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Old 17-08-2014, 12:28   #91
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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Personally, I'll renew my thought that Florida residents are best qualified to handle Florida issues.
I agree, water should be turned back over to the coast guard. At least they have a more objective view of Florida backyards and the need for unhampered navigational freedom.

Everything these days seems to be about limiting people access to this and that... limit access to internet content, limit access to public places, limit access to healthcare, limiting access to "name you thing"..., limit limit limit.
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Old 17-08-2014, 12:47   #92
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Anchorage guy, thanks for the solution of helping to find ways for distant FL property owners to express their views. It's subtle but that FWC contact link seems to a good start although it does not filter who is and who is not a FL resident. (Yes, am thinking perhaps naively that property owners carry more clout as we vote).
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Old 17-08-2014, 12:55   #93
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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(Yes, am thinking perhaps naively that property owners carry more clout as we vote).
Perhaps, but business owners do too. And Florida is a tourism state so the views from visitors is important.
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Old 17-08-2014, 13:09   #94
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

BandB,

I agree that a reasonable setback like 20 or even 50 feet is a reasonable set back but I'm also concerned about the limit to how long one would be able to live on a mooring, of which I see the proposal is 6 months in a 12 month period. So, you can't anchor and you can't stay on a mooring ball. Hmmmmm.

Also, there are some subtle items we must not ignore such as a few rules in the area "A vessel may not be stored on waters of the state if any of the following conditions exist:"

1) has broken loose or is in danger of doing so...

All boats are "at danger" of breaking loose. Any prudent mariner knows so. Does this also apply to my dinghy when it broke loose from the back of my boat? We need more definition here.

2) listing or aground

All boats list. My lists naturally at about 1.25 degrees or so. What is the definition of "listing".

The issue would be application of these rules in situation where it is not warranted to bring pressure on the owner of the vessel.
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Old 17-08-2014, 13:11   #95
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

We did note in our email that we are Florida residents and I would suggest that others with homes or businesses in Florida note that in their response. Chuck
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Old 18-08-2014, 08:58   #96
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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Mike, Those thought are noble but the facts are, the federal government handed over to the states, the rights to govern their waterways, a long time ago. The courts have upheld the states rights and trying to use federal law to negate these state regulations is going to be very ineffective. It is going to take a very strong concerted effort by individuals to turn the tide so to speak. This has worked in the past. It will also take a change of direction in the Florida legislature, made possible only by Florida voters. Chuck
In Barber v. State of Hawaii (1994), the Federal Government retains authority to regulate navigation on navigable waters of the United States, but defers to the states in the absence of conflict. I think this clearly qualifies as conflicting with Federal Navigation Servitude.

However, your point is well taken: Would the feds really take up this fight, especially in this political climate? We can, nonetheless, add Federal Navigation Servitude to the argument, which runs basically the same as the Florida Public Trust Doctrine.

This effort of limiting/eliminating anchoring is simply another hopefully failed attempt to take something away from the people of Florida that has belonged to them since the inception of the state. Chuck & Susan: Your voice, and others who have residency in Florida, will hold more weight than my Virginia opinion (but I'll keep fighting anyway, and keep getting the word out!). Thanks!
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Old 18-08-2014, 09:15   #97
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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Chuck & Susan: Your voice, and others who have residency in Florida, will hold more weight than my Virginia opinion (but I'll keep fighting anyway, and keep getting the word out!). Thanks!
The tourist industry in Florida is the states lifeblood and without it Florida would just be another retirement community. The voice of those visitors like yourself, whether from Virginia or Montana may very well carry more weight than ours as residents. That's why we urge everyone that has the potential to add to the states economy to contact the FWC and remind them that this muti-billion dollar income is in jeopardy from their actions. I think this group may have a larger impact that any other sector. Chuck
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Old 18-08-2014, 09:37   #98
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Email sent to the FWC

Thanks for the heads up.

I, too, would like to see unoccupied, derelict boats dealt with in a more judicious manner, just not at the expense of the rights I have as a cruiser to public waterways. I'm a US resident and have grown accustomed to traveling freely through this country, whether that be by road or water.
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Old 18-08-2014, 10:14   #99
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Along with Waterway Guide, we too have been getting the word out via forums like this and social media, Our Facebook page as well as those of other boating groups. We urge everyone to keep up the pressure, get your email in to the FWC, Contact Commissioners or contact the Governor directly, Email the Governor . Post on all of your favorite boating forums and Facebook pages and give everyone these contacts. If the boating community comes together we just might put an end to this, at least for a while. Chuck
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Old 18-08-2014, 11:15   #100
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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Or possibly a fund set up to remove derelict vessels, and an amount paid yearly by us all to that fund, yet another tax if you will.
I would think that some of the rather large annual registration fee all of us Florida residents pay would go to that.

I spent 4 months on a ball in St. Augustine two years go. I spoke to the powers that be at the marina about removing derelicts. They said "Its too hard, takes too long". The mooring field solved that problem for them.
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Old 18-08-2014, 11:22   #101
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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I would think that some of the rather large annual registration fee all of us Florida residents pay would go to that.

I spent 4 months on a ball in St. Augustine two years go. I spoke to the powers that be at the marina about removing derelicts. They said "Its too hard, takes too long". The mooring field solved that problem for them.
The legal process is too complex. Then who is responsible for the costs. That's why you now have marinas that become responsible and legal owners sell the boat for a dollar then push the new owner out to sea. Marinas are very wary of ending up spending $50,000 or much more on salvage. There are some sunken boats near Key West now that went through that process.

That's why my suggestion involves removal by the state either by tow or by crane and barge. And a means for declaring the boat an abandoned derelict.
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Old 18-08-2014, 11:42   #102
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Thanks to WaterWayGuide, Anchorage Guy and BandB!!

I don't think that everyone will ever agree on all of this....and even getting two people to agree on all of this is tough...


But, as both a long time cruiser/sailor/ocean voyager (since the 1960's) AND a long time Florida property owner (~30 years), AND a private Florida Submerged Land Lease holder (> 10 years), I'd like to thank BandB for his words of wisdom here!!!
(and while I don't agree with everything, I do agree with most of what he wrote...)


This paragraph sums up my thoughts pretty well!
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As both a Florida waterfront homeowner and as a very active boater and cruiser, I am a member of both groups. I oppose the extreme arguments on both sides. I don't think all anchoring should be eliminated and I don't think you should be able to anchor anything anywhere as long as you want. That's where both sides need to work toward creative compromise that best deals with the real issues of the other side.




FYI, I haven't read the current law in a while, but I believe Florida law has always prohibited anchoring within 50' of shore/seawall/dock, and within 50' of channel / access to docks, etc.
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I do believe they should be a certain very minimal distance from homes, but I'm not talking a quarter of a mile, just leave 25' clearance or so from my dock so I can still get in and out.
And, within 50' of posted Submerged Leased Land...

And, as long as these rules remain and are adhered-to, except for the issues of "derelict" boats and of course "pollution / sanitation" issues, there shouldn't be much of an "anchoring problem" anywhere in Florida!!!






I've had boats anchor off my dock from time-to-time, with almost no issues, except that some don't understand that tidal changes NEED to be taken into account regarding WHERE the anchored boat will lie with respect to the dock and docked boat, that of course will not move with the tide!!!
(once they didn't realize the reversing tide was going to swing them pretty close to my boat/dock, and the next morning I found a 45'+ motoryacht ended up just 10' - 15' away from scraping my Awl-Grip...but other than that, no real problems...so much for not anchoring on, or within 50' of submerged leased land... )
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Neither side has unlimited rights. The homeowners didn't buy the sky and the sea. They have to respect the cruisers. On the other hand the cruisers need to be good guests and respect the rights of homeowners. As a homeowner, I've never once been bothered by a cruiser anchoring. But I did have a neighbor incur substantial damage to their docks by one who anchored and left their boat and it broke free. Now I recently had a boat that stopped and couldn't get restarted near my dock. They tried to quickly anchor. But we jumped in a dinghy and pulled them to our dock, let them tie up and then got them help on their boat. Turned out it took a day for it to be repaired and we had no problem with them right where they were. They offered to get towed to a marina and we said not necessary. Then I do know those who have anchored a respectable distance only to be harassed by shouting homeowners. Of all places to see that, I saw it in a small town. What I found hilarious was that I was at a marina and could hear every word from there. Yes, they had a 200 boat marina in their immediate view and were somehow greatly disturbed by a 30' sailboat.
And, like BandB, I also have had the pleasure of helping other boaters over the years....and have helped a few tie up to my dock for an overnight to a few days, for respite or repair....
And, I find the rude/unwelcoming attitude of waterfront property owners that is talked about on-line to be completely alien to me!!!
Some time back, some neighbors along the same waterway once commented they didn't really like boats (I thought it odd, as they not only had a nice dock, but their kids wanted to buy a john-boat for fishing)....but in my > 50 years of boating in/around Florida, I have NEVER personally ever heard anyone on-shore ever complain about boats, anchored or otherwise....
Now, I don't discount the words of those of you that have had a bad experience with Florida waterfront property owners, but please understand that not only is this quite rare, but many of us ARE sailors/boaters/cruisers and have healthy respect for the sea and those that venture out on the water....(we are not all jerks... )




Again, thanks to WaterWayGuide, Anchorage Guy and BandB!!!

Fair winds...


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Old 18-08-2014, 15:31   #103
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

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I have NEVER personally ever heard anyone on-shore ever complain about boats, anchored or otherwise....
Now, I don't discount the words of those of you that have had a bad experience with Florida waterfront property owners, but please understand that not only is this quite rare, but many of us ARE sailors/boaters/cruisers and have healthy respect for the sea and those that venture out on the water....(we are not all jerks... )
I've never had a problem with homeowners in Florida but that doesn't mean some don't. The biggest complain I hear has nothing to do with anchoring but is about PWC operation. I did know of a situation in a state slightly further north where boaters explored deep in coves and streams in dinghies and people whose family had owned the property for centuries walked out with shotguns and told them to get out of there. And I have seen property owners and boaters upset over clearly abandoned derelict boats that had sat for very long times with no one ever even visiting them.

I have also read those local council people who expressed outrage over their neighborhood on the water being populated by boats but normally they seem to be representing a very fringe minority. I'm also sure in some areas it's different than others. With many of the canals around me, living on an island, there isn't anchoring but there are boats docked closer across the canal than anyone would anchor. We simply have boats everywhere...boats, boats and more boats.
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Old 18-08-2014, 16:06   #104
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

Ok, just for a bit of perspective. Our home has canals on three sides. The main canal to the front is 280' wide. So much for the 300'. So boats docked may have 240' between but still plenty of room for anchoring.

But here's the funny part, talking about having anchoring close to your property. Well, the canals on both sides are about 96' wide (think they were supposed to be 100.) That means a boat docked is only about 80' from us. If boats on both sides, they're about 60' apart. Our canal neighbors (across) on the left have two boats docked. Nearly every house on that canal has at least one boat. To the right about half do but last weekend the neighbor across from us had a gathering and had three large boats docked. So these all 80' from us, 60' from our boat. And we never think anything of it. So why would we care is someone pulled up and anchored 80' or 100' in front of our house. It's just that having boats close to us is the norm in our neighborhood. And they're not all in the best of shape. Now we seldom have boats anchor in front of our home just because there's a lot of traffic. But frequently during the day a family will stop there. And occasionally at night. I imagine 60' or so from our dock. And we never think anything of it. One family even asked if it was ok, and we said they might want to get a little closer and more out of the lane of traffic. Oh and a major marked anchorage about 1200 feet from our front door. We delight in looking out from our bedroom and seeing boats, especially sailboats, anchor there. Just checked on Active Captain. Within 1/2 mile of our home there are five anchorages marked there. In that same distance, one mooring field, seven marinas.

Ah, and just thought of a nearby canal where the boats dock stern to. There are areas there where the distance bow to bow is only about 40'.

I just think this puts into perspective how many boats are around us and how a few more doesn't even matter. Now it also comes back to my thoughts of providing more quality anchorages.

We bought on the water because we love boats. I would guess within one half mile of us at any time there are around 3000 boats. Can't imagine why you would buy where we are if you didn't love boats. Instead of obstructing some view, they are the view you want.
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Old 18-08-2014, 16:43   #105
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Re: Florida Boaters Unite: defeat HB 955 and SB 1126

BandB,
You made me smile!!!
Not sure, but sounds like you're down by the Las Olas Isles....
I grew up just a few miles North of there (the Landings/Lake Estates/Bay Colony), just a few houses off the intercoastal.....
And when our neighbor got rid of their 45' Bertram (?) and came home with a new sportfisher (a big 70' Striker I think), it was a tight squeeze as he pivoted that thing around 180* in our narrow canal!! (myself and my Dad were out there "helping"....fending him off our boat!)
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But here's the funny part, talking about having anchoring close to your property. Well, the canals on both sides are about 96' wide (think they were supposed to be 100.) That means a boat docked is only about 80' from us. If boats on both sides, they're about 60' apart. Our canal neighbors (across) on the left have two boats docked. Nearly every house on that canal has at least one boat.



Fair winds...

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