Thursday, October 27, 2011

Boat US speaks out against St. Augustine's proposals

If you haven't read what Boat US has to say about the Pilot Program proposals of St. Augustine, check out that page here.
They've blasted the ten day anchoring rule, and made several other excellent suggestions. It doesn't solve the problem in St. Augustine, but it's sure going to make them sit back and pay attention - we hope.
I'm extremely pleased that Boat US has noted the problems with boaters' insurance and the fact that the mooring contracts 'hold harmless' clauses can invalidate your insurance (see here for more details). This was an item that Florida Anchoring Issues first brought to light and which we brought to the attention of Marg Podlich of Boat US several weeks ago. We feel it is very important that boaters are assured that the mooring they take - if they choose to do so - is safe and that the city is liable should its mooring fail, and not the boater for something they have no control over. This aspect of 'hold harmless' clauses is lawyer weasel words, but that's another rant entirely.
In my opinion, if the city cannot or will not assure the boater that the mooring is safe, then the Captain should not, under any circumstances, be forced to take a mooring to remain within the City of St. Augustine.
There were a number of other remarks made by Boat US on issues that went by most of us - the privacy issues were certainly one that I missed, absorbed as I was in the boating aspects of the ordinances.
My congratulations to Boat US for doing a fine job of standing up for us in St. Augustine. It will be very interesting to see how the FWC responds to these remarks, as well as those of individual boaters.

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