Judge orders protections for boat owners at rundown Charlestown marina

A Suffolk Superior Court judge has ordered the owner of a decaying Charlestown marina to submit a full engineering report assessing his piers, which have become a local public safety and environmental concern. If the inspection reveals safe berthing slips amid the rusted steel pilings and collapsing wooden beams, boat owners may dock there until the end of October.

If no portion of the marina is deemed safe, however, the marina’s owner, Martin Oliner, must pay for the relocation of the boats and provide their owners with other assistance and enough time to leave. The injunction, filed Thursday by Judge Elizabeth Fahey, also freezes Oliner’s personal financial assets and limits the assets of his two companies.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said a statement that Oliner must take responsibility for ensuring the safety of the boat owners.

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“Shipyard Quarters Marina continues to suffer from serious structural problems placing the public at risk,” Coakley said in the statement. “The owner can no longer dodge his responsibility to correct this dangerous situation for boat owners and the general public.”

The state has fought Oliner, a New York tax attorney, for three years over the progress of repairs at the 30-year-old marina, with boat owners caught in limbo as they await the outcome.

Of the roughly 112 boats at the marina, approximately 30 are primary residences, or houseboats, and many boat owners have feared eviction.

Boat owners at the marina have been anxiously trying to find new places to dock their boats, many without success. They have said they would prefer to stay at the marina, at least until Oct. 31, the end of the summer boating season, when spaces will open up elsewhere.

Diana Pisciotta, a spokeswoman for the marina, said Oliner is “fully committed to a safe marina environment.”

Oliner has said previously that the only way to ensure the safety of the marina was to rebuild it, which would require the eviction of the boat owners.

At the hearing Monday, Michael Sullivan, 36, who has lived on a houseboat in the marina for six years, said, “it’s very reassuring to have a judge who listens to our side.”