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Old 01-31-2018, 06:17 PM   #21
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Sea Tow membership is pretty black and white...BoatUS after reteading it several times is less clear.

The problem is hearsay and anecdotal experiences by boaters that confise the membership services when they post their experiences on the web.

Plus, sometimes towing services are good guys and do stuff not strictly covered...which obviously comes back to haunt them.

Like any membership, insurance or investment stategy, if you dont study it...especially with so much at stake .... you are being careless with your money.

As far as salvage bills...I dont know how many here have risked their lives and limbs on a tegular basis their whole life, but I have and hearing that the guy I just saved got a 100 million golden parachute can kiss my ass if his is only worth a couple thou when I risk mine to save him.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:04 PM   #22
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Anyone I know that has had to call TowbouatUS around here, has very positive things to say about them. That's a small sample to judge an entire industry, but I'm sure most of the tow operators are professionals and not pirates out looking for booty.

However, a small percentage of people are opportunistic jerks, and if given the opportunity to take advantage of someone, they will. Why not remove the temptation and make the cost of the salvage based on the work that was done, not the value of what was saved.

If a tow operator, or any sevice provider for that matter, can't give you an itemized cost breakdown of why they are charging you a certain amount, there's something wrong there.

The service provided to pull my boat off the rocks is the same, whether its a 30 year old boat, or a brand new Nordhavn carrying Fabrege Eggs and Van Gogh paintings.

It seems like the law would not have much effect on the legitimate towing services but would correct an arcane law that can be used by the unscrupulous to take advantage of people, and it seems like a good idea to me.

It will be interesting to see how the conflict between Federal Maritime Law and a State Law, if this passes, is reconciled.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:40 PM   #23
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Anyone I know that has had to call TowbouatUS around here, has very positive things to say about them. That's a small sample to judge an entire industry, but I'm sure most of the tow operators are professionals and not pirates out looking for booty.

However, a small percentage of people are opportunistic jerks, and if given the opportunity to take advantage of someone, they will. Why not remove the temptation and make the cost of the salvage based on the work that was done, not the value of what was saved.

If a tow operator, or any sevice provider for that matter, can't give you an itemized cost breakdown of why they are charging you a certain amount, there's something wrong there.

The service provided to pull my boat off the rocks is the same, whether its a 30 year old boat, or a brand new Nordhavn carrying Fabrege Eggs and Van Gogh paintings.

It seems like the law would not have much effect on the legitimate towing services but would correct an arcane law that can be used by the unscrupulous to take advantage of people, and it seems like a good idea to me.

It will be interesting to see how the conflict between Federal Maritime Law and a State Law, if this passes, is reconciled.
maritime salvage law is timeless and you are not informed to the ins and outs of why salvage law exists. You should read up on it.

The reason for astronomical salvage claims has been time tested. Like I said...what is you life and or boatv worth to you when all involved are in peril on the rocks?.

Its just that when maritime salvage is inappropriately applied, it makes the whole industry look bad.

And its funny, just today I read an article that mentioned the salvage industry is one of the most profesdional maritime industries by the USCG audits for the last few years IIRC.

and for giggles...I was one of the longest employed captains in a large assistance towing firm....and in 15 years, I was never involved in a petcentage of vessel value case despite hundteds of salvage cases.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:04 PM   #24
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Scott. I don’t think anyone on the forum would doubt that your are professional in your career in the air and on the water. Others might not hold themselves to your high standards. Just sayin
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:29 PM   #25
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It happens in Canada too. Have a friend who anchored in Ganges a few years ago to go to the Saturday market...
Huh. We stayed at Ganges last summer for one night on a charter. Unlike every other Canadian marina on the trip, Ganges was not helpful or friendly. They seemed annoyed by our presence and acted like they were doing us a huge favor to let us stay there. They also watched us go to a slip on the wrong end from the marina office windows and didn't say a word. And it was kind of a gross marina too, some of the shoreside slips were filled with floating garbage. The town was great and we happened on a fantastic restaurant, but the marina staff, not so much. Sorry, thread drift.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:54 PM   #26
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Scott. I don’t think anyone on the forum would doubt that your are professional in your career in the air and on the water. Others might not hold themselves to your high standards. Just sayin
Thank you for the kind words Irv...

But salvage claims are based on being prepared and sitting around with expensive equipment and risk when the time comes.

No risk, no salvage award in maritime court.

Thats what people dont get, but the courts do.

For people who think prices are high, compare it to the profit margins versus overhead and actual work and they may be suprised as who is really ripping them off.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:39 PM   #27
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Huh. We stayed at Ganges last summer for one night on a charter. Unlike every other Canadian marina on the trip, Ganges was not helpful or friendly. They seemed annoyed by our presence and acted like they were doing us a huge favor to let us stay there. They also watched us go to a slip on the wrong end from the marina office windows and didn't say a word. And it was kind of a gross marina too, some of the shoreside slips were filled with floating garbage. The town was great and we happened on a fantastic restaurant, but the marina staff, not so much. Sorry, thread drift.
Letís not hijack this thread. Ganges has 4 marinas and a public dock. Your experience is not normal. Iím guessing you went to the marina that caters to yacht clubs and is less interested in non yacht club boats.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:40 PM   #28
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I may not know as much about it as you do, but I am far from clueless and its incredibly presumptious of you to say such.

Salvage Law is based on encouraging salvors to take risks to save property that owners would want saved.... its very reason for existence is to benefit owners. It comes from a time when communication was slow, and owners didn't sail on their vessels. Neither of those is true today, nor do they apply to pleasure boats.

Salvage awards were determined by a court who acted in the service of the public. The individual salvor should not be able to determine what the award is. To have the salvor be able to determine if a situation is salvage vs assistance, and then determine his own award is legalized piracy and bound to encourage the unscrupulous minority to seek unjust enrichment.

Salvage awards were designed to encourage the maintenance and ownership of specialized salvage vessels and equipment needed to ensure the public good, as shipping was vital to the world economy. Again, this does not apply to most private recreational boats, as the required euipment ( a boat and a rope ) was not purchased solely for salvage use. It especially does not apply to a TowboatUS/Seatow assistance, as those boats are set up for towing, already, and use the equipment they normally used in the undertaking of their regular services. ( I'm sure there are instances where specialized equipment ( lift bags, pumps, divers etc ) is needed.....and in those cases the salvor should absolutely be compensated for having the equipment and the skill to use it....no objection to that at all )

As I said in my previous post, I'm sure that most tow/assistance operators are honest and decent professionals who are not looking to take advantage of people. But I also think that applying a thousand year old law intended for commercial shipping to recreational boating in modern times is inappropriate and that it might need some updating and have some limits applied to it.
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:39 AM   #29
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I just love hearing about these "antiquated maritime laws" that "shouldn't apply to recreational vessels" yet recreational vessels sink or ground all the time. You think your $200/year membership should cover all of this? Haha...
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:33 AM   #30
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Benthic2 I edited the clueless part right after I posted it because I know it upsets people as it has become derogatory insrtead of just descriptive.

But it seems you were until you googled maritime salvage as your followup post reads right out of some the same articles I have read.

Plus, maritime courts have evolved. Many salvor claims are tossed when they smack of salvage, but not like the old days. The court applies the rules stringently,, and often dropped to time and materials. I would say 95 percent of the "salvage" jobs I did were time and materials because the insurance companies liked it, it was fair and usually never squbbled over nut by the owner who had to pay upfront if the insurance company didnt respond before we left.

So no, its not an arcane law any more than many other laws on ths books that people see as unfair if it can hurt them in their pockets.
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:07 PM   #31
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PSN:
Derogatory and descriptive are not mutually exclusive. If I were to call someone an overly negtive complaining blowhard troll on a forum...for example, I think that would be considered both descriptive and derogatory.

I did look up a few points before my post, as I wanted to make sure my recollections were correct. I had a business law class a number of years ago, and the professor had a thing for maritime law, so again...2 concepts that are not mutually exclusive....I wasn't clueless, but did look a few things up first. Forgive me, I like to be accurate.

I think a time and materials approach to billing makes sense. You'd be entitled to a higher pay for the riskier stuff, and if it was dark, rainy late at night, etc. But I stand by my comment that the work required is the same whether I have a fancy boat with expensive things, or a stinky old tub. I would also hate to think that a rescuer passed up me in my sinking tub who was in real danger because a brand new Kady Krogen got stuck in the sand when the tide went out, because the KK is more expensive and he stands to profit more.

If 95% of your jobs were time and materials, why not make that the standard with an allowance for exceptional situations. If you do something extraordinary, your compensations should be extraordinary. Have a provision that in rare cases you can charge a kings ransom but it has to be approved by someone other than the salvor, like a court. I have a real problem with the salvor being able to define a situation as salvage, then make up an unreasonably large number to charge the owner, and places a lien on the boat and its all legal. Now, the owner has to go to court for justice, because the salvor is just greedy. The decision to label something as salvage and the amount of the award should not be decided by the person who benefits from those decisions.

SaltyD:
Another faulty argument. Where does it say the only 2 options are that $200/year cover everything, OR Salvage law is fair and equitable ??? No I don't think $200/year should cover raising a sunken vessel or, in fact, have any objection to a salvor being paid very well for the services they provide. But I also think its wrong to apply a law that was created so long ago for commercial vessels to recreational boats. The law was made because it was impossible to get in touch with the owner of a commercial vessel in a timely manner back in the day, and it was important that the owners interests were taken care of. It was to benefit the ship owner. In a recreational boat, the owner is right there.....and if the owner ends up going to court to fight an exhorbitant bill for tens of thousands of dollars, then his interests weren't really served, were they ? If the intent of the law was to protect owners, but owners ( orf recreational boats ) are protesting the solution, the law is either not doing what it was intended to do, or being mis-applied.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:14 PM   #32
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Or people think services should be free. If you're not in distress, I mean actual distress, then you should make sure before he hooks a line to your vessel, what his intentions are. It would appear this salvage issues doesn't happen too often, so the law must be doing ok.

Lol I love my arguments are "faulty" because they don't agree with your feelings.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:24 PM   #33
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OK, Ill eat crow...unless it was a change after I read it.

After another read, it does allow for salvage in urgent situations without written agreements...but thats the only BBQ crow I will swallow.

It pretty much what I have been doing anyhow... but still there will be "those cases" and the not so arcane courts and law are just fine by me.

And please dont discuss greed. Theres plenty to go around.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:28 PM   #34
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Salty: Your argument wasn't faulty because I didn't like it.....you implied that Salvage Laws are OK because a $200/year membership shouldn't be expected to cover everything. Those two concepts are unrelated, and are not either/or choices. Just because membership doesn't cover a rescue, does not mean Salvage Laws are applicable to recreational boating.

PSN..you could ask the opposite as well....does the legislation protect the owner from a twit that wasted his time in court with an outrageous bill and lien ?
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:34 PM   #35
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yes it does and often does, the new law assigns punative damages in only one direction I see.

did you actually read it?....I think not and its just a rant against windfall profits in a business you dont understand, but can be affected by it. Windfalls are seen in most businesses....most of which take no physical risk.

You dont think I have had this discussion a thousand times over the last 15 years in Assistance towing and some in the USCG?
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:41 PM   #36
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Then what law should be applied to recreational vessels? Go ahead, I'll wait.

Everyone wants to be a captain until it's time to do captain stuff!
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:51 PM   #37
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I'm sure you've discussed it plenty, and know more about it than most, but we just see it differently. Lots of laws are controversial ( legalized pot, capital punishment, gun controls, etc ) I'm not sure there is a right and wrong side of the issue, there are just opinions, and everyone's is different, because everyone has a different perspective. The great thing about a forum like this is the exposure to different viewpoints and perspectives.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:02 PM   #38
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Salty:
For recreational vessels, you provide a bill for your services. It should not be based on the value of the vessel or contents, but on the work provided....just like every other service provider. I don't see anything wrong with someone being paid for their skillset, equipment, knowledge etc. Lebron James has a unique and specialized skill set...he gets paid well for it. Doctors and Lawyers get paid well for what they do. A salvor should be no different.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:24 PM   #39
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So as you're sinking or smashing up against rocks, you want the salvor to draw up a contract?

You're getting mad at a law you've known about, maybe get a new hobby?

I fail to see your logic. Should we make a new ColRegs for recreational boaters? You think everything is so separate, but a vessel is a vessel and a law is a law. And it works. It's also been updated and not as watered down as you make it.

How often are people ACTUALLY taken advantage of? Smashing up against the rocks is a salvage operation, like it or not.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:30 PM   #40
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Why would we make a new set of ColRegs ?!?! Avoiding a collision is a factor for all boats, commercial and recreational, and I don't think any states are pushing bills to do that. This thread is about the proposed Florida law regulating salvage claims.

The proposed law is aimed at unscrupulous salvors, who take advantage of the current law. The guys who do a routine service, classify it as salvage, charge an outrageous fee, and slap a lien on a boat. I don't know how anyone can justify that behavior, or object to a law to prevent it.

I was just reading about a guy who lost some hatch covers during a hurricane and took on some water. (The boat was slightly down in the bow...the boot stripe was still above water ) 5 weeks after the storm he calls a guy who shows up in a pick up truck with a small pump. Lets the pump run for 2 hours and leaves. Then sends a bill for $13k dollars. There is no special skill involved here......no risk to life or property....no risk by the salvor. The boat owner should have discussed fees up front so maybe he wasn't so bright...but this law would prevent situations like this. How can anyone object to that ?
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