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Still More on Crackdown on Dinghy Landings Access, Miami Beach, FL

Our thanks to Mike Ahart of Waterway Guide for posting this information. Collins Canal runs northeast from Biscayne Bay near AICW Statute Mile 1088. This article was first posted in August of this year. Let us hear from you if you have experienced this enforcement./p>

Miami Beach cracks down on dinghy access
Date Reported: Aug 6, 2015
Reported By: Mike Ahart, News Editor
Source: WG Staff
Miami Beach’s anchorages have a lot to offer to cruisers, including good holding, protection, and a beautiful view of Tow-Awaythe Miami skyline. Another benefit is the Collins Canal, which allows boaters dinghy access to the beach, stores, and restaurants – well, maybe not so much anymore.

The City of Miami Beach passed an amendment to an ordinance which now makes it unlawful to tie a dinghy to the canal wall to visit the city. Signs were installed all along the public sections of seawall on May 15, 2015, according to Nannette Rodriguez of the Miami Beach City office. SeaTow has been removing “many boats,” according to a SeaTow representative, who also said that the city is strictly enforcing the 20-minute limit for the dinghy dock at the end of 17th Street.

We had heard rumors of towing dinghies. I hadn’t seen any news so I called Seatow and the Miami marine patrol. Seatow said they are towing dinghies on orders from the police. There are signs posting this policy on the Collins canal and some sea walls.
I spoke with the police and the policy is a result of the derelict boats. They are aware that it “may cause ” an inconvenience to the transient population. He reported some of the difficulties they have dealt with,most recently a 16 month old drowned after falling overboard. He said you can tie at the police dock for short periods. The sign says 20 minutes but also said they have some latitude with that number. He also said the dock at the old Publix can be utilized. That dock is problematic at low tide.
The officer also said the whole situation is a moving target and recommended speaking with the marine patrol when we get there.
Jim O’Shea

December 8, 2015
Well we finally made it to South Beach after being pinned down in West Pam Beach and Ft Lauderdale. I haven’t spoken to the police yet but after talking to a local liveaboard it seems that everything I posted earlier is still true.
That is, there is some leniency at the police dock and the only “legal place “tot tie your dinghy is at the old Publix on the Collins Canal. It may sound inconvenient but it isn’t as bad as it may sound. The problem is people tying too close too the dock so you can disembark.. This isn’t that unusual so we can adapt. I went a bit further down the wall and walked the small ledge back to the dock. The water is quite high from all the rainfall so I can’t attest to low tide conditions.
Another thing would be to have one dinghy take multiple boats in and then pick them up, If they have large loads they could come back and get their dinghy and get the mate and packages from a convenient spot.
All in all it is not worth crossing South Beach off the itinerary.
Jim O’Shea

Click Here for the full article.

Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (12)

  1. Janice Callum -  March 19, 2017 - 10:38 am

    We are anchored off Hibiscus Island in Miami Beach. No visits from police or problems with anything! Boats are anchored off Star Island and the Collins Canal, no hassle. Many more derelict looking boats are anchored on the north side of the East Venetian bridge, but they also seem to be left alone. We saw one trawler named Lady J get pulled over by the water police…the officials are especially protective of the sea grass seedlings in this area and the No Wake zone in Maloy Channel, so crawl along those shores! Sunset Lake remains boat free; as well as free of the dingies that were anchored around to obstruct cruiser’s anchoring. How ’bout if we all just leave that spot alone until the “unwelcome” (caused by the fellow who considers himself a Cuba expert who sails a near derelict red boat) wears off (and do let him know if you see him that none of us Snowbirds have appreciated the mess he’s caused for us down here). The good news, that we have not seen posted anywhere on the www, is that there is a wonderful dinghy dock up the Collins Canal across the street from the boater-friendly Publix….not just a chain, a real dock! But, fellow cruisers, please, PLEASE stop jamming your trash into the waste recepticle on the street by the dock! It’s beyond comprehension that anyone thinks this is an appropriate spot for trash bags; and, you are risking this spot to tie up for all of us! The police docks and park wall under the bridge (on the other side of the canal) are all posted Tow Away Zone or 20 Minute Loading Zone No Mooring. Let’s all be welcome visitors and do something helpful while we are here! Pick up your dog’s waste, keep your stereos down, anchor well off folk’s backyards and go somewhere else if you can’t handle the wakes. Best regards, Janice Callum, “Calamus”

  2. Wallace Gouk -  December 25, 2015 - 11:47 am

    I just sent an email to Sea Tow head office informing them that I will use BoatUS for our southern voyages from now on due to their collusion with the City of Miami. Suggest all do the same.

  3. Wallace Gouk -  December 25, 2015 - 11:35 am

    Heading south again from Toronto next summer. We will be getting our towing insurance from BoatUS. Sea Tow won’t see another dollar from me.

  4. Jim Cleary -  December 4, 2015 - 2:48 pm

    Telling the Politicians and homeowners in Miami that we as cruisers are going to go elsewhere to spend our money is self defeating. That is exactly what they want us to do. The issue of dinghies in the Collins canal has little to do with abandoned boats and all to do with homeowners not wanting any cruisers anchored in the way of their view. If they can limit the places where a dink can be tied up to access the shore, then they can make it difficult for cruisers to stay anchored. If the rule was that no dinghy be tied up in the canal between the hours of 3AM and 5AM that would solve the abandoned dink issue and still allow cruisers to have access to shore facilities. There is also the issue of the Seatow company agreeing to do this towing of dinks. Have they forgotten who they were created to serve.

  5. Joseph Pooler -  November 28, 2015 - 1:16 pm

    So sorry to read of this ! This WAS a favorite spot to reprovision, but with all of this activity in Florida to restrict anchoring again and to limit shore access, I feel that FL. Has become cruser un-friendly and will for me be just a place to pass through on my way to somewhere that makes me feel welcome !!! I will vote with my wallet since I can not cast a vote here.

  6. Barry Jollett -  November 28, 2015 - 10:42 am

    We have enjoyed visiting South Beach on Magic Carpet many many times since first sailing there in 2000. We have always used the Publix cable to secure our dinghy in the Collins Canal and consider it essential to cruise there. Frankly, I am not sure where else to tie up along that canal. Prior to our first visit stepped up enforcement of using of the boat ramp dinghy dock eliminated a safe place in that area. It just gets tougher and tougher to get ashore in Florida.

    • Nanci Whitley -  January 1, 2016 - 4:55 pm

      Please don’t paint all of Fl with the same brush. I am currently anchored in Stadium Marina in Miami. No problems docking the dink at all.

  7. Dave Boxmeyer -  November 28, 2015 - 8:56 am

    We gave up on Miami years ago. We now cross the lake and base in Ft. Meyers.
    Lots to do with prices a lot lower than Miami and a straight shot to Key West.

  8. Ron -  November 27, 2015 - 8:16 pm

    Errrr, Miami is a giant festering tent city cess pool with colonized causeways, why would anyone go there in the first place? Interfering with the right to navigation is a crime too, it is time for a class action lawsuit based on the US constitution, also I will not be renewing with Seatow ever again.

  9. Tom Ernest -  November 27, 2015 - 5:11 pm

    Is the City of Miami Beach elected leaders not interested in the boating community? What are the names and positions of the elected officials who voted in the spring to not allow dinghies to dock on the Collins Canal apparently because of some unsightly live aboards. What about all the cruisers who provision their boats at the Publix and other stores in Miami Beach before heading to the Bahamas or the Keys?
    Ft Lauderdale elected officials support the Marine Industry and I will take my business to Ft Lauderdale.

  10. Mike C -  November 20, 2015 - 7:06 pm

    No one seems to measure the money we cruisers spend but the marinas and marine services will notice if we no longer stop in the Miami area. We will no longer stop at Coconut Grove, shop at Publix in Miami or Key Biscayne, West Marine? Not in Miami. Miami boat show in Feb? Nope. A favorite mechanic is in Miami… sorry Lenny. Have to go somewhere else. Maybe these businesses will pressure their polititians if their customers move on. The pols are not interested in us. Not advocating a boycott. We’re just not spending any of OUR money in Miami.

  11. Dean Perry -  August 7, 2015 - 10:01 pm

    WELL…. these laws are so limiting for cruisers, that wish to stop in Miami Beach, and provision the vessels, or spend money there… I guess we’ll skip Miami, and Miami Beach… and just go straight to the Bahamas, Keys, or the west side of FL.
    You can’t even get a burger at the B&B in less than 20 minutes… much less shop at the Publix, and return to the dinghy dock.


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