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Old 27-05-2010, 22:13   #1
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Long-Term Anchoring

What are the rules/laws for leaving your vessel in a public anchorage? Time limits, specifications (eg liveaboards only), fees and so on.

I realise regulations vary greatly between and even within countries, so was hoping that in this thread 1) people could post information on local public anchorage regulations or fees, as a reference for anyone wishing to cruise the area, and 2) specific information for my area, if anyone might know of it.

WRT 2) I have a small, 20ft craft that is worth maybe 1/2 of the annual fees it would cost me to keep it at a marina. So I have been considering keeping it long-term in one of the many public anchorages in my area - Australia's Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to find any clear regulations on time limits and such for most of the anchorages, or on any of the government websites (eg Qld Maritime Safety and so on). Are there general, state-wide regulations that cover long-term 'storage' at public anchorages, or do these vary between sites? What are the rules about anchoring your vessel outside public anchorages? Say, in an estuary where it doesn't impede the movement of other vessels.

Any help would be appreciated. I'd hate to find my boat has been dragged away by Qld Transport for being left unoccupied for x days in a public anchorage, or for another rule I may have unknowingly transgressed.
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Old 27-05-2010, 22:17   #2
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Here in Puget Sound, I have seen vessels anchored for YEARS. Expired registration, sinking buoy, covered in mussels, barely floating. The Department of Natural Resources can't keep up with the rate of abandonment.
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Old 28-05-2010, 01:33   #3
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No idea about Oz but broadly would agree with Tager's experience. Where anchoring is permitted using your own tackle then often there is little limit.

A couple of points though. Not all countries/states/harbours allow free anchoring so you should ensure (via pilot books etc) that anchoring is permitted. I would be more concerned with the strength of my ground tackle to stand up to the circs, particularly if the boat is to be elft unattended for signficant periods. You should think about what kind of anchor situation you want to create - and be aware that making a mooring[/I] - something permanantly on the seabed, witha riser to which you attach your boat - may be covered by completely different requirements. Not always but sometimes - the harbourmaster/port authority could advise, but if you were looking to permanently store your boat, this is really what you want to do.

Thirdly you mention actually living aboard. Full time? On 20'? You're braver than me. That would be hard work. But any long term (ie weather, tide etc) manageable anchorage often has a few liveaboards in it, at least for monthsat a time.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:04   #4
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

my understanding of anchoring is that you can anchor in any waters in the world for any length of time as long as you are not in a shipping lane or a restricted area and you are within proximity of your vessel ( you can take a tender and leave for the day) --in the case of an emergency- storm breakdown taking refuge from storm etc you can anchor anywhere anytime
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:18   #5
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, fuzzy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzy View Post
my understanding of anchoring is that you can anchor in any waters in the world for any length of time as long as you are not in a shipping lane or a restricted area and ...
Not so. You are always subject to the laws and regulations of the country, in whose waters you sail (anchor). These generally restrict the amount of time a foreign boat (and crew) may remain in their territorial waters.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:16   #6
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzy View Post
my understanding of anchoring is that you can anchor in any waters in the world for any length of time as long as you are not in a shipping lane or a restricted area and you are within proximity of your vessel ( you can take a tender and leave for the day) --in the case of an emergency- storm breakdown taking refuge from storm etc you can anchor anywhere anytime
There is a well-known live aboard (a real character & great guy) in San Antonio Bay, Ibiza, who is very proud of the fact he hasn't paid a single penny in fees anywhere for over 25 years. According to him, wherever he goes he always anchors in an IMO desginated safe harbour or anchorage (as marked on all charts) and tells the authorities (if/when they come along) he is making emergency repairs and is unable to put to sea right now. He says in general most authorities are fine but on the odd occasion when they try to charge him he tells them 'international law prevents charges being levied on vessels undergoing emergency repairs in a designated safe harbour/anchorage' and refuses to pay.

NB I am not advocating doing this as I don't know how accurate his interpretation of the law is!
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:43   #7
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

Here in the U.S.A. there are very few places that limit how long you can stay at anchor as long as you are anchored in a legal area, out of channels, etc. We even have Special Anchorages where you don't have to show an anchor light at night, but very few places even enforce the anchor light regs. A few places, especially in Florida, are attempting to limit anchoring. St. Augustine is currently considering a 10-day anchoring limit. A group has formed to fight these anchoring restrictions (see the link in my sig). In my experience you can generally anchor freely over most of the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Canada too. I have never paid any anchoring fees.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:50   #8
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfaroo View Post
... According to him, wherever he goes he always anchors in an IMO desginated safe harbour or anchorage (as marked on all charts) and tells the authorities (if/when they come along) he is making emergency repairs and is unable to put to sea right now ...
... he tells them 'international law prevents charges being levied on vessels undergoing emergency repairs in a designated safe harbour/anchorage' and refuses to pay ...

... I don't know how accurate his interpretation of the law is!
I think that he's a little "full of it".

“... In November 2003, the IMO Asembly adopted two resolutions addressing the issue of places of refuge for ships in distress - an important step in assisting those involved in incidents that may lead to the need for a place of refuge to make the right decisions at the right time.

Resolution A.949(23) Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance are intended for use when a ship is in need of assistance but the safety of life is not involved. Where the safety of life is involved, the provisions of the SAR Convention should continue to be followed.

The guidelines recognize that, when a ship has suffered an incident, the best way of preventing damage or pollution from its progressive deterioration is to transfer its cargo and bunkers, and to repair the casualty. Such an operation is best carried out in a place of refuge. However, to bring such a ship into a place of refuge near a coast may endanger the coastal State, both economically and from the environmental point of view, and local authorities and populations may strongly object to the operation.

Therefore, granting access to a place of refuge could involve a political decision which can only be taken on a case-by-case basis. In so doing, consideration would need to be given to balancing the interests of the affected ship with those of the environment ...”

IMO | Places of refuge
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:58   #9
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

I always spread my tools all over the boat and engine room before they come on board and ask if they want to help me change the fuel filters. The smell of diesel usually convinces then not to help. In Cuba the breakdown was legitimate and the Cuban Coast Guard officer sent a CG mechanic to help!

However, it is safer and easier to find out the rules before you get there and follow them...The whole of Bonaire is a marine reserve and mooring balls are mandatory at $10/day. Go another 40 miles to Spanish Waters in Curacao and you can anchor free for at least 3 months.

You are their guest and it always pays to respect that fact.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:05   #10
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

In WA, laying a mooring is the same as anchoring - except in "mooring control areas". You stay as long as you want, wherever you want.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:23   #11
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

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In WA, laying a mooring is the same as anchoring - except in "mooring control areas". You stay as long as you want, wherever you want.
... if you're an American.
Otherwise, as a foreigner, you respect the conditions of your cruising permit (License to Cruise).

A Cruising Permit allows foreign boats to cruise in the U.S. for a year, after which you must leave U.S. coastal waters and enter another country.

http://www.boatmiami.com/US_Customs_...rter_boats.htm

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...ld-one-expires

Foreign flag pleasure boat cruising in the US
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:40   #12
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

"WA" = West Australian.

Actually, my last boat I bought off an american - was even painted red white and blue. He refused to register it West Aust flag, so continued the international registration. I never was boarded by our water police, never paid moring fees etc - was pretty much left alone.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:43   #13
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Don't forget the registration and tax requirements. No matter if your an American or not, if you stay in most states for more than 30-60 days they are going to want you to register your boat with them. There is usually a fee and taxes that must be paid to get a valid registration.

I understand that Europe has all sorts of requirements for there VAT and registration requirements.

These requirements are of course the same anchored moored or docked.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:54   #14
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwa View Post
"WA" = West Australian...
Same deal.

In order for your (foreign) vessel to remain in Australian waters it must have appropriate clearance through Customs.

Control Permits are granted to eligible applicants where Customs is satisfied that the craft is transiting Australia for specified non-commercial purposes such as:
• cruising/touring purposes
• mooring purposes
• recreational use
• repair/refit
• specified racing events

Control permits can be issued for specified periods, for example, three (3) months however the maximum length of time a permit will be granted will not exceed twelve (12) months.

http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/re...Smallcraft.pdf

information for yachts travelling to australia - your stay
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:15   #15
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Re: Long-Term Anchoring

In order for your (foreign) vessel to remain in Australian waters it must have appropriate clearance through Customs.

-This is the subject of some contoversy. Depends to a large extent on our diplomatic relations with the flag nation. Australian govt has lost cases where we have confiscated and sunk/burned "suspected illegal vessels", however have subsequenty had to pay compensation to the vessel owner at a later date. This is not given much media coverage, as border protection is a hot political issue.

Our customs, have from time to time enforced the laws you have referenced, then had to pay compensation to vessels "illegally" detained. Often indonesian flagged vessels transiting Australian waters. We seem to have a love/hate relationship with indonesia

However, in my original post I was really refering to Australian boats -which can anchor anywhere they wish except mooring control areas, for as long as they want ... In Western Australia.

Laws vary from state to state. On the other side of the country, it is actually illegal to live on a boat (New South Wales).
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