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Has anyone dealt with wake damage?

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Has anyone dealt with wake damage?

Old 07-13-2015, 08:01 AM
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Default Has anyone dealt with wake damage?

Has anyone ever had somebody pursue you for damage caused by your wake? How does it work?

To preface the situation, I know all boaters are responsible for their wake. I believe in taking responsibility if I mess something of somebody's up.

Here is what went down. I was fishing on my 19 foot aluminum CC. I was cruising from one spot to another. All of a sudden this old guy runs up on me hollering and raising hell. He claims I knocked his boat off his dock and broke the dock with my wake. I told him I didn't believe my boat was capable of displacing enough water on a plane to do any such thing. He claimed I was throwing a 4 foot wake for God sake. It had been 25 minutes since I had been in the creek where he claimed the damage had happened. Who knows how many other boats had been past his dock or how many jon boats that look like mine had passed? Anyway, the guy was way to worked up to deal with. There was no way I was going back to his property and having anything escalate more. I just let him holler and take down my numbers. After that he speeds off throwing a nice big wake of his own heading back towards where he came from.

From my point of view, a dock and the boat secured to it should have to be in decent enough shape that a jon boat wake would not damage it. I traveled the creek on a plane rather than plowing in order to reduce my wake and maintain steerage. Because of the old man's behavior I was not able to look at the dock to see it's condition, the claimed damage or offer to fix anything that may have been damaged. Several times I have seen 20 -26 foot CC's plowing through the creek the guy was talking about. I am starting to wonder if the old guy has one of the dilapidated docks and is looking for somebody else to foot the bill for the repairs he hasn't made over the years?

If the cantankerous old fart turned in my numbers, What should I expect? Who would he contact and who would contact me about the situation? Do I get to recount my side of the story to any agency contacting me? Is it a DNR, insurance or small claims court type of thing? I would have rather handled things personally. I don't see working out anything with a person that won't even discuss the matter civilly.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:12 AM
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Your word against his. Tell him to stick it. You can't trust old farts anyway.....wait a minute.....I AM an old fart. Pay up, you owe him.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:14 AM
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You have liability insurance? If so, time for them to earn some of the money you pay them and deal with this for you.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:28 AM
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I do have insurance. If we are talking about a 2x6 and a $10 cleat, I just assume leave them out of it. Because of the other party's actions, I have no idea what we are talking about. I do maintain that a 19 foot jon boat can't throw a wake to do much, if any, damage to a dock under reasonable condition.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:36 AM
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Was a police report made? If not, I doubt any ins. co. would pay....unless you admitted fault.

You could take the boat back there to see what he's talking about when he isn't there (if you even knew where he was).
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
Was a police report made? If not, I doubt any ins. co. would pay....unless you admitted fault.

You could take the boat back there to see what he's talking about when he isn't there (if you even knew where he was).
There was no police involvement even though the guy said I should expect there to be a warrant out for my arrest. I have no idea which dock is his. I guess I could go looking for the POS boat he was on in the creek where he claimed all of this happened. That still wouldn't tell me what the dock looked like before and after I went past it. I really have no interest in a shouting match or punching a 70+ year old man should he be home when I went to check it out.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:59 AM
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find his boat and pull the plug while he's asleep
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:03 AM
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Ignore it until the law shows up at your door or calls you.

Unless the guy has a valid complaint, the law will ignore him. Being mad at you does not make his complaint valid.

Was it in a marked no wake zone? And a dock owner posting a sign does not make it a legal no wake zone.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:09 AM
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I always love the threat of arrest. Like the cops go around arresting anyone who says someone did something they did not like. Anyways this is a civil matter not a criminal one. Sounds like a hot head, I bet he yells at lots of people that offend him.

If you get a call from someone just explain what happened. Also if you went out of sight of his dock how does he know that he chased down the correct boat. There are too many questions in this for it to go anywhere. Don't loose sleep over it.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Corndog38 View Post
Ignore it until the law shows up at your door or calls you.

Unless the guy has a valid complaint, the law will ignore him. Being mad at you does not make his complaint valid.

Was it in a marked no wake zone? And a dock owner posting a sign does not make it a legal no wake zone.
This. I wouldn't give it another thought.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:31 AM
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Your word against his. Nothing will come of it.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Blythe1022 View Post
I do have insurance. If we are talking about a 2x6 and a $10 cleat, I just assume leave them out of it. Because of the other party's actions, I have no idea what we are talking about. I do maintain that a 19 foot jon boat can't throw a wake to do much, if any, damage to a dock under reasonable condition.
I agree with you there, it's just that your original post talked about him claiming that you made a boat fall which sounds significant. If he traces back your numbers and comes to you asking for $50, I might give it to him (in cash) to shut him up and avoid grief at my next insurance renewal and/or every time I drive by there. But if he goes postal on the whole deal, I would say "talk to the hand" and give him the insurance company number. They are then likely to ask him to make a specific complaint starting with exactly how the 4 inch wake your boat was probably throwing could damage something not made out of balsa and papier mache.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:47 AM
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If there were no other boats around aside from yours you are likely at fault. I would go back soon to see the damage and if you think you caused it make it correct.

For those of you that said forget it you may want to consider putting yourself in the other persons shoes.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by joe.giuliano View Post
If there were no other boats around aside from yours you are likely at fault. I would go back soon to see the damage and if you think you caused it make it correct.

For those of you that said forget it you may want to consider putting yourself in the other persons shoes.
There were other boats around. I passed one on that creek. A few came through when I was anchored and fishing closer to the mouth of the creek. I saw several while fishing the next spot that were headed in a direction that they may have traveled that creek. I have no clue which dock belongs to the guy or the condition it was in before and after I came by it. I do bet he is one of the ones with a homemade no wake sign though. How would I know if the dock was already messed up and he was just waiting on somebody he didn't know to come by so he could blame them?
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Blythe1022 View Post
I do bet he is one of the ones with a homemade no wake sign though. How would I know if the dock was already messed up and he was just waiting on somebody he didn't know to come by so he could blame them?
Do what you think is best. The part about him waiting around seems a little paranoid. Or is that something you would do? It would never enter my mind to do something like that or think someone else would over some dock damage.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by joe.giuliano View Post
If there were no other boats around aside from yours you are likely at fault. I would go back soon to see the damage and if you think you caused it make it correct.

For those of you that said forget it you may want to consider putting yourself in the other persons shoes.
Did you miss the part where he said it was a 19' CC?

A dock in good condition could not be damaged by the wake from a 19' CC. Wave action from a storm would be more severe than that.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:21 AM
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Tell him El Chapo is your insurance agent.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:33 AM
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Were you in a marked SLOW SPEED/No Wake zone? Most dipshits (not intended at OP) ignore the slow speed part and think they can fly by with a smaller wake.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Battlewagon View Post
Did you miss the part where he said it was a 19' CC?

A dock in good condition could not be damaged by the wake from a 19' CC. Wave action from a storm would be more severe than that.
I live on a canal with lots of boats, some small, some over 100'. When a small boat comes by too fast - not even planing - they can move the boats pretty good resulting in some serious dock hits. A small boat can do a lot of damage.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NJFISH View Post
Were you in a marked SLOW SPEED/No Wake zone? Most dipshits (not intended at OP) ignore the slow speed part and think they can fly by with a smaller wake.
There is a no wake on the part of the creek by the public landing. I am 90% sure that zone ends about 100 yards up the creek. If not, there is no marker for the end of the no wake zone at all. Not in any creeks coming off this creek going all the way out to the jetties.
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