Marina Owners Complain of Anchor-Out Abuses

Courtesy Alameda Marina

Owners of anchor-out crafts like the one above anchor their boats illegally in the Estuary.

Alameda Marina Harbor Master Brock de Lappe is a worried man. He envisions hundreds and hundreds of "anchored-out" boats clogging the Oakland Estuary when the America Cup comes to San Francisco next year. Many of these boats are already in the Estuary with no current registration "Boats can't just come and anchor out here and call it home," de Lappe said. "They're breaking the law."

He sees a problem with law enforcement, however, and wonders why no one is enforcing ordinances on the books that prohibit "anchoring- out." He points to the Alameda County Sheriff's boat on the Estuary as a solution. A dilemma arises when one learns Sheriff Gregory J. Courtesy Alameda Marina Owners of anchor-out crafts like the one above anchor their boats illegally in the Estuary. Ahern only authorizes the boat to ply the Estuary once a week. "We need pressure at the county level," de Lappe said.

These boats anchored illegally present another problem. "The Alameda Marina does not want to be a target of theft," he said. When it comes to enforcement, jurisdiction becomes an issue, a matter of just who owns the land under the boats. Which city should respond to complaints? Does the boat lie within the Alameda or Oakland city limits? Or should the sheriff free up his department's boat and act as the enforcement agency? De Lappe pointed out that the city of San Leandro took steps to resolve a similar issue. On Jan. 26 the Oakland Estuary Coalition met. Those who attended the meeting got to work.

Research is underway to determine what provisions already exist to restrict anchoring-out. Others at the meeting are looking into salvage operations, and representatives from cities like San Leandro and Sacramento expressed their willingness to share how they have successfully dealt with abandoned vessels.

To drive his point home, de Lappe compared the problem of the anchored-out boats to having RVs invading a city park.

"If neighbors had five or 10 of these vehicles parked illegally in their local parks today and knew that hundreds more could be on the way, they would take action," he said. "This is the same situation only its on the water; something needs to be done."

Contact Dennis Evanosky at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



0 #1 Maggie 2012-03-01 14:16
Why is an Alameda Harbor Master worried about a few anchored out boaters in Oakland and how does that relate to any Americas Cup visitors? The Americas Cup will bring a lot of revenue to both the city of Alameda and Oakland. These boats have been there over two years next to Coast Guard Island, with no problems. Oakland police and the County Sherriff has had a lot more to worry about than a few derelict boats, with the Occupy Oakland protests, gang related activity and a rising crime rate. Theft will always be a concern to boat marinas due to easy access from anyone and Maritime laws are different that laws on land. Yes get rid of the abandoned vessels but not all are derelict boats, These people are struggling to survive on water the same as homeless people are struggling to survive on land. Dont create a panic over a problem that may not exist.

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