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FW: Non-motorized boat registration

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  • Crossley, Brice A
    FYI: It does not look like rowing is any immediate danger of paying boat registration fees, but it sounds like we do need to continue to monitor this
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2008
      FYI: It does not look like rowing is any immediate danger of paying boat registration fees, but it sounds like we do need to continue to monitor this situation. If you do hear of a meeting in your area, please get involved.
      Thanks, Brice

      From: James Barker [mailto:brack154@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 12:17 PM
      To: Crossley, Brice A; mary rawl
      Subject: Re: Non-motorized registration

      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 figure.
      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 race. 
      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 of uses.
      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.   
      www.MyFWC.com/boating    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 state waters.
      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.
      Brack Barker
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: mary rawl
      Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 10:28 AM
      Subject: Re: Non-motorized registration

      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@...> wrote:
      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.
      Thanks, Brice

      From: mary rawl [mailto:mary.rawl@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 9:49 AM
      To: Brice.Crossley-1@...
      Subject: Re: Non-motorized registration

      For followup.....I will keep you in the loop as I receive correspondence.....
      ----- Original Message ----- From: Jones, Julie (COL)
      To: James Barker
      Cc: Gurr, Shelly ; Ouellette, Paul
      Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 2:16 PM
      Subject: RE: FWC web site PDF question

      There 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 kayaks.
      Hope this helps Julie

      From: James Barker [mailto:brack154@...]
      Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 1:45 PM
      To: Jones, Julie (COL)
      Cc: Gurr, Shelly
      Subject: FWC web site PDF question

      Colonel Jones,

      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 morning.

      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 lobbyists?

      Myself and others thought this registration issue was addressed in December of 2006 at the BAC meeting in Key Largo.

      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.

      I await clarification and to be proven incorrect in this observation.

      Thank you,

      Brack Barker

      Williston, Fl.

      On 4/1/08, mary rawl <mary.rawl@...> wrote:
      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 PDF's.

      I checked the web sites for Standing Watch, Marine Industry Assoc. of Florida, and Florida Council of Yacht Clubs.
      They 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 workshop?

      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 community.
      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!

      Brack Barker
      NO Registration


      At 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 website.

      Tallahassee employee.

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