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Old 29-04-2020, 07:17   #1
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Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

Hi, while new to CF I have been reading a lot with a view to liveaboard.


My question is, what is the law concerning anchoring (not at a mooring ball or marina) over a period of time?

I can work remotely as long as I have decent Internet, I think 4G is enough for me (might have to buy a booster kit/mount on a mast). These last 2 months have me shopping 1x a week, the rest of the time I am staying at home.

Can you just anchor anywhere, but have to move every few days?



I find some references for WA that seem to deal with this and seem to have restrictions but not 100% clear. Would you have to move between WA and OR on a regular schedule?
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Old 29-04-2020, 08:30   #2
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

It depends. Here's a few -

State owned lands -
https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default....ite=332-52-155

City of Kenmore -
https://www.codepublishing.com/WA/Ke....html#8.20.060

Seattle section 16.40.030 F. (Recreational anchoring only in Andrews bay on Lake Washington for 3 days in any place controlled by Seattle)
https://library.municode.com/wa/seat...HACO_CH16.40AN
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Old 29-04-2020, 08:38   #3
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

Cal40John nailed it. 30 day limit in "same area" on state lands (which is virtually all areas to anchor) around Puget Sound. Lake Washington has some funky rules.

WA to OR is not a trivial sail that you could to on a regular schedule, so that shouldn't even be a factor for you to consider.
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Old 29-04-2020, 12:09   #4
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

So if I am reading your "state owned lands" correctly in the first link, I would need 4 locations, each 5 miles or more away from each other, since ' "in the same area" means within a radius of five miles ' , in order to be there for a year. Am I reading that properly?
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Old 30-04-2020, 09:22   #5
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

I am not sure that the 30 day limit is strictly enforced in the current situation, or at least it depends on the location. I also do not think they give you a fine if you exceed the allowed time, they simply ask you to move and give you 24 (or 48?) hours to comply.
I know of at least one person who, to improve isolation, has moved from her home in Seattle to living on the hook and has been anchored for quite a while with no issues. If your boat is set up for liveaboard at anchor, not a bad idea.
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Old 30-04-2020, 09:53   #6
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

There are hundreds of places to anchor. The Puget Sound / Salish Sea is big.
The big question will be your toilet. You will have to find a marina to clean out your tanks. No dumping in this area. We have a compost toilet, that could be an option.
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Old 30-04-2020, 10:37   #7
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by somanyboats View Post
There are hundreds of places to anchor. The Puget Sound / Salish Sea is big.
The big question will be your toilet. You will have to find a marina to clean out your tanks. No dumping in this area. We have a compost toilet, that could be an option.
Currently the Kingston Marina fuel dock is closed, as is guest moorage, but they are allowing boats to pump out. I believe most pump outs will be open, I understand Shilshole is, but have no other first hand information.
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Old 30-04-2020, 13:25   #8
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

We are full time cruisers and we arrived in Puget Sound a year ago. This is a cruisers paradise with so many anchorages and anchoring options, both remote and within easy dinghy ride to shore and shops/essential services.

It is my understanding that maximum stay in any one place is 30 days, and from observation we seen some locations enforce that (such as Gig Harbor) and in other locations we know "anchor outs" who haven't moved in the months since we've been here and haven't been bothered.

We've only been approached once, by a friendly, vigilant local police boat reminding us of the 30 day rule, in a location where few boats anchor at all and we had only been there one day! I guess they were bored and glad to have something to do.

We've gotten to know some of the "anchor outs" and most are friendly, cool people with a lot of great local knowledge that has been helpful to us. Once you get here it will not be hard to find and meet them.
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Old 30-04-2020, 16:11   #9
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

I think the biggest factor on whether or not any restrictions are enforced are whether or not authorities are getting calls about you – anchor in front of really nice houses, and constantly leave stuff on your decks or tarps all over the boat, and it won't take long. Respect the landlubbers, their shoreline rights, and the views they payed dearly for that you get for free, and even being asked to move goes nicely.
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Old 30-04-2020, 19:15   #10
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Re: Anchoring and the law in PNW? For liveaboard

In Oregon there are numerous places designated as unsafe for anchoring. They are mostly obvious - active navigation channels as marked on charts, marine construction areas, near active commercial docks, near boat ramps, etc. Also long term anchoring near metropolitan areas in particular has become somewhat controversial. Current rules allow you to anchor at a site in a public waterway for no more than 2 weeks, then you must move at least 5 miles before anchoring again. Rules about using onshore pump out facilities for required marine sanitation systems must be observed.
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