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post #70 of Old 04-16-2019
JimMcGee's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Marathon, Florida
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Re: Boat People Scum

There is a certain romantic notion about the guy living on a sailboat with no rudder or mast who spends his time hanging out in some little dockside bar chatting up the tourists.

Here's the reality, there is a mate on a fishing boat who's living on a derelict sailboat behind our property, complete with the spray painted symbols on the hull from the first responders who went through Boot Key Harbor after Irma. The rumor is he bought the boat salvage after the storm as a temporary solution because his trailer was trashed. After two years I don't think it's temporary anymore.

He's anchored in a restricted, no-anchor zone because it's close to the boat he works on. I don't think the boat has ever moved and as far as I know there is no pumpout boat that comes in here (at least no one has ever seen one).

Now the mangroves behind my place are full of fish and lobster. Are they safe to eat or contaminated by raw sewage? Is it safe to swim off my dock? My guess is the answer is no.

This isn't a "boat bum" conversation anymore, it's a sanitary conversation.

And what happens if this uninsured derelict drags anchor into someone's dock or boat during the next storm?

The real cost of housing, and how some people got into their current situation is a LONG and often contentious conversation with many layers that people on both sides want to over simplify.

Requiring boaters to meet safety, sanitary and anchoring standards - well that IS a simple conversation.

Currently Boatless

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau

Last edited by JimMcGee; 04-16-2019 at 05:04 PM.
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