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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.
 

· 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.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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Let me first make clear that I'm not a decision maker here. I am active in SSCA and I am spending my own time at my own expense doing research and writing position papers for the chair of the SSCA Concerned Cruisers' Committee (CCC - our version of Government Affairs).

There is a lot of grunt work to do and more volunteers would be gratefully put to work.

The following responses are my personal opinions. While my opinions tend to align with SSCA proposals my term on the Board of Directors and as SSCA President are over.

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.
Good. That is as it should be. Whatever the number is, can't we understand why a homeowner with a boat on their dock would want something in law or regulation?

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
Thank you Jon for dredging (ha!) those up, and to the good folks at the Waterway Guide for generating them.

I'm not sure where the 150' number came from either. Personally I think even that is a bit much. Here in Annapolis we have a 75' stand-off requirement from docks, piers, and ramps. We have a 150' stand-off from installed moorings. When I kept my boat in a slip on Back Creek there were times when boats anchored well inside 75' and I couldn't get out of the fairway and into the Creek (I like to think I'm a pretty good boathandler, so they were really close). At nearby Mears Marina there was a move to increase the stand-off distance because some slipholders fell they didn't have adequate clearance to get into and out of their slips. We (SSCA and I personally) did a lot of work to beat that back.

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?
Again, I am not a decision-maker. My own position is that a stand-off from marine infrastructure (docks, piers, ramps, and such) is reasonable. The number for that offset is subject to discussion. I personally would not object to codifying civility to prevent running lines, or landing dinghies (particularly for walking pets) above the high tide line on personal property. You could probably talk me into limitations on public property (like parks); if you can't legally drive up with a car to walk your dog you shouldn't be able to dinghy in to walk your dog. I wouldn't object to existing ordinances against littering to apply to leaving trash on private docks and piers. Fair is fair. I wouldn't object to existing ordinances against trespass being applied by people who help themselves to water (and even electricity!) on private docks.

I very strongly agree that the self-entitled that think they bought their view with their homes should be disabused of that notion. On the other hand, trespass and damage to personal property should not be allowed. The ability to use personal property (docks, piers, ramps, etc) should be protected.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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In the end, everyone should be able to park their car on the street, but that doesn't mean you can live there with no wheels.
Not a good analogy. There are jurisdictions where overnight street parking is explicitly forbidden; Garden City NY comes to mind. There are many more where resident permits are required.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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It seems we agree, though the statute should be cleared on those types of structure and not use a catch all like "Residential Propertly"
Agreed. Too bad the two of us can't just dictate the rules. *grin*
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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Seriously ??? "Half of the anchorages in use" WHERE, exactly?
Lots of places on the Southeast coast. Mike Ahart at the Waterway Guide has been keeping track and has some great graphics.

It is a problem, and could get worse.

So now the FMP and local leo's will be running around the anchorages with a yardstick measuring the 150'?
I don't know what FMP and the local's will use, but I carry a tennis ball, some pool chalk, and a bunch of light line (some tiny kevlar stuff I also use for hauling HF antennas up). I have this stuff from when I lived aboard in a slip with 75' stand-offs. If I could leave a blue mark on the hull of a boat they were too close. *grin* Tennis ball and a string works pretty well.

I know I can throw 75'. I'm not sure I can through 300'. I may need to add a potato gun. *grin*
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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I would love to see the emotional argument, that navigable waters are free for all to use, cited in a legal reference.
Some cool stuff above. There is also the Public Trust Doctrine but my understanding is that the courts support has been iffy.

As I understand it, the federal govt owns the water out to 12 miles. They gave all the State's the right to regulate their water out to 3 miles (which is why no-discharge areas are set there, not science). Some States then delegate that authority to local municipalities.
Nope. NDZ designation is a Federal matter.

On the other hand, where State and Federal authorities overlap my understanding is that the courts tend to rule with the State unless there is a clearly overriding Federal issue.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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Again, just to be clear, I'm not IN FAVOR of a mandated 150' standoff... I'm simply arguing that if it comes to that eventually, I just don't see it being all that onerous a restriction throughout Florida - at least in the waters of the East coast with which I'm most familiar...
Understood Jon. My point was that in a lot of places 300' says no anchoring and 150' says a lot less anchoring. A lot depends on what we are measuring from: marine infrastructure or just any private property?
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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Sorry if I missed it, but when is this whole anchoring thing supposed to be resolved? I'm heading back through Florida again next spring or fall (from Texas). Hopefully I will actually understand what is legal and not legal when I drop the hook there.
It will be a long time before anything is resolved. Data analysis will take a while. There will likely be draft legislation hammered out with "help" from a lot of stakeholders including SSCA, Boat/US, NMMA, various Chambers of Commerce, municipal government representatives, and legal counsel for homeowners, individually and in small groups. Legislation will go to the Florida House and Senate where the lobbying will start all over again. It's possible things will end up in court.

It's going to be messy and drawn out.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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Thanks for that info. We're leaving Galveston in the spring, and heading to the Chesapeake, so guess we'll just use all of our usual anchorages. We really enjoyed so many anchorages in Florida in the past 2 years. I sure hope that doesn't change. You guys in Florida...keep us up to date if there are any changes.
Please consider joining SSCA and Boat/US. Your dues, not so much money, go to support your rights in the US (both organizations) and elsewhere (SSCA). There are a lot of membership benefits of both organizations above and beyond representation.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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Compromise doesn't need to have negative connotations. There are merits on all sides of this discussion.
Agreed.

1.People do not want sunken, abandoned boats, late night noise, and oil slicks in front of their homes. You can't blame them. It IS their neighborhood.
Agreed.

2. Transient boaters need anchorage space which is sometimes in short supply.
Agreed.

3. Managed mooring fields work. They consolidate anchorage acreage and provide safety.
Less clear. A solid anchor for the mooring isn't guaranteed. Depends on where you are. Prices don't always align with value received.

4. Municipalities and government CAN work here as they do in providing roadways and other public services. Nobody likes government involvement but sometimes it's the best and only alternative. This seems like one of the things government probably should do.
Mostly agree, with the caveat that we have to figure out which government - local, state, or federal?

5. Waterways are a means of public and military transit and must be kept open to all. That's why we fund the Corps of Engineers. Along with this concept goes places to anchor up. It seems to me there should be MORE, not less anchorage space set aside on the ICW.
Which gets back to the jurisdictional issue. My understanding is that with respect to freedom of navigation, federal courts have deferred to states rights unless there is a clear federal interest (clear to the courts, not necessarily to recreational users).

I have been to Marathon three times in the last few months. I have seen this boat first hand. Here is proof that the FWC has the tools needed to deal with derelict boats, they are just using them as an excuse to restrict anchoring.
I don't see the proof. An underlying issue is that FWC doesn't have the funding or the political support to impound and dispose of derelict boats. It is easier for politicians to pass new, unfunded law than to budget sufficient resources for existing law.
 

· Mermaid Hunter
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It's strange then, that at every single workshop, for the pilot program, and this survey, that they say the reasons anchoring restrictions, time limits and set-backs are needed is because of the derelicts. When in truth they just need to slap a "Derelict Notice" on the boat to arrest the owner.
Read my entire post. Sticking a notice on the boat requires a bunch of time (time not on patrol) and impoundment and disposal costs money the FWC doesn't have. Again, it is less painful to the politicians for the politicians to pass more laws than to budget funds.

I'm a member of Active Captain. They keep more up to date than written publications but still depend on normal delays of crowd sourcing to include/remove items from the interactive maps. It takes a while, at least a few days, for information to be confirmed as correct or not. I have noticed that along the ICW, people will report shoals that are NOT there. They simply went out of the center of channel which is not hard to do. I've seen logs and debris listed that have long since floated away.
My experience with ActiveCaptain (AC) has been pretty good. You have to be a good consumer of information. AC even posts the reviews in reverse chronological order. If you see a review that doesn't match others you can check out the reviewer to see if there is a professional with better judgment or someone just babbling. You are responsible for your boat. AC is a tremendous resource if you use it well.

Definitely depends on maintenance. There are municipal free moorings I would not hook to and will anchor instead. There are also paid marina moorings that are shaky so I guess it's a judgement call no matter where you are. I've seen some moorings I wouldn't leave my dink on.
I agree with you about maintenance, but not what I was thinking about. There is a huge difference between a mooring shackled to a lump of concrete and one that uses a screw or rock anchor (cemented into a hole drilled or blasted into rock, not a Rocna).
 
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