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Old 24-01-2015, 12:54   #46
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Hum got a picture of it

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Old 24-01-2015, 13:05   #47
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Hum got a picture of it

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I'm not at the marina right now but I will post some pic's soon, as I can see that quite a few are getting interested in this story.
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Old 24-01-2015, 13:14   #48
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

In most of the US (which doesn't say anything about the offshore territories like Florida) a motor vehicle which has been abandoned in a storage facility is governed strictly by state law. The vehicle is titled property, and it belongs to the title holder "period". The storage operator usually has to apply for a "warehouseman's lien" which says "the vehicle is worth xx dollars, and there are xxx dollars in unpaid storage costs due on it" which then allows the warehouseman (garage or storage operator) to take title of the vehicle after a legally defined period. That could well be a minimum of six months.

The entire process will be defined very specifically by state laws, and those may exist in the Florida Statutes if you want to do a little DIY research before getting a lawyer.

Failing to follow the statutes to the letter, can result in long expensive legal battles and criminal charges (grand theft, wrongful conversion, etc.) against the poor SOB who touches the boat without proper title.

Having a boat with an alien registration and NO TITLE at all? Another layer of complications.

The best advice I think was 1) Get a lawyer or 2) Contact ICE, since the boat may have entered the US illegally and may be subject to federal search and seizure. They won't want to seize an old clunker, that costs them money and ties up their docks too. But you never know.

Meantime, I'd sent a certified letter by paper mail to the "crew" that also is probably the owner. Perhaps advising him that you will be contacting ICE if you do not hear from him within ten business days. And start building the paper trail.

Look at it this way: If a sea lion was sleeping on that dock? You'd be SOL and unable to move it at all, ever. Things could be worse, at least the boat won't smell like dead fish in the morning.
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Old 24-01-2015, 13:34   #49
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
In most of the US (which doesn't say anything about the offshore territories like Florida) a motor vehicle which has been abandoned in a storage facility is governed strictly by state law. The vehicle is titled property, and it belongs to the title holder "period". The storage operator usually has to apply for a "warehouseman's lien" which says "the vehicle is worth xx dollars, and there are xxx dollars in unpaid storage costs due on it" which then allows the warehouseman (garage or storage operator) to take title of the vehicle after a legally defined period. That could well be a minimum of six months.

The entire process will be defined very specifically by state laws, and those may exist in the Florida Statutes if you want to do a little DIY research before getting a lawyer.

Failing to follow the statutes to the letter, can result in long expensive legal battles and criminal charges (grand theft, wrongful conversion, etc.) against the poor SOB who touches the boat without proper title.

Having a boat with an alien registration and NO TITLE at all? Another layer of complications.

The best advice I think was 1) Get a lawyer or 2) Contact ICE, since the boat may have entered the US illegally and may be subject to federal search and seizure. They won't want to seize an old clunker, that costs them money and ties up their docks too. But you never know.

Meantime, I'd sent a certified letter by paper mail to the "crew" that also is probably the owner. Perhaps advising him that you will be contacting ICE if you do not hear from him within ten business days. And start building the paper trail.

Look at it this way: If a sea lion was sleeping on that dock? You'd be SOL and unable to move it at all, ever. Things could be worse, at least the boat won't smell like dead fish in the morning.
Thanks for your input, and I would agree with you on the warehouse type of lein. We are not a storage facility or wrecker lot. This situation is a little more like someone parked there car somewhere illegally and the owner of the property that the car was parked on called a tow service. If someone came before the car was towed and removed it who would know any differnt.
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Old 24-01-2015, 13:42   #50
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
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.
This seems the one very relevant point that I have not yet seen mentioned. What does the dockage contract state? I've used a few Florida Marians and the contact at all spelled out the consequence of non payment.
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Old 24-01-2015, 13:49   #51
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Not a lot of info on these boats. Can you upload pics?
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Old 24-01-2015, 14:09   #52
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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This seems the one very relevant point that I have not yet seen mentioned. What does the dockage contract state? I've used a few Florida Marians and the contact at all spelled out the consequence of non payment.
When we get a boat into our marina that is staying for a month or more we have a very detailed 8 page contract that spells every possible detail out. But, up untill now our tranient contract is a very simple one page document that simply asks for minimal information and doesn't spell out what happens when someone dosen't pay. We have probably been a little naive and will have to learn from our mistakes on this one.

I have traveled around the keys and the Bahamas myself quite abit and do not ever recall filling out a contract to stay anywhere. Most often I am asked about registration information if that.
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Old 24-01-2015, 14:44   #53
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

As the saga continues.


The interest builds and it seem strange that a boat could be sailed up from the Bahamas to Florida, which would be in such bad shape that she would be worthless.
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Old 24-01-2015, 15:12   #54
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I found this listing of a sister ship. 1978 creekmore 34 sailboat for sale in Maryland
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:10   #55
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Here are some pic's, I have a feeling the pic's may look better than the boat does in person, and the inside of the boat is not nearly as nice as the one posted for sale above.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:49   #56
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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HI All, I am hoping to get a little bit of legal advise from someone who knows about the law.

Here is what happened.
Around 3 AM, Christmas last year, someone parked there 34 ft sailboat in the Marina that I am the dockmaster of. The next day a person who says he was the crew member on the boat, used a CC to pay for 3 days of dockage, and said that the boat was having problems and could not contiue on there trip to Ft. Meyer.
The boat is curently in Marco Island. He did leave a phone number so after a week, I called it and the same person said that he had to go back home (Arkansas) and would return in a week to remove the boat, he told me to charge the CC for that amount of dockage, so we did.
Since that single phone call, I have not been able to contact the crew member again.
For the past 2 weeks, I have called the local athoritys (police, FWC,Coast Gaurd, Sheriffs office)no one can give me a clear answer of how to get rid of the boat or who owns it.
The boat is registered in the Bahamas. I haven't even been able to find out who legally owns the boat.
The boat is floating and apears to be in at least servicable condition. It is about 20 years old and I belive it is a Creekmore 34.
The police have done a complete search of the vessel and found some old paperwork which I have, but no current information.
At this point I just want the boat out of the marina. Everone says that I need a Maritime lawyer that will cost into the thousands, take title of the boat, then more than likely pay someone to take it.
Let me know your thoughts if you have any knowlage of this kind of thing. I am fully aware that this is going to cost the marina some money to take of this, I just want to take the path of least resistance.
You are really going to ask for legal advice on a boating web forum?

You need a lawyer to explain the law to you. Just as you would need a doctor for a serious illness or injury.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:53   #57
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

The boat doesn't look bad in the pics but I believe you when you say it looks a lot worse in person. I've seen a lot of boats that looked good in the pics but looked like **** when we got there. That being said the boat does appear to have some value. I think that if you get to a point where you can legally sell it you won't have a problem finding a buyer if you price it right.
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Old 24-01-2015, 17:19   #58
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Something is not right about this whole thing. That boat looks pretty darn nice and everything appears to be put away nice and tidy. Why would you walk away and tidy up everything first? Sounds to me like you should just keep charging that credit card.
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Old 24-01-2015, 17:33   #59
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

"We are not a storage facility or "
Don't get hung up on the details. You "are" a storage facility if your state considers garages to be under the same umbrella, which many do because you charge people to allow them to "store" their vehicle on your property. Most don't care if someone is storing their furniture or their airplane in the space, you are still renting them a storage space. These laws are often based on the 1600's-1700's and simply expanded to cover the things that didn't exist back them. Lumping in cars and boats with carriages and horse stables.
Storage, and titled property, and possibly entering the country illegally, are all very old areas of the law. Don't think that "logic" will necessarily apply.(G)
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Old 24-01-2015, 17:35   #60
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

See earlier post that stated the credit card had been "maxed out"......




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