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Boater's Advocacy Groups, Boating Industry Leaders Oppose Anchoring Ban
Groups such as BoatU.S., the NMMA, SSCA, MIASF and others add their support to oppose the proposed anchoring limit in Miami Beach, FL

By Curtis & Lupe Tucker
Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Boater's Advocacy Groups, Boating Industry Leaders Oppose Anchoring Ban
Boats anchored in waters in the Miami Beach area.

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Related info:
Letter from BoatUS to City of Miami Beach

Letter from NMMA to City of Miami Beach

Statistics show that the boating community spends about $52/day per person in Miami Beach on food and entertainment over and above the boating neccessities such as fuel and dockage.

MIAMI, FL - Miami Beach residents, area boaters, and Florida cruisers opposing the proposed ordinance to limit anchoring within the waters of the City of Miami Beach are not alone. Parties opposing the ordinance have gained national support from organizations such as Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), as well as local boating industry groups such as the Marine Industries Association of South Florida in the form of letters and phone calls to Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer, City Commissioners and city officials.

It seems as if the thousands of phone calls, emails and letters have drawn attention to the issue which affects these and other national organizations. BoatU.S., a boating advocacy group that offers insurance and other boat related services such as towing, has over 5,000 members in the Miami Beach area and a vested interest in maintaining a boater's unrestricted right to anchor.

"As an insurer of boats and also an organization with much experience in towing and the removal of boats deemed total losses after hurricanes, BoatU.S. believes the city’s plan to impound, tow and store vessels presents a host of liability and other legal problems," explains Elaine Dickinson, BoatU.S. Assistant VP Government Affairs, in a May 16th letter to the Mayor and City Commissioners. "One reason marina owners did not simply move boats out of their slips prior to last year’s hurricanes without the owner’s permission is that once you set foot on someone’s boat you are responsible for anything that happens to it ... because of the legal complications, this is one important reason why municipalities forcibly remove boats only as a last resort. We believe Miami Beach would find the costs and staff time much greater than estimated."

The NMMA also opposes the measure, which would impose a 72-hour limit on boats anchored in City of Miami Beach waters. The NMMA represents over 1,500 manufacturers of boats, marine engines, trailers and boating accessories, as well as the marine financial lending industry. The organization also produces the Miami International Boat Show, held every year at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

According to David Dickerson, State Government Relations Manager for the NMMA, "Boaters who moor within the city’s waters to attend the five-day Miami Boat Show would be denied the ability to attend the entire show as well as stay a few extra days to enjoy the attractions of Miami Beach – unless they could secure a mooring at one of areas marinas, which are continually at capacity with waiting lists."

In his letter to Mayor Dermer and the Commissioners Dickerson adds, "Throughout the year, the waters surrounding Miami Beach provide the last stopping point for captains preparing to voyage to the Caribbean, South America and beyond. Miami Beach is where vessel owners buy significant amounts of services, provisions and merchandise needed for their trips. The many restaurants and businesses in Miami Beach similarly benefit from these stopovers."

Statistics show that the boating community spends about $52/day per person in Miami Beach on food and entertainment over and above the boating neccessities such as fuel and dockage.

The Commission meeting begins at 9 am on May 18th, however the Commissioners have scheduled to discuss the proposed anchoring ordinance at 5:20 pm, in an effort to allow people who work a chance to voice their opinion at the meeting, which will be held at the City Commissioners Chambers, 3rd floor, Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL. Everyone is encouraged to attend the meeting to voice their opinions about this issue.


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