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Marina fees during lockdown

Tempus

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2009
Messages
174
Location
Boat Solent, Home Surrey
I'd welcome the forum's view. My boat is on the hard at a major commercial marina. They have just told me that the launch is now delayed until June and access is forbidden. However when I enquired they "could confirm that there will be no reduction in marina fees", despite this we are "all in it together" apparently.
My business is seeing a 100% drop in income. Most lesiure and boating businesses are too. Meanwhile the marinas think that, despite not being open, they can still expect full fees. Would I be alone in challenging this?
 
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Pete7

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Joined
11 Aug 2004
Messages
3,304
Location
Gosport
They might argue that they are providing a secure area with no access apart from staff, to protect your yacht. I think there are more important things to worry about than a boat.

Pete
 

sarabande

Well-known member
Joined
6 May 2005
Messages
34,238
Location
up on the moors.
It would be worth exploring your contract for mention of "force majeure". It would have to be very specific for you to be able to claim that it was not the marina's fault. In English law, force majeure is not codified but relies on individual expression within a contract.
 

38mess

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Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
1,967
Location
Wales
What would you do if they said ok here's your fee back, move the boat out by this evening.
 

awol

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Joined
4 Jan 2005
Messages
5,572
Location
Me - Edinburgh, Boat - afloat on the Clyde
Why are you asking now? You, me and many others are in the same situation, boats ashore with no access and duration at least 3 months and maybe more. You, or the marina, cannot change the situation so why stress now?
 

steveeasy

Active member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
846
The OP has a fair point. at present though, its irrelevant as we are not allowed to Travel apart from 4 specific reasons. Marinas have been instructed to close. A customer could argue that they were being denied a right within thier contract. Its fair to say marinas are not taking the biggest hit around the country. they have closed, but they have kept the majority of their income.
Still Id rather they are closed so we can put this virus to bed. id not be risking it, boat or no boat.


Steveeasy
 
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Tempus

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2009
Messages
174
Location
Boat Solent, Home Surrey
Why are you asking now? You, me and many others are in the same situation, boats ashore with no access and duration at least 3 months and maybe more. You, or the marina, cannot change the situation so why stress now?
Simply because the effective closure of my business leaves me with no income. Therefore it is reasonable to challenge all suppliers as to the service the are now providing and how they are sharing the country's pain. I'm not seeking a total refund, but I think a discount would be reasonable. I'm sure others will be asking the same.
 

lw395

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2007
Messages
42,083
I'd welcome the forum's view. My boat is on the hard at a major commercial marina. They have just told me that the launch is now delayed until June and access is forbidden. However when I enquired they "could confirm that there will be no reduction in marina fees", despite this we are "all in it together" apparently.
My business is seeing a 100% drop in income. Most lesiure and boating businesses are too. Meanwhile the marinas think that, despite not being open, they can still expect full fees. Would I be alone in challenging this?
I would suggest the way to challenge this is for people to get together and consult a lawyer.
Maybe the RYA might be a useful collective for the purpose, maybe not.

Personally, the money I've paid is to clubs, so it's a little different.

The fact that your business has no income is of no relevance, the contract with the marina would be the same if you were on a gold plated pension.
For many people, I suspect the marina fees are not the whole of their loss, they have a year's maintenance and depreciation for no value, and boat values could drop savagely over the next year.
 

awol

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Joined
4 Jan 2005
Messages
5,572
Location
Me - Edinburgh, Boat - afloat on the Clyde
Simply because the effective closure of my business leaves me with no income. Therefore it is reasonable to challenge all suppliers as to the service the are now providing and how they are sharing the country's pain. I'm not seeking a total refund, but I think a discount would be reasonable. I'm sure others will be asking the same.
Totally reasonable but as you cannot change anything why not leave it until it matters. Wait for the invoice - then dispute, negotiate, join with others, look for another parking spot, whatever. Involving lawyers may cost more than the bill.
 

FlyingGoose

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Joined
12 Feb 2019
Messages
4,148
Location
The Known Universe
It is a reasonable question and an answer from the marinas would help, they have stopped all staff working apart from security (although my outboard got stolen of my boat in my Marina), no idea if there still paying them ,boats not allowed access to, and therefore the knock on effect is those needing to get into the water to get to other marinas or moorings over the summer that might have been payed for upfront, it is a reasonable question to ask and find out . like any business it is how you act now that will ensure people will come back and use the service again ,
 

Dutch01527

Active member
Joined
7 Jul 2016
Messages
448
The Marina’s attitude of not offering to share the pain would drive me to look at the contract closely.

A marina contracts to deliver more than just storage. They also deliver services like 24 hour gated access, lifting, washrooms ect, ect. If they are not delivering what they are committed to deliver they could be in breach of the contract and I would be minded not to pay in full. A well written force majeure clause might mean that they would win a court case if it ever got to that extreme. However, many force majeure clauses are open to challenge. I think that the chances of them ultimately refusing to negotiate are low.

Major marina’s charge top rate and squeeze every penny they can out of their customers and I feel little loyalty to them. I would be willing to guess that they have cut their costs by losing staff and suppliers without too much second thought about the consequences of those actions.

I would not take the same approach with a small operation and have not done so with my yacht club.
 

steveeasy

Active member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
846
They probally will now have a zero rates bill saving them a fairly significant chunk relative to the size of the facility. Im sure(well may be wrong) they come under the same business definition as my business comes under, ie Retail, Hospitality and Leisure. accordingly if they have a ratable value of under £51,000 and above £15,000 will end up with a chq for £25,000 next week. This grant probably intends to support business that may well stay closed for some time to reduce social interaction.
Steveeasy
 

longjohnsilver

Well-known member
Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
17,209
I'd welcome the forum's view. My boat is on the hard at a major commercial marina. They have just told me that the launch is now delayed until June and access is forbidden. However when I enquired they "could confirm that there will be no reduction in marina fees", despite this we are "all in it together" apparently.
My business is seeing a 100% drop in income. Most lesiure and boating businesses are too. Meanwhile the marinas think that, despite not being open, they can still expect full fees. Would I be alone in challenging this?
I would expect to pay the appropriate fees for being ashore, and the berthing contract to start whenthe boat is on its berth. Much to their credit, that’s what Sutton Harbour are doing. I know this because my son is in exactly the same position as yourself.
 

Lightwave395

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Joined
14 Aug 2016
Messages
1,285
Location
Me in Cowes, boat in Arzal-Camoel
I don't worry about things I can't control, I was supposedly moving my boat in France from one marina to another as of March 31st. Both marinas are owned by the same company, I had a realistic email from them two weeks ago:

"Regarding the events (COVID 19), you signed a contract starting in Arzal Camoël marina April 1st for your boat which is actually in Port Haliguen.
Of course, you can leave your boat in Port Haliguen till it will be possible to move her in Arzal marina. We’ll see at that time.
We’ll manage with Arzal regarding the financial part.
We hope to answer your demand.

Best regards

Capitainerie Port Haliguen Quiberon"

Quite happy with that
 

dunedin

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Joined
3 Feb 2004
Messages
6,479
Location
Boat (now back in) the Clyde
I would suggest the way to challenge this is for people to get together and consult a lawyer.
Maybe the RYA might be a useful collective for the purpose, maybe not.
This does feel like something that might be worth pushing for organisations like the RYA to try to agree a fair policy approach - eg with the British marine trade organisation.

Are you an RYA member ? Have you emailed them?
 

Tempus

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2009
Messages
174
Location
Boat Solent, Home Surrey
So, A number of phone calls later the company have responded with a very fair offer. My faith in human nature is restored. To be fair they pointed out that they are actively helping their charter and tenant businesses, most of which have no income either. Tough times for all.
 

Laysula

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Joined
1 Jun 2008
Messages
1,268
Location
Brixham
How much money do marina owners make,? Bearing in mind that they will be suffering from a pretty large drop in income from visitors and berth holders who winter store elsewhere and are unable to take up a regular berth.
How many marinas can afford to make refunds and give discounts without going bust?
 

steveph

New member
Joined
1 Mar 2003
Messages
4
Location
Solent & Portsmouth
So, A number of phone calls later the company have responded with a very fair offer. My faith in human nature is restored. To be fair they pointed out that they are actively helping their charter and tenant businesses, most of which have no income either. Tough times for all.
I have a winter berth in Port Solent and a swinging mooring in the harbour paid for from 1st April - but like you we are now locked in. Have Premier got a policy on charges for this or do you get the impression its down to individual negotiation? I do get the point they have to keep the business going and like you I am looking for a 'fair deal'.
 
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