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Old 17-03-2023, 04:10   #1
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A solution for derelict boats!

I have an idea. I always have an idea. Lol

there have been a lot of hours at the helm lately. Much of them spent looking at derelict boats.

Each town seems to set its own anchoring rules and ordinances right? We see that. The rules differ from town to town in the United States on the East Coast.

some places have mandatory mooring fields. Some places allow anchoring for a certain amount of time. Some places allow indefinite anchoring.

just depends where you are and the local water cops are the ones that enforce these things right?

now, as I made my way up Florida’s East Coast, it was strewn with more sunken and destroyed boats than I have seen in all of my years traveling these waters. It’s worse than ever.

here’s my idea on how to eliminate the situation and stop the people of the local towns from having to pay to remove these things.

since the water cops are patrolling anyway, they should go around to each boat in their Anchorage and get the ID of the person that’s anchored there. Forget about limits on anchoring. Forget about all of that. Get the ID. make a note of the ID and registration. No ID or no registration? No anchoring. Get lost.

From there, if a boat sinks or if a boat creates an environmental hazard or whatever, they can track down the person and hold them financially responsible for the boat. As they should be. They can enforce judgements against them.

this probably would help persuade people to get liability insurance as well. Because you are financially responsible for your boat if you create an environmental disaster in any given town.

we are unable to police this ourselves because we have a lot of bad actors out here. I wish we, as a community, could do something. But it doesn’t seem like we have been able to.

I think it would be great if the cops came to you every time you anchored and got your ID and registration so that just in case something went wrong you were responsible.

The upside to that is you wouldn’t have to deal with them later. They wouldn’t come around and tell you to move on. They wouldn’t come around and bother you about anchoring restrictions. We could let the anchoring restrictions go. But the personal responsibility would increase.


We'd have more freedom and more personal responsibility.
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Old 17-03-2023, 04:30   #2
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

You are right. Derelict boats cause problems for the people trying to do the right thing. But I am a little uneducated about a solution. I seem to see that most derelict boats have registration numbers on them and I am sure almost all have hull numbers. Can't local authorities go through state and county agencies to track down owners? Even to the point of an open warrant relative to auto registration/operation. It must be less expensive to pursue this route than having the local authority bear the cost of disposing of the boats.
Am I missing something?
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Old 17-03-2023, 05:25   #3
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

There are also NOAA grants available for entities willing to clean up derelict/sunken boats. I worked for a nonprofit which cleaned up wrecks and debris with a NOAA grant, and astonishingly a lot of grant money is left on the table because no one wants to invest in a crane and barge and tidy up these wrecks.
So there's a solution already in place: what is lacking is the enterprise to carry it out.
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Old 17-03-2023, 05:31   #4
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

I agree with your your analysis of the problem, Chotu, particularly in Florida, and the pain that it is causing for responsible cruisers here in the state. We no longer use the term "live aboard" as it has a nasty connotation of some unseaworthy vessel with a vagrant squatting aboard. I also agree that this is not self-policing opportunity for boaters because we have no authority and the bad actors are not reading this post.

I agree with part of the solution of checking registrations - We registered our documented vessel in Florida because we are here more than 90 days, so why did we do that if it is not necessary? I think it is optimistic to think that law enforcement would find people on boats, or intercept them as they are arriving. Boats appear in the waterways like mushrooms after the rain, apparently with no humans ever coming near them.

I think Benz' idea is great - If it is not registered and law enforcement cannot find you in 30 days, it gets destroyed. They already do that for abandoned autos on the highway - slap a bright orange sticker on the window with a date and notice, and if it is still there 24 hours later it is towed.
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Old 17-03-2023, 05:59   #5
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

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There are also NOAA grants available for entities willing to clean up derelict/sunken boats. I worked for a nonprofit which cleaned up wrecks and debris with a NOAA grant, and astonishingly a lot of grant money is left on the table because no one wants to invest in a crane and barge and tidy up these wrecks.
So there's a solution already in place: what is lacking is the enterprise to carry it out.
that might be true, but I’m also thinking of places like Newport, actually.

It’s stinks that there’s a 14 day limit on anchoring there.

There don’t seem to be very many derelict boat problems thanks to winter, but having the limitation sucks.

There are quite a few other municipalities they have these limitations as well. And they have them for the purpose of getting rid of derelicts.

They go around anyway so they could get all of the information from the boats in the anchorages. many of them, Newport included, already come chat with the person to find out what’s going on. So why not just grab their ID and registration and forget about all the limitations?
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Old 17-03-2023, 06:03   #6
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

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I agree with your your analysis of the problem, Chotu, particularly in Florida, and the pain that it is causing for responsible cruisers here in the state. We no longer use the term "live aboard" as it has a nasty connotation of some unseaworthy vessel with a vagrant squatting aboard. I also agree that this is not self-policing opportunity for boaters because we have no authority and the bad actors are not reading this post.

I agree with part of the solution of checking registrations - We registered our documented vessel in Florida because we are here more than 90 days, so why did we do that if it is not necessary? I think it is optimistic to think that law enforcement would find people on boats, or intercept them as they are arriving. Boats appear in the waterways like mushrooms after the rain, apparently with no humans ever coming near them.

I think Benz' idea is great - If it is not registered and law enforcement cannot find you in 30 days, it gets destroyed. They already do that for abandoned autos on the highway - slap a bright orange sticker on the window with a date and notice, and if it is still there 24 hours later it is towed.

Maybe. I mean itís different everywhere. But many of the municipalities come around to you anyway. The water cops come right up to you to find out who you are and what you are doing. Theyíre already out here. They might as well just collect the data so they can put some teeth into bad actors.

There are a lot of municipalities to keep a very close eye on their anchorages. Most of them actually. they know every boat coming and going but they arenít doing anything more than making a note of the boat. And sometimes going right up and talking to the person. But they donít get any ID or registration information.

Just because you buy a boat doesnít mean youíre changing the bow numbers or the hailing port or anything. That could all fall to the previous owner. so, since the cops are there already making note and talking to people, they might as well just get the real information from whoever is on board. Or a kick them out if they didnít register the boat.

I donít know. Seems like a good idea. Hard to see the negatives involved. Gives us more freedom to anchor as well.
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Old 17-03-2023, 06:33   #7
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

I don't think this is going to work. Assume you have the derelict owner's ID. Then what? Are you going to spend taxpayer resources chasing down a homeless person, drag them to court, and get a judgement against them? Do you really think you'd collect on that judgement?

Many states have requirements that motor vehicles carry insurance for this reason. I'm not sure how that would be enforced on the water, but maybe that's part of the solution.
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Old 17-03-2023, 06:39   #8
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

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I don't think this is going to work. Assume you have the derelict owner's ID. Then what? Are you going to spend taxpayer resources chasing down a homeless person, drag them to court, and get a judgement against them? Do you really think you'd collect on that judgement?

Many states have requirements that motor vehicles carry insurance for this reason. I'm not sure how that would be enforced on the water, but maybe that's part of the solution.
I'm not convinced it's homeless people anymore.

I think a fair number are just a holes.

I've noticed a bit of a trend this trip though. Lots of people have been using the anchorages as free marinas. Then they drag. Then they abandon the boats.

No one is living on the majority of boats in the anchorages. The majority weren't travelers.

My last boat is sitting in one of those anchorages right now awaiting the same fate. No anchor light. Owner is out of the country. It miraculously held through the last storm but most didn't. Maybe the Manson Supreme I bought for it? There are about a dozen derelicts there. At least.

(I wish someone would buy that beautiful and working 50ft Gulfstar and rescue it - everything works, electric in mast furling, northern lights generator, etc)

Most of the anchorages in Florida are filled with jerks just taking them up for long term boat storage.

There are very few people living on these boats. And they're not derelicts yet. Until the next storm.

And it's pretty easy to collect from people. They do it all day long with motor vehicles. You just attach the infraction to their license. Same as a car. The other state then enforces it through suspending licenses and registrations.
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Old 17-03-2023, 07:18   #9
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

Either attach the boat to someone's insurance/license, or make them pay a deposit in order to boat, that they don't get back until they dispose of the boat.

Ultimately, you make the owner of the boat responsible. Then they care.

It's not really free to keep a boat anywhere, even at some remote anchorage. Everything has a carrying/maintenance cost.
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Old 17-03-2023, 07:23   #10
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

I noticed the same thing coming up the east coast in January. Most of that is due to the 2 hurricanes that affected that area within a relatively short span of time.

It's interesting to know there are grants available.
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Old 17-03-2023, 10:05   #11
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

Not sure I grasp how this would work. I agree, not all derelict boats are "owned" by otherwise homeless people, but for those who are, how do you make an owner who otherwise has no other assets, "responsible"? What are these people supposed to do? The only thing they can do is go somewhere else and leave the boat there.
It is similar to what many cities and towns are doing to "deal" with homeless: destroy encampments and confiscate trailers, so they move to another part of town, and the story repeats. What does it solve? This is an enormous problem in many places, but it is not solved by having people who have almost noting moving "somewhere else"...
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Old 17-03-2023, 11:15   #12
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

Here is what Volusia County,Fl ‘s solution ..so far..Yes I know you’ll need a FB account..

https://www.facebook.com/CountyOfVol...2900010998322/
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Old 17-03-2023, 11:23   #13
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

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Here is what Volusia County,Fl Ďs solution ..so far..Yes I know youíll need a FB account..

https://www.facebook.com/CountyOfVol...2900010998322/
Interesting video. But the program has been around for 4 years, has only removed 13 boats at a cost of over $22k per boat!
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Old 17-03-2023, 12:13   #14
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

Probably correct as Iíve watched these past 4 months of vessels on versions locations around Halifax River here in Daytona and only these past few weeks theyíve only been removed to an empty city owned parking lot..
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Old 17-03-2023, 16:56   #15
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Re: A solution for derelict boats!

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
that might be true, but Iím also thinking of places like Newport, actually.

Itís stinks that thereís a 14 day limit on anchoring there.

There donít seem to be very many derelict boat problems thanks to winter, but having the limitation sucks.

There are quite a few other municipalities they have these limitations as well. And they have them for the purpose of getting rid of derelicts.

They go around anyway so they could get all of the information from the boats in the anchorages. many of them, Newport included, already come chat with the person to find out whatís going on. So why not just grab their ID and registration and forget about all the limitations?
The one obvious Newport derelict--Chacha, I think it was called--was used as an excuse by the waterfront commission to impose the limit. I and others fough the anchoring limit, and I personally attended every waterfront commission meeting during the review process until they got around to imposing the limit.
"Why should you get for free what there's people willing to pay for?" was what the commission told me when they decided to impose the limit. It wasn't about derelicts at all: it was about money in the pockets of the local mooring and marina mafia.
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