Visit Logged
  • Select Region
    • All Regions
    • VA to NC Line
    • North Carolina
    • South Carolina
    • Georgia
    • Eastern Florida
    • Western Florida
    • Florida Keys
    • Okeechobee Waterway
    • Northern Gulf
    • Bahamas
    Order by:
    • More on the Portsmouth, VA Docking Situation

      Mile Marker 0 is a full-service marine supply business at One High Street Landing in Portsmouth VAIn an earlier, MUCH READ posting here on the Cruisers’ Net, we reported about an unfortunate situation that has developed on the Portsmouth, VA downtown waterfront, whereby the city has erected signs which seem to preclude overnight dockage (see /?p=98289). Captain Bob McBride, proprietor of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Mile Marker 0 Marine Supply, reports that these regulations are NOT being enforced, but this situation has still had a serious effect on his business, as well as any number of other firms operating near the downtown waterfront.
      Now, Captain Bob has sent us a photo, pictured here. He comments on this pic:

      The couple on the boat will verify that he [the police officer] said the signs were coming down but was not sure. he also helped them tie up and said to stay as long as they wanted.

      Be the first to comment!

    • Passage Report from Little Mud River, AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 655

      Little Mud River is almost universally acknowledged to be the worst section of the entire AICW run from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL. This “AICW Problem Stretch” lies some 21 statute miles north of Brunswick, Georgia. Earlier depth soundings from other cruisers have confirmed our recommendation to navigate this stretch at mid to high tide only.

      Traveling on 10/1-7/12
      From Georgetown, SC to Brunswick, Ga.
      We traveled this past week with high tides between 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM. Most times leaving at 7:30 AM an hour or so after Low Tide. There were no problems with depths, shoaling, or missing markers.
      The ONLY issue we found was in Little Mud River (MM-653 – 655) at 2.5 hours before high tide. At the very Southern end, after leaving R-194 the current wanted to push toward G-195, which looked ok, but NOT. Very shallow as you near G-195. You want to FAVOR the front range marker not center of channel. This will keep the depth around 8′ under the boat. This is what we experienced, as always you are the Captain and responsible for your vessel’s safety.
      Jim Cobb
      Palmetto Moon

      Yesterday, October 11, 2012, we went by the Darien and Rockedundy Rivers and through the Little Mud River at almost exactly mid-tide (by the clock ‘“ about 20 minutes either side of noon). I zig-zagged all over and mostly found 7-8′ or more, but it can be really narrow. (I verified my depth sounder readings with a lead line today). I did not find a hump between R `192’³ and G `193’³ at the little creek as I have seen in the past. The shallowest portion I found was south of G `193’³ and it was down to 6’ in a couple places. Staying on the range, I found plenty of water past `195’³. Your experience may vary ‘“ this is good practice for the Bahamas!
      Dana Breda

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Little Mud River

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

      Be the first to comment!

    • Report from North Edisto River Inlet, well off the AICW, south of Charleston, SC

      North Edisto River Entrance - Click for Chartview

      The AICW intersects the North Edisto River at Statute Mile 497. You must abandon the Waterway and cruise downstream some 8.5 nautical miles to reach this river’s inlet.

      Cruising News:
      I recently transited the North Edisto R inlet from West to East.
      Both R-6 and R-4 as shown on Chart #11522 are missing. R-2NE is in the position as shown.
      I favored G-9 off Deveaux Bank going thru the deepest water of the middle bank thru the old position of R-6 and on to R-2NE at mid high tide with nothing less than 13′. Ebb tide with NW 10k winds.
      65′ MV draft 5-5′
      Ray Cope

      UPDATE – October 10, 2012, we just received the report below from Capt. Rob Bessinger and have consequently rescinded our Navigation Alert for these waters.

      According to USCG Local Notice to Mariners, Distrcit 7, Week 40/12 [the first week of October], Chart 11522, the North Edisto River Entrance Lighted Buoy 6 (R6) is fixed and has status of “Watching Properly”

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of North Edisto River Inlet

      Be the first to comment!

    • CHARTING ERROR Discovered By Way Of Good Advice on Transiting the Northern Alligator River/AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 80

      Over the weekend of 10/6/12 to 10/7/12, we received the message below from Captain Sykes DeHarrt, concerning the perennial AICW Problem Stretch at the northern mouth of the Alligator River.
      Clearly, this is good advice, but as you will see, Captain Syke’s info pointed out a potential problem.

      Cruising News:
      Came thru there going south 2 days ago. There is absolutely no problem at the entrance if one follows the marks. The problem area has apparently been near marker 8. If you stay half way between 7 and 8 the depth never gets below 12 feet. Go from this point straight to marker 9 and don’t do the dog leg I think a lot of chart plotters show. They have added marker 8A to help keep you away from that shoal.
      Sykes DeHart
      sv Aquarius

      After reading Captain DeHart’s welcome input, we consulted the latest edition of chart 11553, and immediately spotted marker #8A mentioned in the article above. WHAT REALLY CONCERNED US WAS THE DEPICTION OF THE INFAMOUS MAGENTA LINE SHOWN AS PASSING TO THE WEST OF #8A. BOTH THIS MARKER’S COLOR, AND CAPTAIN DEHART’S COMMENTS SUGGESTED THIS AID TO NAVIGATION SHOULD BE PASSED TO ITS EASTERLY QUARTER.
      We all know that navigators CAN’T trust the magenta line, but many cruisers do follow it all too closely, so a charting error at this crucial intersection needs to be called to the immediate attention of the cruising community./
      First, we sent out a special SSECN Alert on the morning of 10/8/12, asking for input from our fellow cruisers, and, in particular, confirmation that marker #8A should be passed to its EASTERLY side. By the same afternoon, we had much appreciated, plentiful evidence from multiple captains, that CHART 11553 IS INDEED IN ERROR, AND THAT ALL CRUISERS SHOULD PASS TO THE EAST OF #8A!!!! IGNORE THE DEPICTION OF THE MAGENTA LINE PASSING WEST OF #8A, ON THE CURRENT EDITION OF CHART 11553!
      Read the input below, say a thanks to our fellow cruisers, and then mark your version of 11553!
      Can’t sign off without noting that this is a clear case of the Cruisers’ Net model working to perfection. We hear a report, professionally research the problem by bringing the 50+ combined years of our staff’s Southeastern USA cruising experience to bear, and then ask for on-site input from fellow cruisers. The cruising community responds, and within hours, we have a solution. Pretty neat, huh!

      We passed through on 9/28 and had no problems following the markers. If you stay towards the green markers 7 & 9, you should be ok with good depths around 10-12 ft. Our chart plotter had the 8A and the magenta line correctly place left [East] of 8A.
      Susan Leaf

      Hi Claiborne
      We passed there yesterday 10/7/2012 No problem if you follow the markers not the plotter Passed to the east of 8A water depth was never under 11 ft.
      Larry Ross
      Wanderin’ L&M
      55 Hampton

      We passed through this area on 9/16/2012 with a 130 foot motor yacht and didn’t have any problems. We ran the channel the same way Captain DeHart did, leaving `R’ 8A to starboard [#8A’s EASTERN side] and had 10 feet or more all the way through. We were drawing 8 feet at the time and got a call from another large yacht behind us who was aware of our draft. He was watching us on AIS and saw that we appeared to pass the marker on the `wrong’ side according to his plotter and the magenta line. After assuring him to forget the line he also ran through with the reds to his right and had plenty of water.
      Captain Bill Hipple
      M/Y Lady Kath

      10/6/2012///Sailed to a point approximately 1nm NW of 1AR, joined with the charted magenta line approx half way to G3. Maintened the charted center (magenta line) until through the opening. Experinced nothing that was not charted, in fact we consistantly had 1-2 ft more than charted. Left the chart to proceed to the AR `Marina’.
      We have a shoal draft 4′-9’³ but were sailing with another boat with 5 (or more) draft. Again no issues.

      If you track the magenta line and draw more than 3 feet, at low tide, you WILL ground in a number of places, North entrance to Alligator River being one.
      The magenta line does NOT provide lateral information, nor indicate a channel. What it does do is indicate the body of water containing the AICW and provide the basis for the mile markers ‘“ the chart preparers measure the line to establish the mileages.
      There are a number of points on the ICW where the magenta line passes the wrong side of the mark, not just by gps location, but shown on the NOAA raster charts. There is a location south of Barfoot landing where you will not be able to track the magenta line unless your boat is amphibious.
      A few years ago, one of the revisions of the NOAA raster chart showing Shallotte Inlet provided some wiggles in the magenta line between marks. This would suggest the line might have tracked the channel. Not only did it not, but when we went through the marks had been moved to respond to the recently sounded shoaling pattern.
      John Ferguson

      I was through the intersection of Albermarle and Alligator River on 10/12 and 10/17 with no problems. With my 5 foot draft I always had at least 7 feet under the keel by using the westerly green 3 and hugging the greens all the way through.
      Gray Riddick

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Northern Alligator River

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch at the Northern Mouth of Alligator River

      Be the first to comment!

    • Praise for Dunedin Municipal Marina (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 139)

       We have always enjoyed a stay at Dunedin Municipal Marina. This facility is backed by a beautiful green park, which often hosts local shows and fairs, and one block farther on you will discover the downtown shopping district. Here, don’t dare miss Dining at Kelly’s Bistro. Yummmmmm!

      Dunedin Municipal Marina is convenient to restaurants & shopping, just a 2 block walk to the main downtown area. We liked it so much here we moved from Illinois to Dunedin while on the loop earlier this year.
      From Anclote Key follow the ICW south to G”7″, from Clearwater Inlet follow the ICW north to G”5″.
      Ron & Jan Matuska

      I agree Dunedin is really a nice town and they have a very good Mexican restaurant not far from the marina!
      Jim and Dale McGovern
      Aboard SweetPea

      The Dunedin Municipal Marina is excellent. Great staff and facilities at a good rate.
      Sea Potts

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Dunedin Municipal Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dunedin Municipal Marina

      Be the first to comment!

    • Portsmouth, VA City Government Not In Tune With Cruisers

      Mile Marker 0 is a full-service marine supply business at One High Street Landing in Portsmouth VAThe note below has been sent to the SSECN from Captain Bob McBride, owner of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Mile Marker 0 Marine Supplies, located in Portsmouth, Virginia. As you will read, the situation along this community waterfront will provoke a lot of head scratching within the cruising community.
      Apparently, the city has put up signs along the waterfront (see below), which seem to ban overnight docking. Captain Bob reports that these regulations are NOT being enforced, but this situation has still had a serious effect on his business, as well as any number of other firms operating near the downtown waterfront. You know, sometimes I truly believe that if anyone is elected to public office, they must sign a pledge to abandon ALL common sense.
      Anyway, WE URGE THE CRUISING COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT CAPTAIN BOB, MILE MARKER 0 MARINE SUPPLY, AND ALL THE OTHER MERCHANTS IN DOWNTOWN PORTSMOUTH! These new, apparently unenforced, regulations are NOT their idea, and, in fact, they are fighting them tooth and nail. So stop by, talk with Captain Bob, and express your support (and give him some business)!

      Many boaters heading south have enjoyed over the years a friendly stay at the Portsmouth landings. The city has put up signs saying `NO DOCKING from 12:00 to 6:00 am. Many boaters are afraid of the possible consequences should they tie up and spend the night. The city is not enforcing it but the boaters are not taking any chances.The other week we had a successful Trawler rendezvous and over 60+ boats were at Tidewater Yacht for a week. We hosted a cocktail party for the trawlers assoc. and had over 100 people in our store and they are still talking about the great time they had and the fellowship.They confronted the mayor the day he addressed the group and encouraged him to take down the signs.His response was not positive but that of a politician up for re-election in November. I had a meeting with him the next day,and asked that the city change their perception and direction, his answer was the same,as when he spoke to the Trawlers.I told him the word was travelling fast through the boating community not to stop in Portsmouth Va.If something was not done and soon we would lose a tremendous amount of business from a great group of travelers.
      I appreciate all that you do.
      Bob McBride

      This is one of our favorite stops and MM 0 is a great stop. Bob McBride is outstanding and Portsmouth is a great town. We have stopped here many times. We wrote the mayor and all the council-folks an email asking them to reconsider. Google Portsmouth and you get a link to do the same.
      John Winter

      I would highly encourage boaters to stop by the southern- most Portsmouth marine basin to visit Captain Bob at Mile Marker Zero Marine Supply. We stayed during the hot weather in July and Captain Bob welcomed everyone into the refreshing air conditioning of his shop to do Internet or just sit and talk about boating. His hospitality is legendary among those cruisers who stay in the basin. We stayed for a while with a group of British sailboats and had an incredible time. Downtown Portsmouth has wonderful restaurants and a great historical area, and Captain Bob is known to invited boaters back to his house for a dip in the pool and a barbeque. Again, if you are going to stop anywhere on the ICW, make sure to stop in Portsmouth and say hi to Captain Bob at Mile Marker 0.
      Walter Conner

      We were rousted out of the basin by a cop 4-5 years ago. He said that overnights weren’t not allowed. Fortunately, he kicked us out at 8 AM, after we had a good nights sleep and just tas we were leaving anyhow.
      Since then I’ve heard of many others who stayed there without incident.
      Dick Mills

      We really enjoyed our stop at Portsmouth. Had coffee at the Kiosk, bought some needed marine stuff from Capt. Bob, and enjoyed dinner and a movie at the theater just up the street.
      To whom could we send a note to let the `city fathers’ know we cruisers want to continue to enjoy their waterfront without worrying about being told to leave on short notice.
      Judy&GeneKoetitz aboard Lo Que Se A

      We always stop in Portsmouth on our way north and south in Spring and Fall. Sorry to hear about politics putting a stop to our visits but that is what will happen.
      Jim Angel

      The Trawler Association that Capt Bob Hosted at his business was the MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Assoc) while they conducted their Northern Rendezvous 2012 in Portsmouth. Mile Marker Zero Marine Supplies hosted a very nice party for MTOA and we sincerely appreciate his hospitality and the good food.
      Salute to Capt Bob @ Mile Marker Zero Marine Supplies
      Capt. Bob Kovach

      After featuring the above article in our 10/5/12 SSECN Alert, many cruisers e-mailed and asked for names and e-mail addresses of Portsmouth, VA city government leaders, so they could send their thoughts to these officials. We asked Captain McBride to pass along this info, and he has responded:

      We need to let the mayor know as well as the other council members. This is an election year for the council and the mayor does have opposition. Mariners can go on the city web site and get their e-mail address.The web site is
      Thank you for helping us, as it is really a matter of existence since many of the mariners stop outside the landing and use their binoculars to check out the signs, and then they continue on their way.I even have a photo of a Portsmouth police officer assisting a boater to tie up and our landing. He told the boater that they were not enforcing the signs and that they would be coming down soon.
      the question is if that so why are they dragging their anchor.
      Thank You
      Bob McBride

      I got a nice reply from the mayor of Portsmith just now. It was very nice and he said that `Perhaps we are missing out on the best way to do this.’ and stated that the city should talk with local marinas to see what can be done. I gave him Capt’n Bob’s website, phone #, etc. and thanked him. I cc:d the commissioners.
      John Winter

      Be the first to comment!

    • Pungo Creek Marina Back Up and Running (North Carolina AICW, Statute Mile 136)

      A few years ago, the cruising community was actively commenting on what was then a newly revamped marina facility, just off the Waterway, south of Belhaven, NC, on the northern shores of Pungo Creek. Pungo Creek Marina was pumping fuel, had a newly opened ship’s store and lounge, and was (and still is) set in one of the most peaceful places imaginable.
      Then, along came strong storms and this facility was all but laid waste. I visited here in March of this year, and could not find any management to speak with, but a long time resident boat owner was most helpful, and it became apparent from our conversation that the future, if any, of this marina, was “iffy.”
      Now, we are very happy to report that new owners have taken over, fuel is once again being pumped, and transients accepted for overnight dockage. And, it just so happens, the boat owner I spoke with back in March, Captain Allen McMurtry, is the new, and super friendly, dockmaster!
      There are no restaurants that can currently be accessed from Pungo Creek Marina’s docks, but Captain Allen will help with landside transportation to the local Food Lion supermarket, and to propane tank exchange and tank refill dealers in nearby Belhaven.
      Of course, it’s only fair to point out that this facility must be weighed against SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Belhaven Waterway Marina, just to the north along the shores of Pantego Creek and the Belhaven waterfront. BWM has the advantage of being within easy walking distance of downtown Belhaven, with its restaurants and historic attractions.
      However, if you prefer a marina that is far, far from the maddening crowed, give Pungo Creek a look as well.
      We would LOVE to hear from fellow cruisers who have spent some time at the new incarnation of Pungo Creek Marina. PLEASE send your impressions to, or click the “Contribute Cruising News” link/button on the upper right of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages (except Chart View pages).

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Updated Listing For Pungo Creek Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pungo Creek Marina

      Be the first to comment!

    • Shallowbag Bay Marina (off the AICW, off Roanoke Sound, on Roanoke Island)

      Thanks to “Captain Parky” we have learned that Shallowbag Bay Marina, in the community of Manteo, North Carolina, on Roanoke Island, is under new ownership and management, and is now once again welcoming visiting cruisers. Coupled with SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina, this community can now lay claim to marina facilitates second to none in the Tar Heel state!
      Shallowbag Bay Marina is accessed via a marked channel, running south from Shallowbag Bay channel marker #10. This passage can be a bit tricky for first timers. Give super-friendly dockmaster, Rita, a call at 252-305 8726. She can give you the latest tips for safe entry!

      I’m at Shallowbag Bay Marina ( – a first class facility at reasonable rates. Grocery stores, pharmacies, a liquor store and a great little family restaurant called TL’s are all within walking distance. Manteo is a bike ride away – but with plenty of things to do and see. And the Outer Banks themselves (Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills etc) offer just about every experience you need for a holiday or stopover visit – including good fishing, good sailing and endless beaches.
      So much so, I’m thinking of wintering here so that next year I’ll easily have both Chesapeake and the Outer Banks wihin easy reach.
      Cap’n Parky
      MV Pisces

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Shallowbag Bay Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Shallowbag Bay Marina

      Be the first to comment!

    • Florida “Sojourner’s Permit” Explained

      A couple of years ago, we published complete instructions here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net about what a Florida Sojourner’s Permit is, and why it was/is so important. Well, it’s time to refresh that information here as the fall, 2012 transient season gets underway.
      First, here is the message, which originally appeared on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association forum which prompted us to get off our duffs and bring this issue anew to the attention of the cruising community.

      If you plan on staying in Florida over 90 days, you need to consider getting a Sojourners permit. Most Florida tax collectors are not familiar with the program and when you go for yours, take along all the forms your will need. Permit is good for 11 months, cost us less than $125. Florida, as do all other states, limits the time you can spend there without registering your boat in their state.
      Go to for more information.
      You should also refer to yourself as long-term cruiser, not live-aboard.
      Ron Matuska
      Dunedin, FL

      Now, why is it important to get a Sojourner’s Permit if you plan to have your vessel in Floridian waters longer than 90 days. There are at least two reasons, and one is referred to in Captain Ron’s message above.

      1. If your vessel is registered in another state besides Florida, you can operate in Floridian water for up to 90 days without a problem. HOWEVER, if your vessel is Federally Documented, and NOT ALSO state registered, you MUST register it with the state of Florida, or you may be ticketed immediately upon entering Floridian waters. Or, put another way, Federally Documented vessels MUST ALSO be state registered (either with Florida or another state), or you face the possibility of a ticket.
      By the way, it’s this onerous feature of Florida state law that used to allow the “Venice Water Nazi” to ticket boats coming and going in the city of Venice.
      If your vessel remains in Florida for longer than 90 days, even if it’s registered in another state, YOU MUST ALSO REGISTER IT IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA UNLESS YOU OBTAIN A SOJOURNER’S PERMIT! Conversely, iF you succeed in getting a Sojourner’s Permit in hand you will not have to fork over for a costly FL state registration (again, see below) for stays up to 11 months.
      My, my wasn’t that fun!

      2. With a Sojourner’s Permit, you will NOT be hassled to pay sales tax on your vessel. I know this sounds crazy, but if your boat has been owned out of state for less a year before being brought into Florida, and the state in which you purchased your vessel does not collect sales tax on purchases of pleasure boats, the Sunshine State will actually try to charge sales tax on your vessel’s purchase price, if you stay in Floridian waters longer than 90 days (without a Sojourner’s Permit). So, to avoid this ridiculous and expensive charge, get a Sojourner’s Permit. Again, crazy, I know!

      OK, so the above is why obtaining a Sojourner’s Permit is a really good idea. How does not obtain such a document?

      We are pleased to report that our good friend, Captain Mike Dickens at Paradise Yacht Sales and Service (Fernandina Beach, FL, provides what cruisers need to obtain one of these permits on his web site. Follow the links below.

      Sojourner’s Permit Form –

      Sojourner’s Permit Instructions –

      Hopefully, along with a little cash, that’s all you will need to cruise tax free in the Sunshine State for up to 11 months. Of course, if any member of the cruising community has found out DIFFERENTLY, WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! Please send all your comments and accounts of your experiences directly to:

      Good luck and good cruising to all!

      Have question concerning this. Our boat is documented only as our state does not require a registration if doucumented. So this information says to aquire the Sojourner permit you need a copy of registration. What do we need to do for this? Thanks for any help on this.
      Susan Dawson S/V Colleen Mae

      In my original post I noted our Fl permit was good for 11 months. I am not sure if the period was related to when we purchased, Jan 2012, good until Dec 2012, or to some other criteria. You get the permits at a DMV / Tax collector office and in Florida, vehicle registrations end the month of your birthdate, and my birthmonth is December. Also, at the time we purchased the permit we were Illinois residents, our boat was registered in Delaware, and is USCG documented. We stayed in Florida from about Dec 1, 2011 until June 1, 2012. After cruising the east coast this summer, we left our boat in NJ for winter storage when we will continue north again.
      Ron Matuska

      And, here’s some valuable input from fellow nautical author, Captain John Kettlewell:

      Looking around at different county websites it is pretty clear that most say your boat must be state registered to get the Sojourner permit. Some states, like Massachusetts where I keep my boat, do not require state registration of documented vessels, so there is no real savings in hassle for me. I would have to first get a state registration before heading to Florida. In fact, I don’t believe Florida has any grace period for documented vessels–your boat has to be state registered somewhere to operate on Florida waters.

      From Manatee County here:

      Yes, the State of Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers from another state issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90-days on recreational boats only. You can operate your out-of-state registered boat on Florida waterways without obtaining a Florida registration/decal.
      However, if you reside in Florida for more than 90-days, you must either title and register your boat in Florida or purchase a Sojourner registration (if you plan on taking the boat back to your home state).

      To obtain a Sojourner registration, you must:

      1. Provide a copy of the out-of-state registration showing the boat details, out of state # and owner names.
      2. Complete Form 87244 Application for Non-Titled Boat

      However, the sales tax thing is also clear. Many of us will not owe sales or use tax even if we have to register in Florida, unless we bought the boat within the last six months and/or we are Florida residents:

      Under most conditions, use tax and surtax are due on boats brought into Florida within 6 months from the date of purchase. However, use tax may be due upon importation into Florida, under either of the following conditions:

      ‘¢ The boat belongs to a Florida resident; or
      ‘¢ The boat belongs to a corporation for the use of a corporate officer or director who is a Florida resident or who owns, controls, or manages a dwelling in Florida.
      John J. Kettlewell

      By the way, for some of us with older boats (30 years or more) Florida has an antique boat registration that is very cheap. I believe you are exempted from most of the annual registration fee. More information here:

      I’m reading and rereading the words and am thoroughly confused. We live in NC, purchased our boat in NC, paid the sales tax on our boat to NC, and annually pay property tax on our boat. Our boat is a USCG documented vessel ‘“ NC does not require state registration on USCG documented vessels. We plan to visit FL this season but for less than 90 days. Do we need a Sojourner’s Permit? I’m still not sure about the answer to this question.

      Claiborne answers:
      OK, I have an answer for that one. Since you will be in Florida for less than 90 days, you do NOT need a Sojourners Permit.
      1. You can not state register your vessel, and hope you don’t get stopped in Florida, knowing that if you are, you WILL be ticketed!
      2. You can register your boat with the state of Florida, which, I’m told, is an expensive proposition
      3. You can register your boat in NC, even though our state does not require state registration for Federally documented vessels. Florida WILL accept NC (or any other state) registration, BUT you must have your state registration papers aboard, and put the appropriate sticker on your boat’s bow.
      As I said, no really good alternative, but, for my money, I would pick #3.
      Don’t shoot the messenger. That’s my take on your situation!

      After receiving the first message below, there was some question whether the state of North Carolina would state register a Federally Documented vessel. Turns out “titling” and “registering” are two very different creatures, at least in the Tar Heel state, and, as you will read below, it IS possible to “register” a documented boat in NC.

      Hi again
      I checked the NC Web site for vessel registration (which I use for our dinghy registration) and it’s curious to note that the lead questions on the VL-1 form are this:

      1) Is this vessel documented by the US Coast Guard Yes or No (If Yes, vessel cannot be titled)
      2) Is this vessel 14′ or longer, or a personal watercraft Yes or No (If Yes, vessel must be titled)

      Registration must be a different process than titling Hmmm
      My answer to both of these questions is Yes guess I’ll give them a call on Monday

      Hi Claiborne ‘¦
      Here’s what we just learned from NC Wildlife Resources Commission – both on their Web site ( and by phone (1-800-628-3773). They will also take questions via email at
      Actually the woman we spoke with chuckled and puzzled over why in the world we’d want to register our boat with NC if it’s already a USCG documented vessel! She did say that we couldn’t title the vessel – but if we wanted to pay $15 for 1 year (or $40 for 3 years), we needed to complete form VL1 (see link below), submit a copy of our USCG documentation paperwork, and they would get us registered.
      Here’s the link to the NC form VL1:
      So hopefully once that is done and we receive our registration number for NC, if we carry that paperwork and display our NC number on the bow of our boat, we won’t be pestered or ticketed by FL authorities – if we stay less than 90 days.
      By the way, we always carry our tax information on board.
      Is that your understanding, given this information?
      Thanks again for providing us your info – hopefully our follow-up will help others.
      Barb & Roy Masinton
      s/v Waterdog

      One suggestion to Captains Barb and Roy – see Captain Ted’s remarks below. Looks like it’s NOT a good idea to paint your NC registration numbers on your bow IF and only if your vessel is Federally documented!

      After reading some of this discussion last week I registered my documented vessel with North Carolina, we live in NewBern, for three years for a total of $60.00.
      We are heading to the Bahamas on the 15th but will bepassing through Flordia (very quickly).
      Newton Collyar
      S/V Bifrost

      You suggested putting registration numbers on a documented boat. That is against USCG documentation rules. Putting the registration STICKER on is OK, but not the state registration number on the bow.
      Second; some people get titling & registration mixed. If federally documented, that is your title. In that case, you CANNOT state TITLE, but you can state register a CG documented boat. The state will issue a reg number & sticker. You can use the reg number for paperwork but do not put it on the bow. The sticker should be sufficient for the water cops.

      We’ve just reviewed the further post from Captain Ted and this may have answered our question of latest concern.
      We’re in the process of renewing our USCG certificate of documentation and there’s one paragraph on the form that states this:
      `If the vessel has been lost, sold, abandoned, destroyed, or placed under state numbering [and isn’t that what we’re about to request by registering our boat in NC?], the vessel owner must notify the National Vessel Documentation center in writing. If the Certificate of Documentation is available, it must be surrendered.’
      We did try to give the Documentation Center a call today (1-800-799-8362) to ask their advice, as we wish to retain our Certificate of Documentation ‘“ but they were closed for the holiday. We will call tomorrow. Meanwhile, we’ve not mailed a thing and won’t do so until we know for certain we are proceeding with our best interests in mind.
      Barb & Roy Masinton
      s/v Waterdog

      And, a very important final message from Captains Barb and Roy. As you will see, it IS possible to register their vessel in North Carolina, thereby avoiding having to register it in Florida, and STILL RETAIN their Federal Documentaton!

      Hi Claiborne and others!
      Here’s the next (and maybe last) installment in the search for answers to our sojourner’s permit questions. After talking today (10/9/12) to a documentation officer from the National Vessel Documentation Center in West Virginia (1-800-799-8362), she gave me the following advice and guidance: Yes, we can obtain a NC vessel registration number and not be in conflict with our Certificate of Documentation from the Coast Guard, provided we 1) do not title our vessel with NC, 2) do not affix any registration numbers or stickers to our vessel, 3) continue to follow all the rules applicable to a documented vessel. If we follow these 3 guidelines, we do not have to surrender our Certificate of Documentation. If we carry our NC registration paperwork on board while cruising in FL waters (for less than 90 days) we can demonstrate to officials that we have been responsible in paying fees to NC, and FL fees are not required and potential ticketing in FL will no longer be an issue. We are comfortable with this advice and look forward to our cruise down south this season.
      Thanks everyone for helping with answers and comments.
      Barb Masinton and Captain Roy
      s/v Waterdog

      Regarding the 90 days’¦
      is this 90 days per calender year?
      Lets say I enter Fl Dec 1st and leave for the Bahamas Jan 30. That’s 2 months. When I come back do I have 1 month or 2 left in my 90 days? And when I come back in the fall?
      How do they track your comings & goings? Do marinas like Fernandina Beach turn in reports to FWC? Bascule bridges?
      How heavy is the burden of proof of your entry into the state?

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Don -  August 25, 2015 - 9:45 am

        I think this information is outdated. There is nothing in Florida state statutes about a “Sojourner” permit or registration. Indeed, the word “sojourner” does not appear anywhere in any state statute.

        Some counties mention registration for sojourners, but this is simply a temporary registration that is available without transferring title of your vessel to Florida. As far as I can tell, the fees are exactly the same as for “normal” registration.

        Of course, registration in Florida is pretty cheap. Probably less than the cost of taking a few friends out for a night on the town. If your boat is less than 40′ it’s about $120 per year. Up to 65′ in length, it is still less than $200.

        Reply to Don
    • Florida Marina Liveaboard Discussion

      For the last week or so, there has been a lively discussion on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association forum ( about the issue of liveaboards, particularly as this issue relates to facilities in Florida. All of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are aware of the importance of this issue to the cruising community, and will soon make available a comprehensive, professionally researched list of marinas where liveaboards are welcome. Until that happy event, listen to what our fellow mariners have to say by following the link below! This discussion is just too lengthy to post in its entirety here.


      Be the first to comment!

    Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :