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post #3 of Old 09-12-2003
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Boaters Rights, Boot Key Harbor

Your sighting of "Florida Statutes 810.08 Trespass in structure or conveyance" won''t apply here as it pertains to real property. Boats are personal property (like your car) and don''t enjoy the same protections under the law.

Basically, any "authority" can "trespass" aboard your vessel, or in your car, pretty much whenever they want. And, like it or not, if you park your car in a no parking zone as established by city ordinance, or leave it in a public parking lot for an unreasonable amount of time, the city will tow and impound the car.

Unfortunately, people who live aboard, don''t have the same rights as land based home owners. Same goes for folks traveling around in RVs. The laws of real estate don''t apply, so my guess is the city wins and their ordinance stands.

Boaters rights is a great idea, but the reality is we don''t have many. If the lawmakers decide to move towards some sort of boater licensing, we''ll have even fewer. As drivers licenses are priviledged licenses (not rights), the priviledge of operating a vessel would be granted, but not guaranteed, by some law. So you see just how fine a line it really is.

Perhaps there''s an attorney on this board who can shed more light on this topic (and hopefully prove me wrong).
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