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post #1 of 38 Old 01-07-2013 Thread Starter
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docks on ICW

Is there any truth to this? I was told that when venturing up or down the ICW that you can legally use anyone's dock to overnight if there's room. That it's a safety issue. Law doesn't want people on the waterway at night if at all possible.

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post #2 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

I don't know a definitive answer but on the surface it sounds like a myth to me. A mariner in distress (or anyone in distress for that matter) has an affirmative defense from trespass but that doesn't give rights of occupation for other reasons.

Will be interesting to hear other responses and learn if there is a basis in fact.
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post #3 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

I have the definitive answer....

That waterway has more gun shops along it than I've seen Macdonalds in New York City.... And you wanna go tie up at someone's private dock uninvited?

If you have Active Captain it shows you where the free town docks are, and all the anchorages. Not too many town docks, unfortunately.

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post #4 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

My brother has a home on the ICW in SC, but in his case I don't think you could tie to his dock and not be in danger of being struck during the night by the tugs that plow through that area. He has found kayaker's camping on his dock before but they were up and away before we could brew up some coffee and see what they were up to.

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post #5 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

First I've heard of this...

If you can't find an anchorage along the ICW, you need to reconsider whether or not you belong in a boat in the first place. Route planning is the key. Active Captain, Skipper Bob's guides, MapTech ChartKits, etc, will all give you sufficient info to do this right.

Mark's comments are valid, and I would be very hesitant to tie up to a dock uninvited; short of a life-threatening emergency I'd never do it.

In addition to the potential hazard of an armed and irate dock owner, you also have no idea of the condition of the dock or the bottom around the dock. I trust my ground tackle way more than many of the docks I've seen along the ICW...
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post #6 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

How would you feel about someone camping out on your porch ? I strongly recommend you take no more advice from your source.
Take a look at Primer For First Timers on The ICW
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post #7 of 38 Old 01-07-2013 Thread Starter
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docks on ICW

There's a big difference between my front porch and a dock over a public waterway.
I haven't ever used anyone's dock and nor would I unless I absolutely had to. This is why I was asking. The Captian that told me this has been a Captian in the Murrells Inlet and Georgetown, SC area for many years and is well respected. I'm not saying he's right. But he did tell me this. He said not many people know this but its true.

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post #8 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

I doubt it's true, but lets assume it is for a second. The next question is, does the dock owner know its true? I doubt that too.

Therefore, the front porch analogy is good. Would you want to wake up on a random front porch with a shotgun up your nose?


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post #9 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

I suspect that if you tie up to someone's private dock, without permission, that shotgun is going to be stuck up another part of your anatomy. There are lots of locations to anchor that are not in the ICW books, but as stated above, you need to do some planning. Additionally, you need to provide yourself some leeway to compensate for incredible tidal changes and currents.

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post #10 of 38 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: docks on ICW

While the guy who built it may or may not have all the paperwork in place to actually have legal use of the dock it will be of little consequence to your family when he shoots you from his porch claiming you were trespassing. If it doesnt belong to you dont use it. Even if there were water leases etc that may be required, their absence does not make the property yours or anyone elses other than the person who put it there. He may not be legally entitled to use it but in that case neither would you. He owns the dock or hazard as the case may be, stay away unless its an emergency.
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