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Old 24-02-2016, 12:57   #1
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Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

In Lake Erie there appears to be on ONE designated anchorage.

There used to be 2, that I know of, but one was taken over by a mooring field($40 a night), at Put-In-Bay.

The one that remains is at the south end of the Cedar Point Marina.

If one anchors there, they are NOT allowed to dinghy to Cedar Point without paying the full transient rate for docking(supposedly for the boat, not the dinghy), at the marina.

With only one special anchorage left on Lake Erie, I wonder if non-use might eventually cause this anchorage to be "absorbed", by the Cedar Point Marina, and be lost forever?

I wonder about setting up an "anchor-in", in an attempt to get a number of boats to make use of this marina before the issue might come up.

Does anyone know if this is a viable fear?
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Old 24-02-2016, 13:52   #2
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

I agree with the dearth of anchorage options, but what about the north side of Kelley's Island?
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Old 24-02-2016, 14:17   #3
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Back in 2006, Paul Ouellette noted a few anchorages in the Lake Erie western basin:
Put in Bay
Kelley's Island (north end)
North Bass Island (on the western side)
Middle Bass Island (schoolhouse bay)
Leamington marina (just behind the first breakwall)
Here ➥ Lake Erie Anchorages
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Old 24-02-2016, 20:37   #4
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Exclamation Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Check out all of the active anchorage spots on Active Captain!

https://activecaptain.com/X.php
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Old 24-02-2016, 20:48   #5
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

I think you are confusing "designated" anchorage with a viable anchorage. I can come up with several with just a quick scan of the charts.

If you don't want to pay for Cedar Point access, the anchorage works just fine. There is no reason a private establishment needs to provide you free or discounted dingy access.
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Old 25-02-2016, 07:12   #6
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

I'm not certain, but "special" ancorages appear to be more protected.

Although I have no need to make land on Ceadar Point, the idea of charging transient dockage for the main 30'+sailboat ... rather than for the 8-10' dinghy, appears to actually be an attempt to control the special anchorage.

I've never fully understand a "special" anchorage.

I know the water in Lake Erie is in public domain and I know that there are provisions for marinas to be built that actually encroach into the public domain.

I also know that the counties on the lakeshore used to NOT extend to the Canadian borders... I have read the legislation that extended county boundaries into the lake and to the international boundary.

What I don't know ... at least til I can research it, is who owns the fee rights to this "special anchorage" or if this special anchorage is the result of the rights of the park at Ceadar point to either own or control the present marina.

This looks like a nice anchorage for sojourners and it would be a shame to lose it through non use ... like what happened at Put In Bay.

It is, the only "special anchorage" in Lake Erie.
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:27   #7
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Google is our friend.

From the Federal Registry (emphasis added):

These routine and frequent regulations are established where maritime and commercial interests require them for safety of navigation. Special anchorage areas are areas in which vessels of not more than 65 feet may anchor without displaying the required lights or sound signals because they have been found to be unnecessary to maintain marine safety in this environment. These special anchorage areas are limited geographically, and, depending on the purpose of the designation, establish both long- and short-term anchorages. Anchorage grounds are limited geographically, delineate the types and size of vessel that may use the anchorage, and may place time and other restrictions on use of the anchorage. Regulations designating special anchorage areas and anchorage grounds are promulgated by District Commanders in response to requests from appropriate officials. These routine and frequent rulemakings support the Coast Guard's broad role and responsibility of maritime safety. Approximately five actions are expected annually.

https://www.federalregister.gov/regu...ds-regulations

The short story is that when anchored in a Special Anchorage, you are not required to show an anchoring light or day signal.
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Old 25-02-2016, 10:04   #8
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Regardless of the definition, I fail to see how they are stopping you from using the "anchorage". I see nothing in your post that suggests they are stopping you from anchoring there. Did they send a boat out to harass you when you anchored?

Use of the marina facilities is not a right of those anchored out, so a high price for dingy landing in no way stops you from anchoring. That is a business decision. My guess is they did a market study and figured they would make less money leaving dingy landings cheap because people would just anchor out rather than take a slip, so they made dingy landings expensive to minimize the issue.

I've seen similar comments from those who avoid marinas and I always wonder, why do you think you have the right to use their private facilities at a discounted rate?
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Old 25-02-2016, 10:06   #9
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Quote:
Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
In Lake Erie there appears to be on ONE designated anchorage.

There used to be 2, that I know of, but one was taken over by a mooring field($40 a night), at Put-In-Bay.

The one that remains is at the south end of the Cedar Point Marina.

If one anchors there, they are NOT allowed to dinghy to Cedar Point without paying the full transient rate for docking(supposedly for the boat, not the dinghy), at the marina.

With only one special anchorage left on Lake Erie, I wonder if non-use might eventually cause this anchorage to be "absorbed", by the Cedar Point Marina, and be lost forever?

I wonder about setting up an "anchor-in", in an attempt to get a number of boats to make use of this marina before the issue might come up.

Does anyone know if this is a viable fear?
I have a friend who is retired Ontario Provincial Police. Once he pulled into Stella Bay on Amherst Island. The local cottagers had installed mooring balls in the shallow, protected end. He tried anchoring away, but couldn't get in shallower than 65 ft. So he pulled in and tied to a mooring ball.

After a few minutes, a cottager swam up and advised it was a "private" mooring. My buddy asked, "Is it a legal mooring?"

The cottager shrugged, and then said the owner could return at any time. My buddy advised, "Well if it is not a legal mooring, then he is free to anchor out there in 65 ft on his return".

Several years ago, Ontario Provincial Parks attempted to install moorings (in commonly used anchorages) and charge people to connect to them. A huge stink was raised and federal government handed down that the province had no right to do so in navigable water (federal jurisdiction) but could charge people who land on park ground (provincial jurisdiction). So what did the park do? Removed all moorings.

IOW, as boaters, we have to protect our rights to anchor in navigable waters.

So in the instant case, first, I would confirm the landing fee. I can't see how they could possibly charge a fee based on the size of the vessel they ARE NOT providing services for. When asked, I would just give them the length of the dinghy, as it is none of their business what, if anything, pulled it there.

Most marinas provide a flat rate dinghy landing fee for transients anchoring out. And that's fair; you are using their services for which they have made a business investment.

If the moorings aren't legal, I would just use one and refuse to pay.

I have heard (unconfirmed) there are only 2 places in all Canada where a private citizen can lay claim to the land under the water (to which moorings are attached) and one is for the Freeport Yacht Club in Pickering who sell dockominimums.

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Old 25-02-2016, 10:17   #10
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
I have a friend who is retired Ontario Provincial Police. Once he pulled into Stella Bay on Amherst Island. The local cottagers had installed mooring balls in the shallow, protected end. He tried anchoring away, but couldn't get in shallower than 65 ft. So he pulled in and tied to a mooring ball.
Spent an evening in Stella Bay last summer. Was able to anchor away from the mooring in only 37-40 feet.

My point about the definition of a Special Anchorage is that there is nothing terribly special about it, except for the no lights requirement and that requirement is based on safety and the amount of traffic in the area.

Anyone can apply for a permit to operate a mooring field. Check with the Army Corps of Engineers, the CG, and the state authority fill out the permits and convince them that it is a good idea. On Lake Ontario, there are mooring fields in Henderson Harbor and in Sodus Bay by the yacht club.
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Old 25-02-2016, 10:54   #11
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

RamblinRod,

All of Frenchman's Bay is privately owned by the Pickering Harbour Company. We here at Frenchman's Bay Yacht Club must lease all of the "ground" that our slips occupy past the point that our water rights extend into the bay. Yes this is to my knowledge one of the only examples of private ownership of a body of water
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Old 25-02-2016, 11:45   #12
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Cedar Point is a large commercial amusement park, with a marina, I'm sure they have no problem with you at anchor but you will not make landfall with out a price.

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Old 25-02-2016, 12:49   #13
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
Spent an evening in Stella Bay last summer. Was able to anchor away from the mooring in only 37-40 feet.

My point about the definition of a Special Anchorage is that there is nothing terribly special about it, except for the no lights requirement and that requirement is based on safety and the amount of traffic in the area.

Anyone can apply for a permit to operate a mooring field. Check with the Army Corps of Engineers, the CG, and the state authority fill out the permits and convince them that it is a good idea. On Lake Ontario, there are mooring fields in Henderson Harbor and in Sodus Bay by the yacht club.
My apologies.

I thought that we talking about the Canadian side of Erie. (Not familiar with Erie at all. YET.)

Plan to cruise the Lake Ontario south east shore this summer, on our annual migration to 1000 Islands. Particularly, stopping into Oswego to scout out options for mast lowering next year when we plan to head down the canal.

I wish the US Federal Government would actively protect boater's rights to navigate.

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Old 25-02-2016, 13:11   #14
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

About 14 years ago I pulled an "anchor in".


I was the first boat into Oswego for HarborFest and dropped anchor in the same old area. The marina manager came out, told me that the water in which I was moored was marina property and I had to move. I told him to stuff it.


The sheriff came and told me to move. I told him to stuff it.


They sent USCG. Nice bunch of kids came alongside and told me I had to move. I told them to tie up and invited them aboard (they declined.) Then I explained that Oswego was a safe boat harbor built by US Army Corp of Engineers, and as such I had the right to anchor anywhere minus the shipping channel. I showed them the chart.


In fact, I said, I had a call in to both USCG Buffalo and ACoE in Cincinatti (both true), and they were welcome to sit and wait, which they did for a while. Meanwhile the sheriff paced the beach yelling and screaming.


About 5pm (Friday) it became clear ACoE wasn't going to returning any calls, so shortly after USCG left and said they'd come back. They never did.


The incident was under discussion via cellphones and VHF. The next boats came in right after USCG left and dropped anchor. The marina manager went out and told them to move, they told him to shove it. Two hours later there were 40 boats anchored, and nobody was moving. They lost.


The marina manager came out one more time and told me that there might be an accident and my anchor rhode might get cut. I informed him that any such act would be considered endangerment of my life, and as such, and being the best armed boat in the harbor (inclusive of USCG) it would be a really, really bad idea for somebody to pull such a stunt.


The anchor-in went off well. Fun for everyone.


The following year though the word was out- if I showed up, I was going to be arrested. So I didn't return to Oswego for over a decade. Figure I used to drop a grand at Harborfest, that cost Oswego some $10,000. And since others didn't like the attitude, those whom I always met there didn't go either. So figure it all cost Oswego probably $100,000.


Since then, the marina went out of business, HarborFest doesn't make much money, Oswego has fallen into disrepair. Shows what some piss-poor planning and attitude can do.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:44   #15
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
About 14 years ago I pulled an "anchor in". ....

The sheriff came and told me to move. I told him to stuff it.

...Then I explained that Oswego was a safe boat harbor built by US Army Corp of Engineers...

...Two hours later there were 40 boats anchored, and nobody was moving...

Since then, the marina went out of business, HarborFest doesn't make much money, Oswego has fallen into disrepair. Shows what some piss-poor planning and attitude can do.
These statements are not entirely accurate.

Oswego Harbor is primarily a commercial and industrial port with a history dating back some 200 years. While it serves as a "harbor of refuge" if it were not for the commercial shipping, the Corp of Engineers would not dredge or maintain the break walls. Oswego is the only deep water commercial US port on Lake Ontario.

About the time that you were last at Harborfest, the event was at its peak attendance for boats and people. On Saturday nights, the night of fireworks, there would be around 100,000 people in town all in the area near the marina with all of the facilities overloaded. It was a madhouse and not everyone, authorities and visitors alike, were always on their best behavior. All who were involved in running Harborfest and the businesses in town were and are pretty stressed out for the days surrounding Harborfest, tempers can easily flair.

The issue of anchoring near the entrance to the CG station has been a contentious one over the years. The marina operator had a permit to operate a marina in the area you were likely anchored and we tenants of the marina had an understandable right to access the marina with minimal interference. There is also a navigation channel there that provides access to the CG station and a small boating center, so again there are issues of free navigation. And if you were anchored in this area, there is not room for 40 boats.

The information you have about the marina going out of business and Harborfest not making money are not entirely accurate.

Harborfest was never intended to be a profitable business. The founder, who was a close friend of mine, intended it to be a celebration of Oswego's Harbor and waterfront. The goal was to bring people to Oswego and to bring the people of Oswego together for a common positive purpose. In this regard it has been highly successful. All events have a life cycle, Harborfest is no exception, it started relatively small the first year and then boomed to a level where it was simply not very pleasant. Over the past 10 years or so attendance has declined to a much more manageable level. Compared to the boom years, it is a considerably more pleasant event. Another factor has been the economy. Harborfest relies on sponsorship from local businesses and industry for its funding. Since 2008, businesses have cut back sponsorship because of the great recession. Entergy, the fireworks sponsor is closing the nuke plant next year, it is unlikely that they will continue to sponsor the fireworks. Who knows if any business is likely to step in to fill their shoes. All this is the tip of the iceberg.

As for the marina going out of business, technically it did, but there is more to the story. The marina (not the City owned marina to the west) was owned by the Port of Oswego Authority and leased to a small business. When the lease was due for renewal about 12 years ago the marina operator and the Port could not come to an agreement on the terms of the lease. The Port Authority then replaced the docks and took over operation of the marina for a few years before selling the marina to the City of Oswego. The City is now fully responsible for the marina's operation.

When we as cruisers enter a port, we are there as guests. How we behave has ramifications for other boaters, both other visiting boaters and resident boaters. As a visitor to a port it is very unlikely that we know in any detail the politics and issues involving the port. While we may take pride in standing our ground and defending our rights, in doing so we may make it more difficult for our fellow sailors. I can assure you that nobody you dealt with that day at Harborfest saw you in a positive way. What they saw was another arrogant A-hole boater that Oswego and Harborfest would be better off without. I think it is safe to say that none of us want to be associated with cruisers who leave that impression with our hosts.
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