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Old 14-12-2009, 08:30   #1
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Setting-Up a Permanent Mooring in Texas

In the great quest for a boat, The Wife asked "Where would you even keep this thing."

And I replyed, "Uh, a marina?" She was CLEARLY unimpressed with that answer. When I set out to look at marina costs, instant sticker shock. (Not really, but paying a dock master a couple of C-notes a month to hold onto my boat for me sure does take the fun out of it.)

Then the idea came to me, "You could put a mooring in!" That sounded like a really good idea, and I was all happy. Get some chain, a big mushroom anchor, a buoy, and... I don't know.

I can find plenty of help on how to construct a mooring boey, maybe even some help on how to install it. But WHERE to install it, and how to register it?

There has GOT to be a registration. The state of Texas, and the Federal Goverment isn't just going to let people drop mooring buoys off willy nilly? Will they? Is it a simple matter of finding an open spot with enough water, out of the way, and droping a big anchor with a bunch of chain off?

What would be really cool is while I'm getting ready to sail, but still onland, set up the buoy up the bays or something where I can drive close to it easy. Then when I'm just wanting to sail it, and the baot is ready to go move the bouy down near the Gulf.

I have no idea what I'm trying to do here! LOL
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Old 14-12-2009, 08:38   #2
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I do not have the answer but it sure was a funny read, lol

I can't wait to see the answer.

I am sure you can not just go out and drop a motor block or other object in any water way. Must be some rules.


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Old 14-12-2009, 08:52   #3
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I can't think of anywhere around here where I'd want to leave the boat unattended......for a length of time.....without having some way of keeping theives at bay.
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Old 14-12-2009, 09:20   #4
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In my experience there are probably three bureaucracies you'll need to deal with.

The State owns the bottom, and would have an agency that you would apply to for a "subaqueous land" permit or some such thing. The U.S. Corps of Engineers is responsible for navigable waters, and would have to be consulted so they can make sure you're not going to interfere with navigation. In many cases they delegate some authority to the State, but you should check with them. Then the County or Municipality may have some type of zoning ordinance dealing with such things. Many states have "coastal zone" laws controlling any development in or near the water, that are administered by the local counties.

If I were you, I'd start with your local county/city administration. They should be able to tell you exactly what needs to be done and who to contact at all three levels.
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Old 14-12-2009, 09:38   #5
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There's also the possibility that if you pick your spot carefully and don't say anything, officialdom won't even notice. If they do, with a little planning your mooring doesn't have to be that hard to remove, or get a permit after the fact. Easier to get forgiven than to get permission.
Hint: Don't display a mooring ball when your boat is there - it will just look like it's anchored.
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Old 14-12-2009, 10:22   #6
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I've often wondered about why moorings have not been to popular in Texas. The only on I have ever seen in the Clear Lake area is one little POS sailboat sitting behind the storm relief gates under the 146 bridge near the Blue Dolphine Marina.

The only thing I can think is that most of the good protected waters are not going to be deep enough with out dredging here in the Houston area at least. And then you would have to find some buisness or park to allow you to park your car and dihngy.
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Old 14-12-2009, 10:41   #7
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I'm actualy down near Corpus Christi.

I was thinking of I could find a good spot for a mooring, I could launch a dingy to get near it from one of the many public parks with beachs and/or boat ramps.
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Old 14-12-2009, 10:57   #8
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When I was a kid, dad had 2 moorings in 2 different locations. They were old iron locomotive train wheels, and all he did was attach a chain and buoy. The harbourmaster was consulted and the job was done. Seems many people use old engine blocks or make one in concrete. That way if you didnt use it again its not a great financial cost loss.
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Old 14-12-2009, 12:42   #9
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Funny that we can have similar threads with different points of view.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f23/nanaimo-anchoring-fees-27270.html
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Old 14-12-2009, 12:53   #10
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I have a partial answer....

The US Army Corps of Engineers has reserved a number of locations around the country as mooring/anchoring areas. For instance, here in Charleston there's a federal field just north of the Ashley River/Wapoo Creek intersection: that's where my mooring is. Within those fields, you can just lay down buoys to your heart's content, as long as they don't impede navigation, because the Corps has a standing national buoy permit in force within their designated areas. If I were you, I'd go to the local Corps Office and look for a designated field near you, then scout it out and drop anchor. That will take care of being legal to install it.

The problem is registration. I have yet to figure out how to register a buoy within the federal mooring field. The Corps of Engineers doesn't do it: they only care about whether you've impeded navigation. I've tried the Coast Guard but haven't been able to make any headway. SC Dept of Natural Resources wasn't too helpful either. So I have a buoy that's legal, but there's nothing official that states my ownership except for the bill of sale. Not exactly awesome. I'm still working on it.

Of course, maybe the registration will be easier in Texas. Then again, unless you're leaving the buoy for a long time, it shouldn't matter. The only real purpose to having it registered would be to help you remove squatters, but if your boat is on it, there goes that problem.

Not sure how much that helps.
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Old 14-12-2009, 13:03   #11
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Honestly, I don't think the threads have a diffrent point of view.

The nanaimo thread is about preventing the requirement to register a mooring. I would love to find that there is no requirement to register.

My thread is about exactly what kind of registration would be needed, if any?

At least in my case, I would not want to do it wrong for several reasons.

1. Worst case, they take my boat.
2. Almost as bad, they come through and take my mooring.
3. Even worse, someone else ties up to my ball, drags it, and dammages their boat and sue me.
4. Even worse, a dredge comes through, hits my anchor, dammages their boat, and sue me for dammages.

If any of the above can simply be hannded by following the already existing rules of the land, so much the better. And if the rule of the land/sea is "find an out of the way place, and stick an anchor there" so much the better!
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Old 14-12-2009, 13:22   #12
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Are you a Boat US Member? If so, you can contact their legal department, and they will either know, or find out.

I would suspect that if you place a mooring somewhere, you'll find yourself constantly boarded by TP&W and the CG. Remember, you'll need to be able to pump out.

For the price, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just go to CC City Marina.
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Old 14-12-2009, 13:53   #13
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Here in Bermuda, a British colony, you apply to drop your weight on the "Queens bottom". Honest!!
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Old 14-12-2009, 14:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post

My thread is about exactly what kind of registration would be needed, if any?

At least in my case, I would not want to do it wrong for several reasons;

1. Worst case, they take my boat.
2. Almost as bad, they come through and take my mooring.
3. Even worse, someone else ties up to my ball, drags it, and dammages their boat and sue me.
4. Even worse, a dredge comes through, hits my anchor, dammages their boat, and sue me for dammages.
#1 The chances of that happening are slim and none.
#2 The chances of that happening are slim, none, and forget it. If the authorities got that mad at you they wouldn't take it, they'd make you remove it.
#3 If it's not registered how are they going to prove it's yours?
#4 See #3.

Those who involve the authorities unnecessarily deserve it.
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Old 14-12-2009, 16:19   #15
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FSMike,

Inevitably, when you tell the "authorities" that it's "none of your bussness", they take it the wrong way, and make it their bussness.

That said, I kinda understand the draw of just droping a mushroom anchor with a bottle tied to a peice of rope that kinda looks like a crab pot float.
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