Whence Come The Anchorage Regulations
What Do We Do About Them, â€œThe 95 â€“ 5 Ruleâ€
A Salty Southeast Cruisersâ€™ Net Editorial
Claiborne S. Young
Almost everywhere I go, one question keeps popping up time after time; some variation of, â€œClaiborne, where are all these Florida anchorage regulations coming from?â€ Well, I am going to attempt to answer that question within this article/editorial, AND why I think most of these proposed prohibitions are unnecessary and probably harmful.
Let me quickly acknowledge that I most certainly do not know all, when it comes to this complex issue. As always, we strongly encourage Salty Southeast Cruisersâ€™ Net visitors to weigh in with their knowledge and opinions. I have received some of the most eye opening data on Florida anchoring regulations/rights from my fellow cruisers. Please e-mail your comments or opinions to CruisingWriter@CruisersNet.net, or click the â€œContribute Cruising Newsâ€ link found near the top, center of most Net pages.
So, with that out of the way, here goes. First, letâ€™s dispose of two less than savory reasons why Floridian anchorage regulations have made an appearance, stretching all the way back to the early 1990â€™s.
1. Local and county governmental officials see anchorage regulations as a way to expand their departmentâ€™s authority, or, in bureaucrat-ese, â€œexpand their turf.â€
2. There are a group of very wealthy Floridians, who, by virtue of their finances, have more than their fair share of political influence. And, they simply do not want to walk out in their backyards, and see anchored boats on the water. I once heard one property owner of this ilk testify that whenever he was on the water, he ALWAYS saw cruising craft dumping untreated sewage and trash overboard. Talk about a bald faced lie if I ever heard one!
Those favoring anchorage regulation for one of the above two reasons are beneath my contempt, and that of the entire cruising community. Havenâ€™t we had enough of self-serving government officials and overreaching, wealthy property owners? Enough said!
Then, there are concerns about â€œnoise pollutionâ€ and trespassing. Who among us has not dropped the hook in some quiet corner of the world, only to have another vessel show up across the way, and proceed to play loud music into the small hours. Not a fun night.
I, myself, have watched, on rare occasions,Â as less than sanguine cruisers pull their dinghies onto someoneâ€™s back yard, and then gaily go off to the grocery store, as if it was their right to land the dink wherever they pleased. No wonder some waterside property owners have erected large â€œNo Trespassingâ€ signs.
In populated regions, noise pollution and trespassing are real problems. However, I have a very simple solution for these two anchorage concerns.
There are already trespassing and â€œdisturbing the peaceâ€/noise pollution laws on the books of virtually every municipality and county in America. One local water cop enforcing these regulations should solve the problem nicely.
And, that brings us to the issue which I think is front and center in what I will term as the â€œhonestâ€ attempts to regulate anchorage (as opposed to the â€œdishonestâ€ #1 and #2 reasons listed above). Can you guess what this issue might be?
I wonâ€™t keep you in suspense. Abandoned vessels and what I will term, live-aboard â€œhulks,â€ are, without any question in my tiny mind, the #1 threat to anchoring rights throughout Florida for the rest of us. Weâ€™ve all seen vessels at anchor which have been sitting in the same spot for months on end, without anyone being aboard. And then, most of us have also gazed in wonder at â€œboatsâ€ which look as if they are going to sink any moment, and then we see someone come on deck. Have you, like me, asked yourself, â€œDoes someone actually live on that thing?â€
Abandoned vessels and live-aboard hulks are safety and health risks, not to mention being more than a little bit unsightly. They often break free during bad weather, and impact other vessels or private property. And, as to the untreated waste being dumped overboard from the hulks, best not to think too closely on that topic.
Think this isnâ€™t a serious issue? Consider the two e-mails below which I received shortly after publishing my last â€œAnchorage Rights/Regulations Analysis:â€
Thanks for the update and more than that, the great service you provide boaters. On the subject of anchoring rights however, I feel you and others in the cruising community need to take a more balanced stand.
I live near Sarasota so see almost on a daily basis the derelict or near-derelict boats moored off the city waterfront. They are ugly, dangerous – occasionally coming adrift in bad weather – and in many cases unoccupied. For those that live aboard I suspect the concept of a pump out is totally alien. Then try anchoring overnight in the Boca Grande basin. My wife and I were there a couple of months ago and, contrary to your 2006 article it seemed virtually all occupied by “long term” cruisers ( I use the term charitably), many in dilapidated condition. Again, I wonder about frequency of pump out for some of these boats.
Most of us are responsible cruisers, for whom a limitation of several days, perhaps a week, in one location is not a large imposition. I feel we would be better served by meeting local communities half way and working towards a compromise that retains the ability of the cruising majority to cruise, while dealing with the minority that give all of us a bad name.
Or, this one:
I am an advocate for anchoring rights. But I have to point out that many places in California have had severe restrictions on anchoring for some time. Long Beach Harbor used to allow overnight anchoring behind some oil platforms but that “right” was taken away a number of years ago. Marina Del Rey, Redando Beach, and San Pedro have no anchoring. Newport Beach has a small restricted area, but you are not allowed to leave the boat unattended. Dana Point also has this restriction. San Diego has restricted anchorages, and most require a permit to use. Even Catalina Island has defacto lack of anchorages, by the massive mooring fields and harbor masters who will not allow anchoring in many parts of the harbors–so that at the Isthmus and Avalon, you have to anchor in more than 100 feet, and often in areas of poor holding and subject to weather.
I did discuss the anchoring situation with our local marine resource officer in Pensacola, and there is no plan for restriction, as long as the vessel is outside of the navigable channel. I asked about the mooring field, and was told that the stipulations put on this were so great by the state that they would not be practical economically–I tend to agree. I do believe it is more for control, than to provide a service or help the mariner.
And, speaking from my own experience, I will never forget the first day we came steaming into Marathonâ€™s Boot Key Harbor back in the late 1990â€™s, to begin research for my and Morgan Stinemetzâ€™s â€œCruising the Florida Keys.â€ The numbers of sunken and semi-sunken boats were astounding! And, so much raw sewage was being dumped overboard, only those completely out of their minds would have stuck their big toe in the water.
Of course, today, things are very, very different in Boot Key Harbor. It has been cleaned up, a large mooring field has been established, and the city of Marathon has put excellent shoreside facilities in place. BUT, that gets into the issue of mooring fields, which is the subject of my next anchoring editorial, not this one.
Letâ€™s pause here for a moment to recall a bit of relevant history. Back in the early 1990â€™s anchoring rights and regulations were already a problem in Florida, particularly in the city of Stuart. A group sprang into being known alternately as the â€œCoalition of Concerned Boatersâ€ and the â€œNational Water Rights Association.â€ I was intimately involved with this organization for several years.
During one of the groupâ€™s conferences, we were presented with what may still be the only well-done, truly scientific survey of cruisers in the Florida Keys. After exhaustive research, Dr. Gus Antoinelly (spelling?), of the University of Miami, concluded, among other things, that only 7% of the boat owners in the Florida Keys were, to use his terminology, â€œMavericks.â€ You may freely think of â€œMavericksâ€ as those who attempt to â€œlive off the land,â€ and are subject to anchoring in one spot for long, long periods of time, probably without too much reference to MSD regulations.
Now, I would argue that the laissez-faire lifestyle in the Florida Keys, which, by the way, accounts for much of the charm while cruising these fascinating waters, tends to encourage â€œMavericks.â€ Thus, I would contend that in other parts of Florida, â€œMavericksâ€ probably make up 5% (or less) of the cruising population. Thatâ€™s an important number to remember as we move into what I see as the solutions for abandoned vessels and live-aboard hulks!
Unfortunately, encouraged by nefarious reasons #1 and #2 (see above), many communities in Florida have chosen to confront the problem of abandoned boats and live-aboard hulks by establishing anchoring limits of 24, 48 or 72 hours FOR EVERYONE. Put another way, towns and cities of this genre are penalizing 95% of the cruising community to try and rid themselves of the 5% they donâ€™t want.
Particularly in the case of Florida, THAT’S PLAYING WITH FIRE! Everyone please remember that in the Sunshine State, the marine industry is second in importance only to tourism. Cruisers, even those who almost never anchor, HATE anchorage regulations. And, that leads to e-mails like this:
I have been coming to Florida since 1959. I have vacationed here for years. For 13 years I was in charge of a company outing. For 13 years we came to Florida spending lots of money. We were always treated very well. This year my wife and I retired and fulfilled a long dream of taking our sail boat to Florida to get away from Buffalo winters. It was strange that all the way down fellow cruisers would comment that they were not going to cruise in Florida because the “rich people do not want you to use their waters”. They were going to go over to the Bahamas where they were welcomed. Well I have cruised for over 2400 hundred miles on our trip and was not bothered by anybody until I crossed the Florida boarder. We have been stopped 3 times, boarded andÂ inspected once, and just routine stops on the other two occasions. A fellow cruiser, that I received an e-mail from, said that he was on shore and when he returned to his boat, the police were there and left a note telling him to leave the area. We have spent thousand of dollars in Florida, I know that the economy is not the best, but if I had a marina or had a business along the the ICW I would be a little upset on how the state of Florida is treating their guests and vacationers. I see the harbors littered with derelict boats and see why this is a concern. But if you are in a, in most cases, an expensive boat I would think that you would not be considered a nuisance but more a good business venture. We were in the Vero Beach area. We were just passing through and ended up spending 2 weeks. This area goes out of the way to promote business with the cruising community. I would like to stay in the Florida area, but wonder if it’s worth it. Hope things can turn around and it’s not to late.
So, â€œwhatâ€™s the answer, Claiborne,â€ you may be asking about now! Believe, it or else, Iâ€™ve got one.
First, in regards to abandoned vessels, has no city or county governmental official in Florida heard of â€œsalvage laws.â€ Letâ€™s again be very clear that I am NOT a lawyer, much less a maritime lawyer, but it is my understanding that if a vessel is left abandoned for thirty days or so, it can be declared as salvage and sold at public auction. A few actions like that, and I have a deep suspicion that all the abandoned vessels which still have owners would be removed in short order.
Too vague for you? Then Florida should do what South Carolina has just done, namely, pass a specific law which mandates that after giving generous notice, vessels abandoned for more than thirty days will be impounded and sold. What a good idea, and notice, this does NOT impact anchoring rights for any boat owners except those who leave their vessels unoccupied for longer than 30 days. And, how many responsible mariners are going to leave their boat uninspected at anchor for a month or longer. (more on the new South Carolina law SOON)
So, what about liveaboard hulks? I can solve that problem as well. Federal and state MSD (Marine Sanitation Device) regulations are the answer.
Again, as a NON-LAWYER, it is my understanding of Federal MSD regulations, that if the USCG has even reasonable suspicion untreated sewage is being dumped overboard, a $10,000.00 fine can be imposed. And, the state of Florida ALREADY has even tougher MSD regulations than the Federal government. So, the FWC in the guise of the Florida Marine Patrol, can inspect hulks for MSD violations as well. Clearly, if a vessel has been sitting in the same spot for months on end, it has either long ago filled its holding tank to capacity, or exhausted its batteries, should there be a Lectra-San type device aboard. That seems like more that reasonable suspicion to me to impose stiff MSD fines!
Just let a few $10,000.00 fines be issued, and see how long it takes the live-aboard hulks to be moved, or permanently abandoned. If this latter action comes about, refer to my solution above for derelicts.
The beauty of both these solutions is that they can go forward under existing Florida state and Federal laws, with no additional legislation necessary, and with no other anchoring prohibitions! Put that one in your pipe and smoke it a bit.
Finally, that leaves the case of what I will call â€œresponsible liveaboards,â€ boat owners who religiously come to the dock (or use a â€œhoney boatâ€) to have their holding tanks pumped, donâ€™t throw trash overboard, donâ€™t make loud noise, donâ€™tâ€™ trespass, and keep their vessels attractive and well secured. How long should a mariner of this ilk be allowed to anchor his or her vessel in the same spot?
I must admit that I donâ€™t have an answer. Perhaps some of you could weigh in on this issue.
Of course, one part of this equation that I have not discussed, is increasing population, both on land and on the water. While in the current economic climate, you may look askance at me when I discuss â€œincreasing water population,â€ over the long haul, the numbers of boats on Floridaâ€™s coastal waters have increased. Coupled with declining public dockage, a case can be made, and well made, for some other sort of readily available means to store privately owned vessels, in a safe and secure environment. Thus, we enter the whole issue of mooring fields. However, and your eyes will be glad to hear it, that is the subject of my next anchoring editorial, not this one.
Issues are getting confused here. A â€œliveaboardâ€ boat in the State of Florida can be regulated outside of mooring fields. This has been this way since 2006. A â€œliveaboardâ€ is a boat that does not move, is used strictly as a residence or place of business and does not navigate waters. The law already has given local communities the power to handle these vessels. They are NOT the issue.
What weâ€™re talking about are CRUISERS. Cruisers (called â€œnon-liveaboardsâ€ even though cruisers may indeed live aboard full time or part time) cannot by regulated with regard to anchoring, according to FL Statute 327(60). The People of Florida demanded that Statute stay intact. But the Pilot Program goes around that and is exempt from adhering to the Statute. As FWC posted on their site â€œDue to pressures from homeowners and some othersâ€¦.â€ [they added the Pilot Program and submitted it along with what the PUBLIC agreed would be revisions to the Statutes]. This was done without Public input or knowledgeâ€¦a back door loophole for those who have political pull to continue to try to override the majority. THIS is what is so scandalous about the Pilot Program.
Five sites were to be named yet Sarasota immediately jumped the gun and put up a 72-hour anchoring limit. It was challenged and they dropped it, but everyone who knew anything knew that Sarasota would definitely be one of the five sites to participate in the Pilot Program. It is a self-serving program for a few to get what they want despite what the people have used due process to show as their choice: NO ORDINANCES ON ANCHORING for Florida cruisers! Another thing: When they named the five sites, it was incredulous that one site is ALL OF MONROE COUNTY! This is what happens when people are confused and donâ€™t know what is going on. The Pilot Program is nothing more than a way to quell the whining of a few powerful people, take away the freedom of boats in navigation, and use our tax dollars to do it.
The FWC will be holding more workshops on this issue. There is one at the Government Center in Marathon, FL on June 8th at 6 pm. If you cannot attend, let your voice be heard by writing. We cannot let this happen. Public trust is being manipulated and we can help our local authorities fight back against those misusing them with our voices saying we wonâ€™t stand for our rights and wants being ignored.
One ordinance outside of mooring fields will lead to another ordinance outside of beaches, etc. There is no end to anchoring ordinances for cruisers if we allow them to BEGIN.
I have enjoyed cruising the Florida coast and think it would be a great setback for everyone if anchoring in front of private property was restricted.
Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd
Consider the vast quantity of land owned and operated by major concerns (hotels, restaurants, and property developers) that could quickly eliminate large swaths of available anchorage for boaters.
I am not so worried about abandoned boats, as that is truly a separate question.
The live aboard hulk should be easy to resolveâ€¦
I like the idea mentioned above in reference to enforcing the current laws on the books. I would also propose, and this one will probably be met with controversy, a cruising permit fee of say $150 annually. The money raised by this fee (tax) could be used for enforcement. I would bet that derelict boat owners and irresponsible livaboards (the 5%) would not pay the permit fee and could be easily identified and dealt with within the current regulations.
I agree that enforcement of existing regulations concerning polution control would eliminate virtually all of the derelict live-aboards. As I understand it, there are already laws/rules/regulations granting the state the right to inspect/fine/etc. I believe local authorities have the ability to enforce state and federal regulations, do they not? Consistent local enforcement will drive away â€œMavericksâ€. The inconvenience of multiple inspections, ticketing, fines, and jail time would discourage squatting. These regulations can also be the springboard for dealing with many of the abandoned boats, particularly those sinking and contributing polution that way.
As for removal of abandoned boats, unfortunately one of the requirements is funding. It costs way more to retrieve the abandoned boat and dispose of it than can be taken in by auctioning or salvaging the boat. Consqently local authorities cannot afford to do it even if they want to.
Therefor, a private â€œfoundationâ€ needs to be created to raise funds to be used for dealing with the costs of removing abandoned boats. Interested cruisers, marine businesses (local, national, international), â€œwealthyâ€ local residents tired of looking at the derelicts, and any other interested parties could contribute to this foundation. It should be tax exempt to help encourage contributions. It could provide grants or matching funds to local communities, appropriate groups and organizations for use in abating the cost of dealing with this problem. If desired, the foundation coud handle â€œearmarkingâ€ funds i.e. funds raised in Stuart could be allocated to dealing with problems in that county only if the contributors requested that restriction, etc.
Someone will immediately jump in with the â€œideaâ€ we should handle this with tax money. Our systems are already overtaxed. We donâ€™t have enough taxes to do all the things others want them to do as it is, and we donâ€™t need additional or new taxes. Besides, there is something immoral about requiring everyone to contribute to anything held sacred by a few.
We as a cruising community are perpetually lauded for being generous. We are, as are most all Americans. We just need to approach this problem from the standpoint of how might we solve it instead of â€œthereâ€™s nothing we can do about itâ€. And nobody should be allowed to complain about a problem without suggesting some possible solution.
Similar problems in North Carolina! Iâ€™ve spent about 30 years cruising Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Long Island Sound. Depending on a given harbor, Yacht Clubs, Commercial Marinas, nearby property owners, and sometime town officials set out moorings, ususally with a harbormaster who assigns a space that wonâ€™t interfere with the swing of already-installed moorings. With 8â€² tides, and 20-30 ft. deep harbors, this system has proven over the last 100 years to work fairly well.
North Carolina has banned ALL mooring installation except for 2 special cases:1) a city or town may designate an area as a mooring field, and install moorings on a grid pattern, and charge a nightly fee for them(becomes outrageous if you want to keep your boat in the harbor for the season) 2) a waterfront property owner is allowed 4 moorings fer each 100 yds of waterfront he owns. Most have no moorings, but many have lifts. I live on a man-made canal off the Pungo River, and the sandbar at the mouth can prevent my boat from getting over it after a long blow from the West.
About a year into using it, a CAMA officer came across it, and mailed me a $35,000 fine! Since the aterfront property inland of the moorng was a canal, there was no way for me to purchase 100 yards of it. My attorney finally settledthe case by getting an affidavit from the 2 property owners on either side of the canal to forgo installing 1 of their permitted 4 moorings. (They never had any intention of installing moorings anyway)
All-in-all, this policy is very detrimental to beginning boaters, or to those who cannot afford to tie up $ in 100 yds. of frontage in order to install a boat mooring. Most of New England would be out of the boating business if they imposed N.C. style restrictions.
Well said, Claiborne! I have always felt that many/most government regulations â€œpunishâ€ the vast majority for the problems caused by a small minority.
Your proposal makes great sense, although I suspect that it may take a lot of time and money to enforce the derelict and MSD violations. Even if that is true, it would still be better for all concerned than the â€œprohibit everyoneâ€ approach.
Thanks for your great website and service to the cruising community
The biggest issue with the impoundment of abandoned vessels is the absolute lock that USCG documentation has on the ownership of a boat. It takes upwards of 6 months in court for the IRS to establish their ownership of, and therefore ability to sell, a documented boat. A local municipality would be heavily burdened by the litigation required to be able to re-sell a boat they had taken custody of. I know a person who have found a vessel washed up on a beach and had no option but to negotiate with the owner who abandoned it in order to get the paperwork in place to register the boat himself. So even if there were a boat no one was claiming, it presents a big problem.
Much local anchoring legislation is federally illegal â€“ I was boarded last year by Miami Beach police when I anchored there and was told that while I might ultimately win in court, it might take years and bankrupt me. They were asking me to agree to a 7 day limit on my stay with generous provisions for extensions due to weather, mechanical difficulties, or medical emergencies that might postpone my departure. I had to agree that they were between a rock and a hard place over this because of pressure from waterfront land owners who were tired of paying high tax bills to stare at others who were not. So a friendly compromise in Miami Beach â€“ in Georgia there is a 30 day annual limit on living aboard; at anchor, on a mooring, or in a marina. That doesnâ€™t sound like it would hold up in federal court, but it doesnâ€™t stop Georgia from enforcing it.
I know if Iâ€™m boarded and my â€œYâ€ valve is not locked or wire tied to the holding tank position, and if my overboard mascerator discharge thru-hull is not wire tied closed, Iâ€™m subject to an expensive summons. The MSD laws will stand up in any court, so I agree that would be the best place to enforce existing laws to see if the problem canâ€™t be substantially resolved that way.
As a Florida liveaboard, I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of enforcing holding tank regulations as an easy way to deal with the derilict boat populations. However it has to be convenient to get your boat pumped and this is not always the case.
We boaters are most likely willing to pay much more than $5.00 to get our boats pumped if it can be done on a timely basis. I would suggest that we reasearch how we can turn the honey boat business over to private industry who are able to make a profit, perhaps with government susidies. Maybe SeaTow and TowBoat US would relish a use for their boats when awaiting a tow job. Maybe the local government should BUY the waste from private honey boats.
Please shield my name so I can continue to get pumped, Eh?
We happened to take a tour of Boot Key Harbor in Marathon yesterday. It has one huge Mooring Field and I understand that â€œthings are much better than they used to beâ€ here. The city apparently will pump out any boats requesting this service in and around the harbor.
On our tour I noticed that there are many boats outside of this field anchored for a variety of reasons I would call some abandoned or damaged wrecks, others in storage, some very nice boats, some obvious short term transients, other live-aboards, and some â€œlive-aboard hulksâ€. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder most boaters would be able to categorize boats if given a list and looking at the condition of boats. Gray area boats could be inspected more closely!
One can get a sense of how long they have been present by the twisted rodes and slime buildup on lines and hulls. I was struck that the majority of these â€œquestionableâ€ boats in my mind were FL registered.
I would hope the interpretation of existing laws can be used to address the concerns that boaters and non-boaters have on boats anchored or moored for long periods of time, those situations that seem to be of the most concern in this anchoring issue.
I have yet to stay on a mooring ball and like to anchor out, rarely not being able to find a place we like. Weâ€™ve now traveled from the top of Lake Huron to the Keys and have rarely seen areas or boats that should create related concerns. That said, I accept that there are many such boats and areas that as witnessed by our brief on-water tour at BKH.
Natureâ€™s purification in the Northland is the winter ice that usually prevents very long term moorings.
I would be interested in seeing a list of the more friendly placesâ€¦.one of the postings mentioned that they liked Vero Beach for exampleâ€¦.while others mentioned being boarded by police and asked to move on! Where is that happening?
The above comments make sense. Why are we penalized for the 5% of the scumbags?
A couple yrs ago while traveling south we anchored south of lift bridge in Ft Pierce. Several other boats there and a couple were in bad shape.. No dinghy and boats had lots of growth. The next day SW winds blew hard. I was worried about this one boat and soon saw it draggin down toward us. After the fire drill was done we had a small dent, the others boat was luckily anchored again without draging to the bridge.. The CG showed up and boarded the other sail boat.. No one there of course. Boat US showed up and commented that he had to tow that boat off th mud after every wind storm..
Something has to be done about boats that are a constant nuisance. A eye sore to the cruising community.
So so tired of all of this BS by pompous property owners. It however is not ,unique to Fl or CA marine issues.
We have people who build an expensive home and barn 300 feet from a train track knowing the issues up front. Every day a freight comes and parks in front of their home blocking access to their drive and view of the back 40 for 6 hours. All hell breaks loose.
Same goes for the fool who builds his home near an airport and after a while tires of the noise.
Every single person complaining in anyway about the varied marine traffic, knew, without exception, the issues and the score going in, up front. They made their choice, and now want it like Burger King, their way.
They not only knew the situation, they knew up front what the taxes were also.
I have no sympathy what so ever for those land owners. This is coming from someone who lives on the water and welcomes, and helps all coming by water in my area. They are typically better people than those complaining.
The boat people do not polute nearly to the degree of those dumping lawn and plant fert, weed killer, etc. into the water. Their yard run off is not measured either, and is destroying other things too.
If you donâ€™t like it move!
My home is worth plenty, but I chose to be here knowing all potential consequences. The water is free owned by none shared by all.
The above articles are right to the point and illistrate an easy solution the Floridaâ€™s dilemna. What I think is happening is the typical lazy approach of law enforcement to ticket the boats passing through whenever possible to generate a cash flow. Looks like they are enforcing the law. Boaters pay the fine and go on their way. They donâ€™t want to chase after the derelicts because it may be difficult to find the owner or, the owner may be some local guy the cops know and sympathize with. Boats from the north look like fair game with deep pockets.
You list MSD as the enforcable violation for trash boats. I would choose anchor light. To check a MSD the officer would have either have to catch the violator in the act of pumping overboard or go aboard, add dye to the head, flush, and see the dye apear in the water. An anchor light violation citation could be made by simply cruising the anchorage after dark, noting the boats without lights, and glueing the ticket to the boat beside the compaionway.
I have, as both a Florida Resident and an “extended cruiser/liveaboard….watched this issue with some interest.
I find the comments by Jay Marko to be a tad “disingenuous” and the reason I say that…. is because anyone above the age of 7 knows that if you are caught dumping untreated waste into Florida waters you are in for trouble. Trespassing on someones property….be it a vacant lot is illegal, and discharge of bilge water containing anything but water is illegal as well… My question to Mr. Marko would be: WHY have you and your neighbors not called the local Sheriff regarding the trespassing, and why not the FWC regarding the disposal or pumping over of waste and other chemicals??? Seems to me he sounds a bit like someone who wants to make noise and not see a boat anywhere anyway. I find it difficult to believe that he and his neighbors (who could afford waterfront property on sailboat water) couldn’t get the attention of enforcement authorities to correct the situation. Sorry, I don’t buy his story….
B.C. Adams makes “vague assertions”….. and it sounds like he or she, like so many others….LITERALLY FAILS to understand that their property line ENDS at the seawall or high tide mark on navigable waters…. It legally does not matter that they bought the property for “the view”….their legally entitled view ENDS at the aforementioned points. How long a boat is anchored in one spot is of no concern to them as long as the boat or the boater is not in danger or causing problems that are addressed by law. While it is quite possible that thievery is taking place….how do they know it is a “boater” doing it?? It could just as easily be their neighbor doing it, or their neighbors son or just about anyone. If they can afford a “Private Marina”, one would think that they could afford some kind of security, even if its automatic lights or even a security guard or two.
I personally find abandoned and junked vessels hazardous….. and the current laws make it difficult to get rid of sunken boats. Punta Gorda had a running battle with a local fisherman for a number of years over his sunken boat…. Maybe the issue should be laid at the feet of the lawmakers in DC to clean up that section of the laws and make it easier to get these things taken care of…..
I am strongly considering taking my boat and retirement to another place…outside this country….because I’m sick and tired of arrogant people who claim to own what they don’t and demand to have things their way….. Florida used to be a great place to live and in some places it still is…but I can tell you….the shine has dulled badly in others….
How come the State has the right to allow livaboards at anchor who are in navigation, but severley restricts the time allowed for the same boat if at a Marina, seems conflicted.
I have been fortunate enough to sail all the waters from the St. Lawrence to the Mexican border and well as the Bahamas.
I know Live in SW Florida(25 yrs) and have watched as a few attempt to spoil cruising. Yes, there are a few derilect boats. I see the same ones year after year. There actually are so few, I’m amazed that the local enforcement agencies can’t be bothered with enforcing existing laws and eliminating them.
In Charlotte county I spent many months going to the marine meetings and came to the conclusion that it was actually a very small group of complainers(4 or 5) and that they had little knowledge of cruising sailboats and the wildest imaginations and fabrications.
If not for the state anchoring laws they would have kept everyone of “thier” harbor and “thier” surrounding waters. Thanks to all groups that fought for the anchor law.
Most of the comments here remind me of the good old US Congress. What everyone needs is more and more laws removing freedom from some while granting more freedom to others. This is usually determined by which group generates the most money for the politicians.
I like the method used by the Indians best. No one owns the water, no one owns the land. First come, first served. How simple and straight forward. It removes the driving force behind this whole issue, which is greed.
It is a given, that when one chooses to build near water there will be boats, those that we like and those that we donâ€™t.
There are certainly boaters at these anchorages that find some waterfront homes beautiful and others an eyesore, which detract from the natural beauty of the area. Beauty is in the eyes of, well you know. Does that give the boater the right to have the ugly or unkept home seized in 30 days and sold.
The home owner certainly polutes with roundup and lawn feed and the like. How about it, bring on the EPA, check into the runoff from these poluters too. In the Keys a study has already revealed that the land dwellers polution far exceeds that of the boaters. Look it up, it is well documented.
It is not really about polution at all, it is about the money and the greed and always is.
The boats were here first and every single home owner knew this, without a shadow of a doubt, going in.
To the home owner I say, suck it up or move, after all that is exactly what you want and expect the boater to do.