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Old 23-03-2019, 20:55   #1
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Death of an Anchorage

Over the last three years I have seen first hand why places like Florida get so frustrated with boaters that they institute severe restrictions on anchorages.

Just so everybody knows where I am coming from, we live on our boat full time, and have no land based home. We have no permanent base, and are truly "full time cruisers" ranging from Canada through the Caribbean. We NEED anchorages, because that is where we live. That said...

Three years ago we anchored in South Lake, in Hollywood Florida for the first time. There was one other boat there, another transient boat who came and went in the three days we spent there. It was a great anchorage. Protected, roomy, deep enough for any boat, but not too deep to hook the bottom, and easy to get to.

Now... there are at least 12 boats there permanently. One has even set a mooring, so he takes up far more than his share of the space because he doesn't swing with the anchored boats. There is one boat that has been seized by the US Marshal Service. Others with no sails, many month's worth of growth on their anchor chains, all in various stages of decrepitude. Coming in after dark it is now a real challenge to find a spot with swinging room to drop a hook until morning.

It used to be I thought that all anchorages should be free and open. Now I see how many people there are who are going to take advantage of that. I would absolutely support a rule that instituted a maximum stay of 3 to 5 days to eliminate the freeloaders who have taken over a perfectly good anchorage and basically kicked the REAL cruising boats out.
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Old 23-03-2019, 21:11   #2
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Over the last three years I have seen first hand why places like Florida get so frustrated with boaters that they institute severe restrictions on anchorages.

Just so everybody knows where I am coming from, we live on our boat full time, and have no land based home. We have no permanent base, and are truly "full time cruisers" ranging from Canada through the Caribbean. We NEED anchorages, because that is where we live. That said...

Three years ago we anchored in South Lake, in Hollywood Florida for the first time. There was one other boat there, another transient boat who came and went in the three days we spent there. It was a great anchorage. Protected, roomy, deep enough for any boat, but not too deep to hook the bottom, and easy to get to.

Now... there are at least 12 boats there permanently. One has even set a mooring, so he takes up far more than his share of the space because he doesn't swing with the anchored boats. There is one boat that has been seized by the US Marshal Service. Others with no sails, many month's worth of growth on their anchor chains, all in various stages of decrepitude. Coming in after dark it is now a real challenge to find a spot with swinging room to drop a hook until morning.

It used to be I thought that all anchorages should be free and open. Now I see how many people there are who are going to take advantage of that. I would absolutely support a rule that instituted a maximum stay of 3 to 5 days to eliminate the freeloaders who have taken over a perfectly good anchorage and basically kicked the REAL cruising boats out.
See it in Australia as well, some real shitheaps getting around, essentually dumped and end up aground and sunk costing the environment and taxpayers.
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Old 23-03-2019, 21:14   #3
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

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See it in Australia as well, some real shitheaps getting around, essentually dumped and end up aground and sunk costing the environment and taxpayers.
So many people think that a boat should be like... FREE. They just don't understand that taking care of a boat is a very expensive operation. When it gets too expensive they dump their problem on everybody else.
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Old 23-03-2019, 21:15   #4
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

I am totally against what you say , why limit the stay in anchorage??? Someone should be able to stay as long as he wish because you move doesn't mean other should do.to .

Seamanship is what is missing no restrictions
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Old 23-03-2019, 21:26   #5
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

The problem is any other rule than time is totally impractical. Would you prefer having the local police inspect your boat for "seamanship" as a requirement to stay in the anchorage? That's a non-starter.

And nobody says you have to go far, just to the next anchorage (in this case it is just 1/2 mile away). Bounce back and forth once a week. If your boat is "seamanlike" that ought to be easy. Otherwise you are just turning the bay into a floating (NON)mobile home park.
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Old 23-03-2019, 22:05   #6
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

My son and grandson live near a small harbor where anchoring is allowed. There is no other place to anchor within 20 miles of them. Thus, according to your rules, if I wanted to spend a couple of months at anchor visiting them, I couldn't.
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Old 23-03-2019, 22:11   #7
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

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My son and grandson live near a small harbor where anchoring is allowed. There is no other place to anchor within 20 miles of them. Thus, according to your rules, if I wanted to spend a couple of months at anchor visiting them, I couldn't.
What's your solution for getting shitheaps off the water and from clogging up anchorages?

Apart from over policing and or time limits I can think of no other.
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Old 23-03-2019, 22:26   #8
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Over the last three years I have seen first hand why places like Florida get so frustrated with boaters that they institute severe restrictions on anchorages.

Just so everybody knows where I am coming from, we live on our boat full time, and have no land based home. We have no permanent base, and are truly "full time cruisers" ranging from Canada through the Caribbean. We NEED anchorages, because that is where we live. That said...

Three years ago we anchored in South Lake, in Hollywood Florida for the first time. There was one other boat there, another transient boat who came and went in the three days we spent there. It was a great anchorage. Protected, roomy, deep enough for any boat, but not too deep to hook the bottom, and easy to get to.

Now... there are at least 12 boats there permanently. One has even set a mooring, so he takes up far more than his share of the space because he doesn't swing with the anchored boats. There is one boat that has been seized by the US Marshal Service. Others with no sails, many month's worth of growth on their anchor chains, all in various stages of decrepitude. Coming in after dark it is now a real challenge to find a spot with swinging room to drop a hook until morning.

It used to be I thought that all anchorages should be free and open. Now I see how many people there are who are going to take advantage of that. I would absolutely support a rule that instituted a maximum stay of 3 to 5 days to eliminate the freeloaders who have taken over a perfectly good anchorage and basically kicked the REAL cruising boats out.
The problem is that they have shut down so many anchorages in that area these boats need to go somewhere so they all end up in the same places, which in turn causes the locals to get pissed... rinse and repeat into the next anchorage and it becomes a cascading problem.

St. Augustine just shutdown access to the local park by the waterway so you now have no where to land your dinghy unless you pay the muni ten bucks a day. I'm no fan of the anchorage that most of the boats congregate in but there a few other areas to anchor and they are all equally affected. The couldn't shut down the anchorage because its not within city limits so they went after the next best thing... cutting off access to the city.
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Old 23-03-2019, 23:20   #9
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

Seems somewhat US problem as they don't seem to follow the COLREGs much. Just enforcing the watch keeping at anchor would eliminate all derelict and free loader vessels. Write a ticket and if there's no owner to be found impound..
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Old 23-03-2019, 23:22   #10
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

I don’t have an understanding of all the details in this specific Florida situation, but the initial post got me thinking about a comparison to camping on public land.

In Canada it is called Crown Land. In the USA a similar designation is BLM land (Bureau of Land Management), or perhaps National Forests. In these cases, free (or very cheap) camping is allowed, but there are time limits of how long someone can stay in one location — usually in the range of weeks.

Seems to me there is an obvious parallel. In both cases it is a right of citizenship to be able to use these lands. But this right is tempered by the need to share this commons with others, hence the time limit.

Obviously enforcement is a problem in these cases, but setting that aside, why hasn’t the same standards of ‘free’ but time-limited usage, become the norm with anchoring?
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Old 24-03-2019, 01:20   #11
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

Where I live (Sydney) the marinas are expensive but there are thousands of slots for swing moorings which are fairly cheap. But there are long waiting lists for the best areas (eg near the various sailing clubs, or a beach where you can keep dinghies, or the right side of the lifting bridge).

Which means that no one ever gives up a mooring. They keep these old decrepit boats on them which never move. And people who do move get watched from ashore by people on the waiting list, who dob them in. If you are away for more than 28 days, you get a letter giving you some amount of days to get back or you lose your slot.

I think there should be a worldwide “frequent flyer” system of status points earned for miles sailed. Cross the ocean, anchor off the Sydney Opera House as long as you like. Sail a few times a week in the season - get one of the good moorings. Sail never, get a mooring halfway up a mangrove creek where the bull sharks breed.
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Old 24-03-2019, 02:42   #12
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

Seamanship will save you from troubles with other boats (not your seamanship others too ).
Sometimes you want to stay in a place for months for different reason , moving few miles is not an option , reason can be from family to repairs or because you like the place,so why the time should be limited by laws ??
You know not all boaters have money for mooring or marinas , other do have a money but considering the price and the attitude of marinas the don't like them , so to save you incovenience you just create another inconvenience to another group.
Now about anchor , if the anchorage is full you are the one who should move on or find another anchorage this is how it works and there is no reason to change
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Old 24-03-2019, 03:24   #13
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

We have car registrations, and mandatory safety inspections. We have parking meters, alternate side of the road parking laws, etc. We have meter maids and booting devices and tow trucks.

What we don’t seem to have is a cultural mind set that allows us to apply such tools to this situation.

I know a couple of organizations actively work against Florida anti- anchoring laws. Maybe it’s time these organizations, we the boating community, worked WITH the local communities for our mutual benefit.

(But, then again, we have homeless camps so who knows.)
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Old 24-03-2019, 03:30   #14
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

It's one reason I really like having a very shallow draught. A lot of those shitheaps simply can't get to many of the places we anchor.
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Old 24-03-2019, 04:35   #15
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Re: Death of an Anchorage

I have been involved in the fight against anchoring restrictions here in Florida since the beginning of the FWC Pilot program in 2009. There is a "sticky" in the news and events sub forum that I started back in 2015 that dealt with the legislation they tried to pass that year.

Unfortunately, this problem of "parked" boats will only get worse. The reasons for it are easy to understand. Everyday Florida gets numerous new residents, some of them end up with boats. Housing sub divisions sprout like mushrooms. However, there are no new marinas being built. And in fact, some have become condos and turned private.

Second, the number of old boats that really don't have much value is also increasing. Most people wont pay 5000-8000.00 dollars per year to store a boat worth 3000.00 or less....... Then , factor in the fact that marina fees are increasing, more boats will end up on the hook.

Then there are those people that live on the junkers for free. For some reason, most of these people have a dinghy but only one oar. Not sure for the reason for that, but we see it in every anchorage we visit.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but giving municipalities the ability to regulate anchorages will lead to real problems. There needs to be a statewide solution.

One thing I think we will see is more cities installing mooring fields where popular anchorages are. That way they can regulate the area without having to institute legislation that is currently against the Florida state law. The city of Gulfport has recently just done this.
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