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Old 23-01-2015, 20:57   #16
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
I thought standard procedure was to put it in an empty slip, and place a lien on it for the outstanding docking fees. If they are not paid within a certain time, the boat gets sold or chopped up.
You would think that, I did too. It's not that simple. There are way more boat owner rights than marina rights. I have been told that if the correct procedures are not taken, I could be faced with a absent boat owner and a lawyer in the future that wants to know where his boat is and the marina or me could be liable for the value of this crappy boat. One mans trash is anothers treasure.
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:01   #17
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by NoShoes View Post
In the letter I would explain that you have a bahamian registered boat at your dock and you cannot locate the owner. As well as the other legal jargon. If you receive no reply, you can present the certified letter as your documentation to be a good faith attempt to locate the owner.
So far this has been the best advise I have gotten, THANK YOU. I will certainly do this. Do you mind telling me if you have any legal experience?
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:20   #18
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

You can do this yourself, the letter explaining the situation in laymans vernacular. No need really to have a lawyer draw up the paperwork and charge $$. Just type up the letter that explains the situation, leaving out the Arkansas dude, as he is a non-player. The only thing you need to prove is that you made (documented) the "good faith" attempt to contact the bahamian registered owner.

I would have a notary stamp the letter and your copy of the letter too, see if you can find one that still does embossing, asshat government people like embossed paper, looks real official.

The bahamian government will most likely toss the letter in the trash, and we all know how lazy they are.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a representitive of abc marina Joe Henry. I have a bahamian registered vessel moor at my facility and am unable to locate the owner. Please find enclosed copies of the paperwork that was secured from the vessel by a search conducted by the Florida Authorities.(say the departments if you like, or better yet, all the agencies involved to date).

I am inquiring by certified letter for information pertaining to the recorded ownership of this vessel in the bahamian maritime authority registra.

Please return to be by certified mail the name and address of the registered owner of this vessel.

Regards
Bla Bla Bla

This should be sufficent for your documentation
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:30   #19
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

If the boat or her crew are foreign the the boat will have "cleared in" with US Customs and the crew would have gone through immigration at the same time. The relevant Customs form will contain details that may help you (owner, master, US contact address, etc) . If you get Customs to worry about drugs on this boat you may be able to get some info from their computer.

On another front, I expect that the Bahamian regjstration authorities will have a procedure to let people find out who owns a boat with a certain registration number. If Bahamas follows rules similar to those of the UK (as most former Brit possessions do) then the reg number will be marked in a visible place in the main bulkhead inside the boat, and you will be able to get the owner's name and reported address by sending a letter to the authority and a check for the relevant fee. I suggest you call them before sending a letter to find out what the letter should say and how to pay the fee if required.



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Old 23-01-2015, 21:35   #20
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by NoShoes View Post
You can do this yourself, the letter explaining the situation in laymans vernacular. No need really to have a lawyer draw up the paperwork and charge $$. Just type up the letter that explains the situation, leaving out the Arkansas dude, as he is a non-player. The only thing you need to prove is that you made (documented) the "good faith" attempt to contact the bahamian registered owner.

I would have a notary stamp the letter, see if you can find one that still does embossing, asshat government people like embossed paper, looks real official.

The bahamian government will most likely toss the letter in the trash, and we all know how lazy they are.
Great post, thanks again, if you are ever in Marco Island, let me know, I would love to share some adventures and a free night on me, provided you don't abandon your boat.
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:46   #21
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I would agree. You really don't know what happened, maybe the owner got thrown in county jail for 30 days, and charged lawyer fees on his card and max it out. Or a hundred other reasons, and will come back very angry.

2 weeks is not very long at all. For tow yards, I think they need 6 months before claiming lien title on a car held in storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
You would think that, I did too. It's not that simple. There are way more boat owner rights than marina rights. I have been told that if the correct procedures are not taken, I could be faced with a absent boat owner and a lawyer in the future that wants to know where his boat is and the marina or me could be liable for the value of this crappy boat. One mans trash is anothers treasure.
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:53   #22
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
If the boat or her crew are foreign the the boat will have "cleared in" with US Customs and the crew would have gone through immigration at the same time. The relevant Customs form will contain details that may help you (owner, master, US contact address, etc) . If you get Customs to worry about drugs on this boat you may be able to get some info from their computer.

On another front, I expect that the Bahamian regjstration authorities will have a procedure to let people find out who owns a boat with a certain registration number. If Bahamas follows rules similar to those of the UK (as most former Brit possessions do) then the reg number will be marked in a visible place in the main bulkhead inside the boat, and you will be able to get the owner's name and reported address by sending a letter to the authority and a check for the relevant fee. I suggest you call them before sending a letter to find out what the letter should say and how to pay the fee if required.



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There is no hoop jumping or fee's to be done or paid here. All he has to do is document a "good faith" attempt to locate the owner. According to florida statues. A letter to the BMA will suffice.
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:54   #23
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Ach, you're making this harder than you need to.

You do CARE, which is good.

Perhaps consider you are being taken advantage of, too.

Good luck
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Old 24-01-2015, 08:00   #24
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
I would agree. You really don't know what happened, maybe the owner got thrown in county jail for 30 days, and charged lawyer fees on his card and max it out. Or a hundred other reasons, and will come back very angry.

2 weeks is not very long at all. For tow yards, I think they need 6 months before claiming lien title on a car held in storage.
I made an error in my orriginal post, I said that the boat came in around Christmas, the boat actually arrived just before Thanksgiving. 2 months ago. He has paid for about 2 weeks of dockage.
If the owner of this boat would come to me, with a reasonable explaination for why he could not contact me, I would forgive all unpaid slip fee's as long as he removes his boat.
I don't want the boat, but I am going to have to take ownership of it before I can give it away or destroy it. It apears that it is going to take at least another 2 months before I can take ownership, so at that point 4 months time would have gone by.
I would hope, all would agree that this should give anyone that is reasonable, time to claim his or her boat.
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Old 24-01-2015, 08:08   #25
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
I made an error in my orriginal post, I said that the boat came in around Christmas, the boat actually arrived just before Thanksgiving. 2 months ago. He has paid for about 2 weeks of dockage.
If the owner of this boat would come to me, with a reasonable explaination for why he could not contact me, I would forgive all unpaid slip fee's as long as he removes his boat.
I don't want the boat, but I am going to have to take ownership of it before I can give it away or destroy it. It apears that it is going to take at least another 2 months before I can take ownership, so at that point 4 months time would have gone by.
I would hope, all would agree that this should give anyone that is reasonable, time to claim his or her boat.
As you get closer to possession and getting the title in your name let me know as I have a FL buddy who is now between the boats and may be interested. Thanks.
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Old 24-01-2015, 08:16   #26
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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As you get closer to possession and getting the title in your name let me know as I have a FL buddy who is now between the boats and may be interested. Thanks.
Part of the procedure that I am following requires me post the boat for sale in a local paper which I will do if it gets to that point.

I will also, likely post it for sale here, and on sailboatlistings.com so anyone can have a chance to own this boat. I am just wondering who would want to take a chance on a boat with questionable ownership issues.
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Old 24-01-2015, 08:20   #27
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

It would seem to me that a good starting point to locate the owner would be that "crew member" who used a credit card.
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Old 24-01-2015, 08:23   #28
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
Part of the procedure that I am following requires me post the boat for sale in a local paper which I will do if it gets to that point.

I will also, likely post it for sale here, and on sailboatlistings.com so anyone can have a chance to own this boat. I am just wondering who would want to take a chance on a boat with questionable ownership issues.
That makes NO sense after what you plan to put yourself through.

You can't sell it until YOU have title, so what's the issue?
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Old 24-01-2015, 08:37   #29
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
Part of the procedure that I am following requires me post the boat for sale in a local paper which I will do if it gets to that point.

I will also, likely post it for sale here, and on sailboatlistings.com so anyone can have a chance to own this boat. I am just wondering who would want to take a chance on a boat with questionable ownership issues.
Are you sure it is "posting for sale" requirement? Here in MA in a similar situation the posting would not ey "for sale" but "intent to forclose on a lien" or some such language with the $ amount owed to the lien holder (you) which usually includes all the back fees, legal, court and publication costs, etc.

The only real issue which may come up for you at some point is if you sell at the cost of $$ owed to you and without holding an auction. The PO may come back and claim "inside sale" and would want the difference between that and the "market value". If you have an auction and the proceeds are above what's owed to you theoretically that's the PO's $$. If under, PO owes you the difference, assuming you find him or her.

I looked up Creekmore 34 on sailboat data and these don't seem to be 20 year old boats. More like 30-40 year old. They have been mostly sold by builder unfinished and the owners completed the intereior themselves. They seem like solid little very offshore capable cruisers but the owner's finish may not be very consistent thus a big unknown factor.

But you should definitely get at least what's owed to you at a well advertised auction.
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Old 24-01-2015, 09:11   #30
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

You may also try contacting the authorities in Arkansas to see if there is a record of the crew member. It is possible that he was in an accident or in hospital. It is also possible that the crew member took the boat without permission. You may also wish to check with the credit card company and see if there is fraud reported on the card, or if you can locate the person through the credit card company.
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