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STARBOARD!!
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Discussion Starter #1
OK; I'm at an impasse with one of my neighbors. I need a bit of advice on a not very common situation but to me it seems like a big deal; to you guys it may not.

My boat is berthed in a nice marina. It is in a crummy city; but the marina is very nice. Most of the boats are well kept; the people in the marina are friendly, the docks are nice concrete docks (getting old but still in great shape). Everything is well maintained. I'm very happy with the marina aside from the local crime element (random violence and killings); but the marina is in a nicer area and I just stay out of the bad side of town. My slip is in the most protected area of the marina and it is at the end of the fairway so I have an easy exit which is needed for the fact that my boat has an offset prop and really does not back/fill or turn very well without good way.

So here is the problem. Our neighbors are liveaboards who have lived in the marina for a LONG time (like 20 years); and their boat is very decrepit but it is their home/business place. The they are very nice people BUT the woman feeds the ducks and geese and they crap all over the place. I have gotten used to stepping in and tracking duck crap all over my boat; and I accept that they have been there way longer than me. I moved one slip to the right because it opened up and I figured that if I got out from behind their boat it would make it live-able.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to give the boat a wash/wax. I spent an entire week cleaning and buffing out the gelcoat after cleaning splattered duck crap off of the transom and sides near the walkway (where she washes the dock down). On one spot on my transom the crap had damaged the paint; so now I have to do a touch-up because it removed about a pea sized spot of paint.

So as I did my polishing/waxing they looked on and poked fun at me for doing the arduous task and sort of seemed jealous in a kind sort of way. I finished the boat on a Friday afternoon but did not have a chance to take it for a sail that weekend. The next weekend I come down to go for a daysail and there is crap splatters on the stern and sides. I was livid; but I also figured that I was there to go sailing, not argue and it would all wash off when we were out on the water with the rail buried. When we returned we parked the boat bow in so that the stern would not get peppered again; and I tied the bow tighter to the starboard side so hopefully the splashing from the dock would not hit the boat.

Yesterday; we went down to go sailing again and the shiit splattering was even worse. It was on both sides of the boat. So we go sailing again and I bite my tounge despite my initial anger. It was a beautiful warm/sunny day but the wind was light. Regardless it was a great sail. When we are getting ready to head out I decide that we should give the boat a light scrub to knock the crap off the sides (we usually just rinse the hull). So I scrub it and the crap is stuck on so hard it won't come off without either heavy scrubbing or scratching it off with a fingernail. On the areas where I scrubbed it hard the water stopped beading up which might indicate that I scrubbed the wax film off :hothead

So I really need some advice on this; I don't want to be confrontational, but I also am sick to death of having crap sprayed all over my boat. The fact that it is ruining my paint and I have to wash off the wax to get the stuff off is the last straw. Do you think I should ask them to give my boat a rinse after washing the docks? I don't know if I trust her with a high pressure nozzle spraying my boat either; especially since I leave the bathroom portlight open for ventilation. If I ask her to rinse the boat I might be asking for more trouble; but if I don't it will just continue. If I ask her and she says no; what would I do then? Should I inform the Harbormaster of the problem and ask him to tell her to stop feeding the ducks/geese? The are her "pets"; and I'd hate to have it come to that but I just can't take it the way things are currently anymore.
 

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Telstar 28
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I would complain to the marina owners.. what your neighbors are doing is ruining your boat and can be a health hazard as well. Avian flu can be transmitted via bird guano... and they're spraying it all over your boat. If that doesn't work, a phone call to the health department might do the trick.

These people obviously don't respect your property or your rights, if they're spraying the crap off the pier onto your boat... so why be nice to them??? Asking her to rinse off your boat is just asking for trouble IMHO.

Also, you should document the damage they've caused your boat with photographs and a log of what is going on.
 

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I'm not laughing, but its pretty funny because of this reason. Most marinas in my area acknowledge and consider any bird a nuisance and pest and as such will do everything in their power to keep people from attracting them. That this woman is allowed to feed them and welcome them on to the docks and in the waters is something that around by me would get you in a lot of trouble. Many marinas have signs posted, "Please don't feed the birds."
I think a polite conversation with the Harbor Master would be in order. I would not talk with them directly as it does not appear that you want to move or change locations and if your not willing to move than you have to be neighbors and you certainly don't want to start a fued.
Now, I am sure that others will respond and tell you that a 12gauge is your best solution. Good luck with that.
And I hate bird poop too. Especially the big Canadian Goose droppings which are the size of a small dog. What a friking mess.
<O:p</O:p
 

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Telstar 28
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We're lucky that we only have one set of birds at our marina... a pair of swans... and they keep all the other birds away pretty well...they're very territorial...and they don't get up on the docks or boats and crap all over them either... which gives us a pretty nice setup. :)
 

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Seems to me that they know exactly what they are doing. Same advice as to talking with the marina. Keep out of a direct conversation. I am sure after the talk with the marina they will speak up to you. I would just carry one of those $20.00 voice activated recorders that fit in a shirt pocket. It's amazing what can happen with a little fore thought. BEST WISHES in getting rid of these A$$HOLES........i2f
 

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Telstar 28
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Recording your conversations with them is probably a good idea... it may not necessarily be legal in all states, but it would certainly be good to have some record of their conversation with you...especially if any damage ends up occurring to your boat. These people sound a bit unbalanced.
 

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We're lucky that we only have one set of birds at our marina... a pair of swans... and they keep all the other birds away pretty well...they're very territorial...and they don't get up on the docks or boats and crap all over them either... which gives us a pretty nice setup. :)
I agree, Swans are the exception to the rule and they do a good job of keeping the others out.
 

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Telstar 28
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We feed our swans to keep them happy and around... :) The cygnets are cute fuzzy gray chicks... though, if you get to close, papa swan hisses and spreads his wings, and will then attempt to beat you if you stay too close... :)
 

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I would first ask them to not feed the ducks on or near your dock, and to not spray/hose any droppings onto your boat. Give them a chance to do right. Explain to them that it mars your paint and diminishes your enjoyment of the boat. They have seen how much effort you put into it.

If this fails, I would review your rental agreement to see if there are provisions which cover these circumstances. Then lodge a complaint with the marina manager/harbormaster. Emphasize the feedings, etc, that are exacerbating the problem. Also, tell him/her that when they clean-up after the ducks, they do no not respect your property. Make clear that you expect them to address the problem (but their solution may involve a slip change.)

You could also hose the droppings off the dock yourself, and it's possible that while doing so some will end up on their boat. ;)
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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I'd explain the situation to them nicely and ask for their cooperation. I have found that 9 times out of 10, people just don't realize that their actions are affecting others. yes, it could be that they aren't inconsiderate jerks but are merely clueless.

If that gets you no where, then I'd take it to the harbormaster.
 

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DOCUMENTATION......Keep a record of everything that is said, and done. I wouldn't spray the poop onto their boat. That will just escalate things. Then they have a complaint against you. Document with every available source. Photos, film, other witnesses.

I recently had a tenant not paying. I went to the house to ask for current, and back rent that was over due. He started screaming, and yelling at me about what an ass I am. I recieved a letter from the wife that I threatened them with violence, and attorneys.

I walked away from this man. I can see they had already trashed the house. I was angry as hell, but I raised my hand as in to stop. Politely said you have a nice day. The complete opposite of what I felt in my heart. The good thing is when we go to court I will have another neighbor along as a witness to my graciuosness, and his foul mouth.

Pick your fights with a level head, and on your terms. Emotions are sometimes tough to overcome, but in the end you can hold your head high, and will most likely get what you want. Fight to win not just to fight......i2f
 

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Well said and good advice I2F....
 

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salty dog
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I must agree with others, Although,, The Harbor-master is the authority, They have the Legal responsibility to uphold the morage rules. Inform the dock-master that the repeated cleaning bill will be passed on to them. This gives them the incentive to protect their $, that you pay for their service. And it is recommended that you do not cause any actions on their behalf to have others conform to the rules that are there to cover any dispute from the abuse of rules (non-compliance). Other than the LEGAL way,, you could get some plastic Owls, from Harbor Freight Co. to keep most birds away.
I have one that I have up the burggie line that works well.
hope this helps and works out for you.
 

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Nice fat, corn feed ducks---yummm.
 

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I don't discuss my member
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Yeah, take it out on the ducks. Jeezus.


If you are in the marina I think you are in, KeelHaulin, it does not have a real high occupancy rate and there are plenty of empty slips. It seems like this problem may warrant a move, regardless of location, no?
 

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You call your self Keel Haulin and don't know what to do? Why don't you do what the Dutch use to do. Keel Hauling - Tying a person's arms together over his head and binding his legs. Give him a spong to bite down on, then pass a long rope under the keel of a moving ship and the ends secured to the sailors limbs so he can be pulled from one side of the vessel to the other.
 

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STARBOARD!!
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Discussion Starter #20
Yes; there are plenty of slips, but the slip I am in is the best one for me and my boat. The fairway is wider than one row down, and it is upwind in the summer months. The difficulties I am having with docking are mostly mitigated by being at the end of the fairway near the exit. If I dock bow in to a slip further up the fairway I might not be able to get out if the wind is blowing astern (the boat simply won't pivot in this situation). The best I can do when this happens is use a spring line to pivot as I exit my slip and then back out of the fairway diagonally until I am clear to drive forward. This only works if I am 1-2 boats down from the end of the fairway.

There is another Newport 41 that is parked in the 40' slips one row down. His slip is downwind and every time he parks he puts the boat stern in. I've seen him have difficulty getting in his slip when there is a cross wind. He sails with more crew aboard than I regularly do (I sail way more often, usually doublehanded); so he has an easier time when it comes to getting the boat docked and docks less frequently.

Two of the "neighbors" are feeding the ducks. They have done it for years; the woman who washes the dock has raised several of the ducks/geese from chicks. The canada geese are migratory and return twice a year to "visit"; but there are birds on the dock year round.

I'd consider moving to a different marina but this place is perfect for us because we can sail into the harbor and find wind protection before dropping the main. In addition the summer fog rarely fills in here where marinas to the south are shrouded in fog in the morning and late afternoon.

I feel like I'm in a catch-22 because if I say something it could become adversarial and if it gets worse it could force me to leave. If I say something to them and then to the Harbormaster they will know that I was the person who complained; and they will know that they have "gotten" to me. They live aboard their boat and I am at their mercy in terms of the safety/security of my boat. I've never had a break-in and I don't want that to change either.
 
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