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Old 28-10-2005, 17:07   #1
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Marathon GOUGE

I will post this and you can rant all you want I DO!
The emergency evacuation order had ben given by the sherrifs office for live aboard boaters in Boot Key Harbor.
I went to the City of Marathon Marina docks to get water so I could leave for a safe harbor with my wife driving out and a friend and I sailing our sail boat a 38 foot Catalina. When I got to the dock my engine died panic worked on my blood pressure (still recovering from heart surgery). I set out to make emergency repairs and it took me aproximatly two hours to find the parts and return. When I got back the City Marina had locked my boat with a cable and demanded dock rental or they would seize my boat. During this Wilma emergency they said you should have told us you were leaving the boat we did not know who left the boat. That is far from the truth as my boat is regerstered with the marina so they had all that information on record. The name is on the boat. Also when I was leaving for the parts no one was around which is often the case. I did see the harbor master Richard Tanner or any one else,as I left onto the highway I did see Tanner with another female Marina staff member pulling into the marina area in his truck.In an emergency I really see this as an act of Gouging not the act of a caring community dock master. The only thing they care about is how much money can we squeze the boaters for this run down junk pile they call the City of Marathon Marina. The docks were empty except for one boat. I was engaged in an evacuation by order and in emergency mode trying to save my vessel from damage and the life of myself and friends. This was wrong.
Later the same day.
BURDINES MARINA is no friend to boaters cruisers in this case. The mandatory Evacuation Order had been given and we were trying to get out.We had engine problems and were trying to get to a safe harbor in Miami or Ft Lauderdale,yes I know they got the bad end of it. We had engine problems and put into the dock at BURDINES at midnight or later that was not clear exactly but around that time. We made repairs and left at six sharp but had to return after the engine began to die again and we blew out the main in thirty five knot winds(Broken Batton tore sail) We were still in an emergency evacuation mode (Wilma was force 5)and headed back to the ancorage to secure the boat the best we could. The Coast Guard came up in a high speed and said BURDINES said we left with out paying for fuel and dockage. We were forced to return and BURDINES charged us $69.00 for the emergency use of the end of the pier no electric no water and no FUEL. PRICE GOUGING AT ITS BEST. BURDINES IS A SOUR NOTE thanks for your help in an emergency BURDINES I hope you sleep well I have not since that happened. AND MY DOCTOR SAID LOWER YOUR STRESS AS MUCH AS POSSIBUL YA RIGHT.
For the people here or any place that know me ,I am very outspoken. Some would use other words to describe me but mom might wash thier mouth out. No matter I tell it like it is I don't hold punches and I don't back down. Wilma spared my boat but this whole thing was an insult to all boaters. Use to be people would jump in and help you fix the problem even offer to sail with you if it would help out. This makes me sick for the first time I feel like quitting I never thought that would leave my lips. Around the Keys people like to look you in the face and say we are on your side but the truth is the City of Marathon and local marinas do not want you here you are cruising scum and not welcome.
The last draw was being told that you can not have the mooring you just tied up to all of them are reserved and I am tired of you JUMPING OUR DOCKS AND MOORINGS QUOTE FROM RICHARD TANNER DOCK MASTER . My quote to him was well, mom would not be happy. I have filed with the Attourney General of Florida on both matters.
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Old 28-10-2005, 17:42   #2
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All I have to say is "Welcome to Florida" Ya know what they say about love it or leave it? ... We're leaving it!
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Old 28-10-2005, 18:06   #3
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i would think that a harbor master denying permission to use an open mooring in any type of emergency situation is a serious issue. i would follow up with the coast guard and also consider personal liability action against the harbor master. don't get mad - get even.
i have spent a lot of time in the keys - never liked marathon. just not a friendly place. north or south - but not marathon.

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Old 28-10-2005, 18:25   #4
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Krugerrand,

I would not leave my boat unattended at a dock anywhere without checking in. You said you saw the harbourmaster on your way out, perhaps you should have told him you'd left your boat on their dock and that it was an emergency. There's always two sides to a story. Did you leave your boat overnight at Burdines? Marinas expect to be paid if you tie up there. That's the business they're in. Renting space. Personally, I stay out of them. Having said all this I realize south Florida is not too friendly to sail boats so I spend a minimum of time there. Just wait for a window to get across.
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Old 29-10-2005, 03:39   #5
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Late Breaking News

Here is some 'just off the press' news for our friend who started this thread: South Florida now has a high density boat population, waterfront prices have soared (and then some...) over the last decade, both yards and marinas are disappearing at a frightening rate, as the home of newcomers from everywhere else on our continent it has historically lacked a unified, convivial core personality, and marina operators in particular are in the same for-profit business as every other vendor.

BTW it doesn't surprise me that a mooring field is closed off in the face of a hurricane warning (not watch), which was the case in S Florida pre-Wilma. In my mind, there's no difference between this and an evacuation order for a marina - neither shows any consideration for the boat owner, but it is the property owner's attempt to protect his/her investment. As B&L said, 'welcome to S Florida'...

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Old 29-10-2005, 07:40   #6
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Your first mistake was going to Boot Key in the first place. Since Marathon became a city they have become less hospitable than they were before, and the general population was never that friendly toward boaters in Boot Key. Your second mistake was not leaving the boat in the hands of the dockmaster. Once he seized your vessel, he made himself responsible for it and any damage it may have incurred. I would gladly pay for the dockage as long as his lock was on the boat. My only question is, how could the harbor master/dockmaster be so stupid?
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Old 01-11-2005, 18:04   #7
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Here's the other side of the story

I copied this from another board.

Having heard of a negative post about our marina late last night,I have spent the better part of this day doing research about the comments made against us.

I have interviewed staff and management,as well as inquiring about the Coast Guard report which was made the day of the incident concerning their involvment.

Being accused of price gouging as well as a cruiser un-friendly establishment is a very serious matter to both the staff and management of Burdines.

70 percent of our staff, myself included, are livaboards and past or future cruisers.We pride ourselves on the level of service we try to provide to all boaters.

In response to SV Krugerrand;

*Signage on our fuel dock clearly states "Dockage will be charged for overnight stay"

*Staff was not informed of any emergency situation existing on the vessel

*Dockhand asked the captain to wait for the manager and cashier to come before casting off from our docks (They were walking up from our slips, about 1 minute away). The captain elected to cast off any way.

*Actual dockage charged was $50.53 which was thrown at the cashier.(register journal tape is available)Dockage should have been $71.49.
There was never any mention of fuel, by staff or the Coast Guard.

*The Coast Guard report determined the incident was handled professionally by our staff.

**If the captain of the vessel would have respected the request of the dockhand to please wait for the marina manager, this incident would have been avoided.

**If the circumstances of the vessels problems been explained honestly to the marina manager, there would have probobly been no charge at all.

**I invite the captain of SV Krugerrand to contact me personally about this incident.

Sincerely,
Randy Kroeck GM
Burdines Waterfront Marina
(305) 743-5317
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Old 02-11-2005, 00:27   #8
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I was not there, so I do not know what REALLY happened, but...
Lying politicians running marinas is not limited to Fla, and are not in the minority. I have encountred this all over the California coast. The harbor I am in currently has a long established reputation for claiming a connection to and a sensitivity to boaters in general, while finding new ways to F$%* us. The current harbor "manager" has some knowledge of boats. She knows that the pointy end goes in front. (After 4 years of being educated.) It is not uncommon for this harbor to take retribution on berth holders who complain about things like the pilings that are failing, the power centers that do not work, and zap you as you touch them, and the restrooms that are in such disrepair that they are unusable. One weekend, they sent their work release crew out to the docks to post warnings on all of the vessels without CF numbers, that they would be cited. (That would be all the documented vessels) When the harbor staff was approached about this, we were told that we should find someway to identify the vessels as per Coast Guard regs. As my boat is within sight of the harbor office, I pointed out the window at the name and home port painted on my transom "as per Coast Guard Regulations" in large bright green letters, and asked what more I should do. I was told that I could not expect their work release guys to know the difference. I know this is not as severe as your situation, but it shows the obvious mismanagement so prevelant in marinas, as well as the staff's willingness to blame the boaters for the harbor's actions.
A side note, our harbor staff was in complete support of the questionable Coast Guard boarding I mentioned a while back, but has since changed their stance to "we had no knowledge of this beforehand"
I will trust a lying sailor long before a smiling politician.
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Old 30-01-2007, 16:50   #9
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Hey y'all,
I lived aboard in boot key harbor for a few years beginning in about 1998. It is a town that is definitely no longer cruiser/liveaboard friendly. Since the town incorporated it seems they have grand visions of superyachts filling their marinas and boot key becoming the gateway to Cuba for millionaires just passing thru.
I am glad to no longer be in Boot Key Harbor, although I do miss the weather.
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Old 30-01-2007, 17:28   #10
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IME anywhere "Big" is often just about the money.......but still plenty of places in the world where their is still more to life (I am sure this is true on both sides of the Pond).

Their is a drying Pontoon in a small port called Portbail (on the nearby French Coast). The Harbour master has in the past let my father & me keep a car on his land for free. and runs us up to collect it in his car. We have to bring him ciggarettes from Jersey, cos' he will not take cash.

When he is not around and we are leaving we pay next time. Sometimes this is the next year.

It probably doesn't need saying that he is very helpful when it comes to the boat related stuff...........especially as he speaks fluent English. and is willing to do so.

Oh, and in the local butcher shop the elderly owner always greets my Father like his long cousin every year. Neither speaks the other's language. My father think it's a celebration of the fact they are both still alive for another year.

Of course a few miles up the coast in Carteret they are a bunch of @#*!&.
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Old 30-01-2007, 17:56   #11
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We were based out of Marathon in the middle Keys for ten years and saw dramatic changes in the boating climate over that period. We fail to see the attraction of Boot Key Harbor any more. The slip fees have been increased to the point that it is obvious they only want the big spenders. Dockage is becoming non existent due to condo conversions. The service companies can't find good help so any work done must be suspect and examined carefully before accepting the job as complete. the landowners do not want boaters, period. We watched many times as they stood in there yards and shouted at the boaters and exchanged some pretty nasty language. There is no place to land unless you pay exorbitant fees and the local establishments including the grocery stores all raise there prices when the season begins. The Keys in general are becoming a rich mans playground and except for the folks they require to serve them they would prefer that we all go away. So my question is this. Why go there? BTW we are currently in Clear Lake, Texas.
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Old 30-01-2007, 18:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
So my question is this. Why go there?
I have to ask myself the same thing! All this talk makes it sound like the keys are a far from welcoming place to visit. We won't be in a mega-yacht (unless we win the lottery) and what we will have won't be big by any stretch of the imagination. If it's this bad now what's it going to be like in 8 years when it's finally our time to cut the lines and enjoy our retirement in warmer climages? Where the hell are/can we go where visitors can go without being treated like lepers?
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Old 30-01-2007, 18:30   #13
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OK ... I just moved to Boot Key Harbor, and I have been notoriously hard to please on this forum. I have ranted & raved against both Fort Myers & Fort Lauderdale ... so why am I here? Being "on the hook" in Boot Key (I'm on a waiting list for a mooring ball) is the last chance to experience the FL Keys in an affordable way.
I cannot and will not argue that the prices for slips are completely out of my league, price wise ... however, if a cruiser is willing to live "on the ball" or "on the hook", there is much to recommend here. As I plan to spend much of the coming years "on the hook" ... I simply see this as a "tune up" for that experience.
The camraderie amongst cruisers here is top notch, from the cruisers net on the radio every morning, to the people you meet on a day to day basis. These are not just people who sit in their slips dreaming of going places ... these are people that are actually going. Every morning on the net, they ask who's just arrived and who's leaving ... if the weather is good, the list is long.
I have very few regrets in life, one that I do have is that I once was offered the job of a working cowboy ...and I didn't take it. I have been given the opportunity to experience life in the FL Keys while it is still a good and affordable thing ... and it IS indeed disappearing fast. Ya know all of those superlatives that Jimmy Buffet sings about? Spend a day in the Harbor then go hang out at the Overseas lounge ... you will see that they are still here ...if only for a brief time.
For what it's worth, Chuck ... I spent a week or so in Clear lake a couple of years ago ... and it was indeed a great place as well ... I have often said that I could see myself living there. The big difference is, this is where I get ready to leave for the Bahamas from ... not there :-)
Bob
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Old 30-01-2007, 19:15   #14
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Bob, Then you know how much you pay to land your dinghy and pay for a shower and the cost of a beer at the local pub. Yes it is a place to jump off for the Bahamas. And if you have listened to the net and got together with other cruisers then you have discussed how the anchorage area is shrinking and the paid mooring field is growing as the local residents try to have all of the live-aboards removed. And your aware that if your name does not come up on the pump out list on a regular basis you are in deep do do. And if they have not already the Sheriffs department will chase you down one night for a dinghy and registration inspection. And obviously you have not yet experienced the Coast Guard and Sheriffs department closing the harbor and not allowing anyone to leave their boats or go ashore even if you have to go to work till they inspect and search your boat. AHHH the good life at anchor in Boot Key Harbor.
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Old 31-01-2007, 08:34   #15
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Still alive after all this time

Well this post still lives amazing I guess the truth lives on after the lie has died. All the lies and truths told here are amazing. I would like to say that Boot Key and Marathon are dead to me good by Florida forever which I do regret since I spent allot of my life in the Keys very sad. The Burdines Lie that the Coast Guard said it was ok how they handled the Hurricane evacuation thing was a fabricated LIE to make it look like I had stayed overnight at the dock Liarís. I will not try and defend myself again but the truth is BURDINES LIED the Coast Guard was a sham having used Burdines as a fuel stop during the evacuation. So lie you SOB's I am gone now thousands of miles away thank God. What I really liked was the local FWC hiding in the bushes at the end of the municipal marina 11:00 PM and jumping out to bust me in my 8' dink with a ton of laundry and my grandson sitting on top wife on the bow calm night. Had to issue a ticket even after I was very nice and ask him to please let this pass because I am disabled and our income is small. Sorry about that as he kept wrighting. In fact I was singled out because I was very outspoken about the BS laws about anchoring and other BS laws Florida has put into affect. I was a thorn in the side of WATER COPS being nice and not name calling ,and they tried to stick it to me every chance they got. I studied the laws and found allot of BS they were getting away with so they wanted me busted and wasted resources to bust me and a few others for being Americans living with the Constitution of the United States of America. Thatís the truth. My Costa Rican Pea Berry is getting cold gotta run I hope this thread lives a long time so people will know the truth about Marathon and Burdines and the FWC any butt kissers of the above listed can kiss mine your ether stupid or liars also. Paridise is still alive ya just gotta get out of Florida to find it good sailing mates.
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