View Full Version : Bad neighbor

08-11-2014, 12:18 PM
I've had my fill of my dock neighbor's territorial habits when it comes to our shared finger (starboard side) on our dock. He has told me before that it's his finger and he's free to put anything on it that he wants.

When he 1st moved in, he had a 28’ cruiser in a 60’ slip, so he built himself a 15’ deck for more elbow room. Well he seized an opportunity and bought a 68’ houseboat soon thereafter. Instead of removing the 15’ deck, he just leaves his aft-end sticking 23’ beyond the end of his slip. This, of course, makes it difficult for me to return to my own slip when there's anything other than ideal conditions around the dock.

Since he’s very good at building decks, lots of other folks have asked him to install a deck on their slip as well. This is fine, except he likes to store his lumber scraps on our shared finger, which creates a tripping hazard for anyone walking down that finger. I pushed the lumber to his side of the finger and left myself a "walkway' to get to the end of the finger, which ticked him off. I don’t understand why he thinks it’s OK to block my side of the finger and not just his because his boat is a dock queen, which never leaves the slip. For over a year, I tolerated a large tool storage locker that was positioned on my side of the finger and was pushed up to the edge almost against my boat. This made it difficult for people pulling my bow line and walking down the starboard finger when coming in or going out. Eventually he moved it after his wife (the more sensible one of the 2) finally saw the trouble it was causing us.

Lastly, you can probably guess from the ‘dock queen’ comment, that he doesn’t pump out. They lived aboard the boat for 2 years and finally moved back to a house. Since they moved, I’ve noticed a dramatic difference in the clarity of the water around my boat. It makes me quiver whenever I have to reach into my Marine Air’s, generator’s, or toilets’ strainers when working on them because I know what’s in there.

My stupid marina’s management won’t do anything. I’ve tried searching for Coast Guard dock regulations and such, but am coming up empty handed. I’ve been told that the CG has rules that nothing can be on the fingers that restrict passage. Also, I believe there’s rules about how far a boat can stick out beyond the end of their slip, due to safety when docking, but can’t find anything official.

Can you guys help me find any of this info? Perhaps an anonymous phone call to the local CG office…….?

08-11-2014, 08:33 PM
Dang! What a pain in the neck! Boating should not have to be a source of irritation and ill-will. Too bad you didn't let us all know sooner what a nuisance this jerk is--- we could have had a year's worth of fun thinking up ways to make his life miserable. We could have been offering to leave trails of pancake syrup from the dock to his deck for the ants to enjoy, accidentally knocking his tool shed in the drink, painting the finger pier with slow-drying paint just before he arrives for the weekend, drilling a lot of tiny holes through his hull, expanding your music collection to include Russian heavy-metal techno-horribilis, or Chinese opera, whichever would be less desirable, and some nice big subwoofers aimed his way....
So sorry for your misery!

08-12-2014, 07:23 AM
You are on Priest - right? You need to be looking toward the Corps - although I doubt you will have any luck with that.

You have to decide how you want to handle it. I have been lucky and have always had decent dock neighbors. My parents were not so lucky. They complained to the marina and nothing changed. My mother was still alive at the time and it was ruining her remaining time at the lake. The guy wanted their slip and tried to bully them into moving. I put a stop to it. I drove four hours to tell the guy if he ever messed with my parents again I would personally beat the living sh** out of him. I made sure he knew exactly where I stood and what I was willing to do to protect my parents.

As Amelia said, you should not have to deal with it, but you have been put in the position to have to deal with it. I would give him a month to remove all of his crap off of the finger. If he does not, then I would stack it on his boat. I would also inform the marina what you are going to do.

08-12-2014, 09:54 AM
My slip is part of a club. We each own the slip (as much as you can own a hole in the water) so may not apply. Our by-laws state that the slip fingers must allow safe passage. If you are docking and cannot get down that finger then it would be dangerous. I just don't know if that is a "law". However I think at most marinas you own/rent one finger not half of two so as long as passage is not obstructed then he could legally store stuff on his. I know boats stick out at most marinas.
Shame you are not getting along with him. Can you change slips?

08-13-2014, 07:55 AM
No, our marina is full, especially the 60' slips.

I talked again to the marina manager yesterday. She said she was unaware my neighbor was sticking ~25' beyond the end of his slip and he shouldn't be that far out. They marina initially had a X<10% guideline, but they quit enforcing it. She said they'd ask him to have the deck removed and his boat pulled in, but I then offered an alternative solution. If he extends our common finger to the end of his boat, I'd be fine with that as well. My concern is, the person who buys his boat will expect to get the nice deck as well and I'll have to endure this much longer. I didn't mention his boat's for sale - it's been since February with very few lookers.

She also was unaware of all the junk on his finger. She said she'll have it moved immediately. She said it's a safety concern and the marina doesn't want to be held liable for trip hazards, as they were already sued 2 years ago for something like this.

I've talked to them before about this stuff and they've responded with minimal success and effort. Hopefully this time it will sprout some results.

08-13-2014, 11:04 AM
I think you're on the right track. If your marina is anything like mine, you are paying through the nose for your slip. Marina management is one of the things you're paying for and there's nothing wrong with expecting the marina manager to take care of this.

08-18-2014, 12:49 PM
Place the owner of the vessel, and the marina on "Written Notice of Hazard".

Placing/Storage of items on the finger pier.

It appears it is a common dock area. Read your lease to confirm.