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Old 11-08-2008, 11:21   #1
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Boat sinks in marina, what do you do?

I'd like to ask anyone out there about their thoughts on this. If a boat sinks in a marina, what are the ramifications, what needs to be done about it and how could it be prevented from happening again.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:24   #2
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Greetings, and WELCOME aboard Paul.

It would help to know the proximate cause of the sinking?
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:28   #3
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Hey Paul
I am hoping this hasnt happened to you, but it happened to a houseboat near us in the marina where we were staying. At the time, the owner was not insured. It took a week to re-float her, and another 4 weeks for the guy to get back on board. But most marinas would request the boats to be insured, (ramifications are insurance company's responsibility)..... Other questions someone else can answer
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:51   #4
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The good news is if your boat sinks you still own it. The bad news is you own the mess it makes too. Leaking fuel can add up the expenses beyond most peoples checking account and quite a few savings accounts and portfolios. You are obligated to haul it out and deal with it in an approved manner. Repairs are of course optional as is an approved landfill. Out in the back yard might work depending on where you live.

It is illegal to abandon a boat in all US State waters especially below the water. The same rules apply to automobiles and any attached trailers as well. If it is still floating then the process gets more confused unless it is a hazard to navigation.

If you can keep the water on the outside the boat it generally prevents it from sinking almost without fail. Fire seems to be a leading cause of sinking. With electrical fires being the most common. The process of putting out the fire isn't usually a minimal application of water. Burning fiberglass just makes a real sweet fire and the heat gets extreme. A lot of times you find a slow leak that goes on until the boat looks like it is sinking and someone says something. If you hang around a marina then you usually can spot a boat with too much water inside easily.
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Old 11-08-2008, 12:16   #5
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and that is why we have insurance!
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Old 11-08-2008, 15:48   #6
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I bought a boat that had sunk in a marina. They are much cheaper when they have been underwater. It took about 3 hours for the local private tow company to attach airbags and float it to the lift. The insurance paid for the salvage (About $160 /ft.) and land storage and a fair price to the owner. If you abandon the boat the Coast Guard can "Federalize" it if it is a navigation hazzard or spilling fuel. Then they contract someone to raise it for a lot more money and come after any assets you may have.
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Old 11-08-2008, 16:52   #7
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From time to time, we have member's boats sink at our yacht club. We have a dedicated group of volunteer members, called "dockmasters", who are trained in procedures for limiting damage and restoring some level of environmental security. We have a variety of pumps, ranging from small, electric centrifugal pumps capable of a couple hundred gallons per hour, to more powerful electric 1500 gallon per hour pump, to the gasoline powered dewatering pump which can empty a swimming pool in under a couple hours. We exercise the equipment regularly and do the post-use maintenance as part of the training. We have oil spill containment buoys capable of surrounding the largest boats in the fleet, as well as lots of spreadable "diesel diapers" to absorb whatever is in the debris field. We also have defibrillators, first aid kits and oxygen systems available to our members and guests, boarding ladders at each dock finger to assist people out of the water, and throw lines. Lastly, we have developed an emergency response program, not only to help folks manage the emergency, but including the post-emergency recovery, such as notifications, waste disposal, and restocking of used materials. I think we are the only yacht club on the planet with this level of response. It is way cool, especially if you end up as a victim and find your boat fire contained, the sinking arrested, or your family member properly "packaged" by the time the paramedics, harbor police or fire department arrive on scene. I suspect emergencies, such as these, occur with somewhat equal frequency in other locales that have as many folks using their boats, but ours tend to have lower frequencies of major damage and fewer fatalities. And it all depends on folks who are willing to spend a little time getting trained to use the resources. Oh, and our insurance rates are lower because the insurance company loves us and loves having lower payouts for collateral damage.
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Old 11-08-2008, 20:22   #8
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Most big marinas won't lift a finger of your boat is sinking, an alarm going off, etc.

They MIGHT call you. (That's how they caught "Rockefeller" in Baltimore

It's all that liability stuff.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:57   #9
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Roy M:
An excellent reference for the Southwestern Yacht Club!
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Old 18-08-2008, 09:42   #10
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It helps to find a slip where you only have a foot or so beneath your keel.
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Old 18-08-2008, 10:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
Most big marinas won't lift a finger of your boat is sinking, an alarm going off, etc.

They MIGHT call you. (That's how they caught "Rockefeller" in Baltimore

It's all that liability stuff.
There is an old piece of crap boat in the slip next to me. It's steel and has sunk at least once before. The owner of the harbor broke in and saved it. The owner of my harbor will break into boats that are sinking and try to save them. It is part of the agreement when you rent a slip. He told me if my boat starts sinking he will break the comapionway lock and pump it out to keep it from sinking.
Here is the history of the boat in the slip next to me, it was a circumnavigator, steel 33' blue water sloop out of Annpl MD. a guy bought it, brought it in to fix it up, sold it to some other guy for $5000 who was going to haul it and fix it up. When the second guy found out what it was going to cost he just let's it sit. He pays the slip fees so the harbor owner does not care how it looks. This boat has windvane steering, 3 spd Lewmar winches and a ton of other goodies. I am thinking of buying it taking off all the goodies I want and scrapping the rest.
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