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Old 21-03-2011, 19:24   #1
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Living Aboard at Anchor in Australia Compared to US

Is living aboard at anchor in Australia as lax as it is here in America?
Is it frowned upon by the local governments?
Do people live in nice rural anchorages for free?
Do people also anchor under high rise's in metropolitian areas?
Are there problems with derelict vessels?
Mooring fields?
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Old 22-03-2011, 01:53   #2
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Is living aboard at anchor in Australia as lax as it is here in America? No
Is it frowned upon by the local governments? Yes
Do people live in nice rural anchorages for free? Sort of...
Do people also anchor under high rise's in metropolitan areas? Sort of...
Are there problems with derelict vessels? Yes
Mooring fields? Sort of...

The general rule in NSW is that you can only live on your boat for a maximum of 3 continuous days or 20 total days in one year.

So if it happens it happens "under the radar".

Overseas visitors may get softer treatment than the locals...

The key seems to be to keep a nice looking boat and to keep it presentable. The Authorities will follow up complaints, but they might take their time if it's not a "burning" issue.

In some of the less visited places the locals might actually be happy to see you.

Living aboard in front of high rises full of 9 to 5er's with gigantic mortgages is not likely to be a long term proposition. Of course if they are some of our luckier public housing recipients the problem may be less.

Anything that even looks like a "mooring minder" (a boat placed on a mooring only to preserve the owner's right to that mooring) cases much resentment. Mooring of derelict boats is illegal, though it does seem to happen.

The really popular areas are full of licensed moorings, the Oz equivalent of mooring fields.
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Old 22-03-2011, 03:58   #3
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Boracay,

That was a nice and concise explanation. It seems everywhere we go it gets smaller and smaller.
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:19   #4
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Is it true that you can "license" your personal mooring with the government?
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:21   #5
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

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Boracay,

That was a nice and concise explanation. It seems everywhere we go it gets smaller and smaller.
I wonder why authorities and the general public have such a problem with people living aboard.
Is it the lack of mortgage, jealousy, fear or a combination of these and more.
I expect this subject has been done to death, but it seems that it is becoming harder and harder to live anywhere but a conventional home in the "western" world.
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:37   #6
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Where I am, I am not sure what the law says, but on the Gold Coast broadwater, there are several boats and houseboats with people living on them at anchor, some off Paradise Point some off Biggera Waters, you do often seem them move about, so perhaps there is some sort of rule preventing them from staying in one spot for too long.
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:48   #7
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

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Is it true that you can "license" your personal mooring with the government?
It varies from state to state and even within a state, the tolerance of "bending" the rules varies.

In WA (Perth), you MUST license your personal mooring. In fact, the only part of the mooring you actually own is the hardware. The license allows you the sole use of the seabed (and swing area).

Although not enforced in the past, now you must have a boat (registered) in order to keep the license and you can't sell the right to use the seabed unless you sell the boat with it. You can allow someone else's boat to use the mooring but not for profit (cost sharing only).

Thus you see an old boat (worth $500) for sale along with the mooring for say $10,000 so the new owner scraps the worthless boat and now has a mooring for his real boat.
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Old 22-03-2011, 08:09   #8
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Is it true that you can "license" your personal mooring with the government?

Yes. It is controlled at state level and I assume each state works much the same way.

In NSW the NSW Maritime Authority sets out the areas where moorings are permitted and maintains the register of owners who have allocated moorings. They levy an annual fee for the licence starting at around $300 for a 10m boat outside Sydney area. Prices rise in Sydney harbour and a 15m boat in a prime location would be around $3,000. You pay your own contractor to install and maintain the mooring.

For those locations where ther are no available spots, you pay a deposit and go on a waiting list until your turn comes up. If you sell the boat you are supposed to give up the mooring, so people often buy el cheapo boats as "mooring minders" until they get a replacement.
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:04   #9
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artif View Post
I wonder why authorities and the general public have such a problem with people living aboard.
Is it the lack of mortgage, jealousy, fear or a combination of these and more.
I expect this subject has been done to death, but it seems that it is becoming harder and harder to live anywhere but a conventional home in the "western" world.
Waterfront land is usually the most expensive stuff on the market, but liveaboards can be on a mega yacht or a floating hulk that will be sunk by next winter. I think if the rich folks stayed near the rich folks, and the po' folks near the po' folks, things would be a lot less contentious.

To some extent I can't blame some guy who spent five million on a bay front home not wanting some dirtbag on a 15' sloop with no sails get smashed all night and direct discharging into the harbor.

There are a lot of bums on the water and on land you can at least generally move them into certain areas.

Sorry to be the voice of evil capitalism.
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:07   #10
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Governments, even "democracies," abhor actual freedom. Every law, regulation, and local ordinance is designed to restrict freedom and pad the government payrolls. This requires more tax dollars which in turn requires more ordinances, fines, fees, and legal costs (lawyers) which in turn requires more employees......on and on ad infinitum in a vicious circle (some call it a circle jerk). Every time I sail into a harbor that used to be open and accessible but is now absolutely jammed with mostly vacant questionable municipal rental moorings attempting to extort money from sailors, it makes me angry and less likely to spend any money there. There are places such as Atlantic Highlands which reserve plenty of space for people wanting to throw the hook for a few nights but they are quickly disappearing. Cases in point: Potters Cove, upriver from Newport. It is absolutely packed with town moorings with almost no boats attached to them. West Harbor on Fishers Island- If you want to anchor now you have to stay outside the breakwater because the best anchorage is now jammed with rental moorings. Inner Hadley Harbor- no room to anchor. Menemsha- Once a real fishing port, taken over by the rich. The pond now closed to people who want to anchor because the grossly monied don't want their view cluttered. Glad I did most of my boating back in the free times.
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:34   #11
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Why are you guys so down on moorings? You can fit way more boats into a mooring field than an anchorage and the holding is generally much more secure.

Derelict boats sink and need to be lifted out at the tax payer's expense, harbors need to be dredged, and more boats are on the water now than ever before. Seems pretty logical to me that a good way to fix it is to put in a mooring field and charge a few bucks.

The vast majority of harbors and bights around the world are still available for anchoring, but yeah if you want to be near a metropolitan area you can't argue that packing more boats in and paying for the harbor's upkeep is best accomplished with mooring fields.

I know it's hip to demonize anyone in officialdom but honestly the majority of the folks in decision making capacities on the harbor are very experienced mariners who still spend a lot of time on the water and are private boat owners on top of that.

When you're not tasked with any of the responsibility that comes with maintaining a harbor it's pretty easy to scoff at all the rules and lament the passing of halcyon days.
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Old 22-03-2011, 15:09   #12
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Some folks are content to expect big brother to solve all problems, some prefer freedom over more regulation. " A few bucks?" Let's see, $35-$50/ night= $1000-$1500/month for a lousy mooring of very questionable integrity, requiring many employees and fancy harbormaster boats to monitor, governmental employees to account for, continuous maintenance, and committees of many minor politicos to figure out just how to line 'em up, plopped right where I and many others used to freely anchor. It's just more governmental fleecing to support its insatiable, uncontrolled need for dollars.
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Old 22-03-2011, 17:16   #13
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

Trying to get back on topic; the OP wants to know the differences between mooring down under to those up over (I think?).

What to you guys up over get for your "license fee"?

In WA, the annual fee for any mooring is the same AFAIK. For this you get a some public servants monitoring your mooring. They give you a piece of paper that proves you have the right to use it, they make sure no other mooring (ie swing area) can interfere with you. They will remove any unauthorized vessel from your mooring if you ask them to (and for free) and take it away to wherever they want. They send you reminders to maintain your mooring should you forget to .

And they prevent from renting it or selling it.

All for about $400 per year.

Good deal - I don't think it is so great but others do and perhaps it would be chaos without this control. Certainly keeps more people in a job and maybe that is a good thing
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Old 29-03-2011, 04:06   #14
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

The mooring issue in Australia tends to follow the size of the city. Bigger city = bigger attitude. The cops in Sydney have huge attitude and want you to moor in Blackwattle Bay only. Outside there you might find problems and will have to move regularly. Oddly enough the mean cops are not the boys in blue but a special troop of harbor cops. They wear brown and their boats are marked " Maritime ". Through December and January you can get away with mooring anywhere because there are too many foreign boats in town at that time of the year for them to bother.

Regular commercial moorings on the harbor are not too expensive at about $400 pm and include water, shower, toilet and tender.

If you want to know about the Hawkesbury area ask Jim Cate. He has been there for quite a while. It would have about 50 anchorages if you include the river and seems OK as long as you keep moving.

Lake Macquarie offers fabulous cruising and is pretty easy going. The yacht club has visitor slips.
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Old 29-03-2011, 05:44   #15
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Re: Living aboard at anchor in Australia compared to U.S.

So, basically anchoring and living aboard full time is ok as long as you are moving on frequently/monthly?

Cities have jurisdiction of local waters?

Here in florida the state is protecting those at anchor by not allowing cities to run us off.

For those that have a personally licensed mooring (not a government mooring field), can they live at that spot indefinately?
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