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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Avoiding salvage.
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Thread: Avoiding salvage. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-29-2010 08:57 AM
svHyLyte For the sake of the discussion see BoatUS Towing vs Salvage

FWIW...
04-28-2010 10:35 PM
davidpm This quote is even more clear:

Ungrounding: Sea Tow will provide ungrounding assistance to covered vessels when all six of the following conditions apply; The vessel is not in the surf or surf line. The vessel is in a stable, safe position. The vessel is surrounding by water on all sides. The vessel has some movement (i.e. rocking). The vessel can be refloated in 15 minutes or less by one Sea Tow boat. The vessel can continue its voyage safely once it has been refloated. If all six conditions do not apply it is not a covered service.

Someone more cynical than I would conclude that you are paying for the privledge of guarenteing Sea Tow that they will be the first to have an opportunity to handle your salvage claim.
04-28-2010 10:25 PM
davidpm Even with Seatow you are not imune from a salvage claim.
This is from the seatow website:


The definition of salvage is "saving property in peril at sea and reducing environmental damage." Salvage is also "all the actions taken aboard and ashore to resolve a marine casualty and to save property in peril at sea." Most of the on-the-water services performed by Sea Tow involve vessels in some degree of peril. Many of these services, for example, covered ungroundings, jump starts and fuel drops, are covered by your Sea Tow membership and are provided free of charge.
Oftentimes whether a service is covered cannot be determined until the Sea Tow captain is on-scene with a disabled vessel because of the ever changing nature of the marine environment. If conditions permit, the Sea Tow captain will evaluate the situation and inform the owner if the required services are not covered under the membership program before providing service. If the services are not covered, the boat insurer or the owner will be responsible for the cost of services provided outside of the membership program.
Among other things, the greater the peril, the higher the cost of service is likely to be. In cases involving high risk, the cost of the service often cannot be determined until the service is performed. When conditions permit, and you feel comfortable doing so, you can attempt to negotiate a fee arrangement with the Sea Tow captain. Sea Tow endorses the MARSALV contract. As with any service, reaching an agreement concerning the terms of the service can avoid unpleasant surprises later. However, if your vessel is in imminent danger of being damaged or damaging the environment or other boats (as determined by the Sea Tow captain), you may be legally required to take all steps necessary to protect the vessel immediately.
It is extremely important that you have sufficient and proper insurance coverage for your vessel. As long as your vessel is properly insured, the cost of services provided outside the membership program will be covered by your hull insurance policy. If the vessel is not properly insured, the owner is wholly responsible for all charges associated with the performance of services outside of the membership program.

Here is another one: SEA TOW OF ATLANTIC CITY - TIDE RUNNER MARINE
04-27-2010 09:14 AM
sailingdog To give you an idea of what the fines can be... environmental remediation for spilling fuel, which will happen if the boat's fuel tank vent is submersed, can reach $800,000.

The environmental fines for damage to reefs and such can reach even higher. NOAA wanted to charge the owner of the megayacht Legacy, which ran aground in the Florida Keys $22 MILLION for the damage caused by the boat's grounding in a federal marine preserve.
04-27-2010 07:44 AM
Maxboatspeed
Where's a lawyer when ya need one?

Interesting topic. Thanks Dog for the good link. The idea of salvage is interesting. As discussed here, there is an established idea that someone saving your ass and boat will have rights to compensation based on several things, if there is not an agreement as to compensation before hand. Salvage law is based on very old maritime law. Stuff that is considered:

(simplified, in my opinion, to my knowledge, and as previously stated):
the possible, implied, or conceived peril to your vessel, crew, cargo, and ENVIRONMENT.
Also, awards are based on the efforts, potential peril, equipment, readiness, and success of a salvor.
I know commercial guys (and their insurance companies) are concerned that an agreement is in place prior to accepting "salvage" service.
I think the chance of environmental damage can become a huge part of a claim.
I think the key to avoiding a large salvage claim is knowing you have agreed on fees/charges. The salvage award concept is definitely something for boaters to consider.

I understand awards can be surprisingly large. I also get that the pros that are called on to do this hazardous, skilled, and equipment intensive work won't be around if there is no living in it.
Lloyds open form?

Id love to hear basic thoughts on this from maritime lawyers.
Wow, finding myself appreciating Dog and Lawyers in the same message! wow

Max
04-26-2010 03:33 PM
sailingdog My understanding is that if you hand him your line, you are accepting a tow, if you accept his line, he can claim he is salvaging your boat... However, as I am not a marine or admiralty lawyer, I would recommend you read this PDF on the subject of salvage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweitz View Post
SD -
Do you have any authority for the notion that if you hand him a line you are using your equipment and its not salvage? It seems to me that the line is only part of the equipment, the boat is also part of it, so if you use your line to tie to the salvor's boat, you are still using his equipment, just a little less of it.
04-26-2010 03:15 PM
tweitz SD -
Do you have any authority for the notion that if you hand him a line you are using your equipment and its not salvage? It seems to me that the line is only part of the equipment, the boat is also part of it, so if you use your line to tie to the salvor's boat, you are still using his equipment, just a little less of it.
04-26-2010 09:55 AM
sailingdog No, because you are actively working to recover your boat. If you decided to get in the dinghy and go and get lunch...then you'd be considered abandoning your boat. As long as you are present near your boat, especially if you are actively trying to recover it, it can not be considered abandoned.

As a point of reference, I can cite the case of the multimillion dollar yacht that was driven aground in the Florida Keys a few years ago. The owner hired another boat and was living aboard near his grounded boat until the conditions were right for refloating her. It was never considered abandoned, even though the owner was not aboard since he was working actively to recover it and staying nearby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
And if my boat gets grounded and I get in the dinghy to take an anchor out into deeper water so that I can pull my boat out, is that considered abandoning my boat because I got into the dinghy ?
04-26-2010 09:51 AM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioG View Post
I'm new to this . What about the boats I've seen sunk at marinas? Do you raise them and then claim salvage?
Yes, you could, but most of those boats aren't worth very much... the salvage fees are based on the value of a boat.

Quote:
Worse yet what stopped someone from salvaging my boat when we were aground a few weeks? (grounded 60 yrd off shore after a storm)
You were lucky.
04-26-2010 09:40 AM
wind_magic
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioG View Post
I'm new to this . What about the boats I've seen sunk at marinas? Do you raise them and then claim salvage?

Worse yet what stopped someone from salvaging my boat when we were aground a few weeks? (grounded 60 yrd off shore after a storm)
And if my boat gets grounded and I get in the dinghy to take an anchor out into deeper water so that I can pull my boat out, is that considered abandoning my boat because I got into the dinghy ?
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