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Old 01-12-2013, 16:55   #1
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Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

OK folks, I like to keep a positive outlook but I have seen enough.

The good folks here in the Bahamas (Abacos) that install, maintain, and pay hideous taxes and fees in order to make a skant payback are constantly getting the "soiled end of the shaft". In the last few days I have watched several boats skip out or try to pay only for a night when staying three. This happens quite a lot and it is little different that stealing water in the dark of night.

If you cannot or do not want to pay for a secure mooring please anchor.
If you need water please pay the 25-30 cents a gallon for beautiful RO water or catch some yourself. This is not a game.!
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Old 01-12-2013, 19:47   #2
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Re: Bad form on mooring ediquette

With so much room to anchor in most places in the Abacos, I rarely pick up a mooring, but it's sad to hear some people are using mooring and purposely trying to avoid paying for a service they know they should be paying for.
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Old 01-12-2013, 21:16   #3
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

i agree. although i always anchor rather than moor whenever possible. it's not so much the dollars it's just that i trust my anchor and chain more than i trust an unknown mooring setup.

we've used the mooring balls in hopetown harbor; stayed for a week last summer at $20 a day. you couldn't go to disneyworld for $20 a day and it's a whole lot better imho. they appeared to be in pretty good condition; we saw a couple of locals come through one day to clean up each ball and check the lines. but in hopetown harbor you pretty much have to pick up a ball due to the limited space.

the balls in settlement harbor in great guana were another story. they just didn't look to be in good condition. in the clear waters of the abacos it's easy to see the lines and these looked pretty frayed. we anchored instead, but were fortunate to find room in this small harbor. otherwise we would have just gone around to the anchorage in front of dive guana.

at treasure cay there were only two mooring balls still set out. but anchoring was good. it's only a few dollars more for the mooring ball but i tend to trust my anchor over an unknown mooring setup.

everywhere else we anchored, including the two weeks we spent in marsh harbor except for the few days we went in to mangos marina to use their laundry, showers, water fill up, and convenience for stockinp up at maxwells.

hope to get back again this spring....
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:17   #4
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

Unfortunately it's not a problem confined to the Bahama's.

We've seen many a boat that slips into a marina after the gas dock shuts down and when we get up in the morning they are long gone before the gas dock opens back up. While a few may have paid, we have overheard enough confirmations from the staff to know a lot of them are skipping out on the bill.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:06   #5
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Unfortunately it's not a problem confined to the Bahama's.

We've seen many a boat that slips into a marina after the gas dock shuts down and when we get up in the morning they are long gone before the gas dock opens back up. While a few may have paid, we have overheard enough confirmations from the staff to know a lot of them are skipping out on the bill.
Are they stealing something?
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:23   #6
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Are they stealing something?
In the case of the moorings, they are stealing from the livelihood of whoever owns them; in the case of the fuel dock, it's a ripoff of the infrastructure of the marina, and eventually leads to the "no free services" mentality, even dinghy docks, that we have seen spread over the years.

So, maybe it isn't exactly stealing something, but taking advantage, and people resent it. The ones who were taken advantage of then make decisions about all yachties, and whoever comes along later gets tagged with the "bad yottie" label.

Cruising yachtspeople are not a loud political voice, and the bad apples' inconsiderate behavior hurts us all--and we, not they, pay the price...and that is why some of us speak up against it.

Ann
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Old 02-12-2013, 13:26   #7
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
In the case of the moorings, they are stealing from the livelihood of whoever owns them; in the case of the fuel dock, it's a ripoff of the infrastructure of the marina, and eventually leads to the "no free services" mentality, even dinghy docks, that we have seen spread over the years.

So, maybe it isn't exactly stealing something, but taking advantage, and people resent it. The ones who were taken advantage of then make decisions about all yachties, and whoever comes along later gets tagged with the "bad yottie" label.

Cruising yachtspeople are not a loud political voice, and the bad apples' inconsiderate behavior hurts us all--and we, not they, pay the price...and that is why some of us speak up against it.

Ann
I wasn't trying to open a can of worms but just asking a question. Of course, in the case of moorings, using a mooring provided by a commercial or state agency should be paid for and private docks and piers are off limits. Tying up to an empty commercial fuel dock after hours in order to catch a nap or sort out some errant rigging seems rather innocuous unless there are signs posted prohibiting use. Am I on the edge on that or is that clearly bad manners?
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Old 02-12-2013, 14:15   #8
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Tying up to an empty commercial fuel dock after hours in order to catch a nap or sort out some errant rigging seems rather innocuous unless there are signs posted prohibiting use.
The problem is that there are more and more signs being posted all the time because of the few who are scamming the system.

Moorage used to run almost universally on the honors system. If you picked up a ball at sunset after a long sail, no one was uptight about it because they'd assume you would came ashore in the morning to pay up. That system worked to the advantage of all concerned until the people scamming the system made it a habit of showing up at 1705 and departing at 0755 the next morning.

Who gets cheated? We all do. The folks trying to make an living running a mooring field have to charge the honest cruisers more because the scammers aren't paying their share. The folks running commercial docks are less and less inclined to provide dinghy docks, et cetera because they're beginning to think we're all scammers.
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Old 02-12-2013, 14:32   #9
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Originally Posted by S/V Antares View Post
OK folks, I like to keep a positive outlook but I have seen enough.

The good folks here in the Bahamas (Abacos) that install, maintain, and pay hideous taxes and fees in order to make a skant payback are constantly getting the "soiled end of the shaft". In the last few days I have watched several boats skip out or try to pay only for a night when staying three. This happens quite a lot and it is little different that stealing water in the dark of night.

If you cannot or do not want to pay for a secure mooring please anchor.
If you need water please pay the 25-30 cents a gallon for beautiful RO water or catch some yourself. This is not a game.!
Sadly, people that do this think they are beating the system, but are just stealing. As has been posted by others, people tend to stereotype and lump sailors into undesirable groups like "swear like a sailor", et cetera.

Makes you wonder what else they would do when they think no one is looking.
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Old 02-12-2013, 14:45   #10
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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I wasn't trying to open a can of worms but just asking a question. Of course, in the case of moorings, using a mooring provided by a commercial or state agency should be paid for and private docks and piers are off limits. Tying up to an empty commercial fuel dock after hours in order to catch a nap or sort out some errant rigging seems rather innocuous unless there are signs posted prohibiting use. Am I on the edge on that or is that clearly bad manners?
I'm talking about marinas that rent out slips for the night (they typically have a gas dock also).

Even if it is just a commercial gas dock with no slip rental, there is no "you can use it if it's not posted otherwise" rule. If you leave your boat for a week, can I take it out without your permission as long as I put it back unharmed before you get back?

Now if you are having engine problems so you pull into a closed fuel dock for a 1/2 hour in the interest of safety to sort things out before moving on I don't think anyone is going to go after you with pitchforks but that's not the situation in question.

From the marina owners perspective: It is flat out stealing. The marinas build the docks on the premise that they will rent them out for a fee. If you purposely avoid paying the fee while using thier docks, you have stolen the rental fee that they are legally entitled to.

From the honest cruisers perspective: If you come in late intending to settle up in the morning, you are often treated with suspicion because others have abused the situation.
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Old 02-12-2013, 14:58   #11
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

Bash, are you referring to the likes of Ayala/Hospital Cove?

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Old 02-12-2013, 15:05   #12
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Are they stealing something?
Go to a local motel and ask them if you can have an empty room for the night for free. Maybe they can explain it to you.
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Old 02-12-2013, 15:41   #13
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I know of a place that the security guard gets paid a "bounty" to lock boats to the dock that come in after hours. That process was the direct result of people trying to avoid paying.
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Old 03-12-2013, 14:00   #14
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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Go to a local motel and ask them if you can have an empty room for the night for free. Maybe they can explain it to you.
I'd be looking for a space in their parking lot. Not a room.

I know this seems like a simple analogy but here in the islands 99% of the fuel docks (not very many of them at that) are built and paid for by taxpayers like myself and not commercial marinas nor are they like motel parking lots. The fueling portion is done by a commercial concern but I wouldn't be stealing fuel. So I've dealt with docks that are paid for by taxpayers like myself and are sometimes deserted after the gates are locked.

I don't consider myself a thief or even a dishonest person but maybe I am.
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Old 06-12-2013, 17:13   #15
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Re: Bad Form On Mooring Etiquette

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I wasn't trying to open a can of worms but just asking a question. Of course, in the case of moorings, using a mooring provided by a commercial or state agency should be paid for and private docks and piers are off limits. Tying up to an empty commercial fuel dock after hours in order to catch a nap or sort out some errant rigging seems rather innocuous unless there are signs posted prohibiting use. Am I on the edge on that or is that clearly bad manners?
I am sure no one posting on this thread would ever be responsible for something like this. But there are two pilings by the water hose in the marina where my boat is that have clearly been damaged by boats hitting them or not freeing lines at the right time, I can easily push them six or eight inches with my hand. Same goes for some of the hardware used to anchor the mooring balls.

Every time a boat touches anything there is potential for damage, and it is not free to repair. Just as it is more expensive for us to fix our boats in exotic places it is also more expensive to fix docks and mooring balls in exotic places.

Oh yea, there is also that image thing about boaters not paying their way.
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