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Old 14-05-2022, 17:53   #1
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Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

Not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but it seems the closest.

We had heavy storms in our marina last week, and while I was away, my bowline snapped, then my sailboat swung over and started crashing against my neighbor's powerboat for some time until a friend of mine saw what was happening and tied a new bowline on for me.

Fortunately, both our boats had bumpers, but while mine just has scratches, the other boat had a section of bumper pulled down and screws popped out. I haven't told the other owner, because I'm still waiting for his contact info through the marina. His boat has been there for 2 years, but I've only seen him once, and I don't have his information.

For context, his boat has been really neglected for some time, there are scratches all over it, stuff is growing all over, the cockpit enclosure is totally rotting away, and the windows are yellow and cloudy. If I didn't say anything about what happened, he probably wouldn't even notice for years, if ever.

Anyway, here's my question. Should I just report it to insurance and let them handle it from there, or offer to fix it myself, or what? What bugs me is that this is the kind of damage that could go to either extreme. On the one hand, I'm confident I could fix it myself with a screwdriver and some glue, while at the other extreme, the owner could claim that his entire hull needs to be repainted and entire bumper replaced or something ridiculous like that. I have dealt with auto accidents before, but this is my first boat accident, and I wasn't even there when it happened.
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Old 14-05-2022, 18:04   #2
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

If I where you. I would simply slow down and wait until you get in touch with the owner. You will probably know from the conversation with the owner which way to go. I’m sorry this happened to you and understand how your feeling.
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Old 14-05-2022, 18:07   #3
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

Seems like you need to man up and do the right thing. The condition of his boat is not relevant. Your yacht was not properly secured. Worst case, let the insurance companies sort it out.
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Old 14-05-2022, 18:17   #4
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

I know you’re tempted to repair their boat but don’t. You could protect the damaged area from water damage to mitigate damage getting worse. The Rub rail is a lot harder to stuff back in the channel without stretching.
Cheer up at least you didn’t damage a sailboat.
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Old 14-05-2022, 18:46   #5
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

Definitely contact your insurance and let them sort it out. Don't fix it yourself; that's a route to becoming responsible for the whole thing.

A few years ago, a powerboat crashed into the stern of my 1965 Alberg 35. It tore up the mahogany rub rail at the stern, did some fiberglass damage. I contacted the marina; they contacted the guy. His insurance contacted me, had a surveyor come out and look at it (for 15 minutes!), and the surveyor asked where I was having it fixed. I told him the name of the yard, he said they do good work, just send us the estimate.

I didn't think it was a lot other than the wood rub rail. In the event, the whole thing was $8,000. His insurance paid without question. The rub rail alone cost over $500.

My point is that you don't really know what it will take to fix this boat. Best thing is let the experts figure it out.
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Old 14-05-2022, 19:11   #6
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

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Originally Posted by Pendragon35 View Post
Definitely contact your insurance and let them sort it out. Don't fix it yourself; that's a route to becoming responsible for the whole thing.

A few years ago, a powerboat crashed into the stern of my 1965 Alberg 35. It tore up the mahogany rub rail at the stern, did some fiberglass damage. I contacted the marina; they contacted the guy. His insurance contacted me, had a surveyor come out and look at it (for 15 minutes!), and the surveyor asked where I was having it fixed. I told him the name of the yard, he said they do good work, just send us the estimate.

I didn't think it was a lot other than the wood rub rail. In the event, the whole thing was $8,000. His insurance paid without question. The rub rail alone cost over $500.

My point is that you don't really know what it will take to fix this boat. Best thing is let the experts figure it out.
Sage advice.
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Old 14-05-2022, 19:11   #7
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

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Should I just report it to insurance and let them handle it from there, or offer to fix it myself, or what?

In your situation, what I would do is inform my insurance agent of the facts of the situation. I don't know what your insurance is like but my insurance requires me to advise them of possible losses. I would not necessarily speculate as to the extent of damage to the other boat, since that is the purview of the adjuster and the owner of the other boat.


The other owner could determine for themselves whether to seek reimbursement for any repairs.


I don't know much, but I think a claim for damages because a fender pulled out is not something that an adjuster would automatically approve.
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Old 15-05-2022, 17:02   #8
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

I would wait for him to make a claim against you as he seems to have a lot of damage already and may not even notice
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Old 15-05-2022, 17:12   #9
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

Take pictures. These will document the condition and damamge. For example, if there is internal water damamge, they will suggest much of it may have been per-existing.


He may just not respond.
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Old 15-05-2022, 17:56   #10
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

[QUOTE=Rohan;3623134]Not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but it seems the closest.

I understand your conundrum. You might want to wait until you get the owner’s info and have a chat. Probably involve sending some pictures. Ask permission to board his boat to fix it (assuming it’s that easy). Push comes to shove, let the insurance companies duke it out. There might be a deductible for him that’d lend itself to letting you do it.

In the end, reverse the roles. What would you expect of him if it’d been his boat that damaged yours?
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Old 15-05-2022, 18:21   #11
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

I would be certainly angered if I found my boat had been harmed and the offender was avoiding the situation -- in the hopes that I just wouldn't notice.
I have been harmed in a couple of motor vehicle hit and runs so -- perhaps my view is cumulative !

However, I have a close friend who's workboat had a mechanical failure while underway yet docking. His boat did considerable accidental damage to a much smaller and lesser workboat which was unattended in the next slip.

The loss of the boat was settled handily but the damaged boat's owner has claimed other loss, loss of income -- which appears to be a questionable claim.

Where have the senses and obligations of RIGHT and WRONG ..gone ?
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Old 15-05-2022, 19:27   #12
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

Sounds like you are looking for affirmation to be anonymous hoping the other guy won’t notice. And because you didn’t tie off your boat adequately for the occasional storm.

What happened to honesty and integrity?
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Old 15-05-2022, 19:50   #13
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
Anyway, here's my question. Should I just report it to insurance and let them handle it from there?
"[J]ust report it to insurance and let them handle it from there" is also your answer. It's what you have insurance for.

I would also follow 'thinwater's' advice and take pictures of the damage, just to CYA.
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Old 15-05-2022, 20:02   #14
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

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Sounds like you are looking for affirmation to be anonymous hoping the other guy won’t notice. And because you didn’t tie off your boat adequately for the occasional storm.

What happened to honesty and integrity?

Yeah... I would appreciate you not attacking my integrity. What "sounds like" to you is not at all what happened. Even before I posted this, I had already contacted the marina to let them know about this. I can't contact the other owner directly because I don't have his information. I was just wondering how to go about this without getting fleeced.

BTW, not that it matters, but my boat was tied off adequately with a standard dock line in excellent condition. It just snapped in two. Why, I don't know, I wasn't there when it happened. Maybe the constant movement of the boat was too much for it, or for all I know someone cut it.
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Old 15-05-2022, 20:22   #15
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Re: Advice on handling marina damage with other boat

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Yeah... I would appreciate you not attacking my integrity. What "sounds like" to you is not at all what happened. Even before I posted this, I had already contacted the marina to let them know about this. I can't contact the other owner directly because I don't have his information. I was just wondering how to go about this without getting fleeced.

BTW, not that it matters, but my boat was tied off adequately with a standard dock line in excellent condition. It just snapped in two. Why, I don't know, I wasn't there when it happened. Maybe the constant movement of the boat was too much for it, or for all I know someone cut it.
You seem to me like the 'nice person' type. I would say you have done your part, by contacting the marina. Now inform your insurance company, and let them handle it. It's their job; that's why you've been paying them.

I would also suggest you keep any contact between yourself and the other boat owner to a minimum. IMO the condition of their boat doesn't bode well for them being someone who will not try and 'extract' as much as they can get. I would not talk to them about the accident and would refer them to the insurance company any time they try to broach the issue.
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