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Old 19-02-2024, 08:28   #1
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My boating dreams are destroyed

The tyrants of our Florida legislature and the local Miami Beach tyrants are about to outlaw ALL anchored boats around Miami Beach and over areas north like Fort Lauderdale and Dania beach. I canít afford to pay for a dock slip. Thatís why my boat is anchored in biscayne bay nearby Miami Beach. Iíve already spent a lot of money restoring her, and I have a lot to go. But I canít afford to dock it and pay for my resto work.
But I thought that after almost 250 years of being a free country, I didnít plan for this tyranny to destroy my pursuit of happiness and my livelihood, since I planned to charter with it to stay alive.

Iíve reached out to Wally Moran as I recall he was at the forefront of fighting with our state government. But we really need a constitutional lawyer since this bill soon to be law the bill violates the concept of "presumed innocence" by requiring a boater to prove that they have not violated the law, instead of the officer having to prove that you did. This is a direct violation of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The bill is HB437 but when I google it I get a different law. Any ideas out there?
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Old 19-02-2024, 08:36   #2
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

a 2 second google search found this: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2024/437

Is this what you are referring to?

If you have not yet read the bill, where is your information about its contents coming from?
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Old 19-02-2024, 08:37   #3
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsementi View Post
The tyrants of our Florida legislature and the local Miami Beach tyrants are about to outlaw ALL anchored boats around Miami Beach and over areas north like Fort Lauderdale and Dania beach. I canít afford to pay for a dock slip. Thatís why my boat is anchored in biscayne bay nearby Miami Beach. Iíve already spent a lot of money restoring her, and I have a lot to go. But I canít afford to dock it and pay for my resto work.
But I thought that after almost 250 years of being a free country, I didnít plan for this tyranny to destroy my pursuit of happiness and my livelihood, since I planned to charter with it to stay alive.

Iíve reached out to Wally Moran as I recall he was at the forefront of fighting with our state government. But we really need a constitutional lawyer since this bill soon to be law the bill violates the concept of "presumed innocence" by requiring a boater to prove that they have not violated the law, instead of the officer having to prove that you did. This is a direct violation of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The bill is HB437 but when I google it I get a different law. Any ideas out there?
I just heard it is now called senate bill SB 192
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Old 19-02-2024, 08:39   #4
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

I just learned that it is now called senate bill 192
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Old 19-02-2024, 08:46   #5
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

I read the link above. It is an amendment to another bill (327.4108) that I did not read. I surmise that 327.4108 defines anchor limits.The only thing this amendment does is provide the anchored vessel a means to immediately demonstrate that they have been anchored within compliance of 327.4108. It would be sort of like a dash-cam video to show the police that you didn't run a red light.

I'm sorry for your troubles, but are you in compliance with the original limitations defined in 328.4108? Or were the anchored vessels using loopholes to bypass compliance?
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Old 19-02-2024, 08:55   #6
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

I have now read the bill that was described here, and it is absolutely nothing new. In fact it actually is an IMPROVEMENT, at least for boats that are not being used as permanent housing in ways that are ALREADY illegal.

You are not allowed to anchor in one location for more than 45 days in the "restricted areas." This is already part of Florida law. That is actually a restriction I support and I find totally reasonable.

What this bill does is outline very simply the kind of information that the investigating officer MUST accept as proof that the vessel is not anchored PERMANENTLY if it is found in a restricted area. This is not "unconstitutional." It removes none of your rights. If you are issued a summons you can ALWAYS take it to a court were you are always assumed innocent until proven guilty.

Read the ACTUAL bill. All it says is the investigating office must accept:

Quote:
a.Documentation showing that the vessel was in another location at least 1 nautical mile away within a period of less than 45 days before the inquiry.

b. Electronic evidence, including, but not limited to, navigational devices or tracking devices permanently affixed to the vessel that show the vessel was in another location at least 1 nautical mile away within a period of less than 45 days before the inquiry.
For any boat that is a legitimate transiant cruising boat, this should be a very simple matter. If you can not (or for some odd reason will not) provide proof to the officer that the boat has moved, then you might get a summons to appear. You then have the chance to show the judge you are innocent of the violation. I am not aware of any other violation where the presentation of proof to the officer gets you off the hook--by statute--before a summons is issued.

If your "boating dreams" are to be anchored in one spot in the urban waters of Florida, then I am sorry they are destroyed, but I am not particularly sympathetic. For legitimate cruisers how actually use their boats for CRUISING, this is a non-story, and the OP is doing nothing but scare mongering.

It is not unusual that the interests of legitimate transient cruising boats and boats used as cheap, permanent, full-time housing conflict. It is also not unusual that the housing crowd try to scare the cruising crowd into supporting them by presenting information that would charitably be characterized as "partially true." This is a case in point.

I have found that for me, as a cruising sailor, the rules in Florida to control derelict boats have been a net positive. By cleaning out anchorages that have been clogged with derelict and semi-derelict boats, there is now room for boats transiting the area to anchor and then move on. That being said, there ARE rules that are imposed to try to control the cheap housing use of the public waterways that have more impact to legitimate users, andI do have a problem with those.
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Old 19-02-2024, 09:02   #7
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

From a first reading this looks like standard legislative practices of deletions and additions to existing anchoring regulation.

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bil...illText/c2/PDF

As to providing for due process of law and enforcement the proposed text is very clear and simple.

For a vessel in an anchoring limitation area
established pursuant to subsection (2), upon an inquiry by a law
enforcement officer or agency, a vessel owner or operator must
be given an opportunity to provide proof that the vessel has not
exceeded the limitations described in subsection (2). Such proof
may include any of the following:
a. Documentation showing that the vessel was in another
location at least 1 nautical mile away within a period of less
than 45 days before the inquiry.
b. Electronic evidence, including, but not limited to,
navigational devices or tracking devices permanently affixed to
the vessel that show the vessel was in another location at least
1 nautical mile away within a period of less than 45 days before
the inquiry.
2. If a vessel owner or operator fails or refuses to
provide proof that the vessel has not exceeded the limitations
described in subsection (2), the law enforcement officer or
agency may issue a citation for a violation of this section.

Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.


Certainly provides for a means by the vessel owner to provide evidence that the vessel was not anchored in violation of the regulations, whereas a vehicle owner has no such equivalent proscribed method of contesting a citation for a parked vehicle. Seems like boaters are accorded a comparative privilege.

If it is one's intent to charter the vessel, presumably the charter would involve moving the boat at least one mile away from the anchoring zone every 45 days.
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Old 19-02-2024, 09:06   #8
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I read the link above. It is an amendment to another bill (327.4108) that I did not read. I surmise that 327.4108 defines anchor limits.The only thing this amendment does is provide the anchored vessel a means to immediately demonstrate that they have been anchored within compliance of 327.4108. It would be sort of like a dash-cam video to show the police that you didn't run a red light.

I'm sorry for your troubles, but are you in compliance with the original limitations defined in 328.4108? Or were the anchored vessels using loopholes to bypass compliance?
The bill is now called senate bill 192. Iím anchored out in Biscayne bay. July 1st they will be patrolling the area and removing boats.
This is the link https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Secti...&SessionId=103

Iím doomed.
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Old 19-02-2024, 09:23   #9
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Perhaps a job is the solution to your problems?


You won't find a lot of sympathy from me for people who do long-term free anchoring, dumping sewage into an ecologically sensitive bay and creating ill will among residents for cruisers.
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Old 19-02-2024, 09:40   #10
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsementi View Post

I’m doomed.
If your boat is incapable of moving 1-mile every 1-1/2 months, you are indeed doomed. Though some may argue that a boat that is incapable of moving isn't really a boat at all.

The south Florida area has had a colorful history of full time anchor outs and stilt homes. Those days are long gone. It's time to adapt. Moving your boat every 45 days isn't too much to ask, is it? Shouldn't your boating dream include using the boat from time to time?
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Old 19-02-2024, 09:46   #11
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsementi View Post
The bill is now called senate bill 192. Iím anchored out in Biscayne bay. July 1st they will be patrolling the area and removing boats.
This is the link https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Secti...&SessionId=103

Iím doomed.
I am sorry you can not afford the lifestyle you aspire to. But long experience in Florida and other places say that there are very, very good odds that your boat will end up abandoned or wrecked and the state will be stuck with the bill to clean it up. Seems perfectly reasonable to me that they do what they can to avoid that. As far as I can tell, enforcement of the derelict boat rules has been fair and reasonable.

The fact is that having a boat anchored in state waters that is not able to move under its own power (sail or motor) has been illegal in Florida for some time. This should NOT be a surprise to you. You'll find very little support for your problem from people who keep boats in seaworthy condition, and follow rules.

Having a boat that is above your means to actually support just means that it is only a matter of time before the costs of dealing with it are dumped on the public treasury.
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Old 19-02-2024, 09:51   #12
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

The limitation of anchoring only applies to within 200 yards of the shoreline.

Presumably if one is further away this restriction would not apply or do not lay between the State Road A1A and State Road 112.

327.4108 Anchoring of vessels in anchoring limitation
areas.ó
(1) The following densely populated urban areas, which
have narrow state waterways, residential docking facilities, and
significant recreational boating traffic, are designated as and
shall be considered to be grandfathered-in anchoring limitation
areas, within which a person may not anchor a vessel at any time
during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-
half hour before sunrise, except as provided in subsections (4)
and (5):
(c) The sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County that
are within 200 yards of any part of the shore of the City of
Miami Beach lying between State Road A1A and State Road 112
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Old 19-02-2024, 10:00   #13
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Just curious...

Do you live on the boat? If you do, what is tying you to Miami Beach? Is your boat able to move a mile every 45 days? If so, then I don't see your issue with this as it is intended to make the waterways safe and usable for everyone. And as stated before, this is simply an update to the existing laws to more clearly define what is required to be shown as compliance.

If, on the other hand - you have been working on the boat for a long enough time to put a bunch of money into it and it still is not able to move on its own - then that is a red flag to me that what is really going on is you're squatting. I don't know you and I am not saying that is what you are doing, I do not intend to offend and don't know your whole story. But if the only requirement is to move a mile every 45 days - that seems absolutely reasonable to me.

Cruisers are often lumped into restrictions that were brought on by and intended for derelict boats or other bad apples and it's very frustrating. I saw the same thing when driving around the country a few times in a 37 foot diesel pusher RV that was quite nice, but it was older and had tired paint and peeling clearcoat on the outside, so it didn't look so nice. The moment you park somewhere in public you immediately start the mental clock that you need to get moving again even when all you're doing is pulling over to grab dinner or sightsee before moving on the next morning.

I'm sorry you feel your dream will be crushed by this, but it seems to me that this would be a very small obstacle easily overcome if you're being straight up about it.
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Old 19-02-2024, 10:27   #14
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I read the link above. It is an amendment to another bill (327.4108) that I did not read. I surmise that 327.4108 defines anchor limits.The only thing this amendment does is provide the anchored vessel a means to immediately demonstrate that they have been anchored within compliance of 327.4108. It would be sort of like a dash-cam video to show the police that you didn't run a red light.

I'm sorry for your troubles, but are you in compliance with the original limitations defined in 328.4108? Or were the anchored vessels using loopholes to bypass compliance?
I donít know for sure. But I read SB 192 and Iíve read post from locals regarding the local city government and I think, not sure yet, but I think that they will outlaw anchoring within 200 yards from shore. My boat, I think, I hope is a little further away then 200 yardsÖbut not sure.
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Old 19-02-2024, 10:32   #15
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Re: My boating dreams are destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I read the link above. It is an amendment to another bill (327.4108) that I did not read. I surmise that 327.4108 defines anchor limits.The only thing this amendment does is provide the anchored vessel a means to immediately demonstrate that they have been anchored within compliance of 327.4108. It would be sort of like a dash-cam video to show the police that you didn't run a red light.

I'm sorry for your troubles, but are you in compliance with the original limitations defined in 328.4108? Or were the anchored vessels using loopholes to bypass compliance?
Sb 192 says that? Thatís not what Iíve read. Iím not aware of the 327.4108, Iíll look it up. But, to answer your question, my boat is currently legal to anchor where it is. Itís not a derelict, itís running fine. It only needs interior work, etc.
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