Today's Date

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Editor and Publisher

Letter to the Editor -- Thanks for the Response to My ‘Floating Home vs. Boat’ Column Letter

posted: 5/10/2013
Editor:         

I wish to thank attorney David Weil for his response to my letter (in the April 26-May 9 issue) concerning the Supreme Court’s handling of the houseboat case (determining whether a floating home is legally a vessel).         

We may be looking at the same case from different sides. For example, I firmly believe that the court attempted to clarify the law by distinguishing intended use, but I also must agree with Mr. Weil’s position that the court actually lent more mud than clarity by not going far enough.         

The problem is partly semantic. English, so far as I know, has no convenient way to handle this situation. Under federal law, in light of the court’s recent decision, is Queen Mary -- now a permanently docked tourist attraction, museum and hotel -- still legally a vessel, or not?         

In the meantime, the sheriff can keep that fictitious “coffee cup” (the one that, under some definitions, might match the legal description of a vessel). It may become America’s most famous coffee cup, and might fetch a pretty price at auction.

Fred Ransom

Port Hueneme

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