Friends of SSCA

Group for SSCA members and supporters of this great cruising association

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Members: 41
Latest Activity: Nov 29, 2013

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Comment by Lorraine Dolsen on April 28, 2010 at 5:43pm
My husband, Phil and I have been members of SSCA for a couple years as we are getting ready to go cruising Sept 3, 2010 to Georgetown Bahamas for the winter, be back in Cleveland, OH for June to Aug 2011 for me to work and do it again.

Lorraine Dolsen
Comment by Carl on April 28, 2010 at 3:46pm
Member of SSCA since late 1990's, support by dues, spreading the word, flying the burgee, contributing charts and books while passing through Ft. Lauderdale and leaving a clean wake. Plese include me in this group. Thanks. C
Comment by zeehag on September 27, 2009 at 5:24pm
Comment by ___/)ances With Sails on September 20, 2009 at 11:45pm
thanks, i just remembered my dues are due. Not familiar w/ th pilot program.
Comment by Capt Tom on September 20, 2009 at 7:05pm
Ok, I give up what exactly are the provisions of the so called "pilot program". No invectives, please, or editorialization, please.

Tom Blue
Comment by zeehag on September 20, 2009 at 5:18pm
maritime law is not appropriate for anchoring laws in various regions. i have paid attention to anchoring laws since anchorage ak had its problems a few yrs ago--all is happening in same manner except some places are able to reverse decisions by going to court over the constitutional processes....anchoring a boat in usa waters is not a proper thing to do--those in houses disapprove of the action and refuse to back the boaters in this ......look it up, belch--is true and factual. fla is not the only state having problems. is merely one of many.
Comment by Gary B on September 17, 2009 at 11:36am
It's not particularly a matter of understanding maritime law. I'm sure you realize that a big part of the conflict is due to the collisions between maritime, state and local law and jurisdictions. And yes, I'm aware that opinions may differ as to whether a given boat is abandoned - I alluded to that in my earlier comment, and expanded on it in my second comment along with my discussion of a potentially more useful way of implementing the legal process, that I outlined (not that my proposals have any chance of going anywhere.)

I was not addressing the pilot program in any way, merely suggesting a better and more effective approach to the supposed problem of abandoned or derelict boats than the one presently used. So, 'apples and oranges'.

I will say that the pilot program is addressing several other issues that face FL, beyond derelict boats. FL has more boats registered than any state but Michigan - as I recall 2.3 million of them, plus some number of 'visiting boats'. It's not surprising that many contentious issues would arise. Administering that number of boats and their owners is not unlike administering a city of 2.3 million people.

Perhaps (off the top of my head) 2.25 million of those boats are owned by people who live in FL houses, who either don't care about this issue or are actively on the other side of it, cruisers and liveaboards (most of whom may not even be registered residents and don't vote or pay taxes in FL) are always going to have a tough time politically, even with the amount of money they contribute to the economy - which is undoubtedly a much smaller proportion of total boating-related revenue than we like to think, considering the relative numbers.
Comment by Gary B on September 16, 2009 at 11:03pm
I don't know what the FL law is on abandoned boats, but typically they are written as an abatement law "thou shalt not", rather than taking the market-based approach which makes it worth someone's while to go out there and remove them, not at the city's expense. An excellent example is the original Oregon Bottle Bill back in 1968. Within a year a community sprung up of folks who travelled the highways picking up bottles and cans - making a living and saving the state huge amounts of money. This type of strategy can work very well, if designed properly. Unfortunately few political or bureaucratic personalities tend to think in these market-oriented ways, so they tend to pass ever more onerous but unenforced laws that you mention. Politicians need to figure out they can't "push the river" - they can only guide its flow, and that carefully.
Comment by Gary B on September 16, 2009 at 9:24pm
If the primary problem truly is derelict boats, then this is a similar problem to junk cars. That problem should be dealt with as it is, rather than use it as a justification for excessive control of boaters' movements. Junk cars in public places have long been dealt with effectively in most places. One workable solution would be a 'red-tag' system like on the freeways - if you leave your boat unattended too long it gets red-tagged. After a further period, it will be removed by private tow companies at the owner's expense. The most recent registered owners can generally be found, especially by a private company with $$ to make and the ability to send it to collections. I won't get into how long 'too long' is, but seriously a boat owner who just leaves it out there to rot should have to pay.

No doubt such a program would result in some unfair situations - just like the present one and every other one. No legal structure can fairly deal with all possible cases. The biggest risk would be private tow companies abusing the system, if it isn't set up correctly. The tough part is setting it up so the tow companies are eager, but not TOO eager. But similar programs exist for cars and houses in many cities.

In Portland OR, if you leave your house unattended and the yard gets overgrown, the windows get broken, etc., the City will come in and mow, cover the windows, nail the door shut, etc. as needed to maintain some level of protection, and their costs go onto your tax bill, plus penalties and interest. If the taxes are not paid, after a few years they take the property and auction it off. (I know this is not exactly parallel to the boat situation, where the boat may no longer have a value - it's just for illustration.

Of course, none of the above thoughts will have any effect, as I'm not a Florida legislator! :)
Comment by Capt Tom on September 16, 2009 at 5:40pm
It looks like my comments late last night got lost in the ether. Perhaps it is for the best. I have not been following the debate on anchoring legislation, but then for the better part of 12 years I have mostly lived in licensed marinas!!! In any event my membershi in SSCA isn't based on that particular discussion. Instead it is to gain "local knowledge and insights" on various cruising destinations. SSCA serves that purpose well fo me, thus my continued membership.

As for the discussion of anchoring " rights" it is a multipfacited topic! In the six months I have been in SW Florida I know directly of at least 3 boats that have been abandoned and left to become grounded ashore. The towns have had to pay the cost of their removal and disposal which is NOT a cheap deal either. Sarasota had a major problem in this regard after Charlie which instituted their move to close off the public anchorage area. Whether they have been able to get restitution from the former owners I do not know. I have seen this scenario repeated up north as well.

Thus before the discussion gets too exorcised I suggest the boating community needs to looks to itself as well. The towns have legitmate concerns as well. How they get resolved/addressed will hopefully be beneficial to BOTH sides.

That covers my houghts, but I will be looking for more information on current regulations. Thanks for the heads-up.

Capt Tom Blue
S/V Cayo Mio

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