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Old 26-07-2011, 11:57   #1
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Anchoring and Cruisers' Responsibilities

As we all know, anchoring is becoming a problem in a number of jurisdictions, not just Florida. One of the major issues perceived from the shore is that of derelict boats and even more derelict boaters - i.e., vessels with decks replete with junk, dirty, with laundry hanging from the lines, etc. etc.
The problem here is not so much a boating problem as a social services one, as the 'boater' is poor, possibly has a mental illness or a substance abuse problem and would, in other circumstances be in a homeless shelter or under a bridge.
How can we, as cruisers, address this problem. I'm looking for ideas as I intend to bring this up in a larger venue. The ultimate goal is to focus thinking away from this being perceived as a 'boating' problem so that the 'solutions' - such as anchoring restrictions etc. - aren't causing us difficulties.
Thoughts, ideas, comments?
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Old 26-07-2011, 12:22   #2
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

Since the Federal Govt. has jurisdiction over navigable waters it's basically their responsibility to work out anchoring rules with the input of various communities. This attitude boaters have that they can do as they please wherever they want just doesn't work. I'm in favor of broad anchoring privileges for boats in transit, but if you stay for extended time period in a community, that community has a right to control where you anchor and how long you stay.
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Old 26-07-2011, 12:35   #3
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

This is a problem that has plauged mankind since there was mankind, and if anyone has a solution they will win the nobel prize every year for life because the root cause is mankind. Since we are our own root cause all we can do is throw bandaids at the symptoms. An example of one such bandaid takes place up in Vancouver B.C. where they enjoy a brisk tourist industry and don't want the homeless and drug addicted compromising the attractions of the city. So the local government in tandem with the local law inforcment have created a zone set appart from the mainstream areas where the fore mentioned folk can do their thing with a small measure of impunity provideing they keep a VERY low profile and no one gets out of hand. It's still illeagal and if there are any problems the obvious will insue. This is what we were told by a local up there after wandering of the beaten path and observing frequent drug deals going down on the streets in a paricular area. How do you apply this to harbours and such? No answer here but perhaps someone with more social engineering background could use this as some kind of model.

My .02
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Old 26-07-2011, 13:09   #4
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

IMHO, others have the same right to anchor as me. If these others are messy or a danger to anything then the government has the tools to kick them one out of the anchorage. Right?

Now, closing down anchorages because some of us are messy, dangerous or whatever is simply a stupid govt overusing its powers. Such a government should be gotten rid off and substituted with a good one.

Thatīs what we can do about it.

Perhaps we can also row our dink to the messy one and check out whatīs wrong with them.

b.
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Old 26-07-2011, 13:17   #5
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

This is a complicated problem but for the sake of conversation I'll throw out what I see to be the two main solutions to "derelicts". De-derelictize () them or remove them.

De-derelicting a boat may come in the form of financial or physical assistance or a little govt. motivation for the owner/dweller to clean things up a bit. Offering help seems like it would be very difficult, rarely successful, etc. etc. Assistance could come from individuals, the cruising community or land based communities (regional, state, federal). Government enforced motivation in the form of new laws/regulations and/or enforcing restrictions that are already in place might encourage de-derelicting in some cases but more likely would simply be a tool for removing these boats from the waterways. Similar to cars that use the highways annual inspections could be put into place and required as part of registration with registration required to be on the water, etc. etc. This would be expensive for the powers that be to put into place, etc.

Removing the derelicts brings with it the risk of removing "cruisers" too and it can be difficult to decide which camp some would fall into. Is an otherwise nice boat with an inconsiderate dweller aboard a derelict? Is a crappy looking boat with a responsible citizen about who does their best with what they have a derelict? etc. etc. We've learned that even bright lights, loud music and threats don't get rid of unwanted visitors in some anchorages so even if you can decide who should go how do you get rid of them short of clearing out the anchorage altogether or putting in an expensive mooring field or simply kicking everyone out?

As for what cruisers can do it seems like spending time/effort/money to help with derelict/abandoned boats, and when possible boaters, would be the most direct way to improve the situation. Beyond that direct approach the cruising community could possibly help develop a set of rules and restrictions that are designed to keep unsafe/uncared for/etc. boats off of the water. These rules could be passed on to the relevant govt. institutions in hopes that could be used in a just and fair way to keep our waterways safe and clean. (that last sentence makes me think "yeah right" but perhaps it is possible?)

I'll reiterate the question of how do you decide who is a derelict and who isn't? It's been a free-for-all approach in many ways but that seems to be on the way out, wether we like it or not. There is a lot of good in the free-for-all approach in my opinion, and in keeping the rules and regulations to a minimum. In the end I'm not sure if more rules and regulations would do more harm or good no matter how well intentioned and written.

It's definitely a worthwhile pursuit in my opinion and in the interest of cruisers to try and improve the situation as possible. I wish you the best in your efforts and hope to help if possible.

Jonathan
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Old 26-07-2011, 13:41   #6
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

The National Park Service and the BLM do a wonderful job regulating the public use of our National Parks and Federal lands. Why not take the same approach to our waterways? Wouldn't be great to pull up to say Sanabel Island and find a public mooring field and anchoring area with a dinghy dock, public bathrooms and showers, picnic area, etc. well patrolled for $20 a night? We get that when we go camping in the mountains and it works just fine.
As for the homeless, I must say the living on a boat is entirely inappropriate for folks who need close monitoring by health and social services. I know all that can be really expensive and a burden to the community, but we are responsible for those less fortunate then us.
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Old 26-07-2011, 14:19   #7
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

here in the California delta, its become a real problem. and for someone on little or no income, it works.. the only anchoring restriction is not to anchor withing channel markers or on private land which we have a lot of here.. Many sloughs were built or dredged for the purpose of maintaining water for the farmers..
The down side, the boats are just barely above water.. and when they sink, they're abondon, and the same person goes out and finds another to become his or her home.. the delta is littered with abandon sunken boats..
The counties around here have passed an ordiance concerning dumping of waste water which is somewhat curing the issues.. because we are an inland water, a legal holding tank is required on all boats, and the person anchoring must have on board , recepts paying for the dumping of the tank withing the last two weeks..... they will let you go the first time but the second time, they'll write you up..
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Old 26-07-2011, 14:36   #8
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
The National Park Service and the BLM do a wonderful job regulating the public use of our National Parks and Federal lands. Why not take the same approach to our waterways? Wouldn't be great to pull up to say Sanabel Island and find a public mooring field and anchoring area with a dinghy dock, public bathrooms and showers, picnic area, etc. well patrolled for $20 a night? We get that when we go camping in the mountains and it works just fine.

That would be awesome and you do get it when you go to the BVI's and USVI's. But it's a mighty big water world out there and nearly impossible to effectivily regulate.

As for the homeless, I must say the living on a boat is entirely inappropriate for folks who need close monitoring by health and social services. I know all that can be really expensive and a burden to the community, but we are responsible for those less fortunate then us.

I agree with you on this. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who don't feel any repsonisbility for those less fortunate and would prefer to put them on derelect boats and set them adrift, but NIMBY.
This is a good topic. I don't think there's a good answer.
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Old 26-07-2011, 15:09   #9
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

One obvious solution to stop people from dumping their boats is to make everyone register their boat and also post a disposal bond to indemnify communities that have to clean up these boats. The bond is either renewed every year or the owner must prove he disposed of the boat properly or sold it to someone else. If the bond is big enough, people will comply.
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Old 26-07-2011, 15:37   #10
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
One obvious solution to stop people from dumping their boats is to make everyone register their boat and also post a disposal bond to indemnify communities that have to clean up these boats. The bond is either renewed every year or the owner must prove he disposed of the boat properly or sold it to someone else. If the bond is big enough, people will comply.
The honest man will regester and comply but the derelict dosent care and the boat he has probably hasnt been regestered in years.. If you take it away from him, he'll be back next week with another......
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Old 26-07-2011, 15:54   #11
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Wow. I think the state of Florida finally found a solution to this. You are allowed to anchor for a couple of days but not permanently. It's designed to meet the needs of the cruisers and homeowners. It is not supportive if full time liveaboards. We also had a problem with abandoned boats. They had them removed and sold at police auction. Seemed like a reasonable solution.
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Old 26-07-2011, 15:56   #12
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

gated communities at sea!!
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Old 26-07-2011, 17:02   #13
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
IMHO, others have the same right to anchor as me. If these others are messy or a danger to anything then the government has the tools to kick them one out of the anchorage. Right?

Now, closing down anchorages because some of us are messy, dangerous or whatever is simply a stupid govt overusing its powers. Such a government should be gotten rid off and substituted with a good one.

Thatīs what we can do about it.

Perhaps we can also row our dink to the messy one and check out whatīs wrong with them.

b.
That's right! You don't shut down an entire neighborhood because somebody living on welfare doesn't cut their grass or keep their house painted. You either help them out or live with it, or move....

I can understand Local jurisdictions making rules, but the rules don't seem to be very fair when it's either pay up or get out...

What to do about it? Either start actually fighting, which actually takes work... or not.

The whole concept of somebodies dirty hull, non-painted decks, and laundry hanging on lifelines, equalling derilict status is absolutely absurd. The people that feel that way have never tried to live at anchor, and the people at anchor are not all poor or homeless, they are just doing things differently.,,

I'm anchored right now across from a megayacht and inbetween two other 30 footers that look like they've planted roots. Nobody complains, because this is a boating community and boats of every imaginable description come through here. There's fishing vessels that look like their half sunk, but keep working... theres mega-yachts, marina's filled with regular old boats and cruisers, and the very few, anchorors...

I can't imagine a boating community being any less than this (although I know it's rare). I find it hard to believe the problem is shorebased. It's based on expensive cruisers complaining about poor cruisers (fact!). People spend thousands of dollars on their boats and thousands of dollars on their slips, then some loner comes in and quietly anchors out without spending a dime, and people start to complain.

The people on shore can't tell the difference. Maybe if you're anchored right in front of somebodies house or something, but I in a place that's mostly city, or mostly boats, the shore based people are not the one's complaining.
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Old 26-07-2011, 17:30   #14
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

Callmecrazy, I must have passed you on your way south yesterday, I came from Hampton to Deltaville..small world.
Everyone, thanks for your comments, keep them coming. Some excellent thinking here, and it will be a great help.
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Old 26-07-2011, 17:41   #15
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Re: Anchoring and Cruiser's Responsibilities

Hey Canuck! I didn't pass very many boats so I probably actually saw you. If you get a chance, Stop in Oxford on the eastern shore, great place to visit! Am I right about Hampton? or I'm just blissfully ignorant?

I didn't read the thread... but to answer the original question...As far as a solution goes, I can see jurisdictions restricting truly abandoned boats, but there seems to be some confusion on what a deralict boat actually is. As far as I can tell, if a person is living on a floating boat, it's not a deralict. If it's registered, and floating, it has every right to be the waterway as the $300,000 motor yacht passing through or the guy paying for a slip next door.

Put up a few docks and line all the derelict boats up and nobody complains about the scenery, but let them swing at anchor and suddenly its obtrusive and ugly....

I'm no politition, but it seems like it shouldn't be that difficult to deal with truly abandoned boats. It's the "derelict" status of people living at anchor where things get murky. But it's no different than other communities. The problem is simply a lack of community, or a lack of understanding. As with most politics, education combined with outspoken action is the only way to solve anything...
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