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Old 07-01-2012, 16:10   #1
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Anchoring off a Public Beach

While sitting on the beach with the family (usually NJ, NY or FL) I often think how awesome it would be to have our yacht anchored just offshore. Is this something that is legal? I know there are laws against bringing dinghy's etc on most public beaches but how about anchoring off them? I've never seen it in the US.
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:14   #2
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

i see it all the time here in Palm Beach area
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:25   #3
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

Most often there are buoys marking the perimeter of the public beaches. When Im sailing with the wind off the shore I often anchor right outside the buoys.
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:27   #4
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

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Originally Posted by Blissopia View Post
While sitting on the beach with the family (usually NJ, NY or FL) I often think how awesome it would be to have our yacht anchored just offshore. Is this something that is legal? I know there are laws against bringing dinghy's etc on most public beaches but how about anchoring off them? I've never seen it in the US.

It's legal in Florida, but do so carefully, because it can be shallow pretty far out.
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:40   #5
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

I once anchored right outside the bouys marking a swimming area in southern Maine. Yes I know that swimming in Maine is an oxymoron.

But the lifegard paddled out and in a friendly way warned me not to come inside the bouy line and showed me a good place to land my dinghy if I wanted to come ashore.

In general, anchoring is legal anywher that it is not prohibited (I know this sounds like double talk), like inside marked swimming areas.

David
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Old 07-01-2012, 19:39   #6
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Thanks for your replies. It looks like my daydreams will come true :-)

Dylan
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Old 07-01-2012, 20:22   #7
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

Anchoring off a beach is pretty sweet.

I haven't tried the new sport surf anchoring.
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Old 07-01-2012, 20:27   #8
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

We often achored just outside the marker buoys and them swam to the beach. Nobody ever said anything.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:55   #9
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

On the west coast it's pretty much the norm; all the way from Anchorage to San Diego. The hard part sometimes is landing the dink, either because of unfriendly locals (who believe they have off-shore rights) or the surf's just a tad too high.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:02   #10
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On the west coast it's pretty much the norm; all the way from Anchorage to San Diego. The hard part sometimes is landing the dink, either because of unfriendly locals (who believe they have off-shore rights) or the surf's just a tad too high.
What are these "off-shore rights" you speak of?
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:40   #11
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

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I haven't tried the new sport surf anchoring.
A little off topic, but I'll tell a funny story.

I once anchored in a place called Freshwater Bay, on the Southwest shore of the Isle of Wight, facing out into the English Channel. There's a beautiful beach there. The wind was from the Northeast, blowing directly off shore, and the weather was settled, holding good, so should have been textbook good anchoring.

Well . . . not exactly. First of all, the tide ran back and forth parallel to the beach, so the stream held the boat beam-on to the wind and, more importantly, to the swell coming in from the Channel. There was protection from the wind, but none from the swell. It was pretty uncomfortable, so we rowed out our big Fortress kedge to try to hold the stern into the swell.

Something must have been blowing over in France, because by the morning, the Channel swell had turned into big waves. Really big waves. Where we were, they were reasonably gentle rollers, but not too far inshore from where we were -- alarmingly not too far -- huge breakers were rearing up, and a whole gang of surfers were out playing. You could see how a big set would come along, and completely obscure the view of land from where we were -- you could see nothing but the backs of the waves. Now let me tell you -- when you can see surfers, close enough to recognize their faces, from where you are anchored, you had better get out of there fast.

Which is what we did!

So I suggest that one should be careful when anchoring off beaches!
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:58   #12
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

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What are these "off-shore rights" you speak of?
It's an on-going battle between those that see tidelands as public domain and those that view it as private property. IE, I'm a home owner with "X" feet of beachfront; where is my property line waterside? In most states and Canada this is a point within a specified distance of the mean high tide (usually 50'). This basically means that everything below that 50' mark is open to use by the public (eg boaters, camper, hikers). Some commercial enterprises, (resorts and marinas) obtain "use" leases that may or may not allow them the right of "sole" property use. In most cases though, this is rare and one is only restricted from using "sole" use modifications as mooring balls, docks, etc. The beach and access to public lands is allowable. Keep in mind this is state law and in many cases, cities and townships claim water rights and set their own rules (albeit challengable).
This doesn't stop a lot of land "owners" to claim eminent domain to as far as their eye can see. In high density areas home owners even call the harbor patrol or Coast Guard ("the boats are blocking my view") and the wiley ones call the Fisheries (claiming you're illegally dumping or setting traps). I've even heard of boaters having potshots taken at them. Federal treaties with natives are a different story, although most bands don't take offense, it's better to ask.

Coastal Access Program: Prescriptive Rights Program
State of the Beach/State Reports/BC/Beach Access - Beachapedia
Oregon Coastal Atlas - Coastal Access
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:06   #13
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"Hello.... CoastGuard...???
This is Oriental Moondance... I'm calling to complain about something... I.m anchored of Manhattan Island and theres a load of crap blocking my view of the countryside... please get it sorted... Over"
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:31   #14
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

More people should do the same over here in Australia so I don't get so lonely. I don't understand why so many run to the nearest marina only to miss the relaxing atmosphere you get off beaches.

Then I just can't wait to get a stand-up paddle board next month so I can safely anchor a bit further off open surf beaches and easily paddle in for a few waves. (Oh quick note that it is preferable to do so in a nice offshore!)
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:36   #15
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Re: Anchoring off a public beach

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Anchoring off a beach is pretty sweet.

I haven't tried the new sport surf anchoring.
I gave a big roundhouse cutback into the foam a go at Noosa bar one Sunday arvo a few years back to the amusement of all the tourists gathered on the breakwall. It was pretty cool to pull off the manoeuvre in my 28' + of steel Herreshoff instead of my 6'3" high performance quad fin! I bet the clubbies would freak if I gave that one another go in the flags!
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