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Running charters off a private dock

Old 09-22-2019, 10:32 PM
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Default Running charters off a private dock

I have the opportunity to lease a dock in a perfect for me area. A couple neighbors are pushing back against the idea of me chartering there.

we have parking on private property, we will obtain a permit for any dock modifications.

is there anything in FL that says you canít charter off a private dock? I know several guys that do it. I just want to be prepared and make sure all my bases are covered.

I want to, and will be, a good neighbor. We arenít operating a party boat. Just a 36 contender 6 pack outfit. The closest neighboring dock is 100 yards away. Closest dwelling is also about 100 yards away.

thoughts?
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:44 PM
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Lots of maybes.

Homeowners association? Bet itís against bylaws.
Commercial zoning? If not, against type of use code?. ( Residential).
Who actually owns dock/ parking/access?
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:09 AM
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Make sure you have a insurance policy that covers personal injuries for you, your clients, around & at the dock.
Not just your boat......ICM
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Still Stoked View Post
Lots of maybes.

Homeowners association? Bet itís against bylaws.
Commercial zoning? If not, against type of use code?. ( Residential).
Who actually owns dock/ parking/access?
no HOA
it is zoned residential 🤷🏻*♂️
same person leasing me the dock owns the parking as it is at their house.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:41 AM
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You'd have to check with the City/County regarding running a commercial business in a residential zoned area. That likely won't be allowed.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:48 AM
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Definitely check with the municipality/county about the zoning issues. I think if you owned the property you'd be ok, but as a lessor, there may well be an issue. Good luck.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:52 AM
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I fished a charter out of a private dock. The charter included staying overnight at the home. It was a late night trip that we left the dock around 9pm.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:57 AM
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When I first got into Chartering I ran out of my house.I am 5 minutes ideling to the GOM.I was running it illegally.In my area(a barrier island) the county requires the property be zoned commercially.Its a little strange having people handing you money,in your back yard with all the neighbors watching.When 6 guys show up a hour early,waking up the neighbors with headlights and doors slamming at 5-6 am? What do 6 guys have to do before heading out??They all have to use the restroom...IN MY HOUSE.Then my wife was cleaning it.When we come home from a 30 mile trip,back in my house for the bathroom and A/C.I did it for about 6 months,then rented a place even though I'm on the water.Capt.Mike
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:02 AM
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Local zoning laws will stop you. The neighbors will complain to the municipality and things will go downhill pretty quickly. I made a deal with a local marina on a per day basis and that worked out pretty well. They had bathrooms that my customers could use but I had a short run to the marina which was a problem. Some guys will use the public launch ramps but you need a local permit in my area to do so and probably no restrooms available. Competing with guys that run out of the local marina is tough.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:21 PM
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It depends on the county/town, but you are probably going to run into issues with local zoning laws. They frequently have a statement that says you can operate a home business, but it cannot increase traffic to the neighborhood. For example... you can be an artist and make art but cannot have a gallery in your house, or you can do consulting/accounting/legal work from your home office online but canít have clients coming to your house... etc.

A single boat running charters isnít going to have much impact on the neighborhood. We have a few guys do it where I live and nobody cares. That said, if a neighbor complains, the local zoning guys will shut you down. There is also issue of liability insurance which gets a little tricky when needing commercial coverage at a residential spot. Good chance your homeowners wonít cover you.

Do you have any public docks or boat ramps nearby? I let a buddy keep his boat at my dock. He runs occasional charters, but I wasnít about to deal with all of that at my house. We have a public ramp about 1 mile away. He just had his clients park there, and he picks them up in the boat at the ramp. Itís been a good solution for everyone and really doesnít take much extra time of effort.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:41 PM
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All the charters I know that keep their boats at home have their clients meet at a nearby public boat ramp/ park.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by head_hunter View Post
All the charters I know that keep their boats at home have their clients meet at a nearby public boat ramp/ park.
I forgot about that. I had a neighbor that did that and was able to work out a deal to meet guests and use the filet tables at a local hotel that had almost no boat traffic.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:05 PM
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At the public boat ramps around here there is not enough boat parking for the Capts. to park at the docks and fillet fish from offshore trips(Takes a while)When other people are looking for a place to tie up so they can go get there trailer.The fillet tables do not belong to the Capts.There for everybody.People were getting fired up.. Another thing they will not allow you to conduct business on county property.Most guys have a occupational license for the county.I was told you can not accept payment(conduct business) at the ramp.Most of the guys I know woud take care of payment BEFORE getting off at the ramp.That is the way I was told to get around it.Capt.Mike
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:11 PM
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When our city dock closed for renovation they moved all of the charters to the ramp around the corner. The ramp required a permit or pay at machines. It was annoying to show up and have a bunch of charter boat guests taking up the boat ramp parking. It wasn't just fishing boats they had a 50' cat sailboat that did party/dinner cruises running out of there also. Its back to normal now but it was a bit much for a while.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:17 PM
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Keep your boat at home and have clients meet you at the marina.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:07 PM
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Nothing good will come of this venture. I'd be on the phone to County Commissioners or Code Enforcement after the first morning that people started showing up at 5 in the morning if I lived next door. And I'm generally a very easy going person.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:41 PM
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Truth is if you really look around you can find a place to run out of that is legal and has restrooms and it wont be much more.I rent from a guy that has a commerical building on the water with slips.He is very easy going and is very fair.If there is red tide or the wind is blowing like crazy he knows im not fishing and does not harass me for money.I do not keep my boat there 24-7.I take it from my house early morning(10 minute idle) to his dock and get the customers.We return to his dock to fillet and take care of business.We wash the boat after customers leave,then I bring it back and it goes up on a 16,000 lift.It has worked great for 10 years now.Before this slip I rented in a similar situation but docks were sad.Another thing to consider is parking.I can only have 3 cars.I have 6 people with 6 cars.I have got them now to where they only bring 2-3.Capt.Mike
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:51 PM
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No way in hell I would allow a charter to be run off my dock. A friend wanted to do that a few years ago. Simply not taking on that liability of unknowns around my house, on my dock, etc. The first one that falls or somehow gets hurt, I am a part of a lawsuit. No way.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:50 PM
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Commercial enterprise in a residential area?

Maybe you can also offer outdoor weddings and yoga in addition to charter fishing
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:43 PM
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100 yards away you are bothering no one, but your municipality as others have said may not allow it.
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