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Old 21-08-2014, 07:36   #166
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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FL boaters unite is a good title. It describes all persons on a boat in FL waters.
I think Unite is a presumptive title, assuming all Florida boaters will feel the same.

As to why Florida has the issue more than perhaps other states, it's fairly simple. We have more boats. We have more anchorages. We have more homes along the water. We have more cruisers visiting. We have more abandoned derelict boats. But the problem exists in other states and various cities have tried things. A state determination can do two things: It can give the cities more power or it can limit the power of the cities. I've seen towns up and down the east coast have skirmishes over these issues. Big and small. What about Oriental? That introduced another element as the boaters in question were not legally in the country and we common petty thieves and scam artists. We have recently been in the PNW. Washington has problems with boaters not paying fees and registering when coming from other states and with abandoned vessels. They have a lot of derelict old fishing boats. And the state has a program, an expensive one to remove and crush and destroy those boats then haul the remains away.

Florida has at least been attempting to address parts of the problem. They had a pilot program rather than let towns go wild with their own rules. At least something to evaluate and it didn't change the entire state.

Also, Florida, like every state, will have some people who are extremists on any issue. Thankfully, those extremists rarely get their way. Sometimes however they do force discussion that is appropriate. I am surrounded by boats. Anchored. Docked. Everywhere. Shoreline is a wall of boats. Larger canal is active. Yes, if a derelict boat was anchored in front of my home and abandoned, was taking on water, appeared it could sink anytime, I would be upset. Similarly I would be if a derelict but not abandoned boat was there and their sewage was being illegally dumped and washing to my dock while they were drunk nearly every night, tossing paper and cans out, getting into loud and obnoxious fights, setting off an air horn and screaming profanities everytime a boat passed.

Fortunately 99% of cruisers are a pleasure. That other 1% is the part that threatens to ruin things for the majority.
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Old 21-08-2014, 07:43   #167
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Concerned Cruisers Committee (CCC) has created an online survey to gather thoughts and opinions on Florida anchoring rights and the process being undertaken to propose draft legislation to allow municipalities to restrict anchoring in the state public waters within their geographical boundaries. The survey is anonymous (or not, it's up to you), and should take about 10 minutes to complete. Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SSCAANCHORING2014

I think the idea is to have representatives at the Sept. FWC meetings submit the comments and statistics...hopefully there will be a healthy number of them.

I also posted a new article this morning at WaterwayGuide.com with some background and article links (and links to the survey): Let your voice be heard! Potential Florida anchoring restrictions | General | Waterwayguide.com News Updates
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Old 21-08-2014, 07:58   #168
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Survey taken.
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Old 21-08-2014, 08:39   #169
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

I think some folks in this discussion have missed an important point by saying this is an issue for Florida residents only. These regulations will have an adverse affect on the many thousands of boaters from all over the U.S. and international ports, that come to Florida to enjoy the winter weather and cruise on their boat. None of them are Florida residents, but all will be affected. This becomes a boaters issue and not just a Florida residents issue. Most residents keep their boats in a marina or tied to their dock, except the few that have taken up permanent residence on the water. These regulations will have little affect on the residents of Florida, but a large affect on those visiting by boat. So let's keep this in perspective during these discussions. That's why a call to action from all boaters, not just those in Florida, is needed to respond to these attempts to regulate all boaters. Chuck
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:47   #170
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Concerned Cruisers Committee (CCC) has created an online survey to gather thoughts and opinions on Florida anchoring rights and the process being undertaken to propose draft legislation to allow municipalities to restrict anchoring in the state public waters within their geographical boundaries. The survey is anonymous (or not, it's up to you), and should take about 10 minutes to complete. Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SSCAANCHORING2014
[/url]

Survey completed. Inviting others to share their views.
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:50   #171
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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This becomes a boaters issue and not just a Florida residents issue.....These regulations will have little affect on the residents of Florida, but a large affect on those visiting by boat. So let's keep this in perspective during these discussions. That's why a call to action from all boaters, not just those in Florida, is needed to respond to these attempts to regulate all boaters. Chuck

+1...
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Old 21-08-2014, 18:05   #172
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

I have tried not to post this but....

After reading the logic of how this is not a FL issue because folks spend time here, we should apply that logic to other issues.
  • All those New YAWKERS who change planes in Atlanta give them a vote in GA politics.
  • All those folks who live in one state and work in another paying taxes to their non-resident state, should also get to vote in both states.
  • Finally, those non-US citizens with second homes in the US? They should get to help elect our next president.
Clearly this post is a tad tongue in cheek - my goal was to show how the logic just doesn't work. And is contrary to the way The Constitution was written.

We need a smiley showing someone diving for cover :>)
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Old 21-08-2014, 20:58   #173
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Well, my opinion as a Florida resident and property owner is that I want to hear from the non-resident cruisers. I figure there may be something worth listening to. Yes, as Floridians we have the vote, but it's wise to listen and make informed choices.

I've talked to cruisers from other states to get their opinions. I've tried to find out how they felt about the Pilot locations and how well that worked or how poorly. No, I don't listen to those who have never been, but I do care about the opinion of the cruisers who tried them. We're a tourist state. Visitors are our lifeline in many ways. Certainly our customer. I want to know what the customer thinks. Ultimately I'll express my opinions as I have on this, but I do gather all the input I can first.
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Old 21-08-2014, 22:08   #174
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Well I'm a Florida resident but an immigrant here on a Green Card thanks to marriage to an American. we were liveaboards in Florida, but not on anchored derelicts, we had a 47ft trawler in the same marina we now keep our 35ft sailboat but we now live on land ( thanks to my having a stroke 2 years ago), Our new dirt home is a condo complex overlooking theICW and in fact overlooking a passage anchorage used by many on their way up/down the Ditch. Now as a legal alien, but still a British Citizen, I can have NO vote in the USA not even in Florida which is my permanent home. None of which stops me from having an opinion however.

IN my case I WANT to cruise the east coast, not just in my home state of Florida but that too and I prefer to anchor especially over paying exorbitant overnight fees for using a marine parking lot, unless by choice for provisioning or maintenance reasons.

I don't like to see abandoned uncared for vessels, wherever they may be. We had one such, a small shoebox style houseboat sink in front of our condo a few weeks back. We informed the local CG who came and looked and apparentlycontacted the owner because next day several young adults arrived by dinghy, filled it with plastic barrels, put a big motorised pump on the above water bit ( the roof was showing about 1ft) and eventually succeeded in raising it enough off the bottom to tow it away. 10 days ago it returned, apparently now watertight, repainted and with an ancient but working outboard on the back, this time too it has a working anchor light showing at nights but nobody appears to live on it although occasionally someone from an anchored motor yacht nearby appears to go check on it, as he also does with a smallish sailboat anchored in the same area but apparently unused and with it's mast laid on deck, it too has anchor light at night, which looks like a cheapo solar garden lamp We have no idea what this boat or the others are, maybe somebody buys on Craig's list and lets them out to rough sleepers or sells them on, whilst parking them for free at anchor? A worse case scenario is that one or more is another floating Meths Lab like the one local police found anchored just a quarter mile away a couple of months back. You might understand why we have some concerns but at the same time do not want to restrict others from anchoring in the area whilst passing through. There must be some sensible way of monitoring and controlling derelicts or potential ones without heavy handedly banning anchoring for everyone else.

So there you have my views, probably irrelevant as I'm only an unimportant retired import from the other side of the pond. We will be monitoring things of course and if all else fails we may just up sticks and migrate to a better place, somewhere more welcoming with less of bad atmosphere ( ideas on a postcard appreciated)
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Old 21-08-2014, 22:38   #175
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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Take for example the "rustic" sailboat that has been anchored in Lake Boca for a few months. If that boat breaks free, the local PD will need to secure it, haul it and deal with the owner. If the thing tears loose on an outgoing tide it will snag on the bridge... Once again a FL resident expense.
ummm, sorry, I thought their mandate was to protect and SERVE!

not to mention they're salaried.

next!
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Old 21-08-2014, 22:46   #176
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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RICH NIMBYS with fingers well inserted in local politics? (NIMby=Not in MY back yard)

THere is a free handout leaflet on 'Preemptive derelict Vessel program' from Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission that I picked up in our marina recently which defines a derelict as 'must be left, stored or abandoned in a wrecked or substantially dismantled state. it says too it must have a legal anchor light sunset to sunrise (that could catch a few round here), it must be currently registered.

see some info here Derelict, Abandoned & At Risk Vessels
IF done in a timely manner by the lcoal cops.. the tagging and bagging and removal of a true derelice takes about 6 mos start to finish. In real life it is more like a yr or two. A lot of it is subjective in the beginning.. Unless is is obivously sunk or abandoned.
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Old 21-08-2014, 23:51   #177
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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THE big reason Fl has so many issues is seemingly most of the people you speak of from the North East, don't stay there, they come to Florida
Well I HAD TO chime in. So far the vast majority of your posts on this thread show a complete lack of knowledge of the whole anchoring issue, currently and historically. Not to mention... that comment about charging to remove a derelict.. Florida is way ahead of you on that one.
However, if you do your due diligence on this board alone starting back in 2004. The anchoring issue here in Florida has been extemsively debated to the point that the horse was flayed to the bone.

Many individuals and boating rights groups worked with the FWC to come up wtit something that was and is viable to the boaters of this state. At the very end, some other stuff was added by power brokers.. cannot offhand remember what but it was not favorable.

Southwindssailing.com covered this whole conundrum extensively.. IF they have an archive its worth reading a lot of the letters to the editor.. the best part of the mag in my opinion.

The cliff notes version is pretty simple. Back in 2003 or 4 Naples Island passed an ordinance that said you cannot anchor in Factory Bay more than 72 hrs at a time.. Guy with a high dollar trawler and a lawyer challenged the law. He won and with that win ALL the onerous local anchoring laws that had been in place for many years were gone. So the FWC stepped in to actually do something that worked. Pilot Program has worked in fact. It has taken a long time to get them all in place. St Pete did not get is ordinance finally written until 2011. The state has been great at working with boaters. They realize the huge impact that boating makes on this state. I am in agreement with keeping our current anchoring ordinance.. too many of us, including me, worked too hard to get it where it is today to go back to what it was.

Do you even live here? It seems to me from the things you say in this thread you must think we Floridians are backwards hicks who have NO clue boats, boat stuff or much else.. I mean that comment about HIN numbers.. please.. I own a vintage boat.. my "hin #" is the number on my title. I am not required to permanently afix it anywhere. engrave or otherwise.. however since my wee lady is documented I do have my doc number permanently affixed. SMH.

For the rest of you... never ever say you are a liveaboard IN Florida..that puts your boat in a totally different category than a cruiser.. you are always a "cruiser".. live aboard can get you designated a houseboat and then you pay a totally different yearly fee. Do go there please..

Pilot: go to myFWC and you can find all boating docs that you want.. or need. If your boat is here beyond, I think it is 90 days, you must register it here in Florida.. or is it 60 days I forget but I am sure someone will correct me.

re "reparian rights" IN Florida that state owns all submerged inland water land and on the coast they own out three miles I think it is.. from the high tide mark outward. Unless otherwise deed by the State Legislature to a municipality.. As a side note, the State deeded the Vinoy Basin and the turning basin by the old Dali Museum to the City of St Pete. IN 2004, a referendum was held and the city voters leased the turning basin to the Harborage Marina for a period of 30 yrs.. I was living in the Harborage at the time and we boat owners were not thrilled with this..but were told by management that IF we openly opposed the issue we would lose our slips.. At the time getting a slip in the City Marina was virtually impossible... still is in some respects. That ruling by a judge set the tone for the Vinoy basin to become a boat storage for several small boats that did not even have the mast stepped and one large boat that the owner was rarely there.. that boat is another story.

The anti boater rep came from the "I got rights crowd" who wanted to anchor anywhere, with no manners or regard for others.

The vast majority of people that come to our state via the water and boat never have one iota of a problem. The few that do, always seem to have a complaint about something and usually they are the problem not us.. Florida that is..

If one googles "the anchorages of SW florida" a pdf document will pop up.. download it. It has not be updated in 12-15 yrs and we have had a hurricane change the coastline a bit since then..but it is still a good place to start with anchorages.

The little shark is a good anchorage.. but if the sandbar is stil there, you can only access at high tide.. there is nothing to speak of past Tarpon Springs on the coast until port st joe.its just better to bypass the whole big bend area.

IF I can be of help, please pm me.. nope not actively sailing at the moment. to busy donating chunks of my body to the dermatologist on a far to regular basis..
'bella
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Old 22-08-2014, 05:30   #178
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Bella,
I was gone for considerable time doing the Army thing, but I live within throwing distance of Fl now, and keep my boat in Fl and will retire there. I was a Fl resident for 30 yrs before, so yes I know Fl. If you think I come off as disrespecting Floridians, well for most of my adult life, I was one, will be one again soon. I am a Jim Bob type, if you were from the Old Southeast, you'd understand. We talk slow and funny, but we aren't stupid, I do poke fun at us though, most of us do. How long have you lived in Fl?

Ever built a trailer or an airplane for that matter? Then you know a number is assigned to that trailer when you register it, they give you a data plate that you attach to the trailer. They do this so they can find owners of stolen or abandoned trailers. Why would it be hard to assign a data plate to a boat? Whats wrong with requiring vintage boats or homebuilts to be identifiable? An issue with derelicts is determining who owns and is responsible. While nothing is 100% if you can determine who owns a vessel that is at least part of the battle.
Your Fl is different, vastly different than North Fl., Panhandle and North Fl hasn't changed as much as South Fl has. This problem simply doesn't exist here and I don't want it here either, things like this have a tendency to spread.

Rightly or wrongly, I still maintain this is not a Florida issue, it's Federal, but apparently that has been given up long ago, and while that may be tilting at windmills, I still wouldn't give up on that.
The next step is it will be a County or Municipality issue, then it will be anyone's guess what the anchoring rules will be for a given area, The guy with the big trawler that sued and won and got the anchor laws repealed, you talk as if what he did was a bad thing, where I would say it was a good thing.

Your right about one thing though, I have not done my due diligence, I was gone playing Army for a long time, now that I have returned, I don't like what has been done with my Florida.
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Old 22-08-2014, 06:45   #179
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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The cliff notes version is pretty simple. Back in 2003 or 4 Naples Island passed an ordinance that said you cannot anchor in Factory Bay more than 72 hrs at a time.. Guy with a high dollar trawler and a lawyer challenged the law. He won and with that win ALL the onerous local anchoring laws that had been in place for many years were gone. So the FWC stepped in to actually do something that worked. Pilot Program has worked in fact. It has taken a long time to get them all in place. St Pete did not get is ordinance finally written until 2011. The state has been great at working with boaters. They realize the huge impact that boating makes on this state. I am in agreement with keeping our current anchoring ordinance.. too many of us, including me, worked too hard to get it where it is today to go back to what it was.
The gist of your history is right, but your facts are a little off.

It was 2007, not 2003 or 4
It was Marco Island, not Naples Island (is that even a real place?)
It was Smokehouse Bay, not Factory Bay
It was a 25 year-old Kadey Krogen trawler, not a high dollar trawler
The lawyer did the work pro-bono

But, yes, the local ordinance was intentionally challenged and the city lost the case. That got the attention of (then) FWC legal counsel Richard Allen who (re)wrote the state law in order to emphasize the definition of liveaboard, which is the basic distinction between what can be covered under 'local control', as vessel in navigation (or capable of) is not under 'local control'.

I also agree that the pilot program is good for boaters, regardless of those that disagree with giving any amount of control of the water to local municipalities. The pilot program is basically giving locals a chance to have some control but must give something to boaters in order to get that control. The span of control is negotiated with the FWC and so far has yielded reasonable results (again, IMO).

I'm for making the pilot program the way of the future.
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Old 22-08-2014, 07:55   #180
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

He may have gotten the facts a little messed up, but he got the message through, it's the message that helped my education.
I appreciate the help.
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