Chapter 327, Florida Statutes; The "Florida Vessel Safety Law"
Chapter 327 of the Florida Statutes, known as the "Florida Vessel Safety Law," is administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). This law primarily relates to various safety considerations, such as safe operation, accident procedures, personal water craft requirements, uniform waterway markings and restrictions on local government regulation of boating related activities including anchoring.
Florida Statutes, Section 327.60; Local regulations; limitations
This statute defines what local governments (cities & counties) may and may not regulate. The State determines what aspects of navigation are 'off-limits' to local government regulation. This guide breaks this statute down into the three sub-paragraphs contained in the statute.
Section (1) 327.60
327.60(1) The provisions of this chapter and chapter 328 shall govern the operation, equipment, and all other matters relating thereto whenever any vessel shall be operated upon the water of this state or when any activity regulated hereby shall take place thereon.
Section (2) 327.60
327.60(2)Nothing in this chapter or chapter 328 shall be construed to prevent the adoption of any ordinance or local regulation relating to operation of vessels, except that a county or municipality shall not enact, continue in effect, or enforce any ordinance or local regulation: (see subsections (a) through (h)).
Section (2) 327.60; subsections (a) through (f)
327.60 (2) (a local gov't. shall not enact or enforce any ordinance or local regulation doing the following things): a) Establishing a vessel or associated equipment performance or other safety standard, imposing a requirement for associated equipment, or regulating the carrying or use of marine safety articles; b) Relating to the design, manufacture, installation, or use of any marine sanitation device on any vessel; c) Regulating any vessel upon the Florida Intracoastal Waterway; d) Discriminating against personal watercraft; e) Discriminating against airboats, for ordinances adopted after July 1, 2006, unless adopted by a two-thirds vote of the governing body enacting such ordinance; f) Regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields ...(cont. next section).
Section (2) 327.60; subsections (f) through (h) continued
(continued) 327.60(2) (f) Regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40; g) Regulating engine or exhaust noise, except as provided in s. 327.65; or h) That conflicts with any provisions of this chapter or any amendments thereto or rules adopted thereunder.
Section (3) 327.60
327.60(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit local government authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or live-aboard vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of vessels other than live-aboard vessels as defined in s. 327.02.