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The value of backup power

Date Reported: Sep 15, 2014

Reported by: Steve D'Antonio


An event that occurred recently reminded me of the importance of a few seafaring and technical axioms, including preparedness, possessing basic troubleshooting skills and having the right tools aboard.

I walked my dogs, I do religiously and every day I'm not traveling, from my home to a boat ramp that's situated at the end of my road.  In the warm weather I let them off the leash to swim and cool off.  As I did so one morning a few days ago I encountered a couple who were obviously having trouble starting their engine, they were poring over the fuse box, manual open, while periodically turning the ignition key. 

Each time they did so a less than promising 'click-click-click' would resound from the starter.  I walked over and introduced myself and offered to help.  I looked at the battery hoping to find a loose or corroded terminal; unfortunately they were clean and tight...

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


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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Hurricane Edouard Update

Date Reported: Sep 15, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mark Malsick

Hurricane-Edouard.jpgGood Morning, 

Edouard was upgraded to a hurricane over the weekend despite the badgers and broken glass.

Currently Hurricane Edouard Ed is 1575 miles east-southeast of Charleston tracking northwest (305T for the prudent mariners) at 15 mph.  The current winds are pegged at 105 mph via Global Hawk dropsondes and Dvorak technique estimates (Review: Dvorak technique is a satellite image scoring method similar to mix of bowling scoring, the infield fly rule and not wearing white after Labor Day…).

Excellent agreement remains amongst the reliable models and model ensembles with a classic recurving track that keeps Ed over central Atlantic waters before turning north then northeast during the next 72 hours.

Ed is expected to continue to intensify to a 115 mph hurricane mattering only to the fish beneath, or France.

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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Weekly tropical update

Date Reported: Sep 11, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mark Malsick


Good Morning,

Slightly increased activity in the Tropics, yet nothing threatening this weekend. A persistent cloud feature over the Bahamas, now designated 92L, is a weakening area of low pressure forced by an upper level trough. This disorganized convection continues to weaken as it drifts west over Florida into the GoMex.

A weak wave east of the Lesser Antilles drifts into the Caribbean. No intensification is expected.

A well organized wave, 91L, near 15N, 035W, is drifting west-northwest at 15 mph with deepening convection and hints of cloud banding. Slow intensification of 91L will continue this weekend becoming a depression or named storm as early as late Saturday. Models are and have been in excellent agreement taking 91L west-northwest for the next 72 hour before turning north early next week well east of 060W. The long range forecast keeps 91L over the Central Atlantic before merging with a frontal boundary in 7-10 days over cold Atlantic water.

Elsewhere over the GoMex, Caribbean and North Atlantic, 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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Free 'Boater's Guide To Winterizing' from BoatUS

Date Reported: Sep 10, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Guide-to-Winterizing-BoatUS.jpgNot every boater can spend the winter on the water in warm places. For all of you suckers out there (like me this coming winter), BoatUS is offering a handy guide for getting her ready for freezing weather:

Water expands in volume by about nine percent when it freezes, creating a staggering force that can crack a boat engine block, damage fiberglass, split hoses, or destroy a boat’s refrigeration system overnight. As fall approaches, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) recently dug deep into its insurance claims files unearthing a trove of winterizing-related boat insurance claims and found that more than three-quarters involved cracks in the engine block or the exhaust manifolds. Now, the national boating services, safety and advocacy group is making available at no-cost the 15-page “Boater's Guide to Winterizing” that can make the task easier for any type of boat.

“These claims come from all over the country, not just from the states that get snow every year, and give us a very real picture of what goes wrong and what we can do to prevent this damage,” said BoatUS Director of Technical Services Beth Leonard. “Boaters up North know they need to winterize, so their freeze claims almost always involve poor winterizing. In the temperate South, the issue can be a case of no winterizing, or relying on a heater when the electricity goes off, usually when you need it most.”

The downloadable brochure addresses the reasons for more than 95 percent of the freeze claims handled by the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program in the past decade. Included are chapters on: Storing your boat - The options and the tradeoffs; a Winterizing Checklist to use as the starting point for creating your own boat’s winterizing list; Engines and Drives - The dos and don’ts; and Plumbing - Getting the water out, which is great for larger boats. 

Additional information includes tips on choosing antifreeze, lessons learned from BoatUS Consumer Affairs about protecting yourself with a winterization contract, and green winterizing information. 

The checklist is available at www.BoatUS.com/winterizingguide.

Source: BoatUS

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Voice your views on Florida railway bridge issue

Date Reported: Sep 09, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

The All Aboard Florida passenger rail service, as proposed, would add 32 trains to the FEC rails from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m every day from Cocoa to Miami, and would severely affect vessel traffic at:

  1. The bridge across the St. Lucie River at Stuart (closed vertical clearance: 7 ft. – also part of the Okeechobee Waterway Route)
  2. The busy New River in Ft. Lauderdale (closed vertical clearance: 4 ft. –see related Waterway Guide article: Ft. Lauderdale: New rail services to impact New River navigation), and
  3. The bridge across the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter (off ICW Mile 1005, closed vertical clearance: 4 ft.).

FEC-RR-BRIDGE-New-River.jpgThese bridges are normally in the open position except when a train is approaching or crossing, but with the increased train traffic, openings would happen only a few times per hour and could be dangerously brief. Freight trains currently use the tracks, and each lowering of a bridge closes the waterway for up to 20 minutes. Under the new passenger service plan, the freight trains would continue to also use these bridges to make a total of 42 to 46 trains a day – in fact, due to the connection of the company with Port Everglades and its expansion to accommodate Post-Panamax ships, freight on the tracks is expected to increase.

These bridges also have frequent problems – the FEC bridge in Stuart is frequently closed for repairs, and I once waited nearly an hour at the FEC bridge on the New River in Ft. Lauderdale due to a malfunction.

This issue especially affects businesses and local boaters and cruisers in these areas; however, access to the Okeechobee Waterway and marinas and facilities upstream from these bridges will be hampered for all boaters. In light of a recent catastrophic boat fire in the anchorage just south of the Stuart railroad bridge, emergency response would also be stymied at these locations. The increased railroad traffic which would travel at high speed through some of our favorite cruising stops, such as Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce and Stuart, is also raising alarms (see related Waterway Guide article: Vero Beach raises concerns about All-Aboard Florida).

The following Coast Guard notice and request for survey information does not mention All Aboard Florida or any details on possible increased traffic and bridge delays, but the connection is clear. Here is the notice and details of the survey questions, but you must download the actual survey and mail it, email it, or drop it off per the instructions (don't use a copy/print of this article and send it). Here's the notice:

All interested parties are notified that the Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, is conducting navigational surveys of three waterways impacted by rail traffic. We are soliciting written comments through this notice and will be accepting written comments regarding the reasonable needs of marine traffic at the following locations at the date and time indicated:


A. Waterway: New River, mile 1.82, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Broward Co., FL (Lat: 26 o07’06.64”N, Long: 080 o08’43.56”W). Comment collection: October 1, 2014, from 7-9 p.m., at Embassy Suites, 1100 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.

B. Waterway:LoxahatcheeRiver,mile1.23,Jupiter,PalmBeachCo.,FL(Lat:26 o56’51.50”N, Long: 080o05’25.10”W). Comment collection: October 2, 2014, from 7-9 p.m., at Embassy Suites, 4350 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.

C. Waterway:St.LucieRiver,mile7.11,OkeechobeeWaterway(OWW),Stuart,Martin Co., FL (Lat: 27 o 12’13.02”N, Long: 080 o 15’36.79”W). Comment collection: October 3, 2014, from 7-9 p.m. at Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort, 555 NE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996.


In order to ensure the reasonable needs of navigation are being met by current bridge operation regulations, the U.S. Coast Guard is gathering written information from mariners to help determine if a change in federal bridge operating regulations should be considered. Interested parties are encouraged to complete the enclosed navigation survey and return it to the Seventh Coast Guard District offices to be included in the official record. Information helpful to this effort includes current and future use of the waterway (especially through movable bridges), the kind and type of vessels used, frequency of use, navigational hazards such as currents, obstructions, and those hazards that may not be evident from charts and published materials.


In an effort to meet maritime needs, interested parties are requested to express their navigability concerns in writing. Comments will be received for the record at the Office of the Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, Brickell Plaza Federal Building, 909 Southeast 1st Avenue, Suite 432, Miami, Florida 33131-3050. Comments mailed on or before November 1, 2014, will be made part of the official record. Written comments can also be received via email at: USCGD7DPBPublicComment@uscg.mil. Written comments will also be received at the locations and dates listed above.

Survey questions in a nutshell:

  • User information (Name, Address, Phone)
  • Type of waterway user (Pleasure, Commercial; Licensed, Unlicensed)
  • Vessel Info, including bridge clearance requirements
  • Waterways used (New River, St. Lucie RIver, Loxahatchee)
  • Do you use the main channel?
  • When do you transit these waterways? (Season, Frequency, Time of Day)
  • Other comments.

Download the Public Notice pdf survey here, fill it out, and email it to 

USCGD7DPBPublicComment@uscg.mil (or mail or drop off per instructions).

Learn more about the proposed train service:

Source: USCG 7th District

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Campaign against proposed anchoring restrictions

Date Reported: Sep 08, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Jay Campbell, JD

Editor's Note: Thank you, Capt. Jay, for your well-thought-out message, and your excellent photography (photo credit: Jay Campbell). SAIL Magazine online just posted Wally Moran's account of the Vero Beach FWC meeting, along with an interesting short video and a concise history of the issue: Reporting Live from the Anchoring Meetings in Florida. See bottom for other related links.

Three important components of an effective campaign against the FWC's Proposed Anchoring Restrictions:

  1. A Template Letter;
  2. A Campaign Plan; and,
  3. An explanation of the strongest argument against FWC, using their own proposal against them!

1. A Template Letter:

To: Captain Gary Klein, FWC


Trawler-Jay-Campbell.jpgFrom: John R. (Jay) Campbell, JD, 

Dear Captain Klein:

I am a Florida Licensed Attorney, with over 25 years of practice in the State. I have owned many residential properties, including waterfront property in Tampa, as recently as 2013 when my wife and I moved full time on to our boat in Palmetto. We reside at a Marina, but often cruise Southwest Florida and Southeast Florida, anchoring as is prudent, dictated by weather, tide, travel schedules and the need to rest.

I have read and completely oppose the proposed FWC restrictions on anchoring in "concept 2" related to establishing setbacks from residential property. These proposals seem designed to benefit only a few wealthy landowners at the expense of the public's right to use and enjoy these waters, as established by the federal public trust. The proposals do NOT set forth any concerns or problems the proposals are designed to address, nor do they note any review done by the FWC to ensure the setbacks are a reasonable response to any such problems. Therefore, the proposed setbacks are not reasonable encroachment of the public rights, and are illegal. 

Regarding the set back proposals, I note the following in support of all boaters, and voters, who also oppose these proposed restrictions:

  1. Where are the studies FWC has done or reviewed to support the proposed 150' or 300' anchoring set backs?
  2. Where are the concerns, set out in writing, that FWC is attempting to address with these setbacks?
  3. Where are the legal opinions that these proposed setbacks are lawful, and not an illegal encroachment on the federal regulation of waterways as a public trust?
  4. If the concern is derelict boats, or stored boats, why doesn't the proposal state so, and tailor a proposal to this more narrow concern, rather than prohibit EVERY boat from anchoring?
  5. If the concern is the potential discharge of sewage, why doesn't the proposal state so, and tailor a proposal to this more narrow concern, rather than prohibit EVERY boat from anchoring?
  6. If the concern is a reasonable amount of unencumbered room for landowners to use near their docks and access channels, why doesn't the proposal state so, and tailor a proposal to this more narrow concern (for example, using a common standard of 1 1/2 times boat length from the protected structure) rather than prohibit EVERY boat from anchoring?
  7. Regarding the proposal to return regulation, in part, back to small local governments, why does this proposal suggest that FWC should administer a program which will allow every municipality to apply for and create it's own anchoring rules, thereby turning Florida into a patchwork quilt of regulations without a sound basis, or statewide enforcement?

The proposals seem to be unlawful, poorly thought out, against the interest of Florida citizens who are boaters, against the interests of Florida businesses which cater to boaters, and in support of ONLY a few wealthy landowners, represented by legislators who control the FWC funding. This is not how laws and regulations should be developed and implemented to support the public interest. - Jay Campbell, JD

2. A Campaign Plan 

How to Effectively Oppose the FWC Proposed Anchoring Restrictions 

Step one is to mobilize a massive e mail/mail response,within the next week, to FWC using their "concepts" document. This should be done, if possible, by a coalition of SSCA/Boat U.S./WaterwayGuide/Sail Magazine and others, sending a proposed response template to all members. That is some 120,000 in Florida, many times that in the US. My opinion only, I do not speak for any of those organizations. 

Step 2 is to use that coalition to respond, with a new template, to the second survey which FWC will send out in the next 3 weeks. 

Step 3 will be to organize a statewide volunteer effort, by sending specific information how our coalition members can overwhelm every legislator, media outlet, and marine vendors with our best argument. Part of that will be agreeing to certain derelict boat and stored boat and sewage discharge and reasonable set back from public ramp structures, while drawing a line in the sand regarding residential set backs and local creation of anchoring restrictions without public input and state oversight. 

All of this requires that this coalition create and agree upon talking points, materials, videos, media schedules, etc, and keep up the pressure with a standard political process: voters visiting politicians and threatening to support someone else. The issue of residential setbacks being unlawful is key: without that, this will never go away. The other issues are lawfully subject to reasonable regulation, in my opinion. At least, that is what has worked for me in the past. 

Karen and I will volunteer, for free, to travel and speak and debate and e mail if such a coalition develops. Wally Moran, Scott Berg, Philip Johnson, and Michael Ahart are a few of the key players, and Boat US, without which this movement cannot succeed. - Jay Campbell, JD and Karen Campbell.

3. An explanation of the strongest argument against FWC

FWC handed us a very strong legal and political argument in their printed concept #4 (6 concepts handed out at the meeting) where they expressly state that any municipality must show 2 things before being granted the right to impose new anchoring restrictions.

  1. They must show "substantial competent evidence demonstrating specific local PROBLEMS that the regulation intends to resolve." And,
  2. They must also show "substantial competent evidence of how the proposed regulation addresses specific hazards ... While minimizing impacts to access to state waters, fishing, and other water-related recreational activities." 

This is strong. Why? They publish these standards because these are a reasonable approximation of the standards one must meet to encroach upon a legal right of the public, such as the Florida Public Trust Waterway.

But WHERE is the "substantial competent evidence" they show to support, under their setback concept #2:

  1. the problems they are trying to address;  and,
  2. how the proposed 150' or 300' set back would address these problems while minimizing impacts to state waters access.

There is no such evidence on either point (not when the other concepts address derelict boats, sewage, etc). When I pressed him (tactfully, I hope), Moore simply wouldn't answer. On this issue, their position is in legal jeopardy. But right now, it may create a political mess for FWC, to our advantage. They have published the standard, and have not met it, all in the same document!

Related Waterway Guide articles:

Source: Cruising Contributor

Comment submitted by John Kettlewell - Mon, Sep 8th

Very well put by Mr. Campbell, and I basically agree though I am pessimistic that we will gain traction by pointing out inconsistencies in what the FWC writes and what it actually does. For example, one of the stated goals of the Pilot Program was to improve access to the waters of the state, while the program did the opposite by limiting anchoring. Plus, the FWC's stated Mission is “Managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.” How does limiting anchoring pertain to this mission? The strongest argument, IMHO, is where is the documented evidence of the need for such laws that will limit the historical rights of boaters?

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AGLCA Radio: The Looping Lifestyle

Date Reported: Sep 04, 2014

Reported by: Janice Kromer

aglcajoe2013dock.jpgEditor's Note: The America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association Blog Talk Radio Show airs at 10 a.m. each Friday – but each show is archived so you can listen anytime you want after the air date. From Janice Kromer, Executive Director, AGLCA:

Our guest hosts this week are well-known members, Jim and Lisa Favors. Jim and Lisa have been frequent guests on our radio show, and their knowledge of the looping lifestyle and all things boating, seems limitless! This week, we will be learning about the story behind their popular books, “When the Water Calls, We Follow” and “Women on Board Cruising”. Please listen to our show tomorrow, September 5, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.

You can listen live by going to our website at www.GreatLoop.org, clicking on AGLCA Radio in the Free for Everyone section of the top navigation bar, then scrolling down to the Great Loop Radio player. Then, just left click on the arrow below the name of the show to start listening. Be sure not to tune in too far in advance or you will be listening to the show from the prior week. If you would like to call into the Studio during the show with an appropriate question or comment, please just dial (877-497-1815.

You can also listen to the show on Blog Talk Radio's website. Just click here, or go to www.BlogTalkRadio.com and type AGLCA in the search box. That will take you directly to AGLCA's page where you can listen live, or, check out the archives. The show is also available on iTunes.

Source: AGLCA

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Dozens speak out at Florida anchoring workshop

Date Reported: Sep 04, 2014

Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

anchorage-new.jpgThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held the first of two meetings to discuss new anchoring rules yesterday afternoon. The meeting was in Vero Beach FL, with the second meeting to take place in Bradenton FL this afternoon (September 4, 2014). Capt. Fred Braman attended the Vero Beach meeting and submitted reports to WaterwayGuide.com.

Approximately 75 persons attended the meeting, including:

  • Major Richard Moore, Capain Gary Klein, and 4 or 5 additional officers or staff of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Waterways Division.
  • A representative of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), who presented some of the results from the recent SSCA online Florida anchoring survey
  • Two BoatUS representatives (one from Florida and the other from its Government Affairs department).
  • Eric Dybing, the past president of Florida Open Water Society, a group which fought against similar anti-anchoring efforts by municipalities in 2009.
  • The Assistant City Manager and law enforcement members of Miami Beach.
  • A maritime attorney
  • The Assistant City Attorney for Fort Lauderdale
  • The Marine Resources Manager of Monroe County, Florida (Florida Keys)
  • An attorney representing the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
  • A representative of the Waterway Radio and Cruising Club
  • A writer for SAIL Magazine (also a Waterway Guide Cruising Editor)
  • Approximately 50 boaters, mostly cruisers
  • Two Southeast Florida waterfront property owners
  • Seven or Eight representatives of marine businesses

Major Moore of the FWC presented a review of anchoring law history – before 2009, the 2009 law, and the Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program. He defended the timing and format of the two meetings, stating that the goal is to develop an FWC position to be used in the event the issue is raised again in the new Florida legislative session. He added that the issue might lay dorment until the Pilot Program ends in 2017 (many at the meeting considered that wishful thinking).

Captain Klein of the FWC followed Major Moore, explaining the FWC Anchoring Concept handout and survey (participants were asked to complete the survey after the meeting and hand it in). Each of 7 concepts was discussed, and participants were asked for their opinions. Replies from the two workshops are to be used to refine the concepts to create a future online survey.

Participants who wanted to speak were limited to three minutes – approximately 30 people presented opinions. Here is a summary of major points raised during the discussion:


  1. The municipal representatives focused mostly on the concepts for dealing with derelict vessels and didn't talk very much about the residential offset. They generally stated that responsible cruisers were not a target. (Many other speakers countered this assertion with stories of harassment, and they pointed out that responsible boaters would be as affected by the restrictions as anyone else. The Monroe County representative reported that the county spent $200,000 on derelict vessels in 2013. He also proposed a six month "stored anchored boat" time limit.
  2. The cruising boaters generally regarded all the concepts as reasonable except for the residential offset. Anchoring a safe distance from a public boat ramp was acceptable, although it was pointed out that many ramps have marked channels, making additional restrictions unnecessary. Cruisers generally understand the needs of municipalities to get derelict boats off the water (and create more room for responsible boaters to anchor).
  3. The interactive state map (concept 6) was questioned by some participants, since the state had promised one for manatee speed zones years ago and it still does not exist.
  4. The homeowner offset (concept 2) generated the most discussion.
    • FWC stated that the 300 ft. number was just a placeholder, but, what did it mean? 300 feet plus anchor swing room, making it 400 ft or more? They didn't have an answer.
    • Several speakers challenged that the residential setback is a give-away of public land for private use. The attorney stated that he believes it to be illegal; however, the FWC representatives stated that the states do have the right to reasonably restrict anchoring as defined by case law.
    • The legal right of the state to delegate this to local municipalities was questioned. Many boaters expressed that if restrictions were to happen, rule making should be kept at the state level. The SSCA survey results show that 88% of respondents supported buffers less than 100’ from private property, with 35% supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers practice of 1.5 LOA being the highest selected. The prevailing attitude in the room was for no residential setback. 
    • The SSCA survey had 89% having cruised in Florida, and 50% were Florida residents. Several speakers stated that a residential buffer is a violation of the public trust, taking away everyone's rights to navigate public waterways. (Captain Fred stated in the meeting: "It is clear that at its core, this proposal is a fundamental violation of the public trust, removing rights from many in order to invest them in wealthy, politically connected, property owners.")
    • Notably, the residential setback question on the concept response form offered the choice of 100', 200', 300', 400', and "other."
  5. Many cruisers mentioned the problems before 2009, when the lack of uniformity from municipality to municipality made cruising very difficult – and costly when citations were issued.
  6. Many speakers cited lack of enforcement of existing laws as a concern. Laws exist already to deal with pollution, noise, derelict vessels, etc...
  7. The marine business representatives expressed a need for keeping Florida "boater friendly." 
  8. The two property owners spoke of boats "anchored in their back yard," for months. The concept that public navigable waterways are as much "our back yard"  was not received well by them. One mentioned the conflict between anchored boats and the ability to water ski.
  9. Only a few boaters seemed to object to the focus of mooring fields in the Pilot Program.


One more note: In the past, Florida Free Water Society actively visited the state legislators not from the counties attempting to push through anti-anchoring legislation, urging them to express their views and solicit support. He believes the effort was effective. They use volunteers and are in the process of reconstituting the group. He is looking for volunteers who will call/visit their representatives, particularly outside South Florida. He can be contacted at etmpic@aol.com. He believes that this effort may carry the day.

Captain Fred Braman, USN (ret), lives in Fleming Island, Fl. He cruises his Catalina 30, Rhombus, in the SE US and the Bahamas. He is the author of Too Old Not To Go, a chronicle of his singlehanded voyage around the Bahamas available at Amazon.

We'll cover the Bradenton meeting over the coming week...stay tuned.

For some background, here are related Waterway Guide articles:

Source: Capt. Fred Braman, Other Cruising Contributors

Comment submitted by Michael Bodin - Wed, Sep 10th

To: Commissioners at Florida Fish and Wildlife September, 10, 2014
Subject: Proposed Anchoring Restrictions // Anchoring Type Boaters Request Meeting with FF&W
From: Captain Mike Bodin

Ahoy Mate,
I have been contacted by many fellow boaters that expressed a desire to discuss with the FF&W commission their concerns with the newly proposed residential water front anchoring restrictions.
It is readily known that boating is often geographically seasonal.

A—Many boat insurance policies terminate coverage for named storms, terminate coverage by seasons. In this case during Florida’s hurricane season these same stake holders are required to birth there boats up north. They will not be able to attend the scheduled FF&W meetings however would be able to attend in April 2015

B—Seasonal anchoring style boat traffic within Florida is strongest during the fall and spring season. Fall is almost upon us. The next migration of anchoring stake holders is in the spring. I would like to propose a joint meeting when large numbers of seasonal boaters are available.

Due to the lack of representative anchoring boater’s availability for the FF&W prescheduled meetings. I request a spring meeting for stake holders to include anchoring style boat owners, operators and waterside residents.

Attendance will exceed 200 Anchoring type boat owners, operators and waterside residents.
Date of proposed meeting: 2015, any day, April 14-16th
Time of meeting: To be determined by FF&W
Place: Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, Fl.
A tent, chairs, tables, audio/video, equipment, refreshments have been secured for the proposed meeting
Meeting Coordinator:

Michael Bodin 513-675-5277
Bodin’s Buoys Slip N-3
Riviera Dunes Marina
103 Riviera Dunes way
Palmetto, Fl.

Please advise at your earliest convenience if the Commissioners at Florida Fish and Wildlife will be able to attend (200+ stake holders) the requested meeting April 14-16th.

Some of the items of concern with regards to the FF&W proposals upon the boating public:

Waterside residence--As a commission I wish one of your stated goals for the Anchoring Program was “Valuable Public Waterside Residence Education” The obvious focus with denying pre-established anchoring areas along the waterway has to be complaints from waterside property owners. From a landside view, the water area is immense, why doesn’t that boat anchor over there in front of those trees and not in front of my house? On the other hand the anchoring boater checks his charts and notes the water area as vast as it is has a depth from 1’ to 5’. The waterside resident sees small craft zooming in front and along the water edge and gives no thought of the difference in depth required for anchoring larger boats vs. small craft boating. The anchoring boater knows he needs about 10’ depth to be on the safe side for anchoring. In fact the majority of the waterway is eliminated due to it being too shallow, but the 10’ area is only a couple of miles further and that’s the location an anchor will be deployed. As time progresses this 10’ depth location becomes a favored transient boating anchoring spot due to the shallow depth of the remaining water for many boaters passing through the area. Perhaps the previous waterside resident enjoyed the majestic lines of the sailboat, the property was sold and the new waterside resident does not want his view obstructed by a boat. He complains to the city council and now the council wants to fulfill his request of eliminating boats in front of his new waterside residence. It has been reported that 70 different cruisers will use a singular popular anchorage annually. To deny these popular public access anchorages for future boaters upon a singular waterside resident complaint would tarnish Florida’s reputation as a friendly boating state. Perhaps individual mooring balls, to reduce the swing area, could be installed at the popular anchorage locations within the proposed 300’ restricted anchoring zones. Boats would not anchor, but simply tie up to the ball for the night. This is a difficult situation and more waterside residence education should be considered. The 10’ depth area was used prior to the new waterside resident.

To recommend enactment of a 300’ non anchoring zone plus the necessary 100’ swing and safety of 50’ in case of high winds for anchor dragging, now necessities’ 450’ from the shore and you are back in the 1’-5’ shallow area and cannot anchor or in the ICW. This 300’ (Actually 450’) exclusion from shore side anchoring does not in the wildness definition 1)“Promote public access”—(in actually, water access is being denied),
2) ”Enhance Navigation Safety”—(The safe anchoring boater at 10’is now required to search for a suitable anchoring area)

Repeal of 327.60FS anchoring section--It’s my understanding the commission has a goal of “promoting public access to the waters of this state”. If you decide to void 327.60 FS amended 2009 thus allowing local municipalities to utilize private citizen observations for reporting violations and allow local governed jurisdictions to impose and regulate non anchoring areas I would request consideration be given for the following;-

A- Micipalities anchoring-- various anchoring regulations--Florida has hundreds of municipalities along its 1,200 miles of coast line and each municipal would be granted authority to regulate anchoring including its own variation or unique anchoring restrictions at specific locations as well as impose fines for violations. These imposed fines would no doubt be several hundreds of dollars, to generate revenue for the new enforcement cost. This will have an overall negative effect upon the boating public. The reduction in public’s access to the waterways is counter to one of the goals for the Anchoring and Mooring program. A few of the anchoring restrictions are well founded and boaters are now in compliance without a formal law. Boating laws presently on the books should be enforced. Any law pertaining to boaters should be by the State, Federal Government, and/or Coast Guard and be standardized throughout the state. Allowing local jurisdictions to set their independent restrictions can result in a wide variation of local laws and present further difficulties for the Transient Cruiser ability to abide by Florida’s laws.

B- Signage for prevention of anchoring to the general public-- Since the restrictions would be in an area that previously was used to anchor boats, a large lettered sign upon the waterway should be required to advise unsuspecting boaters the area is now restricted to non-anchoring use. The signs should be standardized throughout the state. Presently the Manatee signs are of various sizes, lettering of large combined small fonts, wording variations and often difficult to read when the boat is rocking and the sign has weathered a few years. I’m sure they are well read when new and on the land. Non-anchoring signs could have a specific designation (perhaps round), similar to the cans and nuns now used upon the waterway. The round sign would have a large picture of a boat with a circle and an angular line through it. This would be the easiest to understand and could be standardized throughout the state. Any one of the 90,000 Florida registered boaters and transient out of state boaters would immediately know that anchoring is not allowed at the signs location. This could save the unaware boater a hefty fine for lack of knowledge on the new municipal’s non anchoring restrictions and a negative opinion of Florida’s boating friendliness.

C- Waterways Guides updates for Floridas non-anchoring zones-- are well read by the boating public. Many of the popular waterway guides have anchoring locations along Florida’s Coast. Due to the large amount of residential housing on the waterway many of the anchorages are in front of waterside residences. Some method should be devised to quickly advise these publications on Florida’s municipals ban of anchorages, (I think Florida will be the first state to ban anchorage) the locations and established violation fines. The Waterway guides, as updated, when read will advise boaters of Florida’s enacted anchoring ban and locations.

D- NOAA Charts for Floridas non-anchoring zones-- Many anchoring boaters use electronic navigation (GPS). My chart plotter is used fifty times more in Florida than radar. Updating electronic charts is no more than a Wi-Fi connection and a couple of minutes. At that point I will have the very latest information as issued from NOAA for the upcoming cruise. This information with the present mile marker is used with the boats location to either add or subtract 60 or 70 miles than determine the evening anchorage. It would be helpful if the commission could implement a process to upload the proposed municipals anchoring restrictions to NOAA for their chart updates. With the latest update I would immediately know of the municipals anchoring restrictions and could make plans to anchor at another location vs. arriving at the location late in the day and at that time due to the anchoring restrictions try to locate another safe anchorage.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Anchoring and Mooring goals are commendable. I must comment that I cannot understand the necessity to restrict overnight anchoring in front of residential waterfront property knowing one of the specific goals is to enhance navigation safety. By giving local municipalities jurisdiction over anchoring areas, severely limiting the boater’s discretion for a safe anchorage appears to be counterproductive. Anchorages are often chosen at the present based upon, wind direction, strength forecasted for the evening and, tidal current, bottom holding, swing area, and depth.

A local city council that may have never boated and acting upon the best interest of a complaint from a singular waterside resident is not the proper authority to establish safe daily boating anchoring restrictions for large numbers of boaters.

Moorage—I have heard very positive comments on the new fields. As for me, when I’m out of my base marina in transit I don’t use them. I do not use any of the services they offer, such as sewage pump-out, dinghy dock, on shore restrooms, on shore showers, on shore laundry, trash collection, ice, restaurant, fuel services that are offered. I am completely self-contained and prefer to anchor. The mooring fields are occasionally not close to the 60/70 mile passage I want to make that day. Normal arrival would be around 4-5PM with departure by 8AM.

Mooring field promotion Field fees are established based upon the value to the boating public and services offered.
It is suggested a two tier price system for boaters based upon the services offered be a consideration for determining fees;

1) Nightly mooring price for the cruiser that uses on-site services with pre-registration to reserve a mooring ball, at the favored portion of the mooring field to be between $10.00-$20.00 per night, of course, weekly and monthly discounts would apply. Suggest a state law of moorages not to exceed $15.00 per night. The proposed restrictions on anchorage if enacted may drive more boaters to the mooring fields. In time municipalities will increase prices of moorages (monopoly) to maximize income. Highway rest stops charge nothing for overnight stays.

2) Cruisers such as myself that do not use any of the services, after 5PM if any of the mooring balls are still not used than a $5.00 tie up fee for the remainder with the understanding the boat must depart the field by 8:00AM the following morning should be considered.

Why pay for services that are not wanted by some boaters, but prized by others. This would encourage the anchoring type boaters requiring no services which otherwise would anchor to use the mooring field on a first come first serve basis after 5:00PM. The mooring balls left unused cost the same as if they were used thus some revenue would be generated for the city. Boaters do pay registration fees, fuel tax and daily operational expenses to the local economies. This two tier pricing system would give some anchoring boaters who have not moored in the past an initial try at moorings and may decide after a favorable experience to utilize the fields more often. It would help to “Promote the establishment and use of public mooring fields”. Florida has 90,000 tax paying residents that have anchoring type boats.

We all should have the common purpose of mutual respect for each other’s concerns and strive to fulfill the stated goals of the Anchoring Mooring Program while promoting safe boating and safe anchoring

Comment submitted by Wally Moran - Sun, Sep 7th

Captain Mike - fyi, I have contacted the FWC directly with the following letter:

Gentlemen - Apparently Captain Mike Bodin has been attempting to contact the FWC regarding the anchoring issue - and no one has responded to him or his concerns. His contact information is below my signature - his letter is posted publicly at Waterway Guides, at http://www.waterwayguide.com/waterway-updates/news/GEN/4259/Dozens-speak-out-at-Florida-anchoring-workshop?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News-and-Navigation-Blasts&utm_content=CWU-9-4-2014-final

I'd appreciate knowing that someone from the FWC has responded to him regarding his request.

Thank you,

Wally Moran
Cruising Editor, Waterway Guide

Comment submitted by John Kettlewell - Fri, Sep 5th

Thanks for the report. I have a feeling the 300-foot offset was thrown out there in order to end up at a compromise of say 150 feet, which would still be terrible news for boaters. Aside from the fact that it would technically eliminate most anchoring in many crowded harbors it would also open up boaters to endless harassment. It would be very difficult to measure or judge such a distance accurately, meaning that all's it would take is a homeowner calling the police to say someone is "anchored too close." The police would have to check it out, would probably talk to the boater, even if the distance was judged adequate, and there goes your pleasant evening at anchor.

Comment submitted by Michael Bodin - Fri, Sep 5th

A formal study is being undertaken by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to greatly reduce boaters anchoring rights along Florida’s ICW and many other waterways. It is extremely important to take a few minutes and assist your fellow boaters to support their current anchoring rights. Please act now.

This is the link to send the FF&W commissioners email.


Upon arrival at site:

Left Click -- Contact Commissioners
Left Click -- X on Subscribe screen
Enter your Name:
Enter your Email:
Enter Subject: Anchoring & Mooring Comment
Suggest the following in the comment box: copy & paste or add your own comments

Please be advised I’m against:
1) The proposed 300’ or any overnight anchoring restriction from waterfront residence,
2) The proposed meaning of overnight to be 4 hours.
3) The proposed granting of local communities authority to regulate vessel anchoring.
Do not change 327.60FS but enforce the current statues.

Any interested party is encouraged to enter their comments at the Florida FF&W site for this important survey. Respondent numbers are very important; FF&W is working with the University of Florida, College of law for finalizing the proposed policy recommendations. The individuals that are gaging the effectiveness for various proposals are relying on qualitative means. Note: Each respondent number is important !!

Comment submitted by Mike Bodin - Thu, Sep 4th

Thanks for a great job and review of discussions. They have not responded to and of my communications. Enclosed is the last one

To: Commissioners at Florida Fish and Wildlife 8/29/14
Subject: Proposed Anchoring Restrictions // Meeting Request
From: Captain Mike Bodin

Ahoy Mate,

I have been contacted by many fellow boaters that expressed a desire to discuss with the FF&W commission their concerns with the newly proposed residential water front anchoring restrictions.

It is readily known that boating is often geographically seasonal.

A—Many boat insurance policies terminate coverage for named storms, terminate coverage by seasons. In this case during Florida’s hurricane season these same stake holders are required to birth there boats up north. They will not be able to attend the scheduled FF&W meetings however would be able to attend in April 2015

B—Seasonal anchoring style boat traffic within Florida is strongest during the fall and spring season. Fall is almost upon us. The next migration of anchoring stake holders is in the spring. I would like to propose a joint meeting when large numbers of seasonal boaters are available.

Due to the lack of representative anchoring boater’s availability for the FF&W prescheduled meetings. I request a spring meeting for stake holders to include anchoring style boat owners, operators and waterside residents.

Attendance will exceed 200 Anchoring type boat owners, operators and waterside residents.

Date of proposed meeting: 2015, any day, April 14-16th
Time of meeting: To be determined by FF&W
Place: Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, Fl.
A tent, chairs, tables, audio/video, equipment, refreshments have been secured for the proposed meeting

Meeting Coordinator:

Michael Bodin
Bodin’s Buoys Slip N-3
Riviera Dunes Marina
103 Riviera Dunes way
Palmetto, Fl.

Please advise at your earliest convenience if the Commissioners at Florida Fish and Wildlife will be able to attend (200+ stake holders) the proposed meeting April 14-16th.

In advance thank you for your consideration.

Captain Michael Bodin

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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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