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post #1 of 195 Old 03-18-2015 Thread Starter
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Florida is at it again

As most of us are aware there is legislation pending in the Florida Legislature that would ban overnight anchoring anywhere within 200 feet of any waterfront homes, whether they have boats or even docks or not. This provision could have significant adverse effects on the freedoms of cruisers and boaters cruising Florida waters. The Seven Seas Crusing Association (SSCA) have engaged to strongly oppose this.

The background is really quite simple. First, there is a problem with derelict boats in Florida just as there is in some other states. Cruisers and other boaters are as disturbed by the problem of derelict boats as anyone else. Second, there is an unpleasant movement by wealthy waterfront homeowners who feel they have bought the view with their property and want to preclude anchoring in "their" view.

SSCA has effective volunteer and professional lobbyists meeting with members of Florida leadership, committee chairs, committee members, committee staff, and member staff. They are making progress.

You can help. We NEED your help. Here is what you can do:

1. Join SSCA. It's the best $55 you can spend each year to protect your rights and to gain other benefits of membership.

2. If you are a Florida voter, write to your state representative and senator making clear you are watching them. See http://www.ssca.org/downloads/ccc/SS...g_brochure.pdf .

3. If you are not a Florida voter, write your Federal representatives to let them know you are concerned about pending restrictions on the Federal rights to navigation.

4. Contact the manufacturers of equipment you own or are considering purchase and ask them to wake up the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and get them in the game.

5. Write to BoatUS Government Affairs ( BoatUS - Contact BoatUS Government Affairs ) and let them know this issue is important to you.

SSCA is a global organization. We care and work in support of cruisers across the globe. It happens that Florida, a cruising waypoint that many of our members pass through, seems to be sending a message that Florida wants our money but not us. We've been successful in Florida before. We've been successful in Maryland and Rhode Island and Mexico. We need your help to be successful again.

For more information about SSCA see Welcome to the Seven Seas Cruising Association ; for member benefits see The Seven Seas Cruising Association - IX - Member Benefits .
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post #2 of 195 Old 03-19-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

I understand completely from a cruisers perspective why they'd want to fight rules like this. What I don't understand is why the same cruisers would undoubtedly be appalled and fight it with all means available if random people traveling in RV's decided to frequently overnight on the street right in front of the cruisers land home.

What's the difference exactly? Why are RV's supposed to go to designated RVing areas (and certainly not in front your homes throughout the RV season), while cruisers on boats should be able to park wherever they please? As a non cruiser, I can certainly see the homeowners perspective that they paid a very high premium to live in the area, while cruisers didn't. As a former wannabe cruiser I can definitely see why you'd want to be able to anchor freely, but it makes less sense to me nowadays without viewing it through boaters eyes.

Can anyone explain the difference to me between people randomly parking RV's in front of your home on your street, and cruisers randomly anchoring in front of peoples homes? Isn't it basically the same thing, one being expected as a right, the other obviously being unacceptable as they have designated areas and no one wants a bunch of random RV's in front of their homes all summer/winter?
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post #3 of 195 Old 03-19-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

The cruising community needs to unite to come anywhere near balancing the voice of the landowners, who greatly outnumber the boaters. However, there also needs to be a compromise here, as there are two valid sides of the story.

Personally, I have a hard time sleeping, when anchored less than 200 feet from anything hard. As we all know, that looks a lot closer than it is.
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post #4 of 195 Old 03-19-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
I understand completely from a cruisers perspective why they'd want to fight rules like this. What I don't understand is why the same cruisers would undoubtedly be appalled and fight it with all means available if random people traveling in RV's decided to frequently overnight on the street right in front of the cruisers land home.

What's the difference exactly? Why are RV's supposed to go to designated RVing areas (and certainly not in front your homes throughout the RV season), while cruisers on boats should be able to park wherever they please? As a non cruiser, I can certainly see the homeowners perspective that they paid a very high premium to live in the area, while cruisers didn't. As a former wannabe cruiser I can definitely see why you'd want to be able to anchor freely, but it makes less sense to me nowadays without viewing it through boaters eyes.

Can anyone explain the difference to me between people randomly parking RV's in front of your home on your street, and cruisers randomly anchoring in front of peoples homes? Isn't it basically the same thing, one being expected as a right, the other obviously being unacceptable as they have designated areas and no one wants a bunch of random RV's in front of their homes all summer/winter?
Some communities ban overnight parking on the streets within their jurisdiction. The community members either pay the taxes to INSTALL and maintain the street, or pay directly to install and maintain the street, and it's supporting infrastructure.

That said, unless there are perking restrictions, or an overnight parking ban, I believe that you could pull up in your Winnebago and set up camp. There is a large motor home parked just around the corner from me here in my private community in Ft Myers, Florida. I believe that my neighbors have guests.

While some Florida communities have constructed canals, they have not constructed the lakes and ponds that are tied to the canals. Nor did they construct the mangrove swamps. The property owners, and the communities have paid for the rights for the land up to the mean HIGH high water mark, and nothing more. The water rights belong to the State (within 3 miles) and Federal Government, and they are to managed for the PUBLIC good.

This comes down to a property rights issue, and delineating where property ends. The native americans had no concept of PRIVATE property, and why they relinquished the right to Manhattan for $24, and some beads...


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Re: Florida is at it again

The entire public certainly invests significantly in our waterways, from navigation to dredging to environmental control, policing, rescue, etc.

I am ultimately on the side of the boater, despite my willingness to compromise, but I'm trying to make sure the blade is sharp here.
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post #6 of 195 Old 03-19-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Florida is at it again

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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
What I don't understand is why the same cruisers would undoubtedly be appalled and fight it with all means available if random people traveling in RV's decided to frequently overnight on the street right in front of the cruisers land home.
The RV analogy is raised periodically. There are several differences. First and foremost is the history, captured in Federal law, of freedom of navigation. There is the precedent of free anchoring going back to the formation of our country. Just look at the issues of where property rights end (generally MHHW or the high-water mark).

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Personally, I have a hard time sleeping, when anchored less than 200 feet from anything hard. As we all know, that looks a lot closer than it is.
There are many parts of the country where there is little choice. In my own stomping grounds Spa Creek and Back Creek in Annapolis are not wide enough to swing 200' clear from docks and shores. Similarly the upper reaches of the Magothy River, Granary Creek and Dividing Creek off the Wye, common anchorages along the tributaries to the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers, and much more.

In Florida the proposed restrictions would turn almost all of Southwest Florida into a no-anchoring zone. The shape of canals, lakes, and ponds really limits anchoring space.

Many other portions of the US and anchorages across the globe require being pretty close to shore, including the use of shore lines.
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post #7 of 195 Old 03-19-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Dave,

I'm not very clever. Does the SSCA have a "pro-forma" letter that I can use, to write my Federal rep? I understand the problem, but I'm not sure I could articulate it in an effective manner.

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Re: Florida is at it again

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I'm not very clever. Does the SSCA have a "pro-forma" letter that I can use, to write my Federal rep? I understand the problem, but I'm not sure I could articulate it in an effective manner.
I'll get one up here today.

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Re: Florida is at it again

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
I understand completely from a cruisers perspective why they'd want to fight rules like this. What I don't understand is why the same cruisers would undoubtedly be appalled and fight it with all means available if random people traveling in RV's decided to frequently overnight on the street right in front of the cruisers land home.

What's the difference exactly? Why are RV's supposed to go to designated RVing areas (and certainly not in front your homes throughout the RV season), while cruisers on boats should be able to park wherever they please? As a non cruiser, I can certainly see the homeowners perspective that they paid a very high premium to live in the area, while cruisers didn't. As a former wannabe cruiser I can definitely see why you'd want to be able to anchor freely, but it makes less sense to me nowadays without viewing it through boaters eyes.

Can anyone explain the difference to me between people randomly parking RV's in front of your home on your street, and cruisers randomly anchoring in front of peoples homes? Isn't it basically the same thing, one being expected as a right, the other obviously being unacceptable as they have designated areas and no one wants a bunch of random RV's in front of their homes all summer/winter?
Waterways, unlike roadways, are in the PUBLIC TRUST. They are designated for all to use unfettered.

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Re: Florida is at it again

The argument that relies on the way navigable waters had been originally regulated 200 years ago, will be refuted with witch burning and slavery. Laws change. That's directly their point for introducing legislation to do so.


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