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Marine facilities such as marinas, yacht clubs and boatyards provide valuable access to vessel berthing, mooring and storage for boat owners. The amenities and services provided by these marine facilities can be a welcome resource for boat owners along any stretch of water.
The relationship between a marina, yacht club or boatyard and a vessel owner can be a mutually beneficial one, but complications in the use of such marine facilities can arise. For that reason, boat slip rights of usage should not be casual arrangements and typically should be memorialized in writing. Marina storage (e.g., wet slip, mooring and dry rack storage) agreements, in particular, are important because this is the best opportunity for the parties to settle on their formal, potentially long-term, contractual relationship. This is where the parties can establish their contractual rights and responsibilities along with rules, regulations, and specific restrictions relating to the boat owner’s authorized use of the facility.
Here are some recommended practices to consider when preparing storage agreements:
Review with an attorney:
From a risk management standpoint, include the following in your agreement:
When signing agreements, consider:
Marine facilities and boat owners cannot thrive without assistance and cooperation from all parties involved. Preparing a clear, concise written storage agreement can help prevent many potential issues from arising, and can provide a method of resolving disputes when something does arise.
For more tips on storage, as well as fueling, launching, housekeeping, and other key aspects of marina safety, download Chubb’s Achieving a Safe & Well-Maintained Marina tip sheet here.
John Venneman is Senior Marine Surveyor for Chubb’s Marine Risk Management Group. He is the current Vice President of the National Association of Marine Surveyors with over 20 years of experience as a marine surveyor and risk management professional. John is also on the National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Committee on Marinas and Boatyards.
The opinions and positions expressed are the authors’ own and not those of Chubb. The information and/ or data provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued.