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Old 23-10-2012, 17:26   #436
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I looked at the FMCSA web page and it stated that if the the cargo was not federally regulated an FMCSA athorization was not required. I don't have any idea if boats are regulated cargo or not. If they are not perhaps there is no requirement for im to have an FMCSA authroization. This may be a red herring.
It seems to me the trucker reading this long thread (and probably forgetting some of the details) he is indeed in deep dodo.

Seems his DOT # is suspended (or cancelled), if he is operating under the guise as a commercial boat hauler his insurance is most likely voided (if he even had any) and as the boat (as far as I understand) is wider than 8'6" he needs permits for just about every state he needed to travel thru:

California Boat Transport | Boat Haulers California | Dot Regulations California

No permits - *big* ouch if he is stopped (I know - I had a trucking business in the 70's and I was stopped a few times after I had entered a state and after I told the cop the permit was waiting for me in a particular town I would be escorted to it and not until I could produce it would I be let go).

It should be pretty easy to check if he applied for and paid for those oversize permits.

There are many strange twists to this story - especially that one poster seems to be able to talk to the trucker at will - and vigorously defends him - strange that.

And, it is absolutely up to the driver to make sure the weight is legal, the truck and trailer (and all equipment like tie downs) is legal and his license, medical cert, logs and all permits for interstate trucking is in order (nightmare that).

My personal feeling is that this guy's trucking days are pretty much over.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:27   #437
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Hey all, good discussion. Just wanted everyone to know that has been asking about Creole-Belle (the OP) that I just got off the phone with him and he will be returning to the forum shortly. I think the discussion about the weights and the lift and such will be more informed after he posts.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:34   #438
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Originally Posted by Samantha ann View Post
Captain Bill is correct. As a former travelift oper. I can tell you the scales may not work or read up to 50% off. I could change weight by lifting one strap! Shifting the angles or differing the placement of the straps could change the weight shown. You cannot add the two weights on the straps and get an accurate weight .

Captain Bill said that? Or was it me...
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:36   #439
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Originally Posted by tropicalescape
Did you not learn that if you hire someone to move a boat for you that you cant go to the law and say that he stole it after you get news that you didnt like..Did you not learn that the reason I took the tact that I took was because I knew I was right and that anything to the contrary was wrong...Why cant you "track him down" I just typed the name of the company and called the phone number that was there,left a message and he called me back today,its real easy,he is not hiding as he has business with some of the largest and most succesful sailboat companys in the US and is not going to let one bad apple spoil his business from what he told me..I guess you think that if its not a coincidence it must be a GD conspiracy...
Let me state this again. The OP stated that there was NO CONTRACT, only an email. The trucker can only hold the boat with a mechanics lien claim....IF.....he has a formal contract with the proper UCC language.....like I'm assuming any reputable transport company would have signed BEFORE they ever touch the boat. If the guy is in possession of the boat....without a contract for services or a bill of sale....then he has no rights of possession. When the legal owner makes a demand to return THEIR property, and it's not returned.....that is THEFT. I don't care what some FBI agent told you.....who I'm sure doesn't want to mess with it so he'll saying it's a civil matter (I don't blame him...). But the DIstrict Attorney, in the county in which the boat was taken, CAN (and should) file felony theft charges against the trucker....after proper demand to return the property is made. The trucker has no legal protection to be in possession of that boat....as he has no contract.....according to the OP. Also, no one should be storing a boat, or any other asset, without having obtained proper proof of ownership or a contract for services that documents legal authority for possession. Whoever is storing the boat has some exposure. IF....there is truly no signed contract with the proper UCC language.....this whole thing is really simple and the trucker should return the boat ASAP. I'll assure you that had that been my boat, under the same circumstances as outlined by the OP.....this deal would already be over. If the trucker has some complaint or feels he is owed money.....THAT.....is a civil matter and he can certainly sue for his claimed damages.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:37   #440
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I just found this on the IRC web site with regards to determining boat weights.

What is NOT acceptable is recording the load in each sling of a travel lift by either load cell or the travel lift’s in-built equipment. The latter particularly has been shown to be capable of errors of up to 50%! The former is erroneous to the extent that the slings are not vertical, either athwartships or fore and aft. Simple geometry shows that very small errors in sling angles rapidly combine to produce gross errors.

Thanks for finding that confirmation of my supposition Bill.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:43   #441
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

The contract became mostly irrelevant the moment the carrier explicitly refused to notify the owner as to where his property was located after refusing further carriage.

Regardless of whether the boat was over or underweight, or any breach of contract on the part of the owner, holding the cargo "hostage" is not, not, not a remedy available to the shipper. The duty of the shipper in this case is to make the location of the cargo known to the owner, especially in the case that the shipper refuses further carriage. They are not -- absolutely NOT -- allowed to hold the cargo in lieu of payment for alleged damages.

If the shipper is concerned about his alleged damages, the proper remedy is to release the boat to your custody and file a maritime lien against the boat while you sort out the details.

When his holding the boat passes from civil conversion to criminal theft is an open question, but the two former DAs I spoke to said that they would only have pushed this case once it became clear that the carrier NEVER intended to return the property to its rightful owner barring payment. However, both of them said that they would be supportive of the owner in this instance. "Hiding" someone else's property doesn't go over well with law enforcement.

The same situation arises in automobile repair. You bring your car in and agree to repairs based on an estimate. Two days later, without notifying you of any changes from the estimate, the garage calls and says that your car is fixed but that it will cost $500 more than the estimate. Is the garage allowed to keep your car hostage if you offer to pay only the estimated amount? NO. No they are not. Not at all. In fact, upon sending a notice of demand you can sue them for conversion and even get the DA involved. What the garage CAN do is file a mechanic's lien against the car while the two of your sort out the issue. The ML will prevent you from selling the car, and if they win (and you still refuse to pay) they can have the car repossessed and sold to pay off the debt.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:48   #442
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Originally Posted by Skipper65 View Post
Let me state this again. The OP stated that there was NO CONTRACT, only an email. The trucker can only hold the boat with a mechanics lien claim....IF.....he has a formal contract with the proper UCC language.....like I'm assuming any reputable transport company would have signed BEFORE they ever touch the boat. If the guy is in possession of the boat....without a contract for services or a bill of sale....then he has no rights of possession. When the legal owner makes a demand to return THEIR property, and it's not returned.....that is THEFT. I don't care what some FBI agent told you.....who I'm sure doesn't want to mess with it so he'll saying it's a civil matter (I don't blame him...). But the DIstrict Attorney, in the county in which the boat was taken, CAN (and should) file felony theft charges against the trucker....after proper demand to return the property is made. The trucker has no legal protection to be in possession of that boat....as he has no contract.....according to the OP. Also, no one should be storing a boat, or any other asset, without having obtained proper proof of ownership or a contract for services that documents legal authority for possession. Whoever is storing the boat has some exposure. IF....there is truly no signed contract with the proper UCC language.....this whole thing is really simple and the trucker should return the boat ASAP. I'll assure you that had that been my boat, under the same circumstances as outlined by the OP.....this deal would already be over. If the trucker has some complaint or feels he is owed money.....THAT.....is a civil matter and he can certainly sue for his claimed damages.
90% correct:
1) There is a contract (the e-mail is a valid contract)
2) The UCC provisions you're likely thinking of (Article 2) apply only to the sale of goods, and NOT to services contracts.
3) He has no right of possession, not on the basis of no contract but because he has breached the contract he had.

Think of the following situation: I contract for you to take my boat from DC to Miami. Three weeks later you call from Omaha. "I'm just hanging out in Omaha," you say, "I'll get you your boat in a few weeks, don't worry." Theft? Bloody right.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:57   #443
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I looked at the FMCSA web page and it stated that if the the cargo was not federally regulated an FMCSA athorization was not required. I don't have any idea if boats are regulated cargo or not. If they are not perhaps there is no requirement for im to have an FMCSA authroization. This may be a red herring.
I tried again to read through some of the FMCSA site. I think it is saying that the license is not required if the cargo falls under minimums, is unregulated, etc. However, since a boat is a wide load and requires special permits I would think the trucker would have to have DOT license, especially to cross state lines.

Still waiting for an expert to confirm.
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:01   #444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyMeAway
The contract became mostly irrelevant the moment the carrier explicitly refused to notify the owner as to where his property was located after refusing further carriage.

Regardless of whether the boat was over or underweight, or any breach of contract on the part of the owner, holding the cargo "hostage" is not, not, not a remedy available to the shipper. The duty of the shipper in this case is to make the location of the cargo known to the owner, especially in the case that the shipper refuses further carriage. They are not -- absolutely NOT -- allowed to hold the cargo in lieu of payment for alleged damages.

If the shipper is concerned about his alleged damages, the proper remedy is to release the boat to your custody and file a maritime lien against the boat while you sort out the details.

When his holding the boat passes from civil conversion to criminal theft is an open question, but the two former DAs I spoke to said that they would only have pushed this case once it became clear that the carrier NEVER intended to return the property to its rightful owner barring payment. However, both of them said that they would be supportive of the owner in this instance. "Hiding" someone else's property doesn't go over well with law enforcement.

The same situation arises in automobile repair. You bring your car in and agree to repairs based on an estimate. Two days later, without notifying you of any changes from the estimate, the garage calls and says that your car is fixed but that it will cost $500 more than the estimate. Is the garage allowed to keep your car hostage if you offer to pay only the estimated amount? NO. No they are not. Not at all. In fact, upon sending a notice of demand you can sue them for conversion and even get the DA involved. What the garage CAN do is file a mechanic's lien against the car while the two of your sort out the issue. The ML will prevent you from selling the car, and if they win (and you still refuse to pay) they can have the car repossessed and sold to pay off the debt.


Not to get into a legal debate because we both seem to agree......but the question of a "contract" being created by the email is a legal question. What is clear is the trucker has no authority to hold the boat on a mechanics lien claim under the UCC. So the contract question would be a civil matter....but the fact that he has the boat is a criminal matter. Also, related to auto repairs. You're right the small shop likely doesn't have anything to hold a car for a disputed repair bill. But when you take your car to a dealership or national auto repair chain and they ask you to "sign a work order".....read the language. They absolutely are asserting the right to hold your car under a mechanics lien position in the uniform commercial code....and you're signing an acknowledgment of that fact. That's where the name "mechanics lien" came from. Their lien is even superior to a creditors lien.....IF....properly executed.....which isn't the case here.
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:15   #445
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Originally Posted by Skipper65 View Post
Not to get into a legal debate because we both seem to agree......but the question of a "contract" being created by the email is a legal question. What is clear is the trucker has no authority to hold the boat on a mechanics lien claim under the UCC. So the contract question would be a civil matter....but the fact that he has the boat is a criminal matter. Also, related to auto repairs. You're right the small shop likely doesn't have anything to hold a car for a disputed repair bill. But when you take your car to a dealership or national auto repair chain and they ask you to "sign a work order".....read the language. They absolutely are asserting the right to hold your car under a mechanics lien position in the uniform commercial code....and you're signing an acknowledgment of that fact. That's where the name "mechanics lien" came from. Their lien is even superior to a creditors lien.....IF....properly executed.....which isn't the case here.
The UCC doesn't define or govern mechanics liens except to say that they are superior to a creditor's lien; that's really the only thing the UCC (in Article 9) has to say about them. Otherwise, MLs are left up to relevant state law. On the point you made about auto repairs: those work orders also contain an explicit pledge for the value of the services, but (almost always) also contain a clause that the repair shop will notify you before commencing repairs in excess of the estimate. Remember also that ML law is VERY confusing, because the provisions that apply to real property (a house) are often quite different than the provisions that apply to tangible property (car, boat).
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:22   #446
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Some of you are really well informed on the pertinent laws we are finding that very helpful. But back to my mast problem - there is no question of payment or damage or any additional carrying charges in our case. We have a contract for transport with Big Dog Marine from Charlotte, NC to Seabrook, TX and we paid up front. The trucker has not delivered our mast and will not tell us where it is located so that we can inspect and recover it. He has had it over 33 days. He keeps saying that "we are not in a hurry" and I guess he is going to keep it in a secret location until he decides we are ready for it. Another month, a year, he won't say. His culpability for hiding and keeping our mast against our will seems even more clear cut than the boat hostage issue.
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:23   #447
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Originally Posted by FlyMeAway

The UCC doesn't define or govern mechanics liens except to say that they are superior to a creditor's lien; that's really the only thing the UCC (in Article 9) has to say about them. Otherwise, MLs are left up to relevant state law. On the point you made about auto repairs: those work orders also contain an explicit pledge for the value of the services, but (almost always) also contain a clause that the repair shop will notify you before commencing repairs in excess of the estimate. Remember also that ML law is VERY confusing, because the provisions that apply to real property (a house) are often quite different than the provisions that apply to tangible property (car, boat).
I agree that state law does define the flexibility of ML's. In Texas....it's pretty well defined in favor of the mechanic....assuming properly executed and there is not fraud or claims of fraud. Thanks for the discussion. Have a good one!
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:27   #448
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

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Some of you are really well informed on the pertinent laws we are finding that very helpful. But back to my mast problem - there is no question of payment or damage or any additional carrying charges in our case. We have a contract for transport with Big Dog Marine from Charlotte, NC to Seabrook, TX and we paid up front. The trucker has not delivered our mast and will not tell us where it is located so that we can inspect and recover it. He has had it over 33 days. He keeps saying that "we are not in a hurry" and I guess he is going to keep it in a secret location until he decides we are ready for it. Another month, a year, he won't say. His culpability for hiding and keeping our mast against our will seems even more clear cut than the boat hostage issue.
Do you know the address where he does business or has a domicile? In lieu of reporting it stolen to the authorities in the location where it is being held, I would report it as stolen to the authorities in a location most likely to get their hands on him. If he's answering his phone for new business inquiries, a few calls from the DA in his hometown should get you your mast back in something of a hurry -- if he still has it at all.

Depending on the jurisdiction the DA's office may be very, very accessible and very, very willing to help.
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:39   #449
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

Well, the mast was picked up in Charlotte, NC.

Here is the link to the Charlotte DA. http://www.charmeckda.com/

Here is the link to the Charleston, SC Solicitor General http://www.charlestoncounty.org/prin...itor/index.htm
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:43   #450
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Re: Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company



My original intent in creating this thread was to gain help in finding my boat. I began by saying that I would not name the hauler because I had hopes of resolving this with Dan Steadley and did not want to do him serious damage. Besides, in a situation like this one only hears one side of the story. I stopped posting when this forum became popular. I assumed Steadley would begin reading it and did want to tip my hand or create more ill will. I also feared that he may do damage to my boat. I wasn't to swift in selecting a transporter but at least I took a lot of pictures when I left her. When I stopped posting, I thought Dan Steadley had, with some delay, attempted to deliver my boat per schedule and had truck transmission problems. As you will see in the following summary, that was not the case

Today is my birthday, so I don't want to spend a lot of time today. However, I can cut and paste and will be back tomorrow. The information Tropicalescape is posting is mostly false as is many of the communications I have had with Dan Steadley.

Fortunately, I have extensive documentation of my dealings with Big Dog Marine Transport, text messages, voice mails, and emails. I have compiled a brief summary sheet and an Excel spreadsheet that day by day lays out communications with Dan. In a third document, I scanned all the backup documentation to the Excel spreadsheet.

Here is a portion of the Brief Summary document.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF FINDING CREOLE BELLE

On August 7th, 2012 I contracted with Dan Steadley, Big Dog Marine Transport LLC to move my boat, Creole Belle, from Hampstead, NC to the San Francisco Bay area for a fee of $7500, 50% up front and 50% upon delivery of boat. This boat is valued at $100,000. I provided Steadley with specifications for the boat including an estimated weight determined from two internet sites to be 19,300 lbs. The contract specified the boat was to be picked up on August 29th and delivered on September 4th.

My wife and I live in Colorado. We traveled to the San Francisco Bay area to accept delivery of Creole Belle. Beginning with a phone conversation with Steadley on September 2, Steadley began weaving a web of false communication indicating that he was moving Creole Belle west until an alleged failure of his truck transmission in El Paso TX on September 11th. This included two text messages on September 6th “I am progressing nicely doing about 600 miles per day.” “All is well, just to the east of Dallas and all is well will shut down in El Paso tomorrow or sat morning, get back on the road first thing Monday and see you Tuesday afternoon or wed morning! Cheers Daniel Steadley”

Where was Creole Belle? Sitting on a trailer in an open lot in Charleston SC where Steadley normally stores his trailers. For whatever reason, I would assume another job, Steadley chose to fabricate that he was attempting to deliver Creole Belle but was delayed due to truck transmission problems. During this period of time my wife and I were in the San Francisco Bay area waiting for Creole Belle to be delivered. I was sucked in. In an email on September 17th I wrote “Good luck with your truck repair.”

On Septerber 21st, Steadley decided to begin delivery of Creole Belle. He transferred her from a smaller trailer to a larger trailer at All Seasons Marina in Mooreshead, NC. Mooreshead is 251 miles into the 3000 mile trip from Hempstead NC to Napa CA. At this point, the travel lift operator estimated from experience using his scale that Creole Belle weighed 26000 pounds.
Steadley then drove to Charleston Spars in Charlotte NC and picked up 2 masts, one to be delivered to Seabrook TX and the other to Los Angeles.

On September 26th I emailed Steadley asking when the boat would be delivered and he responded with the first of numerous emails demanding ever-increasing amounts of money for damage to his trailer and truck due to my misrepresentation of the weight of Creole Belle. My response was that he was an experienced professional marine transport mover. 251 miles into the move he was aware of the approximate boat weight, the capacity of his equipment, and he chose to begin the 3000 mile trip west giving me no indication that there was any problem. Therefore, I take no responsibility for his equipment failures. Don’t even know if there were failures. In an attempt to get an idea of where the boat is being held, on October 10th I asked Steadley to provide me with receipts of the repairs. He did not bite.

Where is my boat now? Don’t know. On Sept. 27th, Sept. 28th, Sept. 30th, Oct. 3rd, and October 19th I first requested and later demanded he tell me precisely where he is holding my boat. In all cases, he refused unless I agree to the ransom.

END

Dan's statement the the boat is a POS istotally false. I spent $85,000 and 2 winters in St. Lucia totally restoring this beauty. Get many compliments on her. She is 31 or 33 built. Very high end. Google Gale Force 34 and John Kaiser Jr., the designer and builder's son. His brockerage website has a nice writeup on the design. The story about not being able to off load in the boatyard. False. Attached is a picture of the POS when she was pulled at Anchors Away Boat Yard in Hampstead, NC. For anyone in the area looking for a great small boatyard, Anchors Away is the place. Chris and Ron are extremely friendly, knowledgable, and helpful. They are great people.

It's my 72nd birthday. Got to go.


Dan

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