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Old 31-07-2020, 06:24   #1
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New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock hand?

Thank you for reading - I am new to the community. Spent 2 months refitting a Ď87 Laguna 30 and on my maiden voyage 650 NM in and the dock hand dropped my line under my boat, didnít tell me he dropped it under the boat, thus causing my prop strut to snap.

I am curious what the normal protocol is? What kind of training do these dock hands normally receive?

At first the marina (Georgetown Landing Marina) seemed like they were taking care of the mistake made, as they sent their diver in the water (at no charge to me) to free up the dock line that was tossed under the boat.

Now that we have discovered the strut was snapped (and the repair bill is nearing $900) the manager of the marina seems like he wants nothing to do with the situation.

I showed the manager pictures of my boat out of the water when I purchased the boat, and another picture 2 days before I splashed in to begin my journey, both with the strut fully intact, but he is now trying to claim it was broken before I arrived at his marina. The marina is 650 NM into my journey, so logically thinking, my boat would not have made it 650 NM with a snapped strut.

Appreciate any and all insight/advice. Would like to avoid filing a claim with my insurance so soon into purchasing my boat!

Cheers,

Ryan
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Old 31-07-2020, 06:42   #2
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

The captain is responsible for all damage to the boat (and caused by the boat) while docking.
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:08   #3
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

I personally wouldn't take something like that up with the marina. The dollar amount is really too small to be worth making into a big deal, and it's not entirely clear that it's the marina's fault.


I don't trust anyone on the dock with my lines if I can possibly help it. In other than exceptional circumstances of wind and current, I would not have more than one line being made fast at once, so that I can keep an eye on what is being done.
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:20   #4
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pirate Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

Read the contract..
The marina is absolved of all responsibility.
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:20   #5
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

I find it surprising that anyone would pass a dock-line to a shore side line handler or dock helper and then not check and potentially resecure the line once the yacht is pulled aside a pier or positioned in a slip. One is responsible for the security of one's own yacht and cannot simply assume that a dock "helper" will know how to properly lead or secure a line. Moreover, most guest or transient moorings are provided at one's own risk.


FWIW...
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:25   #6
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

Thanks for the reply. Was attempting to leave, not dock.
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:27   #7
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

Thanks for the reply. Checked the contract “dock hand is responsible for letting captain know of hazards in the water, but dock hand is not responsible for letting the captain know about hazards in the water” pretty solid contract.
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:29   #8
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

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I personally wouldn't take something like that up with the marina. The dollar amount is really too small to be worth making into a big deal, and it's not entirely clear that it's the marina's fault.


I don't trust anyone on the dock with my lines if I can possibly help it. In other than exceptional circumstances of wind and current, I would not have more than one line being made fast at once, so that I can keep an eye on what is being done.

Agreed. Solo handing and the current was ripping through. Thought the dock hand would understand how to let out a line and/or notify the captain that the he threw the line in the water under the boat?
Lesson learned, never ASSume dockhands know what they are doing.
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Old 31-07-2020, 07:37   #9
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

I believe you can try to get YOUR insurance pay this damage. Depends on what your insurance policy covers.


I think it may somewhat difficult to get the marina pay - unless there was ill will or raging incompetence.


Mind when you pass a line, it is not easy to decide which of the two involved parties made a mistake. Just like when you pass a cup full of hot tea.


What does your lawyer say about this?



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Old 31-07-2020, 08:13   #10
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

sorry, but don't expect the marina to do anything.. if you are really nice, maybe you can convince them to cover hauling the boat for repair, but that is a stretch.



I have had dock hands cause damage as well. I have learned not to ask for them and if they show up (or other helpful boaters) I just yell "We're good. We got this!"
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Old 31-07-2020, 08:15   #11
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

Could just be me, but that break looks like it was "just waiting to happen". Marina's, boatyards, and most marine businesses are excellent at absolving themselves of responsibility anyway. In this case, you might be "lucky" that it happened at a dock/onshore where you can easily replace the part, rather than offshore or in some exotic place where the fix would be more difficult and expensive.
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Old 31-07-2020, 08:22   #12
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

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Could just be me, but that break looks like it was "just waiting to happen". Marina's, boatyards, and most marine businesses are excellent at absolving themselves of responsibility anyway. In this case, you might be "lucky" that it happened at a dock/onshore where you can easily replace the part, rather than offshore or in some exotic place where the fix would be more difficult and expensive.
It is a little difficult to tell from the photo, however, the bronze looks suspect, like it has become brittle, perhaps some of the zinc has leached out and made the metal more brittle.

Most marina contracts indemnify the marina except in cases of gross or deliberate negligence.
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Old 31-07-2020, 08:24   #13
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

Why would you start an unwinable argument that would cost you many thousands to resolve if lawyers get involved? Grin and bear it. And learn from it that, as others have said, you run a risk every time you hand a line to a "helper". Had you, as skipper, made absolutely sure that you, as skipper, had instructed the helper on how you wanted the job done, and had you, as skipper, made absolutely sure that someone, you or your crew, aboard your boat would have the line fully aboard the boat before the clutch was engaged?

Skipper's first responsibility is ALWAYS the elimination of risk. If he cannot eliminate it, he must live with the consequences.

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Old 31-07-2020, 08:40   #14
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

Our contract limits what the marina is responsible for to pretty much damage caused on purpose by an employee. They do not cover non-employee caused damage, Weather damage, nor damage you cause though your own actions.

You could mention it to the office, if as nothing more than something they need to train their employees about. I doubt they would offer to cover any part, but miracle's can happen.

Our marina gives no training in assisting boats to dock to employees, but none are officially 'Dock Hands'. Because of this sometimes I wish they would not 'Help' without asking...

Read your insurance policy before making a claim. We were hit in our slip by an un(provable)known boat, the InsCo reduced the claim amount by 80% (The max they are allowed) due to the boat's age, then applied the deductible to that. So for a $2000 claim, they paid $600 and raised the rate. (Notice that they don't reduce the premium 80% due to age...)
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Old 31-07-2020, 08:55   #15
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Re: New Boater - is it normal protocol for a marina to not cover damages from dock ha

I agree that the prop strut looks like the bronze was dezicified and was going to be a problem sooner or later. Count yourself lucky that you found out now, and it was only $900 to fix.
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