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Old 05-03-2015, 07:40   #31
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

I haven't seen the word "Captain" in any of their proposal . Who determines when the weather is good enough to depart? Who makes any decision regarding the safety of the crew and vessel. The Captain is the one ultimately responsible not the owner or operator or some FWC yahoo. Is Florida going to relieve the Captain and take responsibility are they rewriting naval law? What's next is FL going to start telling pilots how to fly and when?
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:58   #32
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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I like it...the cost of a mooring ball in FL will rise without bound like a helium filled balloon.
Hmmm, not sure why there would necessarily be any correlation between the imposition of something like a 200' setback from shore, and the proliferation or increased cost of rental moorings...

Actually, one of the more interesting prospects of the pending legislation, is whether it might require the removal of some of the existing moorings around the perimeter of a tight mooring field like the one at Las Olas, for instance:





Just a WAG, but it wouldn't surprise me if places like Lauderdale or Marathon would grant some sort of 'exemption' for a mooring generating revenue for the municipality placed within 200' of the shore :-)

Certainly, I don't like this sort of development any more than the next guy... But in the overall picture of anchoring throughout Florida waters, being prevented from anchoring within 200' of a developed property is unlikely to affect myself, personally, to a great degree... Sure, I hate to see a spot like Lake Sylvia go away, and I have a favorite little spot out of the current when ducking into Ft Pierce Inlet that's probably too close to shore, but I doubt there's been more than half a dozen times that I've ever had to anchor within 200' of someone's property over the years, and frankly I'm not very comfortable doing so... I'm not as familiar with the west coast, but seems this is an issue that is largely limited to Broward and Dade Counties, overall...
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Old 05-03-2015, 13:10   #33
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
What this legislation should be teaching you all is this:

Cruising/transient boater spending comprises very little of Florida's tourist dollars, and in fact, probably do not revenue as much as they cost:
-mooring fields are usually an exercise in financial loss
-it's expensive and problematic to deal with derelicts
-cruisers are largely cheapskates (don't take my word for it, just read these very fora) and don't spend much money, yet expect all sorts of services


I'm not surprised at all that regulation is happening, I just wonder why it's taken so long
I think you're right about everything except the tourist dollars. Just keep in mind the money spent on marina dockage and restaurants, and other shops by marina patrons. They won't lose this revenue by limiting anchoring.

Personally, my preference is to anchor away from homes and other signs of civilization. If I can't see a building or a light, that's my kind of anchorage.
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Old 05-03-2015, 14:56   #34
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Personally, my preference is to anchor away from homes and other signs of civilization. If I can't see a building or a light, that's my kind of anchorage.
Mine, too. And, if a condo commando can't see you, he can't complain about you.
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Old 05-03-2015, 16:00   #35
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

I suppose I'd like to hear what the rationale for this law is, and why it's OK for a fishing boat to anchor next to your house, but not a cruiser.
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Old 05-03-2015, 17:42   #36
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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I suppose I'd like to hear what the rationale for this law is, and why it's OK for a fishing boat to anchor next to your house, but not a cruiser.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the fishing boat will likely leave before dark and not be there then next day and the next and the next.
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Old 05-03-2015, 18:13   #37
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Most people, I think, including beachfront land owners, who enjoy the view of the ocean, would probably appreciate the sailboat or two that anchor from time to time ... it's really picturesque.

But the beachfront landowners are ready for battle ... maybe because of the increasing derelict problem.

Trashy boats that stay in one place forever are not attractive and far from picturesque.

So, the beachfront landowners, who really don't care about such things as rights-of-passage or legal rights of navigation that include the rights to anchor ... slip their attorneys a little money to spin the cogs of the state legislature to act to protect their "God-given" right to their "picturesque view, even though they only paid for the land to the waters edge(or so).

I can't say I disagree with their fears of what is happening with all those filthy derelict boats that are finding their way to their beachfront, but to suspend federal navigation rights is asking for trouble, cause if they do pass these laws and if there is a federal case ... and they lose ... they'll actually be in worse shape than had they only addressed the real problem with derelict boats in the first place.

I love how people ... almost ALL people, love to tell other people how to live ...
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:46   #38
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I suppose I'd like to hear what the rationale for this law is, and why it's OK for a fishing boat to anchor next to your house, but not a cruiser.
Who knows, but I'm guessing that might be a concession to the amount of night fishing that many Florida residents engage in...

For instance, when running through a stretch of the ICW like that between New Smyrna Beach and Mosquito Lagoon at night, the channel can be literally choked with small fishing boats and 'shacks' engaged in shrimping, or attracting baitfish with lights... The Ditch is so narrow through places like Edgewater, so they're definitely within the 200' setback from the adjacent properties... Also, virtually every dock these days seems to have a high intensity arc light at the end of it, so many fishermen congregate after dark near those lights... The amount of ugly light pollution in many areas is extraordinary, can make piloting after dark a real challenge, and really degrades the nightime landscape in many places, often giving it a more industrial aspect, instead of a residential one...

As I read this pending legislation, I can't help but be struck by the irony that it will still be permissible for some cruiser to park his unsightly Conestoga Cruiser within 200 feet of a multi-million dollar mansion during DAYLIGHT HOURS, but it's only AFTER DARK - when he would presumably no longer be very visible to the offended homeowner - that a cruiser would no longer be permitted to stay there... :-)

Again, seems to be a concession made to the local Florida boatowners who populate the sort of raft-up party scenes that can take place on weekends in a place like Lake Sylvia, while still targeting the more transient cruiser just passing through...

Quote:

The new legislation would make it illegal to anchor or moor a vessel "within 200 feet of the shoreline of developed waterfront property... between the times of one hour past sunset and one hour before sunrise,"...
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:53   #39
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the fishing boat will likely leave before dark and not be there then next day and the next and the next.

I think it probably has more to do with the strength of the fishermen in Florida. It's a lot easier to pass legislation if you don't wake them up.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:04   #40
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Here in the Capitol, this bill (SB 1548 by Senator Charlie Dean) is perceived to be on a fast track this year. On the House of Representatives side, there will be a companion bill filed by the Waterways & Highway Safety Committee (Chaired by Rep. Greg Steube from Sarasota).

I'm new to the forum but not new to cruising. I am an attorney and lobbyist in Tallahassee. I'm also a cruiser, marine engineer, former elected member of the Florida Legislature and a Maritime Academy graduate who does not like to see politicians and special interests erode the rights of individuals to enjoy the cruising life.

The supporters of this legislation are well-represented here. The condo commandos have a lobbyist who has been working on this issue for two years. They were very active in lobbying FWC on the survey that is being used as the support document for the restrictions. The marine trades associations and marinas are represented but they are not opposing this. The cruising community is not represented. The members of the key committees (supporter and opponents of the legislation) recognize that there are some cruisers who sent some emails last year but they also know that they are not represented here in the Capitol. This is not good for the cruising community. It is tantamount to being sued in court but not being represented by a trial lawyer.

The most egregious element of the bill(s) is the 200-ft setback from dwelling units. As someone pointed out in an earlier post, this is not a "safety" issue. It is about preferences by one group who do not want to "see" boats. It is an "us vs. them interest). The supporters have made statements such as "people in a condominium should not have to look at anchored boats full of Canadians who come here without paying any taxes, sit off shore on their boats, and gawk at us with their binoculars".

If the cruising community does not get organized, these bills will pass this year. Make no mistake, each year thereafter, amendments will be pursued to increase the 200-ft setback to push cruisers further and further out to sea. Forums like this can be helpful as a source of interested individuals who can be influential in the legislative process. But, email blasts alone will not win this. The communications by the cruising community must be coordinated and strategic. They must be targeted to the specific committee chairs and members at precisely the right time as the bills move through this 60-day process that began on Tuesday. The online mass communications must be reinforced with one-on-one discussions with legislators and staff on a daily basis here in the Capitol. The cruising community needs to organize a collection of legislators who will be champions for their cause and then position those legislators to help them win.

Jerry Paul, Esq.
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Tallahassee, Florida
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:56   #41
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

One other odd thing about his bill is that they define the anchoring rule by distance to the shoreline: "within 200 feet of the shoreline of developed waterfront property..."

But given the large differences one can see in building setbacks from property boundaries, a boat may wind up needing to be either 201 feet or 500+ feet from a house or building.

Why not define the rule as a set distance to a house or building?

Not that I want to see any of this. . . .
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:30   #42
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by PrivateerAnthem View Post
Here in the Capitol, this bill (SB 1548 by Senator Charlie Dean) is perceived to be on a fast track this year. On the House of Representatives side, there will be a companion bill filed by the Waterways & Highway Safety Committee (Chaired by Rep. Greg Steube from Sarasota).

I'm new to the forum but not new to cruising. I am an attorney and lobbyist in Tallahassee. I'm also a cruiser, marine engineer, former elected member of the Florida Legislature and a Maritime Academy graduate who does not like to see politicians and special interests erode the rights of individuals to enjoy the cruising life.

The supporters of this legislation are well-represented here. The condo commandos have a lobbyist who has been working on this issue for two years. They were very active in lobbying FWC on the survey that is being used as the support document for the restrictions. The marine trades associations and marinas are represented but they are not opposing this. The cruising community is not represented. The members of the key committees (supporter and opponents of the legislation) recognize that there are some cruisers who sent some emails last year but they also know that they are not represented here in the Capitol. This is not good for the cruising community. It is tantamount to being sued in court but not being represented by a trial lawyer.

The most egregious element of the bill(s) is the 200-ft setback from dwelling units. As someone pointed out in an earlier post, this is not a "safety" issue. It is about preferences by one group who do not want to "see" boats. It is an "us vs. them interest). The supporters have made statements such as "people in a condominium should not have to look at anchored boats full of Canadians who come here without paying any taxes, sit off shore on their boats, and gawk at us with their binoculars".

If the cruising community does not get organized, these bills will pass this year. Make no mistake, each year thereafter, amendments will be pursued to increase the 200-ft setback to push cruisers further and further out to sea. Forums like this can be helpful as a source of interested individuals who can be influential in the legislative process. But, email blasts alone will not win this. The communications by the cruising community must be coordinated and strategic. They must be targeted to the specific committee chairs and members at precisely the right time as the bills move through this 60-day process that began on Tuesday. The online mass communications must be reinforced with one-on-one discussions with legislators and staff on a daily basis here in the Capitol. The cruising community needs to organize a collection of legislators who will be champions for their cause and then position those legislators to help them win.

Jerry Paul, Esq.
Capitol Access
Tallahassee, Florida
This is interesting information, but the rules of the forum prohibit political activities. Traditional lobbying efforts on behalf of cruisers in Tallahassee have been the Seven Seas Cruising Association and Boat US. I am surprised that neither of these groups seems to have gotten their act together on this yet. I have already written my representatives to oppose this bill. It's interesting to see that the condo commando's are now targeting Canadians.

Since you are a lawyer and have volunteered your opinion on this perhaps you would be willing to volunteer another opinion. It is my contention that the state of Florida nor any other state for that matter has no right to restrict anchoring. The basis for this contention is that when the federal government ceded rights to manage navigable waters to the states they specifically exempted matters of Navigation from the rights ceded to the states. Furthermore the Supreme court of the US has held that anchoring is an inherent part of navigation.

43 U.S.C. 1311(a). The Act also provided that "[n]othing in this subchapter ... shall affect the use, development, improvement, or control by ... the United States of said ... waters for the purposes of navigation ..." 43 U.S.C. 1311(d). [FN2]

When I lived in NC the City of New Bern successfully had a bill passed in the US congress that declared a section of the waters adjoining the city as "non navigable waters for the purposes of the law" so that they could regulate anchoring and other activities within the boundaries of that area. It would seem to me that any Florida municipality or even the state would have to get a similar bill passed by congress if they wanted to regulate anchoring.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:51   #43
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

It's rich people upset that someone is enjoying their view too, and for free. They knew buying their water front property that boats are on the water like cars are on the road. So they push to keep boats off the water in front of them. I live two blocks from a road with four lanes. Let's push for legislative changes that move the road away from my house into another neighborhood, preferably the poorer one nearby. "**** everyone except me. I'm rich and you are not."
There was a neighborhood of wealthy persons here in Jacksonville, Fl that did just that. The city re-routed a road out of their neighborhood. Yep, unless every boater in America floods these legislators mailboxes with complaints against such a blatantly outrageous insult to liberty, freedom and the means by which the Americas were discovered and populated you will not be able to anchor in Florida ever again without paying an arm and a leg.


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Old 07-03-2015, 07:12   #44
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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I think it probably has more to do with the strength of the fishermen in Florida. It's a lot easier to pass legislation if you don't wake them up.
And, their lobbying arms like the GCCA (which I belong to) who can match cash for cash when it comes to paying for legislation and renting legislators.

Google "recreational fishing associations" and see how many pop up.

But, it shows, that money talks. Cruisers just don't have enough members to fight with real estate broker and condo association money.

When I go to our GCCA meetings, there are hundreds of people there some nights. And, I live in a really small town. And, they hand out GCCA organization stickers like candy and you see them on every other car in town driving around. So do the politicians.

If I were to organize a cruisers association in the same town, we would probably be lucky to have 4 people show up at a meeting. And, my wife and I would be two of them.

Again, it's all about money, nothing else. Like it always is.
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:17   #45
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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43 U.S.C. 1311(a). The Act also provided that "[n]othing in this subchapter ... shall affect the use, development, improvement, or control by ... the United States of said ... waters for the purposes of navigation ..." 43 U.S.C. 1311(d). [FN2]

When I lived in NC the City of New Bern successfully had a bill passed in the US congress that declared a section of the waters adjoining the city as "non navigable waters for the purposes of the law" so that they could regulate anchoring and other activities within the boundaries of that area. It would seem to me that any Florida municipality or even the state would have to get a similar bill passed by congress if they wanted to regulate anchoring.
I think you're right. However, there is a second way for a state to pass legislation affecting federal navigable waters. That is, to just pass it, in contravention of the federal laws, and see if anyone has the gumption, money, time and inclination to fight them.

I think complaining to the Coast Guard in written protests is probably one way to try and stop it. I know where I live, the state contracted to build a non-opening bridge over a bay here, and when a boat builder whose navigation of the waters would have been affected by it complained to the Coast Guard, that alone was enough. The Coast Guard ordered them not to build the bridge unless they either put a drawbridge in or built it 20 feet higher. The state howled, and said the Coast Guard couldn't tell them what to do, and complained that it was going to cost millions more if they complied with the Coast Guard order, but that bridge is now the height the Coast Guard told them they had to build it at.
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