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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
Twin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comSouthwest Florida YachtsBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, Florida239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Gulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-437-0881
gulfharbourmarina@comcast.netLocated at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City of
Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersSt. Andrew's MarinaThe Town of Fort Myers Beach proudly operates and maintains the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field. The field boasts 70 mooring balls available for public rental year-round, and accommodates vessels up to 48 feet in length. The mooring field is located east of the Sky Bridge between San Carlos and Estero Islands in Matanzas Pass. For recreational cruisers, the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field is a wonderful destination. Coming ashore at the Town’s dinghy dock puts boaters in walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and public transportation. Mooring ball rental fees are $13/day or $260/month. All renters MUST register with Matanzas Inn upon arrival. The dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). The dock is located beneath the Sky Bridge between Matanzas Inn Restaurant and the public fishing pier. Punta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationThe Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, FlRegatta Pointe MarinaFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FL

Archive For: West FL – 9 – ICW, Venice Pass to Tampa Bay

  • Shallow Depths Encountered at Field Yacht Club (Sarasota, FL – Statute Mile 71)

     Be sure to read all the remarks in both messages below before drawing any conclusions about the Field Yacht Club in southern Sarasota. As you will see, there are many positive attributes reported, but depths are clearly a problem at this facility for some vessels.
    I have had the good fortune to make presentations at the Field Club on many occasions over the years, and I have always been very impressed with the clubhouse and the greeting I received. As far as the wet slip dockage is concerned though, looks like it’s time for a dredging project!

    Yesterday we went into the SFC at mid-tide. We have a 50′ Ocean Alexander with a 4′ draft. They were expecting us. In the channel approaching them, our depth finder was reading .2!! We continued very slowly into the marina
    to our assigned slip. As we backed into the slip, we were churning up mud. We waited 3 hours for high tide and left. The marina had never warned us.
    Mark & Allyn Callahan

    After reading the above note, which originally appeared on the “GL” (Great Loop) Mail List, we e-mailed Captains Mar and Allyn, and asked for clarification as to whether the “SFC” was indeed the Field Yacht Club in southern Sarasota. We received the following affirmative reply:

    Yes it is the Field Yacht Club in Sarasota. A beautiful Club but for us the approach was very thin and the slip we got would have been a problem at dead low, which was in the morning when we would have had to leave. Don’t want to take anything away from the Club and they were great let us wait for the tide to come up and then we left, no charges for Electric or the slip. Very accommodating.
    Mark Callahan

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Field Yacht Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Field Yacht Club

  • Cruising Southwestern Florida Coastline With a 5-foot Draft

    Here’s an interesting discussion, which originally appeared on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum (an organization we continue to heartily endorse) about cruising the western coastline of the Sunshine State, between Sarasota and Captiva Island, with a 5-foot draft.
    My experience having researched this coastline since 1992, which reflects the remarks below by Captains Gina and Chuck, is that 5-feet of draft will be fine for most marinas and many anchorages. There are some exceptions, and if your vessel has 6-feet of draft, it can start to get a bit tricky!
    The message below from our good friend, Captain Chuck Baier, former General Manager for Waterway Guide, is particularly useful. Most (but not all) of the marinas he mentions as being too shallow are not even listed in the SSECN’s “Western Florida Marina Directory” as they are too small and shallow to really serve cruising size craft. Nevertheless, this is superb information!

    My husband and I are chartering a 50′ Trawler for a week out of Sarasota. We are beginning to seriously look at various style trawlers available as we get closer to retiring and beginning a cruising lifestyle for awhile. My question is, as I am studying the waters in this area, Given the depths and tides, am wondering if we are going to have trouble getting in/out of marinas etc. with a draft of 5′ Any suggestions as to how best navigate this area and where to stay would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Mary

    It shouldn’t be a problem. We made the trip from Cape Coral to Tarpon Springs and back last year. We draw 4 ft and our friends who traveled with us draws 5ft (a 53 ft Carver). Marinas were fine. South of Sarasota we stayed at Crows Nest (Venice) and Palm Island Marina. We did the whole trip inside via ICW (except for the section north of Tampa where the ICW ends) and didn’t have a problem. Between Sarasota and Captiva we did have to watch the tides through Lemon Bay as it can get skinny there.
    Enjoy your trip. It’s a beautiful area. It’s been our cruising area for 15 years.
    Gina
    M/v Island Time
    Cape Coral, Fl

    Mary,
    We traveled the entire west coast of Florida on several occasions with a 6 foot draft. There are some shallow areas but be sure and have
    current charts and you won’t have any issues. Most marinas will be accessible to you. If you get to Sanibel, Adventures In Paradise Marina might be a problem. On Pine Island Sound, Four Winds Marina will be a no go and Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort will also be iffy. In Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda Marina and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club are very shallow. In Lemon Bay, Stump Pass Marina is shallow and in Little Sarasota Bay, Turtle Beach Marina will be too shallow. In Sarasota, the problem marinas will be Sara Bay, Sarasota Cay Club and Cannon’s Marina. Some of these will be too small for you but might be considered for fuel stops. If in doubt, call ahead and ask. Other than that, pay attention to your charts and if the chart says it’s shallow it is. There will be plenty of available anchorages if you want to get away by yourselves.
    Have a great trip.
    Chuck Baier

    Mary — We live in the city of Punta Gorda at the far northern end of Charlotte Harbor and sail our Ericson 38 sloop drawing 5’1″ throughout the waters you indicated. I would agree with the comments above with the added mention of northerly winds particularly in the winter months which result in lower than normally predicted tides. Come on up Charlotte Harbor to Punta Gorda for a visit to a really quaint, beautiful waterfront community.
    Noel Hyde

    We live in Punta Gorda and have a 35′ Compac, fully loaded we consider her a 5 foot draft. We have had no issues in this area along the coast line, nor have we had any with the ICW. There are areas that you have to watch the markers and aids to navigation in the ICW, but outside is “clear sailing” so they say. You should have no problems being you have major power, but like everyone mentioned above, follow your charts and if at all possible, get some local knowledge when going into a new marina or channel or canal. Relax and enjoy!
    Lynda Leonard s/w Choctaw Brave

    Careful attention to charts and the depth sounder will keep you out of trouble.

    Most of the ICW is trouble free with 5’ if you stay in the channel. There are many places to go and some you cant but they are usually obvious. A week is not a very long time to explore the area. Sarasota is north of the middle of the SW Florida cruising area of Clearwater to Naples and the keys. You wont have time for the keys unless you want to do long days and short stops.
    Going north, Marina Jack in Sarasota, St. Petersburg muni marina, and Clearwater beach are all easily accessible with the only trouble spot being near marker 40 near longboat pass. To the south Venice, Boca Grand, Cayo Costa anchorage (no marina), South Seas resort, ( entrance a little shallow) Ft Meyers, Ft Meyers beach and Naples are all different and interesting. Narrow or shallow entrances are common but should not be a problem with proper attention. Check for current information on this site as conditions do change from charted depths.
    IMO for the best sample of area cruising go south, take your time and stay in the ICW. It is a shame to miss the St. Pete waterfront but you cant do everything in a week.
    Bruce

    Fortunately, most of the shoreline of the Gulf from Louisiana to Florida is soft albeit shallow. Keep one eye on the charts and the other on the tide tables. Frustrating as it ma be, sometimes the different tide charts seem to not agree. Live with it.
    I have sailed the Gulf along Florida’s West coast for the past 14 years and have ‘found’ most of the shoals. I could have avoided them with little bit of caution but was able to free myself with no injury or damage and sailed away with minimal delay and another sailing story.
    I think the Gulf coast has some of the best anchorages of anywhere I have been. Very well protected, plentiful and shallow. I don’t like to anchor in more than 8-10′ of water- too much work to haul the anchor and to figure swinging area.
    Always FOR SAILtoo

  • Bridge Security Zones, Tampa Bay Area, August 25 to August 31

    The Coast Guard will enforce 15 temporary security zones around certain bridges on the waters of Pinellas County and Tampa Bay during the 2012 Republican National Convention. The security zones will be in effect from Sat. Aug. 25 at 12:01 p.m. until Fri. Aug.31 at 1:00 a.m. All vessels and boaters are prohibited from loitering, anchoring, stopping, or mooring on waters within 50 yards of the designated bridges, during the times and dates listed below. Please note the security zones will be enforced 24-hours daily for the Gandy Bridge, Howard Franklin Bridge, and Courtney
    Campbell Causeway. However, expeditious transit through the security zones will be authorized.

    Although much of the security plan is sensitive law enforcement information and cannot be released, visible measures will include waterside security zones, increased harbor patrols and increased inspections of merchant and recreational boats.

    “Our multi-mission capabilities make the Coast Guard uniquely qualified as a leader in maritime homeland security,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Captain of the Port and commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We will blend our capabilities with our maritime law enforcement partners to create a layered approach to RNC safety and security.”

    Coast Guard security boats will work with local, state and federal enforcement partners to enforce permanent and temporary waterside security zones and patrol waterways throughout the Tampa Bay region. Violators are subject to a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
    http://coastguardnews.com/

  • Sarasota July 4th Fireworks

    Everyone refers to the large, downtown Sarasota, Florida city marina as “Marina Jacks” but, in reality, that is the name of the on-site restaurant. Also, there are a number of West Florida fireworks events listed in the link below.

    The Sarasota fireworks at Marina Jack are one of the best I’ve seen (in Florida). Been in the Charles River in Boston July 4th, they are the best with the POPS [the Boston Pops Orchestra].
    Victor

    http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com/sarasota-fourth-of-july.html

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

  • Cortez Cove Boatyard & Marina (near Gulf Waterway Statute Mile 87)

    The entrance to Cortez Cove Boatyard and Marina cuts to the east of the Waterway, south of the Cortez Bridge.

    Cruising News:
    The Cortez Marina is under new management. The marina has been taken over by Yachts Solutions. The new yard is capable of hauling boats up to 70 feet and shipwrights at the yard are capable of building anything from new teak decks to hard tops and swim platforms. These craftsmen are the best I have seen at very fair prices. Of course they do basic yard work like bottom jobs and repairs. See the website, http://www.yachtssolutions.com

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Cortez Bridge and the Above Described Facility

  • Praise for Longboat Key Moorings (Statute Mile 77.5)

    Step off deck at Longboat Key Club Moorings and come ashore to our Four-Diamond beachfront resort offering a private white-sand beach, 45 holes of challenging golf, the Island House Spa, six on-site restaurants, the award-winning Tennis Gardens and so much more.Longboat Key Moorings guards the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the city of Sarasota, and south of Longboat Pass. This facility is, without any doubt, one of the premiere marinas on the entire Western Florida coastline, and we are not just saying that because these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

    LBK Club Moorings is the only quality resort marina between Tampa Bay and South Seas Plantation. Everything is on site or nearby. Stunning place. A definite must do stopover for SW FL cruisers.
    Blake Whitney

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Longboat Key Moorings

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Longboat Key Moorings

  • Update on Bradenton Beach Anchorage (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 87)

     The anchorage under discussion below lies just south of the Cortez Bridge, west of the ICW.
    Two important notes need to be considered when evaluating this anchor down spot. First, successful entry can be very tricky for first-timers, AND the city of Bradenton Beach has twice tried to regulate this anchorage, first by creating a mooring field, and later by city registration of boats. Both attempts failed, but who knows what may happen here in the future!

    Bradenton Beach anchorage update: As of 5/12, the city has made no further blatant efforts to harass boaters. As a member of the “Mooring Committee” I can say that the city has no interest in really developing a boater friendly community.
    Still, I recommend to everyone that, rather than avoid areas of “conflict ie. St Pete, St. Augustine, etc., they use these areas and RESIST (nicely, of course) the erosion of navigation rights.
    As for the notion of the city “noticing the reduction of boating visitors and responding accordingly”, the city of B.B. would be quite happy if no one EVER anchored a boat in “their” waters.
    W.W.

    I respectfully disagree with this assessment of Bradenton Beach. I kept two boats there for the better part of a year…the first a 24-foot sloop…then a 29-footer…A friend of mine protested the 15 dollar/year fee for using the mooring field.The mooring field was illegal but I think that the reason he fought it is the slow erosion of rights and I am glad now that he did. They backed down on advice from their lawyer and I think that even though 15 dollars/year for showers and dinghy dock is a small price to pay for a decent facility with access to free trolley up and down the whole island…I think that the costs would slowly have risen over time and a bad precedent set. Having said all that…I DO NOT think that they hate boaters and liveaboards here…especially now that some of the riff raff has cleared out. The depths are overall poor for bigger boats…the approach in front of the fishing pier is a sad joke…but there is a back door further south beyond the sand shoals you can come in from if you keep going south after coming thru the bridge from the north about 3/4 mile and then come back in…at a NW angle…All in all…this is a decent area to keep your boat for awhile…amenity-speaking…but not for more than a few months IMHO…
    BTW..in case it wasn’t clear..it was BB city comission that backed down…on advice of their attorney and they dropped the $15/YEAR sticker fee…
    Morgan R

    Hi Morgan and all,
    I did not say that B.B. “hates” boaters and liveaboards. I said that the city has no real interest in developing a boater friendly community. I base this on my own experience with the mooring committee and the council. My belief is that this is due to a lack of familiarity with the subject as well as a lack of funds to promote the area.
    I approached the city about a year and a half ago with the idea of establishing a yacht club for the purpose of promoting the area to boaters and managing the amenities and dinghy dock and to provide assistance/info to visitors re. anchoring, sanitation, etc.
    The city seemed receptive to the idea. They have strongly indicated that they would like the “anchorage community” to self regulate. This indicates, to me at least, that city has no real interest in reaching out… they would prefer that “we” do it.
    As I could not find two other qualified people to willing hold the required offices to charter a legit club, as well as volunteer time to such, I abandoned the idea. I would be most happy to revisit the subject with the city if there is enough interest.
    If the CITY were truly interested in reaching out to the boating community, I feel they would have made more/better effort to do so to date.
    I urge any and all to visit B.B. as Anna Maria IS. has some nice things to offer cruisers.
    Note: riff raff is in the eye of the beholder.
    There are still a few boats that are derelict or nearly so.
    If anyone in the local area is interested in organizing a fully chartered club, please contact me. My # is 512 903 4498
    Very Sincerely,
    Dr. W. W. Waldrope

    Thank you for the info. Last time we came through we anchored on the East side of the ICW because we could not figure out how to get into the anchorage. We anchored without problem in about 10 feet of water. The ride to the dinghy dock was a little long and there were boat wakes to crash through. BB was a great place to visit and would gladly paid a fee for the shower and/or dinghy dock but free was good.
    Frank Cushing

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Bradenton Beach Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Bradenton Beach Anchorage

  • Dining Recommended at Marina Jacks (Sarasota, FL, St. M. 73)

    Everyone refers to the large, downtown Sarasota, Florida “city marina” as “Marina Jacks” but, in reality, that is the name of the on-site restaurant, and the maritime part of the operation is officially known as “Marina Operations.” For twenty years, I’ve never heard a single, fellow cruiser use this moniker.
    Whatever you call it, the food at Marina Jacks is certainly good, In March of 2012, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Sarasota Power Squadron, upstairs at Marina Jacks. A GOOD time was had by all, particularly yours truly!

    Don’t miss Marina Jack, Sarasota. Dining from outdoor casual to upstairs white tablecloth. !st class marina facilities, and professional staff. Lovely city waterfront park on-site. Easy walk to Main St. with dozens of more dining choices.
    Blake Whitney

    We stopped here in early May 2012. The staff are anxious to help, floating docks are roomy, laundry and shower facilities clean,a free newspaper is at your slip daily, and free DIY pumpout is available at the slip. We loved being able to take the courtesy van to the Ringling Museums. Only gripe is the charge for WiFi – almost every marina now has FREE WiFi.
    Julie Stocksdale

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

  • PLEASE Help Captain Sara With Her Listing of SW Florida Waterside Restaurants

    Captain Sara contacted me and asked if the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net would be interested in publishing a list of on-the-water, cruising craft accessible restaurants in SW Florida. I may have gotten a bad case of whip-lash from saying “YES!!!!” soooo quickly.
    Anyway, check out Sara’s message below, and PLEASE send her info directly if you can.
    Once their June cruise is complete, we will publish Sara’s dining directory here so it can be a lasting tool for the cruising community!!!

    In advance of my bareboat charter out of St. Pete down to the Keys in June, I’m compiling a list of restaurants that offer tie-ups to boaters. I will be collecting lat/long, depth, dockage description, dining experience and any other relevant data for each restaurant. This information will then be made freely available to the boating community. If you have info to share that would make the resource more useful to all, please contact me via email at:

    saraburns2000 AT yahoo DOT com

    If all goes well, I believe I might have found another interesting and productive hobby! Thanks! :)
    Sara Burns
    Facilitator, The Work of Byron Katie
    Transforming Education in America

  • Seafoof Shack Marina and Restaurant (Statute Mile 87)

    The Seafood Shack Marina and Restaurant guard the eastern flanks of the Western Florida ICW, only a few miles south of the Waterway’s entrance into Tampa Bay, hard by the Cortez Bridge. The marina part of this operation has always seemed a bit “casual” to me over the years, but our dining experience here has always been good.

    Nice people at the restaurant. Docks are in terrible disrepair.
    M. Farinas

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Seafoof Shack Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Seafoof Shack Marina

  • Good Words for Longboat Key Moorings (Statute Mile 77.5)

    Step off deck at Longboat Key Club Moorings and come ashore to our Four-Diamond beachfront resort offering a private white-sand beach, 45 holes of challenging golf, the Island House Spa, six on-site restaurants, the award-winning Tennis Gardens and so much more.Longboat Key Moorings, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies along the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the like named city, and south of Longboat Pass. LKM is blessed with a very well sheltered harbor, and there is an excellent shopping center with supermarket and multiple restaurant within easy walking distance, And, would you believe, there’s even a golf course next door!

    Very classy marina. Helpful staff. Excellent facilities. Italian restaurant needs a real Italian chef.
    M. Farinas

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Longboat Key Moorings

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Longboat Key Moorings

  • Cortez Cove Boatyard & Marina (near Statute Mile 87)

    The facility described below is not yet included in our Western Florida Marina Directory, but that will soon change. Its entrance cuts to the east, south of the Cortez Bridge.

    Cortez cove boatyard is now under the management of Yachts Solutions. We are a full service yard, with expert fiberglass, Painting, major and minor repairs, antifouling application and all things boats. Please call us @ 941-761-4554 for any questions.
    Tom McFadden

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Cortez Bridge and the Above Described Facility

  • Cruisers’ Letter to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Dept. Concerning Blackburn Bay Anchoring Incident Pays Off

    Earlier, we posted a letter copy here on the Cruisers’ Net of a missive sent from Captain Arthur Richard, to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s department, concerning a less than happy meeting with a deputy, while anchored on the waters of Blackburn Bay (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=76631). As you will see, Captain Richard’s note got a favorable reply, and it undoubtedly clued everyone in the sheriff’s department to the latest Florida state laws concerning anchorage.

    Reference my earlier report on Anchoring in Blackburn Bay, Sarasota County, FL. It seems that our anchoring rights in Sarasota County, FL are in accordance with
    Florida law. Apparently I experienced and ill-informed, overzealous part time deputy Sheriff.
    I received the following response from the Sarasota County, FL Sheriff’s Office”

    From: Richard Mottola
    Subject: RE:Anchoring in Blackburn Bay
    Date: December 19, 2011 10:31:25 AM EST
    Mr. Richard,
    This is Captain Mottola from the Sheriff’s Office. The Marine Unit is one of the
    areas under my command (Special Operations Bureau). I checked with our two
    full-time boat captains and neither recalls speaking with you about this. It
    could very well be that you spoke with one of our part-time captains. I could
    most likely determine this if you could provide a date and time of the contact.
    Despite that, it appears you are correct in your interpretation of the statutes
    cited.
    I can only surmise that the captain you spoke with, for some reason, believed
    you were actually living aboard your vessel and therefore assumed that county
    ordinance 130-42 may have applied. Otherwise, it would not be applicable.
    County Statute 130-42. Mooring of Vessels used as dwelling units:

    http://library.municode.com/HTML/11511/level3/CD_ORD_SARASOTA_CO_FLORIDA_CH130WA

    _ARTIIIMOVE.html#CD_ORD_SARASOTA_CO_FLORIDA_CH130WA_ARTIIIMOVE_S130-42MOVEUSDWUN
    Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions (861-4049) – Or you
    may contact Captain Shipp with the Florida Wildlife Commission (Southwest Region
    863-648-3203)
    Thank you.

    Arthur Richard

    And, with the comments below received after publication of the above article, the plot thickens CONSIDERABLY! Looks like the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department is using their own version of what constitutes a “live aboard vessel,” and, by the way, this definition is in contravention of Flroida state law!!!

    Hello,
    I would like to make a comment and pose a few questions pertaining to this important subject and more specifically my recent experiences anchoring on Blackburn Bay. I have been visited by the Sarasota county Sheriffs Dept. Marine unit on 3 occasions once when my vessel was not even actually present for apparently violating the 24 hour time limit for live aboard vessels, this most recent warning requires that I move my vessel by December 22 2011 or be subject to fines of 250 to 500 dollars a day. The Deputy asked me with issue of this most recent warning if I understood the reason why he had delivered it, to which I again replied something to the effect that, and to the very best of my knowledge and understanding of the applicable Florida State Statutes regarding anchoring outside of approved mooring fields and the definition of a live aboard vessel, that I have actually never been in violation of any of these law’s. He became visibly agitated and spoke to me as if I were an insubordinate child indicating that it had absolutely nothing to do with the Florida State statutes, I thanked him and said goodbye, I am very thankful that he left. My sailboat is in fact anchored outside of any mooring field and is a fully navigable vessel with all required safety gear. Can anyone comment on the enforceability of these muni-codes in light of the Florida State Statutes regarding anchoring?
    Thanks!!
    Cap’n Ron

    The county code referenced, strictly interpreted, is favorable to people who live in houses and cruise for extended vacations. For those of us for whom our boat is our home, the code invites us to leave in 48 hours.
    Nice of the Sheriff to be civil, though.
    Chris

    Below you will find more from Captain Richard, with his reply to the Sheriff’s department, and their subsequent message to him:

    Captain Mottola,
    Thank your for your response to my inquiry. A Sarasota Sheriff boat visit to my vessel in Blackburn Bay occured on the afternoon of November 30, 2011. The Sheriff’s boat remained at least 10 yards from my vessel, and I was not boarded. The operator of the Sheriff’s boat did not give his name, nor request mine.
    I am pleased to find that my anchoring in Blackburn Bay was not in violation of county ordinances. It would be beneficial to the boating community if all of your officers were made aware of this.
    Thank you,
    Arthur M. Richard

    From Captain Mottola (Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office):
    My pleasure, and yes we are ensuring that ALL boat captains are made aware so that we do not have any further misunderstandings. Happy Holidays!

    Chris: That is incorrect. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are living aboard for more than 48 hours. As long as you vessel is used for navigation and not solely as a residence you are not a liveaboard by Florida law, which trumps any local ordinances. Florida statute says this:
    327.02 Definitions of terms used in this chapter and in chapter 328.—As used in this chapter and in chapter 328, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the term:
    (17)“Live-aboard vessel” means:
    a) Any vessel used solely as a residence and not for navigation;
    b) Any vessel represented as a place of business, or a professional or other commercial enterprise; or
    c) Any vessel for which a declaration of domicile has been filed pursuant to s. 222.17.
    John Kettlewell

  • Anchoring Hassles on Blackburn Bay (Statute Mile 61.5)

    The note below was copied to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, and shows a letter written by Captain Arthur M. Richard, to the local sheriff’s department. The “Blackburn Bay” anchorage referred to in Captain Richard’s note lies between Venice and Sarasota, directly on the path of the Western Florida ICW.
    If I may indulge in an editorial comment here, it’s a real shame that incidents of this type are still taking place in Florida waters. The 2009 Florida Anchoring Law has been on the books for some time now, and you would think that county sheriff’s departments would have gotten the word long ago!!!

    Recently, I anchored my sailboat in Blackburn Bay. I was approached by a deputy sheriff (in a Sheriff’s Department boat), and politely informed that anchoring in Blackburn Bay is restricted to 48 hours. He said that the local residents did not like boats anchoring for longer periods. Please send me a copy of the County statue which authorizes such anchor limitation.
    Are you aware that under state law, boaters who use their boats for navigation (even if only occasionally) will not have their anchoring restricted by a local city or county outside of permitted mooring fields. Cities and counties are expressly forbidden to “enact, continue in effect, or enforce any ordinance or local regulation … regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields.”
    Although local governments are allowed to regulate anchoring within the marked boundaries of properly permitted mooring fields, Blackburn Bay is not a permitted mooring field.
    The following laws apply:

    (FL law) 327.60 Local regulations; limitations)
    (2) Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be construed to prohibit local governmental authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or live-aboard vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.
    (from Chapter 2009-86, section 14)
    (3) However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of vessels other than live-aboard vessels as defined in s. 327.02.
    Therefore, your deputy was in error when he informed me that I could not anchor in Blackburn Bay for more than 48 hours. I recommend that you make yourself and
    your deputies aware of the Florida State Laws on anchoring by boats other than live-aboard and commercial vessels.
    Sincerely,
    Arthur M. Richard

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Blackburn Bay Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Blackburn Bay Anchorage

  • Reported Anchoring Hassles Near Anna Maria Island (near St. M. 92, south of Tampa Bay)

    This is the first report we’ve had here on the Cruisers’ Net that mariners dropping the hook just south of Tampa Bay, near Anna Maria Island, are being hassled. Can anyone else give us a report on a similar or dissimilar experience in these waters?????

    Sarasota is working with boating community, which is good. A place boaters want to avoid is Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, just noryh of Longboat Key. The code enforcement officer [there] will harass boaters for anchoring in waters around the island. Bestt o bypass Anna Maria Island and go to anywhere where boaters are treated with
    Respect.
    Beware!!!!!
    Captn Steve

    We utilize the anchorage off Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island southwest of the Cortez Bridge for our “homebase” during the summer. This summer we had a skirmish with the City of Bradenton Beach. The had enacted a requirement for an “anchoring permit”. When approached by their police boat I informed the officer he was violating state law and he hit the throttle and left. Another cruiser received a citation. I contacted FWC, they responded and called the city attorney to “educate” her, city commissioners repealed their illegal ordinance and dropped the case against the cruiser who was cited!
    We are now south for the winter but I recently hear that the city police, coast guard, border patrol and FWC did a “lights out” raid on anchored boats there and in Longboat Key! Supposedly for “Homeland Security” looking for drugs, outstanding warrants, and sewage handling. Nothing of significance found or cited according to news reports. No question there are a few unsightly boats anchored there inhabited by some colorful “characters”. As a result the police chief in Bradenton Beach demonstrates an attitude of no respect for federal or state law regarding anchoring, or the constitutional or civil rights of boaters!
    Please don’t avoid anchoring off Cortez, Anna Maria Island or Longboat Key because of this. If you are legally anchored and meet all safety equipment and MSD regulations they can’t “run you out of town”! This is not the old wild west, it is still the U.S.A!
    Larry Sherman

    No, it’s best to point out to this guy that he is acting illegally and to advise them if he doesn’t go away, you’ll call the police to deal with him. He has no business bothering boaters whatsoever and needs to be told.
    You should send a copy of this issue to ddickerson@nmma.org, he’s their [Florida Marine Industries Association] lawyer and will send a rude letter to the offending municipality.
    Wally Moran

    A correction to my post above – Dickerson is with the National Marine Manufacturers Association – not sure what my fingers were up to typing that note. And what Dick sends won’t be rude, although it might be a rude awakening for the municipalities involved.
    Given the publicity the state’s anchoring law has received, it’s hard to believe that Bradenton Beach had the nerve to put up an ordinance in direct violation of the law. Seems to me that the City of BB should be up on charges itself – their lawyer absolutely HAD to know the ordinance was illegal, if not, he should be fired. And the fact the officer sped off when challenged is proof that the city knew the ordinance was illegal.
    What IS it about Florida? How can their elected officials be so – so – someone help me, what is the word we should use here?
    This is why it is so important that every boater becomes involved in the fight against the Pilot Program – because if you don’t, you can expect to see your anchoring rights taken away in Florida. Join Charmaine’s group on Facebook, check out the facts at my blog, http://anchorsawayinFlorida.blogspot.com, but get informed and get involved.
    Wally Moran

    I am sorry to read all of this. We anchor out on a regular basis at Jew Fish Key (where Long Boat Key ends and Anna Marie Island starts). We dinghy into Moores Stone Crab and Mar Vista restaurants all the time.
    We anchor there at least 1 or 2 weekends a month and NEVER have been bothered by any law inforcement at all.
    Matter of fact if they see me on the swim platform they come over to just chat for a while.
    Victor

    On our way to FL for first time. Want to tour east side, Keys and westside before we’re shut out. Could be our one and only trip to the totalitarian state of FL.
    Skye

    My wife and I are getting ready to go cruising full time in 2012 and we are wondering. Don’t government agencies need probable cause for searches of your boat. I get the Coast Guard inspections and have gone through that, and I understand about stopping and searching boats at sea for drug and immigration enforcement. I don’t understand it being conducted in anchorages on properly registered boats. Can anyone explain?
    Peter Treiber

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Anna Maria Island

  • No-Wake Zones on the Western Florida ICW, Between Sarasota and Fort Myers

    Below, I’ve copied a question and answer, taken from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list, in regards to no-wake zones that will slow an inside passage between Sarasota and Fort Myers. All who cruise the western shores of the Sunshine State will thank Captain Pickelmann for such a ready and useful answer!

    On the Gulf ICW between Sarasota and Fort Myers, what percent of the roughly 75 NM is speed restricted? I am charting a transit and it seems that I recall a significant portion of the stretch particularly from Sarasota to Punta Gorda is a slow zone.
    Dan Stephens
    Symmetry

    Dan,
    I’ve never actually measured it but there is a stretch of five miles or so between Sarasota and Venice that is a Minimum Wake Zone. Further on, there is another stretch of about five miles between the bottom of Lemon Bay and the Gasparilla Island bridge that is No Wake. There are other minor No Wake areas but they are pretty small. Really not a big deal.
    Regards,
    Randy Pickelmann

    A little less than 1/2 of the distance is wake restricted. A better choice would be to go outside until Boca Grand then go inside. The winds are easterly most of the time so the Gulf is flat.
    Ron Hoffman

    Be aware of the signs, many of them state a minimum wake outside of the ICW channel and 25 mph in the channel. Since very few trawlers go 25 you are able to continue at your normal cruising speed because you also will not be outside of the channel as this area is very shallow, only fishing boats and wave runners can navigate there. Also some of the bridges have changed names so if you have older charts they may not be correct. Enjoy your trip!
    Capt. Dana

    Caution required if deciding to go outside at Big Sarasota Pass, can be tricky if windy..
    Dennis McMurtry

  • New Idea for “Anchoring Permits” Proposed in Regards to the Sarasota, Florida Pilot Mooring Field Project

    Captain Ken DeLacy is a fellow live-aboard cruiser who has been working very had for several years in concert with other Sarasota boaters to bring about sensible mooring field/anchorage regulations which both preserve the rights of cruisers to anchor, yet address the problem of derelicts and “live aboard hulks.” In our collective opinion, his idea, outlined below, for Sarasota “Anchoring Permits” goes a long way towards solving these twin concerns. In a nutshell, as you will read, there is no time limit set for anchoring in Sarasota waters, as long as the vessel in question can pass a simple USCG Safety Inspection. This one simple act, will quickly cut out the derelicts and “live aboard hulks.”
    We believe this is an idea WELL WORTHY OF CAREFUL CONSIDERATION!

    Cruising News:
    Being a resident in Sarasota, one of the Pilot Program sites, and a concerned cruiser I made the drive down to Key Largo last Tuesday to attend the Public Workshop meeting. While I noticed about 40 cruisers in attendence only about 5 spoke. I did pitch the idea of Anchroing Permits as an alternitive to buffer zones and time limits to sort of test the waters. Some positive feed back was received by 2 cruisers, 1 condo resident who previously spoke supporting more mooring fields, and the FWC. We are looking for further thoughts on the idea and so I thought I’d paste it below.
    Thanks for any input and a special thank you to Claiborne and this network.
    Ken DeLacy

    Sarasota Anchoring Permit – draft 2
    The City of Sarasota will issue 90 day and Annual anchoring permits to all vessel owners who meet the following requirements. (90 day for cruisers and Annual Permits for cruisers/locals)
    1. a. Vessel shall obtain a USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Check (VSC) and receive either a “Yes” or “N/A” in order to receive the VSC decal. (Inspects Marine Sanitation Device, life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, etc.)
    b. Vessel shall also be required to receive a “Yes” for Items I – VI under “Recommended and Discussion Items” of the VSC. (Inspects anchors and line, bilge pump, marine radio, 1st aide kit, etc.)
    c. Vessel shall be required to navigate under it’s own power to a USCG facility, or other location which still demonstrates vessel’s ability to navigate, for VSC inspection. (USCG Aux. has assured willingness and ability to perform inspections at their dock at Centennial Park. They are volunteers – no cost to City.)
    d. Vessel shall display an up to date decal at all times. (Issued by USCG Aux. upon a passing inspection)
    2. All anchoring permit holders will be required to use pump-out services. (The VSC will require a functioning Marine Sanitation Device. The City pump-out boat which is currently servicing anchored vessels will report non compliant vessels to Marine Police.)
    3. Annual anchoring permit holders will be required to have a licensed diver inspect their anchoring system once their boat is anchored. The permit holder will be responsible for all these associated costs, and the diver must check off the following requirements. (Keeps costs away from City and placed upon the Anchoring Permit holder.)
    a. Vessel in location not adversely effecting seagrass, navigation, or another anchored vessel.
    b. Appropriate type and size line / chain used with no obvious defects.
    c. Appropriate amount of scope deployed.
    d. Anti chafe gear in place and in good condition.
    e. (1). Two anchor system set approx. 180 degrees apart. (2). Three anchor system set approx. 120 degrees part. (3). Four anchor system set approx. 90 degrees apart. (4). One anchor system not permitted.
    4. Applicant responsible for presenting VSC and Diver Inspection to Marine Police in order to receive the Anchoring Permit. Failure to do so within 30 days of arrival may result in violation of City Ordinance 07-4711(x)(x)(x).

    Shouldn’t short-term anchoring be permitted for at least a week without requiring a permit? Or will adequate moorings be available for rent? Last I heard, work had been stopped on expanding the very small mooring field.
    Will White

    The mistake I see in all of this is buying into their argument that a problem exists. The Sarasota proposal does that on steroids.
    bosunj

    What isn’t clear is what does this mean to someone who might want to anchor for a week. To go through all this rigamarole and expense for a short stay is a non-starter for us. The rules for clearing in and out of Cuba are simpler.
    Chris

    This could be the way to go as it will help with the derelict vessel problem but needs a little tweaking. the diver inspection would be a problem because if no diver corps have the right permitting they just will not offer the services which will make all the rest obsolete. there should be no third party involved but city and state otherwise there will be price gouging and corruption and we have all had enough of that
    Dave C.

    Terrible idea! You might as well just outlaw anchoring. Why should those who wish to anchor have to submit to this sort of drastic limit on their freedom? I for one consider having to fill out forms and taking tests to be totally against the spirit, and for that matter, established law of anchoring. It would absolutely guarantee I won’t visit Sarasota by water. I wouldn’t want to waste the time and money. This is a very slippery slope. Once one town gets a law like this on the books, the others with mooring fields will institute similar laws, but with different requirements. Before long we will have to register and submit forms, and of course pay fees to administer and enforce all this, to anchor anywhere. Other problems: a USCG auxiliary inspection requires equipment above what is required by law–unenforceable, and I suspect someone could have the ticket thrown out of court for this reason. Many of us don’t use holding tanks and don’t require pumpouts–I have a composting system. Having a licensed diver inspect your anchor = $$. Having someone else determine how I should be anchored is something I will not submit to. I have anchored thousands of times and I know how to anchor. This is obviously just a way to make it so much hassle that it will drive the anchorers away.
    John Kettlewell

    You HAVE to be kidding! We just spent 10 days anchored off Island Park in Sarasota. The bum boats are mostly gone already, lots of anchoring room, police towed two remaining abandoned boats away while we were there. We really enjoyed our stay, spent lots of money in their stores downtown, restaurants, etc. If this “anchoring permit” idea goes into effect we will NEVER again stop in Sarasota!!!
    I would not be willing to waste my time going into an inspection station even though my vessel meets all of the requirements just so I could anchor for a short time in Sarasota. This “anchor permit” will deter all cruisers who just want to spend a few days enjoying Sarasota from ever stopping there again. BAD idea, might as well just ban all anchoring in Sarasota waters. I would rather deal with a time limit (even a short one) than to submit to all this bureaucratic nonsense!!
    Larry Sherman

    Cruisers who want to anchor for less than 90 days don’t and shouldn’t need a permit to limit their freedom to do so.
    Non-cruisers, local residents or NOT, who want to STORE their boats at anchor for more than 90 days should be subject to oversight to protect the other cruisers using adjacent waterways from becoming victims of their neglect. An anchoring permit is a reasonable solution if you cannot STORE your boat on land.
    If the permit is a device to get derilect boats removed from sight, it will fail because you can comply with all the requirements of the permit and still have an unsightly boat.
    David Burnham

    Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the “multi’ anchor folks.
    Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
    S/V Endeavor

    I personally think USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Checks are a great idea, and we do one every year as a routine, ongoing safety program. I can support that idea in principle, and I ass/u/me it would also include the equivalent check from the US Power Squadron. One issues is that the stickers are based on a calendar year and expire in December. There needs to be a grace period recognizing that the program is an annual calendar-based program.
    I also agree with the idea that there needs to be a short term exclusion. It *is not* reasonable to require a permit for short stays; perhaps less than 14 days.
    One poster does raise an interesting point. What happens if one anchors in violation of a permit? Penalty? Fine? I wonder if a permit violation based on requirements that exceed state law and CG regulations would be enforceable? That criteria would just waste everyone’s time and energy, generate enormous dissatisfaction and resentment, and seems like it would be contrary to the spirit test.
    Finally, I agree that any ordinance needs to have a clearly defined statement of purpose and objective. If Sarasota’s is about derelict boats and derelict boats are not a problem, then there should be no ordinance.
    Jim Healy, aboard Sanctuary
    Monk 36 hull 132

    Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the “multi’ anchor folks.
    Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
    S/V Endeavor

    I too do not agree with over regulation. Particulerly when one of the city of Sarasotas complaints is the cost of enforcing current laws. However Ken’s proposal is much more cruiser frindly then plans that state no longer then 72 hours on anchor in city waters. That require the use of the proposed Marina Jacks managed mooring field after 72 hours. The city has been chosen as a state pilot program site. There will be regulations put in place. I would perfer the people pushing the mooring field not write them. To add to all of this the city claims that after there last mooring field failure. They are to invested to permenently abandon the plan. At the same time they will not rent showers, laundry facilitys, WiFi, or parking passes to cruisers or resident boat owners. Opening these services to boaters (not on Marina Jack’s docks) who can prove they have a safe navigable vessel. Could recover there loss with out adding to there debt. Aswell as bringing in more of the cruisers who would pay for those on shore luxuries. On the anchoring topic I do not care how you anchor. Just dont hit me and dont swing in that horried 200 ft 1 anchor ark. However when you pull up a ball of lovely Sarasota bay muck. Dont cry when you hit the beach or worse yet me.
    Bryan Makepeace
    S/V Albatross

  • Positive Experience at Marina Jacks – Marina Operations (Western Florida ICW, St. M. 73)

    Marina Jacks is really Sarasota’s city marina, but everyone knows the place by the on-site restaurant’s name, Marina Jacks. Its real moniker is “Marina Operations.”

    Cruising News: Stayed at Marina Jacks marina one day due to storm, early April 2011. Marina staff and facilities were wonderful. Later going back south, anchored in Sarasota Bay off Marina Jacks for 2 days. Free pumpout by friendly nice young man. Just call Marina Jacks pumpout on CH 16. He even put fresh water in tank after pumping out and then pumped out again.
    Mary Dixon

    I should add that the pumpout boat came to our anchored boat.
    Mary Dixon

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Wester Florida Marina Directory Listing For Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

  • Troublesome Western Florida Bridge Schedules, Cortez Bridge and Anna Maria Island Bridge (near St. M. 87.5 and 89 respectively)

    There has been quite a discussion taking place on the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list about the opening schedules of the Cortez and Anna Maria Island Bridges. Both these spans cross the Western Florida ICW between Sarasota and Tampa Bay, and both open only on the hour and half hour. That can cause very real delays for vessels that can’t clear their 22 and 24 foot closed vertical clearances!
    Also part of this discussion is how and who determines bridge opening schedules and how the cruising community “might” affect changes in these schedules.

    These two bridges on the ICW just south of Tampa Bay (Cortez@ 22 ft and Anna Marie@ 24 ft) are approximately 1.5 miles apart. They both open on the hour and half hour which, if a boat needs to open them both, requires a wait of at least 20 to 25 minutes between the bridges. How can this get changed to schedule one of them (it doesn’t matter which) to open at 15 minutes and 45 minutes after the hour? Most bridges on the east coast ICW adhere to such logical timing.
    Bill Rea
    Ballyshannon
    Selene 53

    Bill,
    Good luck with that. I think that it is ultimately the DOT that sets the rules, but I believe that the local municipalities have some say in the matter also.
    BTW, both bridges are open on the hour, 20 min. and 40 min. after the hour for much of the year. They are restricted to hour and half hour from Jan 15 – May 15.
    Regards,
    Randy Pickelmann
    Morning Star

    A few comments: First, bridge opening schedules are created for the convenience of the vehicle traffic crossing the bridge, not the vessel traffic passing under it, so your plea will fall on deaf ears. Second, after 10 trips up/down the Atlantic ICW, I have not found bridge schedules on that side to be anymore helpful to the cruising boats than the two you mention. Finally, if your goal in owning a boat is to correct the perceived illogical behavior of shoreside bureaucrats, you are destined to be frustrated. Try to think about the millions of landlubbers who look down from their cars at you just sitting still in the water between two bridges and say to themselves “Man, if only I had 20 minutes in the day to sit on a boat and do nothing…”
    Douglas Gould

    The reason the restrictions are more onerous from January to May is because that is when a bazillion snowbirds and tourists clog the roads of Manatee County.Those two bridges are the only highways to the beaches. Not rocket science. I used to live there.
    David Sorenson

    As with any bridge over coastal navigable waters, drawbridge regulations are set by the USCG (not local authorities). Drawbridge regulations are published in 33CFR117 (and copied in Chapter 2 of the US Coast Pilot volume that covers the area in question).
    Unless authorized otherwise by the USCG, US drawbridges over federal waters are required to open on signal. If the CG has approved any restrictions at all from the open on signal rule (e.g., open on the hour), a special regulation will be published in 33cfr117 (and the Coast Pilot). In the case of the Cortex Bridge and the Anna Marie bridge, there are indeed special regulations, and these USCG regulations are published in 33CRF117.287 (see: http://tinyurl.com/3p634ts), and published in Volume 5 of the US Coast Pilot (see http://tinyurl.com/3slx6nh)
    Changing a federal regulation is a lengthy, but not impossible process. If just one person (without political pull) is asking for the change however, you can just guess how much effort you will be making doing something smelly into the wind. However, if a concerted push is made by the local boating community, with multiple request letters going in, supported by local yacht clubs and marinas, a very strong chance exists that regulations can indeed be altered – but, you have to build and prosecute your case.
    If you want to take on the work to organize and run the somewhat long and time consuming effort to do that, you need to contact the CG District 7 bridge office in Miami. You can find the contact information at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg551/District_Page.asp
    Kevin

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Bridge Directory Listing For The Cortez Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Bridge Directory Listing For The Anna Maria Island Bridge

  • Sarosota, FL Mooring Field Discussion (Statute Mile 73)

    Those of you who have been following the recent news concerning the selection of the first three Mooring Field Pilot Program sites in Florida, know that Sarasota has been chosen as one of the participants. This headline has prompted a very interesting discussion among a pro-cruiser group which has been wrestling with the Sarasota mooring field – anchoring issue for some time. I’ve copied some of their messages below. They make for interesting reading, no matter on which side of this issue one stands.

    We can make this work for us.
    It is my impression that we all (boaters, city, and FWC) want to encourage responsible boaters with seaworthy vessels while discouraging drunken, dumping, derelicts. To this end, I propose that, in addition to the common sense regulations I proposed in my alternative ordinance to the 500′ rule (see attachment), the city institute a free permit requirement for any anchoring beyond 72 hours contingent upon a Coast Guard Auxiliary safety inspection and regular trips to the pump out dock (to show that their boat is navigable and that their MSD is functional).
    This permitting system, with no limit on renewals, would ensure that only those responsible boaters with safe and functional boats could remain anchored in city waters for more than 3 days. It would allow for transients to pass through without hassle and a reasonable means for those who wish to stay anchored longer to do so.
    Jeff Bole

    This is the common sense approach which would have eliminated the proposed mooring field years ago, but the City has never been presented with authority to pass such requirements in the past. The Pilot Program now grants this as long as the FWC approves it. But take note only municipalities WITH a mooring field can participate in the Pilot Program. I wonder if the SSS’s mooring field would still allow Sarasota to participate if the Bayfront mooring field never came to fruition…
    Anyways it’s best to be prepared and I think we should draft a document with Jeff’s and others common sense suggestions, gather some signatures along with endorsements from the other local boating clubs, and sell the proposal to the City and FWC.
    This will be a topic at the next Harbor Assoc. meeting later this month.
    Thanks,
    Kens

    Sounds like a much preferred solution, previous discussions along this line were discounted because there was no authority to enforce the requirements.
    Kenneth

    Jeff’s proposal makes a whole lot of sense to me. If a boat can qualify for a CG Safety sticker, demonstrate it is navigable under its own propulsion and that it has a funtional holding tank and utilizes pump out, it should be permitted to anchor in our Bay. I think the boat should also be required to carry current registration.
    Harmon

    > and regular trips to the pump out dock (to show that their boat is navigable and that their MSD is functional).
    This is not a “common sense” suggestion. My boat uses a composting system which does not require pump outs.
    Also, routinely requiring people to dislodge their anchor, move the boat and then re-anchor can cause safety issues. You’re taking boats that have their anchors “settled in” and then forcing them to pull it up and plop it back down. Boats will drag due to this policy that otherwise wouldn’t have.
    Mark M.

    To me this is not a “common sense proposal.” Three days is way too short in many cases, plus I also use a composting system and therefore don’t need a pumpout, and third I do not think submitting to a safety inspection should be required if one is legally registered/documented/etc. If these rules were in place I would simply bypass Sarasota if I was passing through or possibly I would just anchor overnight. As a transient boater I prefer to spend my money in harbors that welcome me, not ones that appear to not want me to be there. Things like a nice dinghy dock, or at least a place to tie up, trash receptacles, and a cruiser friendly attitude go a long way to making me want to spend my money there.
    John Kettlewell

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