Well, Jim, here's a summary from BoatUS although you might want to note that Florida also puts new laws into effect on July 1st as I
, so this may have changed. And as to marked "anchorages", they have specific rights and obligations which you will find listed in your handy Coast Pilot.
Courtesy of Boat Owners Association of The United States
In 2009, several changes were made to Florida law (Chapter 327) that increased recreational boaters’ ability to
within the state. This law also outlined a temporary pilot mooring and anchoring
program to allow five
localities around Florida to regulate anchoring within their jurisdictions.
This bulletin is intended to help boaters and local law enforcement understand Florida’s anchoring and mooring
laws, and the status of the mooring pilot project
Can local governments restrict me from anchoring?
Under Florida law, boaters who use their boats for navigation
(even if only occasionally) cannot
be restricted from anchoring by a local jurisdiction (city or county) outside of permitted mooring
fi elds. Cities and counties are expressly forbidden to “enact, continue in effect, or enforce any
ordinance or local regulation ... regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboard vessels
outside the marked boundaries of mooring fi elds.” (Note defi nition of live-aboard below.)
Local governments may regulate anchoring within the marked boundaries of properly permitted
mooring fi elds. As of September 2012 these are: Key West
Mooring Field, Ft. Myers Beach
Mooring Field, Fernandina Beach Municipal Mooring Field, Miami
Dinner Key Mooring Field, City of St. Augustine
Mooring Field, Titusville City Mooring Field, City of Sarasota
Mooring Field, City of St. Petersburg Mooring Field,
City of Naples Mooring Field, City of Punta Gorda Mooring Field, and Fort Myers
Beach Mooring Field.
(Existing FL law) 327.60 Local regulations
; limitations —
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit local governmental authorities from the
enactment or enforcement of regulations
which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring
of fl oating structures or live-aboard vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within
the marked boundaries of mooring fi elds permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local
governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring
fi elds of vessels other than live-aboard vessels as defi ned in s. 327.02.
The exception to this restriction are the fi ve localities currently participating in the mooring and anchoring
pilot program which are permitted to regulate anchoring in their jurisdictions (see other side for additional
information on the pilot program.)
Does it matter if I “live-aboard” my vessel?
Full time, active cruisers who sleep on their boats with no permanent residence on land are no longer considered
live-aboards under this law. As a result, their anchoring cannot be regulated by local governments. It is no longer
relevant that the vessel is a boater’s “legal residence,” that term has been removed from the statute.
(from Chapter 2009-86, section 6)
327.02 Defi nitions of terms used in this chapter and in chapter 328.- As used in this chapter and
in chapter 328, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the term: (17)
”Live-aboard vessel” means: a) Any vessel used solely as a residence and not for navigation
b) Any vessel represented as a place of business, or a professional or other commercial
or c) Any vessel for which a declaration of domicile has been fi led pursuant to s. 222.17.
CARRY THIS GUIDE WITH YOU WHILE CRUISING IN FLORIDA AND SHARE WITH FELLOW BOATERS.