What is an "At Risk Vessel"?

At-Risk vessels are defined in Florida Statute 327.4107, This act shall take effect July 1, 2016

An officer of the commission or of a law enforcement agency specified in s. 327.70 may determine that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict if any of the following conditions exist:

(a) The vessel is taking on or has taken on water without an effective means to
     dewater.  

(b) Spaces on the vessel that are designed to be enclosed are incapable of being
     sealed off or remain open to the elements for extended periods of time. 

(c) The vessel has broken loose or is in danger of breaking loose from its anchor.

(d) The vessel is left or stored aground unattended in such a state that would prevent
     the vessel from getting underway, is listing due to water intrusion, or is sunk
     or partially sunk.  

A person who anchors or moors a vessel at risk of becoming derelict on the waters of this state or allows such a vessel to occupy such waters commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73.

Noncriminal violations of the At-Risk statutes may be enforced by a uniform boating citation mailed to the registered owner of an unattended vessel anchored, aground, or moored on the waters of this state

This section does not apply to a vessel that is moored to a private dock or wet slip with the consent of the owner for the purpose of receiving repairs.

1. For a first offense, $50. 2. For a second offense occurring 30 days or more after a  first offense, $100. 3. For a third or subsequent offense occurring 30 days or more after a previous offense, $250.

Any person cited for a violation of any provision of this subsection shall be deemed to be charged with a noncriminal infraction, shall be cited for such an infraction, and shall be cited to appear before the county court.  Any person who fails to appear or otherwise properly respond to a uniform boating citation shall, in addition to the charge relating to the violation of the boating laws of this state, be charged with the offense of failing to respond to such citation and, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A written warning to this effect shall be provided at the time such uniform boating citation is issued.

What to do if you are cited?

Pay the citation promptly and correct the issue that caused the citation to be written. If you don't understand why the Officer cited you, contact the Officer for more detail.

Other Reasons for moored vessel citations?

There are many reasons why a vessel owner whose vessel is moored, could be cited by a Law Enforcement Officer. The most common reasons are:

  • Anchor Light Present but not in Use: 327.33(3)FS
  • Expired Registration 328.72(13)FS
  • Improper Display of Registration 328.48FS
  • Interference With Navigation 327.44FS


FWC Facts:
Documented vessels without a valid state registration must obtain a Florida registration and display the decal on the port side of the vessel when using Florida waters.

Learn More at AskFWC