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Old 13-05-2010, 14:07   #1
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Keeping 'Dock Walkers' Off the Boat !

This is becoming an issue. 'Moving' is not really an option right now... although that would be my first choice.

My girlfriend and I live aboard our Hunter 30' along with our three month old son. We are currently leasing a slip at a fairly large marina (only one that allows liveaboards and accommodates sailboats) on a 'party lake'. We are having issues with random people looking into and coming aboard our boat! The marina has a security patrol and gated access to each dock, but with the largest boat rental inventory on the lake two docks over .... there are quite a few people roaming around (like 1,000+ on weekends!). We have had two incidents in the past few months... Here they are.

About a month ago, around 4pm, Ali was sitting shirtless in the saloon burping the baby having just finished breastfeeding, when she felt someone come aboard, she didn't think much of it as I would be arriving home soon. Then a college-age male stuck his head in the companionway, looked around and said "ohh... I didn't know anyone was in here...(still not leaving)..." until she responded "UMM, YA, SOMEONE IS IN HERE!" Then he just casually walked away as he made a phone call. She of course was freaked out and called me.

Then this morning, as Ali was changing the baby in the v-birth about to leave for work she turned around and saw a 'really creepy looking guy' leaning over the starboard rail, hands cupped, looking into the boat! Even when he saw her he just continued to 'look around' until she 'shooed' him away. He then looked offended as he walked back to his car. As he left Ali noticed he was carrying a camera, which of course creped her out even more.

So... have y'all had any similar issues, what did you do? What do you do to prevent them? Both of these instances make me pretty mad and I would have handled them MUCH differently had I been aboard!! (I will just say that I DO have a gun , this IS Texas, and they stepped into MY house!) There is not much we can do to secure the place any better, so I was thinking along the lines of some kind of posted sign. Something along the lines of 'we live here, do not come aboard'...?

Any Ideas?
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:14   #2
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Ask the marina mannagement to help? Maybe they can move you to another part of the marina?

I'm not sure a sign would do much to help. You are in Austin, the city in which supports say "Keep Austin Weird". A certan amount of strangeness is to be expected.

On second thought, you might put up a sign "Warning Electrified Fence: 10,000V" Probably don't have to electrify it to keep people from touching it.
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:29   #3
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Hang some beach towels over the safety lines. It makes it obvious that someone is aboard.
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:31   #4
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How about a "Beware of Dog" sign prominently displayed?
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:46   #5
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You are doing quite well!

While I really do empathize with you...considering you have 1,000's of people visiting the marina on weekends and have only had 2 incidents, you are doing pretty good. Its likely too, that even an obvious 'PRIVATE-KEEP OUT' sign won't stop those people who just don't know how to respect other peoples boundaries.
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:48   #6
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Nah, keep Austin weird...Beware of Owner.
Welcome to the Forum.

Seriously, as this is your domicile of record, in Texas, it is considered criminal trespass. Post a sign on the port and starboard liferail IN PLAIN SIGHT, "No Trespassing". Signage requirements can be found on the state website as to size and type.

The Sign:
Heavy Duty No Trespassing Signs – Security Signs and No Hunting Signs

The Law:
Texas Penal Code - Section 30.05. Criminal Trespass - Texas Attorney Resources - Texas Laws

§ 30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an
offense if he enters or remains on or in property, including an
aircraft or other vehicle, of another without effective consent or
he enters or remains in a building of another without effective
consent and he:
(1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or
(2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.

(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Entry" means the intrusion of the entire body.
(2) "Notice" means:
(A) oral or written communication by the owner or
someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;
(B) fencing or other enclosure obviously
designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;
(C) a sign or signs posted on the property or at
the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the
attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden;
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:57   #7
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I've always heard stories like this and like you, I would be immediately furious with people coming aboard.. I spent a lot of time in Austin, TX as well and most people are really nice and considerate, but I guess there's always the few rotten apples percentage..

I don't mind people walking around the docks to check out the best and widest selection of yachts to look at. Hell, I love walking around and seeing the myriad of boats out there.. I always seem to find a totally new type that I've never seen before.. But, WTF!! who has the ignorance and audacity to just climb aboard private property?!?! That type of mentality just always amazes me..

So, in saying that, when dealing with sub-human idiots, nothing will change their mind or attitude. So, I would suggest perhaps a very loud intrusion alarm that will shock them back to normalcy.. We hope... Good luck with that as I would be outraged as well!!
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Old 13-05-2010, 15:04   #8
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I have never had this problem in my marina, but when I leave my boat somewhere where I suspect it may be "investigated" I just leave a 6" knife in the cockpit.

I mean, who would step foot on a mysterious boat with a knife in the cockpit, right?
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Old 13-05-2010, 15:19   #9
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A friend of ours had a problem like tyhat at one time.. said he came home from work one saturday and there were 4 people setting around the cockpit having drinks.. he also said they got pissed off when he told them to leave and it was a personal boat. Their reply was that they wernt hurting anything..
His fix was to install a motion detector with a recording of a dog barking inside..
We've had people walk by and peer into the boat throu the tinted windows.. moved to the end of the dock and have a cord up and a sign that reads private dock, keep out..
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Old 13-05-2010, 15:30   #10
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Change your place or place a kind request on the dock - PLS be quiet, baby onboard!

b.
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Old 13-05-2010, 15:41   #11
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See Post #6
Cover your @$$. That way if "excrement occurs", your covered with the cops. Up to and including violence if necessary (physical removal). You MUST have the proper signage properly placed. Forgot to add placing one at the liferail gate and one at the bow(or stern) liferail as you turn onto your dockwalk so it can be seen on approach.
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Old 13-05-2010, 15:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tager View Post
I mean, who would step foot on a mysterious boat with a knife in the cockpit, right?
Probably the type of cretin who would step aboard to steal the knife.
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Old 13-05-2010, 16:19   #13
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Yes, Fisherman, at a minimum I need signs, just in case some idiot has to be removed face first.

It's truly amazing to me too, some people have no clue. We're obviously liveaboards... towel on lines, boom tent, mini-fridge on dock... the whole 9 yards (I'm not proud)

I guess I can't really expect better considering the number of idiots out there... and I totally understand dock walking and checking out boats, I like doing it too, it's just the getting on someone else's boat... or even IN.... that I cant believe.

Randyonr3, I like that idea. I think I'll add the signs to the dock around my boat. I don't want to look totally crazy sailing around in a boat with no trespassing signs all over it... (or remove/replace them all the time)

Thanks for the replys.
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Old 13-05-2010, 16:41   #14
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Are they walking out onto a finger pier to do this?

If so, install a line with clip, similar to your lifeline safety gate across the entrance to the finger pier, with a no trespassing sign hanging on the line. You'll need to OK this with the other boat sharing the finger pier. That should keep them off the finger pier which gains them access to the boat.
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Old 13-05-2010, 16:46   #15
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I have never had this problem in my marina, but when I leave my boat somewhere where I suspect it may be "investigated" I just leave a 6" knife in the cockpit.

I mean, who would step foot on a mysterious boat with a knife in the cockpit, right?
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