Anchorage Harassment Reported in Florida by Wally Moran
2019 has once again seen the rise of official, locally sanctioned anti-anchoring activity in Florida. Long a champion of boaters’ rights, Wally Moran has taken up the gauntlet and is organizing resistance to restrictive water rights. Read on and take Wally’s survey linked below. Also see the January links from AGLCA following the survey.
AHOY ALL – Important discussion ahead. Please read, and share with other boaters on your page and in other boating groups.
I am receiving reports now of cruisers in Florida who are being harassed by local authorities, in violation of the law (FL 327.60 (2)(f), which states that “a county or municipality may not enact, continue in effect, or enforce any ordinance or local regulation:”…
“(f) Regulating the anchoring of vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40, except for:
1. Live-aboard vessels; and
2. Commercial vessels, excluding commercial fishing vessels;”
It seems that a number of Florida municipalities are now violating this rule, with police threatening tickets to cruisers if they don’t move on.
This has to stop, and honestly, I have zero confidence in the ability of organizations such as the SSCA and other boating organizations .
The only solution I can see is to form a new boaters’ organization dedicated to defending boaters’ rights in the United States.
That’s a tall order – and here’s a summation of what is needed, courtesy of one of our members.
We need to form a ‘steering committee’ made up of people with a broad diverse background : legal, public relations, media, marine, marinas, related businesses like boatyards and restaurants. I need about 7 – 9 people for this.
These people must be willing to promise a time commitment – probably five to ten hours per week initially, until we are ready to ‘create’ this organization and bring members into it.
All members will be asked to volunteer in some manner – the needs will dictate what you’ll be able to do to support the fight. It may be nothing more than a commitment to share posts on a bunch of sites, or send letters to legislators, or monitor local media for negative stories about cruisers. It won’t be onerous work, but it will be asked of you. This is everyone’s fight, and everyone needs to fight if we are to win this.
The three main thrusts of this organization, as I envision it will be direct action to support cruisers being harassed by local authorities; public education about cruisers; and court action.
Why court action? Because we’ve seen that going in front of the legislature every single year, year after year, is a recipe for enriching lobbyists. All the state has to do is to change the laws just a little, and we’re back into it the next year. As best as I know, the lobbyist that is used by the current group (SSCA, MTOA, AGLCA, DeFever et al) is costing them in excess of $20k a year.
He’s good – I’ve had many conversations with him about this issue over the years – but we cannot keep on doing this.
It’s been my observation that a city hesitates to go to court because it’s expensive, and they could lose. Also, decisions reached in court are harder to ‘sneak around’ than legislative changes and decisions.
Additionally, as cruisers, we have certain rights that the courts may well find in our favor. I’m not a lawyer, but things like rights of navigation, etc., all work in our favour but are not being used to our benefit.
Finally – there’s gonna be some financial pain involved here. It’s not going to be huge – think on the level of a couple of cups of coffee a month, because we’ve got a huge group to draw from. If you’re sincerely too broke to contribute, I get that – but very very few of us are that broke, and we’re going to need a little of your money. Not a lot, but be prepared to be asked. Miracles are free, but we aren’t looking for miracles – we’re looking to save our rights to enjoy our boating pastime and that’s going to cost.
This idiocy of anchoring wars has been going on for over 40 years. I have documents from the 70s, and there are people here who have been fighting for that long.
My goal – the goal of ALL of us – should be to end this fight once and for all. To put this new organization we’re creating out of business.
Ok everyone – let’s make it happen. To start off – here’s a survey monkey so we can get you on board. It would help if spouses completed the form separately if you are both interested in volunteering.
And remember – share the heck out of this page. The more people involved, the easier this will be.
Thanks everyone – together we can win this fight.
Here’s the survey link for copying purposes – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GLHQ7VV
Restrictive Anchoring January 2019
Right to Anchor January 2019