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Old 16-04-2020, 05:38   #1
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Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

USA fort walton bch. FL Legal to padlock (w/ thick bike lock cable) vessel to public landing
I would like to dock then lock up my 23’vessel cruiser to the public dock.

There there a lot of marines/ waterfront restaurants ect. on opposite side of ICW coast guard patrols this area regularly and they stay in close proximity.

Mainly to prevent kids from releasing rope dock lines where the unattended vessel could drift off.

There’s a publics food store about 2 city blocks away for the occasion when provisions run short. T
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:00   #2
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

No. Don’t do that. Nobody is going to untie your dock lines. That’s just not how it works. And if you are extremely concerned about that, run the line from your boat, do a cleat, and then run the end of it back onto your boat.
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:27   #3
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

Many dinghy docks around here RECOMMEND locking! Foolish to believe something with values in the thousands can just sit there unattended and always remain unmolested.
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:29   #4
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
Many dinghy docks around here RECOMMEND locking! Foolish to believe something with values in the thousands can just sit there unattended and always remain unmolested.
Thatís a dinghy. Not a boat. Heís talking about tying his boat up. Nobody is stealing his boat for the outboard it doesnít have one. Tying your dinghy up is to prevent Outboard theft.
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:29   #5
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

I've seen many dinghies locked. I've never seen someone lock the mothership. This concern has about as much merit as someone deciding to push your parked car out into traffic.
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:50   #6
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

The question of if it is "legal" or not at a public dock depends on the laws of the local jurisdiction. In this case the town of Fort Walton.

It's not required, and is certainly not good form. At public docks it is not unusual to shift boats a few feet to clear space to make room for others.

If you are going to be "that guy" who selfishly locks his boat to one spot, you might be also be that one guy in the world whose dock lines people might actually dream about untying.

The only boats--other than dinghies--I have ever seen locked to a dock where those far behind on slip fees, or that had been arrested by Federal Marshals.
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Old 16-04-2020, 07:39   #7
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

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Originally Posted by Capt. Steve1 View Post
USA fort walton bch. FL Legal to padlock (w/ thick bike lock cable) vessel to public landing
I would like to dock then lock up my 23’vessel cruiser to the public dock.

There there a lot of marines/ waterfront restaurants ect. on opposite side of ICW coast guard patrols this area regularly and they stay in close proximity.

Mainly to prevent kids from releasing rope dock lines where the unattended vessel could drift off.

There’s a publics food store about 2 city blocks away for the occasion when provisions run short. T

Yeah, don't do that. Nobody in Fort Walton Beach is going to steal your boat while you buy groceries, but authorities may ticket you for that.
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:29   #8
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

In 60 years of boating I've NEVER heard of anyone just randomly untying boats. I have seen fires aboard boats and watched people untying nearby boats so they done burn up. If yours is locked to the dock, then what?
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:34   #9
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

padlocking inflatable dingy to dock is common in many public access points. But I agree that making a bight to the pile and back to the boat will reduce accidental untieing.
If kids are untieing at night or daytime, then finding a better neighborhood would be my suggestion.
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:40   #10
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

I seem to remember quite some years back that boaters were warned to chain there boats to the docks in Silverdale Wa. due to kids untying boats at night while the crew was asleep and letting them drift off. Don't know if it was legal or not at that time.
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:43   #11
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

OP:

"I would like to dock then lock up my 23ívessel cruiser to the public dock."

That is not a dinghy it is his boat.

The typical procedure it to run the line through the hard point on the dock and return it to your boat for tying, that reduces the potential of someone freeing the line from the dock.
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:54   #12
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

I don't know about everyone else, but I always put a padlock and chain on my car and secure to a tree, just like my bicyclewhy not do the same with a boat?
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Old 16-04-2020, 10:41   #13
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

I remember reading a few years ago about a couple doing the great loop. in a 36' boat. They said they had been told they could dock at city docks in Chicago, and go to hotel for night. They were told it was safe because the police patrolled it regularly . They docked with a few other boats at that city dock downtown. Then just decided to spend night on board so could leave early in morning. About 2 A M husband awakes to sounds on board, came out of cabin with a flare gun and chased 3 young men off his boat. They were not going to set boat adrift. Just steal what they could.
So a boat in city with police patrols early morning Chicago. Or a public dock in day light, with possible no security? Locks keep out honest people.
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Old 16-04-2020, 10:45   #14
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

I've seen docks that don't allow padlocking of "unattended" vessels due to fire concerns. Want to be able to push it away from a dock if it should catch fire.
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Old 16-04-2020, 11:01   #15
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Re: Legal to padlock vessel to public landing

Sign says
" trespassers welcome to leave anytime after 3 mile dumping limit"
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