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Old 18-12-2020, 09:07   #46
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

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Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
This past weekend, at the marina's request, several boats were moved to different slips. One of these boats was disabled, and the marina staff moved it by pushing it with their fiberglass skiff.

During the maneuver, my boat was damaged. The boat they were moving was headed towards mine, the skiff got between us, and the skiff hit my boat, and made a dollar sized chip in the leading edge of my bow, down to where cloth is showing. It's small, but the only such damage on my boat.

The marina is denying responsibility, putting it on the owner of the boat they were moving, and setting up what is going to be a fight over a what is likely only a few hundred dollars to fix. I'd rather not start off that way with my new neighbor, and I feel it is the marina's responsibility, since it was the marina's staff that moved the boat, and the marina's skiff that actually hit my boat.
Retired lawyer here. Iíd say the marina. 1. They wanted the boat moved, and 2. The tender driver was acting in his capacity as either an employee or a contractor. Therefore, the marina is liable under the tort theory of agency. The marina has insurance. It was probably a requirement of their business license. There is an action you can take that doesnít require an attorney. You can contact their Regulating agency. But before you do that, get an estimate, and any whiteness statements you can gather. Also contact your insurance company. They might allow you to subjorgate (so) your claim.

Let us know what happens.

Maje (sitting in a hospital bed with only my phone)
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Old 18-12-2020, 09:25   #47
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I think you are minimizing the difficulty of repair to about a 2" chunk of gelcoat missing, down to the fiberglass. Imo, you should get a proper written estimate or 3 for the repair. Then you have something to say to the marina management.


Didn't know dollars were that big!
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Old 18-12-2020, 09:38   #48
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I believe the marina would be liable if this issue ever went to court. The marina may have a contract with the owner of the boat they moved which would perhaps absolve them of liability to that owner during moving his/her boat. But you are not a party to that contract. The marina may also have a contract with you that would absolve them of liability should they move your boat. But their actions were not related to your boat, other than to strike and cause damage to your boat. Therefore, unless your contract with the marina absolves them of any liability whatsoever, even for negligence in their operations, then the marina would be liable for the incidental damages to your boat caused by their actions in moving another owner's boat.
However, as others have pointed out, if the damage is small, it may not be worth it to attempt any legal action or involve your [or the marina's] insurance company.
You may just wish to use these arguments to try and convince the marina to do the right thing. Good luck.
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Old 18-12-2020, 09:41   #49
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I'm not a lawyer, but I spawned one, and took a business law course once.

All 50 states have anti indemnity statutes, and the contract that says the marina is not responsible for their own screwups is not worth the paper it is printed on.

I would have another chat with the marina manager, and tell them if they don't fix your boat you will take them to small claims court. Casually also mention that you have a daughter or son who is a class action lawyer looking for more work.
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Old 18-12-2020, 10:02   #50
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Sounds like someone crashing into your car and claiming it was McDonald's fault because they were on their way to get a burger.


The crashing into you has nothing to do with why they were out driving around carelessly.
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Old 18-12-2020, 10:09   #51
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Most insurances carry a clause about 'subrogation'.

You contact your insurance company, they decide who is at fault and if they find that the marina is at fault they go to the marina insurance company and get reimbursed.

Now, you don't state what it will cost to fix your boat and as was said is possibly/probably below most deductibles. Have you gotten an estimate from a qualified repair facility?

You might think the repair cost is minimal. Once it is looked at by a qualified repair person there could be additional damage you don't see.

Knowledge is power.

Go to the GM at the marina, the highest-ranking person on site, and explain that if they are going to shirk their responsibility you will have no other choice than to contact your insurance company which will contact their insurance company.

I made a comment in a recent accident where I was run into and the driver said it was their turn, I said 'we'll let the insurance company decide who is at fault'. In mine, she was. The highest responsibility is to avoid a collision, either on land or the water.

In boating, there is always a percentage of blame. How you were tied, how your boat was sitting in any fairway, etc, etc, etc. Initially, it sounds from your description that they were at fault, but if you were to step back can you attribute 100% of the blame to them?

You might find, that if it might be better to bite the bullet and IF at the right time you might want a different slip, use this instance as a foot up on other competition for it.

Good luck.
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Old 18-12-2020, 10:28   #52
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Different take on this. First, need to see the contract. Words matter.

California law allows for, and a court will uphold, a release of liability for negligence. Such releases are, in fact, ubiquitous. Read the fine print on your parking lot ticket, for example. Accordingly, marinas often require each licensee in the marina, i.e., the boat owner who occupies a slip, to have insurance to cover damage to their own boat, and to other boats, before the license is granted or renewed.

It is possible that while the employee is at fault, the marina may not be liable. An exception might be gross negligence. And the owner of the other boat might well be financially responsible, i.e., liable, but we donít have enough facts here. If they are, split the cost with them.
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Old 18-12-2020, 10:39   #53
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

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Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
Could you call your insurance company about it? They could then be the bad guys and go after the marina or the other owner (who would then be mad at the marina too, for having caused the damage) for payment.
The insurance company will do nothing. It costs a lot more than you think to write a letter with backup info to the claim.
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Old 18-12-2020, 11:02   #54
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Just put some duct tape on it and call it good.
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Old 18-12-2020, 12:41   #55
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Nope, itís your fault, you should have thrown your body between the two boats.
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Old 18-12-2020, 16:00   #56
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Looking forward to how this goes in an episode of Judge Judy..
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Old 18-12-2020, 16:36   #57
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

Does the marina have metered water to your slip? If not, they may wonder about their extraordinarily large jump in their water bill in the coming months
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Old 18-12-2020, 16:44   #58
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

It is probably international, but here in Ireland, if a harbourmaster demands that a boat is moved, knowing that it's mobility is impaired, (s)he is personally liable for any damage caused.
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Old 18-12-2020, 16:45   #59
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

[I][QUOTE=Wannabes00n;3293506]I would recommend not speaking with your insurance company. Every time you speak with your insurance company about a possible claim the file is noted, whether you are at fault or not. This coming from an industry insider. save your insurance claim for when you really need it.

Good advice. Several years ago my boat was hit from astern by another boat in a racing situation. I did not file a claim but, thinking it was the right thing to do, made my insurance company aware of the damage.

Recently, in response to a new bill from my insurance company, I questioned the premium. It was then I was made aware that the incident, though not filed as a claim, had been recorded just as if it had been a claim... and it cost me.
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Old 18-12-2020, 17:25   #60
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Re: Who is responsible for damage to my boat.

I do not know your country laws but where I live now (Spain) this would be operator's responsibility (marina's responsibility).


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