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Old 24-01-2015, 09:19   #31
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Before you spend the time and money to try and take possession of the boat, I think you could try a little harder to contact the owner via the crew member. Is the phone number you have a US cell phone #? You can do a "reverse lookup" online for under $20 that will reveal full names, addresses, and even alternate phone numbers.

I agree with your intention to give the owner amnesty for what he owes you if he simply comes and takes the boat out of your way. There just isn't enough value in this particular vessel to make it worth the effort. Better to get rid of it so you can rent that slip ASAP, than to spend another six months hoping to break even (at best) with some type of legal settlement.
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Old 24-01-2015, 09:23   #32
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Interesting thread. I'm told that this sort of abandonment goes on often, so it's nice to see the process discussed here.

We're aiming to vacation around Ft Myers in early March, maybe I'll bring my chequebook
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Old 24-01-2015, 09:29   #33
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Are those condo-nazis having a fit that abandon boat is white trashing up the docks? To bad ya just couldnt push it over into the federal anchorage there.
I spent some time at your place, very nice marina ya got, nice clean amenities, but a bit of a hump to provision, till I learned of the dinghy dock at the Winn Dixie

I do wish ya well.
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Old 24-01-2015, 09:41   #34
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
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.
I know alot of you are speculating on reasons why someone left this boat in the marina. I do have a little bit more information that I will share but it is undocumented or unverifiable.

In the boat, there was a Bahamas registration form that shows it was registered to someone in the Bahamas March of 2014.

There is also a bill of Sale that shows it was sold to the person the claimed to me to be the crew member. He never claimed to me to be the owner. There is no title on the boat, just a bill of sale. It is a registered boat not documented.

The state of Florida only recongizes the last registered owner of the boat.

I believe the person claiming to be the crew member, actually bought the boat from the last registered boat owner, but never got it registered in his name, so untill he registers the boat the state doesn't reconqize his ownership.

I also believe, from the very brief phone call conversation that the boat engine is froze up, and that the person claiming to be the crew member has ran out of money to do anything with the boat. He told me "I had a dream of living on the water and being from Arkansas, crewing on this small boat seemed like a dream" "now I don't know what to do with the boat as it needs more repairs than the owner can afford." These were his words to me which also made me wonder about boat ownership before accualy seeing the documentation outlined before.

I really belive that this is just a dream gone bad. I believe this guy has spend close to a year traveling around the Bahamas and who knows where and now that the boat has quite working, he packed his bags and has left it for me to deal with.
When I call the phone number of the crew member it still rings and I have left 30 or so messages on the phone, the police and other athority's have also left messages. I have found the guy on facebook, and he is still writting about his life in Arkansas, so I don't think he is in Jail or the hospital or otherwise unable to at least contact me.
I see on this forum all the time, about someone that wants to live the dream, travel around without a care, who barely has enough money to buy a ran down boat then expects everything to fall into place as he lives his dream. I really believe this guy just got tired of the dream and has ran back home telling tall tails of his adventures and has no plans to return back to the boat.
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Old 24-01-2015, 10:42   #35
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Why not make him an offer to forgive his debts, pay for registration, etc. if he just assigns his bill of sale to you or your potential buyer? I'm pretty sure that even with the seized engine that boat is worth more than a few months worth of dockage fees. Am I wrong on that?
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Old 24-01-2015, 11:14   #36
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Why not make him an offer to forgive his debts, pay for registration, etc. if he just assigns his bill of sale to you or your potential buyer? I'm pretty sure that even with the seized engine that boat is worth more than a few months worth of dockage fees. Am I wrong on that?
Such a boat with a bad engine may very well be worth zero. However, if the owner voluntarily transfers ownership it can save the OP a lot of time and hassle and eliminate risks of problems later.

But taking ownership has risks -- the boat may be worthless and worse than that -- could cost the OP money to dispose of. Once he is the owner, he is responsible.

A possibly important legal question is whether the "crewman" is the legal owner or not. I am a lawyer, but I don't know the answer to this. It's probably a question of Bahamian law whether the title transfers when the bill of sale is made out, or whether you need registration for this to happen. The answer to this question may determine whether the "crewman" is actually responsible or not. Good, as in not free, legal advice is needed.

If I were the OP, I would just write the "crewman" on his Facebook page and try to start a dialogue. If the "crewman" is the owner of the boat or otherwise responsible, then the OP can sue the "crewman" for the unpaid dockage and cost of removal of the boat, or threaten to.

If the "crewman" is not the owner or otherwise responsible, then at least he could try to get the contact information of the legal owner.

He could offer to try to sell the boat on the owner's behalf. If it has any value, then the OP could agree with the owner that he will take a commission and pay off the dockage, then if there's anything left, the owner might even get something, and everyone will be happy. If it does not, then perhaps he could find someone willing to take it for free, which will at least save the disposal cost. He can only know that by offering it for sale and seeing whether anyone bites.

Of course it's an awkward situation. Good luck to the OP.
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Old 24-01-2015, 11:21   #37
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Check you own paperwork. In Europe standard practice was the inclusion of a contract clause which said if slip fees where outstanding for more the a certain time the marina could take possession and sell the boat for dock fees. Maybe Florida marinas need to introduce a similar practice. The plus is that if the owne abandons the boat no expesive search is require, under the contract it is the owners responsibility to ensure payment not the marinas to find them and demand it.
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Old 24-01-2015, 11:22   #38
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

On the other hand... there is that old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar".

If your marina isn't constantly full and the boat is not actually taking revenue from your pocket then when trying to contact the owner or the bahamians just offer something like "if you remove it in the next two weeks, we won't charge you for the 2 months dockage - just please remove it" and see what happens.

SOmetimes... sometimes... a soft approach gets more attention.

What's the name of the boat? Maybe some cruisers in the Bahamas know the "crew".
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Old 24-01-2015, 11:41   #39
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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On the other hand... there is that old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar".

If your marina isn't constantly full and the boat is not actually taking revenue from your pocket then when trying to contact the owner or the bahamians just offer something like "if you remove it in the next two weeks, we won't charge you for the 2 months dockage - just please remove it" and see what happens.

SOmetimes... sometimes... a soft approach gets more attention.

What's the name of the boat? Maybe some cruisers in the Bahamas know the "crew".

This has been the approach that I have been taking. I don't want this boat. It is going to cost me more than the boat is worth to get rid of. If he were to come back and take the boat tomorrow I wouldn't charge him a penny, and I have left him messages to that effect.

At some point when I have spent money and time dealing with this I am going to have to charge him or not let him have the boat back, as a matter of principle.
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Old 24-01-2015, 11:55   #40
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I had a friend, who knew a guy, that heard about a fella who guaranteed that the owner or crew of unwanted boats tied them up improperly, and they disappeared. Do not chain it to the dock. You might get lucky.
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:05   #41
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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I had a friend, who knew a guy, that heard about a fella who guaranteed that the owner or crew of unwanted boats tied them up improperly, and they disappeared. Do not chain it to the dock. You might get lucky.
Accually, if the boat were to leave the marina under any circumstances, I wouln't be asking any questions. Anybody out there that wants to claim that they own the boat is welcome to come and get it.
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:23   #42
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Of course an alternative could be that someone could 'show up' with a letter of authority from the owner and who knew the name of the crew who dropped off the boat and when, apologized for the inconvenience and sailed away (after settling the bill of course). Why cant we 're-home' stray boats!
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:30   #43
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Of course an alternative could be that someone could 'show up' with a letter of authority from the owner and who knew the name of the crew who dropped off the boat and when, apologized for the inconvenience and sailed away (after settling the bill of course). Why cant we 're-home' stray boats!
Go for it!!! With very little questioning I would be glad to let an innocent person know who the person is that claims to be the crew member. I just don't want to publicize it.
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:37   #44
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I have been told by the attoritiy's that I can turn the boat over to anyone that wants to take responcablity for the boat. I have tried Sea tow, Boat US, and they don't want it. But anyone that wants to go through the hassel of geting the boat titled or getting a lean placed on the boat and collecting from the rightfull owner or eventually owning the boat, is welcome to it legally.
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:38   #45
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Accually, if the boat were to leave the marina under any circumstances, I wouln't be asking any questions. Anybody out there that wants to claim that they own the boat is welcome to come and get it.
Well, you would never know right? Maybe the owner showed up and took off with it in the middle of the night? Who's to say?
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