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cruising all I can
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Discussion Starter #1
HB1126 I believe is the new law enacted to extend the
"pilot" program of mooring fields in Florida.
the pilot program was set to sunset this year,but the FWC needs more time to "study" it,so three more years.
can't wait for the economics of these mooring fields is exposed as the financial loosers they are.
 

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I wouldn't be to hasty about getting rid of bill SB1126 as the result will be more restrictive anchoring not less. Here's something from the SSCA regarding the extension and an amendment to restrict the anchoring near residences. Be aware that many Florida residents and municipalities do not want any anchoring at all.

An amendment to the state legislation to extend the FWC Anchoring/Mooring Pilot Program (Florida Senate bill SB 1126) is being considered by the Appropriations Committee THIS MORNING – the amendment would allow municipalities to regulate overnight anchoring by prohibiting anchoring of vessels within an unspecified distance from private residences! The amendment text:
"Notwithstanding paragraph (b), a municipality located within a charter county that has a population of at least 1.748 million may regulate overnight anchoring if the regulation is limited to the distance a vessel may be anchored from a private residence. This paragraph expires on October 31, 2017." (Paragraph (b) states: However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of vessels other than live-aboard vessels as defined in s. 327.02).
An urgent note from the Association Director of the Seven Seas Cruising Association about the surprise amendment:
Florida Senator Gwen Margolis, in the Florida Senate appropriations committee forum, is seeking an amendment to Florida Senate bill SB 1126 which will undermine all the good work the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has performed to date with regard to Florida's Anchoring and Mooring pilot program (Florida Statute 327.4105).
For the past 4+ years, FWC has met with local Florida Municipalities, Florida County governments, Property owners, Marinas, boat owners, the Navy, the Coast Guard, EPA, and Boating groups and Associations like SSCA. There has been a lot of give and take among all concerned and a lot of work by the 4 or 5 Municipalities who ultimately went forward with pilot programs. The pilot program temporally ended the wild west of anchoring in Florida, and the variety of pilot programs is giving FWC and others experience on how to best manage this resource.
Because there was so little data collected from the pilot program to date, the FWC and others have not had sufficient time to develop a lasting Florida Statute to codify lessons learned from the pilot program, it was agreed by many, if not all who attended the public forums, that the best near term action would be to extend the pilot program for another three years. Florida Senate Bill SB1126 was the legislative tool to such an extension.
Florida Senator Gwen Margolis is now seeking to undermine the current and proposed statute by allowing municipalities to regulate overnight anchoring and to prohibit anchoring of vessels within some unspecified distance from private residences ( Sunset Beach should come to mind....) Your SSCA CCC Chair attended all of the public meetings associated with the implementation of this pilot program and never heard one proposal, recommendation or complaint from any of her constituent Marinas, Municipalities, or property owners.
While we can all argue for more freedoms in navigation, including anchoring, the CCC believes the current compromise recognizes most of the needs of all those involved, and the extension associated with SB 1126 is viewed positively in the efforts to establish a long term legislative solution.
SB1126 as Amended is up before the Appropriations Committee tomorrow. The SSCA Concerned Cruisers’ Committee and your Board suggest that you please write to your FL senator as well as Senator Gwen Margolis and her Legislative Aide Zorida Druckman. Their email addresses are:
[email protected] & [email protected].
If you are a resident of Sen. Margolis’ district a phone call might help also. 327.4105 as extended by SB1126 isn’t perfect, but it’s MUCH better than nothing and the proposed amendment limits its effectiveness by permitting local officials to again harass visiting cruisers.
 

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cruising all I can
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Discussion Starter #3
no,it's legal double speak.
SS 327.02 is more than sufficient ,as it clearly states municipalities cannot regulate anchoring of non live aboard vessels.
HB 1126 just extends the mooring field pilot program beyond it's sunset /ending date of 2014.
The amendment to HB 1126 is what was shot down.
more unnecessary legislation in an attempt to confuse and water down SS 327.02
No further legislation is necessary to preserve anchoring rights.
 

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HB1126 I believe is the new law enacted to extend the
"pilot" program of mooring fields in Florida.
the pilot program was set to sunset this year,but the FWC needs more time to "study" it,so three more years.
can't wait for the economics of these mooring fields is exposed as the financial loosers they are.
If you're so confident that the mooring fields will be shown to be losers financially, I would think you'd be pleased that the pilot program would be extended by 3 years... Passage of this bill - without the Margolis amendment that would have restricted anchoring within a certain distance of shore in Miami and Dade counties - will maintain the status quo for another 3 years, thus offering further proof in support of your contention that the mooring fields are not viable...

What, do you really think the mooring fields in places like St Augustine and Marathon would have disappeared overnight, if the pilot program had not been extended?
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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It will be interesting to hear the financial results of these mooring fields, which IMO are a GREAT idea. I stayed on a mooring at Stuart this winter. There are 60 moorings which were full 100% of the time. In fact, the actual "occupancy" of the moorings exceeds 100% because many boats leave before their time is up to take advantage of weather windows and other boats fill right in. At $300/mo. X 60 moorings, they are taking in a gross amount of at least $18,000/mo. After maintenance and initial cost is taken into consideration, they may actually be in the blue. Not only that but the sailors there all buy all their supplies in Stuart, go to restaurants, use local marinas for repairs, and generally contribute to the local economy. Many quarters go into the laundry machines and many cold beers get slid across the bar at Duffy's:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you're so confident that the mooring fields will be shown to be losers financially, I would think you'd be pleased that the pilot program would be extended by 3 years... Passage of this bill - without the Margolis amendment that would have restricted anchoring within a certain distance of shore in Miami and Dade counties - will maintain the status quo for another 3 years, thus offering further proof in support of youyir contention that the mooring fields are not viable...

What, do you really think the mooring fields in places like St Augustine and Marathon would have disappeared overnight, if the pilot program had not been extended?
I oppose any extension to the pilot program.
this opposition is not contingent on the financial viability of the mooring fields.
separate issue. though related certainly.
from the inception of the implementation of the pilot program and the massive financial costs of the mooring fields I have contended ,due to the cost of the placement of the mooring fields, they would not simply "disappear" and I believe that was the unspoken reality no one wanted to address.
So, what would /will happen to the mooring fields when /if the pilot program ends? indeed, who will maintain them?
where is/are the financial records? ?
after years of implemented operation I've not seen a single financial study. why? this info should be front and center.

but all this still does not justify altering SS 327.02
which clearly supports anchoring.
I live here and have made a point of watching the mooring fields for capacity /usage.
my observations are they are loosers,with Marathon being a possible exception.
however, Marathon existed prior to the pilot program.
so,pointing to Marathon as an example of success of the pilot program really doesn't float.
 

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cruising all I can
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Discussion Starter #7
It will be interesting to hear the financial results of these mooring fields, which IMO are a GREAT idea. I stayed on a mooring at Stuart this winter. There are 60 moorings which were full 100% of the time. In fact, the actual "occupancy" of the moorings exceeds 100% because many boats leave before their time is up to take advantage of weather windows and other boats fill right in. At $300/mo. X 60 moorings, they are taking in a gross amount of at least $18,000/mo. After maintenance and initial cost is taken into consideration, they may actually be in the blue. Not only that but the sailors there all buy all their supplies in Stuart, go to restaurants, use local marinas for repairs, and generally contribute to the local economy. Many quarters go into the laundry machines and many cold beers get slid across the bar at Duffy's:)
How can you speak to what "every sailor " spends?
those statements are unsupported by any fact beyond your assumption.
Stuart, like St. Augustine implemented such overreaching anchoring restrictions and broad interpretation of the mooring areas as to essentially force anyone transmitting the area to utilize the moorings or anchor far from any dingy landing and/or upland facilities.
 

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cruising all I can
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Discussion Starter #8
if in fact the moorings were profitable, business would be fighting over the rights to run and implement more of them.As opposed to forcing them on boaters.
it was largely the landlubbers that supported their implementation.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Seemed to me that there were quite a few boats anchored in the area as well. With the tremendous number of abandoned nuisance vessels in Florida, it seems to me that this effort to provide some kind of structure to the situation is one of the more positive things I've seen government do in recent years. No one is making a pile of money on this for sure but isn't that the point, to make available secure anchorage at a reasonable price that average boaters can afford in order to solve a very real problem? I'm no fan of municipalities taking up my old favorite anchoring spots with moorings but when the situation is out of hand, something needs to be done. There is no way the 60 boats in the Stuart mooring field would even fit on the hook, they would not have a convenient place for dinks and shore access nor clean showers and internet access. The town of Stuart should be commended for the excellent job they've done in providing access and amenities to downtown and the effort they've expended to attract sailors.

And no, not "all" the sailors buy "all" their supplies there. Got me there.
 

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cruising all I can
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Discussion Starter #10
Seemed to me that there were quite a few boats anchored in the area as well. With the tremendous number of abandoned nuisance vessels in Florida, it seems to me that this effort to provide some kind of structure to the situation is one of the more positive things I've seen government do in recent years. No one is making a pile of money on this for sure but isn't that the point, to make available secure anchorage at a reasonable price that average boaters can afford in order to solve a very real problem? I'm no fan of municipalities taking up my old favorite anchoring spots with moorings but when the situation is out of hand, something needs to be done. There is no way the 60 boats in the Stuart mooring field would even fit on the hook, they would not have a convenient place for dinks and shore access nor clean showers and internet access. The town of Stuart should be commended for the excellent job they've done in providing access and amenities to downtown and the effort they've expended to attract sailors.

And no, not "all" the sailors buy "all" their supplies there. Got me there.
The mooring fields have done little if anything to alleviate the "derelict " and abandoned vessel issues. here in Florida.
if anything, the mooring fields and subsequent anchoring restrictions of areas adjacent the mooring fields have only made the problem wider spread.
Now, those choosing to anchor are forced further from upland facilities, pumpout,dingy dock, and "out of view ".
just look at St.Augustine for one example. the at risk vessels and undeclared live aboard vessels now anchor north and south of the city.
It hasn't done anything to eliminate that issue, just pushed it to a different area.
which is a convenient result for those who would like to see all anchoring eliminated. thus restricting boating to those of financial means. the true end game objective.
same for Titusville,mooring field half full (or half empty) most of the year.
and plenty of anchored vessels anchored just beyond the restricted mooring area. so now the derelict vessels come ashore further from the municipal marina, a bit more out of view.
how is that helpful?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As to the crowded anchorage argument used to justify the emplacement of a mooring field.
there is no arguing that a mooring field is more efficient at positioning more vessels in a given area.
but is capacity a reason to restrict anchoring adjacent and outside of the mooring field as Stuart and St.Augustine have attempted and done?
What do you do when you arrive in an area and it's full?
whether it's a full anchorage or a full mooring field?
full is full.
when you drive to the store or downtown and all the parking spots are full?
answer - you don't park, it's full !
 

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The SSCA fought long and hard to get this pilot program off the ground because they knew that municipalities like Miami Beach and Marco Island were going to harass transient boaters and it would be just a matter of time before other municipalities, like Daytona for example, did the same. Don't forget the SSCA represents us.

Prior to the introduction of the program the writing was on the wall for transient boaters. This program is saving our ass.
 

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The anchoring of vessels overnight along Florida waters would not be an issue if the idiots who leave their derelict vessels would be held accountable. Dumping trash is illegal, why isn't abandoning a vessel? I grow weary of trying to find a spot to anchor my vessel in areas where there are dozens of boats who haven't had the wind in their sails or fuel through their engines in years are left improperly anchored and are a blight on the waterway.

I believe municipalities should address the issue of abandoned vessels first then address when and where anchoring can occur. I strongly believe it is a mariners right to anchor where they can find safe refuge. I do not believe it is a mariners right to anchor for indefinite periods of time and create the controversy that exists.

Bottom line: LETS USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND BE SENSITIVE TO EVERYONES RIGHT TO ENJOY OUR WATERWAYS.

p.s. Quit dumping your untreated waste in the water too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The anchoring of vessels overnight along Florida waters would not be an issue if the idiots who leave their derelict vessels would be held accountable. Dumping trash is illegal, why isn't abandoning a vessel? I grow weary of trying to find a spot to anchor my vessel in areas where there are dozens of boats who haven't had the wind in their sails or fuel through their engines in years are left improperly anchored and are a blight on the waterway.

I believe municipalities should address the issue of abandoned vessels first then address when and where anchoring can occur. I strongly believe it is a mariners right to anchor where they can find safe refuge. I do not believe it is a mariners right to anchor for indefinite periods of time and create the controversy that exists.

Bottom line: LETS USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND BE SENSITIVE TO EVERYONES RIGHT TO ENJOY OUR WATERWAYS.

p.s. Quit dumping your untreated waste in the water too.
Ah, haven't been in Florida long?
abandoning a vessel in Florida waters is a crime as is/are the other things you reference.
the discussion is the poor and selective enforcement of said laws.
thanks for playing.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I oppose any extension to the pilot program.
I respect your position. The issues are complex and there are many opinions.

but all this still does not justify altering SS 327.02
which clearly supports anchoring.
I don't believe there has been a proposal to change SS 327.02, which if I recall correctly simply defines "live-aboard" and other terms.

The pilot program was part of the quid pro quo that included the state of Florida limiting the ability of municipalities to restrict anchoring. The state--especially FWC--have been pretty rationale, recognizing that they have a lot of conflicting expectations from various constituencies.

The SSCA fought long and hard to get this pilot program off the ground because they knew that municipalities like Miami Beach and Marco Island were going to harass transient boaters and it would be just a matter of time before other municipalities, like Daytona for example, did the same. Don't forget the SSCA represents us.

Prior to the introduction of the program the writing was on the wall for transient boaters. This program is saving our ass.
We did work hard, as did Boat/US. Our two organizations were able to participate in the discussions that led to the interlocking legislation that includes the pilot program.

We could have stridently demanded a more perfect solution, but then we would have been out in the hall while landowners and their legal teams were inside driving the wording we would all have to live with.

Bottom line: LETS USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND BE SENSITIVE TO EVERYONES RIGHT TO ENJOY OUR WATERWAYS.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find common sense in the legislative process. *grin*

There is a lot of education of legislators and staff and working to find common ground from which to work.

Dave Skolnick
SSCA Board of Directors, Immediate Past President
 

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If you're so confident that the mooring fields will be shown to be losers financially, I would think you'd be pleased that the pilot program would be extended by 3 years... Passage of this bill - without the Margolis amendment that would have restricted anchoring within a certain distance of shore in Miami and Dade counties - will maintain the status quo for another 3 years, thus offering further proof in support of your contention that the mooring fields are not viable...

What, do you really think the mooring fields in places like St Augustine and Marathon would have disappeared overnight, if the pilot program had not been extended?
One thing life experience should have taught pretty much everyone here, is that government programs, once started, never go away. Never. Regardless of their effectiveness, financial result, or popularity.
 

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The anchoring of vessels overnight along Florida waters would not be an issue if the idiots who leave their derelict vessels would be held accountable. Dumping trash is illegal, why isn't abandoning a vessel? I grow weary of trying to find a spot to anchor my vessel in areas where there are dozens of boats who haven't had the wind in their sails or fuel through their engines in years are left improperly anchored and are a blight on the waterway.

I believe municipalities should address the issue of abandoned vessels first then address when and where anchoring can occur. I strongly believe it is a mariners right to anchor where they can find safe refuge. I do not believe it is a mariners right to anchor for indefinite periods of time and create the controversy that exists.

Bottom line: LETS USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND BE SENSITIVE TO EVERYONES RIGHT TO ENJOY OUR WATERWAYS.

p.s. Quit dumping your untreated waste in the water too.
I really thing the whole abandoned boat issue with the anchoring program is a straw man. If the problem is abandoned boats, how does the pilot anchoring program make it easier to remove already abandoned boats, than it is now? Why not pass a law making it easier to remove abandoned boats? Answer: Because that wouldn't solve the problem of cruisers legitimately anchoring in transit and messing up the view of million dollar condo owners.

I lived in south Florida, and I am convinced that there is only one lobby behind this program, and it is the most powerful lobby in Florida, the real estate brokers. I think this is about real estate brokers, trying to game the laws, to be able to buy and sell the view from condos, as well as the land they are sitting on.

Thank god the boat hate hasn't hit the panhandle yet. But, I believe that's because a much higher percentage of people who live there are native Floridians and boaters.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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One thing life experience should have taught pretty much everyone here, is that government programs, once started, never go away. Never. Regardless of their effectiveness, financial result, or popularity.
Very true. Not only that but they tend to grow and become wasteful. It's the nature of any organization without the challenge of financial solvency. Citizens have the duty to make sure their government acts responsibly and not at the whims of special interest groups. Unfortunately few citizens VOTE and fewer still have any clue about the issues. We certainly wouldn't want governments to abandon essential duties like road building, the military, or the court system. Chaos and the rule of the mob is the result when government becomes ineffective (see Ukraine). Government DOES have responsibility for some things.
Whether this issue is one in which government should be involved is debatable but if lawyer-toting local HOAs and real estate developers (THE MOB as referenced above) have their way, I think you can forget about anchoring anywhere. The entire state would devolve into little waterway fiefdoms, ticketing those who would dare obstruct their view.
 
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