Florida Anchoring Laws

As of late 2017 the Florida Anchoring Laws are as follows:

  • You may not anchor or moor within 150 of any marina, boat ramp, boatyard, or other vessel launching or loading facility
  •  You may  not anchor within 300 feet of a facility that services or repairs a yacht with a water line of 120 feet or more in length
  • You may not anchor within 100 feet from the marked boundary of a public mooring field

** You may only anchor within the above boundaries if:

-Your vessel suffers from mechanical issues that puts the vessel or  persons onboard the vessel at risk of  unreasonable harm (vessel may anchor or moor for 5 business days or until vessel is repaired, whichever occurs first)

-Imminent or existing weather conditions in the vicinity of the vessel pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the vessel or the persons on board such vessel.The owner or operator of a vessel or floating structure may not anchor or moor within the marked boundary of a public mooring field unless the owner or operator has a lawful right to do so by contractual agreement.

  • You may not anchor or moor within the marked boundary of a public mooring field unless the owner or operator has a lawful right to do so by contractual agreement or other business arrangement.
  • You may not anchor, moor, tie, or otherwise affix your vessel to an unpermitted, unauthorized, or otherwise unlawful object that is on or affixed to the bottom of the waters of this state.
  • You may not anchor or moor a vessel that is at risk of becoming derelict (taking on water with no means to dewater, spaces on vessel that are designed to be enclosed are incapable of being sealed, vessel has broken loose or is in danger of breaking loose from anchor, left aground, sunk or partially sunk).

These laws are enforced by the Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its officers, the sheriffs of the various counties and their deputies, municipal police officers, and any other law enforcement officer.

A violation of these laws is a noncriminal infraction and the penalty is as follows:

1. For a first offense, up to a maximum of $50.

2. For a second offense, up to a maximum of $100.

3. For a third or subsequent offense, up to a maximum of $250.

Another way Florida is trying to keep derelict boats from piling up is by increasing the fine for expired registrations. Now the penalty for having a registration that is more than 6 months expired is $50 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense and $500 for the third offense and you must appear in court.

In addition to the laws mentioned above, anchoring limitation areas are being enforced in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. On July 1, 2016 overnight anchoring was banned in Middle River (between Northeast 21st Court and the ICW), Sunset Lake, as well as section of Biscayne Bay (between Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island; San Marino Island and San Marco Island; and San Marco Island and Biscayne Island).

These areas were selected because they are densely populated urban areas that have narrow state waterways, residential docking facilities, and significant boating traffic. Anchoring is still permitted during the day but is off-limits between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.

This information was gathered from the 2017 Florida State Statute Chapter 327 .

I hope this helps!