Join Date: Jan 2014
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Re: Florida is at it again
I believe you are absolutely correct. There are several very good mechanisms, as you mentioned, to deal with derelict boats.
My sense, however, is that the anchoring setback discussion is really about something else. A good example is the recent action by Miami Beach, making it illegal to tie dinghies up to a seawall so the cruiser can go shopping or enjoy a meal at restaurant.
I believe the anchoring setback issue is really about social and economic status, and the inequalities thereof. I was told by one marina on Florida's snob coast (Stuart, FL) that sailboats were not welcome there because they spent very little money, often didn't pay their bills and were a pain in the neck (they buy a gallon of fuel, tank up on free water and steal the toilet paper from the restroom). That's what I was told. However, the welcome mat was always out for the high end yachts and well endowed checkbooks.
I fully admit that, while we enjoy anchoring out more than staying in a marina, we are also motivated to do so by our budget. As Minnewaska touched on, the mid to low economic bracket cruiser (like us) possibly doesn't contribute that much to the Florida economy. However, we are US citizens, we pay our taxes like everyone else, pay our bills, obey the law, keep our boat in good condition, are concerned about protecting the environment, are sensitive to the rights and safety of others and don't steal the toilet paper. That should earn us equity in the use of all public waters...I would think!
Also, keep a close eye on the upcoming rules being promulgated by the Everglades National Park. Permits to cruise and anchor within the Park are forthcoming, which likely will involve fees and anchoring limitations.
It takes a lot of money for organizations like SSCA, BoatUS, Waterway Guide and others to argue our case in the Florida legislature. If this issue really is important to you, put $20 in the defense fund to support them. Just contact any of the above and they will direct you to the appropriate website.