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Old 06-14-2012
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Free mooring in FL

Someone in another thread was bemoaning the cost of slips in SE FL so I'd like to discuss the possibility of mooring for free. Now, I am not sure it'd work in crowded SE, FL but I do see boats anchored long term on the west coast of FL. Most of em look bedraggled and poorly kept but maybe the owner comes by every couple of months and goes sailing. I'd be nervous as hell during hurricane season and I'd also have some good liability coverage.
It is tempting to try but I like my boat too much even though losing her would not be a financial setback for me (She is old and looooooong ago paid for). Way up here in NW, FL, near TAllahassee, I see boats far up rivers tied to the banks and some moored in mid-river long term for free. I once went waaaaaay up the New River above Carabelle and found a small community tied to the bank. Far up the Apalachicola River at Ochessee Landing, I found actual houses built on floats in the water for free, no shore connection except a tiny gangplank. You often see small houseboats along the riverbanks tied long term. If I had such, I guess in Hurricane season I'd go up river further above the dam and into lake Seminole.
In South FL, I think you could easily find places along the Okechobee Waterway to tie long term in back water places.
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Old 06-14-2012
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Re: Free mooring in FL

From what I understand, Florida doesn't limit the length of mooring in state waters. All that is changing with the mooring field program that's gaining traction throughout the state though. Basically a few pilot cities agreed to put in mooring fields (moorings cost about $15 a day, or $350 per month), and they now limit where you are allowed to drop anchor.

St Pete for example had 3 yacht basins. They turned the northern most into a mooring field, and made it illegal to anchor in the other 2. Clever.

Incidentally, what's the point of a yacht basin if you can't anchor a yacht in it? They say you are free to anchor anywhere else along the east coast of St Petersburg, but glance at a chart and you'll see there really are no protected anchorages in the area; so you're no left to pay $15 a day or $350 a month for what used to be free.

Having said that, the mooring field program hasn't reached the majority of Florida cities yet, so you're still free to anchor for extended periods assuming you're not blocking navigable waterways.
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Old 06-15-2012
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Mooring can have local regulations

Careful about mooring though without checking the local regulations. I live in a south Florida east coast town and we have sailboats anchored in our icw and canals. So sseems like mooring is allowed right? But the catch is that the boat cannot stay in the same place for more than 48 hours. So every two days the boat owners havee to move the boat a few feet so as to be in compliance.
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Old 06-15-2012
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Re: Mooring can have local regulations

I always see a few of boats moored at the very upper end of Charlotte Harbor. After some research I found it to be 100% legal, and free. There were some stipulations but I can't remember what they were....something about live-aboard.

The state, Punta Gorda and a local marina just put in a very nice mooring field with taxpayer money...only problem is it is on the wrong side of the Punta Gorda bridge. Not a problem for small boats like mine, but small boats like mine don't need to be moored. The bridge is about 39' tall I believe (maybe less), near the famous Fisherman's Village. I fish under the bridge and watch big sailboats practically scrape their masts all the time. I'd feel safer mooring for free on the "right" side of the bridge.
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Old 06-15-2012
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Re: Free mooring in FL

"In South FL, I think you could easily find places along the Okechobee Waterway "
Frogwatch, I don't think you understand the basic concept of capitalism and property ownership. SOMEone owns EVERYthing and like they wre supposed to teach you in kindergarten, you don't touch anything unless you get permission first. Or have real good reason to think no one else already owns it.

In the case of waterfront property, especially a navigation canal operated by the Army Corps of Engineers for the purposes of commerce, you'd better think twice. The ACE recently put out a policy on using the Okee and if I remember correctly, they said boats in the process of transit/navigation are allowed to tie up for ONE NIGHT in any location. Then you're expected to move on, because that canal belongs to them, not you, and it was dug for the purpose of moving things, not giving you a free berth.

While state and town policies vary, you can't assume you can drop a hook anywhere unless it is "publicly owned" waters with publicly owned bottoms. Yes, there are places where the bottomland itself is privately owned, and while you can pass over it--you still can't drop a hook there.

Didn't they make two movies about this? "Hey Dude, Where's My Boat?!"
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Old 06-15-2012
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I dont live there but if the canal is maintained by the ary corps of eng then by definition it is public and owned by the fed gov.
I dont know the area just reading threads, but i live on a corps lake and it is indeed owned by the fed gov (to an elevation here) but anyway just commenting

Btw we have the 24hr parking rule here as well.
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Re: Free mooring in FL

"but if the canal is maintained by the ary corps of eng then by definition it is public and owned by the fed gov."

So what? The Interstate highway system, more properly called the Interstate and Defense Highway System, is also "owned" by the fed, but that doesn't mean you can set up a tent and go camping in the median. Or anyplace else. And while the design specifications provide for courier traffic (i.e. plain cars) to run at 90mph, and straight stretches to be able to double as emergency landing strips for aircraft, you might find those activities to be somewhat limited as well.

The "airwaves" are owned by the public, but try setting up your own broadcasting company without an FCC license.

Or, try stopping by for dinner in the federally owned White House Dining Room.
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Re: Free mooring in FL

I am sure there are exceptions but in FL any navigable waterway belongs to the state. Yes, there may be canals owned by pvt individuals and waterways belonging to the feds. However, most rivers do belong to the state so in most cases, one can anchor for a long period. A municipality may make exceptions but here in NW FL, that is uncommon.
So, is the entire Calloosahatchee River owned by the COE? What about the entire Lake Okechobee?
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Re: Free mooring in FL

Frog is correct. For proof, look down the Manatee River. There is a collection of boats (ex commercial trawlers down to small day sailers) that have been there for YEARS. There's no push to have them move, and honestly they aren't that big of an issue where they are. (That las tpart is just my opinion of course)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor:885223
"but if the canal is maintained by the ary corps of eng then by definition it is public and owned by the fed gov."

So what? The Interstate highway system, more properly called the Interstate and Defense Highway System, is also "owned" by the fed, but that doesn't mean you can set up a tent and go camping in the median. Or anyplace else. And while the design specifications provide for courier traffic (i.e. plain cars) to run at 90mph, and straight stretches to be able to double as emergency landing strips for aircraft, you might find those activities to be somewhat limited as well.

The "airwaves" are owned by the public, but try setting up your own broadcasting company without an FCC license.

Or, try stopping by for dinner in the federally owned White House Dining Room.
"Michelle, would you please pass the broccoli?" (VBG)
The point i was making is about your point of capitalism and waterfront ownership. You can own the waterfront you however do not own the water in front of your home. Trust me i own waterfront on a corps of eng lake while its not entirely the same thing unless its a privately owned lake you dont get to say what happens on the water.

No more than you get to determine what the speedlimit is on the road in front of the house.

Again i dont live there but from what ive read in news reports it looks to me like some very wealthy people own some very expensive waterfront property and arent happy with having boats possibly that arent of the same quality as there homes and want them moved out and have the political muscle to make it happen.
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