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joethecobbler 02-10-2012 12:51 PM

52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.
Did anyone else notice or hear of the 52' houseboat that was aground in Holly Hill,Fl. ??
We arrived in Daytona a couple days ago and I immediately went to the Halifax river waterfront area to see how many anchored boats were there and generally be nosey as to who is on what and the like.
I saw this houseboat aground and googled it and found it has been there since October 2011 !
Yesterday I spent the morning watching Sea-tow pull it off the shore w/ three boats and tow it to Aqua Marina in Daytona to be hauled out and Auctioned off to the highest bidder if the owner doesn't pay the $13000.00+ and counting fees associated with it's grounding/fines/recovery etc.
The owner is apparently quite a charactor. He managed to get arrested after threatening anyone who attempted to board or move the vessel.
I doubt he'll be able to pay the costs and will end up loosing the boat, and probably becoming another homeless adding to Daytonas massive homeless winter time population.
Daytona is almost overun w/ homeless and bussinesses are closed all over the place and alot of empty houses as well.
Google grounded houseboat holly hill,fl. to get more info.

It's a sad situation, one that I think could have been completely avoided had this captain execised better anchoring technique. there is another houseboat anchored in the same place for years using 4 anchors and he stayed put.

Skipper Jer 02-10-2012 01:32 PM

Wouldn't one get more pounds of pull by using an anchor and a come-along rather than a power boat to pull the houseboat free?

texas pirate 06-18-2012 11:05 AM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.
it is a sad situation, the city of holly hill committed an act of piracy and i intend to file charges in federal court by the end of june 2012. If anyone knows what really happened it is me. my boat was properly anchored. but still was washed onto the sandbar by hurricane force winds. please do not make comments on what is and what is not a properly anchored vessel. the city of holly hill nor anyother city has jurisdiction in the ICW. Educate yourself on rights of navigation on this waterway before you rush to judgement or comment. I am protected by admiralty laws in the U.S constitution to anchor where i choose without the threat of fines or seisure of my vessel.

texas pirate 06-18-2012 11:12 AM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.
Are you kidding me! My boat weighs 26 tons empty and 30 fully loaded! how big of a come-along would it take!

hellosailor 06-18-2012 11:31 AM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.
Texas, was that a houseboat, without self-propulsion, or was that a vessel engaged in navigation, regularly moving in transit?

I don't recall much admiralty law in the US Constitution. Other than reserving to Congress the rights to form a Navy and issue letters of marque and reprisal, and prohibiting the states from that latter issue, maybe I have the abridged version. There's no admiralty section here at all.

Of course if you style yourself a pirate...that falls under 18 USC 1652 and you can be imprisoned for life. Used ta just be a $5000 fine for citizens, versus death for anyone else, but right now it is life imprisonment. [LATER] Oh wait, darn that only applies on the high seas. WTF do they do with pirates inside territorial waters?

Curious minds would love to know more.

bljones 06-18-2012 11:34 AM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.

Originally Posted by texas pirate (Post 885884)
my boat was properly anchored. but still was washed onto the sandbar by hurricane force winds.

Logic, clean-up in General Interest Forums!

JoeDiver 06-18-2012 11:56 AM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.

Stumble 06-18-2012 02:01 PM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.
No idea what the legal details are here, but state and local jurisdictions do have some law making authority even on the public waterways of the US. It depends exacally on what law was invoked to justify the removal, or if general salvage law was in play.

This is likely to be considered a high order salvage claim, in which case an judicial award of 25-40% of the market value of the boat, her cargo, and anything aboard would be pretty typical. If a judge determines it to be low order salvage then more like 15-30%. It will be pretty fact dependent though.

There aren't enough facts given, but I highly doubt an act of piracy was involved. Unless the owner was physically present on the boat when the eventual salvager showed up, and refused help. If the owner (or his representative) ever got off the boat, then if the boat was subject to the perils of the sea (being aground by itself counts), a salvager can begin rescu operations. Once those operations are started the owner has a limited ability to halt the work, and will be liable for some percentage of the value of the vessel immediately.

Salvage law is a fun area to practice law in, but a terrible place to wind up unwittingly, without insurance. I feel had for the owner, but would recommend everyone else check to see if their insurance policy cover salvage claims. Not all do.

overbored 06-18-2012 02:42 PM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.

Originally Posted by texas pirate (Post 885884)
was properly anchored. but still was washed onto the sandbar by hurricane force winds.

"Was" is the key word here. if it were still properly anchored this would not be an issue. properly anchoring for the weather conditions is the responsiblity of the skipper.
the city/state will through down the in the interest of public health and safety card and haul it away. $ 13000 is a expensive lesson in how not to anchor for hurricane winds

hellosailor 06-18-2012 02:58 PM

Re: 52' houseboat aground holly hill,FL.
Stumble, I doubt if insurance or salvage laws would have anything to do with it. Sounds like a "houseboat" ran afoul of Florida's "houseboat" laws, which may or may not be legal but are in effect. At that point once process has been served and actions start, no insurance will reimburse you for government seizure after due process.

ICW= Federal, state, local in that order are applied.

Of course, since we haven't been told whether the vessel is a houseboat as defined by Florida, and we haven't been told whether the grounding was declared an obstruction or menace to navigation, and we haven't been told why the process was served and under what theory the boat was arrested...

All that's missing are the black helicopters. Wait, let me look on the web.

Okay, the black helicopters weren't there after all. Apparently a houseboat, no engines, floating home, got beached last October on a spit of city-owned land adjacent to a park. During a major un-named storm that IIRC the NWS later decided probably should have been named.

Apparently the city wanted the floating home off their property, not a sandbar but a spit, which changes "grounding" into "trespass" as it is part of the shore. And since the owner says he's broke, the city gave him his notice and then removed the vessel from their property.

FWIW this is also in the famous Volusia County, where sailors have reported some gung-ho boardings by watercops in the ICW. But all the local media seem to have published stories singing the same song: Broke homeowner (not sailor) went hard aground on the shore. Refused to remove his home from city property. Had it removed for him.

Texas? Are they all lying? You got engines? It isn't a floating home, rather than a vessel capable of self-propelled navigation? It wasn't beached?

It may be a sad state of affairs, but it seems the only crime here is trespassing.

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