Chart View Search

Search Waterway by Nautical Mile

Select Waterway:
Statute Mile:

(Min: 0nm Max: 1095nm)

Search by Latitude/Longtitude

Degrees/Minutes/Decimal Minutes Format
Degrees/Decimal Degrees Format
(Degrees/Decimal Degrees Format Only)

Deg:   Min/Dec. Min:   

Deg:   Min/Dec. Min:   

(Degrees/Minutes/Decimal Minutes Format Only)

The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
239 461-0775 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. Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Pink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaGulfport Marina includes dry boat storage, ship store, bathroom, public boat ramp, parking, fueling stations, lighted range markers and guest docking facility.Gulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
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
Regatta Pointe MarinaThe 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, FlThe 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. St. Andrew's MarinaFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by Boaters

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

  • 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.
    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
    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, 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,, 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.

    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.

    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

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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
    Selene 53

    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.
    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:, and published in Volume 5 of the US Coast Pilot (see
    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

    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.

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

    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.

    > 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

  • A Quick Look at Crows Nest Marina (Venice, FL, near St. M. 58.5)

    Crows Nest Marina lies just off the Western Florida ICW, on the eastern reaches of the Venice Pass channel. This facility is also home to one of the best restaurants in all of Florida.

    We stayed at Crow’s Nest and as your Cruising Guide said it proved to be rolly in the strong wind we had for 2 days. We “fendered up” and it was OK.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Crows Nest Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Crows Nest Marina

  • Good Times at Crows Nest Marina (on Venice Pass, near St. M. 58.5)

    While I would personally only give the marina part of the Crows Nest operation an “average” rating, there is simply no argument that the adjacent restaurant is one of the FINEST in all of Florida. This culinary attraction is more than enough reason to coil your lines at this facility.
    To access Crows Net, leave the Western Florida ICW, at its intersection with Venice Pass. Cruise to the west, and Crows Nest will soon come abeam on the southern shores.

    We just stayed at Crows nest for 2 nights, Fabulous place, great staff, absolutely on e of the best Restaurants in Florida.
    If you’re a wine lover, then a star will be shining on you when you open up the wine list. Hundreds of incredible offerings from many parts of the world. we were lucky enough to be there when they had 40% off on Wines.
    I will go back to this place again and again !!!!!
    Capt Schmitty

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Crows Nets Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Crows Nest Marina

  • Marina Operations/Marina Jacks (Statute Mile 73)

    Marina Jacks has been much in the news of late, as its management and ownership have been square in the middle of the ongoing debate concerning the proposed Sarasota Mooring Field.

    It was a last minute decision to tie up at Marina Jack. We hailed the dockmaster on the way in and they were quick to assign a slip and were there to take our lines as we approached. First class operation. It is busy there with the restaurant and bar patrons adjacent to the transient dock. The live band plays into the evening (this was on a weekend).

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

  • Venice – Higel Park Anchorage And Latest on Higel Park/Venice City Dock (Statute Mile 58.5)

    This little note from Captain Fred contains two gems of cruising info. First, he reports on the anchorage just east of the Venice Yacht Club, which we call the “Venice – Higel Park Anchorage,” AND the current situation at the Higel Park/City of Venice Public Docks. Those of you who have been following along on the Net’s “Western Florida Cruising News” section know there was a huge controversy here a few months ago when the city of Venice began disallowing overnight dockage at this city facility.
    Also, it’s worth noting that swinging room is TIGHT in the “Venice – Higel Park Anchorage.”

    Subject*: Venice Florida
    Last night we anchored in Venice on the west side of the Intracoastal in that little pocket just to the east of the Venice Yacht Club. It was a nice quiet evening. There were two boats at the public dock. About 18:00 a Towboat Us went by and I asked him what the situation was re: staying at the Higel Park docks overnight was. Answer was that the prohibition on overnight dockage did not seem to be enforced. Two days earlier I had called the City Of Venice and been informed that overnight at the anchorage on the west side by the YC or in Roberts Bay was OK but not at the dock at Higel Park.
    There you are with the latest.
    Fred Sorensen
    OA 43

    This is not a good anchorage primarily because it is right along the channel that leads to the Venice Yacht Club on one side and along a shoal on the other side. As Ron said, people anchor too close together due to the restricted swing room. Best choice for a stop in Venice is to spend a few bucks and stay at the Crows Nest or the Venice YC. Otherwise, just keep on going.

    <a href=”″><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Venice – Higel Park Anchorage</strong></span></a>

  • Bradenton Beach Mooring Field On Hold

    Looks like plans for the controversial Bradenton Beach Mooring Field have been put on hold, at least for the moment!

    Subject: Bradenton Beach Mooring Discussion continues
    Cruising News: It was reported in the 6/9/2010 Islander newspaper ( that on 6/3/2010, Bradenton Beach Council canceled the contract for the grant of $165,000 for a mooring field due to incomplete financial studies and the short time frame in which to accept the grant.
    Jonathan Cook

  • Bradenton Beach Anchorage (near Statue Mile 87)

    I have personally researched the waters Captains David and Patty refer to below, in depth. I’m sure the locals do find good anchorage here, but the unmarked nature of the entrance channel has always prevented me from listing this spot in the Net’s “Western Florida Anchorage Directory.”

    Subject: Bradenton Beach Anchorage
    Cruising News: An excellent anchorage will be found just south of the relatively new Bradenton Beach city pier. Although it appears to be just off the ICW south of the Cortez Bridge, access is barred by a three foot shoal. To enter the anchorage, head into the well marked channel for Bradenton Beach Marina, at unlighted daybeacon #49, just south of the Cortex Bridge. As you come to marker #3, turn to the south and cross in front of the pier, taking the “T” to starboard. Access depths were about six feet. Continue on into the anchorage and find a spot to drop the hook. The pool of deep water is larger than it appears on the chart. According to our chart plotter, we were on top of the three foot shoal, when we were actually in six feet at low tide. Some depths exceeded eight feet. Protection is primarily from the west. There is a dinghy dock along shore and restroom and shower facilities on the pier itself. Once on shore, we found retail stores, restaurants, the beach on the Gulf, and ice cream. There is also a free trolley that runs the length of the island.
    David & Patty Power
    S/V Two If By Sea

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

  • Marina Operations/Marina Jacks (Statute Mile 73)

    While the official name of this facility, located in the heart of downtown Sarasota, is Marina Operations, ALL the locals call it Marina Jacks. That really the name of the restaurant closest to the water, but, hey, who am I to argue with the locals.

    This was the fourth night in our trip from Ft. Lauderdale to the Gulf Coast and it was another great marina. The docks extremely well maintained, the staff helpful and the onsite services excellent. Again, we did not get to stay long but by report they have a local shuttle that is very helpful to resupply and get you around town a little. We are planning a trip back to explore the west coast of Florida hopfully next year and Marina Jack will most likely be our base of operations. Forgot to mention that the onsite dining is excellent. There are several restaurants on site and I forget which one we ate at, but it was excellent and by report all the others are as well.

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

  • Big Pass and New Pass “Not Recommended” (Sarasota, near St. M. 72)

    The question and answer exchange below is copied from the Net’s “Ask Your Neighbor” section ( Captain Samet’s note confirms what some of us have long known, namely, that both of Sarasota’s inlets are perennially in poor condition!

    We are departing Ft. Lauderdale headed to the northern Gulf Coast next week and one of our intended stops is Sarasota. Is New Pass the better to use between Big Pass and New Pass, or should both be avoided? I wouldn’t attempt either in questionable conditions, but assuming fair weather and daylight can either be reasonably run without local knowledge.
    M/V Cahoots

    Neither are recommended. The suggestion is that Big Pass is okay to exit on a radial of 210 degrees from marker 7, but 7 has been moved from a previous location,so it is impossible to plot the starting point to go in.
    I suggest you enter in Venice inlet to the south or go to the north end of LBK and go in Longboat Key Pass.
    Norman Samet

  • Free City Dock in Venice, Florida No Longer Available For Overnight Stays (near St. M. 58)

    For many years a couple of vessels have been able to tie up to the free city dock in Venice, Florida’s Hiegel Park, just next door to the Venice Yacht Club. Now, as you will read below, it looks like overnight dockage will no longer be allowed at this pier. Of course, vessels drawing 5 feet or less can always anchor off the park, and dinghy ashore. Check out these water’s entry in the Net’s “Western Florida Anchorage Directory” at:

    Still, it’s a shame that the powers that be in Venice have chosen to discontinue this wonderful service to the cruising community. And, Venice needs all image improvement it can get, after being the former home of the “Venice Water Nazi.” Fortunately, this guy is now long retired, and only a very bad memory for cruisers!
    PLEASE be SURE to read Captain Bob Kunath’s note near the end of the message string below. It contains a letter from the Venice mayor!
    Please do note that some of the postings below are copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) Mail List, so I have only listed first names. As always, we heartily recommend the T&T list as a Cruisers’ Net adjunct, for those who pilot one of these trusty vessels!

    It would appear that free dockage in Venice, Florida is being done away with. That sucks. It made a great overnight stop.

    That’s a shame, I stayed there in 2007 and again Monday night this week. It is not a fancy place but good to tie up to for a night and the price is right. Both times we have stayed there we have made the short walk to the
    Crows Nest for a meal, not an inexpensive outing. I guess in the future I’ll be anchoring off the ICW with dinner onboard. Before we left there yesterday morning a tree removal crew came in they told me they were to take out the pine trees along the dock the were also cutting the mangroves way back.

    Below is a copy of a letter sent by a fellow cruiser to the mayor of Venice:

    Mr. Mayor:
    We cruise on our 36′ boat down through Venice every fall and back up every spring, always stopping in Venice at the free dock.
    While docked for a night or two, we always spend money in restaurants and a grocery store (cab-ride away). We’ve also spent money at a pharmacy and other stores.
    Now, with your city’s decision to end the free dock privilage, we no longer have a reason to stop in Venice rather than somewhere else, and our money will be spent elsewhere. Too bad. You had a “hook” that grabbed us and many other boaters, but you’ve let us get away.

    It should also be noted that the city intends to build a paid mooring facility, which now becomes easier.
    Ted Stehle
    Good Times
    Regional Editor – Waterway Guide

    To the Venice City Council:
    I had the great pleasure to recently use the Venice Free Dock. It is a widely known facility and famous among many of the Great Loop Cruisers (members of the America’s Great Loop Cruising Association) and other groups that cruise these fine waters of the USA. I had looked forward to this stop and even brought in another cruiser that would have otherwise gone on down to Charlotte Harbor to stay at Burnt Store.
    This dock is nothing like a Marina with power, water and other services, but is more like an anchorage that many a cruiser loves. There are many cruisers that use marinas and seldom anchor out they will continue to use the marinas in the area. Cruisers use guides such as “Skipper Bob” where the Venice facility is listed as a place to go.
    This dock provides an access to Venice that might otherwise be missed. It provides many with the opportunity for some of us to walk the streets of Venice and enjoy the many places the city has to offer. It provides a great alternative to anchoring our, particularly in bad weather which was the case on the day we stopped there.
    It would be a loss to the City of Venice should this facility use change. Many a cruiser that stays there would not stop in Venice but find other places to stay. These types of facilities are common in other areas of the country and there are still a few in Florida. I’d sincerely ask that you consider keeping the dock available to those of us who would spend a night in your city.
    It is already posted as a place you can only stay one night and I’m sure that that keeps cruisers moving on and also into nearby Marinas after they find out how nice a city Venice is.
    Sincerely hoping you can keep something free.
    We love Venice
    Jim and Vaughn Quince
    Spring Lake , Michigan

    This is just another reason to bypass Venice and go outside. We have had numerous bad experiences going through Venice. We have been up and down the west coast about 5 times and would reccomend going outside.

    To the citizens and business owners of Venice,
    I have cruised America’s Great loop twice, and has found that Florida is the most unfriendly state in all my 12000 miles of cruising!
    Venice, in particular, ranks at the very top of the “unfriendly to boaters” list.
    First, Venice had the water Nazi, a overzealous water cop whose retirement was welcomed by all cruisers.
    Then Venice, is taking away their free dock.
    With a down economy, I fail to understand why the business owners of Venice would turn away a community of boaters, who on the average , have a very disposable income, are cruising on a very expensive boat, and spending thousands and thousands of dollars to do it.
    It’s a loss to the Venice economy. Cruisers will go elsewhere rather than visit an over priced community that does not want their money!
    You won’t be seeing my money in Venice!!
    Send those boaters here to Key Largo. We will welcome them.
    See you in Paradise! (but not venice)
    Captain Sterling

    Venice has always been tough to anchor in with my 40′ sloop. There generally is never any room in the anchorage.
    My two options have been the Crows Nest, or the City Dock. The Crows Nest has become very expensive, and the [city-Hegel Park] dock is closed so…
    I shall plan accordingly to stop someplace else. We did enjoy the restaurants and shopping in Venice. Too bad for the cruisers and town alike.
    Larry Annen

    Someone just wrote that Florida was an unfriendly state to boaters. I would venture to say that the people that you are referring to, the mayor, city council and the majority of residents of Venice are not native Floridians. They are the people that moved here from, in all probability, somewhere up north and they want to stop people from traveling through Venice and stopping at the park dock. They probably consider you people on boats as lower in status than they are, therefore they don’t want you there. My wife and I have been stopping at that dock since 1978 right up to last year. The only problem we ever had there was with the Venice Y.C., don’t even think they will sell you ice or gas, they seem like a bunch of snobs to me.
    It just seems to me that we will be skipping the Venice dock from now on, as well as the restaurants and stores.
    Too bad, that was a nice lay over from Tampa Bay to Lemon Bay.
    Bubba Gleaton

    More on Venice,
    We stopped in Venice at the Crows Nest with Sans Souci in 2004 when we did the Great Loop. We found that Venice is a terrific city, right on the Gulf, small in size yet large enough to offer plenty of reasons to stop and stay awhile. In fact, we liked it enough that we returned in 2007 and bought a house on the island; our back yard is the canal. Our evaluation of Venice has not changed since we’ve lived here, the city welcomes and thrives on winter visitors, including boaters.
    There has been bad press about Venice over the years, primarily relating to the enforcement of registration laws by a local officer who has now been retired for two years. The latest flap relates to the free dock, which the
    city is considering closing to overnight guests. That move appears to be in concert with a plan to establish a low-cost mooring field in Roberts Bay.
    It is probably worth noting that there are very few if any free overnight docks in Southern Florida. Whether you stay at one of the marinas or the free dock or proposed mooring field, you will likely find Venice to be one of your favorite stops.
    Many cruisers have been writing to the council and mayor. I invited him to respond and explain the circumstance and direction the city is headed. The following is his response:

    “Thanks for the invitation. I have replied briefly to some, but not all writers. Here, in brief, is our rationale.
    Thank you for your emails about the ‘free dock.’ We appreciate your visits to Venice and hope you will continue to visit. The dock will still be free, but not for over-nights.
    There are many reasons for Council’s decision, but, in essence, we are seeking a “dockmaster” for a new mooring field, to be modestly priced which is required by the state and which will provided pump out and other services to visiting boats. The free docking, without the showers, toilets, etc. was preventing our being able to obtain bids to be become “dockmaster.”
    We will always welcome you and hope you will return.
    Best wishes,
    Ed Martin, Mayor”

    Bob Kunath
    Cruising Editor, Waterway Guide

    All I can say it is pitiful.
    Charlie Schiear

  • Longboat Key Moorings (Statute Mile 77.5)

    I have always considered Longboat Key Moorings a top flight facility. How about some of you who pass through here put in a good word about them becoming a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net sponsor!!!

    A couple of weekends ago, the indefatigable cruisers of the Venice Sailing Squadron, sailed up to the Longboat Key Club & Resort ~ The Moorings. The Marina is lovely & large with a well-marked EZ In/EZ Out channel off the ICW. The restaurant at the Marina, Portofino, has a great ambience & very good food that won’t break your bank. There are 6 other restaurants in the complex, plus tennis, golf, beach, heated pools, spa, & a shuttle to take you (& retrieve you) from St. Armand’s Circle where there is endless shopping …….
    The staff was very friendly & accommodating inviting us to hold our cocktail ‘hour’ on one of the covered porches outside the restaurant rather than in the rain! All told, our VSS cruisers had a great time.
    Carol & Don Duncan

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

  • Marina Operations (Marina Jacks) – Sarasota, Near Statute Mile 73)

    Wow, what a great report on a key facility, just south of Tampa Bay, By the way, while the official name of this city leased marina is “Marina Operations,” virtually everyone refers to it as Marina Jacks. That is actually the on-site’s restaurant moniker, however.

    Hi Claiborne,
    Marina Jacks was one of the nicest marinas that we have visited.
    They have approximately 30 transient docks primarily located on the outside of D dock. This is a long floating dock with 40ft finger slips. It is well protected from the westerly winds, but with 10 to 15 knots of blow, there can be some current running the length of D dock, making docking a little interesting! Paulette did docking practice and did very well!
    The docks are in impeccable condition with all of the normal electrical, water and cable hookups. The dockhands were exceptional helpful. There is a security gate with an access code to the transient area. We discovered the laundry area with a direct veiw over the water…a delightful way to handle one of boaters’ chores. Each morning, the Sarasota newspaper mysteriously appeared on our aft deck…a nice touch.
    Access to downtown Sarasota could not have been better. It’s a five minute walk, of which three minutes are waiting for the traffic lights to turn in your favor. Once downtown, foodies like us can walk five minutes further to a very large and well-stocked Whole Foods plus a number of very interesting restaurants.
    For those of us with dogs, the marina is situated right next to the nicest park we have ever visited. What can be nicer than walking your dog through pathways along the waterfront!
    Marina Jacks now has a courtesy van. This service was just added during our five day stay, so “the rules” of where and when it goes are still being developed. However, I was able to go to both WestMarine and Publix all in one trip.
    Dockage was $2.25 a foot plus electric which seems on par for a top quality marina on Florida’s West Coast.
    I hope that this is helpful

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

  • Victory Against Sarasota’s 500 Foot Anchoring Regulation

    We are going to start this posting with GOOD NEWS! As you will see below, the Sarasota city attorney has recommended against prosecuting Captain William (Pete) Shaw. He was ticketed for anchoring within 500 feet of private property. To my own unlawlerly mind, and many others, this local Sarasota ordinance is in clear violation of the new Florida anchoring law. In spite of the Sarasota City Attorney’s careful language (see below), I think he’s saying the city would have lost if this case had gone to court.
    This is a small, but important victory for the cruising community in regards to Florida anchoring rights. While some may have preferred that the case went forward, very likely resulting in a favorable ruling for Captain Pete, the abandonment of pursuing this matter by the City Attorney, has to send some sort of message to other municipalities in Florida.
    I AM STILL WORKING ON A MAJOR ARTICLE/EDITORIAL ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE NEW FLORIDA ANCHORING LAW VERSUS LOCAL REGULATONS. I hope to present this new story next week. In the meantime, let’s all rejoice that it’s now just a bit safer to drop the hook in Sarasota waters. THREE CHEERS FOR CAPTAIN PETE!!!!
    As was said above, the first sequence of notes you will read below define the abandonment of the case against Captain Peter. Farther dowin this ever lengthening string, you will discover older messages that define what happened in the first place.

    Dear Claiborne,
    Recent emails from the Sarasota City Attorney are below. The short story is that he is not going to prosecute the recently cited boater and may suspend enforcement for 30-45 days while he does more research. So I will again be pursuing the option of the city council rescinding their rule (as opposed to having it done in court) and will be meeting with the city attorney and council members later next week. My proposal will be to replace the 500 foot rule with a collection of general nuisance ordinances to quell the concerns of waterfront property owners.
    Helping to get to this point was an admiralty attorney, Joanne M. Foster from Guy Yudin & Foster in Stuart, who threatened a federal civil rights suit. They are the same firm that sued Stuart in the Vincent Sibilla anchoring case last year. Also, the phone call the city attorney received from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association attorney, most likely prompted from the postings on Cruiser’s Net, was influential in swaying the city attorney’s position.
    Jeff Bole

    Thanks for your email and the constructive input/suggestions. I didn’t know if you had seen email correspondence below or not. If we suspend enforcement, which I’m prepared to recommend at this point, then I think everything is on the table. So even though I’m not recommending repeal at present, I consider the repeal or modification to be possible alternatives. I would like to meet with you and hear about your suggestions. It will have to be after Monday though. I will follow up with you by early next week at the latest with some possible times.
    Robert M. Fournier
    City Attorney
    City of Sarasota

    Commissioners, I am forwarding an email I sent to Chief Abbott today advising that I have decided to decline to prosecute Mr. Shaw for anchoring his vessel within 500 ft. of property used and zoned for residential purposes. Mr. Shaw was anchored for 3 days at 343 ft. from the shore line. I am planning to bring this up on Monday under remarks of Charter officials. You may recall that I discussed this ordinance and the so called 500 ft. rule in a memorandum that was transmitted to you via email dated January 13, 2010. I am still not prepared to recommend repeal of Sec. 10-52, but due to the high probability that the continued validity of the ordinance will be litigated at some point, I want to be certain that the City is in the best possible position before that happens.
    Robert M. Fournier
    City Attorney
    City of Sarasota

    I would like to thank everybody who helped get me through this situation. The support and kind comments, advise and hard work done by many people has this possible. Thanks especially to Jeff Bole, Ken Delacy and my attorney Joanne Foster. Also the NMMA,the Cruisers Net, and the Sarasota Herald Tribune. After paying the bills and working for a short spell to replenish the cruising fund, I will be headed toward the Bahamas after all! If we stay organized, the cities and counties won’t stand a chance if they choose to ignore the new anchoring rules the state has put into effect. (be aware that the city of Miami owns some submerged lands and they call the shots there) I hope to see some of you in paradise, if you see my catamaran, Mahina, come on over and we’ll chat, maybe have a beer or six.
    William Shaw

    Question- Why do Lions do what they do?
    Answer- Because they can!

    Question-Why is the Citys’ Attorney trying to do what he’s trying to do?
    Answer?- Because he can’t? Maybe he just thinks he’s a Lion? A real Lion would know the difference between service anchors and moorings!

    Older message below were authored and posted here on the Cruisers’ Net PRIOR TO the abandonment of the charges against Captain Pete.

    Subject: Sarasota Anchoring Ordinance Versus FL State Law
    Cruising News: For the last six months, I have been working with the city government of Sarasota, FL to try to get their 500 foot rule repealed. This city ordinance prohibits anchoring within 500 feet of a residence for more than twelve hours, which appears to be in violation of Florida Statute 327.60′s prohibition of local anchoring regulations as referenced in the BoatU.S. information sheet titled “Anchoring Information for Florida Cruisers”.
    I have opinions from an FWC attorney who indicates that Special Act 86-458 (the act that gave Sarasota the loophole to initially enact their law) is now obsolete since the special act simply defines a term that is no longer in the state statute that it references (327.60) and from Donald Day, the attorney that won the Marco Island v. Dumas case, who thinks that Sarasota\’s anchoring rule would not stand up in court.
    However, the Sarasota city attorney is holding firm in his stance that the Special Act is still valid and that Sarasota\’s ordinance does not defy state law. Without convincing him to change his opinion or a strong legal argument to counter his, I can not acquire enough votes from the city council to overturn their anchoring restriction.
    A January 12th memorandum from the city attorney to the city commissioners addressed the 500 foot rule. He thinks that, regardless of the actual language used, the intended effect of the special act still stands and that the 2009 general rule does not supersede the 1986 special rule since the general rule does not explicitly state that it does. My counter that, “As a participant in the drafting process of HB 1423, I know that the intended effect of the revision to 327.60 was to standardize anchoring regulations statewide by prohibiting local ordinances,” does not convince the city commission to vote against the opinion of their attorney.
    As cruising sailors are currently being cited for violation of Sarasota’s anchoring ordinance, I would appreciate any help that anyone may offer in
    countering the city attorney’s argument so that we can get this law off of the books as soon as possible.
    Thank you,
    Jeff Bole

    Subject: Fla anchoring citation
    Cruising News: On jan. 10 I was issued a “complaint” form the Sarasota marine police for violation of city ordinance 10-52, for anchoring within 500 feet of a waterfront property. I called the telephone # printed on the back of the complaint and was promptly connected to the “Yuppy Puppy” pet salon. After calling around a bit, trying to find the penalty for this , I was connected to the clerk of court, who had no information as to the penalty involved. I intend to challenge the ordinance in court, as it should have been eliminated by the new anchoring law passed by Fla. and in effect since Oct 1, 2009. Iwas staying in the Plymouth Harbor anchorage near lido key and was 352 ft. away from the nearest home. I could use any legal advise or other assistance anyone could give me to overturn this ordinance. My court date is feb 1, which puts a cruise to the Bahamas I was planning on hold until this is cleared up. Anyone who wants to contact me can e mail me at thanks.
    William Shaw

    I believe that in the [SSECN] archives there is history of a similar case in Stuart a year or so ago, the defendants pro bono lawyer won an out of court settlement based on the facts that the ordinance enforcement violated the defendants civil rights, I believe the City had to pay up. Worth researching.
    Dernnis McMurtry

    Have either of you contacted the State Attorney’s Office yet? This would be the first place I would go, and request an opinion from him.

    I was thinking about this today as I cruised south towards ground zero – Ft. Lauderdale – and thought – we’ve had love-ins, sleep-ins, laugh-ins and sit-ins. Maybe it’s about time we all got together in one location, like Ft. Lauderdale, and had an anchor-in – and fought for our rights as a group, together by demanding the FL police issue each and every one of us a ticket.
    The publicity alone, which would be national, would cause the municipalities to rethink what they are doing and force the state to act to enforce its own laws.
    Wally Moran

    Sarasota is an extremely desirable place. Look at marina jacks, it gets crazy with 100’s of boats… but i would think they have every right to be there.
    Name not provided

    Assuming one day soon Sarasota’s 500′ rule is found to be in violation with the new State anchoring laws and done away with how may this effect the proposed mooring field? This may seem like a big assumption, but one FWC attorney and the prevailing attorney in the Marco Isl. case have both stated Sarasota’s 500′ rule is currently unenforceable. Well one could guess that if a mooring field is installed in the protected waters of the current harbor those not wishing to patronize it will seek protected waters elsewhere. That could very likely lead to many boats moving back to the Otter Key / Plymouth Harbor area which is what caused Sarasota to seek the 500′ rule back in the 1980′s. I would suggest the City abandon the proposed MF if they do not want this to happen once their 500′ rule is dissolved.

    That makes a lot of sense, which is probably why it won’t happen. In case anyone in this group hasn’t heard yet, I’m the guy who got the ticket and I believe I have a good chance of overturning the ordinance. The reason I anchor on the west side of the bay is the calmer water and the fact that the city have placed so many parking restrictions at Island park, I actually have more available parking over on lido key! Why don’t they just make Island Park the easiest place for boaters to anchor and land their dinghies (no fees) and then everybody will anchor there.

Click here to submit cruising news
Cruising News and Reference Directories
Boat Broker Partners
Click Here To Join The Cruisers' Net Alert List
Enter your email address below to sign up for our Salty Southeast Cruisers' Alert List and receive notices of breaking news that affects the cruising community from North Carolina to New Orleans!