old 01-30-2015, 08:14 PM   #1
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Marina contract language

Hi there,

Our marina recently changed hands and there's some debate as to the meaning of the following two clauses;

A) This agreement is a revocable license only and shall not be transferred or assigned by the Owner to another vessel or to a new owner thereof without the prior written consent of the Marina which consent may be withheld.

and,

B) A person purchasing a boat which is designated on a contract shall acquire the rights to that boat’s moorage and the balance of its contract year, subject to marina management approval.

Clause A seems to imply that when one sells their boat, the new owner can keep the boat in the same slip...unless the marina wants it gone for whatever reason.

Clause B seems to imply that when someone buys a boat that has moorage, that the new owner can keep the boat in the slip for the remainder of the contract year. It also seems to imply that the new owner "shall aquire" the ability to renew the moorage after the original owners contract year runs out...unless the marina wants it gone for whatever reason.

Lots of wiggle room, eh?

Will be dropping in to have a chat with them soon, but wanted to plumb the depths of TF wisdom on this beforehand.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:21 PM   #2
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Unless you have purchased slips...sounds ordinary to me..?actually generous to pass the slip on...where I'm from you sell..the slip contract is terminated and the new guy pays his own way.

Not usually enforced that way...but some do.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:39 PM   #3
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What may be different in our marinas situation is that it's the only show in town. People who want to sell can't because the understanding of the old contract was that the slip didn't go with the boat. Who wants to buy a boat just to have it sitting in the yard when there are supposed to be about 80 boats on the waiting list?
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:45 PM   #4
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...where I'm from you sell..the slip contract is terminated and the new guy pays his own way.

Not usually enforced that way...but some do.
Our harbor is extremely strict about enforcing the "slip doesn't go with the boat" rule. There is a very specific and quite short length of time that a boat can remain in it's assigned slip after it's sold. While I'm sure the port will allow reasonable extensions in specific cases if circumstances are such that a sold boat simply cannot be moved until such and such a date, they do not mess around under normal circumstances.

If the boat is not gone by the required date it's impounded and moved to the yard (at the new owner's expense). If the new owner does nothing in x-amount of time, the vessel is auctioned off.

Boat buyers cannot enter into a contract with the port unless or until their name rises to the top the waiting list. If a boat buyer wants to remain in the harbor, they have to sign up for the waiting list for the slip length they want, and they automatically start at the bottom.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:46 PM   #5
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That's what I would have guessed....occasionally marinas weasel the slips vacated to be slips for boats in their sales inventory...can't really blame them though.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:04 PM   #6
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That's what I would have guessed....occasionally marinas weasel the slips vacated to be slips for boats in their sales inventory...can't really blame them though.
In our case, the marina is part of the Port of Bellingham, a city government department. They are not involved in the buying, selling, or brokering of boats.

The brokerage and charter firms have contracts with the port for certain slips or in some cases entire docks of slips. They can rotate boats through or keep boats in these slips however they want. They can even do what the GB dealership did when we bought our old GB36 through them, and allow us to keep the boat in one of their slips for a couple of months after we brought the boat up from Californiaa until we could get a sublet slip of our own from the port while we waited to get to the top of the waiting list for a permanent slip (a two year wait in our case).

But the slips leased or rented to individual boat owners do not go with the boat if the boat is sold, but instead are offered to the next person on the waiting list for that size slip.

If the next person on the list doesn't want the slip for some reason, it is offered to the next person on the list, and the person who refused the slip goes to the bottom of the list.

The privately owned boathouses in our harbor are a different deal. They can be bought or sold at will, and the new owner simply signs a new contract with the port to keep the boathouse in the harbor.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:34 PM   #7
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PNW must be a tough place to berth a boat.

In our marina they are begging for boats.(true for most of the Delta)
In fact, folks often move around from slip to slip seasonally.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:35 PM   #8
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No help from me either, but is this the marina in Moon Bay or the one at Kitimat Village? Been a while since I've been there...
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:41 PM   #9
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Actually I read your clauses again and it is very similar to my contract wording. Clause A is to prevent sub-lets.

Clause B in our case if you sell the boat in mid-year the new owner can keep it there until the contract is up, usually annually at the end of the year. New owner is on the wait list. May or may not get a spot, and if so, it might not be the current spot.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:45 PM   #10
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No help from me either, but is this the marina in Moon Bay or the one at Kitimat Village? Been a while since I've been there...
Alcan (aluminum smelter) didn't renew Moon Bay's lease, so that disappeared a few years ago. The Kitimat Yacht Club (near the smelter) was also given the boot by Alcan. Minette Bay Marina is small, full, and squalid. The Kitamaat Village marina is chock-a-block full of Haisla (local First Nation) boats.

That leaves MK Bay Marina as the only show in town. Scuttlebutt is the new owners are going to put in 100 more slips...we'll have to see...
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:53 PM   #11
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Point A & B sound very similar to how my marina operates. As long as the boat is in reasonable condition and the boat actually fits its slip the moorage can be carried on to the end of the existing contract or to the new owner if they wish.

One caveat though is where a boat is longer than its current slip due to o/b motors, dinghybats or swimgrids, etc., hanging out into the slipways they will no longer allow transfer of moorage.

Part of that reason is some of the slipways have become seriously reduced in width from those items causing other boats trouble.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:53 PM   #12
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Actually I read your clauses again and it is very similar to my contract wording. Clause A is to prevent sub-lets.

Clause B in our case if you sell the boat in mid-year the new owner can keep it there until the contract is up, usually annually at the end of the year. New owner is on the wait list. May or may not get a spot, and if so, it might not be the current spot.
"A person purchasing a boat which is designated on a contract shall acquire the rights to that boat’s moorage and the balance of its contract year, subject to marina management approval."

To my way of seeing...the inclusion of the word and is significant in that it separates the aquisition of the boats moorage (with no time stipulations or limitations) from "the balance of the contract year" which does stipulate a limitation in time. That would mean the moorage can be aquired with a boat, "subject to marina management approval", right?!!?
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:55 PM   #13
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Point A & B sound very similar to how my marina operates. As long as the boat is in reasonable condition and the boat actually fits its slip the moorage can be carried on to the end of the existing contract or to the new owner if they wish.

One caveat though is where a boat is longer than its current slip due to o/b motors, dinghybats or swimgrids, etc., hanging out into the slipways they will no longer allow transfer of moorage.

Part of that reason is some of the slipways have become seriously reduced in width from those items causing other boats trouble.
That's the way I'm reading things, but I'm no lawyer.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:02 PM   #14
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PNW must be a tough place to berth a boat.

.
I can't speak for other harbors in the area but in Bellingham there don't seem to be many empty slips. The Port is even looking to expand by converting a former paper mill settling pond into another basin for boats. I've heard the waiting list for the most popular slip lengths is still a good two years or so.

I assume Bellingham is so popular because of its proximity to the San Juan Islands. Even in our patheticlally slow boat we can get to most of the popular destinations in the islands in about three hours or less. It's why we put our boat there when we got it even though we live 100 miles south east of Seattle.

If we kept our boat in the Seattle area, we would never be able to go to the islands except on vacations; in our boat it's a day and a half run just to get up there. With the boat in Bellingham, we can spend a weekend at our favorite destination in the islands.

Plus moorage is considerably less up north than it is in the Tacoma-Seattle-Edmonds-Everett harbors.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:52 AM   #15
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The contract sounds about normal. Most marinas I have been in have the same rules: the slip belongs to the boat owner - not the boat. If you sell the boat, the new owner has to leave. You can keep the slip if you want to get another boat and that might take a while. Obviously, if the marina has lots of slips available, they will accommodate the new owner.
I have never been to a marina with mooring balls so I cant speak for that. Obviously, your marina has a lot of balls.
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