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Old 18-09-2013, 19:31   #1
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Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

The Florida Fish and Wildlife is looking for input from cruisers on it's Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program. If you think it's important, you can go to the link here, Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program and complete the survey. The program is due to expire in July 2014 and the results of the survey may make a difference in any future legislation. Chuck
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Old 18-09-2013, 20:20   #2
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

Just did it. They are really pushing the mooring fields in the survey. One reason most of us travel by water is the economy of it. Seems like they eventually want a mooring field in every possible anchorage on both coasts.
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Old 19-09-2013, 04:35   #3
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

What a rubbish survey. As a semi regular visitor to Florida I cannot fill out the questionnaire as the numpties who thought it up assumes everyone lives in either the USA or Canada.

Death to mooring fields!
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Old 19-09-2013, 05:59   #4
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

A poor survey...I live, when on land, overlooking the Coconut Grove mooring field, which I cannot use because they only planned for 40 ft boats.

It was designed by the same team that moved some big metal things that got in the way of tourists on the Miami waterfront. The story I got when this was questioned at a Miami Marine Advisory meeting was as follows:

When the prelim team for the USCG ship Eagle came to check the dock they found that the ugly metal things were bollards for tying up ships. The CG shipped in some massive mooring blocks from Baltimore to moor the Eagle.

The problem is that the people who do these things do not talk to the people who use them before acting!

BYOB...bring your own bollards!
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Old 24-09-2013, 05:39   #5
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

This program is a sham and another way to deter sailors from anchoring since they lost the fight in the Naples/Marco Island area. I attended a meeting and very few of the officials were boaters and none were sailors. I suggested they should have at least one sailor among them, the audience cheered and they said nothing. This suggestion made sense so why should they do it. Right? I would encourage all boaters to refuse to use their mooring fields and pass the word to others.
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Old 26-09-2013, 20:32   #6
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

Moderator note

We have made this thread a sticky as it is of extreme importance not only to those who live in Florida but those who cruise in Florida. Decisions will be made that will impact anyone in the area. Make sure you have your input today.
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Old 27-09-2013, 03:43   #7
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I just responded to the survey as an interested cruiser, although I have not sailed in Florida yet. I hope my response was on target with current issues (I confess I don't know all the details). Here's what I wrote:

"Currently planning an extended cruise, with several months in Florida. News of the pilot program has made me consider alternatives; I.e. It makes me want to NOT visit Florida. I stay at anchor as much as possible for reasons of safety (don't trust mooring balls unless I dive on them myself) and comfort (better ventilation at anchor than in a slip). There's also the benefit of being less expensive--if I anchor more, I can take my family out to eat more often, visit theme parks, rent a car every once in a while. etc. Florida is rapidly earning a global (yes, really--as in international) reputation of being a very boater UNfriendly place. This is a shame--although I have not sailed there yet, my many land-based visits have been positive. If I find upon arrival in 2014 that the boaters are being legislated into a corner, I will look for other places to take my family, my boat, and my money. If my own "voting with my rudder" is extrapolated to all cruisers, you (Florida) will find yourself left with only the derelicts that can't move, plus the resident boats that are already paying long-term marina prices. From a revenue standpoint, this just doesn't make sense. Please reconsider your approach, and make your state an inviting destination by sea."

Possibly a bit over the top, but I wanted to get my point across. Now that we're ramping up for departure, I really need to educate myself on the issues there. So please enlighten me...
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Old 27-09-2013, 04:31   #8
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

Not over the top at all. More likely the sentiment of most boaters. Chuck
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Old 27-09-2013, 04:47   #9
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

I did the survey and didn't feel there was anything wrong with the questions.
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Old 27-09-2013, 05:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Sea Monkey View Post
I just responded to the survey as an interested cruiser, although I have not sailed in Florida yet. I hope my response was on target with current issues (I confess I don't know all the details). Here's what I wrote: "Currently planning an extended cruise, with several months in Florida. News of the pilot program has made me consider alternatives; I.e. It makes me want to NOT visit Florida. I stay at anchor as much as possible for reasons of safety (don't trust mooring balls unless I dive on them myself) and comfort (better ventilation at anchor than in a slip). There's also the benefit of being less expensive--if I anchor more, I can take my family out to eat more often, visit theme parks, rent a car every once in a while. etc. Florida is rapidly earning a global (yes, really--as in international) reputation of being a very boater UNfriendly place. This is a shame--although I have not sailed there yet, my many land-based visits have been positive. If I find upon arrival in 2014 that the boaters are being legislated into a corner, I will look for other places to take my family, my boat, and my money. If my own "voting with my rudder" is extrapolated to all cruisers, you (Florida) will find yourself left with only the derelicts that can't move, plus the resident boats that are already paying long-term marina prices. From a revenue standpoint, this just doesn't make sense. Please reconsider your approach, and make your state an inviting destination by sea." Possibly a bit over the top, but I wanted to get my point across. Now that we're ramping up for departure, I really need to educate myself on the issues there. So please enlighten me...
Nicely put!
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Old 27-09-2013, 05:26   #11
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

We're also recently famous for being much more than just boater unfriendly.
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:08   #12
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Sea Monkey View Post
I just responded to the survey as an interested cruiser, although I have not sailed in Florida yet. I hope my response was on target with current issues (I confess I don't know all the details). Here's what I wrote:

"Currently planning an extended cruise, with several months in Florida. News of the pilot program has made me consider alternatives; I.e. It makes me want to NOT visit Florida. I stay at anchor as much as possible for reasons of safety (don't trust mooring balls unless I dive on them myself) and comfort (better ventilation at anchor than in a slip). There's also the benefit of being less expensive--if I anchor more, I can take my family out to eat more often, visit theme parks, rent a car every once in a while. etc. Florida is rapidly earning a global (yes, really--as in international) reputation of being a very boater UNfriendly place. This is a shame--although I have not sailed there yet, my many land-based visits have been positive. If I find upon arrival in 2014 that the boaters are being legislated into a corner, I will look for other places to take my family, my boat, and my money. If my own "voting with my rudder" is extrapolated to all cruisers, you (Florida) will find yourself left with only the derelicts that can't move, plus the resident boats that are already paying long-term marina prices. From a revenue standpoint, this just doesn't make sense. Please reconsider your approach, and make your state an inviting destination by sea."

Possibly a bit over the top, but I wanted to get my point across. Now that we're ramping up for departure, I really need to educate myself on the issues there. So please enlighten me...
Nice sentiment, but as with everything, there are 2 sides to the story.

Yes, I want to be able to anchor any/everywhere I want without landlubbers, who have never stepped foot on a boat, deciding how/where I do such.

But!

When there are more of me than room in a particular anchorage, what should happen?

When a small percentage of vessel owners display behavior that is deemed by the masses as inconsiderate, what should happen?

What is happening is no different than happened 100's of years ago as large masses of people started gathering in close proximity of each other. Municipalities were created and more rules followed closely behind. This is no different.

As has been said many times before, these 5 programs cover less than 20 miles of Florida's 1200 miles of tidal coastline. Either pay for a mooring ball, or go enjoy the remaining 1180 miles of no-rules/free anchoring in Florida.
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:10   #13
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pirate Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Just did it. They are really pushing the mooring fields in the survey. One reason most of us travel by water is the economy of it. Seems like they eventually want a mooring field in every possible anchorage on both coasts.
I too thought it was a poorly written survey; certainly written by the mooring field side.

I managed to convey my daily thought about communities finding it easier to legislate anew than to enforce existing ordinances. Hopefully, the final decision will include the costs/income from these MFs ... mooring fields. A place like Marathon will always have good occupancy due to cruisers needing to work. Other little spots, not so much.

Edit: a happy thought: "Either pay for a mooring ball, or go enjoy the remaining 1180 miles of no-rules/free anchoring in Florida. " Thanks.
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:18   #14
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

I will probably get bashed for this post, but here is my question and opinion.
As I read the rules I come to the conclusion that it is not all bad.
The intention is to get rid of derelict boats, and encourage pump outs.
As far as anchoring, it limits how close you can anchor to designated mooring fields, and to structures on shore. I think it is approx. 150 yards from either.
And the most important, is the state is taking the ability of local municipalities from making up there own rules!!!!
So if you want to anchor in Fl, you just need to stay away from mooring fields, and don't anchor directly behind someone's house. And your boat needs to be able to navigate and be in somewhat working order.
If I am missing something please let me know
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Old 27-09-2013, 07:06   #15
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Re: Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program Survey

As important a down side as the issue is, of charging us for what could have been free if we anchored there instead, there is a more important issue for me. DAMAGE!

With monohulls laying to a mooring, when there is a sudden 180 degree wind shift during a thunderstorm, or a slow wind shift when it goes very light and there is a current opposing it, the boat runs into the mooring ball with a "thump". After a minute or two the ball runs down the side of the hull, and after a few more thumps, the boat spins around and faces the new direction. Over time there is cosmetic damage from this, but it is usually minor.

WITH MULTIHULLS:
We always use a bridle, as all multihullers should. If forced to use a mooring we can shorten up on it, but we must use it nonetheless, to control back & forth swinging.

What happens during these wind shifts with a multihull, is the boat RUNS OVER THE BALL, and it then becomes firmly wedged under the wings, banging hard with every wave!

On heavy fiberglass production cats, the damage can be considerable, but with wood/epoxy one off trimarans like mine, it can do serious damage. Our boat is heavily glassed below the wl, at the radii, seams, and chines. The broad surface areas above the wl, like our under wings, however, have just 1 layer of 4 oz glass fabric over the plywood! It was meant to be incredibly strong against violent ocean waves, but NOT WHEN WHACKED BY HARD OBJECTS, like mooring balls with iron rings on top.

In our last Caribbean cruise, we were required to use mooring balls on occasion, and in St John, USVI, that is all they allow in the Park. While there, we had one of these immediate wind shifts wedge the ball under there for hours, in 35 knots of wind, in the middle of the night. It really trashed our new AwlGrip job, and the potential for real damage is considerable. I NO LONGER LAY TO COMMERCIAL MOORINGS...

I have spent thousands of nights on the hook, at times 2 miles out but protected by a submerged bank. I was sometimes laying to a home made mooring there, due to the bad holding. We all used those soft orange balls for markers, and once were made fast to the floating pennant, we removed the ball or put it on deck.

THIS SOLVED THE PROBLEM!

The risk to multihulls, and PARTICULARLY one off tris like ours, is not the mooring itself, it is the large, hard, BALL... with metal hardware.

There are countless thousands of boats like ours out there, and many (like us) are on a budget that rules out the expense of mooring fields. There are also times when taking a mooring might make sense nonetheless, IF they made them more intelligently, where they didn't trash our boats!

FOR NON DESTRUCTIVE MOORINGS:
All it takes is to have FLOATING 1" pennants, that are marked with 6 or 8" SOFT orange marker balls, on a separate small pennant. You pick up the ball, attach the bridle to the main pennant, and store the little marker ball on deck.

The engineers who design these commercial moorings do not know what it is really like to tie up to them!

I now avoid S Florida for this reason, and go to the Bahamas offshore instead.

Mark
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