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Old 23-05-2015, 21:15   #1
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Florida head question

I was just reading that in the Florida keys you cannot use a standard porta potti as a head in a boat over 26', especially at places like boot key harbor and key west. It must have a pump out. I have a 29'. Can anyone confirm? What about composting heads? Guess I'll need to go with either a porta potti with pump out attachment or maybe one of those marine traveler heads.
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Old 26-05-2015, 07:29   #2
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Re: Florida head question

I don't think that is correct. The Keys are a "no discharge" zone, which means that you cannot dump overboard even if you have a treatment-type MSD. But so long as you don't dump your porta-potty overboard, I don't think there is any problem with that type in the Keys. (If there is, I have violated that law numerous times!)

Curious what exactly you read that lead you to this belief.
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Old 26-05-2015, 08:25   #3
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Re: Florida head question

Read the below on a forum. It does follow along with what I read for Florida law that any vessel over 26' must have a working head. Perhaps the porta potti needing a holding tank is only for part of the keys? Going to have to research further.

Quote from other forum post:

' FEDERAL marine sanitation laws only apply to vessels with with installed toilets...and do not require any vessel that doesn't have a toilet to install one.... EXCEPT for houseboats...which are defined in the CFR as any vessl that is used primarily as a residence and not as a means of transportation. States CAN make up their own rules pertaining to houseboats. So FL decided that every vessel 26' + is a "houseboat" and that all "houseboats" must have an installed toilet and holding tank and/or treatment device.

So you CAN have a portapotty...if the boat is < 26' you can use a portable portapotty, wag bag or whatever...but if your boat is 26' or larger, at a minimum the portapotty has to be an MSD version--permanently installed and fitted for pumpout. Or a marine toilet, holding tank and all the related plumbing. '
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Old 26-05-2015, 11:25   #4
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Re: Florida head question

I have read most of the Florida statutes concerning marine waste discharge. I don't remember seeing that anywhere. Frankly, absent a reference to a specific statute that states that, I don't believe it. Most particularly, I do not believe the line about "FL decided that every vessel 26' + is a houseboat."

Edit...

So, I just decided to go look it up. The statement that every boat over 26' is a houseboat is absolutely NOT TRUE. Below is the statutory definition of a "houseboat" in Florida:

"...a vessel that is used primarily as a residence for at least 21 days during any 30-day period in a county of this state if such residential use of the vessel is to the preclusion of its use as a means of transportation." (Title XXIV, Chapter 327.02, paragraph 15)

The bolded part is key. Any boat that can used for transportation is NOT a "houseboat." The word "preclusion" means to prevent, to make impossible, to exclude. So if you have not done anything that in some way makes it impossible to use your boat as a means of transportation, it is not a "houseboat" according to the laws of Florida.
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Old 26-05-2015, 12:00   #5
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Re: Florida head question

Good to know, thanks for the info!
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Old 26-05-2015, 12:02   #6
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Re: Florida head question

When I wrote the post several years ago that Burning Daylight quoted, it WAS true...and I'm on record in several places saying that I didn't think it could survive a court challenge. Whether a court challenge ever occurred or not, enough people must have agreed because that was removed from the 2014 version of FL's marine sanitation law: Florida marine sanitation law

FL wasn't the first state to think they could write a marine sanitation law that supercedes federal law...I know of at least 3 more: TN, GA and AR...all of which had to be revised.
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Old 26-05-2015, 12:07   #7
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Re: Florida head question

Peg,

Thanks for the link! Im glad to have that cleared up, just don't want any issues with the cg or fwc. I was just reading the rules at boot key harbor marina, and I think that's where my initial confusion came from. Every day is a learning experience for me since I got my sailboat. Thanks again!
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Old 27-05-2015, 06:12   #8
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Re: Florida head question

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
When I wrote the post several years ago that Burning Daylight quoted, it WAS true...
I guess that just goes to show that, when you are talking about the law, you cannot rely on information that is not current. Laws change all the time, as this one apparently did.
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