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Old 04-12-2008, 08:58   #1
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Changes to Anchoring Out In Florida?

Thought everyone who resides or cruises through Florida may be interested in reading this article that appeared in yesterdays Florida Today newspaper. State officials are hoping to make anchoring and mooring rules uniform throughout throughout Florida and give local governments (cities, counties) more power to enforce them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was going to discuss the proposals yesterday at its meeting in Key West but I haven't heard what transpired. Here's the article that ran in Florida Today.

County weighs in on anchored boats | floridatoday.com | FLORIDA TODAY
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:05   #2
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This is old news and ongoing, in the not much sunshine state, forever. The state already has uniform anchoring laws for the entire state but the wealthy landowners, some you will hear from here, don't like them as they are now. We have already discussed this to death.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:19   #3
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Thanks for the update - at least this will provide some consistency in the rules, if not the enforcement of the same throughout the state. Frankly, the time limitations do not seem unreasonable to me.

Brad
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:25   #4
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Frankly, the time limitations do not seem unreasonable to me.

Brad
What about liveaboards who arent at marinas, but on moorings?

30 consecutive days or 120 days per year? so every 30 days, you are forced to move? who is to say/ monitor that you dont just take a quick sail around for 15 min and reattach to the mooring? its your word against the law enforcements.....
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:41   #5
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I was in Marathon recently. And the situation there struck me as funny as in interesting not as in LOL. The mooring field - and that's what it is a field- is huge and well tended. The Marina that hosts the field is friendly and welcoming.

What was interesting is talking to some of the live aboard's there that follow the political winds; they told me that the City / County includes the mooring field in their land use plans and are counting a certain percentage as "affordable housing". Now I'm old enough to remember years ago a boat owner taking on the government about privacy and boats and if memory serves me correct the Supreme Court said boats are NOT homes. Now you have another arm of the government saying yes, they're homes and they're also affordable!

Go Figure. Will be interesting where the two concepts will met again; doubt I'll be around to see it. :
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:10   #6
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Thanks for the update - at least this will provide some consistency in the rules, if not the enforcement of the same throughout the state. Frankly, the time limitations do not seem unreasonable to me.

Brad
How will allowing every town, city and county in the state make up their own regulations bring consistency?
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Old 04-12-2008, 13:38   #7
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... Now I'm old enough to remember years ago a boat owner taking on the government about privacy and boats and if memory serves me correct the Supreme Court said boats are NOT homes. Now you have another arm of the government saying yes, they're homes and they're also affordable!...
Interesting.
Can you direct us to A memory serving source for the Supreme Court ruling (boats are not homes)?
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Old 04-12-2008, 13:48   #8
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If a boat has cooking facilities, sleeping facilities, bathing facilities, and a head, the IRS considers it a home for the purposes of a home interest deduction on the mortgage. Note that the mortgage must specifically be secured by the boat, not a personal loan. I just went through an IRS audit on this subject and prevailed. I believe that in another thread a couple of months ago someone cited a supreme court ruling that said that a boat was not a home for purposes of search and seizure allowing law enforcement to board and inspect a boat without a warrant.
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:12   #9
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It was in the "Survey: Frequency of USCG boardings" thread
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:21   #10
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It was in the "Survey: Frequency of USCG boardings" thread
There’s 105 posts to the noted* thread.
* Survey: Frequency of USCG Boardings
I saw nothing definitive, can you provide a little more help? Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:31   #11
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Villamonte-Marquez decision, Justice Brennan dissenting, IIRC 1984. Google Villamonte-Marquez decision and you'll get a whole bunch of references. I've read it and do not believe that it gives law enforcement carte blanch to do what ever they want, but they seem to be using it that way. Unfortunately it would probably take more that my life's savings to beat it in court. I'm surprised that a boating lawyer hasn't run up against this and fought it.
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:32   #12
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The courts over the years have upheld the legality of any law enforcement authority to board and inspect vessels on any waterway without the needs for warrants, probable cause, etc regarded citizens in other situations. Cases have been brought in State, local and federal courts and the results have always been the same. This is not a ruling saying a boat is not a home and I doubt any such ruling exist.
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:51   #13
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While not specifically saying that it is not a home, the above mentioned decision effectively says so since the constitution guarantees your rights against unreasonable search and seizure specifically in your home. If your boat was a home then a warrant would be required for a search. This specific ruling essentially says that the Coast Guard has the right to board your vessel and enter areas required to inspect documentation and does not have to ignore any violations of the law that they happen to see when doing so. It does not give them the right to ransack your boat. On the other hand, customs inspectors seem to have a free hand in whatever they want to search looking for whatever the law allows them to sieze.
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:59   #14
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The Coast Guard has absolute authority to board your vessel and search any and all parts including removal of interior, etc and destructive means if they deem necessary. They can do so under the authority that they "think" there may be contraband, etc. on board. And who is going to challenge these guys when they come aboard with automatic weapons. But now, I don't know how this thread got so far afield and what exactly this has to do with anchoring regulations in Floriduh.
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Old 04-12-2008, 15:14   #15
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The thread does seem to be wandering, I'm happy to go back to the original subject.
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