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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello...

I bought a new 31' this summer in Lake St. Clair in Michigan, thinking, wow, what a good deal! the marina its at quoted me a good price for winter storage, They had a cradle, and the location was great. So I surveyed the boat and bought it, happily imagining the sailing I could do on my new bigger boat. Well, the first sail out, the engine threw a rod... Not a big deal, I thought, I had negotiated enough of a discount that I could afford a "new" engine. So, I ordered a "great running take out" from what I was told was a reputable dealer in new york, and I contacted a local engine installer. While it took almost a month for him to fit me in, I was still happy, as the pricing was good, and the mechanic was great and communicative.

Here is where the bull crap starts

After the engine is in, The installer calls me, and says "hey, the engine is running away, and I can't get to fixing it until the winter. Apparently you got screwed over by the shop out east"

"Great," I said, "thanks for your help, I will let you know!" Knowing this, I called the marina owner and let him know I wouldn't be able to move the boat this season again unless I got the running away problem fixed. He recommended a few other people to me, and still imitated that it wouldn't be a big deal, since my slip is right next to their lift. Frustrated as I was with being screw over on a $5k engine, I still had a slight amount of money left for that repair, and I was confident that I could put it off for a few months if it would cost more, since storage wasn't a big deal. I was frustrated that the seller was ignoring my messages and emails, but I could shrug that off!

Fast foreword one month, and the date my boat was to be pulled out is approaching. Excited to get started on my winter maintenance, I Got a surprise phone call from the marina owner.

"hello?"

"Hey, this is XXXXX at XXXXX's marina, We were getting out The cradle we use for your boat and I remembered it was broken and we cant use it, so we can't put up your boat this winter. I was supposed to tell you two months ago but I forgot."

Now, this happened at the time of year that EVERWHERE locally is already filled up, and I can't move it anywhere because there is no working motor. The marina owner recommended a place that is about a 3 hour sail away, but they haven't returned anyone's calls. so here I am, looking at a massive tow bill to a new location, as well as a potentially higher storage cost, and all this has to be figured out while I live 3 hours away with a full time job, as opposed to the hands off situation I had been told...

Looking at my finances, I realized that the 15k I have spent on this boat this year is way more than I can afford. in fact, I couldn't afford the tow and different storage and a cradle even if I could find somewhere to put this boat.

Now I am in the unfortunate position of either waiting for the boat to sink in the ice and giving it up for a loss or figuring out a way to get this boat into more affluent hands that can really take care of it. I am really frustrated and saddened by the cascading series of screwing overs and failures, especially because I am now looking at a total loss of all that money I had saved up for this boat, not even to mention the perfect boat for what I wanted.

does anyone have any advice or ideas that can let me keep this thing? IF not, how can I go about "Dumping" this boat? I am not local to the area its in, and no one seems to be able to actually provide a straight answer about anything....
 

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I'm not understanding why the marina can't either fix the broken cradle or use jackstands instead of the cradle? There's not much that can go wrong with a cradle that couldn't be fixed by a welder. Do you own the cradle or does the marina? Would they let you repair it at your expense or purchase jackstands? I'd exhaust working with the current marina to its absolute end before considering any other option.

If you do need to move the boat, it will be cheaper than towing to temporarily rig up an outboard. You might be able to borrow one or buy a used one and resell it for what you paid for it.
 

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Old soul
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Wow, that sucks. If it's any consolation, my first boat was also a "good deal" and I also threw a rod necessitating a replacement engine within the first season. A lesson indeed...

I too wonder why you can't repair the cradle. They're not very complicated, and a 31-foot boat isn't very large. At very least, you should be able to use four jackstands. Is there some other reason the yard doesn't want you there?

I certainly don't recommend leaving it in the water over winter. I assume Lake St. Clare ices over pretty well. A boat would be at serious risk, and if it sinks you would be held liable to the cleanup.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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As a plan 'B', you may also be able to buy an 'ice eater' and keep your boat from being damaged by the ice. That assumes that the marina will allow you to keep your boat in the water and that the power stays on on the docks.

Plan 'C' get an independent mechanic to look at the engine and try to get it running, then talk with and take it over to the other marina. .

Dumping almost any boat this time of year in a wintry area isn't likely to happen at almost any reasonable price break. I will note that it is also pretty unlikely that you will fetch anywhere near your $15,000 out of an Allmand 31 any time of year,. These are very undesirable models. Even if the engine was in good running condition, in perfect shape those boats have a sales price well less than $15,000, and even with one in really good shape you would expect a sales price probably closer to $10,000 to 12,000 range at best. Without an engine that an Allmand 31 has close to a negative value. Locally the few I knew of that got sold were sold for under 10K and that included one that was lovingly restored and upgraded.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
exactly. I recognize that this is a VERY niche boat, but I was the perfect Niche for it... I will probably end up giving it away for free if anything. I think the marina Just doesn't want A sailboat there this winter (though there is another there). I asked if I could get my own cradle, or pay to fix theirs, and they wouldn't respond to me. I had an independent mech look at it (actually, several) and they all said they can't get to it for several months... I had a thought of a plan D, and that is pay to ship it to my property in Indiana, and leave it there, but in the end, that cost plus a custom cradle on top of what I have already spent, I cant afford to even do that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What I think is going on with the marina is they are really embarrassed about forgetting to tell me until after they had filled all the storage spots up for the winter, meaning I couldn't fix it myself, but again, getting ahold of them has been difficult all of a sudden. I did offer to get my own set up and they ignored that...
 

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Barquito
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Wow. This sucks. I'm guessing you will only have a few weeks to get to another boat yard before they winterize their equipment for haul-outs. I would imagine your best bet is to slap an outboard on her, or hip-tie to a dingy and get to another boat yard. It may be possible to sail it without an engine. I had engine trouble this spring, and sailed to a couple of boat yards. This probably isn't your best option being that you will be completely unfamiliar with the sailing characteristics of a new boat.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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exactly. I recognize that this is a VERY niche boat, but I was the perfect Niche for it... I will probably end up giving it away for free if anything. I think the marina Just doesn't want A sailboat there this winter (though there is another there). I asked if I could get my own cradle, or pay to fix theirs, and they wouldn't respond to me. I had an independent mech look at it (actually, several) and they all said they can't get to it for several months... I had a thought of a plan D, and that is pay to ship it to my property in Indiana, and leave it there, but in the end, that cost plus a custom cradle on top of what I have already spent, I cant afford to even do that...
I am really sympathetic about the predicament that you are in, I would think that the marina would try to work with you regarding keeping the boat in the water there with a bubbler since it was their screw up that put you in this predicament.

Anyway to quote Maxwell Smart, "Would you believe Plan 'F'"- See if there is a storage lot for RV's, Trucks trucks or who has outside storage of some kind or a farmer looking for some money that would rent you space nearer to the marina than your house and then try to find a boat hauler with a hydraulic trailer that can move your boat there. You will need to repair the old cradle or else buy some jack stands, or maybe rent some jack stands. That should not be all that

Plan 'G'- Donate it to a non-profit for the tax write off.

Jeff
 
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I believe tow insurance includes relocation service to another yard for maintenance. Not sure if there is a waiting period before you can use it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Holly crap, I forgot about boat angel! that's a good plan f... There are tow services, however I can't afford them... The hardest part of all this (aside from the fact I can't afford anything more than I negotiated) Is that I live in Indiana, and I work for a church, so from October to Easter I get maybe one day off a week, if that, so the time commitment to do anything more than what I was told of 6 months ago, especially at this time of year, its very difficult. I really appreciate all these ideas, you guys are giving me lots of things to look into before plan "f!"
 

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People need to plan for all sorts of scenarios. And that may mean alternate plans, money to pay for them and time to execute them... and the technical/professional support one needs. Tow insurance seems like a no brainer.
 

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Wow, that really Bites!

It sounds like you need to take a day off, drive up there the night before, get a room, and stand in front of the Marina Owner 1st thing in the morning and plead your case. ( call ahead and make sure the owner will meet you there) It's in his/her slip. I might line up some jack stands to bring with me. I find it hard to believe that they can't find a single spot on the property to place you. Something sounds fishy. My thinking is that it's a lot easier to say " no" on the phone, than it is face to face. I'd certainly politely remind the owner that it was their lack of calling you in a timely manner that created this dilemma.

That would be plan A imho. Towing it will be a huge expense, I don't think they'll sell you insurance and tow you in the same day/week. But, that would be worth looking in to. If you can find somewhere else reasonably close.

The marina may even have their own skiff that can tow you if it came to that. I'd think that's the least they could do. Tow you out to deep water, sail, and then tow in you in elsewhere, or all the way.

I'm not familiar with that area, a quick look on the satellite looks like it's powerboat country. I'm not sure how many of those marinas even have travel lifts. Many owner's likely pull their boats out on ramps with trailers, or the Marinas could use fork lifts. I hope you can work it out. $15,000 is a lot to toss away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree, I should have gotten the tow insurance add on, But I had thought that since my boat was already dead, and just going a few slips down, it seemed silly to pay for that for this year. There is a marina about 500 yards away that has a traveler lift that could get it onto a hydro truck to move it somewhere land based. Does anyone have any recommendations of where I can find jack stands and a good boat moving company? My other problem is that I need to dismast it still, since the marina I am in was supposed to take care of that for me... Supposedly I can use a gin pole, but on a 40' mast, I am reticent to do that by myself...
 

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You are being treated like a fish out of water I think if you really keep pushing you will find out it's all about the money the money! They didn't forget somebody else had more money than you that is the game top dog top dollar bottom Dollar bottom dog

For another discussion, had you ran the engine at WOT It would have thrown the rod before you owned it! (What they did when they surveyed my boat I just held my fingers in my ears)

You could buy your own stands, hire welder to fix the so-called broken cradle,

My heart goes out to you...
 

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I agree, I should have gotten the tow insurance add on, But I had thought that since my boat was already dead, and just going a few slips down, it seemed silly to pay for that for this year. There is a marina about 500 yards away that has a traveler lift that could get it onto a hydro truck to move it somewhere land based. Does anyone have any recommendations of where I can find jack stands and a good boat moving company? My other problem is that I need to dismast it still, since the marina I am in was supposed to take care of that for me... Supposedly I can use a gin pole, but on a 40' mast, I am reticent to do that by myself...
You may need to have the marina that you are in remove the mast if you cannot get the marina that is 500 feet away to do it. You may need to pay to have the marina that you are in or the other marina move the boat to the other marina. You may want to store the mast at one of those marinas to minimize moving costs,

Minimally, you will need 4 pad type jack stands and one Vee type Jack stand for the bow.. You will need a some of 6x6's for under the keel and to keep the jack stand legs from digging in if you are not on paving. Here are some sources.



 
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Trying to do this remote, doesn't sound like it's going to bear fruit. I really think you need make some calls and get up there. Hopefully, your employer will be more cooperative and understanding than the Marina owner. If your boat sinks in his slip, you'll both have bigger problems than you have now. I'd bet, if you were to abandon it, they'd find a way to get it out of the water soon enough. What about this place St. Clair Yacht Center? They seem to be a full service facility ? Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away, tough week to get stuff done. I'd target next week.
 

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Sorry to hear about your situation.

Once you get the immediate problem of winter storage sorted, do you have money for the other things: getting the engine fixed (assuming that's possible), paying marina fees next year, and the normal unexpected maintenance for an old boat?

We are new boat owners and thought we understood how much it would cost, but got a quick and unpleasant education in the size of boat bills.

Maybe you need to think about your overall budget. I'd hate to see you putting more and more money into this if the boat's not worth it, and it's not sustainable for you to keep it.
 

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Hello...

I bought a new 31' this summer in Lake St. Clair in Michigan, thinking, wow, what a good deal! the marina its at quoted me a good price for winter storage, They had a cradle, and the location was great. So I surveyed the boat and bought it, happily imagining the sailing I could do on my new bigger boat. Well, the first sail out, the engine threw a rod... Not a big deal, I thought, I had negotiated enough of a discount that I could afford a "new" engine. So, I ordered a "great running take out" from what I was told was a reputable dealer in new york, and I contacted a local engine installer. While it took almost a month for him to fit me in, I was still happy, as the pricing was good, and the mechanic was great and communicative.

Here is where the bull crap starts

After the engine is in, The installer calls me, and says "hey, the engine is running away, and I can't get to fixing it until the winter. Apparently you got screwed over by the shop out east"

"Great," I said, "thanks for your help, I will let you know!" Knowing this, I called the marina owner and let him know I wouldn't be able to move the boat this season again unless I got the running away problem fixed. He recommended a few other people to me, and still imitated that it wouldn't be a big deal, since my slip is right next to their lift. Frustrated as I was with being screw over on a $5k engine, I still had a slight amount of money left for that repair, and I was confident that I could put it off for a few months if it would cost more, since storage wasn't a big deal. I was frustrated that the seller was ignoring my messages and emails, but I could shrug that off!

Fast foreword one month, and the date my boat was to be pulled out is approaching. Excited to get started on my winter maintenance, I Got a surprise phone call from the marina owner.

"hello?"

"Hey, this is XXXXX at XXXXX's marina, We were getting out The cradle we use for your boat and I remembered it was broken and we cant use it, so we can't put up your boat this winter. I was supposed to tell you two months ago but I forgot."

Now, this happened at the time of year that EVERWHERE locally is already filled up, and I can't move it anywhere because there is no working motor. The marina owner recommended a place that is about a 3 hour sail away, but they haven't returned anyone's calls. so here I am, looking at a massive tow bill to a new location, as well as a potentially higher storage cost, and all this has to be figured out while I live 3 hours away with a full time job, as opposed to the hands off situation I had been told...

Looking at my finances, I realized that the 15k I have spent on this boat this year is way more than I can afford. in fact, I couldn't afford the tow and different storage and a cradle even if I could find somewhere to put this boat.

Now I am in the unfortunate position of either waiting for the boat to sink in the ice and giving it up for a loss or figuring out a way to get this boat into more affluent hands that can really take care of it. I am really frustrated and saddened by the cascading series of screwing overs and failures, especially because I am now looking at a total loss of all that money I had saved up for this boat, not even to mention the perfect boat for what I wanted.

does anyone have any advice or ideas that can let me keep this thing? IF not, how can I go about "Dumping" this boat? I am not local to the area its in, and no one seems to be able to actually provide a straight answer about anything....
Go on Facebook and find the Lake St. Clair Sailing group and ask to join. We have a sailboat in St Clair Shores. Finding people to do work, and/or do it when they promise, and do a competent job is a tough thing we have found since we bought in 2017. Feel your pain! Join that group and ask for help!! There are several yacht clubs (not all rich snobs!) and sailing clubs with VERY helpful people! They have skills and they want others to love sailing too. Seen many jump right in and help when another is in trouble. I know a few at least are actually still in the water!! Not us! That marina you're in is a power boater one...there are others that have many sailboats and know jackstands and hauling out! Trust me...join that group and tell your story and there are nice people who will give help & ideas! Good luck...if you post I will see it too as we are in that group!!
 
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