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ardoin 04-24-2011 11:45 AM

Back Creek and Annapolis Zoning
Just saw a sign at the end of 6th street that says there is an application to prohibit anchoring in Back Creek at the end of 6th St. The hearing is on April 26.
Anyone know what is up? I don't like these kinds of restriction.
If they are having problems with boat there, i would think you could come up with ways to handle it without banning all anchoring.
Shame that they would hold the hearing when most of the people that use that anchorage are in the Bahamas working their way back north.

SVAuspicious 04-24-2011 03:00 PM

I'll head over today and read the sign, and try to attend on Tuesday. In the meantime I'll do some research and see what I can find.

JohnRPollard 04-24-2011 08:10 PM


Originally Posted by SVAuspicious (Post 723599)
I'll head over today and read the sign, and try to attend on Tuesday. In the meantime I'll do some research and see what I can find.

Thanks for the heads up, ardoin, and thanks auspicious for checking into it further. More info would be helpful.

We anchor there occasionally when Spa Creek is too busy -- there is a nice bulkhead/ladder for going ashore and walking in to town across Eastport. I'd be sorry to lose this spot as an option.

joethecobbler 04-24-2011 09:20 PM

Sad, But I'm not suprised. If you search other posts and topics the anchoring and holding in the back creek has been discussed .
I am opposed to ANY anchoring restricto anywhere outside a navigable channel.
Unfortunately many w/ influence do not share my view'son anchoring.
This despite centuries of anchoring and countless maritime laws, the slow and steady erosion of anchoring rights continue to move onward.
Often justified by false sentiment scare tactics and often supported by people whith best interests as well as hidden agendas, and alterior motives.
The end result will undoubtedly be yet more needless regulation and loss of one more enjoyment of sailing/cruising.
Another sad moment forthcoming.

joethecobbler 04-24-2011 09:25 PM

In regards to spa creek, a few more mooring balls and the 75' rule and their will effectively be no anchoring there either.
I'm glad I took the opportunity in 2010 to spend a few days in Annapolis anchored as it sounds like I won't have that option again.

SVAuspicious 04-25-2011 12:09 PM

Here is the notice of hearing.

Apologies for the photo orientation. Busy day.

I have spoken to staff at the board of port wardens and to Flip Walters, Annapolis Harbormaster. I also spoke with Alderman Arnett and to the chair of the Maritime Advisory Board.

Many thanks to 'Frank' at the Dept of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs Office for his time in filling in the background. Also thanks to Dick Franyo at the Boatyard Bar and Grill for helping with phone numbers for Mr. Arnett and Mr. Lomax.

Mears Marina made an application for the no anchoring zone. Watergate Village Marine is supporting the application. The issue is the substantial number of boats that drag down on those two marinas in particular who anchor in the wide spot between Port A and Watergate. I can testify to the fact that there is a lot of dragging. I keep my boat at Watergate and last year alone was out at least three times to tow boats off the pilings at Watergate. I've seen boats drag down to Mears and up into the cove also. I understand the issue from the perspective of the marinas.

The Harbormaster has the authority to establish a no-anchoring zone on his own authority. The City is going out of their way to reach out to the community and sailors by holding a hearing. I'll be there and will report.

I have mixed feelings on the subject. I have had a tough time getting in and out of my marina a number of times due to boats anchored too close (within the existing 75' stand-off requirement). As stated, I have rescued numerous boats that have dragged.

At the same time, one of the characteristics that make Annapolis special is the welcome we provide to visiting boaters. I don't want to lose that. I suspect the downtown businesses don't either. The opportunity to anchor out is part of the charm here.

More as it comes evolves.

Jeff_H 04-25-2011 12:22 PM

I had heard discussion about this a while back which pretty much confirmed what was said about dragging boats in this narrow area where there is such poor holding and the need to do something. It is my understanding that the long term goal is that the City might install screw type moorings in this area.


SVAuspicious 04-25-2011 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by Jeff_H (Post 723861)
... in this narrow area where there is such poor holding ...

Not true. The holding is fine. I've anchored there often both before I had a slip on Back Creek and when I offer my slip to friends in town for a bit. The problem is that people don't know how to anchor effectively. My opinion may not be PC, but it is mine. *grin* I've been out to grab dragging boats a number of times and successfully gotten them anchored and holding in subsequent blows.

The problem is that if you drag at all you will run into something or someone as there is not a lot of room.

Additional moorings have been suggested but are not high on the priority list.

JohnRPollard 04-25-2011 01:19 PM


Thanks for that great report. This gives a much better understanding of the issue.

I know exactly the spot they are speaking about. We've anchored there and found the holding to be good. It's very nicely protected too.

But I have a friend who keeps his boat at WGM, and I've also seen some boats in there that were too close. Some that looked like they were long-term "parked" there, too, i.e. unattended.

I can appreciate the concern at WGM and Mears. I would ask only that instead of putting all their effort into prohibiting anchoring, they instead go with a two-prong approach and make such a prohibition contingent on dropping in 2-3 (or ??) transient moorings. That is an eminently reasonable compromise, and will meet less resistance.

It really is an ideal location for absorbing some of the overflow from Spa Creek on the really busy holiday weekends. The access to Eastport is very handy. I think folks would be very happy to pay a mooring fee (maybe the lower amount that is charged above the bridge on Spa Creek) for the security and convenience. I know we would.

SVAuspicious 04-25-2011 01:24 PM

I personally think part of the answer is better enforcement of the existing 75 foot rule. Some means of following up on the liability for damage from dragging boats is interesting also.

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