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post #451 of 471 Old 04-04-2016
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With some of the daily slip fees the marinas around Miami Beach charge per night, $4 to $7 per foot, it's clear that they don't want budget-minded sailors anchoring for free in the ICW. They want the wealthy yachting set.

I imagine the economy cruising set buys groceries and fuel but the wealthy yachting set comes ashore, stays a week in a luxury hotel, rents a car and spends a lot of money dining and shopping.
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post #452 of 471 Old 04-06-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

I am going to try and get some of the rhetoric out of the way. Most of the SN community has not sailed in Florida for an entire season. I have been living and cruising here in Florida since 2004 and living on my boat since 2008. First and foremost, this bill stinks. In my opinion, it is illegal and the politicians should be hanged and quartered. Now, having said that, what is the reality? As some here have said, the impact is minuscule to the economies of the surrounding areas from West Palm to Miami-Dade County where the current restrictions are set to go in affect. This is about 68 miles of the east Florida coastline, a one day trip for most sailboats. Keep this in mind later. Communities, politicians and business owners only care about economic impact. One also has to remember that there are the motorboats, in particular trawlers, which cruise here as well. I would guess trawlers and/or motor boats make up almost 40% of the cruising community down here now.
There are about 3 types of cruisers that visit the South Florida coastline. The “snowbirds” that come down just for the winter; they live in marinas, mooring balls and private docks. A few anchor out (maybe 5%) with the biggest group I believe in Key West area. This group makes up for well over 90% of the roughly 2,500 cruisers here all winter long. They spend money! Lots of it!! The restrictions don’t affect them at all. The next cruiser I call, the “vacation cruisers", who visit Florida, the Florida Keys and Dry Tortuga's. Sometimes they anchor; sometimes they get a slip for a day to a week. They visit for a while then leave. They spend some money. The last group of cruisers is what I call, "traveling through cruisers". They come from the great white north on their way to somewhere besides Florida. They usually go to the Bahamas, Cuba (now), Caribbean, and lastly to the Mexico and/or beyond. These cruisers spend very little overall. The impact for each county is minimal except maybe down in the Florida Keys. Anchoring restrictions are few, north and south of the regulation zone.
Marathon is overcrowded. It is a nice place and the community reaches out to the cruisers. Key West is nice but expensive. North of the restriction zone, Jupiter to St Augustine loves us for the most part. I spent this winter in Stuart due to a major boat break down. This cruising crowd from Vero Beach to Jupiter is huge (think a 1000 or so). The communities cater to us and love us. There are just minor pockets of discontented land owners here.
Now let’s chat about the impact of the new regulations and who it is going to hurt the most, the “traveling through cruisers” and liveaboards. I will start with the liveaboards who live on their boats and rarely move them. The regulations are the toughest on this group. I don't have an answer to this. These are folks who run the gamut of the economic scale, that believe in the beauty, independence and freedom of living on the water. Then there is the derelict boat problem. It is a county problem that politicians and sheriffs have turned a blind eye to for far too long. Last month the state legislature passed a bill to fund to the counties to take care of the derelict boat problem. We will see if the counties use these funds. The transient cruisers are another matter. There are figures of around 1-2 thousand a year (I once saw a figure of 3 thousand) of these wonderful folks who fit this profile. Imagine for a second of the RV’ers coming to your neighborhood and hanging out and then leaving during the winter season. How would you feel about that? Just saying! Look at it from another point of view is all I am saying here. In your opinion they create a nuisance and then don’t even spend money except at the grocery store. Oh, and you are rich in most people’s eyes. While the restrictions in these areas are great anchorages to jump out on the rose compass, they are just that, jumping off points (rest areas for the RV comparison).
So what is the bottom line here? At most a few thousand folks the State of Florida is looking at inconveniencing for a night or two. That is how they see it, with no economic impact to the state or communities. Not a big deal in all three counties where the population is in the millions. For the liveaboards, I would venture to guess maybe 60 people at the most that live in the restricted areas. Can the counties accommodate them in other areas of the waterway county? You bet they can. Will they? Probably not. NOT IN MY BACKYARD (NIMBA) mentality that is not only in the waterway communities but land base as well. One cannot just pull up an RV in any community street corner and camp out. How would you like if an RV camped out in front of your house? This is the view of communities that are impacting landowners and politicians. It is not my opinion, because I believe in the rights of boats navigating the waterway.
So what is the compromise solution to all this? First, I would avoid Southern Florida. I would jump out at Ft Pierce or West Palm Beach inlet (class A inlet) to the Bahamas or down to Biscayne Bay inlet about 68 miles on the outside. It is doable to all boaters in one day. But having watched the cruising community for over a decade now, I would venture to guess 98% of the cruisers going to the South Florida, Bahamas, and beyond do not do overnights and if they do, only one day at most. Avoiding Georgia’s ICW comes to mind. I would further say 60-75% don’t travel outside the ICW on their way south. There are a few areas where they might venture out like Ft Lauderdale to Miami. Alarming statistics to most I would imagine. This is one reason there is a huge outcry from our community. Those that do go outside regularly, do so only because they have a keel depth problem, mast height bridge problem or are salty sailors. Most sailors talk the talk but don’t do the walk down here. Second, support your favorite boating PAC: Boat US, Seven Seas Cruising Association, and other boating associations that you feel kin too. Write letters to the Florida legislature and governments, grassroots efforts sometimes do work. Thirdly, avoid all boating commercial activities like boat shows. If no one goes to Strictly Sail Miami or the West Palm Beach or Ft Lauderdale shows, the boat manufacture’s PAC will hopefully listen to the crickets at the cash register. Also, don’t buy a boat here, buy it somewhere else. If there is a boat you love and have to buy it, have the owner/broker take it to another state for sale. This is a hard one, I know. Thirdly, the communities themselves look at anchoring havens that are protected and available to the boating community.
These are just the observations of a crazy woman boat owner. Your mileage will vary.

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post #453 of 471 Old 04-06-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

How are the transient cruisers that spent the winter in the Keys and Bahamas managing on their return to the north. It would be nice to hear some of the experiences, I'm heading for the Bahamas in the fall,
so interested to see what is happening.
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post #454 of 471 Old 04-06-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristtaney View Post
How are the transient cruisers that spent the winter in the Keys and Bahamas managing on their return to the north. It would be nice to hear some of the experiences, I'm heading for the Bahamas in the fall,
so interested to see what is happening.
It doesn't affect them. Law goes into effect July 1, 2016. The migration has already began.

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post #455 of 471 Old 04-06-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Florida is at it again

Mel knows I love her and generally agree with her. I'm still going to rant a bit from my own perspective.

It is worth noting that Florida used to be a destination. More and more people are treating it as a transit point because we simply don't feel welcome in Florida. People (not everyone) go to Florida because they want to go to the Bahamas (or Cuba) not because they want to go to Florida. Sure there are exceptions but the majority are just passing through BECAUSE FLORIDA IS NOT SO MUCH FUN TO STAY IN ANYMORE.

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As some here have said, the impact is minuscule to the economies of the surrounding areas from West Palm to Miami-Dade County where the current restrictions are set to go in affect.
I don't agree here. The legislature overwhelmingly voted in support of the bill. We KNOW that many localities are working on legislation to piggy back on the passed law and add more no anchoring zones. We KNOW that our (cruisers') support in FWC has deteriorated and the Pilot Program report is likely (not definitely but likely) to recommend mooring fields and anchoring restrictions AND LOCAL CONTROL.

Mel makes the point that the people who are most offended by anchoring restrictions are spending the least money. I agree. WE DON'T COUNT. Florida doesn't want you. "Send money, stay home; if you can only do one, stay home."

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I will start with the liveaboards who live on their boats and rarely move them. The regulations are the toughest on this group. I don't have an answer to this. These are folks who run the gamut of the economic scale, that believe in the beauty, independence and freedom of living on the water.
Liveaboards are challenge for the cruising and sailing community. We have cruisers who spend a year or two somewhere to refill their kitty. Are those people different than people who moved out from under a bridge? Where do we (big we) draw the line between liveaboards and derelicts? Florida's new "at risk" definition may well be a step in the right direction. I don't know. Anything that separates cruisers from eyesores and environmental risks is probably good.

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Last month the state legislature passed a bill to fund to the counties to take care of the derelict boat problem. We will see if the counties use these funds.
This is a major step in the right direction. For many years politicians (read legislators) have taken the easy out of passing new law instead of funding existing legislation. Regulation, policy, and procedure remain to be instantiated to move funding to the action agencies. If ten-year-old law had been funded from the beginning we probably would not be where we are now - we would be a lot better off.

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So what is the bottom line here? At most a few thousand folks the State of Florida is looking at inconveniencing for a night or two.
Mel hit the nail on the head. WE DON'T MATTER. We don't spend enough money to matter. Any sentence or argument that includes in any way our economic impact just doesn't understand the reality.

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So what is the compromise solution to all this? First, I would avoid Southern Florida. I would jump out at Ft Pierce or West Palm Beach inlet (class A inlet) to the Bahamas or down to Biscayne Bay inlet about 68 miles on the outside. It is doable to all boaters in one day. But having watched the cruising community for over a decade now, I would venture to guess 98% of the cruisers going to the South Florida, Bahamas, and beyond do not do overnights and if they do, only one day at most. Avoiding Georgia’s ICW comes to mind. I would further say 60-75% don’t travel outside the ICW on their way south. There are a few areas where they might venture out like Ft Lauderdale to Miami. Alarming statistics to most I would imagine. This is one reason there is a huge outcry from our community.
Mel is spot on here also. Lots of cruisers accumulate in anchorages in South Florida waiting for a weather window. *sigh* I can't tell the number of times I've trundled (<- great word) down the dock with six dock carts among three crew and some salty dude asks if I'm getting ready to go.

Dave: "Yep"
Salty Dude: "But the winds tomorrow are going to be 8 kts from the NE"
Dave: "Yep"
Salty Dude: "You're gonna die!"
Dave: "Nope. Do this all the time."
Salty Dude: "What!?!"
Dave: "Cold front coming. Winds SSW then NNW. We'll stay in the stream and get a boost for a couple days at least. We'll go East if it gets bumpy."
Salty Dude: "Can we follow you?"
Dave: "Only if you can keep up."

I crack myself up.

I won't bother you repeating the discussions with people who think Fort-La-De-Dah to Bimini is "offshore." *sigh*
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post #456 of 471 Old 04-06-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Liveaboards are challenge for the cruising and sailing community. We have cruisers who spend a year or two somewhere to refill their kitty. Are those people different than people who moved out from under a bridge? Where do we (big we) draw the line between liveaboards and derelicts? Florida's new "at risk" definition may well be a step in the right direction. I don't know. Anything that separates cruisers from eyesores and environmental risks is probably good.


This is a major step in the right direction. For many years politicians (read legislators) have taken the easy out of passing new law instead of funding existing legislation. Regulation, policy, and procedure remain to be instantiated to move funding to the action agencies. If ten-year-old law had been funded from the beginning we probably would not be where we are now - we would be a lot better off.
This seems to be the easy part, "can your boat under it's own power (engine or sail) travel 5 miles?" If not then you are cited and given 90 days to make repairs, if still cannot not make way on it's own then it gets hulled away, and you are given another 90 days in a yard at your own expense, and if repairs are not made it gets sold or destroyed. If the boat is taking on water on the first visit it should be hulled and a 90 day timer gets started. That gives you half a year to make repairs, if you can't do it in that time, then you are likely a derelict. Seems a nice business could be made of buying and scraping the boats.

They do this for cars, if you don't pass safety inspection you are given time to fix and if not then your registration is revoked. It does not seem it should be to onerous on the authorities to do the follow up. What bothers me is all the boats with years old expired registrations an nothing done about it. Imagine driving a car with 5 - 10 year old plates?

Seems so much of this is caused by derelicts and there are already laws that would eliminate most of them, but the locals would rather get rid of everyone, rather than the bad actors.

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post #457 of 471 Old 04-06-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

Not that I would ever live in Florida but not all waterfront homeowners agree with this law. My father owns a waterfront home on Marco Island and LOVES when sailboats moor just outside his home. Our entire family does. Sailboats are very peaceful and gorgeous. Just too many stuck up rich waterfront homeowners down there and too many politicians as usual. My father bought the lot in 1968 and built a home and things were so nice down there then. Not any more!

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post #458 of 471 Old 04-07-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

Come to RI. All boaters welcome. Everywhere. Tons of anchorages, both remote as well as right in the middle of Newport Harbor.

Our registration fees were raised slightly (~5%) a few years back. I hadn't registered anything new in a while. I just bought a new dinghy and realized, when reading the forms, that the fee increase was designed to create a fund to remove derelict boats. Makes sense to me. I know FL issues are beyond derelicts. I suspect the only solution is federal, if one could imagine that circus focusing on anything productive.


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post #459 of 471 Old 04-07-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

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Originally Posted by Bruce3966 View Post
Not that I would ever live in Florida but not all waterfront homeowners agree with this law. My father owns a waterfront home on Marco Island and LOVES when sailboats moor just outside his home. Our entire family does. Sailboats are very peaceful and gorgeous. Just too many stuck up rich waterfront homeowners down there and too many politicians as usual. My father bought the lot in 1968 and built a home and things were so nice down there then. Not any more!
That was my first thought too. I'm a full time sailor and I dream of doing what the "Pilgrims" as I call them do, as they pass up and down the coast and pause in our area. Fl has unfortunately so much of every kind of Boater they at least think what they are doing is necessary. Unfortunately abandoned and derelict/Illegal boats are on the rise.
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post #460 of 471 Old 04-07-2016
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Re: Florida is at it again

I would add to Auspicious' remarks:

Another rather tired argument is in regards the 'making money off hauling and selling derelict boats, same as is done with cars.'

Yeah, that's not the way that works.

Hauling a derelict, especially if it's sunken, is quite expensive - we aren't talking about hooking a wrecker up to the boat and driving off. Craft for towing are specialized boats in and of themselves (have a look at a SeaTow boat sometime), and a sunken boat will need a barge and crane and probably a diver, someone's gotta pay for that.

If the owner isn't caring for the boat, he or she isn't about to pay yard fees. They'll just walk away. So then you have a POS taking up valuable boatyard space, so the yards are wanting their fees or else the boat outta there so they can put a paying customer's boat in the space.

There is NO market for POS boats, so the POS boat will just end up cut up and landfilled, further costing money.

So there it is: the derelict laws aren't enforced largely because it is far more expensive to enforce them than to leave the boats derelict. The authorities just hope that nobody complains 'cause they don't want to spend that kind of money to solve the problems...
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Last edited by ad28; 04-07-2016 at 09:41 AM.
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