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Old 25-04-2012, 13:06   #1
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Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

Many boats cruising the Okeechobee Waterway have been confused by what might seem to be new anchoring limits being enforced by the US Army Corps of Engineers. According to Robert Schnell, Assistant Chief, South Florida Operations, officers have been instructed to enforce a "one-night-only" policy for anchoring, and have told the boaters that they must continue down the waterway or find a marina or other facility.
According to Schnell, the policy has been around since 2000: "Title 36 - Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Corps of Engineers Water Resources Development Projects, Section 327.3 - Vessels," specifically the two sections below:
327.3(f) Unless otherwise permitted by Federal, state or local law, vessels or other watercraft, while moored in commercial facilities, community or corporate docks, or at any fixed or permanent mooring point, may only be used for overnight occupancy when such use is incidental to recreational boating. Vessels or other watercraft are not to be used as a place of habitation or residence.
327.3(h) Vessels shall not be attached or anchored to structures such as locks, dams, buoys or other structures unless authorized by the District Commander. All vessels when not in actual use shall be removed from project lands and waters unless securely moored or stored at designated areas approved by the District Commander. The placing of floating or stationary mooring facilities on, adjacent to, or interfering with a buoy, channel marker or other navigational aid is prohibited.
The Corps South Florida Operations' interpretation of these rules greatly overstep the verbiage, in my opinion:
- Anchoring in state and federal waters is "otherwise permitted"
- Anchoring in a river, lake or oxbow does not qualify as "in commercial facilities
- Overnight occupancy is incidental to recreational boating
- A vessel occupied at anchor is "in actual use"
I contacted the Corps in other areas to understand their local policies and get their interpretations of Title 36. Similar Corps projects on the inland waterways do not limit anchoring to one night, although lengthy stays are discouraged. Some areas have policies specific to their recreation area, but these are not covered in Title 36.
Waterway Guide's Southern Edition 2012 does not mention anchoring limits along the Okeechobee Waterway, but we will update it in the next printing, if applicable. Meanwhile, expect to be asked to "move along" after anchoring along the Okeechobee Waterway, or risk a citation and fine, at least until this Corps office gets its policy straight.
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Old 25-04-2012, 13:09   #2
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

The Army being deployed to control civilians usually signals a coup.
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Old 25-04-2012, 13:28   #3
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

The US Constitution describes the Army as being responsible for keeping waterways open to commerce. This is why the Corps exists. Under the Commerce Clause, they have the right to regulate the waterways.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...vigable+Waters
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Old 25-04-2012, 13:37   #4
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
The Army being deployed to control civilians usually signals a coup.
David, you crafty rascal I think you are just stirring unrest, as a part of your plan to get the "colonies" back.
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Old 25-04-2012, 15:46   #5
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

How far do you have to move? If you pulled the anchor up and moved 5 feet then dropped it to rest are you OK?
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Old 25-04-2012, 15:59   #6
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

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How far do you have to move? If you pulled the anchor up and moved 5 feet then dropped it to rest are you OK?
Good question.

Be sure to give it a try and let us know how it went...Video would be nice!
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Old 25-04-2012, 16:13   #7
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

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How far do you have to move? If you pulled the anchor up and moved 5 feet then dropped it to rest are you OK?
You actually have to move out of the Jurisdiction for that section of the OWW. Chuck
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Old 25-04-2012, 17:47   #8
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

Bummer.
lots of little lakes to anchor in, and out of the way. And it gets dark in there. I guess there's a liveaboard problem now.
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Old 26-04-2012, 05:24   #9
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

Title 36 clearly prohibits "liveaboards" which is understandable. Schnell said the officers are instructed to ask the skipper where the vessel is going and at what speed, and to make clear that the waterway is to be used for transiting, not for recreation (which is odd, since it is certainly used for recreation by anglers and other boaters), so anchoring 40 miles further is ok, 40 feet? No. I would hope they wouldn't enforce this in bad weather, or if the skipper indicated that minor repairs are needed in order to proceed. We'll see.
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Old 26-04-2012, 05:48   #10
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

There had been a bunch of guys living aboard in the LaBelle area a few years ago. Including some anchored fore and aft in fairly narrow canal sections which seemed dangerous to me. Once again, if you're really cruising (moving your boat around regularly) you're unlikely to have problems. If you need an address to receive your government checks; buy a trailer!
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:38   #11
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
There had been a bunch of guys living aboard in the LaBelle area a few years ago. Including some anchored fore and aft in fairly narrow canal sections which seemed dangerous to me. Once again, if you're really cruising (moving your boat around regularly) you're unlikely to have problems. If you need an address to receive your government checks; buy a trailer!

As always, rather than deal with the actual issue, getting rid of the guys causing problems, our wise govt makes a rule affecting everyone else. I'd been thinking "hurricane hole" and maybe that would still be ok for actual transients. I like that last line a lot!
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:42   #12
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

I think there are a lot more problems that the Army Corp could be working on...

Here is a map of the area they are talking about (I think). Are they just talking about the waterway between the Lake and Palm City?
Okeechobee, FL - Google Maps
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:13   #13
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

SunDevil, The OWW runs from Stuart, across the lake to Ft. Myers. Chuck

http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisi...OCS/owwmap.pdf
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Old 27-04-2012, 18:30   #14
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

I don't enjoy being told what to do either But,if it were not for the Army Engineers,we
would NOT have the I.C.W.W. system at all,,,,can you imagine how few yachts there
would be if we all had to go ,,,SHUDDER,,,,,Outside %$&(J$@)LJN^%$#@
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Old 27-04-2012, 19:17   #15
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Re: Corps says "one night only" on Okeechobee anchoring

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Originally Posted by mindsofman View Post
I don't enjoy being told what to do either But,if it were not for the Army Engineers,we
would NOT have the I.C.W.W. system at all,,,,can you imagine how few yachts there
would be if we all had to go ,,,SHUDDER,,,,,Outside %$&(J$@)LJN^%$#@
And yet another example of why they should stop telling people what to do... imagine all that uncrowded, undeveloped coastline....
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