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Old 26-07-2008, 09:24   #46
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Huntington Harbor, in LI, NY is an example of such a harbor which has been completely given to private interests except a marked navigable channel and a town dock.
Try Shelter Island in San Diego. My front yard is almost as big as the anchorage. The sea of masts is breath taking though not in a good way.

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Of course this is fine and dandy for those who have staked a claim. Isn't this how all the land was taken?
Of course it is. Powerful forces fight until one leaves and the unclaimed leftovers are up for grabs. Everyone that got something agrees to keep what they have and band together to keep the losers from getting any back. The folks with the left overs agree to protect the folks with the big stuff so they don't have to worry about the powerful attempting to steal their small crumb.

Just because we have rules does not mean there is any land changing hands. The point of it all was to assure the ability to keep what you stole. Fairness depends on if you got any or not. Justice allows you to keep it.

We have the new Boot Key thread where the right to permanently anchor now constitutes a "community". They want to claim the anchorage as their home. Sooner of later the "community" will want to run off new people that want to anchor free forever too. Better get a spot soon before all the free spots are gone! A hurricane will clear the anchorage for a new group so there is probably fairness though hardly justice.

I'm with waterworldly. If it has to be this bad I sure don't want to go there. On the bright side it is filled with a lot of people not choking up the less traveled paths. It's what I love about Florida most. It's nice to see them all huddled up in large groups and easy to keep an eye on. I do find comfort in knowing they all are not out running aground some place near me.
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Old 26-07-2008, 21:32   #47
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defjef, if you think over the history of the colonies--the northest states and midatlantic states, mainly--the status of the bottom lands becomes much clearer.

All property in the Colonies dates back to Crown Deeds, titles, or land patents, typically from the British Crown. The Crown owned the land, absolutely. And it passed on different title rights at different times to different parties.

So in some places, the underwater lands literally were passed on directly by the Crown to private parties, or settlements. There's no confusion there, if the Crown gave it to someone, someone still owns it, the "public" doesn't and never did.

But in other places, "the state" owned the bottom lands, and had the right to do what it pleased with them. In places like Long Island, "The State" (either state or federal) literally sold off those bottomlands to raise money for liberty bonds during WW2. The bottomlands were considered almost worthless to ayone except shellfishermen, who was going to object?

There's logic to the entire business, except when it comes to asking "Who owns this bottomland?" because you can't get a fast answer on the water, or the one you get will often simply be wrong. With USCG-designated anchorages (again, here in the Northeast at least) they are usually split into "special" versus "general" anchorages, which were created as aides to navigation. In the one, they expect transient vessels which must keep an anchor watch, radio watch, anchor light, etc. That's all in the Coast Pilot. In the other, they've provided for local fleets to anchor, and not illogically they have appointed someone--usually the local municpal government--to locally manage the anchorage. Unfair as that may sometimes be, I can't think that it would be better managed from Washington!

It is an imperfect system, but all in all I think we'd be hard pressed to do better. Yeah, first come first served sucks when you're the last guy to get on the list. So does missing the day in kindergarden when they're supposed to tell you "Life isn't fair."

Fair would mean some formal apologies to the Indian nations for committing germ warfare, genocide, and mass theft. (Which is still going on, the Bureau of Indian Affairs still refuses to provide audits or accounting and Congress still allows that to continue.) And then, eveyrbody gets on the boat back to the Old World, and gives back the anchorages to the first owners, right? Except, they didn't think of land ownership the way we do, either. Problems, problems.
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Old 26-07-2008, 22:12   #48
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I have not read all these post,(don't have time). My advice...just go grab a mooring or drop your hook where ever you want. I don't pay much attention to the so called laws concerning anchoring or mooring. Looks like plenty of mooring balls available. I drop my hook where ever I damn well please and I have never been hassled except for maybe once. I am never in one spot though for more than a few days.
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Old 27-07-2008, 05:11   #49
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Inthewind,

You have yet, but you might be and then have to show up in court if you are cited for tresspass. And if you fail to show up in court or pay the fine a judgment is entered and so on and so on.

You can break "the law" as long as you don't get caught, but when you do you have to face the consequences. Many people pick up unused moorings and judge their size by the painter and never pay a dime.

Hello,

The deeding of land in the imperfect way it was done does not mean that some "mistakes" can't be corrected. We have eminent domain laws which allow the state to appropriate private land for public use and it is my belief that this should take place and the harbors or parts of them re assigned as general public anchorages available to any sailor who wants to anchor.

Of course we have a space problem such as the in the case of Huntington where we need places to park all the boats that exist. Why not have a state run system like a parking lot with a very low standard fee for all harbors? Any sailor can pick up a mooring and pay the fee for the period they occupy the mooring. The moorings can be done to a standard re holding power/size so every red ball can hold up to a 30' and blue for 40' and so on or some such similar system.

Most of us are OK to pay for parking in crowded popular areas. In more remote cruising grounds some "free" anchorage should always be set aside. In this system no one owns the bottom. The starte (people) does and they maintain and manage it at no profit. I know this wreaks of socialism or communism and would disturb the property rights and capitalists out there, but to me this is a reasonable and just way to provide access for all boaters to mooring and anchoring in our waters.

Of course the well heeled can and do own waterside property where they can place a dock or single mooring if it is within 200 feet of the shore if the depth permits. The rest of the harbors would be for public use.

When a mooring is vacated anyone can take it (and pay for the time) just like a parking space with a meter. So there would be no marina moorings, no yacht club moorings, no private moorings, and no "town" moorings. The moorings would be run by the USCG.

This would also mean that the USCG would have someone on the water in the harbor at al times in busy areas. And this is not a bad idea either. In quiet places the mooring master would make less frequent visits to collect fees and could miss the odd boat that popped in for a few hours.

What is the problem with such a system or a similar one?
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Old 27-07-2008, 06:21   #50
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What an elegant system, DefJef.

Really, that's exactly what a mooring field should be - just another parking lot like any on land. Although they deed parking spots in Manhattan for $100K and up, this shouldn't happen on the water as demand is a *tad* lower (evidenced by the empty moorings everywhere).

I wish there was some grassroots way to shake this up. Convince the govts they could make more money from a parking lot than a complicated deeded system that they make relatively little from. There is actually a financial driver to your idea!

I'd be more than happy to pay my reasonable parking fee, they would have their moorings fields filled up, and would make more money than they do off their annual mooring fees, which are just a couple hundred dollars.

Of course, out in the middle of nowhere, there would be no moorings at all, because the demand isn't there.

Another local LI example I think of is Mt Misery Cove in Port Jeff. It's my favorite stop in that area of LI. It used to be mooring free, but has filled in entirely. They are "day moorings" and boats are not kept on them permanently. However, unlike most places, you can pick one up and stay on it for a few nights without getting hassled - unless that aristocrat that owns it shows up and kicks you off.


Hellosailor: Reading your post, one part really stuck with me. It's the concept of land ownership I tend to have a gripe about. I tend to believe the way of the Native American or dodo bird. Land is here. It doesn't belong to anyone. Of course, that's not they way the world works, but they had it right.
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Old 27-07-2008, 06:22   #51
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Here's a link to the federal Anchorage Regulations, promulgated under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act:

Justia :: 33 C.F.R. PART 110--ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS

It could be a good planning tool for cruising. If regulated mooring fields get your blood pressure up, this will help you decide where not to cruise.
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Old 27-07-2008, 07:07   #52
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Originally Posted by Maren View Post
Funny!

... and most of us are average.

well, not necessarily.... It's possible to have an average value that no one approaches. For instance if all humans had an IQ of either 120 or 80 (and the numbers of each were equal) the average would be 100. But no individual would have an IQ of 100.

So, in that case, none of us would be "average".

We tend to think of average as meaning "what most things are." And most of the time (on average) that's a good approximation.


Connemara.
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Old 27-07-2008, 07:55   #53
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Parking along the curbside is a better analogy than a parking lot which is what the present system is.. parking for huge profit.

The streets belong to the people and the state will provide parking and sometimes put meters for revenue. These are usually reasonable and can be used to support street maintenance.

Someone would have to do the economic analysis here but I suspect that moorings can be provided to all for reasonable cost much less for most those who pay a private interest for use.

Example: look at a typical harbor such as Dering in LI. Let's assume it has a mooring field of 2000x2000 feet. Let firther assume that one mooring occupies 100x100. This means that there could be up ton 400 moorings in this area. The cost of a mooring is about $40/ft. Let's put the average sized moored boat at 35' this means the rental fee is $1,400 per season or $560,000 per season. Don't forget that sales tax is collected and this goes to the state which is an additional $40,000.

The cost of the moorings could be as follows; $800 for the anchor, and an additional $200 for the chain, line and the buoy for the average 35' boat. Some would be less and some would be more for the larger yachts. Let's say in today's dollars the average mooring cost for material is $1,000 so the initial cost of the moorings in that field would be $400,000. This tackle is good for many years, some of it needs to be replaced more frequently, but the anchor itself is good for a decade perhaps.

Now you have the cost to install the moorings and "service" them in the fall. This might take a crew of 2 a few weeks to a month .doing 20 / day. Labor cost = $10,000.

So the cost of this mooring field is less than $425,000. The yearly maintenance would be perhaps $25-40,000.

The mooring manager would cost perhaps $40,000 per season and toss in $20,000 per year for 5 years for his boat etc.

So for 5 years the costs would be:

moorings $400,000 / 2 = $200,000 (they last 10 years)
install/ service $60,000 x 5 = $240,000 (with replacement parts)
Management $60,000 x 5 = $300,000

This makes the cost for this mooring field with management and service at $740,000 for 5 years or $150,000 per year or $375 per mooring per season or $60 per month and $2 per day. If they are 50% occupied it would mean that the rental would would have to double ro $4 per day to break even or $750 per season.

What do they cost John Q Boater today? With tax he willl pay over $1,600 and I believe Sag Harbor they are over $3,000.

Someone is making out big time. This means that these harbors means up to millions of dollars per season or ROIs of 200-300%

What say you?
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Old 27-07-2008, 08:15   #54
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In New Zealand didn't the foreshore (and everything beyond) belong to the Crown due to an imaginary chain that ran around the coast thereby preventing private ownership? Or something like that??

No doubt belongs to the NZ Govt now and they have sold stuff off......but I suspect not a big problem with a low population and big coastline. These things only become problems when lots of folk all want to use the same limited resource.

IMO arguments valid either way.
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Old 27-07-2008, 08:38   #55
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Excellent off the cuff analysis, defjef

So, do I take it that you’d favour municipal moorings, that increased (and regulated) the effective use of scarce anchoring space (per my post #44), at "reasonable" cost?
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Old 27-07-2008, 08:41   #56
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Clearly the US coastline and its wealth means a lot of boaters who need to park their boats or moor, anchor or berth them whatever term you want to use.

What we see is a society that worships and protects private property rights and how this has impacted on those who boat. Even when you DO own a piece of the bottom to park your boat, you encounter the problem when you cruise your boat.

The post above lays out the case that there is exploitation at play which neatly fits in the the capitalist approach of maximizing profits when there is high demand and little or no competition (monopoly practices).

Gord

Yes I would. While the rates might vary from one region to the next, we clearly can "level the playing field" a bit and turn this into a revenue source for the people and not the entrepreneurs.
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Old 27-07-2008, 08:42   #57
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While the estimated costs may be close the idea that anything should only cost what it does does not work. Often things that make money pay for things that don't. Any recreational planner knows that some events make money and some others never will. A college football season makes big money, but the track and field team does not. One program is used to support the other.

So why should college football tickets cost more than they should is at least as valid a question?
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Old 27-07-2008, 08:48   #58
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And by the way, most of the mooring fields in LI are full up so the 50% use number is a dream. At best there are a handful set aside in each harbor for transients.
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Old 27-07-2008, 08:54   #59
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Pblais,

This type of criticism about the macro approach to providing services is a canard in this case.

I have laid out the case that we have a resource which SHOULD belong to the people, but has been given (taken) to private interests who make enormous profits and return very little to the state (the people) as general tax revenue.

MY thought experiment would benefit ALL who have a boat and not hurt those who own a single private mooring as they only pay the actual cost (which my scheme proposes). What it DOES do is out John Q Moorings out of his profitable business, employs a few workers and profit reasonable cost moorings to all who boat and a reliable well managed system which is safer in the end and less than 1/4 the cost.
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Old 27-07-2008, 09:01   #60
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I have laid out the case that we have a resource which SHOULD belong to the people, but has been given (taken) to private interests who make enormous profits and return very little to the state (the people) as general tax revenue.
If your analysis is indeed close to reality, there does seem to be a fair amount of "profit". But how do you know where the profit goes? I have a hard time understanding why the governmental authority managing the resource wouldn't claim a sizable chunk of the proceeds. Are you sure it ends up in the pockets of the "Robber Barons"?
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