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Old 10-12-2012, 10:37   #61
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
At any of the many marinas I've had experience with on the East coast threatening a customer with impounding their boat in that type of situation would most likely have gotten you fired.
Of course most of those marina employees aren't sucking at the government teat.
If I understand the OP's post, this wasn't a marina employee threatening a boat owner, it was the sheriff's office doing their job, which is to deal with boats parked in unpaid-for slips. And in fact, the sherriff apparently did the OP a favor by chasing her down by phone to give them a heads-up. I suspect they could have simply impounded the boat without warning and begun charging impound fees and penalties etc. But they didn't do that, instead they gave the OP a chance to get right with the marina first.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:57   #62
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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
If I understand the OP's post, this wasn't a marina employee threatening a boat owner, it was the sheriff's office doing their job, which is to deal with boats parked in unpaid-for slips. And in fact, the sherriff apparently did the OP a favor by chasing her down by phone to give them a heads-up. I suspect they could have simply impounded the boat without warning and begun charging impound fees and penalties etc. But they didn't do that, instead they gave the OP a chance to get right with the marina first.
I'm in Mexico at a marina. We have a local policeman who is always on patrol, roaming around with an m16. The guy is friendly and told us to pour our drinks in a cup the next time we walk the streets.

No law enforcement officer enforces every law with equal vigor. They cherry pick the ones most on their minds and in line with community concerns. I don't think it's the sheriff's fault, he or she is just enforcement. But the whole culture of boats in the socal area is really centered around merchants (like yourself, to be honest) making money.

Nothing wrong with business, but making money off boaters is well and away the overriding interest in that area.

The closer you fit the profile of an owner who never leaves the slip and pays your bills on time the better you'll get along in socal.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:11   #63
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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I don't think it's the sheriff's fault, he or she is just enforcement. But the whole culture of boats in the socal area is really centered around merchants (like yourself, to be honest) making money.
Yes, my perspective is that of a marine service provider, no doubt. I've heard my share of stories about why somebody can't pay me, or is late in paying me or whatever. And yes, I've even had clients and their boats simply disappear while owing me money, never to be heard from or seen again. And we're not talking about large sums, either.

I bet the harbor and the sherriff have been through this scenario many, many times. So I think it's understandable that they have little patience for those who "forget" to pay their slip fees. Plus, I think it's disingenuous of the OP to claim she was unfairly treated when it was she who failed to live up to the slip rental agreement. That's where I'm coming from on this thread.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:11   #64
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

Five pages and the OP is gone.

Kinda makes you wonder?
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:16   #65
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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it was the sheriff's office doing their job
That's a Californian worldview right there. In other areas, it would not be law enforcement's job to intervene in this situation. But in California its par for the course.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:39   #66
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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That's a Californian worldview right there. In other areas, it would not be law enforcement's job to intervene in this situation. But in California its par for the course.
Nice dig at California. Unfortunately, wrong. In Newport Harbor the Harbor Patrol, a division of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, operates guest moorings and also has a guest dock with a few berths. There are private marinas and yacht clubs where you can find a berth, but most transients deal with moorings/anchorage that is operated by the Harbor Patrol. As a result you register with and pay the Sheriff for your mooring fees. So not unusual at all for that being the person to give you a call since they are the "marina" operator.

The sheriff's department, as a governmental agency, does not accept credit cards because the card companies charge a transaction fee and the credit card companies discourage charging to compensate for that transaction fee. If a government agency accepts credit cards then someone on the taxpayer side will complain about the 3% going to the CC company, and if they don't accept CC then someone on the paying side will complain (as is wholly evident here). Lastly, as has been posted in this thread already, altogether too easy for a cardholder to get a charge reversed, and where does that leave the sheriff except with egg on his face for getting fleeced by a transient?
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:43   #67
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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You bring up a good point and it remided me of why I even went to newport in the first place. We were at Avalon on Catalina Island, and we had a transmission/driveline problem and couldn't make it back to del Rey without a lot of trouble so we made for Newport because it was a beam reach.

Then when we got there, I don't remember if it was like 3 days, or 5 days limit, but I do remember the weather was turning and there was a small boat advisory coming up and I explained the engine wasn't working I was told quite rudely that if couldn't get it fixed I'd have to set sail in a storm or they would impound the boat.

Sorry but the OC Sheriff Harbor Patrol is REALLY unfriendly.
I would imagine that if you said that if you force me to have to get underway into a storm that if anything happens to me that there will be an enormous lawsuit and some really bad press. If they want to be jerks then use the fact that we have a highly litigious society and a sensationalist press to your advantage. This is probably the only country where this strategy could work though.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:53   #68
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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Nice dig at California. Unfortunately, wrong. In Newport Harbor the Harbor Patrol, a division of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, operates guest moorings and also has a guest dock with a few berths. There are private marinas and yacht clubs where you can find a berth, but most transients deal with moorings/anchorage that is operated by the Harbor Patrol. As a result you register with and pay the Sheriff for your mooring fees. So not unusual at all for that being the person to give you a call since they are the "marina" operator.

The sheriff's department, as a governmental agency, does not accept credit cards because the card companies charge a transaction fee and the credit card companies discourage charging to compensate for that transaction fee. If a government agency accepts credit cards then someone on the taxpayer side will complain about the 3% going to the CC company, and if they don't accept CC then someone on the paying side will complain (as is wholly evident here). Lastly, as has been posted in this thread already, altogether too easy for a cardholder to get a charge reversed, and where does that leave the sheriff except with egg on his face for getting fleeced by a transient?
As a California resident, I feel entitled to take a dig at it. Believe me, it deserves it. And you are only emphasizing the point by showing just how deep law enforcement is entwined in running activities that are handled privately most places else.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:54   #69
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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I bought my boat in Olympia, and it's currently in Seattle. I paid WA sales tax on it.

So how would you feel if you got a Tax bill from CA for that? Cuz I'm pretty belligerent about it.
To me this post represents the basic problem described in this series of messages. People are frustrated with bureaucratic officials and rules and are really tired of dealing with them. But - that is life in our modern and rather complex and interactive society.

I too received a tax bill from California for a boat I bought and paid tax on in Washington. The same thing happened to my brother and to another cruising friend. We all sent California tax people copies of our sales agreements, sales tax receipts, and slip rental receipts from Washington. It probably took me 30 minutes to solve the problem.

No big deal!

But everyone wants to complain about something so the complexity of California rules is a good target.

Personally, I've had far more problems with boating rules in Washington State than I have had in California.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:07   #70
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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As a California resident, I feel entitled to take a dig at it. Believe me, it deserves it. And you are only emphasizing the point by showing just how deep law enforcement is entwined in running activities that are handled privately most places else.
There are plenty of private transient berths in Newport, you don't have to go with the government option if you don't want to. I know of at least 14 private enterprises that rent transient berths in the harbor. The cheapest is $30/night, and it goes up from there. The sheriff charges $5/night. Any surprise that most people go with the government option? Newport Harbor is filled with "private" moorings that are present in waters owned by the people of the State of California. The Sheriff's department allows use of and charges very nominally for those "private" moorings in public waters when they are not in use by their "owner". I, for one, appreciate this service. I also, personally, feel it is better than letting the "owner" of a mooring in public water sublet that mooring to anyone at whatever rate they like.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:15   #71
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

Personally I think the TV show "Cops" did a great disservice to the American people. It legitimized the hard attitude and actions of the police and spread that attitude widely.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:20   #72
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

Wife and I were boarded by the Coast Guard in Dana Point harbor in our 9' Zodiac as we were out for a putt about the harbor. Two Coasties were on the Sherrif boat, called us over and did the full deal inspection of the dinghy. We passed except we were not carrying a sound emmitting device. They gave us a whistle and sent us on our way. Guess it was I good thing they didn't spot the Cuban wrapper on the cigar I was enjoying at the time......
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:28   #73
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

There are times, I think, when you reap what you sow.

I once had a month-long teaching gig in SoCal, so I went there by boat and took a transient slip at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. Since I enjoyed reciprocity privileges through my home yacht club in NorCal, the arrangement was that I was supposed to get four nights free and then pay $20 per night for the time beyond four nights.

When I arrived they were staging the Transpac, so they told me that they might have to move me around to accomodate racers. I told them I was cool with that, and since I'd be off teaching during the day I gave them my spare keys and permission to move my boat themselves if I wasn't around.

Pretty soon it became a guessing game, upon returning to the marina from campus, trying to guess where my boat might be parked. But I always tried to be cheerful about it, reminding myself that I was there as a guest. One day I was parked nose-to-nose with Piewacket, and they invited me out for a training sail, even giving me some helm time. How cool was that, to get a chance to helm a maxi?

Anyway, at the end of my month I went up to the harbor office to settle my bill, and they informed me that I owed them $80. "That's gotta be wrong," I replied, reminding them that I'd been there a month and only was supposed to get four days free.

Thanking me for being so chill about having my boat moved, they told me that they'd reset my four free days every time they'd put me in a different slip.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:42   #74
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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There are times, I think, when you reap what you sow.
Having been a transient in and out of Newport Harbor off-and-on for the last 37 years I couldn't agree more. Every time I've been in all parties have been very cordial, friendly, and helpful. There are rules, they tell you what they are up front, ask you to acknowledge them, and ask you to abide by them.

The same is true in pretty much every harbor in California. Are there more rules then other places? Possibly. There are an awfully lot of people looking to share a limited resource.
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:20   #75
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

Emptying an anchorage or marina before a storm is not unheard-of. On the east coast we have "general anchorages" versus "special anchorages" and in one, you pretty much drop a hook and mind your own business. While in the other, you do what the "harbormaster" says, when they say it, as they say it, and if they say everyone has to be gone off the moorings/docks before a storm, you gotta be gone.

Different in Cali? Sounds like any other controlled anchorage, when they say vamoose they don't mean elk.
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