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 Post subject: sailing in manatee zones
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Location: Fort Myers, FL
I regularly sail on the Caloosahatchee river and there are lots of manatees which hang out by the warm water discharge of a power plant in the winter. This discharge is in the Orange river which connects to the Caloosahatchee. There are many manatee zones which are designated to protect manatees from boat propellers. Many of these manatee zones are much larger than necessary, and in parts of the river where manatees aren't typically found. Seeing that my H16 has no propeller, and produces less wake at high speed than most boats produce at idle, I don't see why there would be a problem. I have just been sailing through them at normal speed.

Usually, the zones have a speed limit of 25mph, or just slow speed. Now that manatee season is coming around, the restrictions get pretty insane. The cops are practically lining up to hand out tickets. Power boating trips are frustrating because you can potentially spend hours at idle speed. Most of the police on the water do nothing but look for reasons to write up a ticket. If they can give a sailboat a ticket, they probably will. Should I be worried about getting a ticket on my cat? Has a beach cat ever been nailed for a speeding ticket?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Location: Lake Norman NC
even at Hobie max speed a rudder on a 16 would not hurt a manatee mine kick up when i hit a big jellyfish also a hobie is usually no wake boat most of the time


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Location: Greenville SC
gary eudy wrote:
even at Hobie max speed a rudder on a 16 would not hurt a manatee mine kick up when i hit a big jellyfish also a hobie is usually no wake boat most of the time



That would require rational thinking of police officers to recognize that, something I would not recommend relying on.

Your best bet would be to write the agency enforcing this, probably would wildlife service and explain your boat and ask, find out what exactly "slow" speed is. The 25mph limit is something you probably should not worry about.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
Getting a speeding ticket for whatever reason under sail power sounds like fun to me?

Can you afford the ticket?

Anyway.. If it were me... I would set aside some money for the ticket fund... and then chalk it up as part of the expense of my sailing trips.. Then brag to all my friends about the speeding ticket I EARNED on my hobie..

But then again.. I am kinda nutty..

:mrgreen:


If the cutoff was 25mph.. You bet I would be out there trying like hell to get the ticket... It would serve as proof..

:twisted:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:22 am 
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Location: Fort Myers, FL
Bacho wrote:
gary eudy wrote:
even at Hobie max speed a rudder on a 16 would not hurt a manatee mine kick up when i hit a big jellyfish also a hobie is usually no wake boat most of the time



That would require rational thinking of police officers to recognize that, something I would not recommend relying on.

Your best bet would be to write the agency enforcing this, probably would wildlife service and explain your boat and ask, find out what exactly "slow" speed is. The 25mph limit is something you probably should not worry about.


I should have specified that during season, 90% of these manatee zones revert to idle speed, no wake. That is when the police make their money. It would make a nice story to tell everyone that I got a ticket, but I just couldn't afford it.

It doesn't matter whether or not the cop is being rational. The police around here (particularly on the water) would write you a ticket for excessive breathing if they could.

I would write to them, but I'm worried they'll say no. Then if I get pulled over in the future, they'll have evidence that I knew speeding on a non-motorized boat is illegal. I also looked through the FL statutes regarding these protection zones and it only references motorized vessels. So I will have good arguing points if I cop tries to nail me with a ticket.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral FL
I also sail in the fort myers area, but i launch from the Sanibel Causeway, at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee river. There are several manatee zones there as well. I also have a motor boat, and have to deal with all the slow zones only when on the motor boat.

I have lived in the area for 10 years, and remember when they were putting in all the speed zones, they are designed for only motor boats. There are two primary ways a manatee gets hurt by a vessel, 1) the propeller hits them and cuts them bad, or 2) they get hit so hard it causes brunt force trauma (broken ribs, etc) by a boat that weighs thousands of pounds.

The manatee zones in the river assume two big things, 1) that manatees stick close to shore, so that is why you can only go fast in the middle of the river, in the channel. 2) that manatees can hear you coming and get out of the way in time if you are going less than 25mph. That is why you can only go 25mph. both of these were controversial as there was little scientific data to back them up.

The next thing they assumed is where the manatees might cross the river from side-to-side, so they made shore-to-shore slow zones at certain points, like redfish point south of the cape coral bridge, and then north of downtown as the manatees approach the power plant.

Anyway, you don't have to worry about sailing your hobie cat, as i have sailed in manatee zones many times, along with all the windsurfers and kite boarders, and never been bothered by law enforcement. Also, there is a sailing club by the route 41 bridge downtown, and they are out there all the time. you can stop by there and ask them if they get buggered at all.

your hobie is not going to cause 1) prop damage nor 2) brunt force trauma as it has kick up rudders, and also weighs a lot less than a manatee does.

Sail on!!! Hope to see you out there!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:47 am 
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Thanks coralreefer, It's nice to know I can breath easy when I see a police boat. It's always satisfying to see the jealous look on a PWC driver's face when I blow by him in a slow zone (although most of them seem to think the slow speed zones exclude them).

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Location: Todd Mission, Texas
1. Sail it like you stole it
2. Get a ticket
3. Post ticket/paypal link online (with personal data blurred)
4. ??????
5. Profit :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:27 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Perhaps we could put up a bounty for the first speeding ticket received while on a Hobie!

Has anyone over gotten one? For anything on a Hobie?

I am sure some have been pulled over for lack of a lifejacket, but how about no anchor or any other inspections?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:49 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
I personally know of people that have been cited for lack of a throwable cushion and lack of lights while sailing at night. I'm sure lack of registration will get you a ticket too as well as life jacket violations or boating under the influence. A Hobie is just like any other boat, there are certain state and federal rules that you're required to follow, and if you don't you're liable to get ticketed just like any other boater.

Regarding the manatee and no-wake zones, I personally would not go speeding through those areas on any boat, including a Hobie. Doing so is certain to attract the attention of coast guard / marine police and that's attention that I wouldn't want. Best case scenario, you end up with a warning. Worst case, you get slapped with a ticket - no thanks. Those areas are there for a reason, and I doubt the man with the badge is going to give a rat's behind when you try to explain that your Hobie has kick-up rudders.

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:01 am 
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Location: Lake Norman NC
I did receive 5 tickets from the NC Wildlife Officer for no life jacket no throwable no State sticker wrong letter on boat numbers no fire extenguisher however that is a long story in itself If you get a ticket for going fast in a manatee zone take it to court You are sailing in a Hobie to go fast to really protect the animals there should be no boating at all but that is not the intent


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Location: Magna, Utah
Sounds to me like the authorities who would have to give you the ticket would have motors and therefore could not travel at speed in the manatee zone so could not catch you.... Just sayin.


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