Overnight mooring causes sinking feeling


Overnight mooring causes sinking feeling


Date: January 16, 2013
by: Robin Hartill | City Editor




The latest drinking spot in town isn’t a new bar.

It’s the north-end waters surrounding the Longbeach Village.

Villagers have reported an increase in boaters who moor their vessels overnight and are often loud and intoxicated.

“We don’t want to turn into Cortez, where you have all these drunks living out here on boats,” resident Patty McBride told Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming at the Jan. 9 Longbeach Village Association meeting. “There are people screaming all night. It’s a constant problem.”

The issue of overnight mooring and “live aboards” has surfaced in recent years in the Village.

Police have received complaints about boaters docking their vessels and staying overnight at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub and Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, Cumming said.

“This is completely at the discretion of property owners,” Cumming said. “They’re allowed to stay there as long as they have permission.”

Vessels are generally allowed to stay overnight in the town’s waterways as long as they have sufficient lighting and are equipped properly but generally can’t stay for an extended period, Cumming said.

According to town code, a person cannot moor his vessel for more than 72 hours in a 30-day period unless he moors at a commercial marina, yacht basin or yacht club or has received a temporary permit from the town manager.

Residents also told Cumming about a concrete vessel that sank twice in the bay.

When a vessel sinks, police notify the owner, who has five days to remove the boat, Cumming said. Police arrange to have the boat towed at the owner’s expense if the owner doesn’t respond within five days. The fine is attached to the boat’s registration so that if an owner attempts to register a new boat, he must pay the fine prior to receiving the registration.

Police are also researching issues related to parking for residents of Jewfish Key, which is accessible only by boat.

Frequently, the island’s residents and renters park at the Linley Street boat ramp and travel by boat to the island.

Docking from the ramp isn’t illegal, according to Cumming, although parking is prohibited between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Village Association Acting President Michael Drake said that an ordinance dating back to the island’s development requires Jewfish owners to ingress and egress from a designated parking area in Cortez.

Cumming told the Village Association that he would order increased patrols in the area to address residents’ concerns. He also told them to call police if they see suspicious activity.


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Currently 4 Responses

  • 1.
  • The laws for anchoring have changed and from reading your comments you don't understand them. There is no time limit a navigable vessel can remain at anchor in Florida. a mooring is a permanently installed ground tackle requiring a permit to install. I hope local law enforcement understands that maritime law is the governing law of all navigable water ways. If they were to force a vessel to leave that ended up in distress they would probably be liable for the incident in court. Here is a link to current laws.


  • William Martin
    Sun 3rd Feb 2013
    at 8:41am
  • 2.
  • Ok I am a sailor that is up to date on maritime law. Any and I repeat Any vessel has the right to unlimited anchorage anywhere in navigable Florida waters for any amount of time as long as the vessel is not a liveaboard vessel. The only exception on the books is that no vessel can anchor in a mooring field. Now a mooring is a permanent installed boat hold requiring a permit that I am sure the township does not make easily available. So if I stay within the noise ordinance and keep my anchor light functional I can stay anchored for a long while, it's totally legal. Here is the link.http://www.boatus.com/Assets/www.boatus.com/gov/pdf/2013%20BoatU.S.%20Florida%20Anchoring%20Information.pdf
  • William Martin
    Sat 2nd Feb 2013
    at 10:13am
  • 3.

    Your article should have been broken into two articles since the mooring noise issue is one problem and parking on public streets is another.

    My comments: the mooring noise issue is a problem on the sandbar in front of Jewfish key as well so please include the sandbar in this area of concern.

    As a land owner on Jewfish Key, I have to contend with overnight boaters, dogs defecating on my land, intruders stealing and trespassing and blocking my dock as well as ovenight music and generators running all night long.

    I am in favor of enforcing ordinances that apply and would appreciate the enforcement on the sand bar area as well as in mooring area in front of Mar Vista.

    As for parking on public streets, there is no Ordinance that forbids parking on public streets and it is not a violation as you implied in your article. If there truly was an ordinance- I want to know the day and time it was passed and proof. Your article is full of hearsay and not facts. It is a writer's responsibility to investigate claims before publishing which you did not do. You need to print a retraction as your article was misleading.

    A third issue is the " public beach is full of private kayaks on the south side of the public dock.". If you as a writer, checks the ordinance, you will find that this in fact is a 'violation" of a readily available ordinance that can be accessed online. No one can permanently monopolize a public beach with a moored vessel, yet the beach has year round kayaks permanently docked right on the beach. Kayaks are not exempt.

    Lastly, it is time both the Village people and Jewfish lot owners work together to lessen the noise, derilick boating, drunken boating, liveaboards and dog violations. If Village HOA would take the time to get to know Jewfish owners, you would find us to have similar concerns.

    While we do occassionaly park on the public streets, it is not without awareness that we are sharing this space with your "guests" as well.
    Assuming you park in your driveway which you have and we don't, then it must be your guests that park in the streets ?????????????
    I do not believe their is a greater entitlement for your guests to use the public streets than ours, restaurant guests, mooring guests or the general public.

    To the Village HOA: You will find that we are considerate people and not supportive of any activity that has a negative impact on our neighbors. You are our neighbors. Excess group parking on public streets to access Jewfish Key or any home in the village should not occur. It is inconsiderate to your neighbors period! Any one that throws a party whether they are from the village or Jewfish Key, should make other arrangements for guest parking such a contracting with a private parking lot for the event. Speaking for myself, none of my rental guests are ever instructed to park on Longboat and use a marina in Cortez.

    However, if you still are of the opinion that you own the streets, then I suggest you petition the court to vacate the roads and pay the cost of purchasing the roads . You can not privatize the roads if they are not private no matter how you try to twist the verbage. If you persist in forcing police to block all street parking, then you damaging yourself in the process like you did when you got dock permitted for no docking. All this did was increase the number of fisherman from the "general public " who now come and park on the streets.

    Jewfish Key has a homeowners association and it would be neighborly of the Village HOA to request a meeting instead of resorting to posting untruths in the local newspaper. You might be surprised of the outcome if we work together.

    This is my opinion as an individual only and not as a officer of any HOA

    Renae Farrah
  • Renae Farrah
    Thu 17th Jan 2013
    at 9:33am
  • 4.
  • So whats wrong with Jewfish residents parking at the launch ramp? So they need a windshield sticker for ID. Rules, rules, rules!
  • Jim Beam
    Wed 16th Jan 2013
    at 8:39pm
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