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post #39 of Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

All should consider the history of why this is a problem characteristic of Florida. Some seem to suggest that it's a character flaw among the local politicians, wealthy landowners, or a policy motivated by greed. Actually, it more of a result of personal freedoms and climate. For decades people of little means have been able to buy a boat for a few hundred dollars or less and anchor it in a Florida cove and live in "paradise" with a meager income. They can paddle to a public landing or easement under a bridge without a problem. Is this not happening in Georgian Bay or New England because of a better ethic of the society there? .....because of more honorable legislation? Of course not! People can't survive drinking their beer in a winter sunset of 70 degrees there! Is it possible or right for Florida to legislate against those too poor to own pretty and expensive boats? Of course not,- instead, for the past hundred years, every five years or so a strom wipes away these wrecks and the owners go back to live elsewhere or buy another wreck. This is why Florida has this local problem. The best response has been to develop legislation that discourages people from using boats as low income housing. I've heard the internet an published horror stories of boaters being harrassed, but the real world is not so unfair. I have been anchoring out in Florida freely since 1972, usually for just a couple nights at one spot, but as long as three month at one place. I do not land my dinghy on private property, anchor within moorin fields or channels. I have never been questioned, approached or hassled by any authority. I have never been boarded or inspected by any authority while cruising or anchoring during these 41 years. I have never heard any negative remarks from any landowner. I have fended off derelet boats and helped some on pathetic crafts hold their position.

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