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Old 31-03-2015, 15:01   #16
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

TIME OUT!!!

One really needs to understand the other side of the story. I drive down A1A to work every morning, and pass Lake Boca, counting the months till I retire. One morning there was a boat anchored less than 75 feet from the docks behind the homes on the north end of the lake. Judging by the boat, it probably wasn't the owners. He was technically breaking no laws.

While we all deplore government passing stupid rules, when people lack common sense and decency, government tends to step in and make laws. Absent some type of law, one can drop anchor at the seawall. And there appear to be transient boats willing to do so.
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Old 31-03-2015, 15:01   #17
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

We have a couple of people pointing out this is more government intervention. I'm all for less government but regs already exist at the local or muni level equivalent to this state Bill making it duplicative and costly. Hardly less intervention.

Regardless, I can't help wonder how these same people feel about speed limits on our roads, mandatory taxes, etc... All of which also serve as public benefits and the former saving stupid people from their own stupidity.

Still haven't read a reasonable rationale for why anyone wants to park their boat within 200 ft of residential shoreline.
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Old 31-03-2015, 15:20   #18
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

The Bill passed out of the Environment Committee with unanimous support this afternoon; it has just one other committee but the House bill does not have the language about 200' anchorage restrictions. I too sent my letters, here is my letter, which echoes much of what others has opined. In the last day, they added an exemption for "captain/crew exhaustion" - one day limit.

There was comment about the 200' limit, there is hope it will be eliminated in the next committee by amendment. Support will help.

My letter, which anyone who wants to use may snip, snip freely:

Re: Strong opposition to Senate Bill 1548 – Anchoring Restrictions

I urge you to vote against SB 1548.

This is unnecessary regulation that infringes on the freedom of the citizens of the State, without a compelling State interest. It erodes, rather than enhances, public safety.

The restriction from anchoring within 200’ of residential structures will, in some areas, severely limit options for anchoring. My sailboat, with 5’ draft, cannot anchor in the shallowest of waters. When weather requires that we traverse the ICW between Miami and Ft Lauderdale, we currently have only a handful of anchorage options. Removing many of those is untenable – a sailboat motoring at 4-7 knots would require considerable time to reach the few anchorages that would remain legal under this bill, and those anchorages would be in undesirable locations.

The exceptions for safe harbor anchoring in locations closer than 200’ from residential properties are unacceptably narrow – the bill limits it to mechanical breakdown and extreme weather conditions. This does not make provision for the myriad other reasons why a boat’s captain may need to anchor in the nearest safe location, for example:

-Illness of, or injury to, the captain or crew
-Seasickness of guests and their need to disembark and be dinghied to shore
-A need to tend to children on board. Safely overseeing all children sometimes requires the captain’s full attention – which means anchoring so he or she can participate in childcare, such as attending to multiple children while a spouse is changing a diaper, making a meal, or dressing another child’s cuts and scrapes. And sometimes, children just need to nap at anchor without the boat moving, or to have a chance to swim and let off energy. Waiting what can be hours until there is a suitable anchorage is untenable.
-Fatigue of the captain / crew. “Pushing through” while bypassing suitable but illegal anchorages because of this proposed law will cause accidents.
-Dusk. A sailboat, which has to wait for bridge openings on the ICW, does not always make the expected progress. Again, this law would force one to “push through” even if the captain knows it is safer to anchor out of the way for the night than continue to operate the boat when it is hard to distinguish between the lights of boats and the lights of the city.
-Cold rains are not “extreme weather”, but if you’ve ever been on a small open boat in a chilling rain while the wind blows, you know that foul weather gear offers only temporary relief. Once you are wet, you need to anchor in the first available safe harbor, change into dry clothes, and wait out the rains.

Anchorages that are 200’ or more from shore are inherently MORE dangerous locations for anchoring small boats than a site closer to shore.
-The anchorages that would remain legal under this law are closer to the ICW, other marked channels, or near busy commercial locations such as restaurants (which may have boat traffic). Most of the infrequently traveled, safe, quiet hide-away anchorages would be off limits if this law is enacted.
-It is extremely difficult to distinguish between the light(s) of an anchored boat – often just one white light – against the backdrop of a city. This cannot be overstated. Early in my boating career the Coast Guard advised me to anchor closer to shore, further away from a route other boats may take, explaining that my legally anchored boat was nearly invisible against the nighttime Miami skyline. They explained that if a fast, light power boat hit my anchored sailboat, the powerboat would be ripped apart, likely tossing all aboard it into the water. If this bill passes, there will be more collisions at night when more boats are anchored near navigation routes; Miami has already seen fatalities with boat collisions. Don’t create more! It is much safer to anchor in a quiet residential area; there will be fewer boats that could accidentally ram the anchored boat, and anchoring is easier and safer when in a location where other boats stand out from the dimmer house lights.
-Anchoring 200’ + feet from shore means exposing the boat to stronger winds and higher waves. This affects safety; it is not just about a poor night’s sleep. Boats will drag at anchor more readily when exposed to high wind and wave. While I can control my boat (I have a proper anchor and all-chain anchor rode), I cannot control other boats. If you haven’t seen boats dragging at anchor, then you haven’t been in a South Florida anchorage overnight! Dragging boats can crash onto the lee shore, and endanger other boats. Tempers flare when one boat drags near or into another, so the dangers I foresee are not limited to hull damage, but also what happens when one boater reacts to another’s inability to remain anchored.

I surmise that the reason for this bill, which conflates dealing with derelict boats and restricting anchorages near residences, is proposed due to the preference of waterfront owners not to have boats near their houses. I can relate to this – I would prefer that others not park their cars on the street in front of my house. It is ludicrous to suggest that a law be passed to prohibit people from parking on all public roads within 200 feet of a residence; it is ludicrous to arbitrarily set limits on anchoring in the navigable waters of the state without a compelling safety interest.

This bill lacks is an example of unnecessary legislation, and although it is ludicrously titled “An act relating to vessel safety”, it lacks a safety interest, and for all the reasons described above, it creates hazards to boaters. I urge you to vote against this bill.
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Old 31-03-2015, 15:30   #19
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginia Lee View Post
........... I would prefer that others not park their cars on the street in front of my house. It is ludicrous to suggest that a law be passed to prohibit people from parking on all public roads within 200 feet of a residence;.................... .
I'm sure you know that parking is prohibited on some streets and restricted to one side on other streets. Also, in most incorporated areas there is a time limit for parking on the street. In my city it is 24 hours.

I don't want to see this law passed any more than you do but if you're going to make arguments, they need to be reasonable, not rambling.
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Old 31-03-2015, 15:44   #20
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

I guess its the grass is greener on the other side, when the home owner is told he can not park his car within 200 ft of the neighbors lot and his lot is only 200 feet wide what should he do, hey maybe we should have a law that says you can not build a house within 200 ft of the road ............ give them an inch and they will take a mile,

I would say most cruisers would not intentionally invade someones privacy and I can feel for folks who have derelict boats parked behind their property but this law does nothing to fix the derelick boat problem and requires me to have 2-3 football field lengths in which to anchor. There are times this is not a problem but at other times I could be pushing it, might be tired, bad weather or there is no anchorage with in a reasonable distance. The 200 foot rule would eliminate a lot of places where I would normally be able to anchor. Lets not be unreasonable, I would rather anchor more than 200 feet from someones back yard but if I don't have 200 ft to work with, don't fine me for being 150 feet from the shore.

Again give them a inch any they will try to take a mile!!!
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Old 31-03-2015, 16:33   #21
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I'm sure you know that parking is prohibited on some streets and restricted to one side on other streets. Also, in most incorporated areas there is a time limit for parking on the street. In my city it is 24 hours.

I don't want to see this law passed any more than you do but if you're going to make arguments, they need to be reasonable, not rambling.
I hate using street parking regulation as an analogy to anchoring restriction. They really don't work well.

There are very few instances where you have an option of parking a motor vehicle in an area where parking is not specifically allowed. Virtually every place where a motor vehicle can go is either specifically designated for driving motor vehicles or specifically designated for parking them.

Boats, on the other hand, can generally stop anywhere they choose as long as they are not a danger to others or the environment. I know there are places where this is not true, but we are specifically talking about a pending law in Florida so lets work within the current regulatory environment there. In the parking analogy, the navigable portion of the waterway is the road and the shore (and the house on it) is a cliff which borders a parking area as far away from the road as you can get.

I decided to designate the shore as a cliff because I think that most boaters (not all) would only get as close to the shore as they need to in order to not be in danger from the road or other boaters but not so close as to be in danger from the cliff.

The better analogy to an anchoring restriction which prevents the boat from anchoring near a developed area on the shore would be a parking regulation that required you to park closer to the street even if you thought you should (and absent the law - could) be further away from it.
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Old 31-03-2015, 16:45   #22
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

Signed.
BTW how many inland waterways would be closed to anchoring if this passes?
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:00   #23
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

I've read the analysis of the Senate bill. The closest the official analysis comes to referencing it is this, "According to the FWC, in some areas of limited waterbody width, historic anchorages may be excluded by this law or may be decreased in size such that the only legal place to anchor in such an area will be closer to marked or historic navigation channels. "
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:11   #24
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

Sounds like a bunch of "maybes" that I wouldn't care to trust to future interpretation.
Pissed off FWC officers, new home owners screaming to the town council about all those damn boaters on their canal. etc.
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:18   #25
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

It would also help if you wrote / emailed your senator.
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:56   #26
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

This is why our waters are public .The founding fathers wanted all navigable waters and shorelines to be usable by all. Where they came from certain classes of people would claim ownership of the water rights and deny use to others, they did not want that happening here. Don't forget they will allow there mooring fields to be within 200 ft of a shore. So if you stay on a permenant mooring its not offensive to the land owners if you use your anchor and take it with you when you leave it is. You will need more than a football field to anchor in. If the wind is off the shore you will need to be about 400 ft from shore so you do not swing into the 200ft buffer when the wind clocks around. If the shores are less than 600ft apart you can not anchor there, that seems excessive.
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:29   #27
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
TIME OUT!!!

One really needs to understand the other side of the story. I drive down A1A to work every morning, and pass Lake Boca, counting the months till I retire. One morning there was a boat anchored less than 75 feet from the docks behind the homes on the north end of the lake. Judging by the boat, it probably wasn't the owners. He was technically breaking no laws.

While we all deplore government passing stupid rules, when people lack common sense and decency, government tends to step in and make laws. Absent some type of law, one can drop anchor at the seawall. And there appear to be transient boats willing to do so.
I want to start by saying that I am not trying to stir things up. I honestly want to understand where you are coming from on this.

Absent any evidence to the contrary, let's assume that the boat you saw did not belong to the person who owned the dock.

We are also in agreement that he was not breaking any laws.

We are also in agreement that, absent some type of law he could drop anchor at the seawall. You did not mention it but I think you would agree that if he were to tie up to the seawall without permission he would probably be breaking a law (trespass).

Where I'm not following you is when you imply that he was lacking common sense and/or decency by anchoring where he did or why anchoring next to (but not tied up to) the seawall would be a problem for anyone except him.

I think you are talking about the north end of Lake Boca Raton so I looked up what it says on ActiveCaptain about this area. Here's what I found:

"Good anchorage in crowded part of FL. Lots of local boats on the weekends but it is in a No Wake zone. Center of lake is a spoil area - circular channel around the outside. Deepest, least current on North East quarter. Look for CGAUX mooring buoy in this area. Sand bottom - plow or Danforth. Keep scope short during the day on weekends - crowded. Beautiful and quiet during the week."

For now I'm going to assume this is the spot you were talking about. If that is true, here's what I take from the quote above:

  • You cannot anchor in the middle of the lake. It is an area where the spoil from the channel which rims the lake is dumped.
  • The deepest area and area with the least current is on the NE corner of the lake.
  • There is a Coast Guard Auxiliary mooring buoy somewhere in the NE corner of the lake which implies that CG auxiliary boats anchor there.
  • It is crowded with locals on the weekend but a quiet place to anchor during the week.
Again, assuming we are talking about the same general area, it appears that the north end of the lake is the best spot to anchor and since A1A runs down the east side he may have even been closer to the NE if you could see him easily.

I don't have any idea how wide the rim channel or how close to the edge it is but it is very likely that the water was deeper toward the docks than it was toward the center of the lake (where the spoil was dumped) so he was probably anchored as far away from both the dock and the navigable channel as he could get. Again, I'm only going by where I think you were talking about, but if that is true, it appears that he was anchored in a very reasonable portion of a very popular anchorage.

As far as him hypothetically dropping anchor next to the seawall (or in such a way that his boat would swing close to the seawall) - I personally can't think of any good reason to choose to anchor like that but, hypothetically, if I did think it was a good idea to anchor my hypothetical boat in that location I would be very disappointed if someone had preempted my choice unnecessarily.
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Old 31-03-2015, 19:32   #28
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

Interesting string of responses. I saw a few nuggets in there. We have laws that are not enforced. There are laws that are the result of not teaching people responsibility. There are laws that are not relevant to the situations that they are meant to address, so new laws are meant to correct the old laws. PERHAPS we could address this current issue by requiring educational courses and licenses being required. The course would not only address navigation/rules of the road/admiralty law/seamanship, but also the personal responsibility a seaman should take when using a waterborne craft. (BTW, I was originally against required licensing because I felt it infringed on my personal liberties -- but then I see all the dumb people out there on the water who are a danger not only to themselves, but also to others. Now I favor mandatory education/licensing. A license does not guarantee that the dumb people will not still be out there, but at least there will be fewer of them.) I have lived in police states, and I have lived in free states, and depending upon the mentality of the citizens, each fills a need. What is the mentality of our millenium citizens in the USA?
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Old 31-03-2015, 19:46   #29
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

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I love in Fl but not on the water. Why should I sign? I don't want nor ever need to anchor within 200 ft of someone's home not that it is even possible in many places due to how shallow the water is there.
You didn't even read it did you?

"Why should this matter to you? Because, laws enacted in Florida are being considered by waterfront communities as far away as Ontario Canada, even Australia and other overseas countries, and in all of the coastal states of the United States, including the Great Lakes. These laws, if enacted, will create a precedent that could negatively affect your rights to enjoy the waters of your state or province. We need you to speak out and protect boaters' and the public's rights to use the waters of Florida."
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Old 31-03-2015, 20:33   #30
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Re: If you live In fl please sign

Easy solution then. ALL communities imposing a no anchoring within 200ft law MUST provide free marina facilities to all requiring them. If such facilities are not available or are fully occupied then the 200ft rule no longer applies. Let the rich buggers provide the alternative to cruising folk anchoring off their yards..


PLUS, every new law introduced must be accompanied by the repeal of at least two others. Pigs taxiing for take off now...
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