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Old 10-10-2018, 08:30   #1
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Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

Who is responsible for removing all the boats that get tossed ashore? Does it fall to the boat owner or the city?
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:35   #2
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

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Who is responsible for removing all the boats that get tossed ashore? Does it fall to the boat owner or the city?
The boat owner is responsible for his/her boat, including any damage that boat does while being tossed around.

If the local authority or local property owner clean it up for you, expect a bill. A LARGE bill.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:36   #3
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

Owner is legally responsible but you can't get blood from a turnip.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:47   #4
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

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...you can't get blood from a turnip.
True for anything, of course.

Boats that are un- or under- insured, unregistered, or owned by irresponsible, deadbeats are the bane of waterfront communities, especially after a big storm, and are a big part of the reason there is such a backlash against cruising boats in many places.

It will eventually happen that SOME state will decide they have had enough, and require salvage insurance coverage, the the rest will follow very quickly.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:48   #5
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

I guess you could sign the title over to the salvage company. A friend bought a boat in Apalachicola, FL 3 weeks ago. Looks like he's about to lose it.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:28   #6
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

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I guess you could sign the title over to the salvage company. A friend bought a boat in Apalachicola, FL 3 weeks ago. Looks like he's about to lose it.
Or, a salvage company could remove without your permission and you are then legally obligated to pay them for the salvage... they have the right under maritime law to recover their fee.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:31   #7
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

Why would anyone not want to take responsibility for his/her boat, vehicle, etc. It's your's, be responsible for it! I realize I'm going off the deep end on this, but there are far too many individuals out there who seem to have a "let someone else take care of it" attitude.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:36   #8
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

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I guess you could sign the title over to the salvage company. A friend bought a boat in Apalachicola, FL 3 weeks ago. Looks like he's about to lose it.

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Old 10-10-2018, 10:59   #9
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

It can be complicated and expensive
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:12   #10
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

Ultimately the owner. How, when and why depend on the jurisdiction you are in. Deadbeats could be met with a bill and then a monetary judgment that will follow them until the end of time. Again, it depends.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:37   #11
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

[QUOTE=billknny;2738731]True for anything, of course.

Boats that are un- or under- insured, unregistered, or owned by irresponsible, deadbeats are the bane of waterfront communities, especially after a big storm, and are a big part of the reason there is such a backlash against cruising boats in many places.

It will eventually happen that SOME state will decide they have had enough, and require salvage insurance coverage, the the rest will follow very quickly.


In 1961 Hurricane Carla, a category 4 storm, hit the Texas coast. My father had a shrimp boat and prior to the storms arrival my dad and I took the boat up the San Bernard river along with all the other shrimpers in Freeport, Texas. We could not make it more than a few miles due to the bridges being lower than our mast. We tied off to a live oak tree where we went up with the 17ft storm surge and back down when it past. I remember traveling back on the ICW and seeing the salt grass flats on the Stringfellow Ranch covered with water craft of all shapes and sizes. The government brought in equipment and removed the boats from the ranch. I don't know what happened to them after that. We new commercial fishermen that lost their boat and the small insurance companies claimed bankruptcy and didn't pay anything. It can be devastating when that's your only source of income.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:42   #12
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

I guess I must be one of the "deadbeats" that everyone keeps referring to. I've had owned power and sail for over 40 years and have over 30K sea miles. I've never suffered a loss and always been diligent about maintenance and have been a prudent sailor. Currently I own a 48 year old boat that no one will underwrite except for liability. If I sustained a major loss from a storm event I do not have the funds to remove the vessel except for a chainsaw and a uhaul. Being marginal doesn't equivocate to being a "deadbeat" owner.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:48   #13
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

In the case of a hurricane, your boat being washed ashore is no different than having the roof blown off your house and landing in someone's yard, or on their car or in their swimming pool. The US government comes out to cleanup the mess.
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Old 10-10-2018, 13:00   #14
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

Would be interesting to hear an attorney's opinion on this. My guess is that a hurricane could reasonably be called an Act of God and that may mean that there is no legal liability on the part of the boat owner. If so, then insurance companies could deny liability coverage since most policies state that they will only pay for liability claims for which the insured is legally liable. I had this happen to me when my boat snapped 4 1-1/4" lines in a freak wind storm and did some damage to a neighbor's bow pulpit. BOAT/US-Geico refused to pay for the damage to my neighbor's repair saying that I had properly secured the boat with adequate number and size of lines therefore damage was due to an Act of God and I wasn't legally liable. The example they used was if a tornado picked up my car from my driveway and dropped it on my neighbor's house I wouldn't be liable for the damage to the house.... I ended up paying for the damage out of my pocket because it was the right thing to do whether I was legally liable or not. I wonder whether insurance companies pull this stunt after a hurricane??
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Old 10-10-2018, 13:07   #15
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Re: Are you responsible for removing your boat from land from a hurricane?

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... no one will underwrite except for liability. If I sustained a major loss from a storm event I do not have the funds to remove the vessel except for a chainsaw and a uhaul.
I believe that having your boat wrecked on someone's shore would be covered under liability. The coastal community or landowner may have to sue you, and the insurance company would defend and pay for the removal.

Best thing is to check with your insurance agent who should be able to give you some guidance on what's covered. That advice will not be binding, but it's a start.
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