Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 10-22-2012
Let me be very, very clear about this. The wonderful folks at Boat/US are working just as hard, or harder, than we are here at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net to look out for the rights and interests of the cruising community. If you are not a member of Boat Owners Association of the United States (Boat/US), may we strongly suggest you correct that oversight right now by going to:
A few years ago, the political arm of Boat/US released a simply wonderful broadsheet which stated, in understandable English, what rights cruisers enjoyed in Floridian waters when it came time to drop the hook. Now, we are PLEASED to report that Boat/US has updated this document, and made it available to the cruising community without charge!!!
We cannot urge strongly enough that ALL who plan on cruising the waters of the Sunshine State print-out the below linked document, and keep it aboard at all times! If you are requested not to anchor, or move on from an anchorage, just haul out this baby. It may make the difference!
Of course, as you will see when reading this text, there are now exceptions, so check the language carefully, AND BECOME AN INFORMED CRUISER!!!
So, without further verbiage, run, don’t walk to:
You might also be interested in taking a gander at part of the “Press Release” from Boat/US which heralds the release of this important document:
BoatUS Offers Updated Florida Anchoring Information Tip Sheet
Great to Carry Aboard
TALLAHASSEE, FL, October 22, 2012 – Since it was first made available at no cost two years ago, some boaters have called it one of the most helpful documents to have aboard when anchoring in waters across the Sunshine State. Others are saying it’s a great educational tool when they are confused about local and state anchoring regulations. Now, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers an updated “2013 Florida Anchoring Information” sheet to clarify for everyone, from the boating public to government agencies, the current status of the 2009 passage of Florida House Bill 1423 and the five pilot mooring field projects. Most importantly, the 2009 law gave relief to many boaters and meant they no longer had to fear their boat “overstayed its welcome” and needed to move on.
“Every boat owner wants to follow the law, but in Florida, some boaters, anglers and sailors may still fear a visit from law enforcement that will force them to move on from an anchorage,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich.
Four of the five pilot project areas include the City of St. Augustine, Monroe County (Key West, Marathon), City of Sarasota and City of Petersburg which have established mooring fields and passed local anchoring ordinances. These areas will be used to test policies that promote public access, enhance navigational safety, protect maritime infrastructure and the environment, and deter improperly stored, abandoned, or derelict vessels. As of press time, the fifth pilot area, Martin County/City of Stuart, was still drafting an ordinance likely to come on line in 2013.
The 2009 law also clarified the meaning of “live-aboard”: Full time, active cruisers who sleep on their boats with no permanent residence on land are no longer considered live-aboards under this law and, as a result, their anchoring cannot be regulated by local governments, other than in pilot project areas. (For more: FLHB 1423, Chapter 2009-86, Section 6)
BoatUS has been monitoring the pilot program and investigating its impact on boaters. “We recognize that there are still boaters who have not heard of the legislation but continue to arrive and enjoy Florida’s gorgeous waterways,” said Podlich. “They should know it is illegal to restrict anchoring of non-liveaboard vessels in Florida outside of mooring fields, except in the jurisdiction of the five pilot projects. In 2014, the anchoring ordinances of these five localities will expire unless renewed by the Florida Legislature. In the meantime, boaters should know that anchoring close to the any of the five pilot program mooring fields today can be limited by these participating local governments.”
Thank you for the update and please keep us posted.