Finding free anchorages on East Coast? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 44 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

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Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
True enough, but how about if the local authorities simply addressed ths problem boats and let the responsible ones continue to exercise their rights of free anchorage?

My suspicious mind thinks that the derelict vessel/irresponsible boater arguments are a smoke cover for developers and cash-strapped municipalities.
The two places in Florida where the Pilot Programs have had the most discussion are probably Boot Key and St. Augustine.

The problem with Boot Key is that in most of the winter the anchorage is 100% full and the rest of the year maybe 20% full. Through out the Keys there is a real issue with things like trash and black water not being properly disposed of. As long as Boot Key is as popular an anchorage as it is things will probably not change.

St. Augustine is also popular, but the big problem there is at times the current really whips through and boats can drag.

But all over Florida, and elsewhere as well, there are a lot more boats looking for a place to drop the hook. Many times the skipper is a first timer in the area and simply selects a popular and crowded place. There are places in Florida and the Keys that I never saw a boat when I was a kid sailing with my Dad that are too crowded for an experienced boater to anchor now.

To put things in perspective I am currently involved with the planning for my 50th high school reunion in Miami, and one of the biggest issues we are having is parking.
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post #32 of 44 Old 06-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

Thank you so much everyone, for the great feedback and advice!

I would have been back sooner to see the responses [lots of interest in this topic!], but I've been away in MD for 6 weeks looking for a liveaboard cruising boat for us. If any are interested, I just posted a question about our prospective boat [search 'blue water pearson 365'].

Again, a big thank you! Looks like there are plenty of places to anchor. Phew.

BTW - I started this thread because someone told me I'd have a hard time finding good anchorages that were not already taken up by moorings.

Happy sailing!

John
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post #33 of 44 Old 12-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

FLORIDA - Anybody have advice as to where to find nice, beautiful, natural places to anchor while transiting Florida? I dont need marinas, shore access, condos, houses or anything else within sight. I prefer natural beauty and peace and quiet.

Also looking for same in the Islands - Bahamas, Virgins, etc. And how about Cuba???

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

John

Last edited by JohnZion; 12-22-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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post #34 of 44 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

For Florida try Active Captain


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post #35 of 44 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

Far and away, the best guide is The Great Book of Anchorages, it's new, from Chuck Baird and Susan Landry. Active Captain has too many posts that are simply wrong and, sometimes, dangerous to follow. Ok if you want to find a clean bathroom, downright dangerous if you're using some of the suggestions for navigation.
Check The Great Book of Anchorages, or google the title for the new book.

Wally

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How hard is it to find decent, free anchorages as you sail up and down the East Coast, from Maine to Florida? Are all the decent anchorages taken up by moorings? Will we be able to find free places to anchor each night? We have a 38 ft sailboat that draws 5 feet.

Thank you


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post #36 of 44 Old 12-23-2012
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Angry Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

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Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
True enough, but how about if the local authorities simply addressed ths problem boats and let the responsible ones continue to exercise their rights of free anchorage?

My suspicious mind thinks that the derelict vessel/irresponsible boater arguments are a smoke cover for developers and cash-strapped municipalities.
You're suspicious mind is right on the money. All the laws they required to deal with the problems were in place, but not being enforced. This Pilot Program is a scam. I have no intention of spending Dollar One in Florida when I get there. I'll fill my jerrycans and fridge/freezer in Brunswick, and go offshore for the Bahamas, anchoring out where I can.
They don't want to treat me as a respected guest/tourist, they don't get my money. There are 10,000 cruising boats a year that enter Florida - if we all did this in Florida, they'd quickly get the message.
Oh wait, maybe not - all those rich landowners have the votes and the money they support their lackey politicians with.
End of rant.


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post #37 of 44 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

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And how about Cuba???
Cuba is a different story - LOTS of excellent anchorages, but you cannot go ashore unless you are at a marina. Es prohibido. About the only exception to that is the keys to the east of Varadero, Golfo de Guahanacabibes to the west of Bahia Honda, Cayo Levisa, possible Cabo San Antonio (Moro), and the keys on the south coast. You want the places where the Guarda Frontera (coast guard) does not have a post.
If you want more info on this, you can check out my video at TheSailingChannel.tv


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post #38 of 44 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

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but Florida, ...have a real problem with what by almost any definition are junk boats that are a real danger to navigation. There is also a problem with some folks who live on boats and abuse shore facilities.
Those problems are caused by locals - but it's we, the travelling boaters who are being made to suffer for it. The laws were in place to deal with it. The FWC's regulations (reg 21 if I recall correctly) permit them to remove any boat that could be a problem within five days. The pilot program is their way of permitting municipalities and the rich landowndowners who control most municipal councils to get control over the water. You see, they believe they own the view to the horizon.
As for the drunks and druggies - that' a social problem, not a boating problem - and the sooner Florida deals with it appropriately, the better off all concerned will be. But that won't happen - see 'rich landowners' above...
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post #39 of 44 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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Take Care and Joy, Aythya Crew
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post #40 of 44 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Finding free anchorages on East Coast?

Florida had derelict boats that were abandoned and while existing legislation may have prohibited these boats from anchoring it was sketchy at best. Most municipalities were reluctant to act. St Augustine for example had a real mess for years but now was able to clean up it's waterfront by making it a mooring field. Yes the communities are making money from these mooring fields but I don't think that was the only reason.

.While Aythya Crew may not have ever been "harrassed" by the authorities or home owners, Miami Beach police used to (I don't know if this is still the case) only allow anchoring within their boundries for 5 days per month. In Sunset Lake, again in Miami Beach, two home owners regularily harrassed boats at anchor.It happened to me. The last time I anchored in Miami Beach there were only a handful of boats and none around Monument Island when a few years before there were hundreds. Marco Island was infamous for harrassing cruisers and in Lake Sylvia in Fort Lauderdale similiar behaviour was exhibited by the authorities. This was done because of pressure by the landowners around the waterways.

The Marco Island tactics resulted in one cruiser whom they harrassed taking them to court and winning. Municipalities panicked fearing a huge influx of undesirables, like me, anchoring in their backyards and so they got the state to introduce the mooring field law.


There are still lots of free anchorages in Florida but the number within municipal limits are quickly disappearing. As long as Florida municipalities make money and get rid of derelicts, free anchorages in Florida will be a thing of the past.
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