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Old 01-03-2016, 11:49   #1
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Anchoring in Texas help?

Hey guys,

I have the opportunity to get a boat but cannot afford to put it in a marina. Does anyone know the laws of anchoring in texas? I've researched on the web and found nothing. I've talked to Texas Parks and Wildlife and they didn't know and told me to talk to the Coast Guard. I called the Coast Guard and they didn't really know.......im completely serious.

I know you have to have an anchor light on and you cannot be in a channel. Can I leave a boat unintended as long as the lights on outside of a channel?

In a couple of months I'll have the money to get a marina slip but it's just not possible now. However if I do not take this boat immediately, it will be lost.

It won't be unintended every night I'm sure ill sleep on it when I don't have to be at work the next morning.

Thank you so much
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Old 01-03-2016, 13:00   #2
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

I just saw this topic you opened too: Mooring Locations in Texas? Are you posting double or are they 2 separate questions for 2 separate boats?

Regardless, if you cannot afford the marina fees, you cannot afford the boat. Leaving in unattended at anchor is probably not the best idea. Also see the reply in your other topic.

"However if I do not take this boat immediately, it will be lost."

Sad, but so is "getting" a boat you cannot afford.

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Old 01-03-2016, 14:03   #3
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Here on the west coast of Florida 75 miles north of Tampa they have a 'mooring field' with boats being left unattended for months. I am talking about Kings Bay.

I would expect there are similar mooring fields on the Texas coast. Keeping a boat in a mooring field is less expensive than at marina. You will need to get to shore somehow but see if that is an option.

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Old 01-03-2016, 16:26   #4
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Anchoring in Texas help?

I know of no mooring fields in Texas.... I live here.

That being said, there are several boats anchored in clear lake (kemah tx) at the moment, and all but one or two are unattended. And I don't believe there are any laws specifically prohibiting it.

That all said. If you don't have the 300-400 for a slip right now, you cannot afford the boat. Unless this boat already comes with some bad ass anchoring gear all you'd be doing is putting a liability for yourself and a black eye onto every other boater on the area. If you have the cash for proper anchoring gear, you can afford a slip.


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Old 01-03-2016, 17:12   #5
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Thanks for the reply guys. So does anyone actually know the law about leaving a boat anchored in Texas? If there is an actual law, then it must be written down and available for reading by the public. I'll have the money for the marina in just a few months and the boat has all the anchoring gear. I simply want to anchor it out somewhere and stay on it part time until I can get the cash for the marina.

I'm looking for actual laws here.

Thanks again
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Old 01-03-2016, 17:52   #6
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Texas doesn't have Florida like problems in regard to derelict vessels left unattended, so I seriously doubt there are any actual regulations regarding the long term mooring of vessels.

If you're looking to set a mooring, contact the corps of engineers, otherwise if the vessel is properly registered, properly lit, clean, well anchored, and moves occasionally, then you won't even be asked or approached about it.




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Old 01-03-2016, 18:09   #7
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Not familiar with Texas but you have to have a secure place to drop the anchor. Are there protected bays, rivers with enough width to anchor out of the channel and last but not least, what are you going to do with the dinghy when you are ashore. Here in Hawaii, there is a 48 hour limit for anchoring without government approval. Not really a big deal as there is virtually no place to anchor that is safe year around other than harbors/marinas which of course don't allow anchoring.
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Old 01-03-2016, 18:24   #8
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Another consideration: does the boat have adequate eletrical power to support an anchor light? Will you have to leave it on all day if you can't make it out to the boat? Will the batteries survive?
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Old 01-03-2016, 20:53   #9
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

There is a good place to anchor on Galveston Island just west of the I-45 bridge called Offatts Bayou. The place is close to town and has decent holding. You may be able to leave your boat there for several weeks without any issue.
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Old 01-03-2016, 21:20   #10
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Are u near Clear Lake? Baytown? Galveston?

What is nearest to your home now?
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:10   #11
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Perhaps look into a Texas cruising guide, a chart for anchorages or speak with some local sailors on the docks. Maybe even the marina you're planning on moving into. You never know. Most sailors try to help.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:39   #12
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

Take a trip to your local chandlery and peruse any chart books for the area where you'd like to keep your boat. Legal anchoring areas are usually denoted on charts with an anchor symbol.

Also, I agree with what's been said about not buying a boat without having the money for a slip and here's just one reason -- in So Cal we routinely have one boat a year which plucks its anchor in a storm and ends up on the beach. The owner is held liable for removing the boat to the tune of many tens of thousands of dollars.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:41   #13
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

There are many internet sites that will provide you with anchoring information. Try ''Active Captain'', or www.waterwayguide.com. Free information, you should have no trouble finding an anchoring area. Ignore the naysayers, but you do need to buy some anchoring gear and light and battery if the boat does not have it. It sound like you are a ''Newbee'', you most definitely need to bone up on basic boating skills, a lot of which you can do on the internet. (see FaceBook). Start with anchoring and keep that anchor light battery charged. Put a timer on it to save your battery. Also try Craigslist for anchoring/boating hardware. Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-03-2016, 13:12   #14
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

OK specifically where in TEXAS are you looking? There is over 350 miles of coastline and only specific bays that would be deep enough to anchor. IE where is this "free boat" that you're getting? However, I would venture to say if you're in my area (Clear Lake/ Houston off Galveston Bay) there are several boats anchored in Clear lake that I am not 100% sure anyone is aboard "all the time".
Best I know there are NO rules about leaving a boat unattended at anchor although I would NOT recommend it. And I would agree somewhat with the previous poster, make sure you can take on this 'free project' before you take it on. Boats, even free, costs money. However there are always some circumstances where there's a deal just too good to be true. I know of several boats the owners should just give away to let someone else have them.
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Old 02-03-2016, 14:39   #15
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Re: Anchoring in Texas help?

In the bays its not too sheltered. In a lake, put it far from civilization, you''l be ok probably. Offats bayou probably good short term. Outside of the channel it shoals up real quick, say less than a foot for a long ways from shore. In Galveston Bay, ships coming in can wash you ashore, happened to me. I got a potter so it was just a little exciting. Dickenson bay looks interesting.

As I said in the other thread, take a look at google's satellite view. You'll see very few anchored boats smaller than a barge. There is a reason for that.
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