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Old 06-06-2012, 21:18   #1
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Damage Fee for Dock?

Once a month the sailing club i belong to organizes a weekend cruise to some other place. Sometimes it's an anchorage, and sometimes it's a marina.

This month we went to Regatta Pointe in Bradenton. We've had trouble there in the past -- dinner coupons not honored, or the dockmaster insisting that every boat be measured to make sure the owner paid the right amount -- but we were assured that these things would not be a problem this time.

Well, they weren't. There were no coupons for a discount at the big restaurant, so no risk that they wouldn't be honored. They did not measure the boats. However, they did require a $300 credit card deposit (not run "unless needed") against "damage to their docks." It's not as if their docks are brand new and pristine. I didn't bring my boat this time, so I went to the office and inquired -- politely -- about this unexpected $300 deposit. The person at the desk bristled and snarled at me that he didn't know that it was "unexpected." It was as if he wanted an argument and suggested I "have a talk" with the dockmaster tomorrow. I just wanted to make sure I understood what had taken place.

I've stayed at a lot of marinas as a transient at this point (along with a lot of hotels) and have never had to leave a damage deposit. Is this typical in other parts of the country? Has anyone else run across this practice? Personally I'm not of a mind to go there with my boat in the future, but if I did, I certainly would photograph the dock as soon as I came in, given that they aren't brand new.
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Old 06-06-2012, 21:35   #2
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Re: damage fee for dock???

Hotels and rental car agencies both always (usually at least) require a credit card for pretty much the same reason. They just don't call it a deposit as it is covered in the fine print of your signed contract for service. I think it sound unusual just because of the way they present it to the customer, but a credit card security against damages is not unusual.

Why $300? What if you did a $1000 damage?
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Old 06-06-2012, 22:49   #3
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Re: damage fee for dock???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

This month we went to Regatta Pointe in Bradenton.
Regatta Pointe in Bradenton.

Why would anyone cruise to a marina with such a pretentious name? "Regatta Pointe?" Seriously? Are we thinking that it's Venetian? French? In Florida?

(Regatta = Venetian. Pointe = Old French.)

You start out by stating that your sailing club has had trouble there in the past. Okay--there's a solution to that: don't go there in the future.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:15   #4
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Re: damage fee for dock???

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I've stayed at a lot of marinas as a transient at this point (along with a lot of hotels) and have never had to leave a damage deposit. Is this typical in other parts of the country? Has anyone else run across this practice? Personally I'm not of a mind to go there with my boat in the future, but if I did, I certainly would photograph the dock as soon as I came in, given that they aren't brand new.
All the countries all the marinas we've been to never required a damages deposit. Hotels typically do, though not all.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:28   #5
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

maybe they just don't want your club to come there
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:10   #6
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Across the river is much nicer. We've dinghied. Over to RP before and my own feelings were I wouldn't stay there based on the dilapidated docks and half sunken vessels we saw at the east end.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:15   #7
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

Quote:
dilapidated docks
at that marina and a large deposit sounds like they can claim any prior damage as you causing it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:42   #8
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

without hearing the dockmasters comments (and side of the story) speculating is just that.

my 2 cents about damage deposits in this case...I know I'm speculating too ...maybe they apply it for group arrivals...that would make sense to me after seeing the results and seamanship of many "groups" through the years...
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:54   #9
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
maybe they just don't want your club to come there
Kind of sounds that way, doesn't it?

I've never been told of a "damage deposit" at a marina before.

On the other hand, hotels don't tell you that they are putting a "damage deposit" on your credit card, but in effect that is what they do. When they run the card initially they "reserve" a larger amount than they expect you to charge, which reduces your total available credit, but does not actually get charged to your card. Then, when you check out, they actually submit the charges that you owe. I suspect this is what the marina was doing.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:26   #10
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

No. Never had that type of thing at a marina....nasty that. Thanks for the heads up....a must to avoid.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:30   #11
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

"Dr., it really hurts when I do this."
"Well then, don't do that anymore."
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:43   #12
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

we went to regatta pointe in 2010---was friendly and the deposit then was 1000 dollars. was a tad high. if you have liability ins, there was no fee. they did suffer some storm damage before we were there and there were some raggy areas, but the folks were friendly and there was a pumpout at most slips. the friendly neighbors took us to provision and were very nice folks. the marina placed us into a slip convenient for the type of boat we sailed--we had zero problems entering or exiting and had no charges on the card.
this marina is a sailmonster hangout, according to sm, and for a marina, wasnt a bad place. 300 dollars deposit for no ins isnt a bad deal. they didnt use it--why complain. we were witness to excellent sunset and in the company of friendly folks despite the fact we sailed in without accompaniment.
our only problem with the place was the terribly friendly folks and ease in provisioning. zero complaint factor. and we had bubba daboatkat with us.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:46   #13
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Once a month the sailing club i belong to organizes a weekend cruise to some other place. Sometimes it's an anchorage, and sometimes it's a marina.

This month we went to Regatta Pointe in Bradenton. We've had trouble there in the past -- dinner coupons not honored, or the dockmaster insisting that every boat be measured to make sure the owner paid the right amount -- but we were assured that these things would not be a problem this time.

Well, they weren't. There were no coupons for a discount at the big restaurant, so no risk that they wouldn't be honored. They did not measure the boats. However, they did require a $300 credit card deposit (not run "unless needed") against "damage to their docks." It's not as if their docks are brand new and pristine. I didn't bring my boat this time, so I went to the office and inquired -- politely -- about this unexpected $300 deposit. The person at the desk bristled and snarled at me that he didn't know that it was "unexpected." It was as if he wanted an argument and suggested I "have a talk" with the dockmaster tomorrow. I just wanted to make sure I understood what had taken place.

I've stayed at a lot of marinas as a transient at this point (along with a lot of hotels) and have never had to leave a damage deposit. Is this typical in other parts of the country? Has anyone else run across this practice? Personally I'm not of a mind to go there with my boat in the future, but if I did, I certainly would photograph the dock as soon as I came in, given that they aren't brand new.
We've lived here (Manatee County) and been frequenting Regatta Point (the Riverside Cafe has the best breakfasts!) since 1993 and I have never heard of a deposit being required for a transient berth before. Heaven knows that now, especially, Regatta Point and the restaurant on the end of the pier desparately need the revenue generated by visitors. At least 4 restaurants have tried, and failed, at that location, mostly from lack of parking/transient berths. On the other hand, I think expecting a "discount coupon" at the restaurant--which is unrelated to the marina--is a bit much. A "drink coupon" maybe, but nothing more. Note that Regatta Point Marina is listed as one of BoatUS's "cooperating marinas" and, supposedly, offers a 10% discount on fuel and transient fees. (See BoatUS Boating & Fishing Services Locator )

FWIW...
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Old 16-06-2012, 08:26   #14
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

This may be unrelated but I do know that some marinas require you to have a hefty (read six figures) liability policy. If your boat burned or broke loose, for example, it could do a lot of damage to a marina and other boats. These folks sound like stinkers. Perhaps BoatUS could set them straight?
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Old 16-06-2012, 08:31   #15
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Re: Damage Fee for Dock?

regatta pointe isnt a bunch of stinkers--actually is a friendly place that was damaged severely ina storm some years ago and is still recuperating from that...the folks who rent on loong term basis are friendly and the marina is staffed by helpful people. 300 dollars is not out of this worldly fee for potential further damage to the marina. every slip has pumpout facilities --those ar damage-able by souls not knowing how to use. they are also expensive to replace.
i found no problem when i was there--we paid --or had on hold on our account--1000us dollars as damage fee in the marina. was no big deal. no we couldnt afford it, but is a policy and has been for looong time--why sweat it now.....
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