If you are not keep a Ship’s Log, you should start.
The article below was printed today in the Florida
Newspaper, the News Press.
There are alot of Liveaboards who travel weeks or months to another city, state or country for their job. They have someone (hopefully) watching their vessel. That person should also keep a log for the vessel they are tending.
Start logging every day and hour when you have
Boarded your vessel.
Why you ask… Because it may end up being your
Proof that you have not (did not) abandon your vessel.
And NOW may be the time for ALL liveaboards to
Start a Political PACT… To PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.
Remember the old saying… If you give them an inch they
Will take a mile.
The following article was printed today in the Florida
Newspaper, the News Press.
A statewide database shows an estimated 1,000 to 1,800 derelict vessels in state waters, but Maj. Paul Ouellette of FWC's Boating and Waterways Section
said those numbers are probably low.
"One of the things we're proposing is allowing local governments to regulate the anchoring of vessels outside of mooring fields," Ouellette said. "People keep boats anchored or moored on mooring balls behind safe structures or behind mangroves.
Currently there are no restrictions on that. It's still a maritime right to be able to navigate freely."
One of FWC's proposals is to let counties write ordinances that prohibit anchoring for more than 30 consecutive days or 120 days in one year.
Lee County already has an ordinance that says a boat is considered abandoned, and therefore subject to removal, if it's moored in the same area for more than 30 consecutive days or 90 days in a 365-day period.
The catch is that if the boat is "under navigation," the county can't touch it. Under navigation can mean that the owner comes by to check on the boat once a month, McBride said.
"People have great intentions whey they buy a boat," he said. "They think they're going to work
on it, make it the jewel of the sea, but that doesn't happen. Instead of working on it one day a week, it's once a month, then once a year, until it becomes a derelict vessel.
"If we had a way to control that, we could nip it in the bud, to borrow a phrase from Barney Fife."
Many other counties have ordinances to deal with abandoned vessels, Ouellette said.
"There are a myriad of local ordinances out there all over the board," he said. "One of the contentious points to the cruising community is the confusion they have with different local ordinances."
Another proposal is to establish a 500-foot buffer around public mooring facilities, including public marinas, mooring fields and anchorages; no boat would be able to anchor within the buffer.
Keeping boats out of the buffer would protect marinas
and other boats from damage caused if vessels broke free from their moorings or sank in navigable water
Under the proposals, all boats in state waters would have to be registered.
"That would help us track vessels stored on the waters of the state," Ouellette said. "Unless someone is using a vessel, it doesn't have to be registered. One of the most difficult things in law enforcement when we're dealing with derelict vessels is identifying owners. If a boat runs aground, often there are no numbers, and if there are, they don't come back to anybody."
Ken Stead, executive director of the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association, said
the association doesn't have a position on the proposal.
Abandoned boats are a problem, but he said the commission may be using the wrong tool.
"That is just contrary to the cruising lifestyle," he said. "There's got to be another way to deal with it."
From McBride's point of view, giving counties more authority in dealing with boating
issues is a good idea.
"I don't know how the state rule
would end up," he said. "But it would give us more teeth to go after people to take responsibility for these vessels."
- The News-Press staff reporter Chelsea J. Samuel contributed to this story