As in many things our impressions of a group of people are often formed by two things. 1-Our attitudes going in, preconceived ideas. 2-Our encounters with a very limited subgroup of that greater group. I don't have an "opinion of liveaboards" as they're all different and it's a broad group of people, quite different from each other.
As to rules and regulation. I'm not going to address Richardson Bay or any specific area as I'm not a stakeholder there nor do I have more than very limited exposure or knowledge. But I'm going to address a concept
. Absence of rules and laws does not grant freedom. We often think of it as such but it just leads to a different way of control or limitation. While some say it leads to chaos and it sometimes does, it can lead to worse, assumption of control by the most aggressive faction. Where rules aren't established by law, they become established within a societal group and often not at all fairly.
Going to an extreme, if there was no such thing as land ownership, you wouldn't then have the land shared equitably, you'd have it claimed and taken by those most inclined to fight for it or use force.
I don't feel my rights are unduly compromised when I get on the highway and there's a rule
regarding which lane I must drive in.
So how does that apply to anchoring
, mooring, liveaboard
and generally in society? Compromise. The rules that create a fair playing field, that control or limit those who would abuse absence of rules without unduly penalizing those who are no problem. That's why it's complicated. How do we limit those who left unchecked would take over anchorages or mooring fields through force or aggression without penalizing excessively those who would use those areas fairly and appropriately.
While there are some who are anti-liveaboard and even anti-boater in every respect, most are just against particular segments or representatives of that population. While the abusers may harm the view of those on land, the ones they truly hurt are those who just want to anchor or moor and live peacefully on their boat, harming no one.
The complication is figuring out how to make those rules. It's a general complication a society faces. We live on the water
and we love to look out on the boats, especially some of the beautiful sailboats, anchored not far from our home. We would not be happy if derelict boats or really any boats were just parked there, not being used or maintained. But with us it would just be an annoyance. The ones truly hurt would be those cruisers or liveaboards who just needed a decent place to anchor and cause no harm to anyone..in fact, add to the community.
I don't care how much income
the owners of a boat have or how much their boat is worth, nor do I care where their income
comes from. I do care that they are using the area fairly and not taking advantage of it for a use contrary to that for which it was established, contrary to the general good.
There is one more factor. That is the tendency of people to overreact. Ultimately those who abuse privileges put others at risk of losing privileges. Eventually, instead of moderate regulation and minimal rules you end up with the loss of all privileges. For those who cruise
, those who live aboard, those who anchor, and those of us who just generally use the waterways, the ones who put us at greatest risk of finding our rights more restricted are not those who remain on land. They are our fellow boaters, the ones who give our entire group a bad name.
A simple example from elsewhere in society. There are convenience stores that have put in rules restricting school
from entering after school
or limiting the number at any time. All this was because of the actions of a few. Who really loses in this? The good kid. The kid who would cause no harm. The kid who simply wants to get a snack and a drink and go their way.
It's all a constant search and battle to find a reasonable balance. If those of us in the middle aren't able to help toward doing so then ultimately the extremists at either end are the ones who take control.
To those against rules of any sort, I remind that no one can have unlimited freedom without risking it being usurped by others granted the same. To those wanting a plethora of rules, I remind that good rules are the minimum required to protect the rights of others.