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Old 10-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #1
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Florida Anchoring limits heating up

More strategy talk from FL cities to limit anchoring, now heating up.

Florida's Anchoring Debate Heats Up - Inside Practical Sailor Blog Article
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #2
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More strategy talk from FL cities to limit anchoring, now heating up.

Florida's Anchoring Debate Heats Up - Inside Practical Sailor Blog Article
Marina owners must be salivating for the additional business.

As a previous property owner on the ICW, I have mixed feelings about this and crabbing too. My deed was somewhat unusual but gave me ownership of underwater land all the way out to the channel....almost 1/2 mile. In fact, the city did not have an easement for Rockledge Drive except for the road itself. Over the years I saw my property rights used and abused by boaters, crabbers, marathoners, bicycle clubs, utilities, motorcycles and on and on. Some boaters would just dinghy up to the dock and tie up like it was the municipal marina. I sold the property some years ago for other reasons. My point is, owners property rights are often abused and not just by boaters. Eventually, they feel compelled to go to the police and local governments to get their property rights and privacy protected. Florida is a haven for snowbird boaters and on many places along the ICW, there just is not enough free anchorages for the number of snowbirds or locals who want free. Part of the reason is a lack of marinas and transient slips.

Anyway, please respect land owners property rights and where possible, if you see other boaters who don't, call them out. Freedom on the water is a precious thing but the more it is abused, the more it will be restricted.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:06 PM   #3
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As a FL resident and frequent boater I have never been asked by any LEO to leave an anchorage. From the talk on several forums, I'm probably lucky.

Since this a boating forum I can see the opinion weighted heavily in favor of un-restricted anchoring. However Donson has a valid point. Boaters who fail to honor land owners rights by being a noise nuisance, visual eyesore or using their property as a dinghy landing will hasten the inevitable anchoring restrictions. There are many more landowners than boaters and if they're on the ICW or other waterfront property they probably have more money and clout than the average boater using his waterfront as a hang out.

I've seen many boats anchored in some very nice locations that I would not want to see 24/7 if I owned the adjacent waterfront land.

I really don't see a solution to this issue. Mooring fields are a good start and quite frankly I don't see the boating communities objection to outlawing anchoring within a mile or two of a mooring field. However some folks will not want to pay the $20 a night for this convenience, choosing to anchor right next to the mooring field. Perhaps a more reasonable $5 per night will encourage those folks.

Derelict boats are a huge problem is FL, though the boating community tends to downplay the significance of this. My favorite anchorage on the north end of Longboat Key is home to 4 derelict boats that have been there for several years. They are an eyesore and take up valuable anchoring space. If I were a waterfront land owner I would be doing my best to restrict anchoring here. Most waterfront land owners probably don't know the boating community doesn't condone these boats, they just want them out of here and would support any legislation preventing such an eyesore. This beautiful cove would probably be otherwise empty of boats during the week.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:49 PM   #4
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"A gopher never quits"---Karl Spackler This sums up the never ending battle in Florida between people who have spent gabs of money to obtain a deed to a piece of property that "fronts the water" and people who own vessels who want to moor said vessel on property deemed by The Florida Constitution to be held in trust for the people of Florida. I have been involved with this since 1979. I'm too old and disgusted by the process to give a damn what happens.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Here we go again. Remember the anchoring lawsuit at Marco Island in 2007 involving Dave Dumas (a Krogen 42 owner ) and the City of Marco Island? This is from a Cruising World article:

Dumas is the Marco Island resident who staged a civil act of disobedience last January when he dropped the hook off Kinship, his 42-foot trawler, within 300 feet of a seawall and waited to get a citation, which he did. According to Dumas, just one or two people caused this whole brouhaha. "These big-buck people buy property on the waterway and consider it their back yard," he says. "These are private citizens who think they can control public waterways."
Judge Crown agrees. In his ruling, he stated the ordinance was "an unlawful regulation of publicly owned sovereign waterways in violation of Florida law." The law Crown refers to is Florida State Statute 327.60, which states, "Local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of nonliveaboard vessels in navigation."

The Marco City Council did appeal the case but it didn't go anywhere. There was also another anchoring case the year before in Stuart that has a similar outcome. Hopefully this will follow the same path.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:24 PM   #6
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Wow this is the reason I cruise the inside passage and the PNW.. Many friends say come east and join us for a few years! Why with this and other restrictions on the east coast.
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #7
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"These big-buck people buy property on the waterway and consider it their back yard," he says. "These are private citizens who think they can control public waterways."
Just for the record, my father bought our ICW lot in 1952 for the paltry sum of $2000 but a nice chunk of change back then. At the time, anchoring on the Indian River lagoon by live aboards was literally unheard of. So were derelict boats. I may have misled about the deed to the property. What it really said is if the water were to recede, we would have ownership of the exposed land to the point it reaches the channel.

Derelict boats are a big issue and it has grown over the years. 99% of what I have seen are not live aboards. They are just people who are abandoning their boats or want free storage. These boats usually get destroyed when a tropical storm comes along and the state has had difficulty tracking down owners, going through legal processes and then collecting payments from the owner....if possible. I have found boats in various conditions aground in my front yard.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:30 PM   #8
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I once had a guy park his older, but not too bad Honda on the street out in front of my house. So I called the police to get him to move so I could stare at the neighbors mailbox.

I couldn't believe a resident, taxpaying citizen doesn't have the right to force that guy to move on...can you believe that????

All the guy wanted to do was get out, stretch his legs and see the neighborhood...can you believe the nerve of that guy? He may have wanted to walk to the pizza place and eat too!!!!

Later I found out he was a billionaire and wound up buying the back 1000 acres of the neighborhood to build his mansion on.

never could understand why he didn't like me.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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The property owners own just that the land/property! They do not the water rights too, thank goodness...
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:48 PM   #10
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I once had a guy park his older, but not too bad Honda on the street out in front of my house. So I called the police to get him to move so I could stare at the neighbors mailbox.

I couldn't believe a resident, taxpaying citizen doesn't have the right to force that guy to move on...can you believe that????

All the guy wanted to do was get out, stretch his legs and see the neighborhood...can you believe the nerve of that guy? He may have wanted to walk to the pizza place and eat too!!!!

Later I found out he was a billionaire and wound up buying the back 1000 acres of the neighborhood to build his mansion on.

never could understand why he didn't like me.
That about says it all.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:28 PM   #11
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We met some Kiwi sea kayakers camped on Burnett Bay beach, across from and up the mainland coast a bit from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. They said in New Zealand you cannot own property within something like 10 metres from the high water mark of any waterway. This means if you were canoeing a river, you could camp in front of a mega million dollar home, or go for a hike along the shore of any beach or river. This sure makes sense to me!

My condolences to those of you who have share anchorages with more than two other boats
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
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"These big-buck people buy property on the waterway and consider it their back yard," he says. "These are private citizens who think they can control public waterways."


Donsan: The quote is from Dave Dumas, who is a Marco Island resident.

I do agree that derelict vessels are a big problem no matter where you live. But lets control them and not restrict legitimate boaters and there anchoring access.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:51 PM   #13
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I am not advocating the restriction of legitimate boaters or even anchoring. My whole point is be considerate of land owners and their property. If you abuse them, they will turn against the boating community....legitimate or otherwise. Also, keep in mind, boaters don't pay the landowners property taxes which I assure you are substantial for waterfront property in Florida.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:04 PM   #14
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And why should they or care about property taxes?

They don't buy or sell anything that has one bit about that property...no tax deductions or profit when it sells...

They just anchor for a few days, maybe spend some money in the local economy and move on....the ICW is a Federal boat highway...doesn't matter who bought property on it or when....basically imminent domain has made it a passageway for boaters and because anchoring is a safe part of boating...landowners and their rights to the ICW and adjacent anchorages have lost their interest in it...just a fact of life that many boaters will go to the mat for.

Off the ICW and adjacent anchorages...then I could care less what the local populations want or think...they have a bit more control of those waters and I agree.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #15
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...what about the derelict boats on the Great Loop....
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:28 PM   #16
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Where I lived, the river (lagoon) was over a mile wide. The ICW is the channel, not the complete river.

You need to study up on law. One facet of eminent domain is property rights may not be taken by governments from landowners without compensation. Landowners along the ICW were never compensated for such uses or abuses of their property.

I would never have been upset if a boat anchored in front of my property for a night of even two (unless they used my dock, waterfront or front yard) but take a look at Cocoa Florida just south of the 520 causeway in the winter and you will notice 50 or more boats anchored there some for 2-3 months at a time.

I am a boater too and at some I will want to do the Great Loop and anchor in various FL locations but I am very worried about what the state will do because of the increasing numbers of boats squatting in the ICW because it is free. Not overnight anchoring...SQUATTING for extended periods of time.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:35 PM   #17
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Was any LAND ever taken by a boat that anchored? Did they prevent the landowner from using it any way they wanted? Trespassers are a different story...they can be prosecuted...not just some boat anchored.

For landowners it's really more like a zoning change than imminent domain.

Me study up.....oooohhhh maybe the other way around.....

Squatting on free water? hardly......what's the definition of squatting anyway? I see 30 days as being a reasonable stay...how about others????

Sure get rid of folks that don't meet environmental laws, etc...but squatting????...that sounds a lot like free range mentality even when sodbusters "legally" owned the land parceled out.

Sorry..I see any landowner withing 100 yards of a waterway a threat to general freedoms and usually they are the worst polluters with all kinds of runoff both natural and manmade.

No sympathy here...just another boater ready to fight landowners and their "I bought it so everything I see.... I have some say in it's control....

If transient boaters are such an issue...how come so many other places are building free docks and offering things to transient boaters like never before???

Even in the Jacksonville area they just built a big beautiful transient dock in one of their parks.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:43 PM   #18
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Wow this is the reason I cruise the inside passage and the PNW.. Many friends say come east and join us for a few years! Why with this and other restrictions on the east coast.
Because it affects maybe 2% of the anchorages, and I am being liberal with that. If you include the whole east coast, a small fraction of a percent.

Because the boating is year around and quite varied.

The PNW is absolutely fantastic, but has its own limitations. And remember the areas in FL under discussion are along the major transient thorofares.

We were living in Dallas when we decided to buy a boat to live and cruise on full time. Having done a lot of cruising on both coasts, and absolutely loving the PNW, it took us less than a minute to decide where we'd go, a decision we never regretted.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:57 PM   #19
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George you're right. Try anchoring within the Seattle City Limits on Lake Union, Lake Washington or the water front. San Diego also has major anchoring restrictions. It's not just an East Coast and Florida issue.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:20 PM   #20
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Was any LAND ever taken by a boat that anchored? Did they prevent the landowner from using it any way they wanted? Trespassers are a different story...they can be prosecuted...not just some boat anchored.

For landowners it's really more like a zoning change than imminent domain.

Me study up.....oooohhhh maybe the other way around.....

Squatting on free water? hardly......what's the definition of squatting anyway? I see 30 days as being a reasonable stay...how about others????

Sure get rid of folks that don't meet environmental laws, etc...but squatting????...that sounds a lot like free range mentality even when sodbusters "legally" owned the land parceled out.

Sorry..I see any landowner withing 100 yards of a waterway a threat to general freedoms and usually they are the worst polluters with all kinds of runoff both natural and manmade.

No sympathy here...just another boater ready to fight landowners and their "I bought it so everything I see.... I have some say in it's control....

If transient boaters are such an issue...how come so many other places are building free docks and offering things to transient boaters like never before???

Even in the Jacksonville area they just built a big beautiful transient dock in one of their parks.

We no longer live of the ICW. I sold the ICW house a few years ago and bought a condo on the beach. It was a nice luxurious condo and it was fun. Even felt like living on a boat. We sold it after three years and now live inland at a gated community on a golf course. My point in all this was to provide the perspective of a former long time ICW landowner and Floridian and to ask boaters to be considerate of others. You can choose to listen to the message or ignore it but if the situation continues to deteriorate, the state and local governments will have no choice but to place more restrictions on boating and anchoring.

Just my 2 cents....
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