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Plan for sure. However, how much money, in the grand scheme of things, would one think that anchored boats spend in the FL economy. All boats are not the issue. Then discount that for the amount that is going to be spent anyway. One could accidentally prove this isn't a big deal.

(I am not in favor of unreasonable anchoring restrictions)
 
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This law will do nothing to affect derelict boats. It will only affect the honest people who want to anchor for a night or two, they will be harassed at the rich landowners behest by the FWC. The people who remove the IDs and leave these boats will continue to do so even if there is a law. They are breaking the law now. A new law won't make any difference. The towns, cities, state, do not have enough personnel or impound areas to do anything about this. There simply is not enough money to address this problem. In my opinion, if someone removes the HIN#s, the registration and/or sticker, they have broken the law and it is a derelict. If the owner can't be tracked down it is derelict. The state should placard it for 30-60-90 days and sell or destroy it. Again the state does not have the money to do even this.

This is a boating problem, the state needs to tack $10 -$15 per year onto every boat registration to pay for removal. The fee for removal will be paid upfront while the boat is current. The money needs to go into a separate fund for only this or the state will spend it out of the general funds and there still will be no removal fund.

It would probably be a big help if the state would create or contract for some one to recycle these boats before their owners dump them out of desperation. Engines, masts, winches, etc. all have a recycle or parts value. The main reason that derelicts are worthless is that they have been left out too long and the vultures have stolen everything of value they could tear off of them.

The problem with derelict boats is money and here's a way to solve it.
 

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wfish11,

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.
 

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The derelict boat issue is a smokescreen. This is about, and has always been about, wealthy landowners who pay seven figures for waterfront property, and believe with all of their little black hearts, that they own the adjoining water, too. And, they know who to write checks to, to make their opinion into the law of the land. And, they only have to win once. The people they are trying to steal the water from, have to win every time
 
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The derelict boat issue is a smokescreen. This is about, and has always been about, wealthy landowners who pay seven figures for waterfront property, and believe with all of their little black hearts, that they own the adjoining water, too. And, they know who to write checks to, to make their opinion into the law of the land. And, they only have to win once. The people they are trying to steal the water from, have to win every time
The derelict boat issue is not a smokescreen, but it can be used to cloud the issue of anchoring in a residential area. The "wealthy landowners" as a group may be overreaching in excluding legitimate transients from public water space, but there is another side to this coin. Just as in landside zoning, there needs to be consideration of buffering disparate activities (residential and boating in this case.)

In our harbor, we have a 150' separation of moored/anchored boats from adjacent residential areas. This does not guarantee a lack of conflicts, but it is an accommodation to residential and boating interests. Conflicts can arise if a boater chooses to run a generator (the cheap, noisy, portable kind in particulary) or have a noisy party on board (loud music, assorted loud people) later in the day in close proximity to an otherwise quiet residential area.

As easy as it is to vilify the "wealthy landowner" for wanting to maintain a high end environment in the adjacent water space, it is only fair to note that the public assesses property taxes based on a "neighborhood factor" with a premium for waterfront. That needs to part of a balanced discussion.
 

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"What's the difference exactly? Why are RV's supposed to go to designated RVing areas (and certainly not in front your homes throughout the RV season), while cruisers on boats should be able to park wherever they please? As a non cruiser, I can certainly see the homeowners perspective that they paid a very high premium to live in the area, while cruisers didn't. As a former wannabe cruiser I can definitely see why you'd want to be able to anchor freely, but it makes less sense to me nowadays without viewing it through boaters eyes."
You're kidding right?
A boat is not an RV.... An RV gets a break once in a while... While a boat has no brakes at all...
The $$$ to operate a safe vessel, makes an RV look like -to a boat, what a boat looks like to an airplane....
There are storm that any RV can drive in while a boat risks life and limb and or needs to repair from to make way.
Thanks for being honest and saying you never cruised.
Who out of envy would taxes others because they don't have that which is taxed.
They just banned RVs here from being parked on your own private property. I had always had the idea that value was increased on property you could park an RV on. They sold it as a down grade to the hood and the public lapped it up.
As it turns out it was actually discovered that they sell the pollution credits from the RVs to power plants and refineries after they were removed from the DMV rolls.
My goodness, what is freedom coming to?
 

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All good points! However, the message many of us cruisers are trying to get out is continuously obfuscated by polarized thinking. What we are trying to say is:
1. Yes, yes, yes derelict boats are a problem and need to be addressed. However, anchoring setbacks don't solve that problem. Derelicts and at risk boats are there because the owners have decided to dump their trash in someone else's backyard out of shear disregard for anyone including other boaters.

2. There is a world of difference between the derelict/at-risk boat and the active cruiser who needs to find a safe spot to anchor for a few nights. However, early efforts by the Florida legislature made little to no effort to discern that difference. They were attempting to employ the big hammer approach. That is, if some boats are a problem, fix it by punishing all boat owners.

3. In the same vain, if there is a problem with boater noise or inappropriate behavior there are already laws to deal with the violator. Ever, call the cops because the neighbor was playing loud music at 2:00 am? I have. Again there are always balanced approaches to dealing with the few who are insensitive to others, without punishing the vast majority of cruisers who do care.

4. I don't get why residential and boating activities are "disparate". Can you explain that? My neighbors thought having my boat in their canal was visually pleasing and were disappointed when we moved it. Is there something innately ugly about a boat that a landowner doesn't want to see it from their window? Are all cruisers loud, dirty, insensitive thugs bent on destroying someone' quiet evening? We, as boaters, have been in anchorages where a few people were acting inappropriately and the local water police were rightly summoned to deal with them.

All many of us are asking the Florida legislature to do is to approach the derelict/at-risk boat issue and the rights/desires of all citizens with a little more balance; dealing with the people who are the problem, without punishing the innocent.
 

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In our harbor, we have a 150' separation of moored/anchored boats from adjacent residential areas. This does not guarantee a lack of conflicts, but it is an accommodation to residential and boating interests. Conflicts can arise if a boater chooses to run a generator (the cheap, noisy, portable kind in particulary) or have a noisy party on board (loud music, assorted loud people) later in the day in close proximity to an otherwise quiet residential area. .
Wow, I thought Florida knew how to make laws... I know I would start with laws about disturbing the peace before kicking boaters out. Are you saying there's no laws to prevent boats or houses from having wild parties? I'm sure rich land owners would never want something others are not allowed...
Generators will be phased out soon, replaced by hydrogen and solar.
I can't believe people say things about the government like they do... I'm somewhat certain the legislature is unaffected by the millions it receives in campaign contributions for such a low paying public service job as they have...
I think they should get rid of boats/ YEAH!!!! Get RID OF ALL OF IT AT ONCE!!! Start with the boats and then tell them airplanes off too. The nerve of them flying over the rich peoples air space with those loud engines... In fact why have the waves either. They're just as loud. Hasn't that been been brought up? Those sea gulls? BAN THEM ALL and if it's still too hard for the rich to sleep at night, then those darn boaters should come ashore and put them in their little horsie pajamas and comfort them with special grown ***** willows that they make into sheep to count... Make all those nightmares go away about windmills that won't stop and fighting them on horseback :devil
 

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All good points! However, the message many of us cruisers are trying to get out is continuously obfuscated by polarized thinking. What we are trying to say is:
1. Yes, yes, yes derelict boats are a problem and need to be addressed. However, anchoring setbacks don't solve that problem. Derelicts and at risk boats are there because the owners have decided to dump their trash in someone else's backyard out of shear disregard for anyone including other boaters.

2. There is a world of difference between the derelict/at-risk boat and the active cruiser who needs to find a safe spot to anchor for a few nights. However, early efforts by the Florida legislature made little to no effort to discern that difference. They were attempting to employ the big hammer approach. That is, if some boats are a problem, fix it by punishing all boat owners.

3. In the same vain, if there is a problem with boater noise or inappropriate behavior there are already laws to deal with the violator. Ever, call the cops because the neighbor was playing loud music at 2:00 am? I have. Again there are always balanced approaches to dealing with the few who are insensitive to others, without punishing the vast majority of cruisers who do care.

4. I don't get why residential and boating activities are "disparate". Can you explain that? My neighbors thought having my boat in their canal was visually pleasing and were disappointed when we moved it. Is there something innately ugly about a boat that a landowner doesn't want to see it from their window? Are all cruisers loud, dirty, insensitive thugs bent on destroying someone' quiet evening? We, as boaters, have been in anchorages where a few people were acting inappropriately and the local water police were rightly summoned to deal with them.

All many of us are asking the Florida legislature to do is to approach the derelict/at-risk boat issue and the rights/desires of all citizens with a little more balance; dealing with the people who are the problem, without punishing the innocent.
Pretty much agree with the perspective above, but the "disparity" between transient boater activity and waterfront residents' interests remains. This isn't about your boat (or mine) in our home port, where we are known entities and probably paying taxes for the infrastructure enjoyed by transients. The basic issue here is that the transient boater does not have a vested interest in an anchorage, unlike the adjacent landowners.

Rather, transients bring an unknown element into residential areas that rightfully concern the local permanent inhabitants. While most transients (inlcuding me when I am cruising) are responsible, there are those who ignore rules and basic consideration of others. We've seen the type who overstay our 7 day transient anchorage and park vessels that are not seaworthy (2 notable examples this year). Some of these vessels are obviously unattended for longer than our 24 hr limit. We know that dogs are "walked" on the nearby shore and we suspect a significant number cannot be trusted to keep their heads closed--despite an effective, free pump out boat service in our area.

Part of our local problem is that we do not have an effective enforcement process (which would require additional tax revenue from landside property owners.) The local police have very limited resources (staffing, equipment) and funding of harbormasters in CT is a joke.

While I see this issue from both sides, I would be more concerned that legitimate transient boaters are more likely to lose if an equitable balance is not struck for use of what is--in the end--public water space.
 

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People are so fixated with dumping poop into water.
It causes no harm.
Our local town dumped 50,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the water.
Within a few hours levels were "normal" and "acceptable" so 50,000 gallons dissipates in a few hours, do you really think 1/3 gallon will take a toll on the environment?
 

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fallard,

Thanks for the response back. I think we are pretty much on the same page as to what the problems are. The sticky part to this issue really surrounds questions like "Does the application of a setback solve the problems you've clearly stated, how large does the setback need to be to mitigate noise, how far will a boater have to be kept from land so as not to walk their dog on the beach, is this really the answer to dealing with bad behavior, and how many key anchorages will this make off-limits to cruisers?"

Here is my point by way of example: Our boat does not go fast. It took us all day to sail/motor from the west side to the east side of Mobile Bay to enter the ICW. Almost without exception, recreational boats do not transit the ICW in the dark (really a bad idea). The only anchorage we could make before dark that is shown in the boating guides is a small finger of water fronted on one side by mud flats and on the other by houses and a Tiki bar. We draw 5 feet and the water depth maxed out at about 7. By the time we put out a 7:1 scope in 6 feet of water to make sure we wouldn't drag anchor and made sure we would not swing into the mud flat, we would have been within some of the setbacks being proposed. We went to sleep, enjoying Buffet-like music from the Tiki bar (sound travels great distances over water) and left at first light to continue our trip. If the more stringent setback rules had been in place, this account would would be very different and unreasonable. The precedent of public use of submerged lands long pre-dated the construction of homes on the water's edge. The precedent has existed intact for so long because it makes good sense. To compromise it because of the inappropriate behavior of a small minority can't be a good thing, particularly when it is attempted to be applied State-wide.

I respectfully continue to assert that setbacks do not solve the problems you and others have discussed and just create more problems for the cruiser, landowner and law enforcement. As you intimated, more effective enforcement focused on dealing with the real problems is what is needed. Just a question...how much more law enforcement will be needed to police the setbacks and who pays for it? If each municipality can set its own setback (as proposed by the Senate bill) how does the law-abiding cruiser, particularly one unfamiliar with the area, know what municipality they are in at any given time (maybe a whole lot of signs to really pretty up the waterway)?

Again, thanks for responding. I hope that someone with a lot more pull than I have is reading these messages and can develop a model that will work State-wide for everyone involved.
 

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I can guarantee that they will once again push for a 200' set-back. No matter how many people show up at the "workshop" and complain and present facts. I've attended all of the anchoring "workshops" on the west coast of Florida going back to the "pilot program" workshops. 90% of the public's input at those "workshops" was against set-backs and time limits. Guess what shows up in SB 1548 ????

Why 200'.......? Because that's what is needed to keep boats out of Sunset Lake in Miami Beach, that's why. It's just over 400' wide and the main supporter of the anchoring restrictions lives there.

I probably posted this earlier in this thread but here is senate bill 1548:
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1548/BillText/Filed/PDF

Notice you can anchor there all day long. Just not overnight. However, if you throw a line over the side and fish, you could stay as long as you want. This really targets only one group of people.

It will be what they will push for again.
 

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DavyJ, thanks for jumping back into the discussion. When one is following this issue as closely as you have, it becomes clear that there are other agendas afoot besides dealing with derelict boats and rowdy boaters. Miami Beach really doesn't like cruisers as evidenced by the dinghy towing thing.

I would hope, however, that the grown-ups in the State legislature would use the discussion to solve some real problems like derelict/at risk boats and some of the other things we have been debating.

Thanks for re-posting the bill.
 

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If the State really wanted to "solve" the derelict boat issue they would have by now. Stop drinking the derelict boat issue and come to terms with the real goal of "not in my backyard".
 

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I respectfully continue to assert that setbacks do not solve the problems you and others have discussed and just create more problems for the cruiser, landowner and law enforcement. As you intimated, more effective enforcement focused on dealing with the real problems is what is needed. Just a question...how much more law enforcement will be needed to police the setbacks and who pays for it? If each municipality can set its own setback (as proposed by the Senate bill) how does the law-abiding cruiser, particularly one unfamiliar with the area, know what municipality they are in at any given time (maybe a whole lot of signs to really pretty up the waterway)? .
I can flat out agree with you that setbacks to not solve the problems mentioned, but that is a minimum concession to the waterfront property owners who have legitimate concerns. In our area, the setback is 150', but we suffer from landd-based loud music carried over the water from over 1500' away--enough to disrupt conversation on our front porch. The police will do nothing until the time out at 10:00 PM. My point is that 150'--or 200' for that matter is not adequate to protect from noise pollution, but zero setback would be worse.

When it comes to other forms of pollution from boats and their pets, we are 2.3 miles up an estuary with limited flushing. We periodically see brown scum on the water and that is in an area where you can go online and have the local pump out boat service your boat whether you are there or not and it's free!

Unfortunately, waterfront property owners have a legitimate beef and the bad apples on the water will make it worse for the rest of us.
 

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Is there a 200 foot setback requirement between houses? I know when I had a house in CT that there needed to be 20' total between houses with 8' min on the side. If houses can be that close why do boats need to be so far away?
 

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Start with the boats and then tell them airplanes off too. The nerve of them flying over the rich peoples air space with those loud engines...
This is happening now in the Hamptons. The very very rich are squaring off against the merely very rich who have the nerve to fly helicopters over their mansions on their way to slightly smaller mansions.

Judge Limits Restrictions on Flights to East Hampton
 
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