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Old 04-19-2014
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Are sailors an easy target?

First the conservationist have a go by getting rid of copper in antifoul, then sulphur in fuel followed by protecting so many anchorages in the guise of conserving grass or the lesser know pink spotted sea horse.
Then there are holding tank regulations.

I would imagine that round the world the effluent floating out to sea and the emission from factories coming down as rain are far more harmful.

Countries such as Greece then throw in another tax specifically against boaters.

Chandlers seem to think of a price and then double it and add 12.

Is it that the leisure boating industry is an easy touch and they know we will accept all these things or are they right. Should we do more to protect grass and sea life, and accept the high prices and taxes for what we enjoy doing?
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

It was reported this week that about 20% of China's arable land is polluted from factory and human waste. As you suggest, what doesn't get trapped on the land gets washed out to sea, likely in far greater quantities. Look at the "dead zone" plume at the mouth of the Mississippi - from a country which DOES have environmental regulations that are sometimes enforced. We need to do more to clean things up, not less. Boaters are not the sole culprits, but their mobility can mean that they don't vote in the places that make the rules. There are also relatively few boaters, so regulating them doesn't stir up huge waves of voter discontent.
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

This has been chasing me since the 60's. Back then, when the farms and factories up the rivers in California were spewing all sorts of really serious toxins like DDT and mercury into the rivers, which fed SF Bay, they were already blaming the yachts for the majority of the bay's pollution.
When I left Ft. Lauderdale, they were trying to pass a law requiring hard line sewer connections for boats in the Las Olas Isles area, even though raw sewage could easily be seen seeping from the isles into the canals from the broken sewer lines.
We have always been the target to deflect scrutiny away from big business and it's economically efficient pollution.
Sailors and boaters in general like to think of themselves as individuals, and this leaves us with no single voice to lay the blame squarely where it belongs, with big business and it's waste. We were some of the first to use biodegradable products, long before it became the popular thing to do; after all who likes to soil their own nest?
For 50 years I watched them force things like holding tanks on us in areas with 6' to 10' diurnal tides, blaming us for all the pollution. I doubt it will stop any time soon, at least while the almighty god, money, controls the conscience of America.
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

I should start by saying that I am not unsympathetic to your lament. That said, and in the spirit of a good discussion, I do have a few comments based on my personal views and experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
First the conservationist have a go by getting rid of copper in antifoul, then sulphur in fuel followed by protecting so many anchorages in the guise of conserving grass or the lesser know pink spotted sea horse.
Then there are holding tank regulations.

I would imagine that round the world the effluent floating out to sea and the emission from factories coming down as rain are far more harmful.?
You're right....how lawmakers in some states can go after weekend sailors who pump a few gallons overboard and ignore municipalities that dump tons of sewage is beyond me....but maybe they start at the point of least resistance and move on up the sewage chain from there.

Re the sea grass...in many places where sea grass is an issue (and here I'm thinking of primarily of the Caribbean where charter boats seem to be everywhere), local governments or local entrepreneurs have put in mooring fields to "save the turtles". Some times the purpose of the rules restricted anchorage are designed to put money in the pockets of local mooring operators, but in others it is a genuine effort to help out turtle and conch populations that depend on sea grass beds for forage. For example: on the east end of St. Thomas the local government has installed moorings at Christmas Cove. The moorings are free. I've snorkeled through most of that mooring field and can testify that dragging anchors play havoc with the sea grass beds. They don't call them "plow" anchors for nothing.

Where the density of boaters is high the impact of marine heads and anchors is a bigger problem than you might think.

Quote:
Countries such as Greece then throw in another tax specifically against boaters.
Ask Willy Sutton why people rob banks? Same applies here. Europeans who have expensive yachts they keep in Greece are seen as a source of income by local politicians -- and an income that doesn't ask their constituents to pay the tax.

Quote:
Chandlers seem to think of a price and then double it and add 12.
This is partly due to the economics of serving a relatively small market for boating products coupled with the relatively specialized nature of "marine grade" products, and partly because of the general view of the relative wealth of yacht owners. (You know the saying: If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it). It's also a function of the mentality of boaters who after spending tens, if not hundreds, of thousands on the boat are less likely to sweat the small stuff. Boys shouldn't complain about the cost of their toys.

Quote:
Is it that the leisure boating industry is an easy touch and they know we will accept all these things or are they right.
I presume you're speaking here of the rule makers. In some things they're probably right -- in others they're shameless, overreaching hypocrites.

Quote:
Should we do more to protect grass and sea life....
Yea, probably.

Quote:
...and accept the high prices and taxes for what we enjoy doing
That's up for each of us to decide, isn't it?
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

It is strange and sometimes a total misconception to think all boat owners are wealthy. Some certainly are and good luck to them.
There are also others like ourselves whose home is their boat. We live on very limited incomes often from savings or pensions.
For people like us being able to live this life is getting harder and harder. Where we could anchor we now have to pay for buoys, where we could cruise we now get taxed.
Some would say we are coming to the end of a free ride?
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

A houseboat recently sank in my marina. The uninsured owner disappeared leaving the marina to contain and clean up the oil and gas that floated out, salvage the boat, and haul it away. This kind of thing does NOT endear anyone to the boating population.
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

Does anyone else think it's strange for someone named Nostrodamus to be asking questions?

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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

before we get on this tirade again.. I am old enough to remember when Marinas -did- smell like sewerage plants due to all the boats just dumping their crap over the side. It was extremely nasty and I am glad it is gone.

However, if they are going to start small.. they better be prepared to go big too. I know around here they are proactive and have been eliminating septic tanks right, left, and centre.. a lot of people are upset they have to pay the city now to flush their toilets.. but I would rather have all that stuff channeled down to the main treatment centre and taken care of than just sitting in a tank and decomposing.
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

I am going to leave most of this thread alone for now but I wanted to comment on the price for 'marine' equipment.

While it is true that some stuff is exactly the same, for many products there are real and substantial differences between hardware store and marine equipment. Often things that are not obvious on the surface and make the products much more expensive. Combined with low manufacturing volume, slow turnover, a small market and it is pretty easy to see why prices are pretty high. But in my experience profits are also pretty low compared to most retail outlets.

A good example is the 'stainless' light fixtures you can buy from lowes or home Depo. In reality these are tin with a stainless look. Exposure to sea air deposits salt crystals on them, and you immedialy have a galvanic problem. Conversely the stainless light fittings at a chandlery will be solid 304 or 316 stainless and should never have this problem. The wires in the Lowes fixture are thin, unthinned, and non-compliant with marine standards. The ones at the Chandlery will be at least 16 gague, tinned, and ABYC compliant.

Do you need a 'marine grade' light fixture? Up to you, but there is often a difference even if you can't see it.
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Are sailors an easy target?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
before we get on this tirade again.. I am old enough to remember when Marinas -did- smell like sewerage plants due to all the boats just dumping their crap over the side. It was extremely nasty and I am glad it is gone.
Really? How come I've never whiffed the nastiness in the marinas in Canada? Many of their boats don't even HAVE holding tanks, and the rest often don't use them.

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