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Old 04-11-2006, 09:34 AM   #1
onthebay
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Angry Dock Squatters

Last year I purchased land that had existing docks. It seems that the neighbrhood has been using them as community docks for a number of years because everytime I went over they were occupied. We are building on our land this year and will be over more frequently and won't be pleased if it continues.
It seems stupid to have to put up no trespassing signs on an improved property (docks). I want to remain good neighbors and have spoken with a few about the issue. The problem is that some of them rent weekly and their tenants have continued to do it.
I have seen signs that threaten to set boats adrift if people dock illegally. Does anyone know where they can be bought.(or made) Also has anyone actually done it and what was the result?...
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:49 AM   #2
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I am pretty sure you cannot set a persons boat adrift... there are probably some pretty steep liability issues.

You can have the offending boat towed. But then you strand the offenders on the island with you.

You really need to get your neighbors to abide by your wishes. I would definitely post the dock (and your property) no trespassing!

It is ashame that it has to come to this. A little courtesy from your neighbors would go a long way!

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Old 04-11-2006, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Try Explaining

Instead of buying the standard no trespassing sign, why not simply write a note saying you bought the land, are building a new home and need the dock. Laminate and post it. It's a little bit of extra work, but that way people can see where you are coming from. From there go the route of harsher signs or even calling local police/MP's. I am guessing once people know that it's not "public" anymore they will stop using it. Good luck
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:07 AM   #4
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Unhappy Don't cast a squatter adrift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onthebay
I have seen signs that threaten to set boats adrift if people dock illegally. Does anyone know where they can be bought.(or made) Also has anyone actually done it and what was the result?...
Skip did his usual expert job covering this subject in a thread about mooring squatters. Check out his message, #3 in the thread Mooring Squatters

Check out his post to get a hint of the kind of trouble you could be in by casting a boat adrift. And, of course, he backs it up with the RSAs that apply AND explains how to properly deal with the problem.

I wonder what it would take to start a docking business. Charge by the hour, day or week. Post signs and etc. I wonder if you could then tow those who have not paid their fee, like a car parking space.

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:15 AM   #5
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I would try the friendly approach first. If that doesn't work by all means call the MP and they can I'm sure either take care of the problem or steer you in the right direction in solving the issue.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:17 AM   #6
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It's illegal to set them adrift and opens you up for legal liability. You won't find any marina to tow the boat. Why would they take the risk and where will they put the boat?

If you post the docks as private, then the MP can issue a citation, but you may have to keep pestering them. Robjnh's idea of a note is a good idea but I'd use it in addition to formal signs.

You're probably going to have to police them yourself until you break the cycle. Can you use bar access physically? Maybe a chain accross the entrance?

If you search this forum, you'll find that this issue has been discussed. The applicable NH laws are also on the web.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:32 AM   #7
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Default Adrift

Athough I have been tempted I never seriously considered doing it (okay maybe I semi-seriously considered it) but luckily common sense prevailed. Thanks for the link back to the post. As always there is good info here if one takes the time to look.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:35 AM   #8
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I'd think a simple note stating "This is not a public dock, please do not tie up here" would suffice. If is does not, steal their propellers, sell them on eBay and keep the money.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthebay
Last year I purchased land that had existing docks. It seems that the neighbrhood has been using them as community docks for a number of years because everytime I went over they were occupied. We are building on our land this year and will be over more frequently and won't be pleased if it continues.
It seems stupid to have to put up no trespassing signs on an improved property (docks). I want to remain good neighbors and have spoken with a few about the issue. The problem is that some of them rent weekly and their tenants have continued to do it.
I have seen signs that threaten to set boats adrift if people dock illegally. Does anyone know where they can be bought.(or made) Also has anyone actually done it and what was the result?...
I don't blame you for wanting this to stop. I think Private property signs with a note would be a good thing to do. If it continues stake out the dock and confront the offenders and ask them nicely to find another spot for their boat. If that doesn't work then ask MP or the police to help you. Being a good neighbor works both ways, apparently your neighbors aren't as worried about it as you are. Finally fences make great neighbors.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #10
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I agree to just post the dock as. But I would try "Private Dock" first rather than "No Trespassing" which sounds meaner.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:33 PM   #11
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Default As tough it may seem ...

TITLE XXII
NAVIGATION; HARBORS; COAST SURVEY
CHAPTER 270
SUPERVISION OF NAVIGATION; REGISTRATION OF BOATS AND MOTORS; COMMON CARRIERS BY WATER
Interference with Navigation
Section 270:26-a
270:26-a Interference with a Vessel. No person shall, without the consent of the owner of the vessel, wilfully and maliciously cut away or let loose any vessel which is fastened to any mooring place or lying at anchor. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

In addition, as stated, as soon as you untie the vessel, you are responsible. The financial risk is not worth it. Absolutely the best thing to do is call MP.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:13 PM   #12
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I'd suggest openning the link posted above by "Skipper of the Sea Que." Print out several copies of the RSA as quoted and tape it and a strongly but politely worded order to remove the boat and not return, to the passenger side windshield. You could also probably get these items professionally printed to adhesive paper so they cant be casually removed.

Include the offending boat's registration number the date and your signature. Keep notes of the boats you have warned and if possible photograph the boat with the warning attached while at your dock. If you have a camera with a date/time feature that might be even better.

One important thing you need to keep in mind... "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." I'm under the impression that most dock installation in NH requires permits from the Department of Environmental Security. I used to have a link to the appropriate regulations but cant find it (be nice if they were repealed). If you get the legal system involved you may find yourself under scrutiny.

Depending on how long the docks have been in place you may be grandfatherred but it depends on how the statutes was written. FWIW - I know a few people with (noncommercial) docks on various bodies of water and none of them have gotten permits.

This link is to another post which discussed Rafts, docks and swimlines...
http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ht=dock+permit

This link is for the state's RSa's if you want to look further yourself.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...s/default.html

I think what I'm trying to find is somewhere under RSA 482 or 482-A. If I find it again I'll pass on the update.

Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper
...One important thing you need to keep in mind... "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." I'm under the impression that most dock installation in NH requires permits from the Department of Environmental Security. I used to have a link to the appropriate regulations but cant find it (be nice if they were repealed). If you get the legal system involved you may find yourself under scrutiny...
If you go to this site at the Department of Environmental Services it will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about docks, beaches, breakwaters and many other types of waterfront structures and the requirements invoked by the State of New Hampshire.

We covered the legal aspects of illegally moored boats in the links appropriatelty supplied by the Skipper, but I think you are approaching the matter correctly by first politely talking to your neighbors and trying to get them to help out voluntarily.

You may want to also ask your neighbors (who rent) to include a notice in their rental agreements that your docks are private property.

Then hopefully, and only on occasion, you may have to verbally remind a transient that the dock is private.

If that doesn't work please feel free to contact me off line, I'd be glad to point out some additional reasonable legal alternatives and, if necessary, how to involve the local authorities without appearing to be a pain in the butt...

Good luck,

Skip
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:10 PM   #14
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Lightbulb Other alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
{snip}
If that doesn't work please feel free to contact me off line, I'd be glad to point out some additional reasonable legal alternatives and, if necessary, how to involve the local authorities without appearing to be a pain in the butt...
I recall a thread about people trespassing on island property. Among the more creative solutions proposed was a big ole plastic water snake*. Put one of these on the dock, maybe with some hissing sounds and animitronics, and most renters will think twice.

*Actually I think it was a real one but a realistic fake one should suffice.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:51 PM   #15
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It may be illegal and unwise to cast a boat adrift. However that doesn't mean you can't threaten to cast a boat adrift.

If necessary A sign like the one below will probably get the job done faster and cheaper than lawyers and the Marine Patrol.


Last edited by Bear Islander; 04-12-2006 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear Islander
It may be illegal and unwise to cast a boat adrift. However that doesn't mean you can't threaten to cast a boat adrift.

If necessary A sign like the one below will probably get the job done faster and cheaper than lawyers and the Marine Patrol.

I really hate that sign. It is so unfriendly and I'd never belong to a club that would post such a sign. Then again, I'd never belong to a club that would have me as a member.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:23 AM   #17
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Dave...

I don't think its a club per se... I think one family owns that whole "dockominium".

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Old 04-12-2006, 10:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsy
Dave...

I don't think its a club per se... I think one family owns that whole "dockominium".

Woodsy

The "members only" part made me think it was a club. My post was in jest anyway.
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Old 04-12-2006, 03:44 PM   #19
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Just aim for the water line.
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:49 PM   #20
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While warning signs will probably need to be included, these folks may feel they have some rights because they've done this before. The rental owners may not actually be making it clear to their tenants that dockage is not included and may actually be encouraging them, so they can claim adverse posseson (squatters' rights). For that reason I'd believe that each violator should also be addressed individually so they will know that yes "this means you."

Some people dont mind face-to-face interaction and may prefer to start off in a friendlier manner than I suggested above. Others may desire to avoid the risk of a confrontation that might escalate.

I'm sure it would be annoying to have to fence and gate your property just to deter a few seasonal residents.

Good luck!

PS to Skip: Thanks for that link!
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:55 AM   #21
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If you find a boat there, carve up a Jack 'O Lantern and put a big dagger in it. Put a sign on it that says "YOU" and leave it in the boat. Maniacal laughter coming from the bushes nearby helps set the mood too.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:06 AM   #22
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I know this has nothing to do with this thread but everytime I see the title of the thread I think of this guy who took a liking to my dock. It took me scaring him away for about a week until he moved along. Not that I don't like ducks but I got tired of cleaning off the dock!
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:43 AM   #23
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The two posts by "Dave" and "McDude" suggest another possible course of action. Put bread or sardines or other "Waterfowl Attractant" on the offending vessel. If they dont leave at least the mess will be in a location more convenient for the dock owner!
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:47 AM   #24
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Default Private dock

I think if you post a Private Dock (not for renters or public) is clarification enough.

I would then inform the owners of the properties that rent their properties and ask them nicely (the first time)to please post in their rules or in the cabins that there are NO DOCKS available for their use.

I have a friend who also leaves notes on boats that are left at his dock ONCE. After that simply walks over and explains nicely that they need to move the boat.

It has never come to the point of having to have a boat removed.... but he certainly would if necessary. He has in the past talked about towing the boat off the dock 10-15 ft and anchoring it and leaving the note stating that it is a PRIVATE dock.

Just food for thought
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper
The two posts by "Dave" and "McDude" suggest another possible course of action. Put bread or sardines or other "Waterfowl Attractant" on the offending vessel. If they dont leave at least the mess will be in a location more convenient for the dock owner!
Oh, that's excellent!
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:44 PM   #26
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When I was younger I worked at the Peir summers. One day one of my cohorts threw a lit cigarette into a boat that was docked alongside the peir in a spot not normally used (he didn't see it or expect it to be there). The resulting fire damage made sure no one ever used that spot again.

Not that this is a solution to your problem, at least not yet. Now if you'll excuse me, my neighbors parked in my spot with his windows down.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:59 PM   #27
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Default Signs

Here's an appropriate sign, gets the point across, but is also humorous:

http://www.u-neak.com/no_docking.htm
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:10 PM   #28
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Default Signs

I just placed an order for one. I think it gets the point across that the docks do belong to someone and puts just the right element of fear and humor to the message.
It helps eliminate the "I didn't know these were someones docks" Like the dock fairy put them there...

Does anyone else know of any humorous No Docking signs?
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:03 PM   #29
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You might be able to turn this around to your advantage. Have a sign made up that lists prices for docking space by the hour, half day, full day, week and month. Send a letter to the owners of the rental properties and offer a slight "fee for consideration" IE: a commission on dock rentals that they push with their rental agreements, with the stipulation that the dock rent be paid directly to you and the commission be rebated to the landlord. It just might work.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:35 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthebay
...
Does anyone else know of any humorous No Docking signs?
To the owner of ________________________________

They say the boat you should not rock
but you need permission before you dock.

Here you stand broken hearted
'cause your boat has pre-departed.

To Glendale MPHQ you must go
to pay the impound fees you now owe.

----------------------
Put their bow number on top of this and tack it to your other sign
if you ever have a boat towed. Since doggerel like this tends to get your creative license revoked I have no objections if anyone would like to suggest additional/alternate verses.
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:29 AM   #31
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Default Good idea but

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGA645
Just aim for the water line.
It is a good idea but no there is a sunken boat at your dock.

How about towing the offenders boat out and anchoring it a few feet away from the dock?
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:53 AM   #32
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Default Sardines? Bread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper
"...Put bread or sardines or other "Waterfowl Attractant" on the offending vessel. If they dont leave at least the mess will be in a location more convenient for the dock owner!
Kinda messy, just to attract ducks.

How about suspending one of those plastic Owls over the dock space?

This photo demonstrates their effectiveness!
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:36 AM   #33
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Default Just curious...

How did this situation resolve itself?

Inquiring mind wants to know.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:18 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightWing View Post
You might be able to turn this around to your advantage. Have a sign made up that lists prices for docking space by the hour, half day, full day, week and month. Send a letter to the owners of the rental properties and offer a slight "fee for consideration" IE: a commission on dock rentals that they push with their rental agreements, with the stipulation that the dock rent be paid directly to you and the commission be rebated to the landlord. It just might work.
Personally I liked this idea,,,

And if you really dont want them there, make the prices so high they wont even consider it.

If anyone confronts you about it, just tell them you need to recoup the costs of the insurance you need to keep to CYA in case anyone if injured while using the dock. I think any home/land owner can relate to that, especially in this day and age,,,
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:03 PM   #35
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How about this sign:

All boats tied here become the property of the owner of the dock
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:51 PM   #36
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Talking That's the BEST ONE YET!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RI Swamp Yankee View Post
How about this sign:

All boats tied here become the property of the owner of the dock
That is the best reply so far for scaring would be dockers!
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:56 PM   #37
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Please leave your boat keys.
If you think I don't mind you
using my dock, I'm sure you
won't mind me using your boat.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:55 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Guy View Post
Please leave your boat keys.
If you think I don't mind you
using my dock, I'm sure you
won't mind me using your boat.
- Burma Shave
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:48 AM   #39
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As stated previously, casting a boat adrift is against the law. However, if the docks owner were to padlock the offending boat to the dock with a chain, the boat owner would be forced to look for the person who holds the KEY. NB
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