Re: picking up a vacant mooring
Five, I'm glad you got a good laugh at it as my comment was intended facetiously, not as an insult. I'm just amazed at the naivete that folks continually show about basic property rights and regulations, on or off the water.
And just to keep things clear, I didn't edit out anything from your post. I quoted one piece--but didn't edit anything you said.
Whether a mooring ball is a "proper" ball or not often has nothing to do with whether it is legally placed. I know well-regulated fields where the balls are plain white, and do not display the state-mandated blue stripe. "Local custom" often overrides laws, and unless you bring in someone federal--that's the way it goes. Right, wrong, legal or illegal.
Anyone can drop a mooring anywhere. Or a marker or a float. The legalities will vary. If you think you're in public waters and have a right to anchor or moor there, by all means, ignore the floats in the area. Or use them. I do know of lobstermen who'll take a shotgun if you've picked up one of their floats, "proper" or not. And of course if the float is just attached to a cinderblock, well, you may be surprised by morning.