Bill Strengthens Derelict Vessel Fight, Environtmentally Sound Public Access

Via BoatUS

BoatUS applauds the passage of Florida HB 7043 that promotes sound public access and helps address the sunshine state’s derelict vessel issue.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 27, 2017 – The results of an eight-year pilot program are in, and Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature have acted. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) congratulates the governor and legislators on Friday’s passage of HB 7043 that promotes environmentally sound public access and helps address the issue of improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels. “These are sound regulations supported by responsible boaters,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy.

When the pilot program was enacted in 2009, a patchwork of local anchoring regulations sometimes made stopping difficult. Some boaters reported fearing a visit from law enforcement advising that they had “overstayed” their visit and needed to move on.

Conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and five local governments including the City of St. Augustine, City of Stuart/Martin County, City of St. Petersburg, City of Sarasota and Monroe County/Marathon/Key West, the pilot tested a variety of methods of regulated anchoring, while still protecting the anchoring rights of the active cruising public. It also sought to reduce the growing population of derelict vessels in the state.

BoatUS expressly thanks Gov. Scott, Reps. Matt Caldwell (Lee County) Holly Raschein (Monroe County), Sen. Lauren Book (Broward County) and the FWC for their work on the bill.

Some of bill’s measures include:

  1. Providing commonsense anchoring regulations in and around mooring fields and waterway infrastructure.
  2. Broadening the definition of a “derelict vessel”; for boats in use, adding new penalties for those whose vessel registration is expired beyond six months; and making it illegal to affix a vessel to an unpermitted, unauthorized or otherwise “unlawful object,” affixed to the bottom of the waters of the state. This could include an unpermitted mooring or an old engine block. 
  3. Giving local governments the option to require proof of pumpout after vessels have been anchored for 10 days or longer in federally managed no-discharge-zones (portions of the Florida Keys and waters off Destin).

Looking At The Accuracy of 22 Years of Hurricane Season Predictions

Courtesy of BoatUS

LEXANDRIA, Va., June 13, 2017 – According to BoatUS, damage from hurricanes is a leading cause for boat insurance claims. So each summer, the national advocacy, services and safety group anxiously awaits predictions, from a number of highly qualified experts with supercomputers, as to how many tropical storms and hurricanes will form in the Atlantic.

Bottom numbers indicate how many hurricanes were forecast for each year. Red icons above the line indicate how many more hurricanes occurred than predicted. Blue icons below the line indicate how many fewer hurricanes occurred than predicted.

With most 2017 storm forecasts now predicting average to above-average storm activity for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 – November 30), just how accurate are these predictions, and do boaters need to adjust their hurricane prep plans this year?

The BoatUS Seaworthy Program, which helps BoatUS members avoid injuries and boat damage by analyzing insurance claims data and publishing its findings in BoatUS Magazine, compared over two decades of storm predictions from one of the better-known hurricane-season forecasts from Colorado State University’s Philip Klotzbach and the late Bill Gray. Said Seaworthy Director Charles Fort, “Our mission was not to judge the forecasters but to find out how much confidence we should have in the hurricane-season predictions and what it means to boaters,” said Fort.

After comparing annual predictions to actual weather, Seaworthy discovered that out of 22 years of hurricane season activity forecasts, only one was 100 percent accurate. In some years, there were up to eight more storms than predicted (click here for chart with data).

Boaters often misinterpret what the forecasters try to do, says Fort. “Early season hurricane predictions don’t attempt to forecast the percentage of storms that will come ashore or which coastal locations will be in the crosshair.” BoatUS members can get public advisories from the National Hurricane Center as they are issued, as well as detailed maps of the forecast track, wind bands and wind field for each named storm.

The takeaway? “Weather forecasting is tricky business,” added Fort. “Despite what forecasters may predict, a boater’s mantra should be hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Have a well-thought-out hurricane plan, and prepare your boat as best as possible. It could mean the difference between an easy recovery after a storm or a complete loss.”

Free hurricane-planning help is available online at BoatUS.com/hurricanes.  
Click here to download Regatta Pointe Marina hurricane procedures
Click here to download Regatta Pointe Marina hurricane preparedness tips

Free Beer For Dads – Father’s Day 2017

Let’s raise a toast for dads this Father’s Day!  Come to the Riverhouse Reef & Grill where all dads can enjoy a FREE beer with their meal on June 18, 2017.  

Dads may choose from our craft, premium or draft selections for their free beer. This offer is available only on June 18, 2017, and limited to one per father with the purchase of an entree. Free beer may not be combined with other coupons or special offers.

Also this Father’s Day, enjoy a full rack of our famous Island Ribs for just $19.99! Our Island Ribs are dry rubbed, slow grilled, and served with a sweet, tangy pineapple papaya BBQ.  Regularly priced $24.99 on our dinner menu. 

Call now to make your reservations at 941-729-0616. 

Father’s Day we’ll serve a special dad-inspired Sunday Brunch buffet from 11am to 2pm at our regular Sunday Brunch price of $15 for adults, $6 for kids, and free for kids 5 & under.

We’ll have live music all weekend long. All music is hosted outside on the Snook Deck and plays an assortment of popular hits you’ll enjoy while relaxing on the waterfront.

The line up for Father’s Day weekend is:

  • Thursday 5:30-8:30pm: Michael Mac
  • Friday 6-9pm: Sly McLeod
  • Saturday 6-9pm: Brandi Adams
  • Sunday 6-9pm: Kristie Armas