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What are the rules for mooring boats near the Intracoastal Waterway?

Merton Vance

We posed this question to Ron Hurley, a licensed captain and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 6 in Wilmington. Here’s his answer:

“Mooring areas for all vessels are stated in the United States Coastal Pilot, published annually by the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Navigation Rules (COMDTINST M 16672.2D) published by the U.S. Coast Guard rule# 30 Para (g) states ‘A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in an special anchorage area designated by the Secretary shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this rule.’ The”Coastal Pilot  identifies two types of mooring areas — ‘Special Anchorage Areas’ and ‘Anchorage Grounds’ and the rules governing anchoring within’ so a skipper of a vessel has to be cognizant of the variance in rules governing these areas including light requirements and purpose of the mooring area.

Many counties and towns in states along the ICW have assumed control of the waters adjacent to the ICW and have designated anchorage areas–primarily for transient vessels. These anchorage areas are described in a variety of cruising guides, which are available at any local ship’s chandler or boating supply store. These anchorages are not generally identified as such on the ICW navigation charts.”

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One Response to “ What are the rules for mooring boats near the Intracoastal Waterway?”

  1. On July 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm Jim wrote:

    Some of these areas for mooring are called”SAFE HARBORS” and are identified on the charts.

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