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  #1  
Old 09-24-2013
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Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

Now, I know some will say there should be no anchoring time limit at all, and I, for one, am not about to argue against that point of view.
I might also add, that this decision shows me that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission IS keeping the needs of cruisers in mind, at least somewhat, as the process of approving local anchorage regulations for those communties (or counties) involved in the Pilot Mooring Field Program, goes forward!

The cruising community owes of a HUGE debt of thanks to Boat/US and Bonnie Bashem, Captain Charmaine and the hundreds and hundreds of cruisers who have bombarded the FWC and the St. Augustine City Government with e-mails.

However, the fight is most surely NOT over yet. There are still details to be worked out in St. Augustine, and there are four more Pilot Mooring Field Program sites for which anchorage regulations are yet to be approved.

Along with the state of Florida and the continental coastline of the US and Canada
I say use your boat or get it out of the water.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

Check out the survey on the Fwc web page about the pilot program. I think you have sometime in October to do it. One of the questions is did it promote the use of mooring fields, gee closing off some former anchoring areas like the area called the seaplane anchorage in Key West, umm I don't know. I stayed in the Key West mooring field in 2012 and would probably again but there are better protected anchorages that are now closed off and the city requires one months deposit to moor and all I had was debit so 600 to start for a month. After I left these crooks stalled for over a week to put my deposit back. As far as protecting the marine environment, what a joke. Look at Stuart, all the water being dumped with runoff from agriculture and golf courses has destroyed so much seagrass and ruined water quality and they are asking this. I hope the bubble they live in does not pop or they will realize the Fwc won't be around much longer, why will we need them if the environment is dead. And who will they blame once all the anchored boats are gone and the waterways are dead zones anyways!
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

get a grip,the mooring fields are and were colossal financial failures and do nothing but shift the false issues of pollution, derelict vessels and other propaganda to other areas.
don't believe me?
check out the "new" anchorage communities north and south of the mooring field limits of St. Augustine or look at all the boats anchored between seabreeze bridge and main St.bridge in Daytona beach.
it reminds me of the homeless issue. just move them about instead of utilizing existing law to address and deal with any problems. just push it down stream.
no worries though still plenty of good places to go and when the old popular places figure out it's there loss,no one will even remember them.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

The damb shame of it all and with every other concern to these people is not saving the waterways or the marine life with in it. Its always about the money. They seam to think all sailers are rich. Most sailors I know are not rich people. in fact they are a humble lot. The eastern seaboard are riddled with abandoned vessels. I for one got one of these sinking boats and brought it back to life. It needs to be cleaned up and there needs to be laws inplace to keep boat owners responsible for the vessels they keep or "Leave behind"
Charging for a right to drop anchor is not in MHO, a means to address the problem. That only gives a revinue stream to every city or town that happens to find its self along the waterway. Be diligent on boats not tended on a monthley bases. Have a harbor master that knows who is coming and who is going and how often they move. Charge for the cost of the harbor master to the year-long mooring boats from the local area. Truth be known its the local boat owners that leave the relics behind and slowly let them go, its not the transent sailor. The ones that use them as a Crack down in south florida should be hauled and desposed of.
Its just a shame its always left to the good people to get hammered with the short commings of the bad ones. Always...
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

As someone who calls the Florida waterways home, I have mixed feelings.

It would be a real shame if the Florida (or any) coastline became a place where one could not anchor freely. Between the Keys and Pensacloa, I have a LOT of places that we would often anchor for week(s). Gorgeous islands and scenery. No people or houses. Just plain pretty and a real feeling that you are on your own and free. Who would ever want to lose that with a pack of mooring balls littering up the coast?

Now, the flip side. I have been boating these waters since about 2000 as a FT live aboard/cruiser. I remember the days in FOrt Myers Beach, for instance, when it was all anchors. You simply cannot get as many boats in there and those anchorages do fill up. Same with Boot Key (Marathon, FL... Keys) which holds IIRC over 300 boats in this small harbor - and it fills up regularly in season! I remember the days of no pumpouts, boats left derelict, the sea rays with mushroom anchors and 1:2 scope and the clueless sailor who drops 200 foot of scope in 10 feet of water and takes over the entire anchorage. Now, these fields all have pumpouts that come TO YOUR BOAT, they are actively monitored by the cities and LEO, have water, shower, and restroom accessibility for free, have washer and dryers, and in general you can tie up for the night and know that the boat off your bow isn't going to swing in to you or drag into you.

Down here, it is not unusual for squalls to run up on you in the middle of the night and you will see 50+ gusts. A poorly anchored boat will drag or his lines will snap. I saw that a lot in Fort Myers Beach. An extreme example here, but after Gabrielle, you couldn't count all the boats that drug into other boats and ended up taking out part of the anchorage and planting them into the mangroves. I think a couple of those may still be there a decade later! Understand that many of these boats don't have insurance, and if you did not, you just lost your boat. Even worse, what happens if you were on the boat when it dragged into you? You cannot sue someone for something they don't have. So the mooring balls in Boot Key, for instance, are hurricane rated (I have been told Cat III but that is probably a stretch). They are safer when taking everything into account. And like I said, you get more boats into the field which is good for everyone except the guy with 200' of scope that wanted it all to himself.

So there are my opinions. Overall, I think they are a good thing. Some, like Boot Key, do it quite well. Some, like FMB, could use to work out their kinks a little better. But consider that there is not any more land, but there are increasingly more and more boats (and will really be more as the economy improves and baby boomers go on retirement). There are basically no laws demanding licensing for boating/seamanship, so you never know who or what is anchoring on top of you. I personally think that moorings will become more and more prominent. Kinda sad, because I really will miss the nice, peaceful anchorages.

Brian

PS you do know that in FMB and Boot Key, you can anchor outside of the mooring fields...
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

you can anchor outside all the mooring fields in Florida per state statute 327.02 this is law,plain and simple. put in place to clarify anchoring and defines anchoring as part of navigation.
the mooring field experiment is the end around play by the municipalities that feel they are above the law they perpetuated, promoted, and propagandized through misinformation campaigns and scare tactics sensationalizing rare incidents of boats washing ashore, and portraying anchoring sailors and liveaboards as bums,criminals and scofflaws.
Unknowing,in educated landlubbers and even many weekend boaters ate it up,hook, line and sinker.
there is and have been for years, laws in place to deal with abandoned, derelict, and unregistered boats. they are not being enforced.harbor master positions need not be created as anyone who has spent any time in Florida can attest there is ample law enforcement. the mooring fields are just a knee jerk response, there is not a single one that does not loose money.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joethecobbler View Post
you can anchor outside all the mooring fields in Florida per state statute 327.02 this is law,plain and simple. put in place to clarify anchoring and defines anchoring as part of navigation.
the mooring field experiment is the end around play by the municipalities that feel they are above the law they perpetuated, promoted, and propagandized through misinformation campaigns and scare tactics sensationalizing rare incidents of boats washing ashore, and portraying anchoring sailors and liveaboards as bums,criminals and scofflaws.
Unknowing,in educated landlubbers and even many weekend boaters ate it up,hook, line and sinker.
there is and have been for years, laws in place to deal with abandoned, derelict, and unregistered boats. they are not being enforced.harbor master positions need not be created as anyone who has spent any time in Florida can attest there is ample law enforcement. the mooring fields are just a knee jerk response, there is not a single one that does not loose money.
I respectfully disagree with that.

I saw the mooring fields as a way to manage the level of boats and traffic, and create a better environment for the city as a whole - including the boaters. I never saw them as a direct money making tool. But smart cities have learned that many cruisers have money. If you can give them a safe, secure, and pretty place to go on their boats that is not outrageously expensive, you will help the local businesses.

Have you forgotten the years in Boot Key and Fort Myers Beach when there were no pumpout boats? Everyone anchored on a shoestring? Heck, go through Boot Key now and you will see the same from some boats. The only thing that has kept some of these boats here and in FMB from not being the newest mangrove wind chime or fish haven is that there has not been a good storm through either in years. These boats WERE dumping straight into the bays, with no regard to the kids or tourists who swam on the shores beside them. There were no shower facilities, dedicated washing facilities, ability to get water, and I don't even remember a dinghy dock. SO what did the friendly boat-bums do? They tied up to the restaurants, swam (yes swam... I saw it several times) to the closest bars and walked up the docks, or my alltime favorite, they would go up one of the canals and tie off to someone's personal dock/house and tramp through their yard. I lived there so don't tell me it didn't happen. It was FILLED with vagrants. Many of those boats had not (and could not) move. It was a disaster and an eyesore and gave us all bad names.

The mooring field at Boot Key in Marathon is the perfect example of how to run a mooring field in a top notch way. Very clean and sturdy balls, a very large dinghy dock, a pumpout boat that comes in any weather and will come twice a week if you want, friendly staff, a place where the cruisers can hang out for free wifi, a library of books, a tiki hut looking over the bay with bi-weekely meet and greets, bbq grills, places to dispose of hazardous waste/diesel/gas for free, work benches to work on stuff, water, lockers to store things, place to park your cars and bikes, lots of showers and restrooms for free, descent washing facilities, and an overall sense of community. You want go give all that up and go back to anchoring with the homeless boaters? If you do, you are right, the vagrants will move back in. Look what's happening right now around Key Largo. They have the old anchored vagrants out there that are bathing (in light of day and front of kids) in the freaking public fountain, cursing, fighting, drunk, walking around naked, etc. Now, this is not all the people there. There is a good group of people and all it takes is a few dummies to screw it up, but if these people had the facilities available like are available at Boot Key, would they be doing that? No. But the reality is that these people don't have $300 to their name, and if they did, it has Pabst Blue Ribbon on it. They are Vagrants, homeless in a boat, plain and simple. THey are what gives all of us a bad name unless you sail in on the Maltese. In response to these actions, as you may well know, the city board was going to shut off the dinghy dock to ALL boaters and basically run them off... even the good live aboards who anchor there. Pleas from the 'good' liveaboards that anchor there have given the dinghy dock a short reprieve, but I doubt it will last long.

What is happening there is exactly what I remember happening in FMB before the mooring fields. There are still a bunch of vagrants back there outside of the field, still dumping their stuff into the bay, drunk and hollering at night, or sinking. At least the mooring field has helped it some. Me, I vote to keep the mooring fields in areas like FMB, Boot Key, Key West, etc. I hope they open one up in Key Largo, Islamorada, Factory Bay, and other large destinations. I think it is good for the environment, good for the cruisers, good for the liveaboards (that aren't bozos), and good for the city. It also helps keep the cost of marinas in check when they aren't the only option.

My opinions.

Brian
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

Just follow the money trail folks. That wonderful mooring field in Marathon Key's Boot Key Harbor ain't cheap. $300 a month for my 33 Morgan. The Marathon City Marina's canal dockage isn't much of a bargain either. $750 a month to be tied to the bulkhead behind the poop boats. The dinghy dock is NOT free, neither is anything else there. Take a look at Pricing | City of Marathon Official Website and you'll get an idea of what it will cost a month to be anchored in Paradise.

That said, there was a waiting list for dockage and mooring the entire time I was there. I had to wait a month on a mooring ball to get dockage in the canal. The main reason I needed dockage was so I could load and unload my music equipment without fear of getting it wet. Additionally, I needed to protect the equipment, most of which is sensitive electronics, from moisture caused by high humidity, which was sometime the case. At the dock I could hook up to the electricity and run my onboard AC system.

If I get the opportunity to return to Boot Key Harbor, I'm going to try to work out a deal with one of the resort marinas where I can do some horse trading, slip rent for a night's music. They want me to return, and hopefully, this old man will still be able to do that in 2015 if my health doesn't go to Hell in a handbasket.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

cruise dad, first I need need to say,I envy you in some ways, and respect your opinion. but you live in a different world, financially than many,by your own admission.
Secondly, thanks for making my point. ALL the negative things you list are already addressed by laws,public nudity,urination, illegal dumping, unfit vessel, trespass, vagrancy.
mooring fields are not necessary to abate these issues, enforcement of existing law's is. thanks again for making my point.
Also, the Marathon mooring field is the one everyone points to as the example. it's a financial loser as well.all mooring fields in Florida are.
I support upland facilities, and I think the mooring field in Marathon is fine.but it is not and should not be there to eliminate anchoring. anchoring is a right of navigation in Florida under Florida state law,as it should be.
stop with the distractions of the other issues.
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Re: Florida Anchoring and Mooring pilot program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Just follow the money trail folks. That wonderful mooring field in Marathon Key's Boot Key Harbor ain't cheap. $300 a month for my 33 Morgan. The Marathon City Marina's canal dockage isn't much of a bargain either. $750 a month to be tied to the bulkhead behind the poop boats. The dinghy dock is NOT free, neither is anything else there. Take a look at Pricing | City of Marathon Official Website and you'll get an idea of what it will cost a month to be anchored in Paradise.

That said, there was a waiting list for dockage and mooring the entire time I was there. I had to wait a month on a mooring ball to get dockage in the canal. The main reason I needed dockage was so I could load and unload my music equipment without fear of getting it wet. Additionally, I needed to protect the equipment, most of which is sensitive electronics, from moisture caused by high humidity, which was sometime the case. At the dock I could hook up to the electricity and run my onboard AC system.

If I get the opportunity to return to Boot Key Harbor, I'm going to try to work out a deal with one of the resort marinas where I can do some horse trading, slip rent for a night's music. They want me to return, and hopefully, this old man will still be able to do that in 2015 if my health doesn't go to Hell in a handbasket.

Cheers,

Gary
Hey Gary,

Marinas here are now running $21.50/ft (even Sombrero) with rumors they will go up again! Key West? $34.50/ft plus utilities which ran us about $50/week. These rates are measured on Overall Length (anchor to davits) not USCG LOA!! RIght now, in the marina we are in, we are on the summer rate of $500 for the boat PLUS $2.50/ft for power. Goes up end of November. Suddenly that $300 ball doesn't sound so bad!

Brian
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