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Old 15-07-2008, 11:38   #16
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Hud, Because it is typical of Floriduh and other communities to eliminate FREE anchorages and begin more strict regulations that they can't now implement under law unless there is an approved mooring field. And since they charge for this service you will eventually have nothing but pay anchorages everywhere in Floriduh. These mooring fields such as now in place in Boot Key Harbor, cover the entire harbor so no anchoring space is left for those that chose not to pay. Derelict boats are commonly used as an excuse to implement these when it would be just as easy and no less costly to deal with the derelicts on a one to one basis. But then there is no cash cow left to keep generating income at the expense of what for centuries have been free anchorages.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:04   #17
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Thanks, Chuck.

I can understand wanting to preserve free anchorages. Heck, free is good!

But I can see some arguments for installing mooring fields with fees, as well. Take Annapolis, Maryland, for example. The moorings there allow probably 50% more boats to use the mooring area in Spa Creek, compared to boats swinging at anchor; maybe even more than 50%. It can be filled up during the season. Sure they cost $s, but if you want to park your boat near town, it's a good option, and worth it in my opinion.

Another example. The government here on Nevis installed 100 mooring buoys last fall. Anchoring is now prohibited here, but for good reason. The anchor chains were scouring huge areas of sea grass off the bottom. Sea grass is the habitat of conchs and small fish. The fees are reasonable: $20 US per week for boats 36'-60' in length. My knee-jerk reaction was to be opposed to the new moorings, but I changed my mind--it was a good decision for Nevis.

Maybe the days of free anchorages is coming to an end.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:35   #18
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Hud, You are absolutely correct that under certain conditions a mooring field is beneficial to all. But a mooring field for the purposes of regulating the movements of vessels and solely as a revenue generator when it is unnecessary should not be supported by the boating public, in my opinion. When they are pushed mainly by the local landowners to keep us as boaters out of their view we should indeed strongly oppose it. I find many of their garish homes an eyesore but you don't see me fighting to have them torn down. And I believe that is the difference between a positive impact and a political ploy. And most of the issues today in Floriduh are generated by wealthy landowners and others with political clout.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:57   #19
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Hud,

I think I had said it in my initial response, but when you take a good anchorage and fill it up with moorings, people then have to pay $35/night to stay there - if they're lucky.

One of the problems is that when you fill all the anchorages with moorings, there is no place left to anchor!

Would you want to live in a world where you can't anchor anymore and are forced to pick up a mooring?

That is what my controversial anchoring thread touched briefly upon. There were absolutely no other places left to anchor in the area I had visited, except that one little spot, 1/4 of which was taken up by that boat I mentioned.

This is a serious problem - especially for cruisers who can't afford to pay $900/mo for moorings in every harbor they visit.

Wouldn't an extra $900/mo fee (created by replacing free anchorages with $30/night moorings) put a crimp in anyone else's budget but mine? I'm sure it has to...

Anchorages are vanishing at an alarming rate, being replaced by paid moorings costing $35/night for transients, or completely unavailable to locals who are not "connected" somehow.

For instance... I'm near a mooring field right now that has a 30 year wait for residents of the town and an 80 year wait for non-residents.

It's absurd. They kept an anchorage here, but if they chose to fill it all up with moorings, I would (again) have no place to anchor.
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Old 15-07-2008, 13:31   #20
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
And most of the issues today in Floriduh are generated by wealthy landowners and others with political clout.
As it is and always shall be throughout the world.
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Old 15-07-2008, 14:01   #21
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I support free anchorages.
I don’t support free (unessential) services*.

Personally, when cruising, I prefer to get away from it all (well, much of it), foregoing the conveniences of conventional living, in favour of the offsetting advantages of remote and rustic living. At such times and places, I hope to be free to anchor out, and to fend for myself.

However, when I want/need (some of) the civilized amenities, including (but not limited to) a dinghy dock, parking lot, showers, and convenient access to employment, I should expect to pay the costs associated with such conveniences. These costs may include mooring fees, and etc.

Mooring fields generally open up an anchorage to many more boats than could be accommodated on individual anchors; and (therefore) can represent an efficient use of scarce resources.

There remain numerous places where you can still anchor for free. Unfortunately, most of them don’t offer the civilized conveniences we sometimes require?desire.

Were I a “gazzilionare”, I’d install (free) moorings in front of my private island.

* I’m a pinko socialist, so there’s no end of state-supported services I would advocate; but they’re not free – just no user charge (societaly supported).
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Old 15-07-2008, 14:26   #22
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In general I don't like them because it takes up anchoring space. Also they encourage the very boaters that give boating a bad reputation in Florida - those that see a boat as a cheap trailer. Unless it's coral I don't see the need for moorings. Now, on the other hand, the mooring field at Vero Beach is well run and supports many more cruisers than anchoring would. At the height of the season, when the snowbirds are flocking, they have three boats on each mooring!
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Old 15-07-2008, 16:56   #23
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Guys forget the fields and just anchor out off the coast where ever if your no breaking any rules they can't do anything
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Old 15-07-2008, 22:26   #24
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I recently returned from a visit in Sarasota Fl where I dropped the hook in the free anchorage.

I like my boat.

The free anchorage in Sarasota gave me a nervous concern during my visit. The wind was out of the S/W so I hooked on the S/W side of the field. As I transited in my dink to the tiki bar I was saddened, and concerned, by what I saw.

There was one sailboat washed up on the beach. Private mooring balls, everything from a volley ball to a bleach bottle were in use. Some anchor rodes were solid bars of sea life. The beauty of downtown Sarasota was cloaked in a sea of floating hulks intermingled with some prized possessions.

I will not return to Sarasota until the place is cleaned up.

Having said that, is a mooring field necessary in Gulfport?

I like free anchoring, heck, who doesn't. I also like a safe place to leave my 'baby'. When I'm sitting in the restaurant I don't want to keep staring out into the anchorage looking to see what has drifted into what, and more importantly, into my boat. Maybe my boat is the one that broke free... We get some really nice gusts from the afternoon t-storms.

Stopping for a day or two... get some sleep, a few provisions, use the dinghy dock, a long shower, or just play tourist... Sure, free is better. But sometimes I would like to go on a nice secure mooring and just not worry about it. I do not mind paying a fair price for a fair service.

I'm standing firmly on being torn on the issue.
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Old 16-07-2008, 01:39   #25
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lol that boat has been like that for over a month now

I have the Dutch on the hard there up the road see it every trip to the store.


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Old 19-07-2008, 15:59   #26
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Today I discussed the mooring field with the manager of the high and dry in Gulfport; Court. He is very knowable,attends the council meetings,etc. I believe his information is accurate. He informed me that the city of Gulfport spent $250,000 a few years back for the environmental study for the mooring field. Due to the time lapsed they had to spend another large amount for a new study. The cost for 100 mooring sites plus the maintenance, including a $63,000 pump out boat would raise the millage for tax payers in Gulfport. It can not pay for its self. If it does not make economics sense due to lack of demand for the free enterprise system to put in a for profit mooring field and lease the water rights from the city it should not be put in at the tax payers expense. It appears most sailors would rather drop their anchor for free. I follow a number of blogs, including Sea-Trek and I do not read that people a requesting mooring fields. My 2 cents.
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Old 19-07-2008, 17:40   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lannen View Post
I recently returned from a visit in Sarasota Fl where I dropped the hook in the free anchorage.

I like my boat.

The free anchorage in Sarasota gave me a nervous concern during my visit. The wind was out of the S/W so I hooked on the S/W side of the field. As I transited in my dink to the tiki bar I was saddened, and concerned, by what I saw.

There was one sailboat washed up on the beach. Private mooring balls, everything from a volley ball to a bleach bottle were in use. Some anchor rodes were solid bars of sea life. The beauty of downtown Sarasota was cloaked in a sea of floating hulks intermingled with some prized possessions.

I will not return to Sarasota until the place is cleaned up.

Having said that, is a mooring field necessary in Gulfport?

I like free anchoring, heck, who doesn't. I also like a safe place to leave my 'baby'. When I'm sitting in the restaurant I don't want to keep staring out into the anchorage looking to see what has drifted into what, and more importantly, into my boat. Maybe my boat is the one that broke free... We get some really nice gusts from the afternoon t-storms.

Stopping for a day or two... get some sleep, a few provisions, use the dinghy dock, a long shower, or just play tourist... Sure, free is better. But sometimes I would like to go on a nice secure mooring and just not worry about it. I do not mind paying a fair price for a fair service.

I'm standing firmly on being torn on the issue.
We also recently anchor in that same spot (read our blog) and find your description might be a bit dramatic. Yes there are some possibly abandoned or at least seriously neglected boats and there are also boats that are obviously well cared for. Many where there when we came through 2 years ago. we never felt threatened or unsafe. The only place we have ever had anything stolen was from the docks at the St. Augustine marina so go figure. There are many anchorages all over Floriduh like the one in Sarasota and that is the problem all of the legislation and wrangling is about. we care very much for our boat too but left it on the hook for the afternoon in Sarasota while we were ashore and the boat and all of our belongings where still there when we came back. And guess what? There are city installed moorings there at the Sarasota anchorage, if you can find them. Adding mooring fields are not the answer but they are income generators for the cities so lets call them what they are. They will not stop thefts, unless you count the money you loose to the cities for what was once free, and they will not get rid of the derelict boats. Enforcing the current laws and regulations already on the books both state and federal will do that. But that won't make any money.
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Old 20-07-2008, 02:42   #28
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... Sure, free is better. But sometimes I would like to go on a nice secure mooring and just not worry about it. I do not mind paying a fair price for a fair service.
I'm standing firmly on being torn on the issue.
As Mark Twain said: "I am not young enough to know everything, so I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know."
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