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Old 15-10-2011, 20:27   #1
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What's Up with Living on the Hook in Florida ?

I'm considering becoming a live aboard in the St Pete/Tampa area. I would be living on the hook and just rowing to shore everyday to go to work. Its a simpler life and I would enjoy that, not to mention that living on the hook is free. Or is it? I'm reading weird things about anchoring rights in Florida. I've heard that you can be a live aboard on the hook anywhere in Florida, as long as you call yourself a "fulltime cruiser" and go sailing every couple of weekends. I've also read that you now have to anchor in specific mooring fields owned by the city. Then I also read about this mooring pilot program, where some cities can tell you where you can moor and where you can sit on the hook on open water in the bay. I was under the assumption that the state passed a law that as long as you moved your boat occasionally you weren't a live aboard and you could anchor where ever you wanted outside a mooring field indefinitely and cities couldn't stop you. I don't live in Florida at this time but planning to move within the next year and live aboard, could someone please help clear things up for me.
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S
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Old 15-10-2011, 20:34   #2
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

try manatee river at the mouth of the river--there are a few boats anchored there. good holding and not too far from a place to dink to-- there was a large sampson looking ketch there-- talk with them as far as dink landings.
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Old 15-10-2011, 20:57   #3
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

Go to the Boat US website, they have the Fla ruling on anchoring and they suggest that you carry a copy with you just incase you need to educate a person of authority.
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Old 16-10-2011, 08:49   #4
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

You should join us at the BARR. Go to marinersbarr.org. It will let you know what's going on in the anchoring world in Florida.
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Old 16-10-2011, 08:51   #5
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

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Originally Posted by Soundtrackzz View Post
I'm considering becoming a live aboard in the St Pete/Tampa area. I would be living on the hook and just rowing to shore everyday to go to work. Its a simpler life and I would enjoy that, not to mention that living on the hook is free. Or is it? I'm reading weird things about anchoring rights in Florida. I've heard that you can be a live aboard on the hook anywhere in Florida, as long as you call yourself a "fulltime cruiser" and go sailing every couple of weekends. I've also read that you now have to anchor in specific mooring fields owned by the city. Then I also read about this mooring pilot program, where some cities can tell you where you can moor and where you can sit on the hook on open water in the bay. I was under the assumption that the state passed a law that as long as you moved your boat occasionally you weren't a live aboard and you could anchor where ever you wanted outside a mooring field indefinitely and cities couldn't stop you. I don't live in Florida at this time but planning to move within the next year and live aboard, could someone please help clear things up for me.
Thanks
S
The Florida mooring fields are a pilot program and haven't been installed yet.

You have Florida's law right -- in Florida, a live aboard is someone who lives on his or her boat and never cruises. That doesn't mean some municipalities won't dog your every step, boarding your boat at 3AM to check for flares, etc.

I know someone who lives on the hook, and by being eyes and ears for the police (reporting when boats are being boarded suspiciously, for instance) -- they now leave him alone.

But often locals do not like people who live on the hook in Florida. On the hook, you're contributing very little to the tax base. There's no income tax here, and on the hook you pay no property tax either directly or indirectly by renting.

If I were you I would not reveal it at any job interviews. By the way, many sailing and yacht clubs don't allow live-aboards, especially if you intend to use their property as your access to land.

I'm not against it. i'm just aware of some of the problems.
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Old 16-10-2011, 08:55   #6
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

Yea watch the cops,seems like some of them are reject security guards from the land of Micky and Goofie..and you know those circus clowns and people that think that a spaceship is going to come for them congragate in that area...get ready to beam up....DVC
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Old 16-10-2011, 09:01   #7
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

when we were on the hook in manatee river entrance, there were no visits by water police, there are a few boats semi-permanently anchored there and is all good. you might want to check it out.... holding was very good in mud.
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Old 17-10-2011, 06:56   #8
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Re: What's Up with Living on the Hook in Florida ?

Dinghy in to work every morning? Have you really thought this through? Public transportation around the Tampa Bay area is pretty lousy. Hence, you are going to need a car. So you need to find someplace where you can safely leave your dinghy, that is walking distance to somewhere that you can safely park your car. Presumably, you will want to also be able to do both these things (park your car during the night and your dinghy during the day) for free.

I honestly am not trying to discourage you, but I think the logistics of this are going to be more complicated than you anticipate.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:04   #9
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Re: What's Up with Living on the Hook in Florida ?

Also consider water needs. Watermakers are generally not used close in to shore, where the water is not as "clean" as off shore. Lugging in jerrycans of water on a dinghi can be difficult. Then there's the head. Pumping out or having to run off-shore to send it overboard will get to be troublesome. It's a lot of work living off the grid.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:12   #10
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
The Florida mooring fields are a pilot program and haven't been installed yet.

You have Florida's law right -- in Florida, a live aboard is someone who lives on his or her boat and never cruises. That doesn't mean some municipalities won't dog your every step, boarding your boat at 3AM to check for flares, etc.

I know someone who lives on the hook, and by being eyes and ears for the police (reporting when boats are being boarded suspiciously, for instance) -- they now leave him alone.

But often locals do not like people who live on the hook in Florida. On the hook, you're contributing very little to the tax base. There's no income tax here, and on the hook you pay no property tax either directly or indirectly by renting.

If I were you I would not reveal it at any job interviews. By the way, many sailing and yacht clubs don't allow live-aboards, especially if you intend to use their property as your access to land.

I'm not against it. i'm just aware of some of the problems.
Municipalities cannot board a documented vessel from the U.S. or another country at 3AM or any other time without permission. Only Fed's can.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:16   #11
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
when we were on the hook in manatee river entrance, there were no visits by water police, there are a few boats semi-permanently anchored there and is all good. you might want to check it out.... holding was very good in mud.

In the St. Petersburg area, avoid the area around the VA hospital by Bay Pines Blvd. There are a lot of derelict boats there and the shallow water is sometimes really aggravated by periodic extreme low tides we have here. But mostly it's just an unsavory area to have your boat and I wouldn't consider it secure at all.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:18   #12
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Re: What's Up with Living on the Hook in Florida ?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Dinghy in to work every morning? Have you really thought this through? Public transportation around the Tampa Bay area is pretty lousy. Hence, you are going to need a car. So you need to find someplace where you can safely leave your dinghy, that is walking distance to somewhere that you can safely park your car. Presumably, you will want to also be able to do both these things (park your car during the night and your dinghy during the day) for free.

I honestly am not trying to discourage you, but I think the logistics of this are going to be more complicated than you anticipate.

Actually, in some areas of St. Petersburg the public transportation is very good. It varies greatly by location.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:19   #13
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Re: What's Up with Living on the Hook in Florida ?

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Originally Posted by Jon4399 View Post
Also consider water needs. Watermakers are generally not used close in to shore, where the water is not as "clean" as off shore. Lugging in jerrycans of water on a dinghi can be difficult. Then there's the head. Pumping out or having to run off-shore to send it overboard will get to be troublesome. It's a lot of work living off the grid.

In the Gulfport Municipal Marina, anyone can come in and pump out for free. No charge at all. Whether other public marinas do that, I don't know.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:22   #14
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Re: Whats up with living on the hook in Florida?

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Municipalities cannot board a documented vessel from the U.S. or another country at 3AM or any other time without permission. Only Fed's can.
Technically, perhaps. But in reality, if you want to not be harassed, you cooperate. If you have very deep pockets and can afford to challenge the local authorities, then I guess you can, but if you have an emergency call because some stranger is trying to board your boat, how quickly will they respond? The people I know around here who have lived anchored out here have found that a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down.
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:24   #15
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Re: What's Up with Living on the Hook in Florida ?

Oh -- I would also recommend that the person put in a REALLY good mooring ball, rather than an anchor. We've had a couple of bad storms here (St. Petersburg area). In one storm last April, eight boats went aground in one very small area ... but none of the boats with really good moorings even dragged. Of course they were at risk of being hit by the boats that did drag ... and I know of one case where that happened. But after seeing the results of those storms, I would not live anchoring out with just anchors.
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