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Condos eating boat slips- Florida

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Old 05-28-2005, 09:29 AM
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Angry Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Yachts, condos eating up boat slips in South Florida
The average boater has a hard time finding a place to dock.
By Robert Nolin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

May 28, 2005

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Change is in the wind for South Florida boaters: Marinas that occupy high-value waterfront land are being bought out and developed as condos, or transformed into ultra-posh berthings for multimillion-dollar yachts.

The gradual disappearance of dock space is making it harder for the average boater to find a place to tie up. And those places left are becoming ever more expensive.

It's happening Central Florida as well. In the past three years, seven commercial marinas -- with more than 500 slips -- have been sold to private developers in Brevard County.

In South Florida, fewer marinas could slow a billion-dollar marine economy and threaten the very reason many boaters are drawn to the area: easy access to hundreds of miles of fair-weather waterways.

"It's really hard to find dockage," said John Kretschmer, 46, who has owned midsize sailboats in the area for 25 years. "You can't afford it around here. It's pretty hard to find anything under $300 a month."

The marinas, some family-run for generations, have been a colorful and quirky presence in South Florida. They offered safe harbor where salts young and old could jawbone, admire a sailing vessel's lines, compare ports of call or mend their sails and their minds.

Now the old waterfront boathouses are giving way to pastel-hued town houses and condos. That's when they're not being reconfigured to accommodate yachts, one of whose slips could displace a dozen smaller vessels.

"You don't have boatyards like this anymore," said Larry Brown, a welder at Summerfield Boat Works, which has nestled along the New River since 1940. "This is the last of the old mom-and-pop boatyards."

Boating industry experts figure that more than 10 percent of the marinas in Broward and Palm Beach counties are the site of residential developments, have been bought by developers or are being redesigned for yachts.

The decreasing number of marinas and boatyards has snagged the attention of legislators locally and in Tallahassee, who say South Florida is at a crossroads when it comes to its maritime future.

The Legislature this year enacted a law to help preserve diminishing marinas. Palm Beach County has approved a $50 million bond issue to do likewise, and Broward County officials have commissioned a study to define the problem.

The number of registered boats in Florida increased 51 percent from 1987 to 2003, according to a Florida State University study. During that time, however, the number of marinas grew by only one -- from 1,545 to 1,546, the state Department of Environmental Protection reported.

The yacht metamorphosis at several marinas represents a very lucrative aspect of the area's marine economy. More than 1,000 such multimillion-dollar vessels visit the area each year.

But when marinas dedicate space to super vessels, smaller boats get displaced.

"The number of slips available diminishes," said Daniel Yaffe, chairman of the Broward County Marine Advisory Committee. "In the long run, the loser will be the average boater who needs a place to keep his boat."

Robert Nolin is a reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.


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Old 05-28-2005, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Florida always brags about 1 million people moving to the state everyday or every year, they gotta live somewhere. See up here in NY we don't have that problem because we pay so many taxes that they estimate 750K people move out of the state every day. NY BLOWS
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Sounds to me like an interesting opportunity for high and dry storage some where away from the waterfront properties....is it possible to do something like this...to deliver a boat to a ramp or small property with a lift on a daily basis? Anyone know of a place like this that exits and profits? Anyone want to buy an empty lot in Florida? Obviously not to far from a local ramp or lift....but not waterfront.
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

There is another HUGE HI-Dry going in near my house... It's in Dania, near American Offshore.

Some of these new Hi-Drys are not rentals, but purchase, and pay a maintenance...
So you get to cough up 20-40k for a spot, then another 2-300/mo to have the fork get the boat down for you...

Very true about not being able to tie up...
Buying the boat isn't the main problem anymore... It's where you keep it. No, you can't keep it at home- every area has HOA rules that prohibit boats on trailers. To find even a gravel lot is tough... Oh, and you want access to water so you can wash your boat??? Good luck.

What always boggled my mind is the waterfront home owners that whined about the cost of a boat lift... Yeah, 10-15k for a good lift. But the rest of us pay $200/mo to store boats on trailers, and up to $1000/mo to hi-dry!

Taxes? We have our share. Real estate taxes are out of hand.. I pay $600/mo in tax on my townhouse!

No income tax though.
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need-the-Speed
750K people move out of the state every day. NY BLOWS
At that rate, NY will be deserted in 26 days.
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need-the-Speed
750K people move out of the state every day. NY BLOWS

its not even close to that
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Old 05-28-2005, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need-the-Speed
they estimate 750K people move out of the state every day. NY BLOWS
Are you waiting for Hillary to move? She doesn't pay any taxes.

Dockominiums are the new thing. I believe that is what is going in at Dania.

SWF has the same problem. Waterfront property with docks is going to continue to rise and rack storage will soon be a grand a month.
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Same thing happening here. At least five marine related business have been closed down for condos in the last year alone.
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

The "Florida Boaters Alert!" thread talks about 2 bills that will give us some tools to combat this threat.
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Old 05-29-2005, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Condos eating boat slips- Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAccess
The "Florida Boaters Alert!" thread talks about 2 bills that will give us some tools to combat this threat.

General consensus is that Gov. Bush IS going to sign these bills.
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