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Old 23-01-2015, 19:34   #1
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Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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.
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Old 23-01-2015, 19:50   #2
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

The old saw: It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:00   #3
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Abandoned Vessel Claims Process FAQs

Tells ya the process.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:13   #4
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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All ready been there, since the boat is abandoned in a marina this procedure won't work. this procedure only applies to abondoned vessels on public lands.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:15   #5
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Can't you just keep charging the credit card? The person is still renting the slip...
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:18   #6
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Can't you call another marina manager and ask what they do ?


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Old 23-01-2015, 20:24   #7
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Read this

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

this too
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/...s/0328.17.html

When a vessel displays a foreign country identification or displays registration numbers from a state other than Florida, the marina shall conduct a reasonable lien search of the vessel registration records in the jurisdiction of registry to determine if there is a lienholder who is entitled to notice pursuant to subparagraph 2. Failure to discover a foreign national or non-Florida United States lienholder after a good faith effort to conduct such a lien search shall not prevent the sale or removal of a vessel from the marina to satisfy the marina’s possessory lien or a purchaser, in good faith, from taking title of the vessel, pursuant to subsections (7) and (11).
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:24   #8
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:25   #9
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I agree with Post # 5....at least til they cancel the card ...

Years ago I had an experience with a Maritime Attorney...they did give free consultation. At least it might give some direction for you.

Unfortunately I understand the FWC not being able to help outside Public land.

Your Marina may eventually own this ole boat.....
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:32   #10
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by DavidLGCrawford View Post
Can't you just keep charging the credit card? The person is still renting the slip...
The CC quite working after the 2nd charge. Nice thought though.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:37   #11
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoShoes View Post
Read this

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

this too
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

When a vessel displays a foreign country identification or displays registration numbers from a state other than Florida, the marina shall conduct a reasonable lien search of the vessel registration records in the jurisdiction of registry to determine if there is a lienholder who is entitled to notice pursuant to subparagraph 2. Failure to discover a foreign national or non-Florida United States lienholder after a good faith effort to conduct such a lien search shall not prevent the sale or removal of a vessel from the marina to satisfy the marinaís possessory lien or a purchaser, in good faith, from taking title of the vessel, pursuant to subsections (7) and (11).
No Shoes
This is the path that we are curently on. I have gotten a lawyer involved, but they are not a maritime lawyer. So far, I need to document that I did a reasonable lien search. Does anyone know what that means or how it is done? My lawyer knows how to do a lien search, but getting ownership information on a forien vessel is a little out of his expertise.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:43   #12
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I would by certified mail contact the Bahamian Maritime Authority.
Yacht Registry - The Bahamas Maritime Authority

Retaining a copy of the letter, as documentation.
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:46   #13
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Wait for an outgoing tide and untie the lines. Anywhere it goes after that is an act of God.


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Old 23-01-2015, 20:48   #14
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Rocketman , if you haven't gone to far with current lawyer, spent to much, finding a Maritime Lawyer would be your best bet.

It's definitely left with no intention of doing what is right....very frustrating for you......
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Old 23-01-2015, 20:48   #15
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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.
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