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Old 12-03-2017, 01:35 PM   #1
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A "free" anchorage that isn't free.

At the request of the US Navy, the city of San Diego is considering restricting anchoring near North Island. Officials from the US Navy report from November 2010 through September 2017 there have been 61 abandoned vessels that have sunk, beached, or broken apart on this stretch of coastline. In calendar year 2016 there were 21 cases of abandoned vessel's on the Navy beach. Expenses associated with clean-up can be steep; the Navy reports just one incident generated a cost of $50,000.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:26 PM   #2
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At the request of the US Navy, the city of San Diego is considering restricting anchoring near North Island. Officials from the US Navy report from November 2010 through September 2017 there have been 61 abandoned vessels that have sunk, beached, or broken apart on this stretch of coastline. In calendar year 2016 there were 21 cases of abandoned vessel's on the Navy beach. Expenses associated with clean-up can be steep; the Navy reports just one incident generated a cost of $50,000.
Once again, those who do anchor need to push hard for regulations to deal with derelict vessels and reduce abandoned vessels in order to protect their rights to anchor. This story repeats around the country. Ultimately, it's the good anchoring boats, the real cruisers, who stand to lose due to the actions of others. Yet, sometimes, they're the ones who fight rules and regulations so hard, the very rules and regulations needed to protect their future rights.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:42 PM   #3
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Too bad we don't have something similar to abandon cars on the interstate. Slap a sticker on it giving the owner 21 days to contact local authorities and prove it's not abandoned. If it is, tow it. The local authorities who already have boats should be able to tow it which won't cost anything.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
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Storing the boats, then scrapping them does wind up costing money....... like the Navy said, sometimes a lot of money.
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:11 PM   #5
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Storing the boats, then scrapping them does wind up costing money....... like the Navy said, sometimes a lot of money.
If you know the owner, he's got the bill. If not, auction and roll them on. Everything costs, what costs less?
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:21 PM   #6
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A more cost effective solution would be to permit the Navy to tow the derelect vessels out to sea and use them for target practice. If they are strategic in where they practice -- perhaps front side of SCI, they can enhance fish habitat through the artificial reefs that will result.

BTW, the only "north island" near San Diego of which I am aware is the northernmost Coronado Island, but that is in Mexican water and the waters are typically so rough there that its northernmost point is called Pukey Point. Is there a north island in San Diego bay somewhere?
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:49 PM   #7
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Collecting money from the owner of a derelict vessel is extremely unlikely.

The key to reducing the costs is allowing steps to be taken sooner than they currently can be. This would be based on boat condition and use and movement or lack thereof. The process needs to start sooner than it does now in most places and move forward faster.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:15 PM   #8
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BTW, the only "north island" near San Diego of which I am aware is the northernmost Coronado Island, but that is in Mexican water
You're joking, right? I haven't lived in San Diego since the days when the Coronado Ferry cost a nickel, but I'm pretty sure North Island is right where I left it:
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:37 PM   #9
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I have not been following this issue closely, but I believe the area in question is SW of Zuniga Pt. It's not an actual designated anchorage like GB and LP which are inside the bay. It mostly contains people who are borderline homeless and rotate between the Anchorages in SD and MB on the max 3 day permit. This "anchorage" is fairly exposed and can get very rollly. The swells that hit Pt Loma from deep water and build up when they hit the coast. The Zuniga jetty is not an actual jetty and submerged in most areas. I generally don't have an issue with many of these guys, but they do abandon a lot of boats, and periodically scrap with law enforcement so it results in headaches for the rest of the boating population. I have approached the SD Harbor Patrol to try to talk to them about a more equitable anchorage system for the recognized anchorages in the summer, and they won't talk to me. Tried several times over a few year period, and finally gave up.

And to clarify, the boaters in question are not cruisers or retired. The sub group that cause most of the problems and abandon boats are younger folks who don't have a job.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:52 PM   #10
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Sausalito is also dealing with derelicts boats and long time squatters. Can't blame these cities wanted to clean it up. Derelicts and squatters give the boating community a black eye.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:53 PM   #11
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If you know the owner, he's got the bill. If not, auction and roll them on. Everything costs, what costs less?
Owners have no money most of tbe time or are long gone, the cost in man hours and storage is never covered by autioning off wrecks, there are usually environmental hazards associated, the fuel and oil is waste and costs a small fortune to get rid of due to hazmat regulations.....

Did this for a living with an environmental, salvage, towing company for years.

If we didnt "volunteer services, many wrecks might still be in Cape May harbor...and why they are all up and down both our coasts. No one wants to pay...and it is a long way from low cost.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:56 PM   #12
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Here is a good article with further explanation of the issue and the proposed ordinance which has already been approved by the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee but not yet finalized by city staff nor gone before the full council. Three members of the council are on the committee and did vote in favor of it.

The ordinance would prohibit boats from being abandoned or left unattended for more than two hours at the Zuniga Jetty Shoal location.

San Diego considers restricting on anchoring near North Island – The Log
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:00 PM   #13
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Florida has $488,550 set aside for this year for removal of derelict vessels and it won't even touch the problem, just a start.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:22 PM   #14
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Owners have no money most of tbe time or are long gone, the cost in man hours and storage is never covered by autioning off wrecks, there are usually environmental hazards associated, the fuel and oil is waste and costs a small fortune to get rid of due to hazmat regulations.....

Did this for a living with an environmental, salvage, towing company for years.

If we didnt "volunteer services, many wrecks might still be in Cape May harbor...and why they are all up and down both our coasts. No one wants to pay...and it is a long way from low cost.
I understand that, but don't you agree you have to at least try to find the owners? I fully understand most of the time you can't find the owners, either the boat was in a corporation that went under or the last owner they can find that was linked to that vessel "sold it years ago." We're facing the same problem.

You'll never recover the costs of removing abandoned vessels, they're abandoned for a reason. What are the alternatives? Let them stay and sink? Put a notice in the paper saying "FREE TO A GOOD HOME!"?

My theory behind the auction is maybe the boat salvage yards will buy the boats so they can strips parts off and resell them. Will it work? No idea, but it can't be any worse than now.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:22 PM   #15
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Florida has $488,550 set aside for this year for removal of derelict vessels and it won't even touch the problem, just a start.
Assuming places will even attempt to tackle the problem.

Sometimes the towns really could care less compared to their other concerns.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:31 PM   #16
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I understand that, but don't you agree you have to at least try to find the owners? I fully understand most of the time you can't find the owners, either the boat was in a corporation that went under or the last owner they can find that was linked to that vessel "sold it years ago." We're facing the same problem.

You'll never recover the costs of removing abandoned vessels, they're abandoned for a reason. What are the alternatives? Let them stay and sink? Put a notice in the paper saying "FREE TO A GOOD HOME!"?

My theory behind the auction is maybe the boat salvage yards will buy the boats so they can strips parts off and resell them. Will it work? No idea, but it can't be any worse than now.
The trick is to get someone to get the ball rolling before the derilict becomes a salvage. Once that far.....the costs skyrocket.

So, can it be worse than now? Depends on who pays for it I guess...and where that money comes from.

Every man minute spent by city governments is accountable...yeah I know, but if tbey are searching for owners or coordinating removals, those guys arent doing some other function...who cares but us or the place where the boat washed up? Not the mayor, city council or most in that building.

There seems to be little intetest from salvage yards or any salvage company...profits are eaten up by disposing of the rest.

Cant say free to a good home until legitimately abandoned and thats the rub too, not many laws really cover that clearly enough...but cities are catching on.

If it was easy or cheap, it would be happening.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:39 PM   #17
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but don't you agree you have to at least try to find the owners? I fully understand most of the time you can't find the owners,

You'll never recover the costs of removing abandoned vessels, they're abandoned for a reason. What are the alternatives? Let them stay and sink? Put a notice in the paper saying "FREE TO A GOOD HOME!"?

My theory behind the auction is maybe the boat salvage yards will buy the boats so they can strips parts off and resell them. Will it work? No idea, but it can't be any worse than now.
They make a small effort to finding the owners but it rarely finds one and when it does they don't get any money from them. The owner of a derelict vessel that has been abandoned and is now salvage is judgement proof. So you don't spend more time and money on it.

The free, sale for $1, sale for $10 has been tried with dismal results over and over. Auction? How do you auction something with zero value? They'd gladly give the boats away to anyone willing to salvage them.

The key as psneeld states is moving sooner. Defining "derelict." Removing derelict vessels before they become salvage. Removing abandoned vessels quickly. Not allowing people to anchor boats and ignore them. Anchoring needs to be for those using their boats, not for those parking junk.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:43 PM   #18
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Then how do you enforce that? Most of the time, the boats look "well enough" when anchored then the neglect starts.

As far as the term "auction" goes, I literally mean start it off at $1 and if the high bid is $2 then they own it.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:16 PM   #19
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Then how do you enforce that? Most of the time, the boats look "well enough" when anchored then the neglect starts.

As far as the term "auction" goes, I literally mean start it off at $1 and if the high bid is $2 then they own it.
Boats sold at $1 have then ended up sunk very nearby. Boats sold at $10 were looked at, work contemplated, and left to deteriorate further.

Actually many weren't "well enough" when anchored. Here are the factors you regulate:

Condition. Especially water and holding tank systems. Sails or engines. Must be operable.

Length of time with no one aboard or an official permit if circumstances require longer.

Length of time without moving at least x miles.

Current FL laws read "In a wrecked, junked, or substantially dismantled condition." That's very inadequate.

The process for enforcement is also overly burdensome and time consuming.

You need rules more like abandoned cars. Tag the vessel and if no response, then remove it.

Anchorages need to be for boaters. In order to preserve them for boaters, they can't be allowed to be used for storage of junk boats or abandoned vessels.

Now, everytime a law is proposed in FL, hardliners dominate. One side wants no laws and the other side wants no anchoring. I've warned and continue to warn that if boaters, and especially those who do anchor, don't help identify a workable and fair solution they will find their anchorages and rights to anchor diminishing until eventually there will be a shortage of anchorages.

Irma is a good example. A lot of damage was done by anchored and uncared for boats. They washed into marinas and onto shore. Some were boats owned by people who were outside the country for weeks or months and used the anchorage as a storage yard. The gentleman who washed onto a homeowner's property while on his boat has responded right and he and the homeowner are working through things. It's those who won't return calls that are the problem. Some have made no effort toward recovering their boat or even coming to see it while threatening legal action if the homeowner did anything.

Obviously, the hurricane has tremendously increased the number of abandoned boats.

There are those who argue strongly that the water should be free and they should be able to anchor any boat anywhere anytime. They cite laws that don't exist or apply. Are anchorages really to be free storage for unused and, in some cases, unusable boats?

Abandoned cars are simply tagged for removal by law enforcement or property owners and then removed by licensed tow companies. The owner is notified and has a limited amount of time to respond. Yes, it is tragic for a few who can't then afford the tow fee or the storage costs so basically lose their vehicle. However, they are the ones who left the cars illegally. If the same was done for boats, because the costs would be higher, even more would be unable to recover the boats. That's why I suggest not immediate removal but a few days after notification. If the owner doesn't see the notification or take action, then that's on them.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:22 PM   #20
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If they were sold then you know who to stick with the bill!

So you're suggesting that public anchorages be regulated by state, port or local authorities and you have to ask permission before dropping hook? I'd actually be OK with that as long as they don't try to hit you with fees or taxes.
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