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Old 22-12-2012, 10:02   #1
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An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

Just left the Southwinds Magazine website after reading this article about Floridas new anchoring laws. It seems they are testing new procedures and regulations at five municipalities around the state and changing the liveaboard definition in the law. It also says all tested laws and regulations will expire in 2014.

What do you all think about this new state test and what should we say about it to Boat US which is advising the municipalities and state regulators?



ReadOz - Read - Southwinds Magazine - December 2012
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:46   #2
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

In short, it's a mess. They haven't changed the definition of a liveaboard though. The law allows the regulation of non-liveaboard vessels outside of mooring fields in five localities: St. Augustine, Stuart/Martin County, Monroe County (the Keys), Sarasota, and St. Pete. Prior to this anyplace could regulate liveaboard vessels, which are strictly defined in Florida law as boats used as residences and not for navigational purposes. So, most of us cruisers are non-liveaboards in Florida law. It's one reason never to refer to yourself as a "liveaboard" when in Florida. The new laws are all different, with various time limits, anchoring limits, proofs of pumpout, etc. It just adds to the hodge podge of laws, and most cruisers will be completely unaware of them. The funny thing is right in the law it says it is to promote access to the waters of the state, and then every law decreases access.

Here's a link to the Mariner's Barr website with lots of information on the various laws.
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Old 22-12-2012, 14:27   #3
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

Seems to me that the law has changed. Live aboard now means a boat solely used for residence. Operative word: Solely.

If you up anchor and go for a sail every weekend, you are not using it solely as a residence. This gets rid of the unseaworthy eyesores that clutter up moorings. If it moves under its own power or sail and you move it occasionally, it is not a live aboard under the new rules.

I could be wrong but I doubt it.
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Old 22-12-2012, 15:10   #4
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

as a 35 year resident/sailor/cruiser in florida i've never seen a better time to be a cruiser in florida. there are a few spots with designated anchorages but those rules only apply inside the anchorage. i personally know of two places with designated anchorages where the fomer 'residents' simply moved outside the designated area. with nary a hassle from the cops.

my experience has been that if you don't hassle them they won't hassle you. i live in daytona beach and have kept my boat at anchor off the icw for many months at a time, with no problems at all. there are maybe two dozen out there right now, three of them with full time liveaboards, as well as many southbound cruisers stopping for a day or two. about the only thing we've ever been bothered about is anchor lights. since it's not a designated anchorage we're required to show them. it's an easy $80 ticket for the city's coffers so they occasionally make the rounds. maybe twice this year. i know of only one liveaboard, once, who was boarded to check his holding tank, and he's been living out there two years.

the florida keys are different. practically the entire place is a national park or some other preserve and they're very protective of their waters. so they're somewhat pickier about how the rules are enforced.

my experience is that, if you keep a clean boat, present a clean appearance, have an address on your drivers license, don't obviously pollute, and observe navigation rules, it's the best time to be a cruiser in florida since i arrived here in the 1970's...
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Old 22-12-2012, 17:42   #5
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

Quote:
Seems to me that the law has changed. Live aboard now means a boat solely used for residence. Operative word: Solely.
It's been that way in Florida for quite a few years. What did happen a few years back is that Florida passed a new law that prohibited restrictions on "non-liveaboard" vessels, which meant that all sorts of local time limits and prohibitions were removed by state law. As someone pointed out, anchoring out now in Florida is much better than it was five or ten years ago when lots of localities had things like 72-hour anchoring limits. However, this new Pilot Program law is supposed to explore possible new laws limiting anchoring in conjunction with mooring fields. The idea being that if you force anchored boats into mooring fields you will be able to control them, prevent pollution, and make money. The latter is often the main reason communities do this. So far only these five areas are allowed to put in place these restrictions, and the laws are supposed to sunset in 2014, but that is all just a smoke screen to try to gradually reinstitute local permanent anchoring restrictions in many areas. You can bet that the localities with these laws will be reporting glowing results from how they have cleaned up their harbors, etc. There will be a lot of local pressure on the legislature to let the laws continue, and we will be back to the old regime of a hodge podge of conflicting local laws that nobody can comply with.
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Old 22-12-2012, 18:47   #6
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

kettlewell - hasn't worked in titusville. the liveaboards used to anchor in front of the two marinas (city and westland) that share the breakwater. titusville put in a lot of mooring balls there, hoping, i guess, to charge the liveaboards for the 'privelege'. but the liveaboards simply moved outside the mooring field. now there are a whole lot of empty mooring balls that cost the city many $$$$...
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Old 22-12-2012, 18:54   #7
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

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kettlewell - hasn't worked in titusville. the liveaboards used to anchor in front of the two marinas (city and westland) that share the breakwater. titusville put in a lot of mooring balls there, hoping, i guess, to charge the liveaboards for the 'privelege'. but the liveaboards simply moved outside the mooring field. now there are a whole lot of empty mooring balls that cost the city many $$$$...
I think most of these places will find that mooring fields are not the cash sea cow they thought. Even Marathon has only been able to keep going by getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the county to repair moorings--the mooring field there, with hundreds of seasonal rentals, is not paying for itself either. Plus, they have now raised the dinghy dock fee to the same cost as renting a mooring in order to try to force more anchored boaters onto moorings.
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Old 22-12-2012, 19:14   #8
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

Like Onestepcsy37 we have been cruising Florida since the '70's and anchoring freely without hassle. Sailboats have been our only home since 1971 and we commonly cruise from Maine to the Bahamas. Along our East Coast US route we find the easiest and most numerous opportunities for anchoring in Maryland, North Carolina and Florida. Free space for anchoring is near impossible in many ports from New York and north through New England where mooring fields totally saturate the available space. We do find some anchoring space dispersed among the mooring fields in Newport, RI, but that's a rare exception. Typical transient mooring rates in New England are $45 or more while Florida mooring are more often $15 to $20. Mooring fields in Florida, like St. Augustine, are restricting anchoring within the field and directly adjacent along the perimeter. I can anchor more easily in St. Augustine than most ports in Long Island Sound, Buzzard's Bay, Elizabeth Islands or Cape Cod. There is not a stretch of more than 35 miles from the Florida-Georgia state line, down through the keys and up the Gulf Coast to Tarpon Springs where I can't find easy free anchoring. Across the "Big Bend" anchoring is slim due to shallow shore access, but then anchorages become available again in the panhandle.
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Old 22-12-2012, 19:59   #9
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

Yep, lots of moorings in the Northeast, but I still anchor almost everywhere--you just need to know where to look! My current home waters are Narragansett Bay to Cape Cod and the Islands, and I haven't picked up a rental mooring in years. But, I have picked up free moorings, which are available in various spots. And yes there are still plenty of places to anchor in Florida--let's make sure it stays that way. I'm not anti-mooring, just pro-anchoring! Cheers.
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Old 23-12-2012, 10:56   #10
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

[QUOTE=Kettlewell;1113078]Yep, lots of moorings in the Northeast, but I still anchor almost everywhere--you just need to know where to look!..........QUOTE]

Yes, local knowledge is the key! This is likely why I have such unlimited success in Florida. I've done better in New England over the years, but when I'm entering new places I usually am frustrated. I spent my $75/night for a Nantucket mooring to spend my time ashore among the hords of tourists. There's a place I'll not be back to, but I'd probably have done much better with some local knowledge. We love Port Washington, Mattictuck, and Napatree Beach, but we gave up on most all of Connecticutt. I remember a trip up to Hamburg Cove and found a total "log jam" of boats in there. By the way, we used to bypass St. Augustine, Florida for the last 15 years before the mooring field. Anchoring had become too risky with all the close packed boats with derelicts among them,- break-aways and collisions. We loved St. Augustine in the '70's and '80's. Only the mooring field has made it a good stop again and it's even easier to anchor there than before with the places often open along the east side of the harbor, usually north of the Bridge of Lions. Beaufort, NC was mentioned in a post above too, as being impacted by moorings and crowded. We quit stopping at Beaufort many years ago due to this crowding. Now we anchor by that "no name" island at Morehead or up at Cedar(Adams) Creek. It's also so easy to anchor in the places that don't have the shore access, restaurants, grocery stores and coin laundries. It seems that the most troublesome spots are where everyone wants to be in order to provision and take shore leave. "Wilderness" anchorages abound!
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Old 23-12-2012, 11:13   #11
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

[QUOTE=CaptForce;1113440]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
we gave up on most all of Connecticutt. I remember a trip up to Hamburg Cove and found a total "log jam" of boats in there.
I spent a couple of months in "09 anchored in the CT River but stayed away from Hamburg cove, for the reason you mentioned. I anchored next to Nott Island across the river from Essex. Good holding and lots of room. You might get an occasional wake from some dingbat that doesn't pay attention to the no wake zone but otherwise it was great. A couple of places in Essex to tie up your dinghy as well.
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Old 23-12-2012, 11:55   #12
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pirate Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

"Wilderness anchorages abound." Yep. Don't think that will change anytime soon.

I get the letter of the law but question, in actual practice, has the "composting" head been tested to be legal? I understand you may have a containerful of solids aboard. But are folks really saving the liquids? In a fuel container? What if you tell the coasties/cops you pee over the side? Or like Doodles does: pee in the sink? Anyone here been through a serious head inspection in So Fl?
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:33   #13
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

Composting heads are actually mentioned in the law as exempt from the proof of pumpout requirement in the Keys. A bunch of us worked the officials hard on getting that in the law, along with an exemption for incinerators too. I've had my composting head inspected by a harbormaster in RI where you need to have an official sticker put on your boat saying your head is in compliance.
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:42   #14
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
kettlewell - hasn't worked in titusville. the liveaboards used to anchor in front of the two marinas (city and westland) that share the breakwater. titusville put in a lot of mooring balls there, hoping, i guess, to charge the liveaboards for the 'privelege'. but the liveaboards simply moved outside the mooring field. now there are a whole lot of empty mooring balls that cost the city many $$$$...
Titusville was the dumbest place to put in moorings. The holding is good and there are no strong currents or tidal action there, not like St. Augustine. In addition there's tons of room outside the mooring field to anchor. Just a short distance more in the dink when going ashore. It's not just liveaboards that avoid the field, most cruisers see no benefit in taking a mooring. In any event if it was to stop the liveaboards there were never that many there to cause any problems.
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:48   #15
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Re: An interesting read about Florida Anchoring

By the way, many seem to like the St. Augustine mooring field off the marina, but it's too bad they decided to eliminate anchoring in Salt Run too. They put in a lot of moorings over there that I understand are not heavily used. There's a new dock open at Vilano Beach that allows temporary tie ups and nearby ashore is a Publix and other shops and restaurants. That would be convenient for those now anchoring up near the Vilano Beach bridge.
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