Amendments expected to benefit Fla. marinas

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In the wake of last year's damaging hurricane season, the marine industry has been working to better prepare for and respond to future storms.

Among the fruits of their labor is the passage of an amendment to Florida State Statute 327.59, Marina, Evacuations.

The new law gives marinas the ability to protect themselves once a hurricane or tropical storm watch has been issued by securing the boats of owners who haven't already done so and charging them for it, according to an article today in the Pensacola News Journal. Marina operators do have to include notification of this authority in their contracts with customers, however, the newspaper added.

Florida Statute 328.17, Non-Judicial Sale of Vessels also has been amended. It “suspends application of lien provisions for 60 days when a vessel is damaged in a named storm, adds that a vessel abandoned at a marina may be subject to a possessory lien and revises notice requirements that a marina must follow before the sale of a vessel,” the newspaper stated. “It also reduces the number of days from 120 to 60 for an owner to pay back fees and costs owed to a marina before the marina may sell the vessel and allows a marina the option, in some cases, of removing a vessel, at the owner's expense.”

Both laws, which the Marine Industries Association of Florida has been lobbying in support of, took effect Saturday.

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