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Old 04-03-2015, 09:37   #1
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Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

A bill restricting legal anchoring has been introduced in the Florida Senate. SB 1548: Vessel Safety would change current navigation laws as early as July 1, 2015, making overnight anchoring illegal within 200 feet of the shoreline of developed waterfront property in most cases, plus other provisions...Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill located in Gulf Coast - Florida | Waterway Guide News Update
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:54   #2
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

In addition to being incredibly limiting it seems to me it has at least one contradiction.


"(c) An owner, operator, or person in charge of a vessel may
not anchor or moor a vessel if any of the following conditions
exist:
1. The vessel is incapable of navigating under its own
means of propulsion as intended by the vessel’s manufacturer."

So, if you have engine problems, you can't anchor as a means to prevent your vessel from drifting into a hazard. according to that.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:38   #3
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
In addition to being incredibly limiting it seems to me it has at least one contradiction.


"(c) An owner, operator, or person in charge of a vessel may
not anchor or moor a vessel if any of the following conditions
exist:
1. The vessel is incapable of navigating under its own
means of propulsion as intended by the vesselís manufacturer."

So, if you have engine problems, you can't anchor as a means to prevent your vessel from drifting into a hazard. according to that.
Technically, that's not a contradiction. It's something you don't like.

Contradiction :

"a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another"
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:42   #4
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

So who do we write to this time?
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:48   #5
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

It's not a contradiction. It's just stupid and lacking in common sense, something that anybody could have predicted when people who sell and own waterfront property, but don't know anything about boats, start writing laws affecting boats.

When I worked for our state attorney general, we used to call it "farmer law" (because of all the laws our large land owning farmers would pay to get passed that we would have to ascribe some after the fact interpretation to, to make them make sense.

Not really a surprise. Anybody reading the way that survey was written, knew it was setting the stage for this.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the Florida FWC and asked them how an out of state transiting boat operator was supposed to know which jurisdiction they were in, and what particular laws that jurisdiction had passed, other than by finding out by violating those laws. They wrote back and actually said, don't worry about it because none of those laws had been passed yet.

I don't think they have even a plan to deal with that.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:50   #6
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
So who do we write to this time?
U.S. Coast Guard. They could stop it if they wanted to.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:52   #7
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Cherry-picking your quotes?

Quote:
(41) “Safe harbor” means taking refuge by temporarily
30 anchoring, mooring, or docking due to a mechanical breakdown or
31 when imminent or existing extreme weather conditions impose an
32 unreasonable risk of harm. A vessel may remain anchored, moored,
33 or docked until repaired, which must occur within 7 working
34 days, or in the event of extreme weather, until weather
35 conditions improve to the point it is no longer perilous to
36 operate the vessel.
There are a number of sections of the code that address "safe harbor". What I don't see, in this proposed bill, is the definition of "anchoring" itself. If my anchor is 201' from shore, and I have out 150' of rode, and I'm swung in toward shore, am I legal?
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:53   #8
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

This bill seems to be much more restrictive than any of the restrictions in the FWC proposal survey. It seems pretty ripe for a court case should it ever pass. As soon as someone is fined they will have standing to bring a case to federal court. When the Feds ceded their control over local waters to the states, they specifically exempted navigation. The supreme court ruled many years ago that the right to anchor is an inherent part of navigation.

To say you cannot anchor when your propulsion system fails is moronic.

I guess it's time to write our representatives again.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:05   #9
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

An even better one is this one:

Quote:
An owner, operator, or person in charge of a vessel may not anchor or moor a vessel if any of the following conditions exist:
...

The vessel has broken loose or is in danger of breaking loose from its anchor or mooring
So I'm already anchored, my rode is showing signs of chafe, and I'm not allowed to put down another anchor?
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:08   #10
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

I'm pretty confident that if a law like were to pass, it would be overturned by a court challenge per the Florida Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine, which defines that navigable lakes and rivers, up to the ordinary high water boundary, belong to all the people of the state...but us cruisers would have to deal with the law in the meantime, which could be years.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:19   #11
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

I do not know is this is a law to restrict cruiser or to restrict derelict live aboards.
There is an area where I live 3 hobo boats have shown up in the last year. Right off the pubic parking areas for a boat ramp. Just hulls with solar panels and portable generators.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:33   #12
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

There trying to find a way to deal with derelict boats.

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Old 04-03-2015, 11:45   #13
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

The first sentence is, "An act relating to vessel safety..." What a load of crap. This has absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with vessel safety.

What we really need is a constitutional amendment that requires proposed laws to be named accurately. Then this bill would be called something like, "An act to protect the view for waterfront property owners."

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba0_1 View Post
There trying to find a way to deal with derelict boats.
No. They are not. Ample laws already exist to deal with derelict boats. The ONLY reason that this bill has been proposed is because a few, wealthy, waterfront property owners complained about their view being spoiled.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:06   #14
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by scuba0_1 View Post
There trying to find a way to deal with derelict boats.

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We all understand, that that is the stated reason. We just aren't buying it.

It seems crystal clear to me from reading that survey, and that bill, that the person who wrote both (and I'm betting the same person did write both), is just as offended by a shiny brand new $500,000 Hinkley with stockbrokers on it, and super models sunning on the front deck, anchored and blocking his vision of the horizon out his back window, as he is with a 35 year old 27 foot sailboat that needs a good wax job with a disabled or retired person on it, pretty much permanently anchored and doing it.

There are plenty of laws already available to deal with derelict boaters. There are not any laws to deal with people who are lawfully anchored, but pissing off wealthy waterfront landowners. At least, not yet.

Carl Hiaasen tried to warn us about stuff like this, but at least he can get his next book idea from this whole deal.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:25   #15
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

It's not only the wealthy waterfront property owners. It's also marina owners. And the towns themselves with this law they're setting up extensive and profitable mooring fields. It's basically privatizing that which has always been public. Marine version of installing parking meters and no parking signs along the previously unmetered public roads.

In the perfect world where any funds generated by such schemes would be applied toward marine public projects I would wholeheartedly support paying reasonable charge for such newly created mooring. But knowing that the funds will be wasted in the general wasteland of state budgets I hope that Floridians fight this tooth and nail.
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