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Old 19-03-2019, 03:37   #1
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Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

Ww’re In Gorda sound off prickly pear. The restaurant is destroyed and nothing going on. The mooring field has no pendants so we assumed it was not being maintained. We anchored by a ball. Later another boat shows up and takes a ball. They are within our swing radius since we’re anchored.

Later a guy showed up to take $$ for moorings, sell
Ice, take garbage. I wasn’t on the boat and no one asked if the field was being maintained.

So... how does anchoring in a mooring field affect rights? I’m asking out of pure ignorance. The other boat didn’t say anything. We did use our second anchor off to the side to reduce our swing and it pulled us further away from them. Wasn’t fun at night.
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Old 19-03-2019, 03:45   #2
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

A mooring field has precedence and in fact, it is generally prohibited from anchoring in a mooring field or near enough that your swinging radius could interfere with a mooring.

On top of that, it's probably a bad idea to anchor in a mooring field due to the risk of fouling your anchor.

If the field is disused or appears abandoned I would say anchor at your own risk and be prepared to be asked to move.
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Old 19-03-2019, 04:07   #3
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

The other three boats here when we arrived were anchored. Then the next boat after us anchored. Then a few hours later the balls started being taken.

It’s not a tight field here so we felt ok about fouling issues. We debated the “is it an active mooring field” question a lot and whether you can/should anchor here. In the end, things were fine. The guy who took money didn’t have a problem with it. Also not sure he has any ownership or even employee status of whoever owns the field.
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Old 19-03-2019, 04:44   #4
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

Not sure where you are, what Country etc.
But it seems that in some of the more out of the way places there are quite a few unofficial mooring fields, some were official that the Government quit taking care of and a local decided he now owns it and wants money for it.
Then some local business puts one in to make money, but has no legal right to, part of the its in my backyard so I have ownership thinking.

Then you have places like Sarasota Fl that anchoring has been outlawed, and your only recourse is to buy a ball.


Near as I can figure, it’s up to you to determine which of those moorings you have found.

It astonishes me here in the Bahamas the number of people that will seek out moorings that are very questionable as to condition and happily pay $20 a day as opposed to anchoring 100’ away.
All I can figure out is they are afraid to anchor and think a mooring is security?
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Old 19-03-2019, 04:53   #5
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

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Then you have places like Sarasota Fl that anchoring has been outlawed,
I think you should clarify this statement. So that some people don't get the wrong impression.

You are not allowed to anchor in or near the Sarasota mooring field, however, you can anchor anywhere else in Sarasota.
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Old 19-03-2019, 04:55   #6
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Not sure where you are, what Country etc.

By the vague description, I'm going to say they are in BVI off Virgin Gorda

If you feel its too close and "wasn't fun at night", then you think you're too close. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you are right/have the right, you may want to move to sleep better.

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Old 19-03-2019, 05:07   #7
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

Yes, we’re In Gorda sound. The not fun at night part was putting out the second anchor. Learning a lot on this trip! We had debated the situation throughout the day but ended up saying “we’ll be fine”. Then came back from dinner after the boat swung and made a better decision than doing nothing, even if it wasn’t the “best” alternative plan.
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Old 19-03-2019, 05:56   #8
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

I bet that except for the few specific approved mooring fields in Florida that there is nothing preventing you from anchoring in the middle of one, and that legally nothing can be done. So in the end far as the boats are concerned it’s like sharing an anchorage.
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Old 19-03-2019, 06:06   #9
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

Can you say "harassment" or being given misdemeanor tickets??
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Old 19-03-2019, 06:15   #10
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

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Originally Posted by Davy J View Post
I think you should clarify this statement. So that some people don't get the wrong impression.



You are not allowed to anchor in or near the Sarasota mooring field, however, you can anchor anywhere else in Sarasota.


I wasn’t aware of that, I thought you could only use the mooring field.
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Old 19-03-2019, 06:38   #11
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

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I wasn’t aware of that, I thought you could only use the mooring field.
You can legally anchor anywhere in Florida except the state approved mooring fields and I think 2 other spots. In Florida the State controls anchoring laws, not local towns. There’s even a couple of Active Captain anchorages right next to the Sarasota mooring field.
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Old 19-03-2019, 06:50   #12
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

It's a dumb idea to anchor in a mooring field in the first place, secondly... the entity who owns or leases the rights to the field has precedence along with the individuals who rent the mooring space. Just stay well clear of the mooring fields.

We've been doing this rather successfully over the past eight years in the Med.
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Old 19-03-2019, 06:52   #13
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

We were in the BVIs in Feb. We did manage to anchor out one night, and took balls the rest of the time.


I'd say that basically, if there's balls, anchoring boats must remain clear of them AND of any boats who may later use them. The point of mooring balls is to maximise the carrying capacity of an anchorage while minimising the damage from anchoring. The small mooring fee helps defray the cost of maintaining the infrastructure that supports cruising.
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Old 19-03-2019, 07:21   #14
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

Regardless of who is “managing” the mooring field, the decision to anchor in one is seriously flawed. Setting another anchor compounds the potential problems, setting it to one side ignores the consequence of someone positioning themselves on the other side of you, either anchored or on a ball.

Typically, anchoring in a mooring field is strictly prohibited. Typically, moorings secure the boat fore and aft to minimize swing regardless of the direction of the wind and current. Even then, wind and current can bring moored boats into contact with one another if the moorings are tightly spaced to maximize access (and profit). Anchoring is such a space introduces a new set of variables that are not easily resolved when circumstances degrade.

Suggest you not tempt fate again and learn the lesson the easy way, don’t anchor in a mooring field.

Cheers!
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Old 19-03-2019, 07:43   #15
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Re: Anchoring in a mooring field, who was rights?

Aside from any legal arguments, it’s just a bad idea to anchor in a mooring field. Even if you can find a large enough hole, there’s a decent chance the hole is there because there’s an unmarked mooring in the centre — right where you want to anchor. The odds of fouling your rode, snagging your anchor, or getting wrapped up in mooring pendants is too high. If you must be in a mooring field I would grab a mooring. Mostly, I just avoid them.

I generally dislike moorings. I appreciate that in some high-use areas they are a necessity, but too often they simply block out good anchoring areas for the simple convenience of mooring owners. And as a cruiser, I have no real idea what comprises a mooring, so am loath to trust them.
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