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Old 29-10-2012, 12:08   #1
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How Much Effort for Another?

I'm in Virginia riding out this storm on my boat at the dock. It's not been so bad for me yet, but I prepped my boat pretty well prior to the storm. The problem is, not everybody did... and I wonder how much effort I should go too in order to save a boat from catastrophe, or damage.

A particular situation involves a boat at my marina, The owner comes almost every day to work on it, but really doesn't have much of a clue about boats. He's super nice, and I had thought he was trying to figure things out, but now I just don't know.

His boat has a huge amount of windage, and he had done a very poor job of tying it up for the storm, so another guy and I helped him. The marina gave him ropes to use and we also told him to immediately get some chafe protection on all the lines, I even pointed to where specifically he'd need it. This was Friday. I noticed he had moved some of the lines around after we helped him set up, but he has not touched the boat since.

Saturday afternoon and night, his boat had broken a post, and was stuck on top of it Sunday morning, causing it to list to one side as the tide dropped. Several of us worked to free the boat while the owner was called. He never came (lives 3 minutes away... and he could walk over). While working on freeing it, noticed his lines were chafed badly... no sign of any chafe protection. Naturally, the storm was only going to get worse.

There was no alternate method for moving the lines so they wouldn't chafe, and we didn't have anything available to protect them, so we let a little line out so atleast they'd chafe a new spot. The owner was called again. Here it is Monday afternoon, and he still hasn't been here.

I am pretty certain given the forecasts, that several of the lines will break soon. I know I could gather more lines, and at decent risk to myself, get on it, and add lines to take the load once the originals break. The boat is not a risk to me or my boat if she breaks free, and I don't think she'll break entirely free, but I do think there will be some damage to it and possibly the marina if it partially breaks free.

I've made my decision... but am interested to hear what others do in similar circumstances. Do you take the risk in the middle of a significant storm, or do you let the owner deal with the consequences of inaction?

As a side note, I have helped several neighbors with issues as I see them without them being around to even notice the issues. Things like tightening a line, putting a fender board back in the right place, fix a piece of flapping canvas.
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:35   #2
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

Mystic, your'e in a tough situation. Notify the owner of his situation. Be sure you're out of the path of his problems. Make the other suseptible boats downstream aware of their danger, and then in the midst of the tempest, the bottom line is, the old, - every man (person) for him (person) self. Community minded goes only so far. !
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:38   #3
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

I can remember some occasions, usually with friends who were also liveaboards at the marina, when we would work together to secure an absentee's boat during a storm. We would use what line was available on the boat and do what we could without risk. The policies that are common at many marinas include the use of line from the marina's supply and the work of the marina staff to secure a boat at risk with the expense being charged to the owner. I enjoy helping others in need, but I usually don't take on the task with my own expense of materials or physical risk.
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:55   #4
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

Has the owner been personally notified or was it a case of leaving a message ? Sounds to me that this fellow cares about his boat and may not be able for whatever reason (medical?) to deal with the issue.
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:57   #5
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The owner knows there's issues... and there are some nice boats down wind of it, and I have no reasonable way of informing those owners (a different marina).

If the boat is a danger to mine, or my friends, or a boat I have some sort of relationship too, I'd not even think twice. If it was an owner who couldn't get to the boat to sort it out, I'd do what I could. The problem is the disregard he has for his boat, and then the potential damage.
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Old 29-10-2012, 13:01   #6
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

I went through this recently during Hurricane Isaac where there were so many boats in need of help at my marina.

I drew the line when things got bad enough that I felt my life was in danger.

See also:
Here Comes Isaac

And prepare to be flamed.
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Old 29-10-2012, 13:05   #7
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

Insurance job? Or maybe he left town. No other excuse.
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Old 29-10-2012, 13:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd1
Has the owner been personally notified or was it a case of leaving a message ? Sounds to me that this fellow cares about his boat and may not be able for whatever reason (medical?) to deal with the issue.
He has been personally contacted and has said he'd be here tuesday. I didn't talk to him personally, otherwise I would have told him the situation, and tell him I'm not doing anything else but filming it.

Edit: It's not just his boat... it's the general idea. I watched the boats around me prepare, and looked over the ones which might cause me an issue... they're all adequately secured.
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Old 29-10-2012, 13:15   #9
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

Tough call, but I guess I would whatever I could, drawing the line at activities that could injure or kill me
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Old 29-10-2012, 13:22   #10
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

You've done everything that could be expected. He's on his own. I'm sure if you wandered far enough you could find several more boats in need of attention, and you probably wouldn't have to walk very far. Are you responsible for them too?
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Old 29-10-2012, 13:23   #11
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

I dont mind helping people and I dont mind doing it for people that can't be there to do it them selves. But, I won't do it for someone that is available and capable.
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Old 29-10-2012, 14:14   #12
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

Maybe he is tired of working on the boat
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Old 29-10-2012, 15:48   #13
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

He knows you will take care of it for him.
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Old 29-10-2012, 16:06   #14
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

guys... really?

who cares what his excuse is for not coming.

i would want someone to help me if it were my boat and i would help him in whatever way i could.

are all you 'you have done enough because you called' people just jaded old barnacles?

since you are all, apparently, entirely self centered, i would love to be there when the owner returned to his trashed boat so i can hear you say 'sorry your boat is trashed but i wanted to teach you a lesson for not answering your phone.'

if i havnt shamed you all enough.. the OP stated the owner works on the boat a lot and does not know what he is doing...

at least those replying are not part of my boating community in SF.

pft.

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Old 29-10-2012, 16:17   #15
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Re: How Much Effort for Another?

I'd do all I could short of putting my life in danger...
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