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Old 10-11-2015, 08:26   #1
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Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

Hi all,
Sorry to make my first new thread a negative one, but I have a question of best practices and etiquette.

I've been refitting my boat on the hard. I hauled out at a Marina I haven't been to before. I should have felt a little strange when they said "we're too busy launching our customer's boats, we can't tell you what day we'll haul," but I said "hey, my boat is only 28 feet long, not high dollar, i understand, I'll wait for the big Beneteaus even though I'm a customer, too."

So, in May i got hauled, and said I'd like to stay until the end of August, paid in full up front and got to work. In July I realized I wouldn't be done and asked them to extend the contract until the end of November and paid in full in advance again.

Yesterday at 5pm they called and said they must move the boat today. They left a voicemail "sorry, we have some bad news, but we have to move your boat to make room for a big boat. The cost will be $x per foot, or $xxx. We will move her tomorrow."

I called back, said I needed more time, as the boat is not ready to move. They said I can have 1 more day, but no, they can't tell me where they will move me to or where I can put the sawhorses, cases of paint, etc to be out of the way in the meantime. I try to be pretty understanding, but I didn't choose this spot, they put me there. The word in the yard is that the guy they're putting in the spot paid extra for it because it has a 220v hookup, and he gets put there every year.

So, they double-booked the flight, I got bumped from it, and I have to pay the fee.

Whew, sorry for the long post. Has this happened to anyone before? Would you pay up and keep your mouth closed? I'm wondering if I should be putting up more of a fuss.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:35   #2
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

If they need to move your boat to make room, they absolutely should not be charging you for it. I've managed boatyards, and shuffling boats around is just a normal part of business sometimes. Never seen anyone bill for it at any yard; you didn't request it and it doesn't benefit you.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:36   #3
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

Trust your instincts. Sounds like you're being too nice. If they move you for their convenience the labor is on them. Tell them you will cooperate if they cover the cost, otherwise you want to stay where you are. Put that in writing with a certified letter, keep a copy so you have an audit trail. Start making written notes about conversations in a log so you're not relying on memory for dates, what was said etc.. If they move you against your will and invoice you, take it to small claims court.


PS -- IMHO you should get out of that rip-off marina ASAP they're skunks.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:23   #4
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

Probably depends on the $$$ amount. You could contest politely, and see what happens. If they're hard nosed about it, then you'd have to check the "agreement" - to see if there are any escape clauses for them to charge in such a scenario as you describe. If there aren't any escape clauses, and the amount is high enough, then you could be hard nosed too - and maybe avoid paying money. On the other hand, you'd probably not get any more invites to stay at thier party. I'm not a lawyer (it'd probably be small claims anyway, it things got that weird). Maybe check what the last guy said (tho I don't know anything about the marina, good or bad).
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:40   #5
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

I see no issue with them moving your boat. It's thier yard, so they get to decide where to put you.

If it's really true that you are paid up and there aren't other circumstances to justify it, it's not normal to charge you for rearranging boats in the yard.

A wild guess: Is this marina not friendly towards people setting up shop in the yard? If true, this may be thier way of suggesting you find a different marina. Or do they see you as the rebuild guy who will eventually give up and they get stuck with a project boat that they can't easily get rid of.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:46   #6
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

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Originally Posted by Sailor_Hutch View Post
snip
If there aren't any escape clauses, and the amount is high enough, then you could be hard nosed too - and maybe avoid paying money.
snip
That's not good advice. (I'm not an attorney but have enough business law knowledge as a layman to know.) If the agreement says you have to pay and you don't; then it makes YOU the bad guy -- they can put a lien on your boat and (depending on local law) they can sell it after a period of time to recover what's owed. Meanwhile storage fees would continue to accrue while all that is playing out. The simple reality is that if the marina will not launch your boat (and they will continue to bill for storage) if they think you own them money AND if they think you are a payment risk they will require payment before they launch your boat. Eventually you'll have to pay to get it launched, or lose your legal title to the boat and they'll lawfully junk it or sell it, and you still will owe them money after that if they don't fully recover your accrued fees.

If you pay to launch and still think they charged you wrongly, and you have legal grounds, you can try to recover later via the courts.

However, IMHO the best course of action is to get out of that marina ASAP before the "situation" escalates into serious money. PACK UP YOUR STUFF AND GO.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:12   #7
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

Part of their logic may simply be that your original 'contract' was until the end of August. They chose the spot based on that. You then extended it until November which overlaps into other schedules and long term bookings. So yes, they chose the spot, but based on your original booking. When you didn't complete the work on your original schedule you impacted their plans and that may be why they feel justified in charging for the move.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:18   #8
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

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Part of their logic may simply be that your original 'contract' was until the end of August. They chose the spot based on that. You then extended it until November which overlaps into other schedules and long term bookings. So yes, they chose the spot, but based on your original booking. When you didn't complete the work on your original schedule you impacted their plans and that may be why they feel justified in charging for the move.

Just a thought.
Might be that you hit the nail on the head. Especially if the OP promised "I'll only need it until x date". If that's the case it changes everything, IMHO. He should pay the yard and move on.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:23   #9
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
That's not good advice. (I'm not an attorney but have enough business law knowledge as a layman to know.) If the agreement says you have to pay and you don't; then it makes YOU the bad guy -- they can put a lien on your boat and (depending on local law) they can sell it after a period of time to recover what's owed. Meanwhile storage fees would continue to accrue while all that is playing out. The simple reality is that if the marina will not launch your boat (and they will continue to bill for storage) if they think you own them money AND if they think you are a payment risk they will require payment before they launch your boat. Eventually you'll have to pay to get it launched, or lose your legal title to the boat and they'll lawfully junk it or sell it, and you still will owe them money after that if they don't fully recover your accrued fees.

If you pay to launch and still think they charged you wrongly, and you have legal grounds, you can try to recover later via the courts.

However, IMHO the best course of action is to get out of that marina ASAP before the "situation" escalates into serious money. PACK UP YOUR STUFF AND GO.
I think I said the same thing as you said ;-)
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:26   #10
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Might be that you hit the nail on the head. Especially if the OP promised "I'll only need it until x date". If that's the case it changes everything, IMHO. He should pay the yard and move on.
I agree, that's exactly what happened, but they could have told me this when we extended the contract, instead of waiting a couple months after that to tell me at 5pm the night before the move.


Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
A wild guess: Is this marina not friendly towards people setting up shop in the yard? If true, this may be thier way of suggesting you find a different marina. Or do they see you as the rebuild guy who will eventually give up and they get stuck with a project boat that they can't easily get rid of.
This is a good guess, as I have been doing major work on the boat. However, I discussed this with them ahead of time, and i have kept my work area neat. I am far from other boats and it was weeks ago that I passed the point of "tearing apart" and started "putting back together." The boat looks better than it did when I arrived and is looking better all the time. I have already scheduled a launch day, so they know they're not stuck with me.


There is no clause in the lease about moving boats. I don't mind being moved, I just think they could have given reasonable notice and agreed to cover the costs. I don't believe it's right to bill someone for something they didn't ask for.

To those that say "say goodbye and get out," my launch date is already scheduled, and I don't plan to go back to this place. It's not the money, it's the lack of courtesy and respect.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:37   #11
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

I've been shuffled around in a yard before to make room for bigger boats but I certainly didn't get charged for it.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:42   #12
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

It is very common for marinas to move boats based upon need. There is never a charge for the move. They need to do this to maximize their earning potential while still respecting their customers needs. Over the years in the Midwest, I have had my boat moved several times during the Spring months to better balance a work yard's capacity. It's no big deal if they take the time to block it properly. There is one thing that you must be careful to avoid and that is being unreasonable and belligerent. Boatyards abound with many questionable characters and it is very easy to sabotage a vessel when you're not present. We have seen this first hand in several Florida boatyards by yard workers and it nearly happened to us in a yard in Ft. Lauderdale for cutting down a palmetto bush that was literally growing into our hull when we had to leave it on the hard for the Summer. In this case, it was not the yard that had the problem with us(they were pleased) but rather the owners of a half-derelict boat next to us that used to smoke weed behind the bush and use it for cover from the marina owners. They told another boater they were going to dump sugar water in my diesel tank and pack my cockpit scuppers with clay after we left. Fortunately, they were evicted but we still worried after we left that they might come back. The moral of the story is be reasonable and try to work out any problems in a fair and equitable manner. You might be surprised how easily things fall into place. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:47   #13
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

I agree with SailfastTri. We are all at the mercy of yards once we lift, so itís a bit academic at this stage whoís right or wrong.
It's no good bothering about courtesy and respect either. They know you are moving on and there's plenty more to take your place.
So get back in quick, and sail out of the place. THEN TELL US WHO THEY ARE! so we can all steer clear.
If you want to take it further you still can, but your boat won't be in jeopardy.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:22   #14
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

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I don't believe it's right to bill someone for something they didn't ask for.
Not only is it not right, in most jurisdictions it is not legal. I would tell them that if they want to move the boat that is up to them, but I am not going to pay them to do something that is for THEIR convenience.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:59   #15
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Re: Marina: we want to move you and you're paying

1) Typically, in much of the northern part of the northern hemisphere, they haul in the fall and launch in the spring. Boat yards are typically tight and it takes space to move a boat with a travel lift. They worded it poorly in saying they were too busy launching boats. However, I can see how a single boat being hauled would be in the way in the spring when they're trying to launch. You're more than likely going to be in the way all the time, until they launch the boats and move you to the back.


2) You have a dry storage contract for the summer season. You're now extending into the winter haul out season. They can't leave you in the back and box you in. They can't move you to the front and try to work around you while they're storing boats. Also keep in mind, when they inked the deal with you, you agreed to be gone by now. Now you're extending the contract, AND you're in their way.


I don't necessarily agree that you should pay to be moved, but you shouldn't necessarily be in the way or possible forcing them to perform multiple multi-boat moves to accommodate you either.


I would think it unreasonable to expect that you will be able to stay in the same spot the entire time. My boat was hauled and blocked, then why I came in to shriknk wrap it, it was in the spot it will be in all winter. I expect at some time in the spring to have to look around a bit when they need to move it to move someone else's boat as well. No I don't expect to be charged for this, but I don't expect to be asked permission or advised when and where each move occurs either.
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