Florida is at it again - Page 18 - SailNet Community
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post #171 of 471 Old 06-17-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Take Five, at one time, Florida had a large, very effective artificial reef program, one that took derelict boats, both sail and power, stripped the engines and fuel tanks out, then took the boats to designated areas and sunk them, often in depths of just 35 to 50 feet. Within a couple years, you would be hard pressed to find a square inch of the boat that was not covered with marine growth. The sunken craft provided an incredible reef system that attracted and protected juvenile fish and predators alike. The boats, mostly confiscated drug runner boats and derelict live aboards, that used to be seen on a regular basis, soon pretty much disappeared from the scene. And opponents of the reef program managed to get the program scrapped.

Several other states had similar programs and funding, while somewhat limited, was still more than sufficient to remove several hundred boats every year. Last fall, a nice looking 44 foot powerboat, trawler looking boat, was abandoned in the Susquehanna River at the north end of Garrett Island. It sat there till about October, when a sailboat, looked like a 25 footer, was also abandoned and tied to a cleat of the power boat. The powerboat eventually filled with rainwater and sunk, leaving only the top of the cabin exposed, the sailboat broke loose and drifted downriver and lodged against the railroad bridge at Perryville until someone towed it to the newly constructed municipal piers and tied it up. It soon filled with rainwater and sunk at the dock, leaving only the mast sticking out of the water. When I called Maryland DNR about the boats they said they would contact the appropriate authorities, which was likely the USCG. However, when I talked with the USCG, they said because the boats did not pose a navigational hazard, they would not be taking any action to remove them. Maryland DNR no longer has a fund to deal with derelict boats.

On both boats, I was told the serial and hull numbers were all ground off so the owners could not be identified. This was the case with hundreds of derelict boats anchored in San Francisco Bay. California has funded a removal program but can only remove about 300 boats a year, which is about half the number of new derelicts they see every year.

Keep in mind that Florida has a huge number of recreational and commercial vessels within the state. While there are some folks that paint pictures of half sunken boats to sell and think they look quaint, the owners of those multimillion dollar homes are not of similar ilk - can you blame them. The legislation they proposed won't solve the derelict boat problem, and for the most part, doesn't even address the issue at all.

Just another fun day in boaters paradise,

Gary
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post #172 of 471 Old 06-18-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Will this legislation stop anyone from towing a hulk in the middle of the night and leaving it in somebody's senic view? Does this legislation provide for the removal of abandoned boats? Or, is it just a way of harassing live-aboards and boaters passing through? Sounds like this will not benefit the general public, just a privleged few.
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post #173 of 471 Old 07-01-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Can't remember the details right now, but does anyone remember when Sarasota, about 5-8 yrs ago, didn't want a liveaboard staying in their view. I believe they waited till the lone boater went ashore for supplies, then towed his boat to shore. There they used their biggest front-end loader to smash it to pieces and loaded waiting dump trucks to haul away.
Nice town, Sarasota? If you don't consider its dark side, I guess.
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post #174 of 471 Old 07-01-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

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Originally Posted by pappa View Post
Can't remember the details right now, but does anyone remember when Sarasota, about 5-8 yrs ago, didn't want a liveaboard staying in their view. I believe they waited till the lone boater went ashore for supplies, then towed his boat to shore. There they used their biggest front-end loader to smash it to pieces and loaded waiting dump trucks to haul away.
Nice town, Sarasota? If you don't consider its dark side, I guess.
I watched someone do the same thing with some mangroves that were spoiling their view in Sunny Isles Beach in Florida. Chainsawed them and bulldozed them with the DEQ guy jumping up and down and telling them to stop. When they finished, they asked him how much the fine would be so they could send in a check.

Money talks in most places, but more so in Florida than any other place I ever lived.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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post #175 of 471 Old 07-02-2015
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Wink Re: Florida is at it again

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Originally Posted by pappa View Post
Can't remember the details right now, but does anyone remember when Sarasota, about 5-8 yrs ago, didn't want a liveaboard staying in their view. I believe they waited till the lone boater went ashore for supplies, then towed his boat to shore. There they used their biggest front-end loader to smash it to pieces and loaded waiting dump trucks to haul away.
Nice town, Sarasota? If you don't consider its dark side, I guess.
+1. Group9. Though born in Tampa and grad from HS there, I have lived in CT twice, GA, and TN. FL ranks lowest on fair equitable conduct by LEO, Permitting, taxation, courts, and what one can or cannot do is based purely on who you know and how much you have. Strictly a class based society with separate standards, laws, and penalties. I only returned to be near family. Never know if person who overhears you voice your opinion is disliking what they hear. So, do not invite petty vindictive retribution. Better to avoid those folks and keep life on a sweeter kinder note.
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post #176 of 471 Old 07-08-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Yep they are still at it...
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post #177 of 471 Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

Now i am not anyway someone who travels on the ocean and looking for an anchorage but i don't understand this either, now its like the claim the back of there home is their body of water? They cant take it with them this down right stupid.. Motor home is totally different that can be closer to your house, a boat is way out at sea! 20 feet what are people doing using someones backyard and beach? now if you are trespassing i can see that to be an issue not every sailor has respect for others!

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post #178 of 471 Old 07-27-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

The FWC has set meetings for more discussion of derelict vessels. Here is the info copied from Waterway Guide:

As a follow-on to the derelict vessel meeting held in Tallahassee July 1, 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be holding five public meetings around the State to gather additional input from stakeholders and waterway managers.

"We have narrowed down the list of 50 solutions that were discussed at the meeting. We now have your top-ranked solutions with potential opportunities for improvement," wrote Phil Horning, FWC Derelict Vessel Program Administrator in an email.

The most popular solutions focus on registration and titling regulations to assure that the owner would be made responsible for a derelict vessel. Horning points out that any solution's popularity is just one factor in determining the best strategy, as some may be impractical or impossible to successfully implement.

All are invited – no need to register. The schedule for the meetings are as follows:



August 3rd (Monday) 2:30pm – 5:00pm EST
St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners (Commission chambers)
2300 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, Florida 34982

August 11th (Tuesday) 2:30pm – 5:00pm EST
Edgewater City Hall (commission chambers)
104 N. Riverside Drive
Edgewater, Florida 32132

August 12th (Wednesday) 2:30pm – 5:00pm EST
Brandon Regional Service Center
311 Pauls Drive
Brandon, Florida 33511

August 13th (Thursday) 2:30pm – 5:00pm EST
Murray Nelson Government Center
Monroe County Board of County Commissioners (Commission chambers)
102050 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, Florida 33037

August 17th (Monday) 2:30pm – 5:00pm CST
Bay County Board of County Commissioners (Commission chambers)
840 West 11th Street
Panama City, Florida 32401


Link to article:
Five derelict vessel legislation meetings announced located in General | Waterway Guide News Update

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post #179 of 471 Old 07-27-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

I really appreciate the diverse discussion regarding anchoring restrictions. We sailed in Florida for about 30 years and I have some experience with the issue of anchoring near homes. In my mind there is a huge difference in storing one's boat for months or years at a time very close to someone's home versus trying to find a suitable place to anchor for a few days. We have had to anchor near homes (which we do not prefer) due to bad weather, poor holding in other areas, approaching darkness and no other options in sight, or just to get a few days rest on a long passage. The issue I have with the legislative approach in Florida to date, is that there is not a real good distinction between these two uses. Yes, I know a provision was added to one of bills to allow one to anchor near a home in the case of exhaustion.

However, how would the exhaustion provision be enforced by police officers? Here is the scenario: One is forced to anchor within the setback limit for one of the "legitimate" reasons listed previously. It is midnight, and a homeowner complains to the water police. The police are obligated to motor out to investigate and wake up a very tired old couple (like us) from a deep sleep. Ever been approached on the water at night by law enforcement? We have and it can be quite unsettling (for everyone involved). So, then what happens? Does the officer tell you move if you can't convince them that you are "exhausted"? Are you issued a ticket to later argue in court?

If you think I am overplaying this, you haven't done enough cruising in Florida and its coastal waters. The problem with this law, like many others, is that the unintended consequences of such a provision will not be addressed adequately before it is passed. Further, the law could give individual municipalities the right to make there own set of rules, which could be completely different than the municipality just next door. Does everyone know exactly where the county line or city limit crosses a waterway?

I am thankful that organizations like SSCA and BoatUS appreciate these difficulties and are attempting to work out a good law that will address derelict and at-risk vessels while maintaining reasonable access and use of the waterways.
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post #180 of 471 Old 07-29-2015
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Re: Florida is at it again

To me the issues is simple, if the boat does not have a current registration/documentation, then the owner is fined and required to move the boat. If they refuse to move the boat, the local authority removes it and bills the owner. How many of the truly derelict boats have current registrations not many I would guess? Perhaps a requirement to be aboard after a certain amount of time? But the real issue is not derelicts, but people feeling that others should not have access to the water. Rich entitled home owners that don't want to see boats in front of there homes. If the issue was derelicts it would be simple.
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