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Three myths about cruisers who anchor in Florida

Date Reported: Aug 28, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Lake-Worth-2-Mike-Ahart-1.jpgIn the coming weeks, significant changes to anchoring regulations in Florida will possibly be decided. A draft of new guidelines will likely lead to state legislation, which would lead to a storm of new and varied municipal ordinances across the state. Some of the proposed "concepts" would adversely affect all boaters and cruisers in Florida, whether they anchor or not, plus marinas, marine-related businesses, and municipalities all along the waterways – not just in Florida. Let's dispel a few myths:

Myth #1: Cruisers who anchor do not contribute much to the Florida economy. I know cruisers who stay at marinas every night – the anchor is simply an emergency safety device. Many of these are power boats set up with all the amenities of home, the electrical power needs that go with it, and a budget that can cover the expense. I also know cruisers who rarely, if ever, pay to tie up to anything. However, I think the "stats" will show that most cruisers stay at marinas frequently – even if it's just once or twice a week on average. Most cruisers have budgets – and they spend those budgets on provisions, fuel, repairs, parts, entertainment, restaurants, and...yes...dockage. Even those who rarely pay for dockage spend an awful lot of money. A significant rise in costs will simply make this lifestyle option out of the reach for a segment of potential cruisers, which will also affect businesses and municipalities all along the waterways – not just Florida. Conclusion: A significant drop in cruising will mean less business across the board and fewer facilities and options for all boaters.

Myth #2: Cruisers who mostly anchor would skip Florida if anchoring was greatly restricted, and go straight to The Bahamas, Cuba, or the Caribbean. Have you looked at a map lately? Florida is huge! There are blue-water cruisers who have the boats, the skills, and the experience to just "pop" over to the islands from Newport RI, Norfolk VA, Beaufort NC or Charleston SC, but most of us lack one or more of those requirements. We take the ICW, sometimes with offshore hops. Many of us are not comfortable with overnight cruising and certainly are not equipped for multi-day open-ocean passages. We might wait weeks for a safe, comfortable window to make the 50-mile Gulf Stream crossing to the Bahamas. Conclusion: Most cruisers can't skip Florida...but potential cruisers might skip the idea of cruising at all.

Myth #3: The Florida municipalities who want these new ordinances just want more tools to manage vessels which are derelict, abandoned, stored at anchor, or occupied by non-cruising live-aboards. I covered this at length in previous articles, but I'll keep trying to hammer this home: The legislators who proposed those 11th-hour amendments clearly wanted to prohibit boaters from anchoring even for one night near the residential waterfront properties of some of their constituents. The 300-foot setback was an easy calculation – it's the distance that would effectively close almost all of the viable anchorages in their municipalities. But, once again, any amount of residential setback will be confusing for homeowners, a headache for law enforcement, and a constant hassle for boaters. Conclusion: Not every Florida municipality will create anti-cruiser ordinances if new legislature is passed; however, several counties could make it very difficult and unpleasant to anchor in the state waters within their boundaries.

And now, three opportunities to get your voice heard on the subject of new anchoring regulations in Florida:

1. Take the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) survey. Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SSCAANCHORING2014. (You don't need to be an SSCA member to take the survey, and the survey does not collect your email address. If you are an SSCA member, please take the survey from the link in the members section of the site.)

2. Attend one or both of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meetings this coming week:

Vero Beach (Florida East Coast):
September 3, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Indian River County Administration Complex, 1801 27th Street, Building A, Vero Beach, FL 32960,
(772) 567-8000

Bradenton (Florida West Coast):
September 4, 2014, 5:30p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205, (941) 748-4501

3. Send your comment to FWC after the meetings:
FWC will be accepting written comments sometime after the meetings – please stay tuned to Waterway Guide Cruising News to find out when and how to send comments.

You can also help by getting the word out. A concerned cruiser has also set up a brand new Facebook page: Florida Anchoring Rights. Thanks for your help in preserving our ability to anchor in Florida.

Read related Waterway Guide articles: 

Source: WG Staff

Comment submitted by Henk - Thu, Aug 28th

For all those constituents who live in districts which do not include the ICW, make sure you contact your legislators and tell them to vote against any anchoring restrictions. These are the legislators that should have your interest at heart.

Comment submitted by Wally Moran - Thu, Aug 28th

Mike, you're doing an incredible service for boaters and cruisers here. Thank you for stepping up to this and carrying the ball on it. We're all indebted to you.

Comment submitted by Marty141 - Thu, Aug 28th

Don't forget the insurance industry biasing boaters out of Florida during the named storm window. Not being able to anchor for perhaps hundreds of miles would to a number of boaters just not bothering.

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Build a better life jacket and win $10K

Date Reported: Aug 28, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Life-Jacket-Contest.jpgAre you an armchair inventor with a better way to keep boaters, sailors and anglers afloat? The BoatUS Foundation, along with the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), have teamed up to seek out the newest technologies and design ideas with the “Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition” which kicks off today. “We believe there are some creative folks out there that can help us rethink a 100-year-old design with fresh, out-of-the-box ideas,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. A $10,000 cash award goes to the winning designer and inventors have until April 15, 2015 to submit their idea to http://www.BoatUS.org/design.

“Waterway users are always looking for more comfortable life jackets,” added Edmonston. “While current models of life jackets save lives every day, many are still bulky and uncomfortable, leaving boaters reluctant to wear them. This competition hopes to challenge that mindset.”

Entries that embrace new technologies and non-traditional thinking are being encouraged from individuals or groups, such as high school science clubs, collegiate design programs or even boat and fishing clubs. There are no rules regarding types of materials to be used or whether the design meets any current US standards. Entries can be as simple as hand-drawn theoretical designs to working prototypes.

The entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation. "Wearability" relates to the level of comfort. "Reliability" will take into account the chances for potential failure, while "cost" will look at the affordability of the design. "Innovation" will take into account originality or the utilization of new technologies. Additionally, the BoatUS Foundation will post entries on their website and Facebook page for public voting. The winner will be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.  For more information or to enter visit www.BoatUS.org/design.

Source: BoatUS

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'Weather for Boaters' new online course offered

Date Reported: Aug 27, 2014

Weather-For-Boaters-BoatUS.jpgFor boaters, sailors or anglers, knowing the forecast and understanding the weather can mean the difference between smooth, sunny sailing or slogging through uncomfortably rough seas. Weather for Boaters, a new online course from the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) and the BoatUS Foundation aims to teach boaters the basics of weather and forecasting so they may recognize and prepare for storms coming their way, interpret cloud formations and wind shifts, learn when to prepare for lightning and thunderstorms, and more.

Weather for Boaters follows the traditions of USPS to prepare boaters to make informed decisions on the water.” said Robert Baldridge, Chief Commander, US Power Squadrons.  The course is an easy-to-follow boater’s guide to forecasting, winds and storms that will help any boat owner decide when it’s time to go out, head back in, or seek cover. Included is an understanding of weather elements such as air masses, fronts and winds, storms, squalls and fog. It also helps boaters know the early signs of changing weather and how to use a barometer and weather map. It may also help race committees reduce risk.

As a special offer, Weather for Boaters is available until September 30 for just $29.95. Additional USPS/BoatUS Foundation online learning courses such as Partner in Command, which is great for first mates, and Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes are also available until September 30 for the same the special pricing of $29.95 per course. To receive the discounted special pricing on these courses, enter the promotional code “weather” when signing up at usps.org/edonline.

The United States Power Squadrons is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable through teaching boaters courses and seminars covering dozens of topics. To date, over four million boaters have taken a USPS course or seminar. The partnership with the BoatUS Foundation aims to increase the accessibility to boating education courses by tapping into the Foundation’s expertise at presenting engaging and effective course materials for online study at home. United States Power Squadrons have over 30 advanced courses and seminars taught by local squadrons that will be made available online in the next two to three years. 

The BoatUS Foundation has its roots when Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Founder and Chairman Richard Schwartz testified before Congress in 1969 that led to the watershed Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971. Today, the BoatUS member-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating, and provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, The Foundation’s Online Boating Safety Course is the only free, NASBLA-approved online boating safety course in 33 states. To date, over one million boaters have taken the course.

See list of Online Boating Courses and Seminars offered by U.S. Power Squadrons.

Source: US Power Squadrons and BoatUS Foundatio

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'Partner in Command' online course offered

Date Reported: Aug 27, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

BoatUS-Foundation.jpgYour "Captain" suffers a medical emergency or becomes otherwise incapacitated while underway – what should you do? If you cruise with your partner or as a frequent guest on another's vessel, it is essential to know the basics in any emergency.

The BoatUS Foundation Online Learning Center is offering an online course "Partner in Command ~ An Essential Intro for Every Crew Member" – and you can take advantage of a special promotional price through Sept. 30, 2014 of $29.95.

The course covers anchoring, docking, signaling for help, assisting in bad weather, first aid, and other essentials that anyone on board should know.

Other online courses are also being offered at a discount, including "Weather for Boaters" and "Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes."

See the BoatUS Foundation Online Learning Center website to register and for more information.

Source: BoatUS Foundation Online Learning Center

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An interview with Boats & Shore, the marine marketplace

Date Reported: Aug 27, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Southern-Boating-Aug14-Cover.jpgSouthern Boating Magazine published a Q&A interview with Don Douglas, creator and owner of Boats & Shore, a virtual boat show and marketplace. From yacht sales to mooring, rigging to fishing and diving, electronics, kayaking, or finding a mate on the open seas, brokers and individuals can use BoatsandShore.com to buy, sell, and trade, with no membership fees and no charges for listing or posting.

Douglas' experience in fiberglass boat building, powerboat sales, marina ownership, and his current 35-year career as owner of A1A Yacht Brokers led him to create Boats and Shore. The interview was conducted by Christine Carpenter of Southern Boating Magazine in the current issue:

SB: Please introduce Boats and Shore and explain how it came about.
DD: Boats and Shore is basically an online forum modeled after the popular Craigslist website structure, and it serves the marine service industry as well as everyday marine industry customers. For example, a broker can post a listing for a boat he is selling with pictures, a YouTube video and a write-up with links to his website for free, or a new artist can list an ad for their art gallery that features marine landscapes, etc.

Years ago I came across an old boatyard in St. Augustine and purchased it to build Rivers Edge Marina, which currently has 100 slips and a great on-site restaurant. In the past year I sold the marina but remembered that in my time running it, people constantly asked where they could get a number of marine services done. It sparked the idea of creating an online forum that would create ease and convenience in searching for marine needs, and allows companies to advertise and create awareness completely free.

SB: What set Boats and Shore apart from other competitors in the field?
DD: I’ve been in this business a long time and I constantly check to see if there is anything similar, but there is really no other site that is a directory for all cruisers’ needs in one place...

Read more at Southern Boating Magazine: Q&A Interview: Don Douglas, Creator and Owner of Boats and Shore.

Source: Southern Boating Magazine

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Weekly tropical update

Date Reported: Aug 27, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mark Malsick

Tropical-Update-2014-08-27.jpg

Good Afternoon, 

Sending out an early update before the long weekend of football game(s), sloth, and dove hunting.

Hurricane Cristobal continues northeast into the central North Atlantic, alone and unafraid. A series of weak easterly waves trundle across the Atlantic tropics. The wave just east of the Lesser Antilles, formerly named 97L,  had some prospects for intensification; however, this feature will encounter an increasingly hostile environment as it slinks into the Caribbean no harm, no foul. The other non-descript waves have no potential for development with the exception of the wave directly over the west coast of Africa. Models are tad more interested with developing this feature with various non-threatening fish storm solutions at this time. Out over 4000 miles and 180+ hours, the Prudent quietly abides on this one.  Elsewhere, tropical storm formation is not expected this weekend.

Mark Malsick
Severe Weather Liaison
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
State Climate Office
1000 Assembly Street Columbia, SC 29202

Source: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

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Inverter installation - what do you need to know?

Date Reported: Aug 26, 2014

Reported by: Steve D'Antonio

Inverters-Steve-D.jpgInverters are ubiquitous; it's difficult to find a new vessel that does not come equipped with one as standard equipment and when one considers the convenience they afford it's little wonder. 

Consider this scenario.  You wake up early to a beautiful, serene morning in an isolated cove.  You share it with just two or three other boats and the scenery is simply breathtaking.  You spy an eagle soaring overhead and ashore a pair of deer nibbles green shoots near the water's edge.  What could make this scene more enjoyable?  A freshly brewed cup of coffee, and a camera, of course.  You head to the galley, plug in the coffee maker and start the generator, within a few minutes the eagles have fled, the deer have darted away and your formerly slumbering neighbors and mate are giving you less than friendly glances. 

If, on the other hand, you had an inverter, it would be entirely unnecessary to start the generator in order to operate the coffee maker and a variety of other gear that would otherwise operate from shore power. 

Types of Inverters

When inverters were first introduced to the recreational marine industry they provided a type of power that was similar to but not quite the same as shore power and that which is provided by generators, it's referred to as a square or modified sine wave (MSW).  These produce a "stepped" form of power that's closer to, but not the same as, the true...  

To view the rest of this article and more, please follow this link:  

 http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/inverter-installations

This is an excerpt from Steve D' Antonio's "Marine Systems Excellence" blog. With nearly 25 years of experience as a marine mechanic, electrician, consultant and boatyard manager, Steve ranks as one of the most knowledgeable boating experts in the country. His ability to explain highly technical information on a wide array of boating topics in a clear, easy to read and easy to use manner has made him one of the most widely read boating writers and lecturers today. Steve's commitment is to strive to improve the safety and reliability of boating products while increasing the confidence and enjoyment boat owners. In short, Steve strives to help bring the fun back to searching for, building, maintaining, repairing and owning a boat. Text and photos by Steve D'Antonio - © 2014

Steve will deliver lectures at the 2014 International Boat Builders' Exhibition (to register visit IBEX), held in Tampa, Florida (a new location for this event) from September 30 to October 2. Lecture titles and descriptions include:

  • Steering Systems Design and Installation
  • Enhancing Vessel Reliability, Failure Analysis and Prevention
  • LP Gas Systems, Design, Installation, and Avoiding Common Problems and Safety Issues

Visit Steve's website for more information.

Source: Contributing Professional

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Let your voice be heard! Potential Florida anchoring restrictions

Date Reported: Aug 21, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

SS-Broward-Anchorages.jpgSince the time I posted the Cruiser's Alert last Saturday, hundreds of folks in the cruising and boating community have either posted comments on the web, or sent messages directly to legislators and the FWC about the initiative to create and propose draft legislation allowing Florida municipalities to pass ordinances restricting anchoring.

Many have expressed frustration about the speed of this process and the limiting of input before the two upcoming meetings in early September. The purpose of the meetings are to gather input to refine the concepts of the proposed draft legislation, including no-anchoring buffer zones in waters adjacent to private property. Waiting for the public comment period after the meetings seems to be a bit "late to the party" for many people.

A great way to make your voice heard at the upcoming meetings, if you cannot make it in person, is to take this survey. Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), a true advocate for cruising boaters all over the world, will compile and present our collective voice, and will also attempt to educate the participants on the importance of navigation rights, public ownership of waterways, and other important concepts that seem to have been left out of the conversation.

(You don't need to be an SSCA member to take the survey, and the survey does not collect your email address; however. if you're a cruiser, please consider joining SSCA – this is just one of the many ways its members help cruisers here and across the globe...visit the SSCA website for more information.)

Now, you've been probably wondering, "What's with all these charts on the right?" I am providing these to a few participants in the meetings to demonstrate what a 300' residential buffer does to each of the generally viable anchorages in Broward County, Florida – home of Ft. Lauderdale. Currently, all the anchorages put together in this county can hold maybe 100 boats. A 300-foot residential setback rule would nearly ban anchoring in this county.

However, I hesitate to put too fine a point on the "300 feet" because any residential setback – even a mere 50 feet, which is probably the minimum any prudent skipper would be comfortable with – will most likely cause serious problems for cruising boaters. 

The reasons:

It doesn't matter what distance you pick, vessels often appear a lot closer than they are (we experience this phenomenon all the time in an anchorage when my wife tells me she thinks we're too close to another boat, but a short dinghy trip shows we're actually hundreds of feet apart). The homeowner will call law enforcement, law enforcement will spend an hour getting to the scene, measuring, and talking to the boater and homeowner. The boater will feel hassled, and the homeowner will often still not be satisfied.

I do not think a boater should ever anchor a vessel in such a way that is prohibits safe access to and from a private dock, mooring or ramp; however, for the same reasons outlined above, an ordinance using a specific distance, or a distance determined by some multiple of boat length, may cause the same issues.

"Safe Harbor Rules" has been talked about as an alternative approach to cover cruisers' navigational needs in a new regulatory regime: The setbacks will not necessarily apply in cases where a mariner requires shelter from a storm or repairs to a vessel. Having only this "Safe Harbor" provision, cruisers should expect to be approached by law enforcement, possibly boarded, and ready to "explain the problem" anytime we anchor near residential property or other areas with restrictions.

Please take the SSCA survey. Here's the link again: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SSCAANCHORING2014.

...and please forward this article to your cruising friends. Thanks, and happy cruising!

Here are the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting dates and locations:

Vero Beach (Florida East Coast):
September 3, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Indian River County Administration Complex, 1801 27th Street, Building A, Vero Beach, FL 32960,
(772) 567-8000

Bradenton (Florida West Coast):
September 4, 2014, 5:30p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205, (941) 748-4501

Read related Waterway Guide articles: 

Source: WG Staff

Comment submitted by Mike Bodin - Thu, Aug 28th

To: Commissioners at Florida Fish and Wildlife August, 20, 2014
Subject: Proposed Anchoring Restrictions
From: Captain Mike Bodin

Greetings,
I would like to commend your undertaking of anchoring restrictions. The views expressed are solely my own. As a waterfront property owner in Indian Rocks Beach, Fl. and a boater harbored at Riviera Dunes Marina Palmetto, Fl. I’m quite interested with the subject. Presently I’m over 1,000 miles from Bradenton, Fl. and cannot attend the meeting.
First: I think anchoring restrictions should be unlimited for derelict boats. The proposed 300 feet does not even come close to eliminating there view. These boats are a cancer in prime anchoring areas and often do not have a current state registration. These trash heaps are a blight upon our community. They are not kept up, often left to the ravishes of weather, it’s only a matter of time before the anchor line (rode) will let go and the boat will be in front of someone’s home causing a further expense for the community to remove. These junk boats are a pollution hazard, an eyesore and in general give the civilized boating community a poor impression to land dwellers. As a Florida tax payer I cannot emphasize enough my encouragement for this commission to rid our waterways of derelict boats.
Second: The Trawler I have at Riviera Dunes Marina has a new price tag of just a little over $ 1 million dollars; my yearly boating operating budget is approximately $30,000-$35,000 excluding boat payments and insurance.. These continuous operating expenses are direct Florida revenues. My interest with the proposed 300’ anchoring restriction is both personal and financial, and I appreciate your open comment forum.
In my plus fifty years of boating upon the Florida waterways I have experienced many changes;
Marinas- have no concerns for overcharging for dockage. This is due to selling off of marinas per the state’s “best use” tax structure (for condo development) causing many of the marinas to sell during the last real-estate boom. This reduction of marinas caused increased prices for the remaining slips. Marinas are in favor of restricting anchorages, thus they could rent more slips. Safe anchorages are now very important.
Local cities installing new docks - to promote mariners to visit the communities for local financial gain. Indian Rocks Beach just completed new beautiful docks with the following “No overnight stays”. The dockage at Venice inlet was changed to “No overnight stays”. These towns are nice to visit as well as many others during the day time but after sunset boaters must leave. Upon leaving I will often anchor at a protective area along the Intercostal waterway. I don’t like to cruise upon the waterway at night. It’s now becoming more difficult to locate a safe anchorage without a waterfront residence in view on the ICW. Also the distance from the residence to the ICW with the 300’ proposed restriction plus my anchor swing of 360’ puts me in the ICW channel, which is again restricted to only boating traffic. Now I can’t anchor. The new local city restrictions of “No overnight stays” with beautiful unused docks should be further examined for use overnight.

Weather- as you know boats do not have foundations. If caught in a sudden weather front of high winds and often with rain that reduces visibility I will locate a safe anchorage on a leeward cove close to landside for protection, and wait the storm out. In Florida the higher winds and storms are prevalent in late afternoons. I will spend the night and continue on the next morning. My safe anchoring swing area at 10’depth and 3’ is 260’. With the proposed 300’ and my swing of 260’ would necessitate a minimum distance of 430’ without any safety distance factor, adding a safe distance factor of 50’ in the event of anchor drag, a distance of 480’ from waterfront residential property would be a safe position if the depth for keel clearance allowed anchoring. 480’ would surely prevent me from anchoring in Florida along major portions of the ICW. Again I can’t anchor.
Waterway view erosion – as mentioned, I have been plying the Florida waterways in excess of 50 years and experienced a general reduction of the natural Florida waterway landscape. There are so many new condominiums, houses, and developments along the waterway the original natural beauty of our state has been degraded. Not to mention all the fertilizer and pesticides for the many green lawns draining into our waterways causing excess pollution. Today, when anchoring it’s almost impossible to select a pristine sight without a waterfront residential dwelling directly within view. I would encourage this commission to consider a recommendation of new construction upon the waterways to be offset to protect the natural remaining beauty of our landscaped waterways and reduce pollution.
Bridge Opening Times—in the morning when leaving an anchorage or marina my daily run will often be around 60 miles average with a cruise speed of 7.5 knots except for the Manatee reduces speed zones. At times I will encounter bridges that open on the half hour or every twenty minutes and occasionally encounter a bridge inoperable in the lowered position. This is ok for landside use but I’m stopped in my tracks and cannot move any further until the bridge is repaired. This necessitates locating a safe anchoring location I was not planning on until the repair is completed. The 300’anchoring proposal plus my swing and depth requirement would surely be problematic. Again I cannot anchor. I can understand the reduced opening times for the landside normal to and from work schedules. But mid-day is hard to justify. During midday I have waited 20 or even 25 minutes for a 4 minute opening with none or only a few cars crossing during the wait time. The bridge opening schedule in my opinion could be improved. Also the bridge clearance sign boards should be standardized through the state. It would be nice to have the bridge name and mileage sigh board as well.
Anchor swing- For nightly anchoring, if room allows, I normally use a 10 to 1 scope. If the depth is 15 feet plus 3’ I will let my rode out 180’. This 180’ is actually closer to 360’ swing room due to the tides in Florida. If I anchor off the proposed 300’ with a max of 660’off of developed property, is this measured on the incoming or outgoing tides? Also I must have at least 4’ under my keel, on full moon nights and low tides only selected anchorages are safe. As it is now, I cannot anchor in the majority of the waterway due to tides and lack of adequate clearance under the keel. Nature has placed additional restrictions for anchoring areas; further anchoring restrictions (300’) would almost eliminate Florida boating experience and question ownership.
Common irritations-Recently I spent last boating season in Daytona Beach, Fl. Reading the local paper, I was amazed at the write in comments from a very small minority pertaining to “bike week” about the noise of motorcycles with suggestions for cycles to add mufflers. Furthermore, a few people that buy new houses next to airports or major highways will complain about the noise. And want restrictions on times for aircraft departures, or noise reduction fences constructed upon the highways. People that buy houses along waterways should be aware of the preexisting waterway traffic flows with anchoring boats. Now I understand that waterside residences are also upset about the new construction of wind turbines to generate electricity located upon the water.

Florida exclusive control -of its natural waterway between all the states north, like a funnel, to the Keys and Bahamas is cause for concern. Many boaters pass through Florida waterways due to their monopoly for transit. To use the Atlantic Ocean against the Gulf Stream to circumvent this waterway monopoly is extremely hazardous for smaller boats and considered ill-advised. Being Florida has the waterway monopoly, I would encourage this review commission to consider the fact of pre-established waterway anchoring rights that have faithfully been used during my and many other boaters for past 50 years in Florida’s waters. In fact these very waterways were used for transportation and anchoring prior to waterside development. It is my intention to live/anchor if possible in harmony with my neighbors either landside or on the waterways.
Annual Florida Boating Expenditures-The $35,000 I spend in Florida each year excludes any boat payment, insurance as well as my residence expenses. Florida has over 90,000 registered anchoring style boaters that ply the natural waterways of this state; they all spend monies, not to mention out of state boaters that cruise Florida’s waterways as well. Anchoring style boaters contribute a substantial amount of monies to local communities spread through the state. New anchoring restrictions negatively affect the boating community.
Nautical / landside times and seasons are different. On the landside you have permanence, upon the water; decisions must constantly be evaluated by tides, weather, seasons and the boats reliability. I would encourage this commission to discuss proposed anchoring restrictions with the actual anchoring boating community. The landside community is readily available because most people live in structures with foundations. Drive cars in inclement weather and can arrive at land destinations quickly. These are advantages that the boating community does not enjoy. Many anchoring boaters 200+ will be in Daytona Beach Fl. at Halifax Harbor, and nearby marinas April 14-16, 2015. These are many of the representative boaters your decisions would mostly affect. I would encourage a mutual anchoring discussion forum for a commonly agreed upon goal. As a community we should endeavor to work together.
Request your attendance-I will assist in setting up a round table discussion of not more than an hour with anchoring boaters at Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, Fl. April 14-16, 2015. The specific date and time will be per your prerogative. Also, if you can attend, I will avail several boats for your review including living quarters and our dedication to pollution control levels better than landside residencies. You have heard the landside comments eloquently spoken. My only request is for an equal opportunity for comments from actual anchoring boaters prior to any final decision. This is one of the two nautical seasons for anchoring boat passage through Florida.
Please advise if you can attend the Anchoring Forum at Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach Fl., April 14-16 2015 with anchoring boater attendees.
In advance, thank you for your consideration to my thoughts, and looking forward to meeting you

Comment submitted by Jay Bliss - Sat, Aug 23rd

My view: the politicians saw that the old guard of the FWC, Major Oulette et al, WERE strict observers of maritime law. Thus, the old guard got retired, and now they generate fodder for slow-acting courts. In the meantime, sailors are getting brainwashed into this new norm, where a riparian landowner gets to extend his authority beyond the high-tide mark. I think June 2015 is when StAugustine's dictates (as in Thou Shalt Not anchor...) of anchoring outside of a nav channel get addressed by federal court. We'll see what our Brave New Word says then. In the meantime, those StAugustine dictates have stood in place perhaps 3 years.
We face a continuing uphill battle. Mil/Bil Iionare waterfront landowners will continue to pay higher taxes, and their very significant contributions to Government Taxing Authorities will make their voices well attended.

Comment submitted by John Kettlewell - Sat, Aug 23rd

How can one accurately measure 300 feet on the water? More importantly, how will the police measure it?

Comment submitted by Sea Schell - Sat, Aug 23rd

Thanks for the excellent and clear explanation of the problems and applicable law.

Comment submitted by Bob Norman - Sat, Aug 23rd

Mike - You are doing a great service to cruising boaters as usual. Keep up the excellent work.
Bob
Commodore
Waterway Radio and Cruising Club

Comment submitted by Jim Healy - Thu, Aug 21st

Mike, thanks for all the really great work! Very helpful and very much appreciated!

Comment submitted by Wally Moran - Thu, Aug 21st

Mike, thanks for your excellent work in keeping us utd on this issue. Valuable info here, and people need to be aware of just what these changes can mean.
Frankly, it's time the FWC grew a spine and told the politicians that setbacks are illegal as they violate the public trust doctrine.

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'Styling' on the East Coast tour

Date Reported: Aug 20, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Captain Rusty Higgins

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As the Captain for Sea Ray Boats Yacht Group, I have just completed an East Coast journey on our beautiful new L650 Fly yacht. My trip took me from the West Coast of Florida, through the Okeechobee Waterway and up the Eastern seaboard, all the way to Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of my venture was to make stops at the different locations of our great dealer network so those dealers and their customers could have the opportunity to view this exciting new addition to our product line.

To accomplish this voyage it was necessary for me to travel the Intracoastal Waterways to reach each dealer’s docks. A lot of us mariners understand the ever changing ICW can be a real challenge, especially in a yacht. Once again it was a huge asset, and a relief at times, to have Dozier’s Waterway Guides by my side.

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I have traveled to enough locations as a captain that I no longer remember them all, still I need to be one hundred percent focused on the mission on every transit, and having the right tools is essential. Dozier’s Waterway Guide was tool #1 that provided me with all the necessary information to navigate and remain safe all the way from Florida to New England, and back. Each day, I could easily determine the options and amenities for my next stop just by scanning the well-laid-out, important data in the Waterway Guide. I would know the ICW mile, where the fuel is, even where to get a bite to eat – a tremendous help to a vessel captain heading to an unfamiliar marina.

I have utilized Dozier’s Waterway Guides for many years and am on my third and fourth edition for each area of the country. I literally can attest to many safe trips – and having Dozier’s is one of the reasons why. I write this letter out of respect for the man who can take credit for a whole bunch of us captains making successful voyages. The passing of Jack Dozier affects a family of boaters way too large to count. Mr. Dozier’s legacy is our knowledge of knowing we all returned home safely because of his navigational homework. Each time I picked up my spiral-bound book on this trip, I had to say "thanks Jack – you once again made my work easy because all of your hard work for years upon years.

L650-Fly-4.jpgI do have another long trip coming up again soon and, rest assured, Dozier’s Waterway Guide will be by my side at the helm. I would not go without it! Please keep up the great work team, simply because the Waterway Guide is the Waterway Gospel to a whole bunch of us!

Salute,

Capt. Rusty Higgins
USCG Master
Sea Ray Boats Inc.

Editor's Note: Thank you Capt. Rusty – the entire Waterway Guide staff is dedicated to continue Jack's legacy, with strong support from the new owners. By the way, readers, the new Sea Ray L650-Fly is absolutely gorgeous – check it out at the Sea Ray Yachts L-Class webpage, and visit the photo galleries from the East Coast tour. I've been on a number of Sea Ray boats, from the smaller ones to beautiful 50+ foot yachts – but this one is truly a class above! See the Boat Test video on this 65-foot beauty.

Source: Sea Ray Boats

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Drones create 3-D hurricane wind maps

Date Reported: Aug 20, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Global-Hawk-NASA.jpgThe Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from the Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia beginning August 26 through September 29, 2014, according to the NASA website. Media are invited to get a sneak peak of the mission, Thursday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT, at the facility. 

One of the NASA unmanned Global Hawks will cover the storm environment and the other will analyze inner-storm conditions. HIRAD will fly aboard the inner-storm Global Hawk and will be positioned at the bottom, rear section of the aircraft.

“HIRAD’s purpose is to map out where the strongest winds are in a hurricane. During its first deployment in 2010 for the GRIP airborne campaign, HIRAD had two interesting hurricane cases, Earl and Karl," said Daniel J. Cecil, the principal investigator for the HIRAD instrument at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama. "We have made improvements to the instrument since then, and are looking forward to the next good case - out over water, avoiding land of course!”

What is HIRAD?

HIRAD is a passive microwave radiometer that was developed at NASA Marshall. A radiometer is an instrument used to measure the power of electromagnetic radiation. Because HIRAD is a passive microwave radiometer it detects microwave radiation naturally emitted by Earth. The radiation HIRAD detects is then used to infer wind speed at the surface of an ocean.

The antenna on HIRAD makes measurements of microwaves emitted by the ocean surface that are increased by the storm. As winds move across the surface of the sea they generate white, frothy foam. This sea foam causes the ocean surface to emit increasingly large amounts of microwave radiation, similar in frequency or wavelength, but much lower intensity, to that generated within a typical home microwave oven. HIRAD measures that microwave energy and, in doing so, allows scientists to deduce how powerfully the wind is blowing. With HIRAD’s unique capabilities, the two-dimensional structure of the surface wind speed field can be much more accurately determined than current operational capabilities allow.

What information does HIRAD provide?

HIRAD provides unique observations of sea surface wind speed, temperature and rain. The data HIRAD gathers will advance understanding and predictability of hurricane intensity. HIRAD's data will also help better determine maximum wind speed and structure of the vortex (spinning center). The region of strongest winds are also much better observed with HIRAD than current capabilities.

When HIRAD makes cross track scan, it reads a swath of passive microwave radiation emitted from Earth. HIRAD obtains measurements of rain rates and hurricane-strength winds, even through heavy rain. HIRAD measures rain rates ranging from ~ 5 to 100 millimeters per hour (0.2 to 3.9 inches per hour) and wind speeds ranging from ~10 to 85 meters per second (22.3 to 190.1 miles per hour / 36 to 306 kilometers per hour).

How is the data visualized?

The HIRAD instrument provides "brightness temperature data" that is color-coded by the HIRAD team at NASA Marshall. That color-coded data shows areas of falling rain and possible moderate-to-strong surface winds...

Read more at NASA.gov: NASA's HS3 Mission Spotlight: The HIRAD Instrument.

See more information on HIRAD at:  http://hirad.nsstc.nasa.gov/

For a story about HIRAD data from 2013's Hurricane Ingrid, visit:  http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/hs3-mission-identifies-area-of-strong-winds-rain-in-hurricane-ingrid/

See location on Wallops Space Flight Center the Waterway Guide Planner Chart.

Source: NASA

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