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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
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I wonder if it is possible for me to agree with Surf, Cam, and John??
I have been one of those guys who had the nice house on the water. And I will tell you right now that if some crackpot dropped his hook off my dock and planned on staying there like a permamnent mobile home, I would have a late night scuba dive with a pair of bolt cutters!
I worked my butt off to get that house and have that lifestyle: nice yard, house, dock, AND VERY EXPENSIVE REAL ESTATE AND TAXES!!! My taxes alone were more than my boat payments (in fact, I think my school taxes alone were more than my boat payments). So how would you feel if you owned a house, inland for example, and some jerk came and HAD his mobile home delivered on your curb and pumped his head out down your gutter? Paid nothing. Threw his trash out on your yard? Be honest with yourself, and answer truly how you would feel. If you say that you would not care, I would hate to see what your house must look like.
I met some of those people. Many of them were nice, but a lot of them were POS. It is like John said, being a responsible boater and acting accordingly. Laws have to be specific, so they cannot exactly say, "Well, if you aren't a responsible boater, ya just can't anchor here." Phew. I can just seeeeeee the local city officials enforcing that one. I guarantee you that the residents would have the police shipping off everything that was not a Hatteras or a boat-show clean sailboat. I don't agree with that. Maybe putting in a regulation, and enforcing it with some type of visible tag, that requires pump-outs? It would force the boat to move (which most of them cannot, incidentally) and the boat owner to be sober enough (and present) to do it. Again, most of them are not. Most of the derlicts are just that - a no-rent place to drop your hook so you don't have to properly dispose of your boat. And hey, if you are too drunk to walk to the closest bridge for a slumber, maybe you can row to your boat and sleep it off there. Whatever.
Don't confuse these people with cruisers, they are moochers, and their total lack of responsible boating (as John rightfully put it) is not just an eyesore but a very real danger to those of us that are out there doing it "right".
So how have the cities responded? I will tell you what Fort Myers Beach recently did: Mooring balls. No more hooks. I thought it was a great place to go and anchor out and dink around... but all the derelicts and jerks screwed it up for everyone (and believe me, there were a bunch of derelicts). It is a sad state of affaris in our country, but the truth: Speedbump mentality. A lack of common sense from a few will restrict the rights of the many.