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Old 20-12-2010, 11:14   #1
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Anchoring Laws in Florida

The last I read the state anchoring laws in florida had been changed to be more friendly to cruisers Has there been any change since last year?
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:22   #2
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These are the actual statutes for Florida for 2010. Practically speaking, it's a "good cop, bad" thing--If an officer is having a bad day or is just a jerk he can complicate your life. Knowing the statutes is a VERY good idea, though, as just mentioning the relevent statute will make the officer respect the fact that you know your rights.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:08   #3
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Surf over to Claiborn Young's cruisers.net and down to the Florida section. There is lots of info on this subject.

David
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:30   #4
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Starfish:

Thanks for posting the Florida website, but which statute refers to anchoring??
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:53   #5
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The answer is yes and no. A law was passed in the state of Florida which forbids local governments from preventing boaters in transit from anchoring and also forbids them from making their own anchoring regulations. But several municipalities are going against the law and trying to either bluff their way through or are just plain flaunting their own anchoring restrictions. It is hard to argue with a man with a gun that tells you to move on because of some unlawful regulation they decide to enforce. The key provision is that as long as you are not a "live-aboard" you can not be legally restricted. A boat in transit is not considered a live-aboard under the current law. There are a few areas that the FWC has declared "test" areas for moorings and anchorage restrictions for a 12 month period. The gist of it all is to do some research before you get there and avoid the hassle areas. There are still lots of places you can go with no problems. Chuck
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Old 20-12-2010, 14:24   #6
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Does anybody where these test areas are?
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Old 20-12-2010, 14:33   #7
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This might help. Chuck
http://www.boatus.com/gov/GA005FLAnchoring.pdf
and here,
http://myfwc.com/recreation/boat_Anc...lotProgram.htm
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Old 20-12-2010, 14:55   #8
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Whats happened is that every municipality that got slapped down restricting anchoring is starting the process to make mooring fields
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:41   #9
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The Cruiser's net site is: Cruiser's Net and nightOwl is right, several municipalities were trying to control mooring by establishing "municipal" fields. The Stuart field supposedly crashed and burned, but I don't have details. The liability associated with operating a field would be a problem, I'm sure.
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:42   #10
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Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

Chris, if you click on the link it'll take you to the right section. Then just go through the chapter headings. The most onerous rule enforced around here (West Palm Beach) has been the "holding tank" statute whereby the local cops can board your vessel and throw dye in your head to ensure that you are using your holding tank. Hefty fines result. We are USCG documented and can make some noise about being boarded by local LE, but that's a fight you'd probably ultimately regret.

BTW, in our water we have USCG, FWC (State of Forida), Palm Beach County Sheriff, Riviera Beach Police, Palm Beach Police and West Palm Beach Police so there is a LOT of law enforcement out running around. It's really amazing that you can see 6 or 8 different law enforcement vessels from different organizations on any given weekend. Very oppressive.
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:53   #11
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Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

Chris, if you click on the link it'll take you to the right section. Then just go through the chapter headings. The most onerous rule enforced around here (West Palm Beach) has been the "holding tank" statute whereby the local cops can board your vessel and throw dye in your head to ensure that you are using your holding tank. Hefty fines result. We are USCG documented and can make some noise about being boarded by local LE, but that's a fight you'd probably ultimately regret.

BTW, in our water we have USCG, FWC (State of Forida), Palm Beach County Sheriff, Riviera Beach Police, Palm Beach Police and West Palm Beach Police so there is a LOT of law enforcement out running around. It's really amazing that you can see 6 or 8 different law enforcement vessels from different organizations on any given weekend. Very oppressive.
When I have been try palm beach there are a ton of boats there probably good there is some control
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Old 21-12-2010, 11:37   #12
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Just got rousted from Belle Isle North anchorage after three days, some very young cop with an Austrian accent told us we were not in an anchorage. We told him we already spoke at length with the police at the station and that they told us we were fine. He promptly announced that he was the "boss" and wanted us to describe the offending officer. Monty Python couldn't have been funnier. Anyway we moved around the corner and set up our cardboard tent somewhere else.
This whole thing is getting ridiculous. It's good to remember that all these laws that cruisers feel are Gods' Given Right to go where we please and anchor where we please are remnants of an age when marine commerce was much more important and that these laws were written by very wealthy and powerful traders that wanted to protect themselves from local taxes, fees, and duties. Money talks, BS walks.
Well now all the wealth is on the beach in million dollar condos and the cops work for them directly. It is amusing to me that now that I'm retired and have enough money to be comfortable doing whatever I want that I'm being treated like homeless scum by a bunch of people I find I truly feel sorry for. When I get to the third world, I will have the exact opposite problem. Tra la la. And South Beach is fabulous.
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Old 21-12-2010, 12:46   #13
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Just got rousted from Belle Isle North anchorage after three days, some very young cop with an Austrian accent told us we were not in an anchorage. We told him we already spoke at length with the police at the station and that they told us we were fine. He promptly announced that he was the "boss" and wanted us to describe the offending officer. Monty Python couldn't have been funnier. Anyway we moved around the corner and set up our cardboard tent somewhere else.
Did you get the name of the officer? Did you file a complaint with Miami PD? This is highly illegal as long as you classified yourself as a transitioning cruiser. You should let the folks over at Cruiser's Net and boatus foundation know about this.

I also carry several copies of this document aboard http://www.boatus.com/gov/GA005FLAnchoring.pdf

I keep one laminated and easily accesible when an officer of the law comes to tell me to move along.
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Old 21-12-2010, 13:02   #14
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... I also carry several copies of this document aboard http://www.boatus.com/gov/GA005FLAnchoring.pdf

I keep one laminated and easily accesible when an officer of the law comes to tell me to move along.
How often have you been told to move along, and presented the BoatUS document?
To what effect?
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Old 21-12-2010, 13:09   #15
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All of the local law enforcement officers are aware of the state law. The point is that each of these local jurisdictions are looking for a way to circumvent the state law or ignore it and hope that no one has the will or resources to fight it and they are pretty much right about that. So waving a copy of the state law will do no good and I can tell you with absolute certainty that they will tell you that it does not apply in this situation, whatever situation that might be. And they can care less about reprints from BoatUS. Most all of these situations are all well reported on Cruisersnet and Waterway Guide. Chuck
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