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On the hard-unseaworthy & eviction notice from marina

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Seasmaster, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Senior Member

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    Situation: 60' boat on the hard in Central Florida Marina. 1 day before port is closed, marina tells the boat owner the marina is closed, and he can't board his boat to remove some hand tools. There has been no prior written, email, or phone notice. The gate is open, the boat owner goes to boat, recovers his tools, and when he tries to leave, the marina has closed the gate and called the cops.

    Two weeks later, the marina engages an attorney who delivers a "Cease & Desist" letter to the boat owner, giving him 30 days to vacate or the marina will start a law suit.

    The boat is unseaworthy. The rudders have been removed, and one of the shafts. Time to repair is unknown, but certainly more than 30 days, and probably less than 90 days.

    1) Can the marina legally require an unseaworthy boat to be moved? (The contract for the boat in the yard is month-to-month)
    Doesn't 46USC10908 preclude that?
    §10908. Penalty for sending unseaworthy vessel to sea
    A person that knowingly sends or attempts to send, or that is a party to sending or attempting to send, a vessel of the United States to sea, in an unseaworthy state that is likely to endanger the life of an individual, shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

    (Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 577.)

    2) The boat owner has been unsuccessful in locating a maritime attorney to represent him, so if anyone has a referral, it would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
  2. CTdave

    CTdave Senior Member

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    While I can't shed light on the legal aspect, reinstalling two rudders and a shaft shouldn't take more than two days. Giving lot's of wiggle room, call it a week at most.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    IS this guy current on paying his monthly bill?
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The marina isn't sending him to sea, isn't telling him where to move it, just get it off their land. Then it becomes a contract law matter more than maritime. That may be why maritime attorneys have turned him down, combined with perhaps feeling he lacks a maritime case.

    I feel like we're getting such a small part of the story and yet you're asking us for legal opinions when we're not lawyers. Owner needs to get himself in gear with an attorney and/or a boat mover or be prepared for a law suit. If the owner hasn't totally blown any ability to communicate with the marina, which sounds like he may have, he might negotiate more time but a firm commitment on his part and an apology for his behavior.

    What are you talking about 1 day before port is closed? Is this because of a hurricane? You've been told you can't proceed and the marina is closed and you proceed anyway, you're going to have trouble. I suspect some strong words were exchanged plus body language and action that led to calling the police.
  5. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    A notice to vacate does not impel the owner to float the boat. A 60' boat can be moved by truck.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Shafts and rudders can be installed in a couple of days.... personally if a yard wanted me out I wouldn’t stay a minute longer than needed.

    I have a feeling there is more the the story
  7. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    There always is...... His, hers and the truth.
  8. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Got to be a reason for the marina terminating the rental. Month to month requires a two week written notice to terminate and vacate in Florida.The marina is being nice and giving more notice than required.
  9. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Senior Member

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    A little bit of follow up to address some of the questions and observations. Oh and as an aside, it’s not my boat.

    Anyhow, I’m sure when the boat owner went to the yard to get his tools, the conversation deteriorated. As previously mentioned the boat owner had been given no prior notice that the yard was closing for the hurricane. And the port did not close until 24 hours afterwards. The yard gate was still open, so he went to recover his tools.

    Yes he is current with his payments, so it is not a financial issue, and he hasn’t spent much time up there to be a lousy neighbor/tenant. I wish I could add more to the story, but that’s the basics. I’m sure the marina is totally butt sore that the owner argued with the gatekeeper.

    My read on this, is that the marina has cut off negotiations by filing the cease and desist letter which included the verbiage of “non-negotiable. They never went to just a letter giving notice
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Then why is the owner wasting time instead of getting his boat out? Yard owner actually nice in not having him arrested and waiting to give him notice.

    As to "non-negotiable", there's no such thing. But does sound like bridges burned. They had no reason to just give a notice. The guy had shown his true colors in their mind, so they got an attorney. Do you think he would have left with just a notice? Or more arguing ensued? How many days of his 30 has he wasted so far?

    The yard gate being open doesn't matter when they told him clearly not to enter.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    There is something WAY MORE to this story, because every boat yard in Central Florida specializes in long term storage. Why would they tell the guy to leave if there wasn't a REALLY good reason? The entire story doesn't make sense. And, if he has 30 days, why isn't he fixing the boat and leaving with it. Having both rudders and 1 shaft out, in that location is odd to begin with.
  12. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Senior Member

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    With a 16' beam, and an air draft in excess of 16'? I'm not an expert in moving boats, but with traffic lanes running 12', and overpasses at 15ish, how would one move the boat by truck without deconstructing the topsides, and using chase vehicles?

    I'm seeing serious $$$$ if it can be done.
  13. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Depends on where it's going. I never said it was cheap. I said it was doable. And it is.

    Comparatively I have no idea what it will take to make the boat ready for launch and tow it or drive it away. That's a decision the owner will have to make. Soon.
  14. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Senior Member

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    With all due respect to my colleagues,

    Y'know, a lot of feedback, some useful; some not so much. It seems that "there is more to the story" thoughts are prevalent. Perhaps. But at the end of the day, the objective facts are: 1) The owner received no prior notice that the marina was closing for the hurricane. 2) The port didn't close until the next day. 3) The owner arrived at the yard during normal business hours and although the gate was open, the owner was told by yard employees the yard was closed, and that the owner could not go to his boat for a short period to remove some personal belongings. 4) While the owner was on the boat, the police were called and the gate was closed & padlocked. 5) The police arrived and declined to take any action against the boat owner-no arrest & no trespass action was taken. 6) Two weeks later, the marina then took action to evict. 7) The boat owner was current with rent.

    Everything else is "background" chatter. It doesn't matter, for example, if the boat owner was having an affair with a marina employee, the marina employee's spouse, or daughter, or all three simultaneously. Hypothetically, that might be a reason for the marina to evict - I get it. So "more to the story" really isn't relevant.

    That said, the comments on time to repair the rudders & struts, is helpful; wondering why rudders & shafts are out is not helpful.

    So, knowing that 30 days eviction notice, without any reason, is acceptable (and I don't challenge that premise), how can a marina deny access to a renter without prior notice? Put another way; Any marina in the state of FL, is permitted to arbitrarily close his gate and deny access to renters? That seems shocking.

    I have learned this, however. I'm not putting my boat in this marina for it's annual!!! No fk'g way. . . Come to think of it, having just found out the Barge Canal Lock is going to be closed for 4 months starting on 01 December, I'll have to make other yard arrangements. CRAP!! :(
  15. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Senior Member

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    Yeah, and an expensive one, either way. . .
  16. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Why can't the owner simply blank off the stern tube and rudder opening and put the boat afloat and go to another yard? We blank openings in ships all the time that have long term repair needs so we can get them off drydock. Even if he has to be towed this would be far cheaper then engaging in a legal war. I agree with others, there has to more to the story. Otherwise there are simple solutions.
  17. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    It's difficult to reply to your post in all but the most general terms. Lacking further details - for all we know it could be driven on a travel lift to the yard next door.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Is it a boat yard or a marina. Boat yard do regulate access to vessels even by owners for safety reasons. Maybe they had heavy equipment moving stuff around... who knows. If the yard management or staff tells someone not to come in, I can see why management would take issue.

    Is it fair? Probably not but good luck fighting it.

    Now if we re talking about a marina then that s another story as access is not restricted like a boat yard

    In any case it sounds like a p—g match... yard owner holds the cards.
  19. CTdave

    CTdave Senior Member

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    Simple question. Why is the owner wasting all this time instead of simply making the repairs and being done?
  20. wdrzal

    wdrzal Senior Member

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    They make inflatable heavy duty rubber plugs in all sizes . 2 for the shafts and 2 for the rudders. Put it in the water and have it towed.
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