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2005 Gemini 105Mc
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The FWC has developed an online survey for future use in drafting anchoring restrictions for local municipalities. Their goal is to allow cities and local governments the ability to restrict your rights to anchor in certain places. Most notably, in areas that have waterfront homeowners who think they have a right to govern the water behind their homes.

Boaters need to make sure that any restrictions on anchoring are done on a state-wide basis.

The survey and it’s “concepts” are designed to restrict your ability to choose where and for how long you can anchor. Please respond to the survey, even if you don’t live in Florida.

My suggestion is that you mark question #7 as “None - Authority to regulate should remain with the state”

Also, my suggestion is to “strongly disagree” with the “concepts” so that they come up with a state-wide solution to the problems they present.

Derelict boats and stored in-water boats are a problem in Florida, but we need a state-wide solution. Not local governments choosing when and where you can anchor.

Can't link, but you can find it here: myfwc.com/boating/anchoring-mooring
 
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1981 Endeavour 32
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Thanks for the heads up about the survey, DavyJ. I checked it out, and from the video introduction got the impression that the FWC is hearing more from homeowners than boaters.
 

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The FWC has developed an online survey for future use in drafting anchoring restrictions for local municipalities....

The survey and it’s “concepts” are designed to restrict your ability to choose where and for how long you can anchor. Please respond to the survey, even if you don’t live in Florida.
I did it yesterday, and although I did strongly DISAGREE with giving local governing bodies any control in this because of the potential undue influence of the real estate industry and a handful of wealthy donors, I didn't think all of the ideas were bad.

I don't have a problem with a 60 day limited for unoccupied boats being left on public waters. If you need to leave your boat unattended for more than 60 days, perhaps you need a slip/mooring or haul it out.

I also have no problems with prohibitions against derelict vessels left to die (ie. navigation hazards) and a reasonable setback from public ramps and access to make it safer and more accessible to everyone.

However, I strongly disagreed with the setback for private land for 2 reasons
1) Property ownership ends at the high tide mark then it's public property
2) There was no distinction made between occupied/developed land and undeveloped land. Why should there be a setback for piece of undeveloped swamp along a river just because there is a residence SOMEWHERE on the estate.
 

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2005 Gemini 105Mc
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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have a problem with a 60 day limited for unoccupied boats being left on public waters. If you need to leave your boat unattended for more than 60 days, perhaps you need a slip/mooring or haul it out.

I also have no problems with prohibitions against derelict vessels left to die (ie. navigation hazards) and a reasonable setback from public ramps and access to make it safer and more accessible to everyone.
The problem will come later when they ignore the fact that you are against local governments intervention. But, they will then use the results of the survey to say, see, we need anchoring time limits and set-backs from certain areas.

Also, how will a vessel be determined that it is unoccupied for 60 days. If the owner returns on the 59th day does that clock start all over again......
 

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The problem will come later when they ignore the fact that you are against local governments intervention. But, they will then use the results of the survey to say, see, we need anchoring time limits and set-backs from certain areas.
You're right there is a risk my results will be cherry picked; however, those are real problems and honestly give a lot of cruisers/sailboaters a bad reputation.

How would you like to see them addressed?

I stand by my belief that I'd rather see one set of rules that focus on the abuses for the entire state instead of local governments coming up with a patchwork solution.
 

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2005 Gemini 105Mc
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Discussion Starter #7
I stand by my belief that I'd rather one set of rules that focus on the abuses for the entire state instead of local governments coming up with a patchwork solution
I agree that we need a state-wide solution. And hope one comes about.

The problem is that every time the FWC starts to discuss anchoring restrictions, they use the derelicts and others as a veil to allow restrictions on the use of anchorages by legit cruisers and boaters who just want a safe place to anchor.

There are some waterfront property owners who will not be satisfied until all boats are restricted from anchoring for any time limit.

And just for disclosure, I own waterfront property.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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However, I strongly disagreed with the setback for private land
I think in fairness homeowners and marina slipholders should be able to get on and off their docks. People should have a reasonable expectation to be able to launch and retrieve their boats at ramps. Aren't those ideas reasonable?

I agree that we need a state-wide solution. And hope one comes about.
I think this is the most important element. We have to keep legislation at the State level - in every State - or we will have no voice at all.
 

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1981 Endeavour 32
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My two cents.....I like the idea of a setback for anchoring near public or private property, and 150' seems reasonable tome. I don't like the 60 day rule, as that's going to be tough to enforce fairly; FWC should be able to get rid of derelict boats at the Owner's expense, but how are we going to define derelict and interpret that definition consistently? All of the rules, if enacted, should allow an exemption for mariner's seeking safe harbor.

We own waterfront property, also, and have no problem with long-term anchoring in front of our place....I think having boats swinging at anchor adds to the scenic beauty of the river.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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My two cents.....I like the idea of a setback for anchoring near public or private property, and 150' seems reasonable tome.
There is a chart floating around of where anchoring would be legal in Ft Lauderdale with a 150' setback. It is astonishingly limiting. If I can find it again I'll post it here.
 

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2005 Gemini 105Mc
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Discussion Starter #12
There is a chart floating around of where anchoring would be legal in Ft Lauderdale with a 150' setback. It is astonishingly limiting. If I can find it again I'll post it here.
This becomes more apparent when you realize that most anchorages have property on both sides. If your boat needs 50' of swinging room, the anchorage needs to be 350' wide. What happens when two, three or more boats also need swinging room.

This is exactly why they are trying to include set-backs, so they can eliminate some anchorages altogether. The set backs have nothing to do with safety or derelicts.
 

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I took the survey. I strongly disagree with the 150 foot setback. Try traveling the ICW between Miami and Fort Pierce anchoring for the night and meeting the setback.

Also any regulation must be state wide.
 

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I think that is a good survey and hopefully things can be resolved. I think a 150 ft setback is reasonable. I anchor 300+days per year and when on land live in Florida on the water. In the last 2,000 days of anchoring I have never anchored within 150 ft of anything that might damage my boat except for another boat.

However, even when I had a 30 ft boat I never used the ICW...I get nervous near all those boats and people!

Is it as Captmeme writes an ICW problem?

Are there too many boats chasing too few anchoring spots?

Phil
 

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I think in fairness homeowners and marina slipholders should be able to get on and off their docks. People should have a reasonable expectation to be able to launch and retrieve their boats at ramps. Aren't those ideas reasonable?
I agree they should be allowed to, but is that really a problem?

I always anchor far enough way from nearby docks to protect my own interests (swinging into it, dragging anchor, etc) that also gives those owners room to come and go as they please.

My concern is in narrow bodies of water, trying to keep you swinging circle atleast 150' from both sides of the shore, ends of docks would really limit those areas.
 

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I think that is a good survey and hopefully things can be resolved. I think a 150 ft setback is reasonable. I anchor 300+days per year and when on land live in Florida on the water. In the last 2,000 days of anchoring I have never anchored within 150 ft of anything that might damage my boat except for another boat.

However, even when I had a 30 ft boat I never used the ICW...I get nervous near all those boats and people!

Is it as Captmeme writes an ICW problem?

Are there too many boats chasing too few anchoring spots?

Phil
As much as I've enjoyed anchoring in some tight spots like Lake Sylvia in Lauderdale...





...and Sunset Lake in Miami Beach...







...I'm inclined to agree that a setback of 150' is not all that unreasonable... I know that I was located more than 5 boatlengths off that palatial home pictured above, but even so, I was all too aware that I was definitely close to 'intruding' on that homeowner's space... Obviously, he owns neither the water, or the view, but I would hope any cruiser would give similar consideration to any waterfront homeowner's privacy...

Not sure where the 150 foot number is now coming from, previously talk of a 300' setback has been bandied about. Below are the maps Dave was referring to, which clearly indicate anchoring would be all but eliminated in much of Broward County, and a spot like Lake Sylvia might only accommodate 2 or 3 boats dead center...




Let your voice be heard! Potential Florida anchoring restrictions | General | Waterwayguide.com News Updates

So, 150 feet seems to me like an acceptable compromise, if it comes to that. I think the handwriting is on the wall, this seems an example of not letting the Perfect be the enemy of the Good, and such concessions might be the only way to get a reasonable state-wide policy instituted in Florida... And, seriously, anyone expecting to have a full array of anchorages available within a stretch of the ICW like that between Palm Beach and Ft Lauderdale, dream on... That strikes me a bit like driving an RV to New York City, and expecting to be able to park on the streets of Manhattan... :))

As I've mentioned before, what will be interesting to see in the event that setbacks are instituted, is what might become of some of the mooring fields already in place... The city mooring field at Las Olas Bridge in Lauderdale, for example, would presumably have to go...
 

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150 feet is too big a setback. It'll make places like Lake Sylvia dangerous...especially since there are spoil/shallow areas all over. This is a BAD policy and bad precedent.
 

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What about if there isn't a house there, but it's still private land. Is it a privacy issue drifting 149' to an empty swamp that part of a larger estate with a house on it somewhere?
 

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2005 Gemini 105Mc
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Discussion Starter #19
I'm inclined to agree that a setback of 150' is not all that unreasonable... I know that I was located more than 5 boatlengths off that palatial home pictured above, but even so, I was all too aware that I was definitely close to 'intruding' on that homeowner's space...
You anchored there anyway. A boat length back and you will have the FWC knock on your hull and tell you to move down the waterway.

I'm not sure why any boater would want the 150' set back. If you purchase a house on a golf course you can expect to see golfers. If you buy a house next to the highway you can expect to see trucks. If you buy a house on the water you can expect to see boats. If you buy a house on the water that also happens to be a good, safe anchorage, you can expect to see boats anchored there.

The problem is that these folks purchased a house and didn't investigate why all those boats are anchored out back.....
Now they think they can take control of the waterway and send you down the road.
 

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I think it might be a good idea to have a defined setback and state-level regulations to prevent some local jurisdictions from caving to the demands of waterfront homeowners who would demand a total ban on anchoring. Compromise isn't necessarily a bad thing?
 
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