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Message from the Harbormaster

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       Harbormaster Waypoint 4 & Final 2019 

 Waypoint:   “Waypoints typically mark either points along a planned route, or locations of interest."  - The American Practical Navigator/Bowditch

Fellow Boaters:
Back in April it seemed that the boating season would never start – weeks of rain and cool weather delayed many from launching. However, once summer did arrive it was a great one, and from my perspective, the best of my four year tenure. Overall, the 2019 season, although busy, was an enjoyable one around the waterfront, with very few incidents or conflicts.

October Storms:
Luckily, we completed another season without a hurricane, or even a tropical storm. As you well know, we did experience two nasty low pressure systems during a one week period in mid-October.  The first storm around Columbus Day had over three days of gale force winds and resulted in four boat groundings and one sunken Laser – all on the East Passage side of the island. With the exception of one of those boats, they all appear to be total losses.  In most of the cases it was the pennant that parted that caused the vessels to break free. Something to consider when you re-commission your mooring in the spring….chafing gear could make a difference.  On the west side, several dinghies broke free and ended up on the beach in Sheffield Cove or Fox Hill Farm. These were all successfully recovered.

The second storm a few days later was just as intense, but much shorter in duration, resulting in another three vessels aground, again all on the east side. Thankfully, all three of these vessels were refloated and with some minor repairs will be back next season.

In addition to boat damage, our town docks on the east side also suffered some damage during that week. Nothing catastrophic, but some repairs will be necessary for the 2020 season.

Reminder: “Use it or lose it”.
The Harbor Management Ordinance requires moorings to be used a minimum of 20 days per season, otherwise the permit holder risks losing the mooring. This rule is intended to help move the wait list, which can be several years long. As we’ve done the last three years, Kim and I identified moorings that apparently have gone unused during the season and sent warning letters to 35 permit holders. I ask you to consider giving up the mooring if you have no intention of using it…allow someone new the opportunity.

Mooring Offers:
We have been making permit offers to people on the various wait lists for the 2020 season. So far, we have assigned 22 new permit holders in four different locations around the island. If anyone is interested, there are spots available with NO WAIT for Park Dock on the northeast end of the island.

Beach Permits & Kayak Racks:
Permits for kayaks, dinghies, SUP’s and small sailboats are only valid until October 31st of each year. Use of the beaches and kayak racks over the winter is not a permitted activity and all vessels should be removed.

Looking ahead:

  1. Boat size changes: before you go out and buy a bigger boat, please do not assume that it will automatically fit on your current mooring, even if the tackle is sufficient and/or you had a larger boat on the mooring in the past. The vessels around you may have gotten bigger over the years, and now there is just not enough space on your mooring to support a larger vessel. Also, please remember that boat size changes and relocations require an application – the form is available online - there is a waiting list on both.
  2. Contact Information:While renewing your applications and Online Mooring System data, please be sure to check and update your contact information:home and cell phone numbers, email, and addresses. It’s important that we have current and accurate contact info.
  3. Important Dates:
    1. May 15, 2020: Renewals are due.
    2. June 15, 2020: End of grace period for renewals.
    3. July 1, 2020: ALL moorings must be in commission, properly labeled and have the current permit sticker applied.

Have a safe and enjoyable winter…see you next May!

Mark Campbell