|FYI — May 2003|
|By Brad Dunn|
Word With... Malcom and Penny Farrel
What made you decide to move aboard?
been the biggest surprise?
advice for those thinking about making the same move?
you found many kindred spirits out there?
During a heated public hearing in Miami, boaters rallied to protest steep fee increases at city-owned marinas. The increases, many of which would have more than doubled rents, were slated to begin on March 1, though boaters were only notified two weeks before then. But boat owners stood in line at the final hearing on February 28 to lash out.
"I understand, as a business owner, that costs go up," said boater Bob Downey, according to the Miami Herald. "But if I did what you did and raised rents by 100 percent in a period of two weeks, I'd be run out of town on a rail."
In announcing the increase, the city cited rising costs and the increased value of its oceanfront property. Boat owners claimed that because of the shortage of slips in South Florida, the city was price gouging. The three major city-owned marinas are Dinner Key, Miamarina at Bayside, and Marine Stadium Marina on Rickenbacker Causeway.
The boaters' cries were ultimately heard. City manager Joe Arriola decided to postpone the increase until May 1 but also said he would invite marina businesses and boat owners to discuss possible further compromises in the plan.
In February Ernest Theodore pleaded guilty to setting two boats aflame at a dock in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. The commercial fisherman said he used engine oil and acetone to douse and ignite the fishing trawlers Sea Dragon and Leah, on January 13, 2002. The boats were owned by brothers James and Dennis Lovgren, both fishermen, and police believe Theodore's motive was professional rivalry.
Theodore will face up to seven years in prison and the judge also ordered that he make restitution to the Lovgrens, to the tune of about $140,000.
This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.