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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have kept my boat at the same Marina for past 10 years. I keep it year round, and thus includes in water over the winter. This is a very small Marina , only 20 or so boats and there are no employees , just the owner who also lives there in the house on same property. I have gotten along very well with the owner over the years. I n the past he would let me use the shop, store things there, even encouraged me to live aboard my boat there. For my part, I am there to help tie up boats during stormy weather, help instal ice eaters and remnove them, shovel docks, and parking lot when it snows etc. The past year or two, he has aged alot and has had medical issues and along with this he seems to have become very cranky and even unfriendly, yet other times his usual self, for instance this this past summer he lent me a 3.5hp outboard for my dingy, whichj upon returning to hime I had tuned it up and replaced plug and rebuilt carb( it had not been stored properly, gas left in it and didn't run when he lent it to me) aand also changed lower unit oil. This is typical of how I do things.
This fall I have held off winterizing my boat since it has been unusuaklly warm and I have used it when weather permotted. This is a major reason why I keep it in the water...so I can use it over the winter on those exceptionally warm days, I even installed a Dickerson Propane stove this tear for this reason.
I keep an engine block heater and a electric pipe warmer wrapped on my water heater pipes so that they wont freeze. I have done this for a number of years with out a problem. When it looks like it is really going to stay cold I do winterize these systems. I had planned on doing just this this week as it looks like the warm winter has ended.
I went down today to check on boat and get items aboard to winterize it during the week and found that my dock cord had been unplugged ! It had finnally turned freezing just that night before. Turns out the marina owner had unplugged it because he belived I was the reason for his large electric bill. (The items I had on draw very little and there are 19 other boats, some who are running electric heaters , all who have battery chargers as I do aboard) It is quite a leap inmy mind to think I am responsible for his eletric bill, besides it is a marina and electric is included in the fees, and there is no mention anywhere of hwo much one can use.
Well, it turns out his action led to the freezing of my expensive water heater and pump (fortunately engine seems fine)
I had talked to him just a few days before because i still owed a balance on the rent( about half) and called to let him know I would be by friday to pay him. Not once during this conversation did he mention any electrical usage problem or any intention to unplug my dock cord.
I am livid and wondering what I should do? I feel he is responsible as I don't feel anyone should unplu anyone else's dock cord unless it is for an emergency. One does not know what damage could result. I find his action reckless. Thank god I don't have a boat that relies on its bilge pumps to stay afloat as some of the boats here do ! None of the other boats were unplugged. When I called him on it he admitted unplugging it and just said he cant afford his electric bill. ANy thoughts?:hothead
 

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First....paragraphs. Ouch

Second, let him know that your water heater and pump froze, and ask him if he will reimburse you.

And if he says no, then you probably have a slam dunk case for small claims court.
 

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And if it had been a power outage - you could pull the power company to the court?

I agree that it sounds odd that he unplugged it, I would think that taking a chat with owner before you start any actions would be smart. You might win a court case - but maybe would have to find a new harbor?
 

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With only 20 slips, I assume you are easily replaced? Have to consider whether you are willing to leave over this.

That said, he was clearly wrong, as I understand your side of the story. No doubt he has a side too, but we're not going to hear it. The fact that your rent doesn't sound to be fully on time may be a factor?

A commercial marina owner would be expected to understand the impact of unplugging a boat in freezing temps. That resultant damage would not be appropriate simply for the lack of rent payment, unless it's a remedy in your lease.

What are the notices and remedies in your lease?

You could also be dealing with dementia, which won't get better from here.
 

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...The past year or two, he has aged a lot and has had medical issues and along with this he seems to have become very cranky and even unfriendly, yet other times his usual self...
It sounds like you've had a good relationship in the past. If he has serious health issues, well the meds can do a number on you and effect mood, memory and reasoning.

You might start with "are you OK" and approach it from the perspective "you did something out of character".

It doesn't have to start out as a confrontation but if his health issues become a danger to your boat's safety you may need to look elsewhere.

We moved on from a marina where we were VERY happy last year because of serious safety issues that the owner decided to ignore.
 

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One of None
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I am NOT on your side with this one. You need to winterize your boat, if you don't, you always run the risk of damage. Take it on the chin, replace the water heater.

Also ,thinking all the things that you did to help, were some form of exchange or barter system without prior agreement, is just you being nice. Moral of the story, never trust or assume someone else will take care of your property, or that they will feel recipcoral to being "helpful". It is a lesson in life I've also learned at considerable cost in time, money, and matters of the heart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for input , I really am at a loss as what to do and I think I am more hurt mentally then anything else.
I also appologise about the structure of my post, I was just in a rush and wanted to get it down before my computer deleted it like it has done to so many of my posts. !
I agree he is upset that I am not fully paid up. For my part, he knows that I have been out of work for aa while and that I would have to pay him in stages. As I mentioned I had just spoke with him a few days before on this and he seemed to understand that I would be paying him this Friday. I have also been there for years and he has always been paid and he knows this. Not that this really matters much, but the guy is loaded and its not that he is hurting for the payment. But obviously he is focused on the money issue since his reason was he couldnt afford the electric bill. For some reason he thinks its my fault since I told hime I had a block heater and freeze prevention wire on my water lines. He seems to think they are running up his bill.
I feel pretty like that is a pretty rediculous reason to put someones boat in jeapordy. Especielly after all the free work I do there over the years .He is very neglectful about the docks and the cleats are all begining to pull out ivefr the past few years yet he dosn't repair them I have repaired numerous cleats for my own protection. Then I get moved to a different slip and I have to do it again. This past storm a few weeks ago, I went down and one 43 foot Tartan that he just took in for the winter in the slip next bto mine had its forward bowline tied at the dock but completely untied aboard the boat! I went ahead a tied up the boat properly. Another large Popwerboat had a line nearly chaffed through and I took care of that , and used my own extra lines to tie it up. Rhis is typical stuff over the years. I don't mind keeping an eye on thing as Im there all the time. In the past he seemed to appreciate these kind of things but lately he dosn't even seem to care.
I agree that I need to be thinking about another place to keep my boat, I have been asking about just for that. In september, He started taking in these very large Powerboats for winter storage. Boats were way too big for these slips. He had blocked my boat and several others in with them so that I couldnt get my boat out. I told him that I was still using my boat and planned to use it all winter so long as there was a good day to sail and that I did not want to be blocked in. He gave me a bunch of grief about this saying that I wouldnt be sailingh anymore! I went out and found another slip through a friend for the winter , when he heard this he said he wasn't going to block me in. The next day the large boats were gone. I decided to stay. I later found out that the owners of the power boats realizing how inadequate the slips were for there boats decided to take them elsewhere on their own.
I do like the Marina becaus eit is small and secluded, and is perfect for my 33 foot sailboat. Also, it is predominantly all sailboats ,the largest 37'. I know most of the people there, and the price is reasonable.
I agree that I have to decide if its worth moving or putting up with the way things are . He never has trouble filling the slips as there are more boats out here than slips.
I think I am going to be looking though because I really feel I should hold him responsible for the damage and once I do that..well....I'm sure he's not going to want me there anyway!
Oh, and by the way, therfe is no lease or contract. He only takes cash, dosn't post any rules, and dosn't write up any contracts. The most I can get, and make sure I do get, is a handwritten receipt for my payments.
 

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Is there a written rental agreement?

I doubt you would have any luck in court. Many marinas have policies requiring winterization. Many have policies against heaters running unattended. Fires happen and power fails.

A relatively inexpensive lesson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree my boat needs to be winterized, I do it everyyear,however, I aso use it late into the season and keep a close eye on the weather. I was planning to winterize this week. I really on the block heater and heating wire only in so far as I am down on the boat atleast everyother day and all the yeqars I have been there I have never had this issue. If thje power went out on its own Id be informed by one of several ways and would go down to deal with it. If damage was done because of this then Id "take it on the chin" However, in this case , it was deliberately cut off, with no warning to me , and is the only reason there was damage. It was not an accident, that I would accept, it was deliberate. I know I take a risk, but I believe it is small, and if I want to use the boat its a risk I accept. I don't expect that the owner of a marina, a former sailor himself for years, would deliberately pull a customers dock cord just when a deep freeze is predicted. It is fortunate that I do come down often and did come down today because of the low temps last night and predicted freezeing temps for the week, to check on the boat , because otherwise I wouldnt have even known and it could have been unprotected for a lot longer time and I could have easily lost my engine too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
As mentioned there is no lease or contract, no posted rules or even verbal rules. I was not running a space heater but a small internal block heater and freeze preventiion wire that wraps on the pipes and dont get real hot and are meant just for this kind of thing.
 

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Sorry for your loss. Taking this matter to court would not be my choice. I see responsibility being mostly on you for protecting your property. If you wanted uninterrupted power service that would likely require some formal agreement on paper to hold up in court.
And it would suck to lose such sweet setup for keeping your boat.
Live and learn.
 

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One of None
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Nothing else you did over the years matters. I know this type of situation well.

You are trying to rationalize/justify that you have done so much to help! and now find out it was in vain. That hurts, and hurts even more when it's a matter of the heart.

It's called "investing into a relationship" (can be friends, professional, or romantic types of relationships) Trouble is, it's usually one sided. And usually the other party takes it as a "pain in the A---"

You owe, he pulled the plug. hand writing is on the wall.. or in this case nothing written. Time to move!

Glad you didn't loose the whole boat! If a line popped off the pump.....
 

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From what you write my gut says find another place the time at this place is passed.

As for compensation I'm unsure where you stand legally but it would be worth having a frank conversation about the damage.

My guess is many boats in docks would at minimum bust their batteries if unplugged without warning and we don't expect it to happen without notification.

I would expect to be notified if it happened in my marina.
 

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My guess is many boats in docks would at minimum bust their batteries if unplugged without warning and we don't expect it to happen without notification.

I would expect to be notified if it happened in my marina.
You never have ice storms? Never loose power?

Unless you live on the boat 7 days per week, you've got to winterize to be safe. And solar is an excellent way to give yourself some backup, though it will fail under snow.

Expecting the marina to notice power failures, perhaps at individual boats, is optimistic. If there is a blizzard, I wouldn't even expect them to be on-site.
 

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You never have ice storms? Never loose power?

Unless you live on the boat 7 days per week, you've got to winterize to be safe. And solar is an excellent way to give yourself some backup, though it will fail under snow.

Expecting the marina to notice power failures, perhaps at individual boats, is optimistic. If there is a blizzard, I wouldn't even expect them to be on-site.
No to ice storms and the ocean water is over 60 right now, haven't lost power for more than 24 hours in eight years of ownership here that I know of. When the boat is out of town I leave it prepared for lack of power if its plugged in at all but at home the beer needs to be cold, so the refrigeration is on.

Not sure how far up the western coast you have to go before you need to winterize.

There are rumors of snow tonight, but it would be the first coastal snow in the 12 years I've lived here.
 

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Here's a possibility. It's a new massive pharmaceutical bill he can't afford, not the electricity and he's pinching wherever he can. If you're late on the rent, you may be causing him to stress over health care costs.

Denise is right on about your acts of kindness. They are totally irrelevant. You seem to want some credit, but you have to drop that.

That said, no commercial operator is permitted to act in a commercially unreasonable manner. In this case, the owner is the professional and would be expected to know he was putting your boat in danger by intentionally removing power. Random power outages are not the same and would be your problem. A seagull might randomly drop a clam shell on the hood of your car. That doesn't not excuse the owner from throwing clam shells at your car.

All in all, while I think you would have a good case in court, it just isn't going to be worth the trouble for the cost of a heater.

The writing is pretty clear here. Owner has a problem with you and you should find another home. The on and off personality might be medically related. It can also be days when he does and doesn't have the energy to act upon his consistent frustration. Whatever it may be. Stinks, but it does happen.

Try to find a marina with a written lease.
 
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