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    • Photo of New St. Augustine Mooring Field (Statute Mile 778)

      On 9/16/10, we posted a combined notice from Captain Pete Peterson aboard s/y `Brilliant” and Captain Sterling informing the cruising community that a new, 30-ball mooring field, managed by the nearby City Marina, had just begun operation in St. Augustine, south of the Bridge of Lions. (see /mooring-balls-now-available-in-st-augustine-aicw-statute-mile-778) Now, Captain Sterling has sent along a very nice photo the the new mooring field (see below).

      Hey Claiborne!
      Delivering my boat to it’s new owners in Jacksonville Beach. New to me boat is under contract in Punta Gorda.
      I am attaching a picture of the mooring field ad ST. Augustine. It is open for biz and the southern sections is completed.
      See you on the Waterways!
      Capt. Sterling

      I think this mooring field is an excellent addition to the city. I would caution, however, be very careful loading and unloading, as the currents are strong here. Slip overboard and you’re gone!
      Captain Sterling

      Any information on the length of a boat at the mooring in St. Augustine. Thanks for the photo and latest info.
      Captain Maryann

      It would seem that the U.S. Supreme Court would disagree with St. Augustine’s opinion.
      In U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis Blue Point Oyster Cultivation Co. v. Briggs, 229 US 82 the court states: `If the public right of navigation is the dominant right, and if, as must be the case, the title of the owner of the bed of navigable waters hold subject absolutely to the public right of navigation, this dominant right must include the right to the use of the bed of water for every purpose which is in aid of navigation.’
      Federal District Court in Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957, 961 states: `’¦.’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.’
      It is well established that the public right of navigation is the dominant right on the waters of the U.S.
      Robert Driscoll

      While I am not a fan of forced mooring nor the banning of anchoring, let’s face it ‘“ derelict boats and selfish boaters have been pushing municipalities to their limits for decades. Most laws banning extended anchoring have been shot down in court but it takes years and lots of money to fight them so cities have gotten away with these laws sufficient to break even against those who would drop an anchor or two and just stay in one place forever. Perhaps that right exists, but I’ve seen many boats that became the responsibility of the local taxpayers, sunk, or refused to obey sanitary laws. Personally, I’ll probably skip St. Augustine in the future at the rates they are charging for these moorings, but I can’t entirely blame them for their actions.
      Peter TenHaagen

      All cruisers, however, are not as enthusiastic about the new mooring field.

      The city is now telling people that once the mooring field is in, they will be banning all anchoring between the Vilano and 312 Bridges. They say they can do this because they own the land under the water on a grant from the King of Spain. This continues the cities movement to get rid of boaters. They have precluded anyone who resides on their boat from getting the reduced rates for the mooring field. Residency requires a utility bill even if they have lived here for more than 10 years and own a business.

      I anchored there several years ago and found the current daunting. I can’t see how they can require one to take a mooring. It is an open body of water. How is it enforced?
      Jim Owens

      While I would personally agree that derelict boats and extremely long term anchorage might be a problem I am certainly against the entire boating public paying the price for the misconduct of a few. The city could just as well set and enforce responsible time limits (even though that too is probably illegal), but the whole class should not be punished for the misconduct of the few!
      Robert Driscoll

      A grant from the King of Spain? Which King? How preposterous. They have to make this claim of course because they have no other legal basis for the anchoring ban. And of course whichever King they are citing has been dead a few hundred years. So getting his views will be tough. St Augustine marinas are generally overpriced. No surprise then the mooring balls are following suit. And while I am at it’¦ I don’t buy the argument that these communities have to do this in `self defense.’. Self defense from what? Drive the hoods of St Augustine or any other coastal city. You will see run down homes, unkempt lawns, non running cars in driveways blah blah blah. Even in the multi million dollars spots there are homes that look like crap. There are of course ordinances that can address some if this. But if people want to live like slobs it is (still) a Fred country. These communities pick on the boating community because we are an easy target.
      Eric Vahlbusch

      We have anchored about a dozen times in St. Augustine. The tides and current (and bottom) there can be treacherous, and we are pleased to see the installation of a mooring field. The nightly fee of $20 is a little bit stiff, but since they have charged $10 for a dinghy landing for a number of years, it doesn’t seem too bad. If they keep the field clean and open, it is welcome to us.
      One Eyed Parrots

      Has anyone addressed a size limit in the new mooring field?
      Ed Potter

      re: anchoring in St augustine… see which summarizes the fl laws… i’d think any spanish grant was passed to the state when fl became state. therefore, all fl laws re waterways apply.
      Captain Guy
      Deliveries & Instruction-Power & Sail
      New Smyrna Beach FL USA

      Wasn’t the king of Spain granted his rights by GOD!!
      Capt. Tom aboard M/V Pleiades

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