In Charlotte Amalie harbor in St Thomas, USVI there are lots of boats anchored or moored. Most of these boats are either crusiers passing through, the day boat fleet, or crewed charter boats on a short break….BUT there are a number of boats that people live aboard and never move. I of course have no issue with people that live aboard, except when it becomes a danger to other boats. By this I mean when the boat becomes a derelict.
Most people would say a derelict boat is an unused boat in bad condition. It may be sunk, close to sunk, or about to pull free of its anchor or mooring. My personal definition of a derelict boat is one that can not be moved under its own power (sails or motors) within one hours notice. This is regardless of if some one lives on it. Otherwise I think it becomes a safety issue.
Take the boats pictured as an example. These boats had been rafted together for over a year when the lines gave way. Now all of a sudden the unanchored boat is drifting behind the other boat and the only thing keeping it from drifting downwind and hitting other boats is a simple line to the first boat. Neither boat can help and people will have to come out with dinghies and move the drifting boat. The other question is what condition is the anchor holding those two boats? When was the last time it was inspected?
Every year in this harbor we have several boats that break away from their anchor or mooring and drift through the anchored fleet causing damage….and this is just in St Thomas. I know there are communities everywhere with the same issue.
If you look at the close up you can see the only thing holding the boats together is a old line.
What is your definition of a derelict boat and what should be done?