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OUR WATERWAYS SOUTHWINDS “Our Waterways” Section SOUTHWINDS has created this section to inform our readers about changes in our waterways. We believe that Southerners are in the midst of a great change occurring on our waterways—through the conversion of many boating properties to condominiums, restrictions on anchorages once thought to be more open and now being more restricted and regulated, and other economic forces at work. This section will also concern itself with the environmental health of the waters we boat and swim in. The waterways belong to all of us, and all of us have a right to use them. The waterways are not just for those who can afford to live on the water, and it is up to us boaters and lovers of these waters to protect that right. We hope that by helping to inform you of these changes, we will contribute to doing just that. We are looking for news and information on changes, land sales, anchorages, boaters’ rights, new marinas, anchoring rights, disappearing marinas, boatyards and boat ramps, environmental concerns and other related news. Independent writers wanted on these subjects. Contact Steve Morrell, editor@southwindsmagazine.com, or call (877) 372-7245.

Loggerhead Club & Marina: Another One Gone By Melanie Neale

“If you have not removed your vessel, vehicle and personal property by April 8, 2006, we have the right to cause your vessel to be moved and to be moored, berthed or stored in your name and you shall be responsible for all fees, costs and charges incurred in connection therewith. Under those specific terms the Company has chosen to terminate your Lease and Service Agreement ‘for no stated reason’ as noted ...in your lease.” This is part of a letter that was mailed to approximately 85 boats at the North Miami Beach Loggerhead Club & Marina on March 8. By Saturday, March 11, people were walking around the marina in a daze. The marina has been scheduled to be torn down and rebuilt into a luxury resort that will coexist with Marina Grande, a condominium development, although nobody knew up to this point when, exactly, the tearing-down would start. For years, the marina was simply called Maule Lake Marina. It was one of the few marinas in South Florida that allowed liveaboards, provided great hurricane protection, and had reasonable rates. In the summer of 2004, Boca Developers, a development firm out of Deerfield Beach, FL, purchased the property, including the 100-slip marina, a working boatyard, and Tuna’s, a busy waterfront restaurant. Loggerhead, owned by Seven Kings Holding

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June 2006

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Company out of Jupiter, FL, bought the marina from Boca, shut down the boatyard, but allowed the liveaboards to stay. Loggerhead now owns nine marinas from Vero Beach to Miami. And the Loggerhead policy is to not allow liveaboards, even though this was overlooked for more than a year at Maule Lake. Things seemed to be going relatively smoothly for the Loggerhead tenants. Some members of the North Miami Beach City Council circulated a petition against an ordinance that would rezone the area to allow for the construction, and for a while it looked as if the construction of Marina Grande, owned by Boca Developers, would be halted. The real estate bubble in South Florida was rumored to be slowing down. The sales office that Boca had set up in a single-wide trailer on the marina’s premises was deserted, and new boats were showing up on a regular basis. The facilities were a little run-down, with only one out of the three washing machines working, regularly clogged drains in the showers and a lock on the women’s bathroom that didn’t work, but most of the tenants were willing to put up with a few inconveniences for such a good deal on dockage. What this means is that the already scarce market for dockage in South Florida just got even scarcer, with 85 boats scrambling to get a slip at any marina that can take them by April 8. Anchoring out is just too uncertain for most people, especially those that are based in South Florida and have jobs ashore. The marina allowed new boats to sign yearly leases right up to the last minute. Martha and Preston Shields, aboard the sportfishing boat Wild Blue, came all the way down from Virginia to live at the marina. They first visited the marina in January and signed their lease at the end of February. On March 8, the marina issued lease termination letters to everyone. They came down so Preston could work for Freedom Boats, a boat rental club based out of Loggerhead. “I feel like we were just getting to know everyone here,” Martha said. “This marina had such a good feeling to it, and we were really looking forward to staying here.” Teresa Ellenburg, who has lived at the marina on and off for five years, said, “I’m just trying not to think about it. If I do, I’ll cry.” She and her boyfriend, Rick Kellogg, who live aboard the 39-foot trawler Pirate Life, are moving to Key www.southwindsmagazine.com

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