Started by Administrator, December 11, 2021, 11:30:42 PM

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? Can I erect a partition on the property line into the water to keep the bow of the boat next door from protruding under the back of my boathouse?

You technically own the water bottoms out to 1/2 way across the canal.  However, you cannot build a deck past 12' or 10' into the canal depending on what source you go by.  No structures other than fencing / decking is allowed in the 5' offset from the property line.  You must retain clear access to the required 5' side yard - no sheds etc.   

There are cases where you need to create that partition.  One would be the situation where you have a pool and it is possible to walk from a neighbors dock to yours.  The law requires yards with pools to be fenced so you would have to either build a fence to secure your yard or fence off the pool itself.

I am not the authority but the parish may have some input.  If it were me I would probably build the fence you want but not out more than 10'.

Please zoom in with the Assessors GIS site to get an idea of your property lines before building then back off a few inches just to be safe.  See https://atlas.geoportalmaps.com/st_tammany


Bulkhead Failure & Maintenance:

Bulkheads normally fail due to maintenance issues and the force of nature.

Tidal changes that occur every day cause immense weight changes against the bulkheads far greater than boat wakes not to mention the tremendous flow of water that accompanies the running of the tide.

Also a big effect is the difference in soil moisture and the accompanying weight change caused by rain in the yards.   Dry soil weighs less than wet soil.   This is also constantly changing due to the tide levels.  Having a backyard pool or higher lot elevation also exhibits additional force on the bulkheads.  Ever wonder why the bulkheads fail outward? This is because the yard is pushing more than the water.

And then there is the fact that the metal tie backs holding the bulkheads in place are simply rusting through.   Nothing is going to save the bulkhead at this point.   This has been aggravated by the salt water brought into the sub soil of our yards from Katrina and other high water events.  The closer you are to the lake the more salt you will be exposed to.  Costal Florida residents and municipalities have vastly increased maintenance and failure problems related to salt water.  If you immediately put in new tie back rods or drive pilings at the first sign of failure you might be able to save it.  Eventually every bulkhead will require maintenance.

All of the above naturally occurring forces of nature vastly outweigh any effect of typical boat wakes we see here in Eden Isles relative to bulkhead failure.

Wakes should be minimal to prevent damage and unreasonable motion to moored boats.  Wakes develop relative to a vessel's theoretical hull speed.  This is generally accepted as 1.34 times the square root of the water line length of the boats hull.  Speed must be kept significantly below this for minimum wake.  Hull shape also plays a part in making wakes.  Because of the physics relating to theoretical hull speed small boats like wave runners will generate wakes at a slower speed than a large boat traveling at a faster speed.

One should also observe wakes with reason.  For instance when windy there is a ripple on the water and many so called wakes just blend in with that whereas the same boat at the same speed could be called out by the same person on a dead calm day for making a ripple on the water which may be confused as a wake - I've see it happen.  Real wakes are those forces exhibited by a passing boat that cause moored boats to unreasonably tug on their lines.

Wakes should be kept to a minimum.  After looking at some of the pictures of passing boats that have been posted on "Nextdoor" I am only providing real info to keep people from getting into legal battles that after much expense they will loose.  Quite frankly I have seen the Coast Guard, Wildlife Enforcement and St. Tammany water patrol boats make wakes bigger than some of those pictures.