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Old 10-12-2020, 15:20   #16
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Even though your efforts at having the marina pay for the repair may end up being futile but I would still suggest trying your best to get them to pay. I wouldn't leave it up to "since they are not going to pay why even bother" - that attitude encourages bad behavior. I would also suggest talking to fellow boat owners at the marina and ask for their suggestions, if word gets around the marina may feel obligated to pay. Even if they don't pay and you end up doing the repairs yourself the pressure you put on them this time may change their behavior going forward - they will be careful moving boats in the future and if enough owners are affected they may even lose substantial business.

I have found marina people to be good generally, some are real pros, but I have also seen folks who can't tie a proper cleat hitch or tell the difference between east and west - for them, it's a summer job that pays good tips.
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Old 10-12-2020, 16:15   #17
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I guess every marina situation is a little different but I wouldn't want to get in a disagreement with a marina over a relatively minor isolated matter like this.


If were to become clear that the marina had a pattern of damaging boats through sloppy handling then that would make it quite different.
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Old 10-12-2020, 19:55   #18
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

You don’t necessarily need to get lawyers involved or spend significant $ to use the civil judicial system to your advantage.

You do need to be willing to totally destroy any relationship with that business, so explore other alternatives first.

Depending on your location “small claims” or “magistrates” court could help. In my county I can file in magistrates court for $15,000. ALWAYS file for the maximum. I can do it online for $25 without leaving my desk. Pay the extra $50 to have them served.

Most times they will pay attention when served with a suit for $15k. At that point they can either represent themselves, hire a lawyer (more than the cost to fix) or agree to fix. GET THIS IN WRITING.

If they ignore it, you move for a default judgement for the full amount. Then you have two choices sell the judgement for pennies on the dollar (remember, $15k) and let them be harassed till eternity by debt collectors or what a friend did, show up with a bailiff and take their stuff.

Yes, this works. I have an aquaintance who used this tactic with a large Bank in America who figured they were too big to bother and ignored the suit. When he showed up with the bailiff (local sheriff moonlighting) and literally started taking their office equipment they couldn’t write a check fast enough. true story, made the papers.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:52   #19
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

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You donít necessarily need to get lawyers involved or spend significant $ to use the civil judicial system to your advantage.

It doesn't always work.


The marina's liability insurance provider will handle the case from their end. While the rules vary by jurisdiction, a common tactic is to lose the small claims case by default and then immediately file an appeal in "regular" court. That leaves you with the choices of either dropping the case, lawyering up and posting a $5000 retainer, or trying to deal with court procedure and evidentiary rules yourself.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:39   #20
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I'd start by getting an estimate for repair. Without knowing the actual amount of damage, it's difficult to discuss realistically.

If the repair is around the amount of your insurance deductible, then I wouldn't even consider your insurance company.

If the repair is cheaper than a lawyer I wouldn't consider that as an option either.

What I would consider is whether there is slip availability which is comparable in price and amenities. I would also consider whether your marina has a waiting list.

Once you push the insurance or legal paths, you risk not getting a seasonal contract renewed. Will you be put in a position where your new marina contract is $500 more per year. Because that bill will come every year for years to come. In 5 years you'll be out $2,500 based solely on prinicipal.

If you want to teach them lesson, you'll be the only one who ultimately pays.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:31   #21
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

* Ethically the marina is responsible
* Legal system is not about ethics.
* It's not a $100 repair
* Get 2 estimates, then decide.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:36   #22
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

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It doesn't always work.


The marina's liability insurance provider will handle the case from their end. While the rules vary by jurisdiction, a common tactic is to lose the small claims case by default and then immediately file an appeal in "regular" court. That leaves you with the choices of either dropping the case, lawyering up and posting a $5000 retainer, or trying to deal with court procedure and evidentiary rules yourself.
True. Its sort of a game of chicken. But you can bail out at low cost/risk if you get that far.

Iíd rather avoid the whole mess personally but its an option.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:46   #23
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Double the cost of the repair, and offer to split it with the marina.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:49   #24
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

They will be reluctant to give you money. Ask them for something they CAN give you... free power hookup, free pressure wash, etc. If its something they can keep off the books and make the problem just go away you stand a chance.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:34   #25
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

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My marina requires that I absolve them of liability during boat moves or lifts. They wonít lift or move a boat otherwise
Yes but that is moving your boat, not someone else's. The marina is clearly at fault and is being beyond rude.

As has been said before, it may cost a lot more money then you think. And even if it doesn't, on general principles to educate them on how to run a responsible business I'd talk to my insurance company and/or file a claim in small claims court and ask for punitive damages. If the contract specifically states that they can damage other boats at will a judge might just see it differently.

I'd also be moving, letting all my neighbors know how bad this marina is run and making sure it's plastered everywhere on social media. This of course is if you are dealing with the owner of the marina. If you're dealing with the hired help then by all means get in touch with the owner and ask them, in writing, to do the right thing.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:39   #26
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

It is real simple, damage caused by a marina employee is the responsibility of the marina. I seriously doubt that any slip lease provision can overcome that basic principle. Getting practical, if sweet talking/begging the owner fails you either forget it as being too small to waste your time and energy or you go plan B. That entails suing in small claims court and probably moving to another marina. In a year or two you will win including reasonable legal fees but you will have to document the facts for the court. I think it's not enough money for the hassle but if their denial of responsibility really pisses you off then go for it. The idea that the owner of the boat being moved by the marina is responsible is absurd.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:09   #27
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I certainly would try to "negotiate" a free month of rent or some other freebie, as others have suggested, in lieu of cash to "repay" for your damage, the marina may be much more open to something like that.
If that does not work, I would also try to think some "creative" way to solve the problem, to which perhaps the marina is more amenable to (after all, they have an interest in keeping a friendly relationship with their tenants).
I am not saying something like this would be applicable to your situation, but just to give an example of a possibility to explore. In my marina, most of the people work there part time, and the other part of the time work for some other marine-related business in the area. Until not long ago, one of the guys at the marina also worked at a yard nearby doing fiberglass repair... I am just saying, that guy had the skills, maybe in a situation like this the marina could "suggest" a guy like that in their staff to have "a look" (and a fix) at your damage on marina's time... I believe those informal things do happen in marinas, where the people working there are generally cordial and willing to help on a personal basis as well.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:18   #28
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

You could always file in small claims court against the marina & the owner in one claim and let the judge decide which one is guilty or responsible for the claim. If you win you get all the filing fees back, if you loose you get nothing and your going to have to fix your own boat or see if your insurance will.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:39   #29
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Victim,
Lack of integrity should not be the end result of the legal beagles contractual writing skills. The marina vessel did the damage and it was likely operator inadequacy. Fault is not required among brotherly negotiations to remove friction for the future. If I were the operator of the vessel I would apologize and make sincere offer some equitable restitution even if my boss was of limited capacity in the honor department. I was required to do that by some very famous people and later enjoyed placing some Eagle Scouts in very responsible positions. We do things this way because of the way honor makes us feel. Give them some time to let the juices ferment in the sour stomach while you lay the groundwork to move the vessel to a better location. Negotiate a better slip lease and join a club that will help represent you where you park your vessel. Fair Winds and lots of opportunity to do the right thing among good neighbors! Best of the Holidays, Uncle B
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Old 11-12-2020, 13:11   #30
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

If your boat doesn't have any scratches or dings, you aren't using it enough...LOL
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