Discussion in 'Blog' started by ted raquet, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. ted raquet

    ted raquet New Member

    Jan 7, 2016
    St Petersburg, FL
    340 Sundancer 2004, Raymarine
    8.1L MerCruiser Horizon V Drive
    I recently was aboard my Sundancer 340 and pulled into a marina to ask directions on how to get to the transient slips for a nearby restaurant. While idling I got caught in a strong wind and the current. My boat hit one of the pilings in the marina and the piling snapped off at the water level. The marina is now trying to invoice me at $2300.00 and change. My boat sustained zero damage from this encounter. Has anyone had a similar situation occur to them? Does anyone know if I am liable for this mishap? Please let me know if anyone has any advice.
  2. Great lakes pirate

    Great lakes pirate Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Lake St. Clair
    2000 35 Tiara Open
    Previous boats:
    2003 320 DA - 6.2 MPI Bravo III
    1998 250 DA - 5.7 Bravo II
    Cummins 370
    A quality pile should be able to handle a decent boat hit. Now if you slammed into at full throttle that is a different story.

    If it was a POS pile I would tell them to forget about me paying for it.
  3. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    Yes you are liable but it sounds like the piling was in very poor condition given the lack of damage to your boat. I would object to being billed to replace a rotted possibly obsolete piling with a new one.
  4. Great lakes pirate

    Great lakes pirate Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Lake St. Clair
    2000 35 Tiara Open
    Previous boats:
    2003 320 DA - 6.2 MPI Bravo III
    1998 250 DA - 5.7 Bravo II
    Cummins 370
    Is this a wood pile? If so, $2,300 seems way out of line. I had 7 of them installed last year for under 3k.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  5. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Prices differ by location, but on the coast a new 12-15" piling, 20 ft long is $500, installed. Also, I agree with the others, a piling that snaps off at the waterline is rotten.

    What to do is your call, but sending them a check for a full release deducting 85% of the $2600 cost for "depreciation on used piling" is reasonable. Asking them for proof that the piling was sound might have merit since the pile setter has already hauled off the remains. Finally, you would lose your no loss credit on your insurance, but if they persist, turn this over to your insurance company and let them do what you are paying the liability coverage for........settle it.
  6. Bob & Sue

    Bob & Sue Active Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Browns Point Tacoma WA
    Sold 1999 270DA Sundancer
    5.7l Mercuiser
    I agree with all the above, last winter we had a wind storm that blew down 60' of our 6' high cedar fence we have a total of almost 400' 18 years old. I called my insurance just to see if they would cover any of it, after deducting for age a cedar fence has a 15 year life they wouldn't cover enough to reach our deductible. I ended up replacing all 400' with a new fence.

    I explained this because after just calling the insurance company to inquire about my options they opened up a claim that now is in the insurance reporting agency just like a credit report for insurers. I found out when looking at lowering our auto insurance rates even though it was just an inquiry it counts as a claim.

    My advise would be to try and work it out with the marina before reporting to your insurance company.
    Just my opinion and what happened to me just for asking a question.
  7. Sous

    Sous Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    Herring Bay, MD
    2009 330 DA, Raymarine C80, Intellian, VesselView, Kohler, Sea Lift, Central Vac
    MerCruiser 8.1 Horizons DTS
    Out of curiosity how is the marina sending you an "invoice". From the sound of it you were an unknown boat, in an unknown marina. Did you provide information of some sort to the marina? If you did, what exactly did you expect them to use it for? Did the local water po-po or CG show up to take your info? Did you simply motor away and they tracked you down by boat name?

    I for one would tell them to go pound sand. The way I see it any piling that snaps based on a light wind blown boat isn't worth you replacing. Aren't pilings meant to be bumped into and/or handle a boat being blown into to from simple current or wind?
  8. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    +1..... I took out a 19-year-old telephone pole with my car as a kid and they are on (I think) a 25-year life cycle.... So they pro-rated and I made payments for 6 months.
  9. tdgard

    tdgard Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    Reverse it and tell them they owe you a finders fee. What if it snapped while someone's boat was tied off to it? They would be paying.

    That would get you nowhere, of course, and is meant slightly as a joke, but is something I would throw at them. Without the finders fee.

    Seems a bit steep but ultimately this is where insurance comes in after all the arguing is over.
  10. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I guess technically you are liable, but it sounds like the piling was on it's last leg anyhow and the marina is trying to get you to replace the rotten piling with a new one. Not sure what they can do if you tell them to pound sand. I would probably try and work something out with them, but not anywhere close to $2300 - especially if I ever planned on going back to that marina. I would think replacing old rotten pilings in a marina is a cost of doing business. We don't have pilings at the lake marinas, but cleats and fender boards get banged up all the time, I've never heard of a marina going after a boater to pay for a repair except when a boat flat out ran into something.
  11. copb8tx

    copb8tx Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Lake Texoma, TX
    2005 420 Sundancer
    T-8.1S Horizons
    For a start I would consider taking pictures of some of the remaining pilings to show their condition. If there's any part of the broken piling above the water take a picture of that too. Also take current pictures of your boat and rub-rail to prove no damage.
  12. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Seems you saved them from a potential liability issue.
    What if you tied to that piling in a substantial wind condition and that piling broke and fell on the boat or someone else's boat?
    Anyone should be able to tie or fender on a piling with confidence in a marina.... Bouncing into it should be no different.
  13. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    My insurance company once said about a claim I put in that my boat was under the care and attention of the marina the damage happened. If you were taking directions form the marina I would assume they knew about the strong currents and should have advised you not to go near a pile area. The marina fixed my boat once the insurance company sent their representative to look at the circumstance.

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