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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

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 I contacted FWC, they responded and called the city attorney to “educate” her, city commissioners repealed their illegal ordinance and dropped the case against the cruiser who was cited!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

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