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09 Apr

Vessels Abandoned at a Marina

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Vessels Abandoned at a Marina - How do you get rid of them and how do you prevent ever having to deal with them.

I have had several clients lately allow a vessel to dock at their Marina, some without paying up front, and some vessels that are basically worthless.  Either way can be a tremendous headache trying to get the vessel off the Marina’s dock. If the vessel has some value, the Marina owner can always arrest the vessel for the maritime lien of dockage, have the vessel sold, and keep the proceeds. If the vessel has other liens superior to the dockage lien, (such as a mortgage lien) this could be more problematic. If a vessel truly is a piece of junk, there will be little incentive for the owner to continue to make its dockage payments when the monthly dockage payment is more than the value of the vessel.  There is a Florida Statute that allows a Marina owner to put the vessel owner on notice that he reconsiders the vessel to be abandoned, because no payments are being made, then to either have the vessel destroyed and thrown away, or sold. The problem in  trying to sell the vessel, is that the Marina does not have clear title to it. This can be very difficult to get clear title. There is a provision under the Florida laws for a non-judicial sale of the vessel to get title to the vessel. This is outlined in the Florida Statutes.

 

However, the best thing a Marina Owner can do when taking in a new vessel, is to make sure that the vessel has some value, is seaworthy, and has made at least one additional months rent payment. Without requiring payment up front, and without having a vessel with at least some value to it, getting rid of it can be extremely difficult. The last thing a Marina owner wants to do is to have the vessel dropped off, receive nothing up front, the vessel is abandoned, and the Marina owner has to wait 60 days before having to pay to have the vessel removed from the water and destroyed.

If the vessel does have some value, the non-judicial sell of the vessel can be the way to go. Either way, can be a real pain. If you have a problem with the abandon vessel, give us a call today and  let us help you figure out what to do about it.

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