Way to go Charmaine,
Thank You !!
I am very happy to hear the news, we will be cruising Fla waters next fall and this news is very welcome indeed. After reading about the history and cruising opportunities in the St Augustine area its nice to be able to anchor off some of the time and 30 days is a good way to stop people dropping off their unwanted boats and causing more problems for honest cruisers.
I think I speak for many cruising captains. If St Augustine, or any other Florida town, makes it difficult for us to visit, we just simply won’t visit – and won’t spend any money there. We’re all rather tired of these restrictions and Florida police boats pulling us over, seeking an excuse to give us a $150 ticket to boost agency incomes. There are plenty of attractive waterway towns on the East Coast or Great Loop which welcome boaters at many free docks, realising that we attract tourism overall not the reverse. The best way to change Florida law is simply not to go there.
A big thank you to all those who fought hard to make this decision a reality. After serving this country for four years in the military to protect our freedom it is good to see that at least some of them are still there for us to enjoy.
Way to go! Let’s keep the pressure on these people until they leave us alone. it is good that the fwc is listening to us. 30 days isn’t too bad a deal, probably won’t be enforced unless the boater in question is a problem anyway.
Let have big round of applause for Captain Ladd. Thanks so much for being there for us Florida boaters. And congratulations!
Punta Gorda FL
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Charmaine Smith Ladd and Bonnie Basheim for their defense of cruiser’s rights and also to Cruisersnet for reporting the events.
This is welcome of course, and congratulations to the cruisers everywhere who spoke up, but it’s small beans in the greater scheme that is happening here.
There is virtually no place left to anchor in St. Augustine anyway and the issue of the hold harmless clause negating boaters’ insurance wasn’t addressed. Boaters taking a mooring in St. Augustine – or anywhere in Florida for that matter – will not be insured should a mooring fail.
And there are much more onerous fights ahead of us – we’ve lost Manatee Pocket and Vinoy Basin in St. Petersburg as anchorages for example. Manatee Pocket might yet be salvageable if the FWC refuses to grant Stuart its 300 foot setoff, but Vinoy is gone, leaving no place convenient to downtown St. Pete to anchor.
This fight is far from over and the hardest part is yet to come.
That is great news! Now, if everyone can try to send a comment to Stuart/Martin County before their next meeting on November 22 that would be very helpful. They are proposing no anchoring within 300 feet of shore in a large area, resulting in the total elimination of anchoring within Manatee Pocket, along with other onerous stuff.
What happens if a boat remains anchored for 30 days, but instead of leaving the area, ties to a dock (or slip or in the mooring-field) for a few days, then goes back on the hook? How many days must the boat be docked (or moored) before it can anchor for another 30 days, if it does not leave the area for a day?
Thank you Charmaine & BOAT US, and the FWC for sticking up for the boaters!
Hey Claiborne, great article, yes and a victory as well.
I do want to point out though, that the FWC approved 30 days of consecutive anchoring within a 45 day period. Does this not mean then that after 30 days of consecutive anchoring, one must leave for 15 days before returning?
Here is the news release we posted from the FWC on Jacksonville-Boating.com:
It’s a shame we have to go to such lenghts to keep our anchoring Rights. And they are rights, not privleges.
Inheritated from our forefathers!
Columbus anchored out without restrictions!!
No question 30 days is better than 10 days but NOT a victory to celebrate! Two years from now the Florida League of Cities will say “Look, a 30 day anchoring restriction worked in St. Augustine”, now let every city impose a 30 day limit. NOT a good precedent to set!!
Now, I know Claiborne that you don’t approve of a boycott of the St. Augustine mooring field and businesses. But I still believe that is the only way to prove to the municipalities and business communities that treating cruisers and liveaboards poorly is bad for their economy. The city council members of St. Augustine did no cave in, this change from 10 days to 30 days was forced on them due to all of us pressuring the FWC. St. Augustine does not deserve cruisers supporting or paying for their mooring field or our money supporting their economy. I love stopping in St. Augustine as a tourist who arrives by boat or car, however, I still call on all of the seasonal boats heading south to bypass St. Augustine this year, leave their mooring field empty, anchor north of the city limits and the Villano Bridge, and call the city marina on the radio as you pass by heading south to let them know you are bypassing their fair city this year to spend your money in places that welcome cruising boats!
Grateful are we. Good News. (even tho we’re on the opposite side of the state of Fla. near Pensacola.)
Capt. M. L. Middleton
I also thank the 2 people who showed up for the St. Augustine meeting, but I am surprised there was not a greater number present. More towns and cities seem to think that their town will be better off by shooing away the cruisers. The only way that can stop is if cruisers make a point of appearing at these town meetings and making a stink about it. Why is Elizabeth City the only town that truly gets it…Cruisers are income for the city.
Cruisers need to clean up their act. Holding tanks and pump out or head for the Wall St. group.
Congrats – I know it is not any easy fight.
I worked with Bonnie Basham in the Standing Watch vs Save the Manatee Club days. You couldn’t find a harder worker or better advocate for most any marine related cause. She’s the BEST.