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ssullivan 12-02-2008 07:39

Ruining it For The Rest of Us?
 
After seeing a recent post about that guy taking his Home Depot tri for an around the world attempt, and seeing some people in Florida at anchor recenetly, I've become a bit worried.

Here is what I saw in Ft Myers:

*Abandoned vessels washed up into the mangroves.
*Large groups of boats rafted together and staying put for months on end. These boats didn't even have ports (!) and were very dirty.
*Some scary panhandler liveaboards. (they really beg for their $$)
*Less than savory characters all throughout the anchorage.
*People drunk 24/7.

For the first time in my life, I agree with the local town ordinances. If I could only convey the nature of these people I saw to you - it was like an inner city slum on the water. Nobody worked. People actually begged for money to eat, yet lived on boats anchored out for years at a time. Grudgingly, I *agree* with Florida's stringent anchoring laws. Personally, I was disgusted by what I saw. As anti-government as I am, it looks like these people haven't been taught proper ways of living. I am all for a harbor sweep and arrest of everyone there! ha ha Well, almost.

After seeing that, I agree that Florida needs laws in place to keep the riff raff out. I have honestly never seen riff raff before. I used to think i was riff raff because I anchored out. Apparently, I was wrong. We contributed to society while anchored out. We weren't boat bums, begging for money so we could afford our next beer.


So after seeing this mess of an anchorage, along with reading articles like that guy who wants to go out in that tri he built at Home Depot, I'm concerned.

The vast majority of sailors are responsible, seamanlike people who have worked hard all their lives, or are still working hard and enjoying the water. They know their place in an anchorage.

The fact that the Home Depot boat will rely on the government if he gets in trouble raises the question, "Why isn't there a restriction in place to keep people from wasting taxpayers' money on stunts?" I'm sure many are contemplating introducing legislation like this. Who could blame them?


So my main question to you all is:

Why are a few really bad people ruining our freedom?

How can we stop them, before legislation is introduced to sweep us out of anchorages and limit our ability to travel offshore?

Is there anything that can be done to police ourselves before the government has to step in?

What do people think about this?

Personally, I'm going to make sure I make it very uncomfortable for any riff raff that decides to make my harbors in New England home. (devil guy) I don't want them spoiling my freedom!

Southern Star 12-02-2008 08:00

Sean, you are of course correct about the effect of a few rotten apples... On the other hand, it may be unrealistic to expect life on the water to be any different than on land - and this is particularly so now that there are a large number of used boats that are large enough for someone to live on and yet, are available for the price of an old trailer.

We have to be careful, though - there are also a large number of people who are legitimately cruising in old boats and on miniscule budgets, but who would never dream of panhandling. Heck, Fatty Goodlander's current boat (an early 70's Huges 40) was brought back from the dead after sinking in a hurricane in the Virgin Islands, as I recall. It was all he could afford at the time, but through a great deal of effort (and a little money) he and his wife have turned her into a swan.

Bernard Moitessier sailed a number of boats that were 'marginal' at best, but that was all he could afford (and 'sail' he most certainly did). I even recall an article in the last couple of years in Cruising World about a middle aged man who, after some setbacks, purchased a run-down wreck for which he made sails from tarp material! But as I recall, he too was 'sailing' and stocking the cruising kitty with some labouring jobs.

Generally, we should not judge a book (or boat) by its cover. Some may be staying on apparently derelict boats while in the process of rebuilding them for a future cruise. Others, as you say, are merely water-borne ghettos with no pride of ownership, nor plans for the future.

Brad

imagine2frolic 12-02-2008 08:01

South Beach had this same problem several years ago. The hurricane took out many of the boats. Many of these people were just as you describe. The bottom of the barrel.

Now they are trying to enforce anchoring only 72 hours, and then move along. I do not know the result of this. I can tell you this I would not move every 72 hours. I understand a wealthy retired fella is fighting this. We have the right to anchor as long as we do not interfer with traffic, and our vessel can be operated. At least this is my understanding of the federal law. I am sure someone will correct me on this if I am wrong.

Unfortunately in ever facet of life there will be the undesirables, and yes they can make it difficult for others. How I long for the day when a cop could use a billyclub. Unfortunately there were undesirable cops too, and the club was taken away......

chad.lawie 12-02-2008 08:13

We have a small "boat bum" problem here in charleston. Definitely not as bad as florida. I also met some bums in Annapolis this year too. One guy in Annapolis was stealing old batteries from behind auto shops and west marine, then draining whatever power was left in them. He **** in a bucket and dumped it over the side, in our nice little anchorage.

I think the trouble is from fiberglass. old crappy wooden boats require at least a little work before they will float. An old crappy fiberglass boat requires nothing.

I agree it is bad. I don't want to be associated with that "style" of living, and I don't want it to effect me.
So what do we do?

jzk 12-02-2008 08:13

I think there needs to be some balance. I would hate an overbearing government with which I would need approval if I wanted to go sailing. So, the downside is that society has to rescue these guys.

With regard to the near homeless rif raff liveaboards, again, I think I should be able to anchor awhile pretty much anywhere outside of the channel. But what to do about those eyesores? How about inspections for holding tanks, etc. I supsect there are enough violations avaialble to clean out those harbors without ruining it for other sailors.

chad.lawie 12-02-2008 08:26

Maybe:
after X amount of days, say 60, in one harbor, the boat will be considered permenant and then subject to inspections to decided if it is livable. Homes can be condemned, why not boats? Also, sub divisions have laws saying the grass needs to be cut, and you can't park your trailer in front of your house. Why cant we have similar laws for boats? a Clean and Tidy law? or just a simple law that says the engine has to run?

I suppose none of that works, because the fed just decided florida doesn't have jurisdiction to pass anchoring laws. so whatever happens would have to be from the fed gov. down.

This would be easy if people would just have some... self respect, pride, integrity, work ethic.

Vasco 12-02-2008 08:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by imagine2frolic (Post 133711)
South Beach had this same problem several years ago. The hurricane took out many of the boats. Many of these people were just as you describe. The bottom of the barrel.

Now they are trying to enforce anchoring only 72 hours, and then move along. I do not know the result of this. ..


The "enforcement" at South beach is very reasonable. When the law was first enacted a few years ago they would visit every boat in the anchorage and explain the law but always added that we could stay longer if the weather was not the best. This year they did not come to us but I noticed that they did visit a ratty looking boat which had the mast laid along the deck. This may be "profiling" or it may be that they now realize most of us are there waiting for a window to cross to the Bahamas. In any event they are a lot more courteous than the authorities in Ft. Lauderdale at Lake Sylvia although we weren't visited there either this year.

Troutbridge 12-02-2008 09:18

You can distance yourself from the 'riff raff' by having a tidy looking boat. You can also keep yourself reasonably presentable and of course you aren't approaching people and asking for handouts. The trouble with trying to do something about 'them' is who decides who 'they' are, who decides what is acceptable behaviour and what exactly to you 'do' about them? Shoot them, gas them, move them on, hope a hurricane wipes them out? There is an old saying, I'll shorten it considerably.... "They came for X, Y and Z and I said nothing."It ends "then they came for me and there was nobody left to speak out".
Sorry to say but I think the authorities in your neck of the woods are paranoid enough already without any more encouragement. The latest proposed nonsense is that anybody who comes through security at an airport to help a disabled relative to board a transatlantic flight (allowed, but the person has to pass through the usual security screening) has to have their personal details passed to the US government as if they were travelling to the US. You couldn't make this up, it's total paranoia. For Gods sake don't start making a noise about people on ratty boats, your lot will introduce a dress code for liveaboards and probably an annual test in anchoring, not to mention a monthly 'cleanliness inspection' (my mother used to inspect my fingernails to make sure I'd scrubbed them, if she was still alive, God bless her, she could probably get a job in Florida.
Sorry, rant over, but be careful what you wish for because wishes come true......then you'll be sorry!

David M 12-02-2008 09:30

Whats the difference between a ghetto on the land and a ghetto on the water? Both should remain legal.

On the San Francisco Bay we have this place called Richardson Bay where the nastiest looking boats and the scruffiest looking people live. It does not bother me whatsoever. They don't seem to bother anyone except for the rich snobs on the hills above the Bay in Sausalito who have to look out at their dilapidated boats from their multimillon dollar homes.

Live and let live...some people need to chill. This seems to be a persistent difference between the East Coast and the West Coast. Why not take all the poor people and put them behind four walls so we don't have to see them again? God forbid they anchor their floating relics within view of Thurston Howell the Thirds Florida mansion.

ssullivan 12-02-2008 09:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troutbridge (Post 133738)
You can distance yourself from the 'riff raff' by having a tidy looking boat. You can also keep yourself reasonably presentable and of course you aren't approaching people and asking for handouts. The trouble with trying to do something about 'them' is who decides who 'they' are, who decides what is acceptable behaviour and what exactly to you 'do' about them? Shoot them, gas them, move them on, hope a hurricane wipes them out? There is an old saying, I'll shorten it considerably.... "They came for X, Y and Z and I said nothing."It ends "then they came for me and there was nobody left to speak out".
Sorry to say but I think the authorities in your neck of the woods are paranoid enough already without any more encouragement. The latest proposed nonsense is that anybody who comes through security at an airport to help a disabled relative to board a transatlantic flight (allowed, but the person has to pass through the usual security screening) has to have their personal details passed to the US government as if they were travelling to the US. You couldn't make this up, it's total paranoia. For Gods sake don't start making a noise about people on ratty boats, your lot will introduce a dress code for liveaboards and probably an annual test in anchoring, not to mention a monthly 'cleanliness inspection' (my mother used to inspect my fingernails to make sure I'd scrubbed them, if she was still alive, God bless her, she could probably get a job in Florida.
Sorry, rant over, but be careful what you wish for because wishes come true......then you'll be sorry!

Troutbridge: I think the point of my post wasn't clear to you. I *AM* worried about the new regulations that are bound to be put in place due to these few ruining it for the rest of us. My question was: Is there anything we can do, as sailors, to help police our own before the laws are put upon us?

markpj23 12-02-2008 09:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssullivan (Post 133706)
...After seeing that, I agree that Florida needs laws in place to keep the riff raff out. I have honestly never seen riff raff before. I used to think i was riff raff because I anchored out. Apparently, I was wrong. ....

The vast majority of sailors are responsible, seamanlike people who have worked hard all their lives, or are still working hard and enjoying the water. They know their place in an anchorage...

The problem, of course, lies in which definition of "riff-raff" is being applied. Do we use the Marco Island version which includes all boats? Or do we somehow legally discriminate between boaters? Therein lies the rub....

Sean, in FtMeyers you might not be considered boat trash. Take the same boat in the same condition to Biscayne Bay or Santa Barbara and the folks might feel differently.

We all hate being painted with a broad brush. The derelicts in the world also have a right to exist... but hopefully not in the same anchorage as ours of course :D

ssullivan 12-02-2008 09:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by David M (Post 133742)
Whats the difference between a ghetto on the land and a ghetto on the water?


1) The town is finacially responsible to clean up each "house" in the water ghetto when it sinks or is washed ashore.

2) The "water" is a highly regulated place where we, as sailors give up all normal rights given to US citizens. We can be searched and boarded at will without any rights at all. Federal authorities can take your "home" if you are in possession of any contraband.

3) Owing to #2 above, more and more restrictions can be passed that limit our use of anchorages. Why? These undesireables end up abandoning their boats at some point due to an inability to pay for repairs. So, the town ends up paying for the boat (see #1). This obviously is a burden on tax payers in the town and guess what? They're gonna be p*ssed and pass laws that will prohibit *YOU* from anchoring in their town thanks to a bunch of boat bums.

Is nobody else seeing this??

We are headed for even tighter regulation and it's all due to a few bad apples.

ssullivan 12-02-2008 09:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by markpj23 (Post 133744)
The problem, of course, lies in which definition of "riff-raff" is being applied. Do we use the Marco Island version which includes all boats? Or do we somehow legally discriminate between boaters? Therein lies the rub....

Sean, in FtMeyers you might not be considered boat trash. Take the same boat in the same condition to Biscayne Bay or Santa Barbara and the folks might feel differently.

We all hate being painted with a broad brush. The derelicts in the world also have a right to exist... but hopefully not in the same anchorage as ours of course :D

I think I'll restate the point again:

There are people who are abusing anchorages and creating slums on the water. There are also people who go to sea unprepared and completely reliant on the government for their precious EPIRB rescue.

These two groups rely on tax revenue to 1) clean up their abandoned and sunk boats in various anchorages, and 2) have extensive search and rescue missions for their failed attempts at stunts when they hit the EPIRB switch.

One group is poor, the other is rich. But poor or rich isn't the point.

The point is that both groups are relying on the government (tax revenue) to help themselves in some way or another. And guess what?

Tax payers aren't going to want to pay for rescue and abandoned boat cleanups forever, and *will* pass laws aimed at cutting down on the number of rescues and abandoned boats at anchor cleanups they are already doing.

I see both trends (boat bums and EPIRB happy sailors) on the rise.

The goverment is bound to step in soon and regulate away the problem.

The trouble is... WE are the people they will regulate.

I, for one would like to enjoy the current freedoms we all have (bums and rich EPIRB triggerers alike).

My question is: How can we as a community do something about the bad apples that give us a bad name, so that we can remain free of regulation?

markpj23 12-02-2008 09:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssullivan (Post 133745)
2) The "water" is a highly regulated place where we, as sailors give up all normal rights given to US citizens. We can be searched and boarded at will without any rights at all. Federal authorities can take your "home" if you are in possession of any contraband....

I'm sorry but that is simply not true. Can you cite a specific example? We give up NO rights that I know of when in US Territorial Waters. More restrictions perhaps (don't pollute) but that circles back around to City Ordinances which restrict the same things ashore (must connect to sewer systems, etc).

And consider the myriad of City Ordinances that restrict what can / cannot be done with land-based property. Plus the authorities can seize shore-based property if you are in possession of contraband just as easily as they can seize a boat.

Not sure what the big difference is between the two. I see them as roughly equivalent except for which Court has jurisdiction should an offense be committed.

:cheers:

David M 12-02-2008 09:53

Sullivan,
In Richardson Bay the Army Corps of Engineers goes in once every ten years or so and gets rid of the sunken boats. I get the point though.

It would be wrong to discriminate against someone who is poor. Putting time limits on how long one may be in an anchorage makes the most sense.

Southern Star 12-02-2008 10:07

Sean, I hear you and am sure that many share the frustration of incredibly short anchoring limits that restrict the use/enjoyment of areas by legitimate cruisers, rather than (barely) floating derelicts. Still, the municipalites have the right to place restrictions and I am glad to at least hear from Vasco that they appear to be using some common sense in terms of enforcement.

Of course, if someone really wants to enjoy some incredible anchorages without draconian time limits, the Bahamas are not very far from south Fla.


Brad

Troutbridge 12-02-2008 10:10

Yes, sorry I did miss your point a bit. The answer to 'bum boats' I'm afraid is very little you can do, unless you're thinking of some sort of vigilante force? IF (big if) a group of 'respectable' yotties approach the local harbour authority and ask them to move the undesirables on then maybe something would happen, but then this presupposes that there is a local static liveaboard community to get together. Otherwise, as I said look respectable and act responsibly yourself.
As far as the other is concerned, by and large the real clowns will kill themselves. there is a train of thought that says varies agencies worldwide spend millions of dollars a year in training to rescue people, so the odd rescue actual justifies their existence as well as being a valuable training exercise in itself. Various countries have in the past introduced safety checks on their national boats, mainly in terms of required equipment. Most of the requirements have been sensible (not all). In the UK we have an organisation called the RYA. This fights (well, sometimes) overly onerous legislation and promotes safety through training. They have maintained over the years (successfully) that voluntary training is more effective than legislated training. Do you have anything similar in N America? Over here, every summer we have idiots who put to see on lilos (inflatable beach toys, basically) and the fools who put to sea without any idea what they're doing. The lifeboat service retrieves all of them and periodically calls for more regulation, but basically not much happens in that line, the more stupid ideas are howled down by the yachting press. I see your concerns, but I feel what the authorities would do is call for more equipment on boats rather than actually try and prevent people voyaging off. Regulations probably will come in in some shape or form, the trick is to 'passively resist' them and make sure that they are sensible regulations, maybe by being proactive....which brings me back to do you have an umbrella organisation that lobbies on behalf of 'boaters'.

pjbsailing 12-02-2008 10:15

If the "Hoboats" are not a threat to navigation, or safety, then there is nothing you can do, or should do. They have every right to be there. Time limits? Geez, is this the land of the free? "You don't fit in, so move on." The boats can be inspected for safety and meeting enviro reg's and such, and if you anchor for more than say, 90 days, then you have to pay a tax. Simple. Most would move on. Leave the "bad apples" alone. Hell, if I hang my thong out to dry on the lifelines, does that make me a bad apple too? :0 There will always be bad apples in one form or another, and who decides who's good, and who's bad?

ssullivan 12-02-2008 10:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by markpj23 (Post 133752)
I'm sorry but that is simply not true. Can you cite a specific example? We give up NO rights that I know of when in US Territorial Waters. More restrictions perhaps (don't pollute) but that circles back around to City Ordinances which restrict the same things ashore (must connect to sewer systems, etc).

And consider the myriad of City Ordinances that restrict what can / cannot be done with land-based property. Plus the authorities can seize shore-based property if you are in possession of contraband just as easily as they can seize a boat.

Not sure what the big difference is between the two. I see them as roughly equivalent except for which Court has jurisdiction should an offense be committed.

:cheers:

Good points Mark, regarding some of the rights being the same as city rights. Ordinances are similar in a lot of ways and so are pollution.

However, what about this right?:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.On boats, you are subject to search and seizure at will and at random by the Dept of Homeland Security. (USCG) They can search without cause, require no warrants, etc...

Natually, I'm not trying to argue... I'm just killing time while I wait for my survey and stuff! ha ha :)

imagine2frolic 12-02-2008 10:23

Another problem with these dilapidated boats I saw in South Beach is this. Their 2 anchor rodes are so twisted that soon they will be dragging. That is how most of them broke loose, and even stuck under the causeway.

I use to anchor for weeks at a time in South Beach between Palm, Hibiscus, and Star Island. People like Jennifer Lopez, and Julio Inglesis live there. Homes worth tens of millions of dollars.

I would replenish stores, work on small projects, daysail on the bay, visit friends ashore, spend money locally, and then sail off for a new location. These bum boats were not only an eyesore, but a hazard to the waterway. They weren't going anywhere.

I am sorry for the poor, and I am glad it is not my job to decide who is, and is not riff-raff. As ssulli said we who are helping the economy, and paying taxes are the ones who suffer. What's the fix? If I had the answer I would be in office....NOW THAT'S A SCARY THOUGHT...

I am also aware of the problem on S.F.Bay. I am from the area, and it has been an on going problem, and I understand now it is in Clipper Cove now. I am really tired of the part of society that does not contribute, or are criminals getting all of the protection. I once lived in my car, because it was all I could afford. I took control of my life, and changed all of that. It's about pulling up your boots, and putting your nose to the grindstone.

Sandero 12-02-2008 10:31

Obviously people without money see living on a boat as "rent" free.

The problem is that this society has people who have to live that that. You won't see this in Europe I suspect. They have a social net.

The desire to rid the water of these undesirables is fine, but you need to address the underlying cause. The reaction has been to hurt well behaved sailors.

It's like outlawing people from squatting. Where do they go? Cities put them in shelters that the tax payers foot the bill for.

The type of problem that Sully describes is the failure of society, and parents and capitalism.

This is not a boating problem by any means. It is a symptom of a failed society.

Sandero 12-02-2008 10:33

The basic answer to the problems of poverty, is a wealth distribution, a safety net, a living wage, a good education for all, a health system for all.

Wanna see what that looks like go to Europe. That have almost achieved it.. or are further along than the USA.

ssullivan 12-02-2008 10:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by defjef (Post 133773)
Obviously people without money see living on a boat as "rent" free.

The problem is that this society has people who have to live that that. You won't see this in Europe I suspect. They have a social net.

The desire to rid the water of these undesirables is fine, but you need to address the underlying cause. The reaction has been to hurt well behaved sailors.

It's like outlawing people from squatting. Where do they go? Cities put them in shelters that the tax payers foot the bill for.

The type of problem that Sully describes is the failure of society, and parents and capitalism.

This is not a boating problem by any means. It is a symptom of a failed society.

This is one intelligent guy....

You're right. These problems are the same on land as water. They are water "squatters" (excluding the ill-prepared that use EPIRBS like a cell phone with a monthly plan... ha ha).

I would be curious to see what our European members have to say about any of this happening in their own back yard. Does it? (not the EPIRB stuff, but the guys out living on the 8 meter "HoboCat" panhandling for dinner and drinks?)

Honestly, this doesn't even really hapen in New England or NY. I got my first taste of it looking around Ft Myers.

encore 12-02-2008 10:37

Sullivan,
Maybe you should worry more about yourself and less about others. An interesting thing happened at Winona (MN) a number of years ago. There was a group of house boats, rafts with cabins or whatever you might call them anchored as year around live aboards in the Mississippi, within the city limits. Legality was argued for years and finally the issue was brought to court by one of your type, who labeled them as boat bums. As it turned out, one of the "bums" was a judge, who didn't really care for the label and a legal decision was reached which allowed them to permanently reside there, judge included. I've driven by there many times and the "floating city" adds flavor and diversity to the area, which includes many mansion-type home.

ssullivan 12-02-2008 10:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by encore (Post 133776)
Sullivan,
Maybe you should worry more about yourself and less about others. An interesting thing happened at Winona (MN) a number of years ago. There was a group of house boats, rafts with cabins or whatever you might call them anchored as year around live aboards in the Mississippi, within the city limits. Legality was argued for years and finally the issue was brought to court by one of your type, who labeled them as boat bums. As it turned out, one of the "bums" was a judge, who didn't really care for the label and a legal decision was reached which allowed them to permanently reside there, judge included. I've driven by there many times and the "floating city" adds flavor and diversity to the area, which includes many mansion-type home.

Another guy who completely misses the point of the post and the 5 clarifications to the point I posted later.... [sigh]

Please re-read the thread.

This post is about *preserving* our rights to live at anchor.

Fishspearit 12-02-2008 10:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssullivan (Post 133775)
Honestly, this doesn't even really hapen in New England or NY. I got my first taste of it looking around Ft Myers.

That's because all of New England's bums come down here to be boat bums. It's too fricken cold up there to be poor and homeless in the winter.

ssullivan 12-02-2008 10:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishspearit (Post 133778)
That's because all of New England's bums come down here to be boat bums. It's too fricken cold up there to be poor and homeless in the winter.


Yeah, when I was talking to my wife about this, we thought the same thing. :)

Struggling through the winter on boats up there is harder than heading in to work, no question about it. Been there.

Southern Star 12-02-2008 11:03

Defjef, there can be little doubt that some of these derelict boats are the product of unavoidable poverty and the lack of a 'safety' net. Nevertheless, I am also confident that there are some derelict boatowners who refused to complete educational programs that have made available for them at no cost, and who refuse to work even when jobs have been available. Similarly, there are also some people who become criminals despite good parents and despite being provided adequate financial/educational resources.

There is an issue here that needs to be dealt with because it impacts upon more than merely the waterfront 'vista' for the wealthy. As has been pointed out:
1. A number of these derelicts sink and become hazards to navigation and then ultimately, a removal expense for the rest of us.
2. They almost assuredly do not have even the most basic holding tanks (or if they do, can't be bothered/afford pumpouts). As the fecal count in water goes up, so too do dangers for those exposed to the water. The potential ailments on exposure range from conjunctivitis to cholera! And this is to say nothing of the damage to the marine habitat and the increase in algae.
3. I suspect that theft from legitimate cruisers/homeowners in the area also increases.
4. If they do take to sea, the cost of resuce (including the risk to the lives of the rescuers) again must be borne by society.

I think what many here have been attempting to get at is the need for a 'balanced' response that may be lacking in 72 hour anchoring limits. By the same token, I also suspect that even if the United States spent trillions on universal health-care and free post-secondary education, they would still see many of the same people on many of the same boats.

Brad

ssullivan 12-02-2008 11:19

Wow... Brad, I have no idea how you go from in depth technical info on cats right into great societal commentary, but bravo!

Very good points as well. I think you get the idea of what I was trying to ask about, and that is what can we as boaters do...? maybe it's nothing. However, the problem re: anchoring rights is very clear to me now, having visited Ft Myers.

The restrictions are in place because of these types of vessels, which are often abandoned and end up sinking. If we could do anything about these types of vessels, we'd probably have a warmer welcome at the city cousels and such re: the anchoring restrictions.

It's clear the restictions in FL are due to this type of community on the water.

Now only if we had some more even-handed approach, as you say...



Quote:

Originally Posted by Southern Star (Post 133783)
Defjef, there can be little doubt that some of these derelict boats are the product of unavoidable poverty and the lack of a 'safety' net. Nevertheless, I am also confident that there are some derelict boatowners who refused to complete educational programs that have made available for them at no cost, and who refuse to work even when jobs have been available. Similarly, there are also some people who become criminals despite good parents and despite being provided adequate financial/educational resources.

There is an issue here that needs to be dealt with because it impacts upon more than merely the waterfront 'vista' for the wealthy. As has been pointed out:
1. A number of these derelicts sink and become hazards to navigation and then ultimately, a removal expense for the rest of us.
2. They almost assuredly do not have even the most basic holding tanks (or if they do, can't be bothered/afford pumpouts). As the fecal count in water goes up, so too do dangers for those exposed to the water. The potential ailments on exposure range from conjunctivitis to cholera! And this is to say nothing of the damage to the marine habitat and the increase in algae.
3. I suspect that theft from legitimate cruisers/homeowners in the area also increases.
4. If they do take to sea, the cost of resuce (including the risk to the lives of the rescuers) again must be borne by society.

I think what many here have been attempting to get at is the need for a 'balanced' response that may be lacking in 72 hour anchoring limits. By the same token, I also suspect that even if the United States spent trillions on universal health-care and free post-secondary education, they would still see many of the same people on many of the same boats.

Brad


ssullivan 12-02-2008 11:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Southern Star (Post 133783)
4. If they do take to sea, the cost of resuce (including the risk to the lives of the rescuers) again must be borne by society.


Just wanted to point out that my EPIRB-happy character is often actually a comparatively "rich" guy, not a "poor" guy, who simply wasn't prepared to be at sea and called for help, when a little self-help might have been better.

You know... like those from CA that sink in South America, those that have a rough day at sea, activate the EPIRB, get rescued and the boat's fine... these types. They are usually actually wealthy, so in that respect, I want to point out that both types of reliance on the government are bad and could lead to imposed restrictions (such as those in NZ) where there are new sets of regulations. (I don't like regulation! ha ha)

And to restate again for those who missed it: The point of this thread has nothing to do with rich/poor. It's more about reliance on the govt, and what the govt will do in response to us causing problems for it. (ie: put in more restrictions)

AnchorageGuy 12-02-2008 11:44

You have all missed a major solution to these problems that has been utilized successfully is some areas. All boats are required to meet certain standards for safety, discharge, etc. If the local enforcement authorities would do periodic and regular safety inspections to assure these vessels meet those requirements, issue citations for those that do not and enforce those citation many of these problems will go away. This all without anchoring regulations or additional regulations at all. So what do you do? You contact the appropriate authorities and report your concerns for the possible violations of safety regulations and environmental concerns and ask that they look into this. So you have done your part and you need to insist the authorities do their part. These folks will move on.

markpj23 12-02-2008 12:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssullivan (Post 133768)
...However, what about this right?:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.On boats, you are subject to search and seizure at will and at random by the Dept of Homeland Security. (USCG) They can search without cause, require no warrants, etc...

Natually, I'm not trying to argue... I'm just killing time while I wait for my survey and stuff! ha ha :)

Not trying to argue either Sean ... you butt head!! :D:D

While we were both sleeping Sean our government also passed warrantless wiretap and search authority. My point is only that the laws now in use do not discriminate between ashore or afloat.


No hate mail please - you know I'm joking about the butt-head part... subliminal kinda.. :cool:

Southern Star 12-02-2008 12:02

Thanks Steve - I think I understood the point of your posting. As indicated, I also tend to agree that both the 'bum-boats' and the municipal response - a 72 hour anchoring restriction, are problematic. On the other hand, identifying what we see as a problem and coming up with a solution are entirely different things.

Yes, one would think that a longer maximum stay would still allow the municipalities to get rid of the true 'bum-boats'. On the other hand, from the perspective of the municipalities, I suspect that the owners of boats who choose to anchor rather than dock are considered 'cheap' and therefore, not likely to do anything for the local ecomony beyond what they can do in a few days (ie, some basic re-provisioning/a few meals out).

Hence, as I see it there is little incentive for them to increase the maximum periods and, in fact, there is also a solid argument against doing so: the restrictions tend to reduce the number of boats under anchor at any one time (consisting of only very short-term stays) and hence, there is more space available for true 'transient' boaters, there is less pollution from graywater and yes, the 'vista' remains less cluttered.

The point is that the municipalities see this as a win/win scenario, whereas it is only us cheap boaters who prefer to anchor out who see the response itself as problematic. Hardly a recipe for a change.

Brad

ssullivan 12-02-2008 12:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by markpj23 (Post 133809)
Not trying to argue either Sean ... you butt head!! :D:D

While we were both sleeping Sean our government also passed warrantless wiretap and search authority. My point is only that the laws now in use do not discriminate between ashore or afloat.


No hate mail please - you know I'm joking about the butt-head part... subliminal kinda.. :cool:


[In my best Homer Simpson voice]: Why you little...!

(joking)

ha ha. I'm not even sure I can have a debate with you. You're right. Those warrantless wiretaps and broad search laws are pretty crazy, and they extend to the water, space and possibly to the spirit world?? lol

ssullivan 12-02-2008 12:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuck Baier (Post 133802)
You have all missed a major solution to these problems that has been utilized successfully is some areas. All boats are required to meet certain standards for safety, discharge, etc. If the local enforcement authorities would do periodic and regular safety inspections to assure these vessels meet those requirements, issue citations for those that do not and enforce those citation many of these problems will go away. This all without anchoring regulations or additional regulations at all. So what do you do? You contact the appropriate authorities and report your concerns for the possible violations of safety regulations and environmental concerns and ask that they look into this. So you have done your part and you need to insist the authorities do their part. These folks will move on.

This is what I figured I'd do to in New England if I saw this FL stuff happening up there. However, I think an even better solution works up there (as FishSpearit said): Old Man Winter evicts 'em! ;)

Man... I need to get this boat transaction done. Sitting in Ft Lauderdale for 2 weeks waiting is causing me to over-post. Must resist...

Southern Star 12-02-2008 12:22

Two weeks in Lauderdale beats 2 weeks in the 'Great White North' (at 6:30 this morning, my thermometer was reading -20 Celcius, or about - 10 Fahrenheit!).

Assuming the deal goes through, do you have any major projects in-waiting on the new purchase, or is she pretty much ready to go?

Brad

ssullivan 12-02-2008 12:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Southern Star (Post 133816)
Two weeks in Lauderdale beats 2 weeks in the 'Great White North' (at 6:30 this morning, my thermometer was reading -20 Celcius, or about - 10 Fahrenheit!).

Assuming the deal goes through, do you have any major projects in-waiting on the new purchase, or is she pretty much ready to go?

Brad

Yet another good point, Brad. There's got to be *something* to occupy my time down here.

No known major projects on the new boat. She appears to be in very sound shape. All the basics are there and working (engines, decent sails, strong deck, ruders). I'll have to wait and see if she'e not looking like swiss cheese below the waterline. I haven't seen the boat hauled yet. Survey is on Friday... is it really only Tuesday??!?!

little boat 12-02-2008 13:01

i lived quite happily at anchor in ft myers among sean's 'riffraff' for almost three years total; sailing for the caribbean from there in the interim for a three year long cruise and returning. i worked doubleshifts fulltime ashore both times which was quite profitable. i found the 'riffraff' to be quite friendly and helpful and many did cash by day work pulling off shrimp heads i believe, at the process place where the docks are. i'm sure sean's previous metal barge idea would have blended right in.

David_Old_Jersey 12-02-2008 13:12

Boat bums? and HoBoats? :)

Us not being a part of England we do things a little different here........no one is allowed to live permanantly on a boat :eek: Why? dunno, probably to stop the hoboats :D

In practice however folk have been known to liveaboard for extended periods - a matter of keeping one's head down - In practice if you have sailed here and are genuinely enroute somewhere no real time limit on your stay (apart from the $$$'s in your pocket).

In our sister isle of Guernsey folk can liveaboard a boat and as far as I know they do not attract ho's on boats :D

But in both islands the cost of living is not cheap, even without a Marina berth........so not the place to live cheap - although in a fairly affluent place it means good scavenging to be had from the harbour skips! :cool:

stevelxls 12-02-2008 13:12

Quote:

You won't see this in Europe I suspect. They have a social net.
Quote:

Originally Posted by ssullivan (Post 133775)
I would be curious to see what our European members have to say about any of this happening in their own back yard. Does it? (not the EPIRB stuff, but the guys out living on the 8 meter "HoboCat" panhandling for dinner and drinks?)

This isn't really a big problem in the UK as the health service and benefits system can cater enough for folk on land that there would be no financial benefit of being afloat. I'm not sure how US social services work, but for example taking a non-working couple in the UK with a child renting a private house, they could basically get at least:
  • Rent Paid
  • Council (municipal) taxes paid
  • Unemployment cash
  • Child benefit cash
  • Child tax credit cash
  • Free medical (NHS) and prescribed medication
  • Free dental
  • Free optician
  • Free schooling with meals supplied
  • Various other freebies
All in all, adding up the value of all this (if paid for) without the medical/dental/optical/schooling, such a couple are probably receiving in excess of $25k per year. Considering that living on the water is cramped and pretty cold for six months of the year, there isn't really any benefit for them so we don't really have a 'boat bum' problem.


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