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Maybe it would be a feasible project to survey and identify more anchorages. I have all the published anchorage books for along the ICW but constantly see more unidentified spots where anchoring is possible, even for my 5.5' draft. Why isn't it on the table to actually dredge some obvious anchorages? Might this not kill two birds with one stone, thinning out the compacted fleets that tend to huddle in certain popular spots and actually increasing the choices to drop the hook?
Hmmm, so Florida - after the inevitable commissioning of a few years of Environmental Impact Studies - should be dredging new anchorages using public funds so that large numbers of cruising sailors from out of state and Canada don't have to pay for marina slips, or mooring balls?

Yeah, I'm sure all Floridians will be fully supportive of that sort of use of their tax dollars... :)

Sorry, but "dredging new anchorages" is - at least on the East coast - is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist...

I just got back from months of cruising FL and can certainly see the shoreside objections to derelict boats. They really are eyesores. Perhaps some USCG target or underwater demolition practice is in order:)
Here's a classic example of why the disposal of derelicts in Florida can be so problematic... This Hunter 30 still sits on the beach in front of an upscale oceanfront neighborhood in Vero Beach almost 2 months after its drunken liveaboard owner ran his 'home' up onto it, then "high-tailed it", leaving the state to deal with the mess...

Now, it sounds like it may have to sit there a while longer, until the sea turtles are finished doing their thing...

:)

http://www.veronews.com/32963_features/derelict-sailboat-finally-being-moved-from-beach/article_eecbf6d6-d99e-11e4-9624-db28201dc72a.html


 

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The idea that you could combine anchoring restrictions in front of peoples homes (ie within 200 ft) by providing anchorages elsewhere is a good idea. But probably impractical. As Jon says, the land lubbers aren't going to rally around spending money, when they could just shoo you away.

There are really two different strategies at play here and I'm not at all clear which one is being executed.

The first is that the State doesn't have the right to restrict the use of a Federal waterway. In that case, all our arguments over fairness, alternatives, user testimony, etc, is moot. It's a simple matter of law.

The second is a negotiation on fairness and historic anchoring rights on waterways. That's where some negotiation is warranted. While I'm sure there is a poster-child rich dude that is pressing, this is simply an issue that the majority of land owning voters will not understand. You drive over a bridge spanning the inter-coastal and it would look like there are tons of places to anchor, without being that close to a house. We know that all that water isn't necessarily deep enough and we can't anchoring with the channel. It's just not the way it looks to the average Joe. If this is the strategy, there needs to be education and compromise.
 

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There are really two different strategies at play here and I'm not at all clear which one is being executed.

The first is that the State doesn't have the right to restrict the use of a Federal waterway. In that case, all our arguments over fairness, alternatives, user testimony, etc, is moot. It's a simple matter of law.
Which requires a test case, that then has to wind it's way through the legal system. A process than can take several years depending on how high it's appealed.

The second is a negotiation on fairness and historic anchoring rights on waterways. That's where some negotiation is warranted. While I'm sure there is a poster-child rich dude that is pressing, this is simply an issue that the majority of land owning voters will not understand. You drive over a bridge spanning the inter-coastal and it would look like there are tons of places to anchor, without being that close to a house. We know that all that water isn't necessarily deep enough and we can't anchoring with the channel. It's just not the way it looks to the average Joe. If this is the strategy, there needs to be education and compromise.
Which costs money. BoatUS is the only real lobbying group for boaters. I doubt they have the funds to undertake such a campaign.

Better to try and prevent it from becoming law in the first place.
 
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Bahamas, Cuba, Central America welcome cruisers. Have friends who even gave up storing boat in Florida, some up in Ga, others in Green Turtle
Bahamas is getting greedy too. No one mentions this, but they DOUBLED the entrance fee for boats between 30-35 feet. It used to be boats under 35 feet, $150, over 35 $300. Now its under 30 for $150, and anything over $300.

There is even talks about regulating/charging for anchorages everywhere on a per day basis like they do in parts of the Caribbean and Europe. Florida may be getting annoying, but nowhere near as bad as the rest of the world.

But I get the point. Supply and demand. I *HOPE* the opening of Cuba is going to smack some common sense into the Bahamians when they realize the golden goose of US boaters will now passing them by. Imagine a great trip down the keys then off to an exotic lush isle vs. the hardscrabble expensive spits of rock that the Bahamas are. No offense, but no one goes to the Bahamas for the scenery...the actions is all under water and how many pretty sand beaches can one look at for so long?
 

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...Better to try and prevent it from becoming law in the first place.
I agree. It is ALWAYS best to work through the political system first. Courts are a crap shoot (the only winners are the lawyers), and must be the absolute last resort.

Unfortunately, our political systems are broken and getting worse, with the increasing and unlimited infusion of corporate money to buy influence. Thanks to Citizens United, money is now considered "speech" and its influence cannot be limited. With that thinking, bribery may soon be legal. :mad:
 

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Which requires a test case, that then has to wind it's way through the legal system. A process than can take several years depending on how high it's appealed.
There have already been "test cases", that hasn't stopped the momentum for new legislation...

BoatUS members prevail in Florida anchoring decision

A court decision in Collier County, Florida, that found a restrictive Marco Island recreational boat anchoring ordinance in violation of state law could help lead to a statewide solution to Florida's patchwork of local anchoring laws.

The Marco Island ordinance restricted recreational boaters to a maximum 12-hour anchoring period when located within 300 feet of a seawall, and maximum six-day anchoring period anywhere beyond that distance. Collier County Judge Rob Crown's decision on October 26, 2007, said that the Marco Island ordinance was "an unlawful regulation of publicly owned sovereign waterways in violation of Florida law."

"Across Florida other local governments have enacted similar ordinances, that unfairly give local interests control over public waterways," said Margaret Podlich, BoatU.S. vice-president of government affairs. "We hope this court decision contributes to a statewide solution that is fair to all Florida citizens."

To get the anchoring case to court, BoatU.S. member Dave Dumas, a resident of Marco Island and owner of the Krogen 42 Kinship, intentionally broke the law in January, 2007, because he and other local boaters from the Sailing Association of Marco Island thought it was overly restrictive.

Another BoatU.S. member, Donald Day, of the Naples, Florida, law firm Barry, Day, McFee & Martin, handled the case pro bono.

Said Day, "As a result of Judge Crown's decision and current state statutes, many local governments around the state have advised me that they will not be enforcing their anchoring ordinances and will look to the state for guidance in the form of a uniform anchoring regulation. A lot of credit goes to BoatU.S. members who contacted their local governments to voice their displeasure with these inconsistent, arbitrary and restrictive ordinances."

Said Dumas, "The City Council thought they could do whatever they wanted and chose to take the position of a select few in this community. But they should have maintained a neutral position and arbitrated a solution that benefited all citizens."

Earlier in 2007, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held a series of six stakeholder meetings around the state to hear concerns about anchoring issues.

BoatU.S. - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters with more than 650,000 members.

Anchoring in Florida - Trawlers & Trawlering

And, as to the notion of dredging new anchorages, a couple of years ago there was actually an application filed with the Corps of Engineers to do quite the opposite... Namely, to partially FILL IN much of the North Lake Worth anchorage, and plant sea grass to restrict the size of the popular anchorage there...

Full Text of Public Notice to Fill and Plant Sea Grass in Northern Lake Worth | Cruisers' Net

Good overview/history of the ongoing battle over anchoring rights in the archives of the Southeast Cruiser's Net:

Anchoring Rights | Cruisers' Net
 

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And, as to the notion of dredging new anchorages, a couple of years ago there was actually an application filed with the Corps of Engineers to do quite the opposite... Namely, to partially FILL IN much of the North Lake Worth anchorage, and plant sea grass to restrict the size of the popular anchorage there...

Full Text of Public Notice to Fill and Plant Sea Grass in Northern Lake Worth | Cruisers' Net

Good overview/history of the ongoing battle over anchoring rights in the archives of the Southeast Cruiser's Net:

Anchoring Rights | Cruisers' Net
This was done in Boot Key Harbor many years ago when a group planted sea grasses in an anchorage area just west of the City Marina. Knocked out about 100 anchoring boats.

Gary :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #89 (Edited)
Which costs money. BoatUS is the only real lobbying group for boaters. I doubt they have the funds to undertake such a campaign.
Actually not the case. The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) is leading the charge with support from BoatUS, AGLCA, and some from NMMA. BoatUS has been a lot quieter this year than in years past. NMMA has been a grudging participant. AGLCA has been late to the show but jumped in with both feet and has been a real help.

At last count SSCA has seven volunteer, registered lobbyists working this issue. No one else has anything like that degree of energy going into support for boaters rights in Florida or anywhere else.

We are reimbursing expenses (gas, lodging, etc) for our core team. If you want to help join SSCA ($55/year - tell them Auspicious sent you). If you want to help follow the updates at Welcome to the Seven Seas Cruising Association and on the SSCA Facebook page and respond to calls for e-mail, letters, and phone calls. If you really want to help, head to Tallahassee to testify before the string of committees that are holding hearings on this issue.
 

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Unfortunately, our political systems are broken and getting worse, with the increasing and unlimited infusion of corporate money to buy influence. Thanks to Citizens United, money is now considered "speech" and its influence cannot be limited. With that thinking, bribery may soon be legal. :mad:
I don't want to take this thread down an off topic road, but citizens united (talk about a misnomer) basically did legalize bribery.

What else would you call it when the political system is basically for sale to the highest bidder?

:mad:
 
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At last count SSCA has seven volunteer, registered lobbyists working this issue. No one else has anything like that degree of energy going into support for boaters rights in Florida or anywhere else.
Dave,
Thanks for posting this. I didn't know the SSCA was that active in lobbying.

Jim
 

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NMMA has been a grudging participant.
It seemed worse than that to me. The NMMA representative waived in support of the bill without any objections......

Other than reps from BoatUS, SCCA, there were only a handful of other people there to object to the bill. Of course Fred Karlton was there and was in support of it.

I know it's a PIA to attend, but we are going to need more resistance when this thing comes up again. Even then, I'm not sure it will make a difference. About 80% of the speakers were against the fracking bill and they passed it anyway.
 

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Florida spends BIG dollars on promoting tourism (Visit Florida). I think the effort is run out of the governors office.

Has anyone tried contacting the tourism board and showing them what a huge black eye this is for Florida tourism? There's been a ton of bad press on this.

It might also make a good story on for one of the networks...
 

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Hmmm, so Florida - after the inevitable commissioning of a few years of Environmental Impact Studies - should be dredging new anchorages using public funds so that large numbers of cruising sailors from out of state and Canada don't have to pay for marina slips, or mooring balls?

Yeah, I'm sure all Floridians will be fully supportive of that sort of use of their tax dollars... :)

Sorry, but "dredging new anchorages" is - at least on the East coast - is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist...
It seems to me that cruisers, both power and sail, spend a lot of money in Florida over the course of the winter. Restaurants, groceries, shops, marinas, etc. all benefit. Boaters may not pay real estate taxes but the marinas sure do and sales taxes paid by boaters for dockage, storage, and boat parts must be significant. I've been down there in the summer a few times and the activity of the economy is considerably different. It's too darned hot be outside. Like any seasonal economy, time to make the bucks is limited. Sure, there are the derelicts but they are a very, very small but obvious minority. To discourage winter boater dollars seems like a mistake on their part, instigated and pushed by a vocal, self-interested, monied few.
 

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Bahamas, Cuba, Central America welcome cruisers. Have friends who even gave up storing boat in Florida, some up in Ga, others in Green Turtle
Aren't there prohibitive restrictions on leaving a boat at Green Turtle or anywhere in the Bahamas? Think I checked a few years ago and they hit you with a hefty duty if there for more than a limited time. I'm in Green Cove Springs which is a great spot to store and work on the boat.
 

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It seems to me that cruisers, both power and sail, spend a lot of money in Florida over the course of the winter. .............. discourage winter boater dollars seems like a mistake on their part, instigated and pushed by a vocal, self-interested, monied few.
I just think people are over estimating transient/winter boaters importance to the State. If there was enough money at risk from this the only people that would really have a voice would be the businesses that would be impacted.

The State of Florida is responsible to the wishes of the its' voters. Not a bunch of out state boaters, SSCA, or Boat US. You may not like it, but that's the correct way of things. I'm sure people would get upset if out of staters started showing up in their State wanting laws passed in their favor.
 

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I just think people are over estimating transient/winter boaters importance to the State. If there was enough money at risk from this the only people that would really have a voice would be the businesses that would be impacted.

The State of Florida is responsible to the wishes of the its' voters. Not a bunch of out state boaters, SSCA, or Boat US. You may not like it, but that's the correct way of things. I'm sure people would get upset if out of staters started showing up in their State wanting laws passed in their favor.
"You dont know what you have lost till its gone"
We have spent a lot of time over past 6 years in Dinner Key. During winter months there are conservatively over 250 visiting boats, many doing provisioning. Low ball estimate they spend about $1k/month in supplies and entertainment alone, this brings in +$1/4 M a month to Coconut Grove business. Similar stats can be derived for St Augustine, Stewart, Marathon, Vero Beach.....
 

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Aren't there prohibitive restrictions on leaving a boat at Green Turtle or anywhere in the Bahamas? Think I checked a few years ago and they hit you with a hefty duty if there for more than a limited time. I'm in Green Cove Springs which is a great spot to store and work on the boat.
We talked to the marina and some folks register the boat in the Bahamas, others renew cruising permit, both seemed cost effective. Our boat wont fit there, as well waiting list is long.
we also like GCS, summer stored there twice, probably again this year. Getting worried though, perpetual broken bridges in Jacksonville have screwed many a cruisers' schedule past two years.
 

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I just think people are over estimating transient/winter boaters importance to the State. If there was enough money at risk from this the only people that would really have a voice would be the businesses that would be impacted.

The State of Florida is responsible to the wishes of the its' voters. Not a bunch of out state boaters, SSCA, or Boat US. You may not like it, but that's the correct way of things. I'm sure people would get upset if out of staters started showing up in their State wanting laws passed in their favor.
When I go into a restaurant around marinas, sometimes almost the entire crowd are transient boaters. There are other examples of economies that are dependent upon "outsiders." The ski industry is one. If not for "outsiders," many rural areas around ski resorts would literally go away. I would not minimize the impact of losing the dollars of out of state/country boat traffic. The "correct way of things" does not exclude folks who some deem to be "the other." That's a predictable, sociologically narrow perspective. We are all Americans and I include our Canadian friends in that description. The same kind of narrow-mindedness occurs here in ski country.
 

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You guys are preaching to the choir if you believe you need to convince me. If you are right and this new anchoring thing is going to affect the bottom line of the resturants etc. why aren't they making their voices known? Those people have a voice, but out of state boaters don't and that is just the way it is. Don't go off track, it is as simple as that.
 
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