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    • A Homemade Solution For CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Aboard

      One thing we are learning loud and clear while putting the Cruisers’ Net’s LPG/CNG Availability Directories together, is that Compressed Natural Gas is available in very, very few places along the coastal waters of the Southeastern United States. And, that’s too bad, as CNG is lighter than air, while LPG (Propane) is heavier, and a leak can potentially pool an explosive quantity of propane on your galley floor or in the bildge. Conversely, a CNG leak is far less serious, as the gas will rise and hopefully dissipate.
      Well, Captain Denise Gill has come up with an innovative to get CNG aboard. It takes some ingenuity, and some work (and money), but Denise’s idea is certainly interesting!!!

      Good Morning,
      I just looked over your site listing all the marinas along NC and the fuel offerings. Great job. I certainly appreciate all of the hard work and time that went into putting all of that together.
      I would like to let you know about CNG and how this too can be obtained though potentially not as easily as propane is as propane has become the defacto fuel these days ~ even though CNG is bar far a safer fuel to cook with (lighter than air).
      Any municipality that fuels their fleets ie: buses, trucks etc, and taxis or any other “green” vehicles that use CNG, well they have a CNG pump that is open to the public. Where I live in Maryland ~ Montgomery County ~ we have such a place. It is a County fueling site for gasoline and diesel but now there is also access to CNG. You simply scan your credit card and punch in the pump number and then fill up.
      There are two sides to the CNG pump. One is for 3600 psi and the other is for 3000 psi. I own a 34 foot sailboat that cooks with CNG. I have made an adaptor that allows me fill my CNG tank at this fuel fill. Where we used to have to do a “tank exchange” costing anywhere from $50 to $100 per tank, I now completely fill up my own tank for $1.25. The cost of making the adaptor ~ getting the various parts was about $225 and I have more than made back that initial outlay over the several years I have been filling the tank myself.
      I realize that geography will be the killer to our access to municipal CNG fuel sites along the ICW. But as we go forward I offer all of the above as one more option that in some locals may be convenient. Just as propane users carry spare tanks, so do CNG users.
      Very kind regards,
      Denise Gill
      s/v First Point of Aries

      By the way, the parts list for making your own CNG adapter can be obtained here:
      http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=CNG_Refill_Adapter

      Good Morning,
      Thanks very much for you nice email and for this posting. While I would love to take the credit for putting this parts list together, I merely downloaded it from our Catalina 34 website and share it with anyone else who might be inclined. I figure if I could make it, it certainly can’t be too difficult. I believe, as we go forward with `clean energy’ CNG availability will increase.
      Again, thanks and I enjoy reading the Cruiser’s Net!
      Kind Regards,
      Denise

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    • Warm Praise for Elizabeth City, NC (Dismal Swamp Canal Route, St. M. 50.5)

      Elizabeth City has been known as one of the most welcoming ports of call for many, many years. The late Fred Fearing used to greet cruisers with a rose for all the female members of the crew, and an incredibly warm welcome for everyone aboard. Sadly, Fred passed away a few years ago, but the “Rose Buddy” volunteer efforts he pioneered, live on in Elizabeth City, as evidenced by the message below, copied from the MTOA List-Serve.
      And, let’s not forget, Elizabeth City is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      We have just had the best experience in Elizabeth City. On one of the hottest 4th of Julys ever, the water pump for the air conditioner gave up the ghost. I disconnected the pump and took it into the little ships store here at Pelican Marina. Everyone wanted to help, but what do you do with a 22 year old pump? Finally the managers, Josh & Mike, said to take it to “Electric Motor Rewind Co” on Poindexter Street. I did, and the owner said to leave it with him for about an hour, and go eat at the Colonial Restaurant, 3 blocks away. After a great breakfast, we returned to the Rewind company and found our air conditioner water pump all fixed and ready for installation. $24.89 was all he charged us.
      Then, walking back over the bridge to Pelican Marina, we met the Bridge Master, Jack Brothers, who said if we needed a ride he would let us use his pickup truck.
      Everyone here in Elizabeth City has been really great to us. Must be something in the water.
      We’ll be back, and we’ll be recommending Elizabeth City to everyone we meet.
      Skipper Jim Powell

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For The Mariners Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Pelican Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Elizabeth City Waterfront

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    • An Overview of the Florida Anchoring/Pilot Mooring Field Program by Captain Jay Bliss

      Captain Bliss is a member of the St. Augustine, Florida Port Commission, and has been instrumental in protecting cruisers’ anchoring rights in St. Augustine. His well reasoned article below provides a good overview of this entire issue!

      Florida’s Anchoring Pilot Program is underway. Each of five sites gets to establish local ordinances, rules, for that particular site, enforceable until July 2014.
      For the cruiser heading South, it will mean abiding by local rules in St. Augustine City Limits; State rules then pertain until he reaches Martin County and the City of Stuart. Upon leaving Stuart/Martin county he’s back to State rules down through Ft. Lauderdale and Miami (or he traverses the Okeechobee to the West coast under Stuart/Martin rules), until he enters Monroe County at Key Largo, whereupon he’s under Monroe rules all the way to the Dry Tortugas. Over on the West Coast, cities St. Petersburg and Sarasota get to establish their own rules.
      The stated purpose of this abundance of rules is to encourage the establishment of additional public mooring fields and to promote the use of existing ones. If everyone uses a public mooring field the goals of the pilot program–protect environment, enhance safety, deter derelicts, etc.– are readily achieved.
      The big picture: mooring fields provide safety (we hope), sanitation, convenience, prime location. Their prime location comes from taking free anchoring sites, part of our Navigational Servitude and waters of the Public of the United States, and improving for paying patrons.
      Boaters with less (or no) ability to pay are ruled elsewhere. The present result is the exact opposite of the goals of the Pilot Program: anchoring sprawl that adversely affects maritime environment, leads to improperly stored boats, and invites chaos. In that them vs. us mode, we get enforcement efforts that can readily escalate the ill will.
      Mooring field permits, mooring field operations, should all be asked to account for the boats they displace. That account must provide for accommodation of the displaced.
      Cities, Counties, should not be asked to create further rules that wash elements of the boating into other jurisdictions. Governments must be required to absorb the less able, the less fortunate, into the mooring field system. There lies the challenge: incentive rules for free admission, reduced admission fees into PUBLIC mooring fields. The Anchoring Pilot Program needs a paradigm shift.
      Jay Bliss
      USCG Lic. Capt.
      St.Augustine Port Commissioner Seat 5

      Is it possible to get a list of the mooring fields in Florida?
      Fred Rogerson

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    • Miami Herald Newspaper Article Describes “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach”

      Those of you have been following along on the Cruisers’ Net for the last several weeks, know we were the first press organ to break the story about Captain Wally Moran’s “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach.” For those of you who have not read this story previously, the very short, over simplified version is that a water cop approached Captain Wally’s anchored vessel in Miami Beach’s Sunset Lake, courteously acknowledged that he did not have the right to ask him to move, but allowed as to how a nearby influential property owner had called the station, and requested that the police ask the vessel’s owner to move. And, apparently, they did so.
      Anyway, the “Miami Herald” has just published a story that details some of the chain of events which led to this conundrum, and a review of the whole situation on “Sunset Lake.” All cruisers interested in the Florida Anchoring Rights issue will want to follow this link:

      https://mail.twcbc.com/do/mail/folder/view?l=en-US&v=ib

      This link for the Miami Herald story works better.
      http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/02/2298337/floodlights-and-tuna-fish-miami.html#storylink=misearch
      Jim Davis

      Click Here To Read the Original “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach” article

      Click Here To Read the “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach (Input Received After 6/10/11)” article

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    • WARNING!!! Tickets Being Issued to Anchored Boats on Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway (near St. M. 103)

      We have no explanation for why a USACOE Park Ranger is issuing tickets to boats anchored on the Caloosahatchee River portion of the Okeechobee Waterway, but it’s a safe bet it has something to do with the low water levels on Lake Okeechobee. Perhaps the Corps is simply trying to keep as many boats as possible off the OWW during these times of historic low water.

      Ted
      Time to get the bloggers going. A USACOE park ranger from the Franklin Locks is writing $100.00 fine United States District Court Violation Notices to boaters on the Caloosahatchee. If you don’t pay, you get a federal warrant sworn out for your arrest.
      Apparently the Park Ranger can write these boating tickets based on the 1948 Flood Control Act, Central and South Florida Project, that governs the Caloosahatchee, Lake O and the St. Lucie Canal.
      I asked the attorney from the Jacksonville Office why a park ranger from the Franklin Locks is writing tickets on the River now when there hadn’t seemed to be any in the past. Of course the attorney didn’t know anything about it’¦.. (they don’t seem to know much up there..)
      Chilling effect on local businesses along the River?
      Best regards,
      Jody Foster

      The tickets are being written to those anchored off (or Mediterranean moored to) the LaBelle City Dock. At least one arrest warrant has already been issued.
      W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.
      Stuart, FL

      I’ve also heard an ACOE ranger is writing tickets by the Indiantown Marina.
      Jody Foster

      Here’s a update from Captain Foster, as of 7/8/11:

      Thanks for your continued interest. I’m very concerned that an Army Corp park ranger is cruising up and down the Caloosahatchee writing tickets that may or may not be legitimate even under the federal statute. Of course the big problem is the expense of fighting the ticket in federal court in Fort Myers rather than paying the $100.00 fine. The only response I got from the Army Corp is they have authority to write them under Title 36. And of course getting any response from the Army Corp took about 10 phone calls on my part. Good to know our federal tax dollars are being put to such good use’¦.
      Neither the Hendry County sheriff nor FWC were aware of these tickets. If I hear any more I’ll let you know.
      Best regards,
      Jody Foster

      Assuming the boaters were doing nothing illegal, I would suggest they immediately contact the larger local newspapers and television stations with their story.
      John Kettlewell

      Didn’t the word get out? Everything is illegal.
      Richard Glenn

      Did not see anything in the title that shows anchoring as a violation, maybe it’s hidden somewhere else or would someone post the details on the actual ticket’¦
      SUMMARY: Section 4 of this Act authorizes the Corps, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Army, to construct, maintain and operate public park and recreational facilities at water resources development projects (16 U.S.C. 460(d)). Local interests are also permitted to construct, operate and maintain such facilities with permission from the Secretary of the Army. Water areas of all such projects shall be open to public use generally, for boating, swimming, bathing, fishing, and other recreational purposes, and ready access to and exit from such water areas along the shores of such reservoirs shall be maintained for general public use, when such use is not found to be contrary to the public interest. The lease of public lands and structures at water projects is also authorized. Recreational uses must be consistent with State laws for the protection of fish and game. All persons designated by the Chief of Engineers for enforcement shall have the authority to issue a citation for violation of the regulations adopted by the Secretary of the Army. Amendments to this Act extend the development of recreation to non-reservoir projects.
      Dennis McMurtry

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    • Second Town Dock Proposed for Oriental, NC, AICW Statute Mile 181

      This is welcome news to those of us who have tried to find dockage in Oriental during the busy seasons. Cruisers’ Net would like to hear your opinions on the proposed town dock. Oriental harbor lies northwest of flashing green marker #1 in the Neuss River.

      Cruising News:
      A second Town Dock has been proposed in Oriental. For details of the proposal, and a map showing the location, go to:
      http://towndock.net/news/second-town-dock-proposed-for-oriental-harbor
      Richard Ross

      Good news. This is one of our favorite waypoints. The deli (now called the Bistro) [I suspect this is SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, the Village Food Emporium – Editor] has the best Rubin sandwiches in the world.
      Jim Powell

      I think another town dock would be great as the current one is always full every time we have tried to use it.
      Larry & Margie Ross aboard Wanderin L&M Hampton 55

      We stayed at a private dock once in Oriental. Other than that, we’ve had to pass by Oriental because there was no place to over-night. We’ll be hoping to visit Oriental for a few days this fall to visit friends ‘¦ if we can find dockage. We certainly encourage the town to create more space for cruisers.
      Greg & Marian Riach aboard S/V Muskoka Moon

      Current town dock has room for only 2 vessels. Anchoring space is very limited. Marinas there are relatively expensive. We like the town, but space is currently too limited’¦another place to tie up, or mooring balls would be a great improvement.
      Terry

      Oriental would certainly benefit by the addition of another town dock. The only limitation to a significant increase in visitors is dockage/anchorages. We skipped Oriental because of a lack of sufficient overnight space.
      Douglas Paddock

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Oriental, NC

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    • Fort Pierce City Marina Has a FULL Service Fuel Dock (Statute Mile 966.5)

       Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589Well, these pictures speak for themselves, and we sincerely thank Captain Benton for passing them along to the Cruisers’ Net! And, let’s also note that Fort Pierce City Marina is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!!

      Claiborne
      Here’s proof that the Fort PIerce City Marina has a ” Full Service ” fuel dock
      Bill Benton
      aboard ” Courtship”

       

       

      Many of you have asked for more info on the “vehicle” pictured in the photos below. We queried Fort Pierce City Marina, and Catpan Bill Benton was kind enough to respond:

      Claiborne
      Anne ( at the Fort Pierce City Marina) asked me to send you a synopsis of what occurred with the seaplane that landed out in front of the marina.
      As you probably recall, this is an older seaplane built in 1947 that left on June 15 from Nassau intending to land at the St. Lucie County Airport. He almost made it but due to a fuel leak, was forced to land on the water in front of the city marina.
      The plane engine was designed to run on regular gasoline as opposed to Avgas and was refueled by Craig Kilgore at the city marina fuel pumps. The plane was equipped with a variable pitch propeller which was stuck in reverse causing him all kinds of problems trying to taxi out of the marina. I towed him out into the area in front of the marina and, frankly, was scared to death when 30 yards or so out in the Indian River and still under tow he started the engine up and began to increase the RPMs. I didn’t realize it at the time but in order to shift the propeller from reverse into forward he needed the engine at increased RPMs and oil pressure. I had visions of my 14 foot Edgewater dinghy ` Jester’ being run over by an airplane and was more than a little bit nervous. The propeller shifted into forward and I quickly disconnected the tow line and began backing away as fast as I could. The tip of the Port wing actually passed over the bow of my dinghy. He tried several times to take off but was unable to for some reason. He finally shut the engine down and I towed him back into Moore’s creek, backed the plane into the launching ramp and a good Samaritan with a pickup truck tied a line to his Tailhook and pull him backwards up into the parking lot. The plane sat there until Sunday, June 19 while the owner/pilot dealt with all of the Government agencies involved. Customs and Border Protection, FAA, Coast Guard, County Sheriff, City Police, Parking Enforcement ( parked a plane in an area reserved for vehicles with trailers) and hundreds of admirers.
      The pilot and I were involved in a number of conversations over the days and he asked me to tow him out of Moore’s creek and into the area in front of the marina early Sunday morning. In the interim, he used borrowed 5 gallon gas cans to add additional gasoline to the plane’s tank and at about 7:30 Sunday morning I towed him out to the area in front of the marina. He taxied for a few minutes out in front of the marina during which time he apparently checked his gauges and instruments, finally taking off southbound where he got airborne quickly. He made a slow circle around the Marina area and on his second pass wiggled the wings to say goodbye. He called me about 10 minutes later and told me that he had landed safely at the St. Lucie County Airport, was topping off his fuel tank and was ready to head home. He called me again early in the afternoon to thank me for my help and advise me that he was safely at home in Bell, Florida, about 30 miles west of Gainesville. So ends the story.
      Bill Benton
      aboard ” Courtship”

      Being an old airplane driver, I believe this is a Republic Aviation `SeaBee’ Republic Aviation of P-47, F-84, F-105 fighter fame went into the civil aviation business after WW II. Good to see some are still around
      Reginald Holden

      Hey, that looks just like the one I carry around on my seaplane catapult on the fantail just aft of turret four.
      Rich Gano

      Gee!, Does the airplane have right-of-way over a sailboat when its taking off???
      Al

      Wow. I never cease to be amazed at the `wonders on the water’’¦’¦’¦ Is that a officer of the law or USCGstanding there looking at the `aero-aqua craft’???
      Winston Fowler

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    • Myrtle Beach Yacht Club Awarded Clean Marina Certification, AICW Statute Mile 346

      Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is unmatched for its Lowcountry charm and gracious hospitality. Myrtle Beach Yacht Club on Coquina Harbor has been a great stopping place and a friend to cruisers for years and now they are a friend to the environment. Naturally, they are a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Sponsor!

      Cruising News:
      We are proud to announce that Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is now a Certified Clean Marina Destination in the state of South Carolina. MBYC was presented with the Clean Marina Certification and Flag by the South Carolina Marina Association on Saturday, June 11th.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

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    • Why Florida Anchoring Regulations Hurt the Sunshine State Marine Industry (and More!)

      The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net received the note below, and we thought it so thoughtful, we have obtained the author’s permission to reprint it here, without attribution. This missive is typical of more and more that we are receiving, that imply some cruisers are simply not going to take their boats to Florida anymore, or at least keep them there a shorter time. And, that’s why so many of us are fighting so very hard to bring sense to the Florida anchoring and MSD issues.

      Claiborne,
      I have restrained myself mightily from getting too involved in the anchoring dialog on SSECN because I’m not on scene. But two things bode ill for the ultimate outcome. First, the public meetings have been scheduled for well after cruising migrations have removed most of the truly representative cruisers from the dialog. Second, when governments seek to end-run a prohibition they do so by making access so onerous as to drive people away in disgust. It is particularly disturbing to see a cruiser apparently abetting the process as in Sarasota.
      We lived in Florida for seven years (and may again, when day-sailing is all we do). What we learned while there was its margins are either backwaters ruled by Bubba Oligarchies, or Kitsch and Glitz ruled by Plutocracies. The backwaters are disappearing and plutocracy is dominating. The Miami dust-up is a good example. And, unfortunately, your contributor’s response to it may make him feel good, but it is wrecking goodwill in an area that was short of it to start with. [My Dad was a Sheriff’s Deputy.]
      We have already adjusted our cruising plans to seriously de-emphasize the Keys in favor of the Bahamas. For us Florida cruising now stops around Fort Pierce. The only serious interest in cruisers south and west of there is how to run them off or suck their wallets dry. All this discussion of mooring fields and buffer zones is a local tactic for coming up with ways to do both without violating Federal law.
      The Florida tourist culture is come here and spend more money per day than you would at home and then leave. That culture is the operating under-layer of the anchoring dialog. The ultimate injury Floridians feel is, those people at anchor are not spending money. Derelict boats and derelict liveaboards are clearly an issue. But aside from the people who want to enjoy their drugs in their waterfront backyards unobserved, it all comes down to money. One disgusted cruiser working as a part-time St. Augustine marina dockmaster told us the objective was to drive everyone into a marina, onto a mooring, or out of St. Augustine waters.
      Unfortunately, (even if one could be organized) a cruiser protest focused on hitting Florida service providers in the pocket book has no future. The state tax structure favors waterfront condos over marinas* and Florida chandleries make the lion’s share of the their money off local boaters. *[Yes, there were changes, but my discussions with marina, condo and marina-condo owners indicate the changes were wiped out by recession and after two years marinas discovered they were no better off. More and more marinas are condos themselves with the “Marina” being a disinterested collector of rents for the individual slip owners.]
      And don’t look for help soon from SSCA. The Concerned Cruisers Committee is now essentially defunct. The Florida Open Water Society has disappeared. And many other voices in the dialog have declared victory and moved on.
      Florida will win this one — and arguably they should, it’s their state. Florida is under no obligation to do anything other than respect Federal Law. And there are already plans in three jurisdictions to use Federal environmental bottom lands protection laws (as in the Keys) to prevent anchoring otherwise allowed by Federal navigation law.
      The forum you provide is an essential part of democracy, and I honor you for it, but cruisers (nomads) are easy to divide and conquer.
      Name Withheld by Request

      Very well said and I couldn’t agree more. The saddest part of all this is that I believe it is a small minority of well-connected business owners and local citizens that drive these onerous anchoring restrictions, while the silent majority that is not well connected doesn’t even know this is happening. Most people like to look out at boats at anchor. If nothing else it adds to the scenic beauty of the harbor. The nature of those that anchor is that they are transient and therefore have no political clout in the community, if they are even around when these laws are proposed. The good news is that there are still thousands of great places that welcome those who anchor and that is where we will go!
      John Kettlewell

      Alas, Name Withheld tells it as it is. The situation is compounded when FWC’s Pilot Program has a clear aim of helping municipalities fill their mooring fields. Freedom of choice’“anchor or pick up a mooring$’“will disappear. There are more freedoms granted to Winnebago landyachts than there are to Cruisers. The numbers of Cruisers economically affecting towns like StAugustine is insignificant compared to the influx of tourists driving in. We’re dollar driven.
      Jay Bliss

      With all due respect to the previous posters, and John’s remarks about transients: we transients CAN make a difference, provided we act. I’ve been in two anchoring battles now ‘“ Melbourne, and now, Miami Beach. The Melbourne battle was with the city proper, the MB issue is with a private citizen who is using the police to do his dirty work.
      Melbourne bailed on its three day anchoring ‘˜law’ when an article I wrote about the issue appeared in a Florida regional sailing magazine.
      In Miami Beach, City Hall has informed me that Karlton will get no further support from the police ‘“ and Claiborne, sorry but I haven’t had the opportunity to announce that to your readers as yet. I’ll send you the details in an email, plus a response to Mr. Mystery, whose father was a sherrif’s deputy.
      My dad was a cop. Cops hate having to break the law because someone with political clout gets a favor. Contrary to what Mr. Mystery says, the marine police will appreciate being out from under this guy’s thumb, so they can get on with their jobs.
      The point is ‘“ there are laws, and those we elect have an obligation to see that they are enforced ‘“ and not to attempt end runs around them in whatever manner they deem appropriate. That was Melbourne.
      And there are laws, and those we elect have an obligation to see that they are not enforced so as to favour those with money and/or political clout. That was Miami Beach.
      However ‘“ and this goes for both places ‘“ I was not the first and certainly not the only person to have issues over anchoring.
      In both places tho, it appears that I was the only person with the gumption to stand up on my feet and bark at the authorities.
      That’s typical. The reason politicians and others get away with the crap they do is because ‘“ now read this carefully ‘“ WE LET THEM.
      Shall I type that slower, or did everyone get it? We’re letting these people get away with this crap. It’s our fault.
      So the next person who wants to post his or her little whine here about how terrible the authorities are to us poor cruisers ‘“ you’d better be prepared to tell us ‘“ me ‘“ what YOU ‘“ ya, YOU ‘“ plan on doing about it.
      And, by the way, for those who don’t know me ‘“ I’m not even an American, I’m a Canuck. If I can win these fights here, in YOUR country, there’s no reason you, paying taxes and with the right to vote, can’t do the same thing.
      So don’t sit here and complain. Contact your senator, congresspuppy, local councilman/woman, get your concerns known and kick some butt.
      If you’re unhappy that these meetings are scheduled when cruisers are out of town, then complain. Make it clear, put it in writing, and get it to the local media. Copy Claiborne on it so others hear about it. Copy Boat US, and the NMMA. Each of them has a stake in the issue and will help you as they can.
      And when you’ve done all of that ‘“ then come on here and complain. At least you’ll have earned the right then.
      Wally Moran ‘“ no mystery about that.

      The . . . is right, if you give a damn, and contact the powers that be, the newspapers and, if you have to ,get a lawyer you can fight the bastards and win. I have done so and have been sucessfull, you can too. This whole thing is ours to win or lose. If you care, FIGHT.
      Pete

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    • New Idea for “Anchoring Permits” Proposed in Regards to the Sarasota, Florida Pilot Mooring Field Project

      Captain Ken DeLacy is a fellow live-aboard cruiser who has been working very had for several years in concert with other Sarasota boaters to bring about sensible mooring field/anchorage regulations which both preserve the rights of cruisers to anchor, yet address the problem of derelicts and “live aboard hulks.” In our collective opinion, his idea, outlined below, for Sarasota “Anchoring Permits” goes a long way towards solving these twin concerns. In a nutshell, as you will read, there is no time limit set for anchoring in Sarasota waters, as long as the vessel in question can pass a simple USCG Safety Inspection. This one simple act, will quickly cut out the derelicts and “live aboard hulks.”
      We believe this is an idea WELL WORTHY OF CAREFUL CONSIDERATION!

      Cruising News:
      Being a resident in Sarasota, one of the Pilot Program sites, and a concerned cruiser I made the drive down to Key Largo last Tuesday to attend the Public Workshop meeting. While I noticed about 40 cruisers in attendence only about 5 spoke. I did pitch the idea of Anchroing Permits as an alternitive to buffer zones and time limits to sort of test the waters. Some positive feed back was received by 2 cruisers, 1 condo resident who previously spoke supporting more mooring fields, and the FWC. We are looking for further thoughts on the idea and so I thought I’d paste it below.
      Thanks for any input and a special thank you to Claiborne and this network.
      Ken DeLacy

      Sarasota Anchoring Permit – draft 2
      The City of Sarasota will issue 90 day and Annual anchoring permits to all vessel owners who meet the following requirements. (90 day for cruisers and Annual Permits for cruisers/locals)
      1. a. Vessel shall obtain a USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Check (VSC) and receive either a “Yes” or “N/A” in order to receive the VSC decal. (Inspects Marine Sanitation Device, life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, etc.)
      b. Vessel shall also be required to receive a “Yes” for Items I – VI under “Recommended and Discussion Items” of the VSC. (Inspects anchors and line, bilge pump, marine radio, 1st aide kit, etc.)
      c. Vessel shall be required to navigate under it’s own power to a USCG facility, or other location which still demonstrates vessel’s ability to navigate, for VSC inspection. (USCG Aux. has assured willingness and ability to perform inspections at their dock at Centennial Park. They are volunteers – no cost to City.)
      d. Vessel shall display an up to date decal at all times. (Issued by USCG Aux. upon a passing inspection)
      2. All anchoring permit holders will be required to use pump-out services. (The VSC will require a functioning Marine Sanitation Device. The City pump-out boat which is currently servicing anchored vessels will report non compliant vessels to Marine Police.)
      3. Annual anchoring permit holders will be required to have a licensed diver inspect their anchoring system once their boat is anchored. The permit holder will be responsible for all these associated costs, and the diver must check off the following requirements. (Keeps costs away from City and placed upon the Anchoring Permit holder.)
      a. Vessel in location not adversely effecting seagrass, navigation, or another anchored vessel.
      b. Appropriate type and size line / chain used with no obvious defects.
      c. Appropriate amount of scope deployed.
      d. Anti chafe gear in place and in good condition.
      e. (1). Two anchor system set approx. 180 degrees apart. (2). Three anchor system set approx. 120 degrees part. (3). Four anchor system set approx. 90 degrees apart. (4). One anchor system not permitted.
      4. Applicant responsible for presenting VSC and Diver Inspection to Marine Police in order to receive the Anchoring Permit. Failure to do so within 30 days of arrival may result in violation of City Ordinance 07-4711(x)(x)(x).

      Shouldn’t short-term anchoring be permitted for at least a week without requiring a permit? Or will adequate moorings be available for rent? Last I heard, work had been stopped on expanding the very small mooring field.
      Will White

      The mistake I see in all of this is buying into their argument that a problem exists. The Sarasota proposal does that on steroids.
      bosunj

      What isn’t clear is what does this mean to someone who might want to anchor for a week. To go through all this rigamarole and expense for a short stay is a non-starter for us. The rules for clearing in and out of Cuba are simpler.
      Chris

      This could be the way to go as it will help with the derelict vessel problem but needs a little tweaking. the diver inspection would be a problem because if no diver corps have the right permitting they just will not offer the services which will make all the rest obsolete. there should be no third party involved but city and state otherwise there will be price gouging and corruption and we have all had enough of that
      Dave C.

      Terrible idea! You might as well just outlaw anchoring. Why should those who wish to anchor have to submit to this sort of drastic limit on their freedom? I for one consider having to fill out forms and taking tests to be totally against the spirit, and for that matter, established law of anchoring. It would absolutely guarantee I won’t visit Sarasota by water. I wouldn’t want to waste the time and money. This is a very slippery slope. Once one town gets a law like this on the books, the others with mooring fields will institute similar laws, but with different requirements. Before long we will have to register and submit forms, and of course pay fees to administer and enforce all this, to anchor anywhere. Other problems: a USCG auxiliary inspection requires equipment above what is required by law’“unenforceable, and I suspect someone could have the ticket thrown out of court for this reason. Many of us don’t use holding tanks and don’t require pumpouts’“I have a composting system. Having a licensed diver inspect your anchor = $$. Having someone else determine how I should be anchored is something I will not submit to. I have anchored thousands of times and I know how to anchor. This is obviously just a way to make it so much hassle that it will drive the anchorers away.
      John Kettlewell

      You HAVE to be kidding! We just spent 10 days anchored off Island Park in Sarasota. The bum boats are mostly gone already, lots of anchoring room, police towed two remaining abandoned boats away while we were there. We really enjoyed our stay, spent lots of money in their stores downtown, restaurants, etc. If this `anchoring permit’ idea goes into effect we will NEVER again stop in Sarasota!!!
      I would not be willing to waste my time going into an inspection station even though my vessel meets all of the requirements just so I could anchor for a short time in Sarasota. This `anchor permit’ will deter all cruisers who just want to spend a few days enjoying Sarasota from ever stopping there again. BAD idea, might as well just ban all anchoring in Sarasota waters. I would rather deal with a time limit (even a short one) than to submit to all this bureaucratic nonsense!!
      Larry Sherman

      Cruisers who want to anchor for less than 90 days don’t and shouldn’t need a permit to limit their freedom to do so.
      Non-cruisers, local residents or NOT, who want to STORE their boats at anchor for more than 90 days should be subject to oversight to protect the other cruisers using adjacent waterways from becoming victims of their neglect. An anchoring permit is a reasonable solution if you cannot STORE your boat on land.
      If the permit is a device to get derilect boats removed from sight, it will fail because you can comply with all the requirements of the permit and still have an unsightly boat.
      David Burnham

      Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the `multi’ anchor folks.
      Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
      S/V Endeavor

      I personally think USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Checks are a great idea, and we do one every year as a routine, ongoing safety program. I can support that idea in principle, and I ass/u/me it would also include the equivalent check from the US Power Squadron. One issues is that the stickers are based on a calendar year and expire in December. There needs to be a grace period recognizing that the program is an annual calendar-based program.
      I also agree with the idea that there needs to be a short term exclusion. It *is not* reasonable to require a permit for short stays; perhaps less than 14 days.
      One poster does raise an interesting point. What happens if one anchors in violation of a permit? Penalty? Fine? I wonder if a permit violation based on requirements that exceed state law and CG regulations would be enforceable? That criteria would just waste everyone’s time and energy, generate enormous dissatisfaction and resentment, and seems like it would be contrary to the spirit test.
      Finally, I agree that any ordinance needs to have a clearly defined statement of purpose and objective. If Sarasota’s is about derelict boats and derelict boats are not a problem, then there should be no ordinance.
      Jim Healy, aboard Sanctuary
      Monk 36 hull 132

      Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the `multi’ anchor folks.
      Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
      S/V Endeavor

      I too do not agree with over regulation. Particulerly when one of the city of Sarasotas complaints is the cost of enforcing current laws. However Ken’s proposal is much more cruiser frindly then plans that state no longer then 72 hours on anchor in city waters. That require the use of the proposed Marina Jacks managed mooring field after 72 hours. The city has been chosen as a state pilot program site. There will be regulations put in place. I would perfer the people pushing the mooring field not write them. To add to all of this the city claims that after there last mooring field failure. They are to invested to permenently abandon the plan. At the same time they will not rent showers, laundry facilitys, WiFi, or parking passes to cruisers or resident boat owners. Opening these services to boaters (not on Marina Jack’s docks) who can prove they have a safe navigable vessel. Could recover there loss with out adding to there debt. Aswell as bringing in more of the cruisers who would pay for those on shore luxuries. On the anchoring topic I do not care how you anchor. Just dont hit me and dont swing in that horried 200 ft 1 anchor ark. However when you pull up a ball of lovely Sarasota bay muck. Dont cry when you hit the beach or worse yet me.
      Bryan Makepeace
      S/V Albatross

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