Beaufort, NC, always considered to be one of the friendliest ports of call for cruisers along the entire length of the AICW, is considering a proposal to require that all vessels anchored in Taylor Creek or Town Creek register with the Beaufort Police Department. The idea behind this registration is not some sort of time restriction, as is so often the case in the Sunshine State, but a means that would allow the city to require removal of anchored boats from Taylor Creek within 12 hours if a hurricane threatens these waters.
During a August 13 Beaufort Town Commissioners meeting, the proposal received some support, but was also roundly criticized by members of the local cruising community. It was tabled until an August 28 meeting to allow for more study.
Reading between the lines, as everyone interested in cruising North Carolina waters should by following the link in Captain Joe’s message below, it sounds as if the real impetus behind all of this is not so much worry about vessels breaking free during really heavy weather, and causing damage to other property, but a means to find the owners of some abandoned vessels seemingly permanently moored on Taylor Creek and Town Creek. Sound familiar to anyone acquainted with the Florida anchoring rights issue?
We will send you a report following the August 28 meeting, and urge all cruisers who happen to be in Beaufort on that date, to attend. This proposal could actually be a benefit to the cruising community, if and only if it is carefully tailored to protect all interests during hurricanes. Let it be worded and/or perceived as a way to limit anchoring in Taylor and Town Creek, and Beaufort’s heretofore stellar image in the cruising community could get a real black eye!
You might be interested in this article and distribute to our fellow sailors.
This could have a disastrous impact on transients that come to Beaufort to wait out the hurricane season before heading to warmer climes.
I understand the problem and have seen it firsthand many times: poorly maintained and anchored or moored local boats. This proposed solution seems overly broad and is mostly negative toward transient boats, that arenâ€™t the problem there. Why not instead pass an ordinance that boats that stay more than 30 days need to register? Also, the liability insurance requirement is a state-level issue, just like it is for cars.
John nailed it with the 30-day limit.
Florida has provided us with numerous examples of how NOT to do this without trampling on the rights (and maritime laws) relating to transients.
Derelicts are easily identifiable and should bear the onus of compliance in lieu of some blanket â€œone size fits allâ€ action that adversely affects everyone.
My $.02 worth.
The whole discussion of Beaufort is interesting. This wonderful town seems to be doing all it can to stop cruisers from visiting. We have stopped going there, due to the very high cost of the Beaufort Town Docks. Our last time there cost more than any marina we had ever stayed in. We have not returned, and do not plan to until the rates are reasonable. Over the years, we have stayed there probably ten times, and spent lots of money in Beaufort. I wonder if the local Chamber of Commerce knows of the townâ€™s actions and rates at the marina?
Peggy Sue, Monk 36