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Old 28-01-2013, 14:54   #1
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What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

That is a Coast Guard "special anchorage area", as depicted on charts(in this case on the great lakes.

I know there are notifications regarding these areas, as to whether or not an anchor light needs to be lit at night.

I also know that, on Lake Erie, each of these "special anchorage areas", lie behind breakwalls.

The anchorages in Cleveland, are no doubt not private.

The anchorage that lies adjacent to Cedar Point Amusement Park, doesn't seem to be owned by the Amusement Park, but there are a number of docks that appear to lie within the designated area, and the docks appear to be used for boat shows or as extra dockage for the amusement park.

I've looked at a few years of aerials for the area and I've yet to see anything that looks like a boat at anchor within the area's confines.

So . . . I'm trying to figure out who might be allowed to anchor in these areas.

The Coastal Pilot booklet describes the boundaries . . . very, VERY poorly, and it also indicates responsibilities of various sized boats.

In my business, I learned NEVER to ass-u-me anything . . . so, I don't want to assume that the government holds control of the anchorage just because they control the water and the bottom.

After all, there are a number of places where private business does control designated areas in MY WATER(as a taxpayer), and have the right to keep from using MY WATER(and MY LAND underneath), without their permission.

There are no fee deeds for these areas to any private entities . . . but . . .
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:04   #2
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

Special Anchorage areas are designated by the government for anchoring with certain restrictions, which are spelled out in the Coast Pilot for the area. Coast Pilot 6 for the Great Lakes defines them in one of the first chapters. It basically means that boats of less than 20 meters don't have to show an anchor light or shape if anchored there.
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:06   #3
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

in my area for the charts I use the special anchor areas have letter codes that are on the charts as to what they mean
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:21   #4
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

I understand what the anchorages are regarding if one anchors there.

What I don't understand is if these are areas are controlled by the government or if they might be controlled by a private business.

In short, can I take a sailboat into the "special anchorage area", and anchor?

Or might I be rousted out of my sleep at night by . . . say in this case . . . the Cedar Point Amusement Park, telling me to payup or get the #%^$%& out?

The breakwall in Cleveland protects the harbor. This breakwall, doesn't seem to protect anything, which makes me wonder who's breakwall(and who's anchorage), it is.
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:31   #5
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

The Coast Guard designates Special Anchorages and they are public anchorages.
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:51   #6
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

just guessing here but generally internationally it would denote an explosives or dangerous cargo anchorage
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:57   #7
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters

CHAPTER I: COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

SUBCHAPTER I: ANCHORAGES

PART 109: GENERAL

109.10 - Special anchorage areas.

An Act of Congress of April 22, 1940, provides for the designation of special anchorage areas wherein vessels not more than sixty-five feet in length, when at anchor, will not be required to carry or exhibit anchorage lights. Such designation is to be made after investigation, by rule, regulation, or order, the procedure for which will be similar to that followed for anchorage grounds under section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of March 4, 1915, as referred to in ? 109.05. The areas so designated should be well removed from the fairways and located where general navigation will not endanger or be endangered by unlighted vessels. The authority to designate special anchorage areas was transferred to and vested in the Secretary of Homeland Security by section 902(j) of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-241, 120 Stat 516), and delegated to the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. The Commandant redelegated the authority to establish anchorage grounds to each Coast Guard District Commander as provided in 33 CFR 1.05-1(e)(1)(i).

[USCG-2007-27887, 72 FR 45902, Aug. 16, 2007]
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Old 28-01-2013, 16:04   #8
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

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just guessing here but generally internationally it would denote an explosives or dangerous cargo anchorage
No, in the USA it is a public anchorage marked on the charts. Take a look here at the chart for Edgartown Harbor where the water is marked Special Anchorage area. However, in this case, the local town has paved over the entire area with moorings, and you can't anchor there any more! This is typical in New England where many of these areas are full of rental moorings. But it is supposed to indicate a good place to anchor. Personally, I would refer to the cruising guides for better information on desirable cruising boat anchorages.
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Old 28-01-2013, 16:17   #9
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

What's the Lat/Lon so we can check the maps and pilots?
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Old 28-01-2013, 16:36   #10
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

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A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
Totally off topic, but I just noticed your great sig! The funny thing is that during Hurricane Bob a little house ashore washed off its foundations and floated upside down by us and across the harbor. I was impressed how it held together and floated pretty good! During the Hurricane of '38 there are reports of people crossing Long Island Sound on floating houses.
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Old 29-01-2013, 05:31   #11
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

"However, in this case, the local town has paved over the entire area with moorings, and you can't anchor there any more!"

I've read where new "special anchorage areas", are being proposed and I've also noticed that sometimes the proposal indicates that control/authority over the area will be another entity, such as the city.

Now, I'm sure that the "special anchor area" shown in the link above costs money to stay overnight . . . on a ball.

I wonder if cost was involved even before the mooring balls were placed?

It's just that I'm too leery to blindly think that a "Special Anchor Area", might be a place where I can anchor overnight without having to pay a $20-$30, oor who knows how to stay there.
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Old 29-01-2013, 05:57   #12
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

As stated above, special anchorages just mean that the USCG has approved the area for anchoring vessels and that they can anchor without lights.

It does not mean that it is free or public.

Check the Coast Pilot or local USCG for whta the Special Anchorage is or intended for. Then you will know for sure if you can anchor there.

The the US Government Mothball Fleet in Suisun Bay (San Francisco Bay) is marked as a special anchorage, but you certainly cannot drop and anchor there.

Also "Explosive or Hazardous Anchorages" are normally not marked as Special Anchorages. They will be marked on the chart as "Explosive Anchorage", which could mean anything form a supply ship with live ammunition to an oil tanker. These are normally controlled by the local Vessel Traffic Service, which keeps large distances between anchored vessels.
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Old 29-01-2013, 10:19   #13
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

While the land adjacent to the water has been deeded fee-simple, the land under the water has not.

The government must own the land under the water if a deed doesn't exist indicating private ownership . . . regardless of riparian rights.

So, I wonder what is the "special" privilege that allows a marina owner to place floating or attached docks to the exclusion of those willing to pay for the privilege of attaching to a dock which is in turn attached to the floor of a body of water . . . such as Lake Erie?

In that light, I wonder about these "special anchor areas", in as much that they are in the lake, although sometimes with an artificial wall to separate the area from the lake.

There must've been a time(way back when), when a private individual could actually take control(not own), of an area, place a protective wall around it, then maintain control of that area . . . without fee-ownership, in some sort of exclusive manner.
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Old 29-01-2013, 12:51   #14
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

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Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
While the land adjacent to the water has been deeded fee-simple, the land under the water has not.

The government must own the land under the water if a deed doesn't exist indicating private ownership . . . regardless of riparian rights.

So, I wonder what is the "special" privilege that allows a marina owner to place floating or attached docks to the exclusion of those willing to pay for the privilege of attaching to a dock which is in turn attached to the floor of a body of water . . . such as Lake Erie?

In that light, I wonder about these "special anchor areas", in as much that they are in the lake, although sometimes with an artificial wall to separate the area from the lake.

There must've been a time(way back when), when a private individual could actually take control(not own), of an area, place a protective wall around it, then maintain control of that area . . . without fee-ownership, in some sort of exclusive manner.
The City of Sausalito, CA did just that back in the late sixties or early seventies.

They were having problems with people taking residence on just about anything that would float and calling them houseboats. In order to regulate the "houseboats", the City and County actually drew out streets under Richardson Bay and incorporated them into Sausalito.

On the other hand the government agencies in control of the water, routinely lease water front property to private marinas, which through the lease have control of the waterway. If instead of docks, they put in a mooring field, with approval from the USCG it would be designated a Special Anchorage
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Old 29-01-2013, 15:31   #15
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Re: What exactly is a "special anchorage area"?

I was trying to lay a course from Port Clinton to Erie Pa., and wanting to use any free anchorages I can find.

There are very few designated anchorages in Lake Erie, of any descript..

For that matter, there are very few non-designated worthwhile anchorages on Lake Erie.

I had hoped(and maybe, still hope), that I find this particular anchorage( N41d 28m 24s / w082d 40m 49s),to be freely available for a transient sailor without having to pay $20-30 for the night's anchoring.
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