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  #1  
Old 11-17-2008
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South Daytona Fl. Anchoring Proposed restrictions

The Police chief of South Daytona has a new interpretation of the 2006 Florida State Statute on Anchoring, or more precosely the ability to restrict anchoring within city limits (as Defined by Him) Interestingly it seems to fly in the face of all present state law as I read it. judge for yourself.

http://southdaytona.org/egov/docs/498411226067289.pdf

http://www.halifaxsailing.org/Florida-anchorage-law.pdf
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Old 11-17-2008
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Looks to me like it is within the law as it only addresses live-aboard vessels that are left unattended for 24 hours or more. Under florida law vessels used for anything else OTHER than full time living aboard are not "live-aboard" vessels.
Seems like the law would only affect true derelicts and not boaters who define themselves as full time cruisers. Do you disagree with this Joe...and how if so?
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Old 11-18-2008
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Well, Actually the proposed ordinance does not fall within the law regarding anchoring of vessells engaged in navigation as defined by the supreme court as well as the interpretation by the victorious decision by the Stuart FL. case recently that successfully challenged and defeated the local ordinence in there/
True "liveaboards" are prohibited by florida statute from "indefinately" anchoring. However, the onis falls upon the municipality to prove the "intent" of the vessell operator to anchor indefinately.
Also, the proposed ordinance not only addresses liveaboards, but ANY vessells right to anchor and imposes setbacks and restricts age old rights to navigation.
The very thing that the 2006 anchorage statutes saught to clarify. Taking one paragraph out of context and attempting to use the wording to suit there interests and not taking intoo consideration the recent successful court decisions as well as the entire law.
This won't stand and I have forwarded it to the law firm that represented the sailor in Stuart Florida for there perusal.
I'm hoping that when they get wind of it and explain the law to the South Daytona Police chief , the city will sing a different tune, as they did in Stuart.
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Old 11-18-2008
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THese folks explain it much better-

There are three elements of the bill that are of particular interest to cruising sailors.
Statute 327.60 (2) is now amended to read:
“Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be construed to prohibit
local governmental authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations
which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or liveaboard
vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked
boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local
governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of
such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.”
In plain English this means that, except in designated mooring fields, municipalities have no
authority to regulate where a typical cruising vessel anchors, unless they can prove the vessel is not
used for anything other than a residence or place of business.
Bear in mind that Florida defines the term “live-aboard vessel” quite differently than does
the average cruiser. Here’s how Statute 327.02 paragraph (17) of the Florida Statutes defines “liveaboard
vessel”:
(a) Any vessel used solely as a residence; OR
(b) Any vessel represented as a place of business, a professional or other commercial
enterprise, or a legal residence.
A commercial fishing boat is expressly excluded from the term "live-aboard vessel”.
[Emphasis mine]
By co-opting the term “live-aboard vessel”, the state is forcing boaters to alter their
language. Maritime attorney Ted Guy advises cruising sailors who live aboard their boats to adopt
the term “fulltime cruisers” when referring to their lifestyle, thus shifting the responsibility to
municipalities to prove the vessel is a residence under Florida law. There are other formal
requirements for establishing a legal residence in Florida, but this statute is clear: if you represent
your boat as your residence, a locality may regulate where you anchor.
Florida’s Attorney General expressed his opinion 85-45 as follows: if you use your boat for
transportation or any number of recreational purposes, regardless of how long you stay aboard, it’s
not a live-aboard vessel, unless you represent it as such. In his conclusion he writes: “Thus, it
would appear that the plain statutory language of s. 327.60(2) and the common-law inclusion of
rights of anchorage as an element of the exercise of rights of navigation compel the conclusion that
a municipality is prohibited from regulating the anchorage of non-live aboard vessels when such
anchorage is incident to the exercise of rights of navigation.”
Cities who want to regulate anchoring may do so by establishing marked mooring fields in
accordance with state law. There are few approved mooring fields in the state at this time.
Hopefully, this new legislation will pave the way for improved access and availability for both
visiting and local boats. Those boaters unwilling to pay for moorings will still be allowed to anchor
outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields.
The statute does not allow a locality to regulate anchoring by redefining a vessel as a “liveaboard
vessel” after an arbitrary time limit, as Miami Beach does. A locality may not establish
anchoring set-back requirements from docks, seawalls, or homes, as Marco Island does. Any area
restricting anchoring must be permitted, and marked by approved signage or buoys, as required by
Statutes 327.40 and 327.41. Restricted areas may only be established after consultations between
municipalities, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), and the U.S. Coast
Guard to ensure that restrictions comply with state and federal regulations. Localities are prohibited
from placing any regulatory markers in, on, or over the waters of the state or its shores without a
permit from the state.
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Old 11-18-2008
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Lots of good information, thanks for taking the time to post.
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Joe...your post #4 is exactly my understanding of the law and why I don't think the proposed regulations affect full time cruisers OR are inviolation of the current law....since:
1. They only affect live-aboard boats... as defined by Florida law...not boats that move.
2. They such boats that are unattended for 24 hours. So you can live aboard at anchor there IF you have someone on board within 24 hours.

I believe this statute is clearly aimed at derelict boats which are abandoned and as such poses no real danger to legitimate live-aboard cruisers execising proper anchoring and making regular visits to pump out facilities.

I think boaters need to take a realistic look at the need and desire for towns and cities to keep their waterfronts clean and safe and not be saddled with 10's of thousands of $$'s worth of salvage costs for derelicts. Only by partnering with the land-lubbers on such issues may we be in a position to ask for their support when it comes to our legitimate boating needs.
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Old 11-18-2008
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Well said Cam...

The damage that can be caused by a 30-40' keelboat dragging in a storm is enormous. Not only in salvage costs, but in damage to piers and the other boats they may drag down on. Most of the derelicts the law is aimed at don't have insurance of any sort, and I agree the cities have a right to do something to protect themselves.
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Old 11-18-2008
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Cam-
From your responses I would almost think we are reading different anchoring ordinance proposals or perhaps you are in favor of yet more laws,ordinances, and restrictions to navigation.
As I read the proposal the parts about live-aboards is redundant with the FL360.2 already addressing live aboards anchored indefinately.
The parts I find most troubling is the requirement to vacate the area prior to storms or storm warnings. Oddly many marinas ask that you leave the dock in these situations. If you leave the marina prior to a storm and if you cannot anchor during approaching storms , Where are you to go ? out to Sea ?
Also the propoesed restriction of requireing someone aboard 24 hours (very confusing) well if your aboard 24 hours but yet not allowed to live aboard ? whats that all about? Also the requirement to anchor as close to the Navigable ICW Channel as posible ! I prefer to have a bit of room between my vessel and the navigable channel when anchoring especially at night , should some other maritime traffic pass or stray from the channel. THAT is a safety issue!
And of course this is all in conflict with the very clear state statute and recent supreme court rulings Specifically prohibiting ANY municipality from imposing ANY anchoring restrictions EXCEPT within an approved mooring field. Which NONE are available in the South Daytona Area. The nearest, I believe , is Vero Beach (60-80 miles south)
Also I take umbridge at the usual scare tactics by law enforcement say it is "all about Safety and Protecting the Land owners and Citizens" what bull.
I have a home in this area and over the last 20 years I can say that the actual impact of boats during storms is Negligible at best.
Also the city is re-embursed by the Ponce inlet port authority from funds specifically set aside for the removal of navigation hazards. Of course no mention of that was made in the channel 9 news broadcast or the proposal by the Police chief William C. Hall.
As far as the other allegations of disorderly conduct, noise,nusence ,etc. I believe there are already laws covering those infractions, am I right?
abandon vessells are also addressed under florida statute, as is unlawful use of public facilities.
I might suggest to chief Hall , instead of attempting to write new laws he should perhaps "bone up" on the laws already "on the Books" and enforce them . It seems, if he would, many of the alleged problems would be dealt with. Instead of mearly more laws.
The problem in many cases is when you get law enforcement personel involved in proposing ordinances when they are well paid to enforce the current laws. Apparently , that part of their job description is overlooked in there furver to make more laws.
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Old 11-18-2008
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It's not about protecting any one or thing it's about the waterfront landowners attempting to control the waterways and preserve the View they mistakedly think they own.
Much like the residents moving into the area of the New Smyrna Airport complaining about the aircraft noise/traffic. (the airfield dates to WW2) I guess they didn't notice the airfield prior to purchase!
Some folks just cannot stand the fact that they do not rule over all that is within there field of view. Perhaps the realator failed to inform them that there is/was no reparien water rights to there land /home purchase, or maybe they are angry with the declining home values and secretly wish they could sail off ! I won't pretend to know the real motivation.
I can say with total confidence that, in the course of the day I see from my land based home many things, beyond my property line, I disagree w/ , however, they are not outside the law, and not on my property.
So my options are to either move or just simply turn away , so as not to be troubled by it !!
Also , the depths of the water in this stretch of the ICW are so shallow that a 30-40' keelboat would be hard pressed to make it to shore during a blow !
This is evidenced by where the vessel's that did break free came to rest. Of course the same fate could befall a boat at dock breaking free, probably more so due to tidal storm surge. I know many boats LEAVE the dock/marina during storms expressly to anchor safely and ride out the storm. many marinas require it !
Instead of pursueing these un-constitutional unlawful actions perhaps the "authorities" so concerned for public safety should read the SSCA's realistic approach to addressing these issues.
But that probably wouldn't make the 6 oclock news.
Property damage= 0 Harrassment of Mariners=ongoing

Last edited by joethecobbler; 11-18-2008 at 02:58 PM. Reason: add info
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Joe...I do think some parts of the proposal need re-working..(like the bow/stern anchor requirement?? Who the hell thought that up?)

My further understanding is that their is a movement to Re-WRITE the Florida statutes you cite since they cripple cities ability to take almost any action over legitimate concerns. I think that the more frustrated cities become in being able to deal with legitimate issues...the more they and their public will pus for changes in the law that will work to ALL our dtriment.

I assure you that I am VEHEMENTLY opposed to any municiple laws that impinge on any boats' right to anchor for extended periods. I DO think that the issues that most towns are concerned about (pollution, derelict boat cleanup, crazies and drunks abusing shoreside facilities and damage to other boats and docks) deserve our qualified support if carefully drawn proposals are made and our input is a part of the process to solving the problems without impacting our general anchoring and boating rights. I do NOT support any restriction of anchoring rights simply because someone's view gets obstructed or they "don't like boaters".

So...we can agree THIS proposal needs some tweaking...but I do disagree about blanket opposition to such proposals.
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