• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Who's at fault?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Jan 22, 2008
878
Fed up w/ personal attacks I'm done with SBO
OK, I'll go first.

After radioing the request for different dockage (denied for reasons unspecified) the captain should not have tried to make a landing which he/she deemed unsafe. Had the captain docked on the preferred face of the dock without regard for the city's denial he/she could have argued the decision later. It's always easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission.

Ask Bismark Dinius, the captain's always at fault. Even when he's not.

I also feel the 50/50 offer to the city for completed repairs/replacement was reasonable. I do not feel the city's position regarding the repair/replacement was reasonable at all, typical heavyhandedness.
 
Last edited:
Nov 9, 2008
1,338
Pearson-O'Day 290 Portland Maine
City's are always looking for ways to get others to pay for their upgrades. Look what happens when any store goes in; all the road and utility improvements. My church wanted to build a new facility a short distance away from our current location. The city fathers licked their chops, rubbed their hands and said "You'll have to build us a $2 million water processing plant if you want the permit!"

These guys were probably waiting for somebody to take it out.
 
Sep 26, 2008
566
- - Noank CT.
OK here is my take.... The boats captain is at fault he clearly took out the piling. Since he determined it was a unsafe situation the safety of the boat, crew and passengers should have overruled even "asking permission" to switch slips. He should have docked in the open available face dock and moved the boat after the current slacked.
That being said the city is being unreasonable. If they were a little bit more honest with a true replacement cost and been upfront about wanting to replace it with a buoy I feel confident a compromise could have been worked out.
It is now a "he said, she said" if the boats captain said it was unsafe or just was asking for another slip out of convience.
Too bad the situation went where and how it did....would appear both parties lose.:cry:
 
Nov 26, 2006
381
Hunter 31 1987 Fly Creek Marina Fairhope,AL.
ok i.ll bite from a captains point of view.

The captain is often put in a situation where it is a borderrline call. In this case the captain could and should have asked for assistance into the slip or just docked at another slip to safely off load passengers if any.

Bottom line is the captain has final say in what is safe and not when ship is under his command. As Master, he could have refused to dock without assistance or ask for another slip.

No matter what, it seems the captain is always sharing all or some of responsibility in cases like this.

Now hte City I belive and agree was unreasonable in its action and billing.


Just My humble opinion from a captains point of view.
 
Oct 26, 2005
2,057
- - Satellite Beach, FL.
When I google earth'd St Augustine Municipal Marina I see that there should be no river current and in November the tide change is only about 3 feet.

I would assume that the Captain is licensed (may be non profit but they charge $55 a pop for general admission tickets) and a licensed captain should be familiar with tides and should have familiarized herself with the space available and the environmental conditions she was going to have to deal with multiple times a week.

When pilings were broken by members of our yacht club down here in Port Canaveral, the boaters' insurance is expected to pony up the replacement cost and we're talking well over $10k for a 40' concrete piling, purchased and installed.

The club's stance on this is that the dock didn't run into the boat. I believe most public marinas have the same attitude.

A lot of rightous indignation coming from the company headquarters and maybe some from the city too but that may be a reaction to an overbearing personality.
 

higgs

.
Aug 24, 2005
3,433
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
I'm responsible for handling my boat and the decisions that go along with that. I am responsible for any damage I cause with my boat. Pretty clear to me.
 
Jun 2, 2004
5,802
Hunter 37-cutter, '79 41 23' 30"N 82 33' 20"W--------Huron, OH
I love St. Augustine. As a kid it was always our first stop after getting off the highway(way before I-95). But I can tell you two things from experience: 1) the city marina rips you, and 2) the current there is fierce.

We went into St. Augustine from offshore on our way to Tampa. We went straight to the fuel dock where the diesel was overpriced and they charged a hefty fee for pumpout. We asked if we could stay on the front while we walked to breakfast. It was $2.00 a foot but they gave us a break, I think only $50. for two hours! But they wanted the boat moved to the north most end of the dock. That put us about four boat lengths from the big working barges and tugs that were rebuilding the bridge. When we left on an ebb tide that current would have taken us smack into a barge before any chance to turn the boat. We had to rig lines to hold the stern so we could spin the boat head to current. Guess how much help we had? I can sympathize with the captain because I can imagine the attitude of the people he was dealing with.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,089
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I love St. Augustine. As a kid it was always our first stop after getting off the highway(way before I-95). But I can tell you two things from experience: 1) the city marina rips you, and 2) the current there is fierce.
I remember being anchored in that area just north of the bridge for over a week. Although it was 20 years ago, I can still see the bar tight rode off the bow at the peak of the current(we held under two anchors, Bahamian moored). It never seemed quite right to be there, especially on the turn that put the bridge down stream. I was glad to move on although we loved the area.

I don' t think I'd try to go into a slip in that area with my boat except during the slack. It wouldn't be a good idea knowing what I can do with the boat in tight quarters with a current running. It would take assistance of some kind to do it surely and safely.

I don't know how maneuverable the LYNX is but if it's marginal, I don't think they should have committed to going in if they weren't prepared for any unknown in making the move. I think if it was questionable, they should have tried it previously in less adverse conditions. Then decide how they could use lines, assistance, to do it safely in the current. Then they could decide how best to proceed for future docking.

Seems to me the city was negotiable. Their waterfront is what it is.
 

higgs

.
Aug 24, 2005
3,433
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
Let me get this straight. Most here seem to feel that if a boat enters a harbor and takes out a piling, the harbor should pay.
 
Sep 26, 2008
566
- - Noank CT.
OK here is my take.... The boats captain is at fault he clearly took out the piling.
Higgs,
I think the majority feel the captains is at fault.. As I count it 6 response fault the captain and 3 don't really fault either party or clearly state who they believe is responsible. The conversation is more about how the resolution and the payment went down. I am not even sure why the boat owners got in the mix rather then letting their insurance cover it or maybe they have a extremely high deductible.
Either way they both lost what should/could have been a mutual beneficial business relationship.

Pete
 

kenn

.
Apr 18, 2009
1,271
CL Sandpiper 565 Toronto
The captain is technically at fault, there can be no question about that.

This is what insurance is for, and what insurance companies are usually good at - the negotiation and resolution of a claim. Also, even a $5k settlement is less than pocket-change to an insurance company. But in some cases (eg high deductible) I appreciate that some would choose to settle separately. I myself would not agree to a settlement til there's an acceptable quote, and that an invoice copy is provided.

The city has acted like an a$$h0le, though. An inflated replacement cost, THEN not replacing the piling... that's pure BS.

Hope you're lovin' the great optics of this, St Augustine...
 

JVB

.
Jan 26, 2006
268
Schock Wavelength 24 Lake Murray, SC
Thanks for the warning about money grubbing St. Augustine !
 

higgs

.
Aug 24, 2005
3,433
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
Driving in a piling is no small change procedure. You don't do it with a couple of guys and a slide hammer. A chunk of the charge is just getting the equipment in place.

Obviously St. Augustine does not feel this schooner is going to bring that much business to the cityh.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,913
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Captain 100%

It is absolutely immaterial what the marina replaced the piling with or if they ever in fact do. The marina is entitled to whatever the complete cost would be to replace the piling and signage the boat destroyed.

If my new Lincoln is totaled by a guy running a red light he is obligated (or his insurance) to compensate me for a new Lincoln even if I replace it with a Yugo or decide walk from now on. The marina can act however it wants to the boat captain owes it a piling.
 
Last edited:

kenn

.
Apr 18, 2009
1,271
CL Sandpiper 565 Toronto
It is absolutely immaterial what the marina replaced the piling with or if they ever in fact do. The marina is entitled to whatever the complete cost would be to replace the piling and signage the boat destroyed.

If my new Lincoln is totaled by a guy running a red light he is obligated (or his insurance) to compensate me for a new Lincoln even if I replace it with a Yugo or decide walk from now on. The marina can act however it wants to the boat captain owes it a new piling.
Well, sure... but if your Lincoln was a rust-bucket that was borderline illegal and everyone complained about it, and you put it where it was awkward for other cars to maneuver around... I don't think you're entitled to the price of a new Lincoln if someone hit it, and you run out and buy a moped.

But more to the point, the city was apparently being a pr!ck about it, and initially demanded about twice what the replacement cost was. Up front. Was it worth their being jerks over this, given the notoriety they've just earned?
 

dew

.
Apr 18, 2010
16
macgregor 26x lake martin
My take, for whatever it is worth.
Captain's at fault.
Should not have tried tried the assigned slip. If she thought getting there was unsafe for passengers, crew and ship.
As far as the political part, let the insurance company fight it out. That's why the have lawyers.
 
Last edited:

higgs

.
Aug 24, 2005
3,433
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
Sounds familiar to me. We had a 80 ft schooner here in Olcott that made a sweetheart deal with the village. Needed a dock and they were going to restore the boat and give rides out of the harbor and bring throes of people into town. Not.

The other side of the plan was that the schooner was going to winter in FL and return for the summer. One trip south and the boat is on the hard in St. Petersburg awaiting repairs. Olcott, up north, is stuck with a dock for an 80 footer.

There are a bunch of these dreamers who feel their 80 ft. wooden schooner is historical and the rest of the world will flock to help them with a restoration. Let's face it, it would be neat to restore all these old schooners as they are great vessels. But the fact of the matter is, there are too many of them out there and no where near the resources to do the job.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.