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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Harbor users insurance requirement discussion 

By A. M. Johnson


January 01, 2022
Saturday PM

I am a borough resident renting a stall in the Ketchikan boat harbor, Bar Harbor North.  In regard to the recent December article in the Ketchikan Daily News on the topic of boat insurance as a requirement of harbor moorage.

This has been a sore subject with me for several, actually, many years.  Off and on over those years, all the boats free and clear that I have owned and that is a number, I have voluntarily purchased liability insurance to cover potential issues that would entice a civil law suit or that of a governmental settlement for damage that I as the boat owner, would be liable. This action on my part was labeled "Common Sense" part of boat ownership.  Why moor your boat with the threat of extreme civil cost were there to be an incident in your absents, or in the act of maneuvering in the harbor to the facility or a fellow boater's boat.?

On several occasions over the years, particularly those times that the harbor moored a "Shit Boat" in the stall next or near my boat. I would ask the harbor personnel if there was any provision to have a boat owner prove responsible background when obviously the craft is a unfit boat. Who is to determine what is unfit? Well, that opens up the discussion that you find yourselves in.

In reading the article the number of red herring comments in opposition to establishing a insurance requirement was obvious, most upsetting was seemingly the opposition from the very personnel that should be in favor of addressing a fix.  

Scratching my head as I read, the complexity of the opposition was mind boggling, How could a simple challenge become so twisted to require hours of discussion with no resolve?

Let me put it this way.  A person requesting moorage is required to provide proof of current minimum (Minimum amount to be established by the city) liability insurance upon being notified of a vacant stall for acceptance. No proof of insurance, no stall. How complex more does it require?

What alternates to self-insurance is there that is equitable and fair? Perhaps a fee formula by stall length establishing a 'Harbor liability fund' payable with moorage submission.  Either requirement self-insured or administratively dictate, will no doubt add to the administration overhead, that becoming an negative issue to me is an example of eternal resistance. Do you wish to achieve your objective or not?

The bottom line should be the city require a level of individual boat insurance that will reimburse the city towards damage cost caused by that specific boat/owner. Upon accepting moorage in Ketchikan public harbors, one must provide the responsible minimum in effect insurance policy at an established renewal of  moorage.

Please take the opportunity to provide the tool to assure that the boat occupant the stall next to me on either side, is covering eventualities that can be anticipated.

Straight up, clear concise requirement.  Keep it simple.

Thank you for reading,

A.M. (Al) Johnson
Bar Harbor North  14/12
Ketchikan, Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Received December 09, 2021 - Published January 01, 2022

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