Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-10-2006, 07:20   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,904
Images: 1
Anchoring in South Florida

As some of you may or may not know, several cities in South Fla pass laws that do not allow people to anchor in what they call their waters beyond 72 hours. If you stay beyond 72 hours, you will be given a ticket and towed out of the cities waters. The Fla government passed a law that made the local laws illegal and the law was signed by the governor. But that is not the end of the story. As many may know, property in South Fla is very pricey and many very rich folks evidently did not know the law was passed and finally heve spoken. I was at Ft Lauderdale boat show this weekend and talked to a rep of Mfg Assoc about the new anchoring law. 1st i was asked if i belonged to SSCA and i said yes and they were very complimentary of all the effort SSCA put forth to get the new law passed. However, when i asked what to do if i was anchored off Miami Beach and told to move they said move as Miami Beach as been informed of the law but refuses to recognize it and will instead enforce their own law and ignore the state law. The other cities seem to have made it known that they will do the same. The rich folks have spoken - they will not abide by the state law and will make their own. Miami and South Florida simply do not want you here unless you have a million dollar yacht and would just as soon see the entire boating industry down here become a trailer in your driveway boating community - This is suppose to be a country of laws and it is unless you have enough money to ignore them. chuck and soulmates
__________________

__________________
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 08:41   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,140
There was a lot of chatter re Miami Beach's anchoring restrictions last year but when we were there (middle of December) they did not seem to be enforcing it. Anyone know what the situation is this year?
__________________

__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 10:46   #3
jzk
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 639
Are you willing to test the law? The Florida Courts must have a case before them before they can act to enforce the law.

Does SSCA have resources to challenge Miami Beach? If so, anchor there. If they try to get you to move, tell them that the law says that you can anchor there, that you are with SSCA, and that you would love a ticket, so that you can get a Court to order Miami Beach to stop violating the law. Then get a maritime attorney in South Florida to fight the ticket for you.
__________________
jzk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 12:19   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,904
Images: 1
jzk -- i would love to as the don quixote (sp) in me is alive and well -- however the financial is just not there -I use to work for a company that would make a deal to buy another company with a hold back for a year on a lot of money - then they would say they were not going to pay on some bogus or trumpted up charges - the seller would have to sue and the company i worked for had in house lawyers that just drug it out until the seller settled for a much lower amount - their premise - we do not care about right or wrong as we have more $$$ than you do and will drag it out in court until we win.
the cities will do the same and i would die before this ever reached a court room for trial --
chuck and soulmates
__________________
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 12:51   #5
jzk
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr
jzk -- i would love to as the don quixote (sp) in me is alive and well -- however the financial is just not there -I use to work for a company that would make a deal to buy another company with a hold back for a year on a lot of money - then they would say they were not going to pay on some bogus or trumpted up charges - the seller would have to sue and the company i worked for had in house lawyers that just drug it out until the seller settled for a much lower amount - their premise - we do not care about right or wrong as we have more $$$ than you do and will drag it out in court until we win.
the cities will do the same and i would die before this ever reached a court room for trial --
chuck and soulmates
How much is the ticket anyway? I don't think the case would be nearly as complicated as a merger and aquisition case that you cite. As it so happens, I used to practice maritime law in Florida, but I have never dealt with an anchoring rights case nor do I live in Florida anymore, but I am still licensed there.

Truth be told, the last thing the City of Miami Beach wants to do is spend a ton of their resources doing battle with some civil rights organization. I suspect you have more power than you think!
__________________
jzk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 14:14   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
JZK:
Do you know MARK ERCOLIN?
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 14:16   #7
jzk
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
JZK:
Do you know MARK ERCOLIN?
Name sounds awfully familiar. I moved out of Florida in 97.
__________________
jzk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 01:56   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
Mark Ercolin is a maritime Attorney, who writes a column for Waterfront News (Ft Lauderdale).
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 08:12   #9
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Sorry for the length but this is a cut and paste from the SSCA website.


Florida Lawmakers Amend Vessel Safety Regulations
Anchoring Restrictions
In May 2005, the City of Miami Beach joined a number of other Florida municipalities in
passing ordinances to regulate anchoring within their city limits. Miami Beach’s ordinance set off a
firestorm of protest because it’s one of the primary locations where cruising vessels stop enroute the
Bahamas and beyond. SSCA encouraged its members to write letters of protest to the city
commissioners and marine trade associations, such as the National Marine Manufacturers
Association (NMMA), and the Marine Industry Association of South Florida (MIASF). NMMA
represents the $37 billion marine industry; its members count many of us as very good customers.
If local governments wouldn’t listen to us, perhaps they would listen to big business. There’s no
telling how many letters NMMA received, but Chairman George Bullwoar told me he was
installing a full-time lobbyist to work exclusively on state water access issues. As a result of the
combined efforts of SSCA members, NMMA, and MIASF, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed
House Bill 7175, amending several state statutes pertaining to vessel safety. The bill took effect
July 1
st, 2006.
There are three elements of the bill that are of particular interest to cruising sailors.
Statute 327.60 (2) is now amended to read:

“Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be construed to prohibit
local governmental authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations
which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or liveaboard
vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked
boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local
governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of
such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.”
In plain English this means that, except in designated mooring fields, municipalities have no
authority to regulate where a typical cruising vessel anchors, unless they can prove the vessel is not
used for anything other than a residence or place of business.
Bear in mind that Florida defines the term “live-aboard vessel” quite differently than does
the average cruiser. Here’s how Statute 327.02 paragraph (17) of the Florida Statutes defines “liveaboard
vessel”:
(a) Any vessel
used solely as a residence; OR

(b) Any vessel
represented as a place of business, a professional or other commercial
enterprise, or a legal residence
.

A commercial fishing boat is expressly excluded from the term "live-aboard vessel”.
[Emphasis mine]
By co-opting the term “live-aboard vessel”, the state is forcing boaters to alter their
language. Maritime attorney Ted Guy advises cruising sailors who live aboard their boats to adopt
the term “fulltime cruisers” when referring to their lifestyle, thus shifting the responsibility to
municipalities to prove the vessel is a residence under Florida law. There are other formal
requirements for establishing a legal residence in Florida, but this statute is clear: if you
represent

your boat as your residence, a locality may regulate where you anchor.
Florida’s Attorney General expressed his opinion 85-45 as follows: if you use your boat for
transportation or any number of recreational purposes, regardless of how long you stay aboard, it’s
not a live-aboard vessel, unless you represent it as such. In his conclusion he writes: “
Thus, it
would appear that the plain statutory language of s. 327.60(2) and the common-law inclusion of
rights of anchorage as an element of the exercise of rights of navigation compel the conclusion that
a municipality is prohibited from regulating the anchorage of non-live aboard vessels when such
anchorage is incident to the exercise of rights of navigation.”

Cities who want to regulate anchoring may do so by establishing marked mooring fields in
accordance with state law. There are few approved mooring fields in the state at this time.
Hopefully, this new legislation will pave the way for improved access and availability for both
visiting and local boats. Those boaters unwilling to pay for moorings will still be allowed to anchor
outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields.
The statute does
not allow a locality to regulate anchoring by redefining a vessel as a “liveaboard
vessel” after an arbitrary time limit, as Miami Beach does. A locality may
not establish
anchoring set-back requirements from docks, seawalls, or homes, as Marco Island does. Any area
restricting anchoring must be permitted, and marked by approved signage or buoys, as required by
Statutes 327.40 and 327.41. Restricted areas may only be established after consultations between
municipalities, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), and the U.S. Coast
Guard to ensure that restrictions comply with state and federal regulations. Localities are prohibited
from placing any regulatory markers in, on, or over the waters of the state or its shores without a
permit from the state.

Marina Evacuations
Amendments to Statute 327.59 deal with new provisions designed to protect marina
operators. While marinas
may not adopt, maintain, or enforce policies which require vessels to be
removed
by owners following the issuance of a hurricane watch or warning; they may take
reasonable action to further secure any vessel within the marina to protect the boat, marina,
environment, or personal property, and charge the owner a reasonable fee for doing so. In addition,
marina operators may now include specific wording in lease contracts that allows marina personnel
to take measures to remove or secure vessels themselves if owners fail to do so promptly, and to
charge a reasonable fee for the service. The statute also grants marina operators limited liability
from damage, provided the damage is not caused by intentional acts or negligence when removing
or securing vessels.

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels
Several changes will help law enforcement officers cope with the growing number of
abandoned and derelict vessels. From increased reporting requirements when vessels are sold, to
allocation of more funds for removing derelicts, these new provisions will make removal easier, and
inflict greater penalties on unscrupulous owners who abandon their vessels on public or private
property.
Richard Blackford, SSCA Director
- September 2006
New Law Prevents Florida Cities from Restricting Anchorage
Most captains cruising throughout Florida now have a new law on their side to prevent local cities
and counties from forcing them to weigh anchor after a limited number of days. However, the law
will do little good if local governments are not aware of the change.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has asked that SSCA members help
them to identify which Florida cities are currently enforcing anchorage bans so that it can bring the
new law to the attention of local officials.
As of 01 July, the state law now forbids local governmental authorities from regulating the
anchoring of a private sailboat, yacht, or motorboat outside of a mooring field unless that vessel is
the operator’s residence or place of business.
The state defines a live-aboard vessel as: a) any vessel
used solely as a residence; or (b) any vessel

represented as
a place of business, a professional or other commercial enterprise, or a legal
residence. By this definition, most cruising boats are not live-aboard vessels.
The statute formerly required non-live-aboard vessels to be “engaged in the exercise of rights of
navigation” in order to fall outside of a local government’s right to regulate its anchoring. The new
amendment, however, strictly prohibits a local government from enacting or enforcing an anchoring
ordinance against a non-live-aboard vessel outside of a mooring field.
NMMA sought the help of legislators after Miami Beach restricted anchorage to seven days in
2005.
“In truth, local officials ignored the previous law that protected those vessels that are in navigation,
so the boating community needs to do more to force local officials to comply with state law,” said
David Dickerson, NMMA’s director of state government relations. “NMMA will be glad to begin
the process of alerting officials of the new law, but needs to know which cities are actively
enforcing anchorage restrictions.”
If you have been forced to “move it along” while in navigation or gunkholing in Florida, please let
Dickerson know where and when it happened. He can be reached at
ddickerson@nmma.org or at
202-737-9761.
Read the letter below that NMMA attorneys will be sending to offending municipalities:
June 27, 2006
Dear [City / County Attorney],
Our firm represents the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). NMMA is the
nation’s largest recreational marine industry association, representing over 1,600 boat builders,
engine manufacturers, and marine accessory manufacturers. NMMA members collectively produce
more than 80 percent of all recreational marine products made in the United States. Recreational
boating is a popular American pastime, with almost 71 million boaters nationwide and over 13
million registered boats. In 2004, Florida ranked as the top state for boat registrations with over
946,000 boats registered. The recreational boating industry is a substantial contributor to the
nation’s economy with expenditures on recreational marine products and services of over $37
billion in 2005 alone. In addition, the Florida Legislature recently determined that the annual
economic impact of boating on the state of Florida was $14 billion.
Several boating advocates have called to our attention your ordinance related to [insert ordinance
description and citation].
Because of a 2006 amendment to the Florida Statutes by the adoption of chapter 2006-309, Laws of
Florida, we believe your ordinance is likely inconsistent with Florida law effective July 1, 2006.
Chapter 2006-309 amends chapter 327.60, Florida Statutes, as follows:
(2) Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be
construed to prohibit local governmental authorities from the
enactment or enforcement of regulations which prohibit or restrict
the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or live-aboard
vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked
boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40.
However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from
regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields anchorage of
non-live-aboard vessels engaged in the exercise of rights of
navigation.
1

Pursuant to this statutory amendment, a local government’s anchoring ordinance may apply to any
vessels anchored in a mooring field; however, outside of mooring fields, an anchoring ordinance
may only apply to floating structures
2 or live-aboard vessels.3 Prior to the new legislative change,
the law required non-live-aboard vessels to be “engaged in the exercise of rights of navigation” to
fall outside of a local government’s right to regulate its anchoring. This new law, however,
prohibits a local government from enacting or enforcing an anchoring ordinance against any vessel
which is not being used as a live-aboard residence outside of a mooring field.
The issue of whether a vessel is a live-aboard or non-live-aboard vessel is a question of fact relating
to the boater’s intent; the size or type of vessel is irrelevant. Even a yacht with a full kitchen and
sleeping quarters fails to qualify as a live-aboard vessel if the boater does not intend to reside in the
vessel for an “unlimited time” or use the vessel “solely as a residence.”
See footnote 2, infra. Thus

1
Underlined and strike-through language represents the chapter 2006-309 amendments to chapter 327.60.

2
Chapter 327.02(9), Florida Statutes, defines a “floating structure” as a “floating entity, with or without
accommodations built thereon, which is not primarily used as a means of transportation on water but which serves
purposes or provides services typically associated with a structure or other improvement to real property.”

3
Chapter 327.02(16), Florida Statutes, narrowly defines “live-aboard vessel” as “any vessel used solely as a residence;”
or “any vessel represented as a place of business, a professional or other commercial enterprise, or a legal residence.”
In Florida, “[a] legal residence is the place where a person has a fixed abode with the present intention of making it their
permanent home.” Perez v. Marti, 770 So.2d 284, 289 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000). The law requires “positive or presumptive
proof” of the vessel owner’s intention to remain in the vessel “for unlimited time” in order for it to qualify as a legal
residence. Miller v. Gross, 788 So.2d 256, 259 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000).

any ordinance that seeks to regulate the anchoring of a vessel outside of a mooring field cannot
extend to such vessels.
In sum, the recent legislative amendment prohibits local governments from regulating the anchoring
of a vessel outside of a mooring field, unless it is a live-aboard vessel or a floating structure. The
[City of / County] ordinance apparently does not comply with this statute because [briefly describe
why it does not comply using the ordinance language].
Therefore, we request that you review your local anchoring ordinance and determine if you agree
with NMMA that it does not comply with chapter 327.60, Florida Statutes, amended by chapter
2006-309, Laws of Florida. We believe that your anchoring ordinance regulates non-live-aboard
vessels in a manner that is not allowed by the newly amended statute, and the ordinance thus needs
to be amended.
Sincerely,
Wade Hopping, Esq.
David Childs, Esq.
Hopping Green & Sams
On behalf of the National Marine Manufacturers Association
SSCA is dedicated to the protection of Boater’s Rights, including unfair Anchoring Legislation
anywhere it exists. Keep checking the SSCA website for updates on this very important issue which
affects all cruisers and recreational boaters.
Nancy Birnbaum
– Editor, SSCA Commodores’ Bulletin

__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 09:57   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: west palm beach, fl
Posts: 17
Anchoring in Lantana , FL

I recently inquired at the marina/boat ramp area located at the ICW in Lantana, FL. I asked if there were any problems anchoring in the area adjacent to the main water way. I was told that the City of Lantana would visit your boat and ask you to leave and possibly issue a ticket.

This information was, of course, from the marina manager, who has an interest in pays to park and who doesnt. But its a large area and there is a notable absence of any anchored boats

As of now, my thinking is you cant fight city hall. If municipalities want to kick you out, how are you going to fight back?? I dont know. I hope there are those that do know and are able too.

GH
__________________
gharr8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 11:06   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,140
gharr8,

I've anchored many times on the west side just south of the Lantana bridge. No problem although I've always known about the Lantana by-law. Never even been visited by the sheriff.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 11:12   #12
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: No longer post here
Boat: Catalac Catamaran
Posts: 2,462
My first comment is, If it goes to court, how can a judge rule against the new Florida Law?

And then there are hurricanes. When you read the actual new statute, it's clear that everyone caved into insurance special interests. The way I read this, we have now lost the protection of marinas in a hurricane.

It's a 30 second read in the first paragraph on page 6

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h7175er.doc&DocumentType=Bi ll&BillNumber=7175&Session=2006

Rick in Florida
__________________
Tropic Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 11:44   #13
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
The statement that you can't fight city hall is applicable to boaters. We typically sit around and whine about our plight and how we are being harassed and taken advantage of. And if anyone speaks up and says "yes you can do something about it" we just whine and say you can't fight city hall. If you read the entire post from SSCA that I posted you will see there is a source to report any attempts to violate the new law but then again you would have to make an effort to actually make contact with someone or, lord help us, write to someone that might be able to do something about it. But man, that is a lot of trouble and it won't make any difference anyway. Whoa is me.
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 15:44   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: west palm beach, fl
Posts: 17
Chuck,
That was very sarcastic, demeaning and undeserved. To all of us.

Sure, a person can report any injustice. And in the mean time, there can be visits or even boardings from law enforcement? What about citations, the possibility of being towed. The extra time and effort to repeatedly visit city hall. The money to retain a lawyer.

Subject yourself to all these possiblities and keep us posted.
__________________
gharr8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2006, 15:47   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: west palm beach, fl
Posts: 17
Vasco,
Thanks for the reply.

gharr8
__________________

__________________
gharr8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anchor, anchoring, florida

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Florida regulations Harriet Liveaboard's Forum 11 27-10-2015 15:24
Live Aboard in Florida Boot Key Harbor lowryjim Liveaboard's Forum 15 15-12-2008 07:53
Our trip south from Deale, MD to Fernandina Beach, FL exposure General Sailing Forum 7 22-06-2004 13:19
Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Florida lowryjim Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 05-05-2004 18:00
South Florida Sailing bluemarlin Atlantic & the Caribbean 2 09-03-2004 20:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.