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usa marina policies

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Peter Houlihan Peter Houlihan 10 months, 1 week ago.

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    Oceanopolous, i was reading a new posting by someones who live aboard their boat, and they were saying it’s difficult to find a marina any more that will allow boats with no insurance. I read this situation a couple times per year, all to do with usa marinas. Some will not allow slip rental for even overnight without valid insurance paperwork. So is this for real? How will someone making a boat at home deal with this?

  • I also read years ago that Florida has refused to issue any more permits for new marinas, because they want kill off the marinas that allow liveaboards. Is this for real? It seems odd, since it’s apparently legal to tie up at a state marine park for two weeks.

  • What about dropping anchor outside a marina, if the area isn’t marked as a marine protected area, and is not marked a shipping lane, and is not marked as a hazardous area, but i need 40ft deep water to clear the keel, can i drop anchor a few miles off Florida’s west coast and be ok for six months?

  • And what’s the real skinny on charts? What’s the actual enforcement for the uscg checking current charts if they board for safety inspection? What’s the actual specifications of a boat situation where you do not need to be wearing a life vest at all times?

  • When you travel from Fla thru waters of other states, to go to Texas for instance, do you need to prepare to meet the state regulations of Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas as you pass by those states?

Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS


It all depends of which US state you are talking about getting a slip in. In California, back in ’90 -’99 they wanted you to carry $300,000 liability insurance on your boat to get a slip, plus you would pay an extra $125-$225 per boat/mo if you live aboard (on top of your regular $10-$15/ft/mo for the slip fees). Soooo, the liveaboards would just tell those marinas to go and f___ themselves and they moved to the cheaper marinas down the road, where you would “grease” that marina manager, and you would get a slip for $270/mo, electric and cable included, swimming pool privileges and a free parking spot for your car. Free market economy at its best, I guess…

Down here in Florida, you can get a slip now for around $10-$12/ft/mo and nobody will give a shit if you have insurance or not. (they’ll just be happy to get your money, that’s how “good” the economy is here in Florida,…) Boat insurance is not mandatory here. On the other hand, why pay slip fees? You can anchor for free from here all the way down to Key West and just get a dinghy to get on land.

I don’t know who’s writing this BS about insurance and etc. Bunch of morons who have no clue about boating down here.

The bottom line is this: get a boat, find a nice anchorage on the Intracoastal Waterways or down in the Keys, drop the hook, keep a low profile in terms of using drugs and booze, don’t fuck with the local law enforcement and (most important) the Coast Guard, and you’ll live aboard for free, happily ever after.

What do you mean “prepared to meet regulations” for TX, AL, etc…What regulations? You just hop aboard, cross the Gulf and go to Texas, or Alabama or New Orleans, or wherever you want to go. If you want to go north in the spring, just go. There are no regulations for a US documented or any US state registered boat to sail anywhere in or around the US or anywhere around the world.

Why would you want to drop anchor “few miles away”? I mean yes, if you really feel like being out there,…But on the west coast, in the Gulf, it’s still 20′-30′ shallow few miles away…Just drop 50 yards from shore so it’s a short dinghy ride,…:)

What verification of charts are you talking about? Never heard of it. I use a GPS chart plotter and have old paper charts for backup. (in case they ask) Who said you have to wear a life vest all the time? I’ve never wear one unless it was blowing 40 kt and I HAD to go on the bow. Yes, you have to have them aboard and that’s a good requirement.

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Ocean, just going by what i see online. I know the internet has a high noise:data ratio, but when the noise level equals the data level the truth is even harder to figure out. Often times it’s like people talking about “cinder block” when they mean “concrete block”, and when they shouldn’t be considering using blocks at all. It was the 70’s the last time i was out of sight of land on a boat alone (and i didn’t use a marina), i’m sure things have changed, i just want the necessary heads-up warnings and fyi’s.

Regarding charts, it’s fuzzy to me if they are talking about 10,000 ton ships or everyone. Anyhow, i’d want current charts, but if i get behind on updates i don’t want a $500 fine. I certainly have heard that electronic charts are not acceptable to the uscg when they demand to see your charts, they want to see paper charts. Again, perhaps that’s just for the big boats? Anyhow, i’d print them out, just because paper charts don’t need batteries.

    As for the distance offshore to anchor, i was outside today, working to the sound of gunfile echoing thru the valley below, and dogs barking, humans screaming at each other, gocarts and minibikes with no mufflers. At least the wind was from the west, theres a number of families to the east who keep smoulding trash piles going, and the stench is horrible. I am seriously fed up with it all. I want to be out of touch of that interference (and drunk rednecks), no matter what, but close enough to keep a mail/parcel drop box i can visit once a week, rent a car if i need to, get groceries, get fuel, whatever. Besides, i prize stability in a boat, and hope to take advantage of more stationary deeper water when at anchor. The gotcha to deeper water is there can be terrific bottom scour currents on the continental shelf, which west Fla has in abundance.

    I am taking a 15min break from building a 1″:1′ model (to explain my plan and get approval from the local “marine police” and whatever uscg i need to), before i cut too much steel for the real thing. If a picture is worth 1000 words, a scale model must be worth 1,000,000 words. I’d feel better if i had official words that i won’t be pre-emptively disallowed to launch when the real thing is built and ready to go. Already cut some of the pricey stuff. Going back to it now………

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS


    Don’t get me wrong, I do use paper charts and I really like to work with them. It’s just nowadays the new electronic charts are so cool,…everything is integrated on one screen, with radar, live weather maps, 3D forward looking sonar, 3D charting options, wind, speed, current, GPS integrated self-steering, engine sensors (temp, oil pressure, etc), high water bilge alarms,…I can go on and on,…it’s just so easy and handy to navigate today.

    But I totally agree with you: when you lose power, all you have is a good old paper chart and you’d better know dead reckoning, because otherwise you will be in a lot of trouble.

    Profile photo of spark

    concrete masonry unit (CMU) – also called concrete brick, concrete block, cement block, besser block, breeze block and cinder block – is a large rectangular brick used in construction.


    @OP: Uninsured vessels are something of a risk for marinas, for example, if they cause damage to another vessel, or are torn loose in a storm or their fuel tank cracks open and floods into the harbour etc. All those things can potentially leave the marina owner hanging high and dry if there’s no insurance company to pass the buck onto and the owners isn’t anywhere to be found.

    @Oceanopolis: Integrated plotters are awesome, right up until the power fails :p (been there, fortunately we were keeping a plot on a paper chart)

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