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Old 27-06-2022, 08:38   #1
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Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

So Little Wing is getting ready to go back in the water this week. We lost our spot at the marina we stayed at last year (that we loved) because we're splashing later than planned and neglected to follow up to secure it, and the service yard we're currently at is kicking everyone out to change their business model. So in a panic we had to call around last week to every marina in the area and see if they could fit us in, even if just for a few months, and have been in a mad dash to get everything below the waterline ready to go to get out of the yard. As a result, there is still some more work we want to do once she's splashed, mostly on deck and some creature-comfort upgrades down below. However, the only marina in a 50-mile radius that had any room for us has an incredibly strict no-boatwork policy. Not just normal stuff like "please don't sand your entire deck," which I fully understand, but not even a single can of paint or varnish is allowed onto their docks or onto boats, even if just to varnish a single handrail or touch up a few square inches. They even said that if any work on the interior led to any boxes on the dock or any degree of "disturbance" whatsoever, that they would ask us to stop immediately, even if all we were doing was installing an outlet or replacing a small pump. The manager I spoke with said that they would rather lose business than compromise their image and start allowing in boats that intend on doing "major refits" at their marina; they only want "seaworthy, well-maintained boats." I clarified that the boat is in excellent shape and this is standard maintenance, not a "major refit," and that spot-treating and painting rust blossoms on the deck of a nearly 50-year-old steel boat is vital to maintaining her integrity and is nearly unavoidable. I also explained our situation with our current service yard, and that I am very experienced and have even done varnish and paint work professionally, so I would not pose a risk to their docks or other boats. He maintained that their policy has no exceptions, and that if we need to do any work whatsoever, we can take our business elsewhere or do our work at anchor.

I have never experienced a marina with this level of stringent no-boatwork rules—is this common in so-called "premier" marinas? They call themselves premier on their website, but when we visited in person they appear quite average besides the existence of a small pool. I understand trying to keep out the multi-year refits and potential derelict boats, but this policy strikes me as a deep lack of understanding for what boat ownership and being "well-maintained" entails, especially sailboats and not brand-new out-of-the-mold center consoles, which appear to be who most of our neighbors will be. Or am I just naive to what is actually a relatively common policy? Thoughts?
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Old 27-06-2022, 08:49   #2
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

A lot of higher end marinas don't want boats that the owners work on. They want you to have the boat there, use it occasionally, pay big money for maintenance, etc. and never be seen doing anything yourself.
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Old 27-06-2022, 08:59   #3
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

I used to work at a marina in my college years and this was pretty much their policy. The manager always stated - we are a marina, not a boat yard. They also catered to the transient traffic (much better $$$ than those that stayed put for the season). We learned pretty quickly that when you gave a boater an inch, the vast majority had no personal issue with stretching that to a mile.


The only exceptions were boats that came in with some sort of emergency (mechanical or otherwise), that required someone to fix the problem before they could carry on their merry way.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:05   #4
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

You're in a time pinch. You state this is the only marina within 50 miles that has room for you. Go, keep searching for the marina that meets your needs and anchor when you have to touch up a rust spot. Doesn't need to be a lot of drama here.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:09   #5
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Just go to the marina, be low key, cause no trouble, don't be a complainer, keep boat picked up, and go about your business. Bet there is 90%+ of it not being a problem.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:12   #6
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

It is true, a fair number of marinas have a similar policy. Few years ago when I was looking for summer hook up I was told that I cannot work in a slip at their marina but I could work on their mooring balls, I opted to rent a mooring ball and it was wonderful. If I were you I would work at anchor and then bring the boat into marina once the work is done.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:19   #7
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Wow... seems ridiculous to me. I've never been in a marina or yacht club with those kinds of rules. Obviously one should never overtly inconvenience your neighbours, but doing simple jobs at the dock is absolutely standard in all the places I've gone.

Another reason to stay away from dense urban areas I suppose.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:24   #8
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KelseyB View Post
...and that spot-treating and painting rust blossoms on the deck of a nearly 50-year-old steel boat is vital to maintaining her integrity and is nearly unavoidable.
Um whoa, that would be a deal-breaker at any marina. I sure wouldn't want to be beside a steelie with someone chiselling/grinding away at rust, rusty dust flying everywhere, followed by stinky primers and paints.

I'm sure people can get away with quiet interior work (eg electrical, plumbing), but anything exterior - any grinding/sanding/painting/drilling - I would expect to be prohibited at one's slip, at many places. These are just too disruptive to the neighbours.

Do they not have a work dock, like somewhere to gas your dinghy? Failing that, you'll need to find somewhere else to do your exterior maintenance.

A comparable situation - if you have an apartment or condo, they usually don't let you do auto work in your parking space.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:38   #9
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

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Originally Posted by leboyd View Post
You're in a time pinch. You state this is the only marina within 50 miles that has room for you. Go, keep searching for the marina that meets your needs and anchor when you have to touch up a rust spot. Doesn't need to be a lot of drama here.
Yea that is the plan. Wasn't planning on fighting with the marina and falling into bad standing with them, but I was curious how common this degree of policy is for future reference.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:47   #10
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

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Um whoa, that would be a deal-breaker at any marina. I sure wouldn't want to be beside a steelie with someone chiselling/grinding away at rust, rusty dust flying everywhere, followed by stinky primers and paints.

I'm sure people can get away with quiet interior work (eg electrical, plumbing), but anything exterior - any grinding/sanding/painting/drilling - I would expect to be prohibited at one's slip, at many places. These are just too disruptive to the neighbours.

Do they not have a work dock, like somewhere to gas your dinghy? Failing that, you'll need to find somewhere else to do your exterior maintenance.

A comparable situation - if you have an apartment or condo, they usually don't let you do auto work in your parking space.
Oh I completely agree that grinding rust is obnoxious, I wouldn't be upset about any policy that asked boaters not to do that. What asked the marina about is using a wire brush the size of a toothbrush to clean out an area the size of a fingernail, then using two brushstrokes of primer and two brushstrokes of deckpaint specifically to prevent the need to take out the grinder in the future. For the car analogy, I would liken it to topping off your own oil. I guess one could end up spilling the oil, making a mess, and disturbing their neighbors—if they were really bad at pouring oil. But more than likely it will only take a few minutes, won't disturb anyone, and is important to maintaining your car and a ridiculously small task to go take it somewhere else to do.

And I asked about a work dock, or even if I could just be moved to the most isolated slip for a day or two, and they said no. It should also be noted that the marina is 75% empty—they just don't want even the tiniest risk that a drop of paint lands on their dock.
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:53   #11
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Wow... seems ridiculous to me. I've never been in a marina or yacht club with those kinds of rules. Obviously one should never overtly inconvenience your neighbours, but doing simple jobs at the dock is absolutely standard in all the places I've gone.

Another reason to stay away from dense urban areas I suppose.
Yea I agree! I'm all for neighborly courtesy, and had no plans of making any sort of mess that would put dust on others' boats or make a bunch of noise. I just don't understand what risk a can of varnish on my own boat poses to my neighbor, especially when the marina is 75% empty. The manager kept citing that they simply can't risk any spills or stains on their docks.
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Old 27-06-2022, 10:15   #12
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Sometimes we must just accept Reality as she presents herself.

Their rules don't need to make sense, obviously they are willing to take the resulting hit to their revenues...
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Old 27-06-2022, 10:34   #13
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KelseyB View Post
What asked the marina about is using a wire brush the size of a toothbrush to clean out an area the size of a fingernail, then using two brushstrokes of primer and two brushstrokes of deckpaint specifically to prevent the need to take out the grinder in the future.
Quote:
...I just don't understand what risk a can of varnish on my own boat poses to my neighbor, especially when the marina is 75% empty. The manager kept citing that they simply can't risk any spills or stains on their docks.
First it's a wire toothbrush and two brushstrokes of primer and deck paint, now it's a can of varnish. Greasing that ole slippery slope...

In most marinas I think I would draw the line at a serious varnish job in your slip as well. The smell, for starters. Not to mention drips etc on the dock, sticky hands on railings and gates, brush cleaning in the mens... What if I was in a slip upwind of you and chose your varnish day to beat my carpets or clean the BBQ?

I'm still mostly siding with the marina. Maybe for the genuinely small touchups, just do them by stealth, and not on a holiday weekend. If this restriction is onerous, save up such jobs, and go anchor somewhere for a day to complete them.
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Old 27-06-2022, 11:16   #14
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KelseyB View Post
What asked the marina about is using a wire brush the size of a toothbrush to clean out an area the size of a fingernail, then using two brushstrokes of primer and two brushstrokes of deckpaint specifically to prevent the need to take out the grinder in the future. .
Herein lies your answer. No marina manager wants to waste time negotiating how much is too much. Binary decisions are much more clear and easier to enforce.

By your suggestion of a small wire brush or a limited amount of primer/paint, you just demonstrated how some always try to test the rule.
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Old 27-06-2022, 12:29   #15
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Re: Overly Strict Marina Rules? Or Am I Just New to "Premier" Marinas?

Makes me really appreciate the last 2 marinas I was at: cutting, sanding, significant epoxy work, painting, power washing, etc but I always cleaned up at the end of each day.


The first marina has been sold and I suppose they are now a "premier" marina with a very long list of prohibitions.
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