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Old 01-10-2009, 06:49   #1
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Marina / Yacht Club Stories

I need to vent and cannot afford a shrink. Had been at this marina owned by a Town, which shall remain nameless for now, for eight years. Fees went up every year, boaters' rights went down.

We used to have a shack as a clubhouse where we could gather, watch TV, cook or play cards. Then they built a beautiful structure instead. It has a well equipped kitchen, but the marina (government) employees use it as a lunch area and we have no access. It has a large party room, but when it is not rented to outsiders for weddings and such is under lock and key. There is something loud going on almost every weekend till midnight. We've seen party goers, well, "going" from our docks into the water as we walked by. Walking through broken glass, cigarette butts and puke is now the norm.

We had boaters going away for a few days and when they returned they found transients in their reserved spots. The transients were not moved, and the rightful tenants were forced to move instead from slip to slip until the transients decided to take off. No reimbursements, of course.

The marina hired more people. The washrooms are dirty and broken.

The access gates broke open last winter. It took about six weeks until they were fixed, and in the meantime some boaters that had their masts down lost stuff from them.

Two weeks ago we got an email informing us that the water dropped to 5 1/2 feet in places on way to ramp, so we are urged to haul out early. We paid summer dockage and hydro through end of October, but there will be no reimbursements for an early haul out. The memo said they will not dredge until AFTER all boats are out. It's nice to know, but the spring thaw will bring the dirt back just in time for next year's launch.

So I scheduled to haul out this week. Two days before haul out, out of the blue, I am contacted by the marina manager who asked that either I take the mast down or I get a cradle. I have my own seven extra strong stands, which I used for the past eight years, chained together. I always kept my mast up. I have full insurance with 2 MIL liability. My insurance knows how I store my boat and is actually very happy with that.

I told the marina manager that two days notice is morally and probably legally wrong and asked what will happen if I do not agree with these conditions. Was told that they will NOT haul me out.

Any comments or advice as to how can a boater fight back, what laws are out there to protect us and, if all fails, a good marina or yacht club in or around Toronto?

Of course, feel free to post your own experiences.

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Old 01-10-2009, 07:10   #2
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You should join a club. If you're into sailing for four or five years you will find a club much cheaper than a marina, especially a self-help club. In Toronto the majority of clubs are the self help type. If you stick at it for five years it takes care of the initiation fee. There are many clubs to join, three in the Bluffers Park area come to mind. And of course there's ABYC, another great self help club. ( disclosure,I belong to ABYC) These are all in the east end. In the west end you have another three or four.

Most clubs have already planned their haul-outs for this year but you might get lucky and find one that will store your boat this winter. Better hurry though, most haul out just after Thanksgiving.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 07-10-2009, 17:03   #3
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Lakeshore YC (LSYC) will be taking applications again starting in January, most likely at the Toronto Boat show. I've been there since 2000 and am very happy for the most part. We are a self help club. Full members need to put in 30 hours of work a year. The debenture is $2K and the membership is $550 a year plus the docking and storage if I remember my last bill correctly. Very reasonable. Its at the foot of Kipling Ave, just south of the Humber College facility. Well protected harbour, decent club house, but no liquor license so no bar. Also, no restaurant services. Heres the URL Lakeshore Yacht Club

58 days n a wake up.

PS, I think I know which marina you are talking about. I left there in a real hurry after getting ripped off by them too. I was planning on wintering there but no thanks. Not worth the annoyance factor.
SV Sabre Dance, Roberts Offshore 38
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Old 07-10-2009, 17:25   #4
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Last Sunday (Oct 4th) two friends lost their boats on the rocks in the same incident. There were injuries and nearly a loss of one life.

When the marina was told of this, the reported response was "they owe rent for all of October".

If ever there was a business that has the upper hand over their customers, it has to be the marina business.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:50   #5
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Horizon SHores Marina (owned by Meridian) SE QLD is so unprofessional, it cannot be compared.

We Phoned to aske availability and whether our draft would allow us in a day before we arrived. Was told all was fine. When we arrived, I anchored off their entrance to wait a few hours for tide. I radioed the marina and they asked if I had an engine and a depth sounder. They didnt know the depth of water at the entrance to their marina nor the depth within at half tide ( and as I have an engine and a depth sounder, I can find out for myself!

I came into the fuel dock and they met us with a tape measure which was pointed at the bow, draped on the fuel dock floor and then towards the stern. Therefore a 13.75m yacht was measured at 15.5m and they demanded I pay for a 16m berth. I said the measurement was wrong and was told that the measurement included the bowsprit. I told them I dont have a bowsprit. etc etc.

Their security guard was repeatedly rude in an aggressive way.The bathrooms are old and dirty. They charged a bond for a gate key and were surprised that we wanted a key to the bathrooms. They charged another bond for this.

Why did I stay there? The nearest marina was another 25nm away. Never again.
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Old 08-10-2009, 13:07   #6
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. This helps everyone.
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Old 08-10-2009, 14:53   #7
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Originally Posted by sailingmonica View Post
I need to vent and cannot afford a shrink. Had been at this marina owned by a Town, which shall remain nameless for now, for eight years. Fees went up every year, boaters' rights went down.
If the marina and town are remaining nameless to protect yourself, then I totally understand. But if the marina and town are remaining nameless out of politeness, I'd say that you're doing them an unwarranted favor, and depriving this community of a specific warning that it would much appreciate.

I suspect 'tis the former, and I hope you'll be able to share the offender's identity once this all blows over.
"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
--Ferris Bueller
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Old 08-10-2009, 16:24   #8
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Originally Posted by rusky View Post
Horizon SHores Marina (owned by Meridian) SE QLD is so unprofessional, it cannot be compared.


Ahhhhhhhh Meridian!

They also have Able Point Marina in the Whitsundays and Marina Mirage Port Douglas.

After our uniquely bad experience with the unprofessional Able Point Marina we went to Port Douglas and anchored in the river. A could of folks said the fuel was cheaper at the new service station/fuel wharf up the river a bit from the Marina. Sure was! 15 cents per liter cheaper! All the local boats drive 500 meters to the cheaper fuel.
Just the crewed boats that dont pay get it at Marina Mirage.
We didn't even enquire for berthing there.

Now, as to Marina Mirage shopping centre itself - what a woeful shadow of the place Christopher Skase opened in the 80's. When I lived in Cairns in the late 80'/early 90's the whole waterfront was buzzing.

Now its just a dirty, second rate bunch of some shops but mostly empty shops.

So Meridian not only can't run marinas, but can't run associated shops either.

Both Able Point and Marina Mirage are about $65 per night for a 40 footer

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 08-10-2009, 20:13   #9
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Yeah Mark,
Bunch of crooks at Meridian then.
Best & nicest - still Bundaberg Port followed by Hope Harbour.
We would be on a mooring in the Southport basin preferably (except for weekend jetskis etc) but must be at work - so need marina (for the time being)
Al the best
David & Bren
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:08   #10
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Sounds like we are pretty lucky here in Jacksonville at Beach Marine. Great place to be, owners are nice people. They put on a monthly party for all of us, place is clean and we have a new consignment store right here at the Marina. Since we have been here, about 6 months they have been consistently doing work to upgrade and stay modern...And they allow liveaboards.

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