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Old 02-12-2015, 05:16   #1
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Marina fees, common or gauging?

Hello all,

I was surprised not to find this covered previously but here goes.

I am currently in a nice marina in SW FL and have a logic-check question for the group. These guys require that all services be billed through them - like yards sometimes do - and they add an "access fee" which is about 25% from what I can tell to the bill. Now, I understand the requirement for service providers to be licensed and insured and check in with the office etc and I would not have a problem paying such a fee IF the service needed is provided by an "in house" tech here at the marina but I choose to go outside their staff and bring in my own guy...OK, no problem. However, if they do NOT provide the service "in house" and I go outside to get my needs met I don't feel like I should pay an "access fee" when I already pay for access to the docks via my slip fee.

My question to the group is...is this an industry standard practice or and am I just being an ass or is this NOT something done by most marinas and these guys are nickel and diming me, on top of premium slip fees!

Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:18   #2
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

I can assure you this type of shakedown does not occur on the West Coast.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:35   #3
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

This is not unusual marinas are now seen as a money machine, not a service.
Most owners of marinas are exceptionally greedy & will charge for everything they can.
This is why we do not use them.
Set your boat up so you do not need them.
Mostly are little better than thiefs.
Charge a fortune & give nothing in return.
Aren't all boat owners millionaires so they are fair game.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:36   #4
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

I've never come across that one.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:38   #5
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

This is not the norm in the northeast US, but I've seen it at a more nominal fee of 10-15%, but only when you bring in a competing service. For example if the yard doesn't provide rigging services and you bring in a rigger there's no fee. One yard I was in that had the policy never collected on it. I think they were nice guys and put it in the contract but felt guilty about enforcement because it was gauging.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:48   #6
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrtucke View Post
Hello all,

I was surprised not to find this covered previously but here goes.

I am currently in a nice marina in SW FL and have a logic-check question for the group. These guys require that all services be billed through them - like yards sometimes do - and they add an "access fee" which is about 25% from what I can tell to the bill. Now, I understand the requirement for service providers to be licensed and insured and check in with the office etc and I would not have a problem paying such a fee IF the service needed is provided by an "in house" tech here at the marina but I choose to go outside their staff and bring in my own guy...OK, no problem. However, if they do NOT provide the service "in house" and I go outside to get my needs met I don't feel like I should pay an "access fee" when I already pay for access to the docks via my slip fee.

My question to the group is...is this an industry standard practice or and am I just being an ass or is this NOT something done by most marinas and these guys are nickel and diming me, on top of premium slip fees!

Thanks,
If there is a service yard associated with the marina, it would not be unusual that an outside contractor would have to work through the marina/service yard which would necessarily entail an "add-on" fee. Or, if the marina can arrange the service you need in the nature of a prime contractor bringing in the needed subcontractors, an add-on fee for that service would not be unusual either (did you ask the marina management about having the work you need done?). If neither of the foregoing apply, an add-on fee would be very unusual. Note, however, if your slip lease/rental agreement includes a stipulation providing for add-on fees for services by "outside" contractors, you're stuck with the arrangement. (Note that slip lease/rental agreements frequently reference a schedule of marina rules and regulations that tenants agree to abide by as a condition of their rental. Such Rules/Regulations also frequently include language to the effect that they may be changed at any time by the "management" unilaterally.)

FWIW...
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:51   #7
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
I can assure you this type of shakedown does not occur on the West Coast.
Of course not. The left, er, west coast is a model/picture of reasonableness.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:44   #8
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

I know of one marina near Toronto with this practice and given the circumstances it's not unreasonable (not at 25% tho'). The marina rents out building space to a major repair facility at somewhere near $20k per month. I don't think it's unreasonable that a tennant like that gets some protection from the guys that work out of the back of their trucks with no overhead.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:35   #9
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

The legality of this seems questionable. If I were being forced to use the Marina's Services as a result, I would expect they are jumping when I say jump. Forcing me to use the marina services, then have me sit around with the typical 'Marine Services Industry Runaround' at the same time is unacceptable.

Personally, I would take my business elsewhere.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:52   #10
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

The guys that own the marina are there to make a profit, they get to set the rules.
If you don't like the rules you have options.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:10   #11
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

It is not normal practice in my experience and I would never pay it. Simply have the work done in another location if at all possible. I would relocate rather then permit this extortion.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:27   #12
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

Unfortunately its not uncommon. Where I am some marinas also went through a phase where you had to submit a proposal as to the work you wanted to do on your boat and the marina decided if you were allowed to do it or not. Some marinas just dont let you DIY on your boat AT ALL!! makes you wonder why the industry is in decline and marinas are every empty! Back in the day when I started sailing you couldn't find an available marina slip between Hamilton and New Castle ( north shore of lake Ontario) and most had waiting lists!
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:54   #13
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

Makes me REALLY appreciate the wonderful marina we are at. Nothing like what is described at all. I have done some significant work myself (always careful to clean up when done) and no problems. I see outside services in often and there is even a survey/refrigeration and canvas business renting space in the same building as the office - no issues.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:57   #14
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

In the Houston area contractors are required to register with the marina and provide proof of insurance but no fee is charged to my knowledge.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:05   #15
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Re: Marina fees, common or gauging?

As stated before - it's not on the west coast. ..yet. We've had to pay on the east coast in several locations including Florida, but never if the yard/marina didn't have an in house provider.

I always say "Vote with your boat". Move the boat and tell them (hopefully nicely) that you're moving because of this policy. As a former business owner I sometimes lost business without the customer telling me why. If you tell them you give them a chance to correct it and keep you happy. OR at least they will know why when they file for bankruptcy.
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