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Old 06-19-2019, 02:01 PM   #1
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What should you ask your marina?

Members -
When we originally signed up at our marina on Lake Superior, we didn’t do a whole lot of due diligence on the whole arrangement. We had stayed there as transients several times, liked the facilities, neighbors, and staff, and understood the fees and posted policies, so we signed up for a season. At this point we had a trailerable boat, so we didn’t really ask or care about service, storage, haul outs, etc. Likewise, if we became disenchanted with that place, we could bring it anywhere, including back to the Twin Cities.

Next year (assuming our boat ever sells) we’re looking to move up considerably. Our boat won’t be readily transportable, and we’ll be reliant on them for all of our services. There are very few marinas in the area, so we’d like to make sure it’s a good fit for both of us, and that we start everything off on the right foot.

We’ve requested a meeting with the GM, Office Manager, and Service Manager in July to go over details. I’m interested in hearing any input on topics or details that you feel should be discussed in these meetings.

Thanks,
BD
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:39 PM   #2
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Enjoyed my time in Bayfield!

Questions:

Price for dockage per month and the season. What's included? What isn't?
Required pull out date?
Earliest in date?
Winter storage? Heated storage? Approximate haulout cost?
Yard services available? Outside contractor rules? Do it yourself rules?
Marina security?
Live aboard allowed? Cost? Number of nights you can stay aboard otherwise?
Boat liability insurance requirements?
Bathroom, shower facilities?
Pump out facilities? Cost? Hours of operation?
Vehicle parking rules?
Dock parties allowed? If so, till how late?
Depth in slips? Depth in fairways?
Hours of operation? Dock hands hours?
Fuel dock hours?

Ted
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:52 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. BD. I would think all of the marina's rates, rules and responsibilities will be noted in your slip lease agreement. Perhaps ask for a copy beforehand to review.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:07 PM   #4
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OC, RT - Thanks. OC you added a couple things I hadn't thought of already.

One of the things that I didn't add was that we haven't purchased (or found) that boat yet. So if their shop guys don't do yellow (or green, or...) engines, I'd like to know that. Or if they've never worked on a pod drive that would be good to know. I suppose the same would be true with electronics? With other systems? I don't think I'd get that from the lease agreement. Are there other things like that I should be thinking of?

I don't want to over complicate this, but if people have had bad experiences with their dockmaster or yard because expectations weren't clear, that might help me to know those things.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:26 PM   #5
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What ever you do, get it in writing and take some time to understand it fully, before signing. If in doubt, spend a few bucks and have a lawyer peruse the document. He said, she said doesn’t cut it when issue’s arise, especially when the word’s Lien, lock-up or restricted access are flung around.
Typically, you would have a lease agreement for moorage, in or out of the water. If storing on the hard or having work done, another lease or at least a lengthy work order are needed. Signs behind the counter are easy to remove or install to meet requirements.
Having been a contractor in my past life caused me to CMA as much as possible.
A professional outfit should have no problem providing documentation upfront for you to make a sound decision on your valuable asset.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:43 PM   #6
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Ask the people on the docks. They will have the answers
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:50 PM   #7
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Things that very from marina to marina. Overhang allowances, parking restrictions, items allowed on docks, water availability, pet policy, type of work allowed, length of time allowed on boat, garbage policy, hazardous waste acceptance
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:39 PM   #8
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You called for a Palaver?? You're really making them do the dog and pony show for a seasonal slip rental.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:52 PM   #9
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Likely you won't need an outline of priorities for a named hurricane.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:18 PM   #10
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The best dockage and the best mechanical service may not be at the same place. Often, those with outstanding service have fairly rudimentary docks and few frills. Just saying this in regards to your yellow vs green engines.

While it's most convenient for one size fits all, if that doesn't make sense, don't fight it.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
You called for a Palaver?? You're really making them do the dog and pony show for a seasonal slip rental.
Acknowledged that I didn't even know that word! I'm really not trying to be difficult at all. In fact it's the opposite. I'm really pretty much decided on this place and I'm trying to temper my own expectations. I'm serious when I say that if they told me that they didn't have anyone trained in brand x or had real problems getting parts for Y in the area, I'd just eliminate those from contention in my purchase.

There are 2 serious marinas in this area and 2 minor options. Others are hours away. I don't have many options.

For the record, this place (Pikes Bay Marina) won marina of the year last year for small marinas. I've slipped there and like it for what I've experienced. My concern was that my experience had almost nothing to do with the things that I hear people here discuss, like service, storage damage, poor workmanship with no warranty, degrading docks or flaky electric, etc. I thought it best to discuss these things up front. If that's making them do some unnecessary dance then I'm glad I asked. I'm looking at a 10-15 year relationship here. Better safe than sorry I figured.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
Likely you won't need an outline of priorities for a named hurricane.
Or evicting gators I hope. Getting out before a hard freeze? Maybe.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:58 PM   #13
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When I moved my 330 into my current slip before I bought Beachcomber, I didn't ask anything. That might have been short sighted on my part, but I knew I was going to be buying a boat in the 45-50' range and that was the ONLY slip in this whole stretch of the river that would accommodate a boat that size. Well, I take my first statement back. I did ask when it would be mine, and I was the first tenant.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:00 PM   #14
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Insisting that you need to have a sit down with the GM, Office Manager, and Service Manager to go over the details before you even have a boat may send the message that you are going to be really picky and maybe they won't want to deal with the hassle of having you in their marina.

No offense and I don't know you so I can't say if it is true or not, but they probably don't know you either and may not want to take the chance.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:42 PM   #15
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The OP used the term “requested” not “Insisting”.
I think if I was gonna drop a chunk of money on a nice boat and planned on long term moorage , I’d request a sit down with management, especially if the majority of boats in that facility are anything like the “majority” that Ive seen in marina’s on my travels.
Sorry if my statement ruffle’s some feathers, but if it offends you, maybe you should walk your docks and take a hard look at the boats that are rotting away.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Things that very from marina to marina. Overhang allowances, parking restrictions, items allowed on docks, water availability, pet policy, type of work allowed, length of time allowed on boat, garbage policy, hazardous waste acceptance
Do they allow dock boxes, keep dinghy in the water, power/water near winter storage location, do they need to approve all outside contractors, security policy (who is allowed on piers)

Sometimes you will get more info by talking with your prospective dock neighbors. (Is the dock mgr an idiot?)
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:23 AM   #17
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I would check online, ask around to see if the marina is for sale.
Having worked at a marina that was on the market, the owners did not want to put any more money into their business and thus the state of the property went downhill.

After several years that same marina here in New Bern is still in a state of disrepair and is back on the market. People would leave but since the recent hurricane there are fewer slips to be had at other marinas.

I would want to know if the new owners would honor all contracts or begin by changing to their contractual beliefs.

Tim
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssobol View Post
Insisting that you need to have a sit down with the GM, Office Manager, and Service Manager to go over the details before you even have a boat may send the message that you are going to be really picky and maybe they won't want to deal with the hassle of having you in their marina.

No offense and I don't know you so I can't say if it is true or not, but they probably don't know you either and may not want to take the chance.
I think that all depends on how you present yourself and your attitude. If I were looking for a new marina, I would expect them to hand me a list of rules which may be part of a lease agreement. A 5 minute conversation would probably answer the rest of the question.

As an example: My marina in Fort Myers has parking rules that aren't clearly spelled out. They don't want community residents using the parking lot as additional car storage. So, I can park at the marina anywhere I want during the day. If I'm going to leave my truck in the marina while I going cruising for a week, they want me to notify the marina office so that security knows it's not one of the community residents leaving their vehicle in the marina parking lot. The above took less than a minute for the marina manager to explain to me. I responded with I'll make sure to notify you and will park in the back of the lot when going cruising. It's a simple exchange followed by a courteous response to not leave a vehicle where people normally park to load and unload. I think most managers appreciate people who want to know the rules, appear to be willing to follow them, and are courteous as opposed to argumentative.

Ted
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
So if their shop guys don't do yellow (or green, or...) engines, I'd like to know that. Or if they've never worked on a pod drive that would be good to know. I suppose the same would be true with electronics? With other systems? I don't think I'd get that from the lease agreement. Are there other things like that I should be thinking of?

Useful questions for discussion, but I don't think I'd call those deal-breakers. If they don't work on X brand -- and it's difficult for one place to be expert in all brands -- the follow-up questions would be how they handle (or not) outside contractors. (And you could in the meantime be researching candidate outside contractors for various classes of stuff.)

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Old 06-20-2019, 09:22 AM   #20
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