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Old 06-11-2010, 08:02   #76
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I can see both sides of the story if I'm the boat owner I'd be pissed for someone jumping on board without a courteous request,regardless of the law . But if I'm the cop on my 100th boring boat boarding of the day to check a toilet( glad if I'm the cop that gets the glorious job I must have been demoted too) and someone doesnt listen and goes below I'm drawing my gun too.
As boaters/sailors we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The cop was doing the same. As boaters/sailors I'm out here for the purpose being independent and not having to deal with the B.S. on shore.

Now a little off topic if I understand the law correctly, I can pee/poop over the side ,no problem but add the civility of doing it below in private and there are now laws attached to it??
I just bought my boat 2 months ago .It has no holding tank and flushes directly overboard.Im in violation.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:11   #77
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Yep if you do it in a bucket, and toss it over it's legal. Do it in private, and squeeze it through a pipe you're busted........insane........i2f
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:19   #78
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I just bought my boat 2 months ago .It has no holding tank and flushes directly overboard.Im in violation.
yah.me too..except the toilet had been ripped out of mine...going the porta potti route...and going to eliminate most of the through hulls when I haul her..at least the ones below the waterline..
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:25   #79
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Awesome! Just Went to close my thru hull so I wasnt being illegal and guess what !? SNAP ! stopped the leak but guess im looking at a haul out now .......
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:34   #80
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Awesome! Just Went to close my thru hull so I wasnt being illegal and guess what !? SNAP ! stopped the leak but guess im looking at a haul out now .......
yeahh.'s why I want em out of mine..
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:47   #81
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yah.me too..except the toilet had been ripped out of mine...going the porta potti route...and going to eliminate most of the through hulls when I haul her..at least the ones below the waterline..
Just change it in the water. Just keep a bung close by........i2f
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:11   #82
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Forgive me if this information was on a previous post but the rules are very clear.

Here is the information as posted under CFR 159.7. These rules apply to ICW and note that the rules not only apply to the Y-Valve, BUT the seacock should also be locked in the closed position. So you could have your Y-valve locked and if your seacock is not, you could receive a citation.

(c) When operating a vessel on a body of water where the discharge of untreated sewage is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 140.3, the operator must secure each Type III device in a manner which prevents discharge of sewage. Acceptable methods of securing the device includeŚ
(1) Closing each valve leading to an overboard discharge and removing the handle;
(2) Padlocking each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position; or
(3) Using a non-releasable wire-tie to hold each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position.
Since I have a Type III device(a holding tank) I think this portion of the code applies to me. I lock the Y valve with a wire tie and usually just leave the sea cock open since applying a wire tie is difficult to lock that valve. I then padlock the cabinet that contain the valves. Am I in compliance?? The rule specifically states that acceptable methods for compliance are those listed, but does not rule out other methods for compliance. No red dye would be sent out in the configeration that I have even though the thru hull seacock is open and not locked.

There is another situation about compliance is the provision for pumping out the holding tank using a manual bilge pump. I again have that particular valve locked closed with a wire tie, but the seacock is not since that is where water from the bilge would be pumped out. There is no padlock on the doors to those valves(in fact one valve is under the floor board). Am I in compliacnce there? For that matter I could use a wet shop vac and pump the holding tank out from the on deck fitting. No valve what so ever.

What's next? Grey water holding tank?
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:15   #83
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Since I have a Type III device(a holding tank) I think this portion of the code applies to me. I lock the Y valve with a wire tie and usually just leave the sea cock open since applying a wire tie is difficult to lock that valve. I then padlock the cabinet that contain the valves. Am I in compliance?? The rule specifically states that acceptable methods for compliance are those listed, but does not rule out other methods for compliance. No red dye would be sent out in the configeration that I have even though the thru hull seacock is open and not locked.

There is another situation about compliance is the provision for pumping out the holding tank using a manual bilge pump. I again have that particular valve locked closed with a wire tie, but the seacock is not since that is where water from the bilge would be pumped out. There is no padlock on the doors to those valves(in fact one valve is under the floor board). Am I in compliacnce there? For that matter I could use a wet shop vac and pump the holding tank out from the on deck fitting. No valve what so ever.

What's next? Grey water holding tank?
The law is poorly written but I think you're ok if you have both Y-valves wire-tied off. It says each valve, but that is clearly impractical and even dangerous with regard to your bilge pump discharge seacock. I think the drafters probably meant to say a valve closing off each MSD which could otherwise discharge overboard.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:57   #84
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I don't agree with anything that's been said here. First of all, the PIO (Public Information Officer) from the sheriff's department is entirely correct ... the law is well settled in this regard and, due to the mobility of the watercraft, the officers may board without permission (Carrol v. United States, et sup.). Furthermore, both accounts (from the vessel captain's statements and the PIO's depiction of events) indicate that the crew did not fully comply with the officer's directions. When you consider that historically this could have been a prelude to the destruction of evidence or the arming of an individual, the officer acted prudently by drawing his weapon ... remember -- the crew member started this chain of events by going below and out of sight.

WOW.....

My first thought is...what officers instructions ! They were never contacted from what I read..not being there either....

Next is...i have had many boardings in my past 100,000 miles at sea and every single time I have been contacted prior to any such attempt and "almost" never with guns drawn but NEVER NEVER aimed at me!!! I'm glad you were an officer on land and not on the water....Also "mobility of the vessel"...it's a damn sailboat!
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:09   #85
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Ah the beauty of a composting head. No thru hulls no y valve the only problem, will the officer realize it's legal?
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:25   #86
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Ah the beauty of a composting head. No thru hulls no y valve the only problem, will the officer realize it's legal?

Interesting question, and I wonder what impact that dye pack is going to have on your composting heads ability to compost? In the event it gets dropped in anyhow.
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Old 06-11-2010, 14:20   #87
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Ah the beauty of a composting head. No thru hulls no y valve the only problem, will the officer realize it's legal?
I know it sounds silly, but you would probably get a ticket if your thruhull/seacock located in/near the head compartment was not "locked/wired" shut. Don't underestimate the stupidity of a "functionary" who read only the part of the wording that said the valves had to be locked/wired closed. I would be very careful how you explain to such an official that the composting toilet has no plumbing or valves.
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Old 06-11-2010, 14:27   #88
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No, he just has to have a reasonable belief that there is a permanently mounted MSD. It is entirely reasonable to believe that a 36 foot cruiser has a permanently mounted MSD as virtually every 36 foot cruiser does in fact have such a device.

He definitely had the right to board.

He also had the right to write a ticket for not following the letter of the law with regard to securing the seacock. A more reasonable and wiser officer would have given a polite warning, but he did have the right to write the ticket.

But he did not have the right to threaten the cruisers with his pistol and behave like a bully. Threatening with a pistol is assault. It is a serious crime if not done with legal justification.
I respectfully disagree with you. I don't believe he had a right to board until he determined if there was a pemanently installed MSD. Florida law states that all boats over 26 feet are required to carry an MSD and that the law enforcement officers have a right to board and inspect it if it cannot be displayed to them. I once had a 36 foot allmand sedan cruiser with a porta-potti type head. If the officer would have boarded that boat it would have been an illegal search. As a vessel master I could have placed him under arrest under admiralty law. Of course if he had his gun drawn he could have left at any time he would have been resisting arrest with a fire arm. An interesting turn of events if the feds showed up to haul him away.

I personally believe that the Florida law and other state laws giving local law enforcement the right to board at any time are unconstitutional. There is well established federal law that has been in place since essentially the beginning of the country giving the USCG and the Customs Service/Border Patrol the right to search a boat at any time without a warrant and without probable cause, but the supreme court has never extended that right to other agencies.
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Old 06-11-2010, 14:43   #89
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. . . I personally believe that the Florida law and other state laws giving local law enforcement the right to board at any time are unconstitutional. There is well established federal law that has been in place since essentially the beginning of the country giving the USCG and the Customs Service/Border Patrol the right to search a boat at any time without a warrant and without probable cause, but the supreme court has never extended that right to other agencies.
Although I do agree with all the constitutional and other interpretations of the various laws, they are only available to citizens who are very well off financially and can pay for hosts of lawyers, court fees, etc. to assert their rights. To us "smucks" interpreting the laws is done by the LEO who will be backed up by his superiors.
- - As to Federal constitutional applications they only apply when "interstate" commerce is affected. Although this category has been expanded over the centuries to include most everything - it still runs up against the founding principles of the USA which includes States Rights. Within the borders of the individual States they can pretty much do want they want so long as it doesn't infringe on Federal level activities (interstate commerce). Criminal statutes are a good example, some States can go for Capital punishment and other do not.
- - Traffic laws are another prime example, what is legal in one State on how to operate your automobile is not necessary legal in another State. I got stopped in N.Y. by a trooper for not having a fender over one wheel due to an earlier accident. I was waiting for the dealer in my home State of Delaware to get a new one but needed to use the car. It was illegal in NY to drive without a fender, but the State Trooper was experienced and radio'd for a check of Delaware laws about cars without fenders and told me it was legal in Delaware and because of reciprocity agreements he could not ticket me. The point is different States can have different laws all of which are "legal" and constitutional within that State.
- - The Florida MSD law has been on the books for a long time and has yet to be declared unconstitutional either at the State level or Federal level. It will stand until some citizen is willing to spend mega-amounts of money challenging the law.
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Old 06-11-2010, 15:50   #90
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I know it sounds silly, but you would probably get a ticket if your thruhull/seacock located in/near the head compartment was not "locked/wired" shut. Don't underestimate the stupidity of a "functionary" who read only the part of the wording that said the valves had to be locked/wired closed. I would be very careful how you explain to such an official that the composting toilet has no plumbing or valves.
All the thru hulls have been glassed in and no signs of plumbing running from the composting head. I've heard that the FWC in Florida still doesn't recognize it as a type III device.
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