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Old 25-07-2010, 15:46   #1
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Boarding a Boat in a Marina w/o Owner

There is a boat in the marina that is tied in such a way that about once every 10 days or so, it misses the fenders and bounces directly against a pier (fiberglass to post). I am tempted to fix it, but it raises the question of boarding someone else's boat without them - someone I don't even know casually.

If my boat is loose or bouncing against anything, I would appreciate it if someone fixed it if I were gone. But it does open a can of worms... what if after tying it something worse happens? What about just plain etiquette - can I board a boat in danger of damage - while anchored and make a reasoned attempt to improve the situation?



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Old 25-07-2010, 15:52   #2
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Messing with someones boat is a two edged sword. If you save it, they are thankful. If it ends up in trouble, then you are the bad guy no matter what. Always better to take the extra effort to contract the owner first. If you ask them if you can help it's a lot different. Most all marinas require a contact phone number for such cases.

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Old 25-07-2010, 15:57   #3
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This has happened to me. I went to the marina office and told them. They took care to call the owner and fix the problem with his permission. That would be a safe , courteous move.
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Old 25-07-2010, 16:00   #4
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Disagree - save the boat, go to the dockmaster. It's his job to call the owner - yours is to be a good neighbor. Stop the pounding, flag it, walk away.
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Old 25-07-2010, 16:56   #5
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As a liveaboard, I'd keep an eye on the boats around me, adjusting dock lines as required. Weekend boaters would come over for casual hellos, and ask if I'd keep a weather eye on their boats. Every once in awhile I'd return to my boat and find a six-pac of imported beer in the cockpit. Once, after a really stormy period, two bottles of single malt.
Boaters have a saying, "what goes around comes around".
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Old 25-07-2010, 17:05   #6
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Most Marinas around here will do nothing.......

I would tie it up correctly and not take any credit for it......

The good samaritan law would probably apply here.
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Old 25-07-2010, 17:26   #7
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I agree that lending unsolicited assistance to prevent additional damage to someone else's boat can have some risk. If you prevent further damage, the owner really doesn't have much to complain about. However, if you simply retie the boat with the same ratty lines that were on it, or it breaks loose a second time, somebody could tell the owner you were the last one handling the lines, and under the worst case scenario, the owner could try to peg you with the damage to the boat that occured even before you touched the lines claiming its ALL your fault.

I have secured boats in the marina I am in for my neighbors who I know. I have also secured boats for people I don't know if I feel they may break loose and come down on me if I do nothing. However, when I have done this, I have been using lines from my boat that have been takien out of service, and I put them on the subject boat as additional lines without disturbing what was on their boat in the first place.

Once I had a furler reefing line somesone untied while washing my boat spool out freely later while it was at the dock during a storm. My neighbors didn't stop to try and find my phone number to call me and tell me that my boat was about to destroy itself with a full jib at the dock. I don't know how they did it, but they got on the boat and got the sail in. I remain grateful to this day for their efforts; however, those guys all knew me and knew I wasn't about to try and blame them if things during the rescue went wrong.

I think under most circumstances, if a vessel is in danger of breaking loose, that an attempted rescuer would have little risk of getting sued for damages if he tried to prevent damage; however, on the other hand in my experience, most people that are sloppy at tying up, or don't tie up correctly are either stupid or jerks. If I see their boat banging on the dock because it was obviously tied up stupid, I subscribe to the principal that "stupid is what stupid does," and walk on by.
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Old 25-07-2010, 17:50   #8
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I've done it a lot of times, discretely.
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Old 25-07-2010, 17:54   #9
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I see stuff like this frequently. I just go fix it and don't tell anyone. It makes me feel good helping someone and is good karma which pleases the sea gods.

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Old 25-07-2010, 18:43   #10
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I like the idea of using some spare lines...I have to tuck that one away
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Old 25-07-2010, 18:44   #11
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Now let's see, Can I secure a boat with a single 150' length of anchor line.....? What type og Marlinespike knowledge would I use?

Of course...The GORDian Knot hahahahahaha
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Old 25-07-2010, 19:07   #12
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"The nature of the universe is such that ends can never justify the means. On the contrary, the means always determine the end." ---Aldous Huxley
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Old 25-07-2010, 20:32   #13
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I've done it dozens of times and said nothing unless I met them, knew them, etc. I'd hope someone would do the same for me and I don't need to know either, though it would be nice.
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Old 25-07-2010, 23:47   #14
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How about?

A little of the subject, but I am interested in everyone's thoughts.

In my case our boat was out on the hardstand and the berth in the marina alongside us was vacant.

When we came back to our berth there was a yacht in the berth alongside us, he had removed all our docking lines except one to tie his boat up with.

As the lines are tailored to suit each persons boat and belong to the boat owner not the marina, I promplty untied his boat and made our boat safe. Then using what lines I could find on his boat, including sheets I proceeded to tie his boat in the best possible manner given the rope situation. I should mention here that I served a number of years in the Royal Aust. Navy and seamanship, including a high level of expertise in tying boats up is a requirement.

I received a very nasty phone call in the preceeding week about "touching" someone elses boat and I am lucky a storm didn'r blow up because the boat was tied up in a "very dangerous manner."

I replied by saying that if he wanted to take the matteer any further I was quite willing as removing my docking lines and placing them on his boat was theft.

I complained about the whole affair to the marina manager, both on the day and after the phone incident, to which the management promptly moved the offender some where else.

Would I help someone else in the marina again?

Yes and yes again, because I would want someone to help save my boat from any damage, but I would dearly love a phone call immediately so that I could go down and check on it myself.

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Old 26-07-2010, 01:41   #15
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Would you worry about helping a collasped person lying on the dock?
Well I guess some of us would walk on and others will stop and help (assuming no immediate danger to self).
Boat is not that much different to person IMO.

I use the principle of treating anothers boat in the same way as I would want my boat to be treated.

Of course one should know what one is doing before trying to "help"

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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