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Old 10-06-2019, 11:16 AM   #1
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City: Oneida Lake, NY
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Owner's phone number displayed on boat

I don't remember ever seeing this before, but a marina neighbor has his phone number posted in vinyl lettering on the aft end of his house in the cockpit. My first knee-jerk reaction was 'ooh, that's brave,' but after thinking about it some more, it might be a really great idea.

He's got his posted in an area where the average passerby might notice it, or might not. It's not a giant advertisement, but if someone was looking for it, it would be easy to spot.

Since I'm going to be leaving my boat for about a month at a time, about 5 times a year, and often in new and different places, I think I may do the same. Even while actively cruising, it might make leaving the boat anchored somewhere a tiny little bit less worrisome. If she drags, or catches fire, or starts sinking, or some other awful thing, a concerned neighbor will have a way to get ahold of me.

I've been in several situations over the years where I saw something not quite right with a neighboring boat, and knew I could fix it quickly and easily, but not being comfortable fondling someone else's stuff, I usually wouldn't. If there was a number posted, I might give a call and say 'hey, I think your bilge alarm is going off. Mind if I check it out?' or 'dude, your halyard is driving me apesh*t crazy, do you mind if I adjust it?' or 'hey it's raining and you left your hatches open, okay if I close em up?'
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:42 AM   #2
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I usually leave a card on the door or somewhere easily found so that someone noticing something wrong can call me. It has helped in the past when I sprung a leak and someone noticed the pump running and water running off the boat.

Considering where my boat is, the person called was probably the 100th person who walked by but the only one who did not have his head up his ass and noticed something. The leak, a small one to the ice maker, had run the tank dry (200 gallons) so this had gone on for quite a while before I got a call. It really surprised me that it took that long before someone noticed it or did anything. And I am right on the main walkway, not tucked back in a corner. Oh well..
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
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Iíve seen this as well and it can be a great idea. The idea is to allow someone to alert you to a problem. However, depending on where you will be leaving your boat this may not be necessary. In my marina for example, if I spot a potential problem I simply call the dock master who can let the owner know if I donít know or have the owners phone number. That works well for me as I am in a private marina with no transient boats.

Having a cell number on the boat can be useful if you are away from your home dock. If there is an issue, then someone can let you know if you are at dinner or shopping. I do have boat cards that I made. They have the boat name, our names, our MMSI, email, and cell phone number. If we are in a situation where I would like that information available, Iíll simply tape one to the boat.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:53 AM   #4
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We have our phone number on a piece of paper that gets propped up in the pilothouse window when we leave the boat. So far we've only had calls requesting if we're selling, but you never know, one day it could be for something important.

Stuff happens. I went down to Badger one day and the aft deck was flooded over the lazarette hatch. A critter, probably a mink or otter, had eaten another critter which had eaten some hard round seeds which were *just* big enough to get stuck in the openings of the scupper strainers.

It was bucketing rain for days. The crap was on the saloon roof and the little round seeds got washed out, made their way to the scuppers, and lined up perfectly to block them completely. That's about when the phone number went up.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:58 AM   #5
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I’ve posted my phone number in the past. I should renew the card and repost it on the boat again. I like to add a labeled drawing of the above-water through hulls; bilge, refrigeration, gray water, generator, etc. That way a concerned neighbor can see where the discharge is coming from.

Before I posted my number, a neighbor contacted the marina to report a “running bilge pump. The boat must be sinking in the slip”. The call from the marina reached me at midnight. A visit to the boat that night reveled that the water was coming from my refrigeration cooling. Hence, the diagram of the plumbing!
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:03 PM   #6
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In Alaska it seems that most boat owners post emergency contact information in a visible place on their boats.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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We post our names and cell phone numbers in plain sight and have for many years.... In all that time we have only had 1 phone call about the boat... We are in a private marina with no active management so neighbors look out for each other...
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:32 PM   #8
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Our marina actually gives us an emergency contact card to complete with our contact info to post on the boat.

I agree, super good idea. While I am naturally risk adverse when it comes to personal information, the reality is that someone looking to do ill with my info will break into the boat, find my legal folder with the documentation and state registration, and have my home address. They aren't going to call my cell to alert me about it and risk a trace back to them.

I find the boating community a helpful and trustworthy group of people, and have much less worries of something bad happening with my cell phone than in most other areas of my life...

(Considering the number of unsavory robo-callers that have my cell phone number and spoof legitimate caller ID's, I would welcome a call from almost anyone else for a change!)

The benefit of having a dock neighbor or passerby calling my cell about a problem on the boat far outweighs the risk of someone with ill will obtaining it. I would likewise not be offended by someone calling me to ask me a question about the boat or just say hi because they are a TF member and wandered across my boat at a dock somewhere.

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Old 10-06-2019, 01:51 PM   #9
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Fairly common to see boat owners name/phone posted on paper in a window easily visible from the dock. There's been many a time where I wished the owner's info was posted, as walking by I could hear an alarm or see a bilge pump frequently circulating on and off. And, of course, that usually happens after hours when the office is closed!
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:06 PM   #10
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See, you guys have this cruising/boat ownership thing all figured out. I never noticed before, but now that I have, I'll probably see them everywhere. I needed some new vinyl stickers to update my hailing port anyway, so I threw in some phone numbers too. One for either side by the boarding area, and another to stick in the dink, in case she makes an excape.

I just ordered myself some boat cards too. That's another excellent idea.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:34 PM   #11
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Dave, you need to change your TF avatar to a pic of your boat. MUCH easier to look at.



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Old 10-06-2019, 03:11 PM   #12
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We had a boat bouncing against us in a mooring field a couple months ago. The owner was off the vessel but had a “in an emergency contact” placard in his window. A good thing to do, and something on my list so thanks for the reminder.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:09 PM   #13
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I would be inclined to say “contact the harbormaster if any problem”. Then give his name and number.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:02 PM   #14
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We are very private people and protect our privacy so no name or phone mounted anywhere on the boat. That’s just us.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:15 PM   #15
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Great idea. I pass out boat cards to everyone when I leave for very long. Putting up a card is easy and painless. I will add it to the back of the card that says," No shoes, bras, or children."
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:22 PM   #16
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Mine's faced. Need to replace.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:15 PM   #17
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I had a local sign shop make decals for both helm doors with contact info. Prior to that, I had a boat card taped up in a window but it wasn't very readable.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:32 PM   #18
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A few years ago I got a rare brainstorm and started a voluntary Excel spreadsheet with the owner information on each of the boats in the marina. I pass out a half sheet of paper in the spring, putting one on each boat, asking if they want to be included in the emergency call out list.


I ask the people to email me with the information, I would assemble it then email out the compiled list.


The main reason for it is that the marina office is closed evenings and weekends so if something should happen when the office was closed there would be no way to get in touch with a boat owner.


Now everyone on the list has all the names and contact info on those who choose to participate.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:08 PM   #19
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I'd volunteer for the local phone book in your marina. I've been blessed with good dirt neighbors. They both have my number, and a key to my house.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:09 AM   #20
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I post my contact info in the window. It's cheap insurance.
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