Currently on the Boating Advisory Council (BAC), there is only one
representative (Becky Bragg) from the paddle (canoe/kayak) community. None from
the sailing or rowing community. The rest of the members are from the motor
boat, marine industry, PWC, USCG Aux., etc. There are fortunately a couple of
members who are from agencies that vote in favor of the paddle community. There
is even a member from the scuba community, even though there are not
many state laws that address diving in Florida. It’s a self regulated
industry. The only laws pertains to dive flags and spear fishing.
There were two state legislators on the BAC, but historically they are
the types that want more money from people. Some reps change with what part
of the state the meeting is in, sometimes not even showing up.
The council is stacked in favor of the motor boaters.
During 2006 when the FWC was having public meetings around the
state to address the issue of registering non motorized vessels, I tried to get
the local Gainesville rowing club, among other affected clubs and
individuals to attend the meetings. Nothing.
I was the only local resident at the meeting in Gainesville, and we (paddle
community) were always outnumbered by the special interest motor boat lobbyist
types. Even the air boaters were showing up to voice opinions about paddling. Go
Anyway, rowboats are currently included in the non motorized category and
therefore they would be excluded from registration. But, they would be
included in any future attempt at registration when we are all
included. Sailboats w/o motors, and sailboards would also be
included. Every thing else is considered a "toy" by the USCG such as
rafts, inner tubes, and surfboards. Though some surfers make money via
contests, they would be exempt.
Rowing shells by the fact that a lot of them are used in races/regattas,
would be exempt anyway under current law along with the same exemptions as
motorized vessels are from registration in races/regattas. I even think that
shells are exempt from the requirement to carry PFD's during a sanctioned
The length of greater than 16' for registration in the current emails,
would apply to vessels that are anchored/moored out from shore. There is a
growing problem state wide with derelict vessels at anchor with no way to
contact the owners due to no numbering information. Some feel that the
registration would help track down the owners. The derelict vessel program has
not received any funding for the last three years. And with the marina to condo
conversions, more are anchoring out for free. The FWC wants to clarify and have
local governments get involved with the process of mooring fields, etc.
Currently, all vessels whether motorized or not over 16' must be 'titled'.
A lot of people don't know this, and its not really enforced. Everything on the
water not considered a toy by the USCG, is considered a 'vessel' whether its
human powered or motorized. The key words that define vessel is, 'used for
transportation'. Recreation or exercise doesn't fall into the consideration
So the quick answer, is to attend the BAC meetings, stay in touch with
those that do, and voice your concerns to the FWC. The motor boat community is
a large and well financed group and they will not stop in their attempts to
get us to pay a tax to register. They want money from us to receive more
matching federal dollars to build more cement ramps, marinas, docks, and paved
parking lots. Things that the paddle community doesn't want or need.
next BAC meeting on Friday April 11th in Tallahassee. The agenda, though posted,
does not reflect all that will be discussed. The public comment period is where
a lot of ideas get introduced both pro/con about things related to use of the
I brought up the 2007 para sailing accidents at the last meeting in
Orlando, and its already being discussed in the current legislative session.
With out going through any further public hearing via the FWC.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 10:28
Subject: Re: Non-motorized
I will defer to Mr Barker at the moment and perhaps he can keep you in
the loop as we need e-mails, phone calls, blogs, etc. Not sure if
we have paddlers on any committees. Sometimes it is also helpful to get
bodies at hearings in Tallahassee, too.
As he probably knows, these things get snuck into hearings and
legislation all the time and we know that this issue has been on the radar for
awhile. I am always trying to get all the paddlesports groups to work
together on common issues so these things do not slip by.
On 4/1/08, Crossley,
Brice A <Brice.Crossley-1@...>
Thanks, Mary. I
really appreciate the update.
Can we get
rowing boats included too as they belong to the same general category as
canoes and kayaks? Almost all rowing shells are over 16 feet long. As an
example my single is 27 feet long and my double is 33 feet long. I'll pass
this info on to the 70+ state youth, college, and adult rowing clubs. Should
they contact their state representative about this or is there a better
contact? With most teams having 50 to 100 members, we can get several
thousands of citizens across the state involved.
For followup.....I will keep you in the loop as I receive
----- Original Message ----- From: Jones, Julie (COL)
Cc: Gurr, Shelly ; Ouellette, Paul
Sent: Monday, March 31,
2008 2:16 PM
Subject: RE: FWC web site PDF questionThere is no plan to register canoes and
kayaks. I will ask staff to look at the site and correct or clarify what you
are looking at.
Relative to derelict vessels, there is a proposal to
register non-powered vessels greater than 16' excluding canoes and
Hope this helps Julie
From: James Barker [mailto:brack154@...
Monday, March 31, 2008 1:45 PM
To: Jones, Julie (COL)
Subject: FWC web site PDF question
under the FWC website boating link there is a PDF with the
title of "Vessel Management Analysis". In the PDF under 'potential
solutions', there is the plan to "require all non powered boats to be
registered". The update pdf link of similar title is not working this
Is this a plan by the FWC to register non motorized vessels
such as canoes/kayaks?
If so, why is the plan embedded in the
mooring field/derelict vessel plan?
And, why weren't the human
powered craft stakeholders affected by this, notified of this plan before
sending it to the UF law school for legislative wording?
Is the UF
law school team going to differentiate between non powered (sail) boats that
use mooring fields, and human powered craft that don't?
How much of
this idea was from the special interest motor boat industry
Myself and others thought this registration issue was
addressed in December of 2006 at the BAC meeting in Key
Stakeholder meetings that are specific in nature ie. mooring
field/derelict vessels, that allow hidden agendas (non powered registration)
by special interest groups (motor boat industry) to be introduced, do not
bolster the credibility of the state agency holding them. It appears that
the state agency only answers to that special group.
It would have
been just as easy to word the plan as "anchored/moored non motorized
vessels". Listing it as it is, and forwarding it to the UF law school for
legislative wording indicates otherwise, to include canoes/kayaks.
await clarification and to be proven incorrect in this
On 4/1/08, mary
Brice - this posted on our paddlesports listserv. M.
non motor registration Its BACK!!
go to www.MyFWC.com/boating and follow the titles of what was
sent to me, listed below. It does mention *registering non motorized
boats* as part of the FWC mooring field/derelict vessel plan in one of the
I checked the web sites for Standing Watch, Marine
Industry Assoc. of Florida, and Florida Council of Yacht Clubs.
have stopped listing their lobbying efforts on the web sites. In the past,
they would list their efforts to down list the manatee, prevent sea grass
bed protection, and weaken/dilute boat noise laws. Not to mention,
removing speed zones in critical habitats so they could go faster.
It appears that certain
'stake holders' are trying to sneak this in via another angle at public
workshops the FWC held. After the FWC's Boating Advisory Council (BAC)
voted it down in December of 2006.
C'mon, why would we have
thought it important as paddlers to attend a mooring field/derelict vessel
So unless the UF law school study team determines the
difference between a non motorized ANCHORED vessel versus a non motorized
human powered craft, this could be the other way to skin the cat, and tax
us for a decal to put on our paddle craft. And more matching federal
dollars to build more marinas, docks, and cement ramps. Yea, we want
those! So get informed, go
to the meetings whether they sound pertinent or not, and share with the
I'll be going to the BAC meeting April 11 in Tallahassee.
Don't wait for an invitation from the FWC, they won't send one!
our meeting yesterday, someone mentioned hearing about another attempt in
the works to register non-motorized vessels. I just checked out the FFWCC
website: Boating: Vessel management Analysis; Anchoring & Mooring
Update. There is what appears to be a slide presentation by Law
Enforcement. Under the topic of "Solutions", they offer a Legislative
Solution: "Require non-powered boats to be registered." I haven't a clue
what that has to do with anchoring and mooring but it's there.
What's the name of the power boat organization that has
such a powerful lobby? We need to check their