Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-03-2013
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Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

Yesterday a powerboater (Who has had a history of problems controlling his bayliner around the dock) apparently "lost control" of his boat. Drove into the stern of my neighbors Ericson 28, and "The throttle stuck" so it pushed the back of the Ericson with enough force to drive it up into the dock, snap dock lines, rip out midship cleats, rip out dock cleats, break the dock box, destroy the dinghy davits, the stern rails, the back stay, and more...

...Fortunately for me, the dock between us acted as a barrier and all that happened to my boat is a gelcoat scuff and a rub-rail scuff. I got really, really lucky. They are essentially friction marks.

Now, as annoying as it is to have these new marks on my boat, I could probably clean them off and get used to living with the gel coat scrapes (About 2" x 2") - - - - or, do I call my insurance (BoatUS) and see what they say?

I haven't ever had an incident before, yet I suspect it's nothing like getting a car fixed...

The harbor patrol had to pry the other two boats apart, dock master contacted me at work as soon as it occurred.

Any advice or experiences with similar situations are appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

Here is a link to some photos, my damage is almost nothing. You can see my neighbors and the dock:

http://itsacenoura.tumblr.com/post/5...etic-and-scuff
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

You absolutely should report it just to raise the cost to this nitwit. At some point, the insurance company will get tired of paying his claims. Without insurance, he won't be able to find a marina to keep his boat in.

The value of your boat has been diminished through no fault of your own and considerable fault by someone else. His insurance company should pay for professional repair. If this had just been a normal docking skuff, I would feel differently. However, there is a large issue here which is to get someone like this off the water before he kills someone. That's pretty much up to the insurance companies the way our system works.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

Philzy, in some states that counts as a "motor vehicle accident" and it is a crime NOT to file a police report if the damages exceed a set amount, sometimes as little as $400.

So yes, you file a police report and enumerate all the damaged items, including dock cleats torn up and lines burst, and if possible get an estimate for professional repair and replacement. (If a cleat tears up, a dock board may need to be replaced as well.) Any paint damages, etc., an estimate for proper repairs and if that means repainting an entire transom, etc., yes, that too.

Stuck throttle, right, like there's no IGNITION KEY which cuts the engine off?

If the owner has a history of irresponsible operation it may lead to consequences. And his insurance coimpany's rate increase (assuming he has insurance) may change his behavior. If the owner of hte other boat did not report the damages and he violated a state law by doing so, that can lead to other charges (i.e. leaving the scene of an accident) that can help sober him up as well.

If that sounds cruel, I give you the words of Ian Fleming's Auric Goldfinger on meeting Mr. Bond once too often: "Once may be happenstance, twice may be coincidence, but the third time, my dear Mister Bond, is definitely enemy action."

The guy has a rep for hitting things? Cut him off before he runs someone over.
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Last edited by hellosailor; 07-03-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

Not sure about your state requirements, but Federal Law requires accident reporting if:

• A person dies
• A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
• A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
• Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories) or more
• The boat is destroyed.

This is the "must" report. Not sure what the "may" report criteria is, if there is any.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

I'm sure the accident has been reported given the damage to the Ericson. I think the question is, does the OP go through the hassle of making a claim for his relatively minor cosmetic damage.

I guess that partly depends on the overall condition of the boat. Personally, if I sustain a small scratch to my gelcoat, I'm not going to bother with an insurance claim, but that's just me and my boat.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

My bad...

Insurance claim - gelcoat can cost a lot if you have it fixed, vice fixing it yourself. Get an estimate and then make the decision.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

It is still a bit confusing as there was seemingly no direct contact between the powerboat and your boat

Did the Ericson 28 strike your boat Or did it push the dock into it while being pushed by the powerboat

At least here the normal police take the report except there is a different form and the no-fault laws do not seem to apply in the same way

When the Cal 29 was hit I had to find the correct police department

really it depended on which land my mooring was and the Northport police could not take the report as the mooring land was considered part of Centerport SO the Suffolk police had to take it

And then his insurance covered it with no deductible and no involvement on my insurance company's part


don't even get me started about how much trouble it was to get and estimate and never mind they don't do most hull gelcoat repairs in the water
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Last edited by tommays; 07-03-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

I'd file a police report, but not an insurance claim.

The police report is to punish the Bay-tard that can't seem to control his vessel. I would file it in my personal papers for later use.

I would NOT file an insurance claim for scuffs that would buff out.
Filing claims for every tiny scuff is a sure way to drive up your, and everyone else's premiums. Crying "wolf!" over every little scuff is one way to get your policy canceled, or perhaps for your insurance provider to start looking for loopholes to avoid paying out when you have REAL damage.

Save your ammo for real damage, but have the maritime authorities in your areas document the event, and hopefully fine him.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Do I Report Getting Hit (bumped) By Boat?

File a claim- these power boaters man- File a claim and make him sell his boat or actually read a Chapmans. Geez.
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