"I don't know if it's a State or Federal mandate, but whoever wants to remove an apparently abandoned boat from "it's" waters has to search for the boat's rightful owner with due diligence."
There is no mandate
involving this. Motor
vehicles are normally titled property
in all US states and if you take tilted property without making a good search for the title holder? State laws call you a thief and place you under arrest and then the fun begins.
Likewise there are, AFAIK, no salvage laws
that allow anyone to claim salvage
over an anchored vessel. Salvage
if for abandoned vessels and an anchored vessel is presumed to be anchored--not abandoned.
Somebody steals my boat, takes it for a joyride, drops the anchor
and goes away. It is still MY BOAT and you are not entitled to touch it. Got it?
wasn't such a laissez-fair "let's keep the taxes
and services low" state, they could easily solve the problem by setting up a fund and using it for a removal
program. But the residents of Florida
, the voters of Florida, the politicians of Florida, and several other states, either don't want it or can't conceive of it.
It isn't hard to solve the problem, but it is politically expedient to hoot and holler about it and use it as an excuse to chase those waterborne non-voting vagrants off the pretty waterfront.
The system works just fine, for the folks who fund it and run it. All these damned middle-class Yankees moving south try to improve things, and just wind
up ruining it for the rich (by driving up labor rates) and ruin it for the poor servants as well, by competing for housing and driving up the rents. Damned Yankees, ruining life for everyone
in the South! Them derelicts? They don't harm no one, leave 'em be.