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Florida Vessel Statutes state:

327.58 Jurisdiction.—The safety regulations included under this chapter shall apply to all vessels, except as specifically excluded, operating upon the waters of this state.

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The definition of Operate:

327.02 Definitions - (33) “Operate” means to be in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vessel’s navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state.

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Definition of "Underway":

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It seems to me, that they do not have jurisdiction, unless you are operating/underway and not while at anchor. If you are at anchor the jurisdiction would fall under the U.S. Coast Guard, as per:

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Am I missing something here? Or does the State of Florida not have jurisdiction, unless you are operating?

  • Please don’t dump giant images in your question - it’s hard to read. Just quote the relevant bits and give us links. – Dale M Jan 29 at 10:12
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    @DaleM another problem with images is that the text they contain is not searchable. – phoog Jan 29 at 13:39
  • Cmac: the jurisdiction described applies to the safety regulations only, but you ask your question in broader terms. Are you interested in the applicability of the safety regulations, or in Florida's jurisdiction more generally? – phoog Jan 29 at 13:43
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“... in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of a vessel ...” applies even if the vessel is stopped, at anchor or even if no one is on board (in which case it would be the last person in charge).

Also, both Florida and the USA can have jurisdiction at the same time. Jurisdiction is not exclusive.

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You quote:

Jurisdiction.—The safety regulations included under this chapter shall apply...

Then you ask

does the State of Florida not have jurisdiction, unless you are operating?

Of course the state of Florida has jurisdiction if the vessel is in Florida's waters. Even in cases where the safety regulations do not apply, the vessel remains within the state's jurisdiction, and it can be stopped and boarded or seized subject to whatever protections may apply against illegal searches and seizures.

  • Then why does it have this section "327.60 Local regulations; limitations", which states:  This chapter and chapter 328 do not prevent the adoption of any ordinance or local regulation relating to operation of vessels, except that a county or municipality may not enact, continue in effect, or enforce any ordinance or local regulation: (and under subsection f) (f)  Regulating the anchoring of vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40, except for... – cmac Jan 29 at 21:24
  • That seems to say they can adopt any ordinance, etc... relating to operation of vessels, but may not enact, etc... regulating anchoring of vessels – cmac Jan 29 at 21:25
  • Seems like they don't just have jurisdiction cause your on the waters of the state, unless your operating. – cmac Jan 29 at 21:26
  • @cmac the "jurisdiction" section you cited explicitly says where "the safety regulations" have effect. It says nothing about jurisdiction for any other purpose. For example, the statute you cite does not prevent Florida from exercising jurisdiction over a boat in the enforcement of drug laws, or to apprehend a fugitive from justice. – phoog Jan 29 at 21:47
  • @cmac the section you cite in your first comment allows counties and municipalities to enact additional restrictions on the operation of vessels, subject to certain limitations. One such limitation is that they may not regulate anchoring of vessels in certain circumstances, which means that they can regulate anchoring of vessels in those circumstances. Perhaps all this would be clearer if you could identify some particular exercise of jurisdiction by the State of Florida that you're interested in. – phoog Jan 29 at 21:59

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