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Old 05-08-2013, 17:30   #1
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"Dock Lines will be Cut!"

Is it within a marina owners rights to cut dock lines and set a trespassing vessels lines adrift? What about locking the offending vessel to the dock with a chain and holding it for ransom? Or maybe call a towing company and let the vessel's owner pay up for salvage?

A recent incident at our marina has me wondering about trespassing and how it relates to waterfront infrastructure.

The long and short of it is a guy from the marina across the way left his boat uninvited and unattended at our marina for a couple hours in such a manner as restricted navigation and hindered access to some our marina tenants causing them to risk a potential grounding to get in to their slips.

The vessel in question was not in need of assistance and this is not an isolated incident. The neighboring marina is geographically challenged by being separated from town by a canal that is a long walk around.

As a result we see a lot of strangers doing touch and go, landing dinks, or even leaving boats unattended. They often prop the gate unlocked which creates a security risk for everyone here and there have been thefts in the past. We've changed the gate from a code to a fob system and chase them away but they keep coming.

I generally regard these individuals, based on my interactions with them, as being completely selfish and self-serving with poor manners and an air of entitlement.

I will be the first person to admit to coming into a strange harbor late at night, tying up at the gas dock or grabbing an empty mooring, and leaving at the crack of dawn. It might not be right but I think it's pretty harmless.

However, the last thing I would do is leave my boat unattended and uninvited at a stranger's dock and frankly I think people who do deserve to pay tow guy for salvage.

An analogy I can think of is someone driving down the street but they can't find parking and at their convenience they decide to park in your driveway instead. You come home and can't park your car so what do you do? Call the cops, they write an ticket and the car gets towed. Anyone know the law on this subject?
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:36   #2
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

they could arrest the individuals for trespassing. we have a local bar/marina on the water that has a off duty sheriff on busy weekends for this purpose.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:39   #3
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

in stlucia the harbour master would just tow the offending dinghy to a mooring in the middle of the harbour,offenders would arrive cap in hand asking for a ride out to their dinghys so they could get back to their{charter} yachts,meanwhile the harbourmaster had just docked a cruise ship where the offending dinghys had been parked
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:46   #4
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

Where I live illegally parked cars are regularly towed away-so why not boats? You can't set them adrift or damage in any way, or you pay. I woudn't mind anyone using my mooring or pen for a quick overnight stop unless they were involved in any criminal activity. It's easy to get into a locked marina. Follow someone going in who has a key or card.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:52   #5
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

If it's that convenient why not set up an access system and charge for docking?

I'd go for whatever it costs plus a standard profit margin.

It could end up being quite expensive if there is a need to provide individual security and all hours access.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:55   #6
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

Boats whose owners are delinquent in their berth fees have their boats chained up all the time here. I've seen it in virtually every marina I've ever worked in.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:56   #7
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

We have a similar issue. Since my boat is on the end tie, we move the offender to side tie to me, where it gets chained with a BIG chain and lock. There is a note attached, informing the trespasser that he can leave a $50 "donation" to our yacht club's junior sailing program. We also provide a number for the Harbor Police, with the suggestion that our price will be cheaper than theirs. Sea Tow wants $300 for the ride to the police docks.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:59   #8
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

I'm surprised there have not yet been any contrary replies. Allow me to be the first.

What happened to the simple courtesy of moving the boat further up the dock or to another dock if need be? To lock up the vessel seems draconian. So, even if that person had failed to show courtesy to others, how does that give another the moral ground to exhibit the same?

As for speaking of entitlement attitudes, it is my opinion the OP has shown the same when speaking of 'us' Vs 'them'. All boats rise on the tide but some more than others?

In the past I have found all manner of floating objects in "my" slip, at "my" mooring. Just flow with it, no sense in getting your knickers in a knot. Even if they not be in distress, just flow.

I'm currently in a large city...where people don't flow. It's mad. I'm from a rural area and likely people deal with tougher issues but to be sure they don't get rattled so easily.
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:02   #9
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
Boats whose owners are delinquent in their berth fees have their boats chained up all the time here. I've seen it in virtually every marina I've ever worked in.
My take from the OP is the transgressor is from the other side of the tracks, ie, doesn't belong, aka, using the space without permission. I see retribution with vengeance.
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:04   #10
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

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Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
My take from the OP is the transgressor is from the other side of the tracks, ie, doesn't belong, aka, using the space without permission. I see retribution with vengeance.
I see it as a vessel being parked in a spot reserved for paying customers. The marina isn't in business to provide berthing for anybody who happens to decide it would be convenient to pull in there. Especially when the transient has created a problem for the paying tenants.
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:10   #11
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

i once arrived back from the bar in horta to find 15 vessels rafted up to me ,the alongside vessel!
i was a bit pissed off that the last 5 had not run lines to the shore
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:18   #12
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
I see it as a vessel being parked in a spot reserved for paying customers. The marina isn't in business to provide berthing for anybody who happens to decide it would be convenient to pull in there. Especially when the transient has created a problem for the paying tenants.

That's right. This guy didn't just tie up for his own convenience. He inconvenienced others and created a situation that put other boats at risk.
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:25   #13
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

So if the offending boat did inconvenience others or presented a nav hazard, just move the boat. But to lock it up, prevent the owner from access, whatever is over the top. Post a note attached to the vessel companionway that x amount of money is due (on pro rata or daily schedule).


Maybe target practice at sea would be fitting....
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:28   #14
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

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But to lock it up, prevent the owner from access, whatever is over the top.
If someone parked their car in your driveway and then walked away without a word, would you feel it was "over the top" to have it towed?
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:33   #15
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Re: "dock lines will be cut!"

Quote:
The long and short of it is a guy from the marina across the way left his boat uninvited and unattended at our marina for a couple hours in such a manner as restricted navigation and hindered access to some our marina tenants causing them to risk a potential grounding to get in to their slips.
Can you elaborate? Does the marina have no trespassing posted?
'restricted' and 'hindered', is that mean they had to go around? or blocked?
'potential grounding' what potential, 1% chance or 50% chance?
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