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Old 10-03-2014, 06:57 PM   #1
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Guest moorage security

I stopped at the Port of Poulsbo yesterday for fuel and lunch. Before returning to the boat, I went into the public restroom in the waterfront park. On the wall was a container full of used syringes. This small town, like many others, has a heroin problem and is experiencing a dramatic increase in drug related crimes. But what concerned me more was the uncontrolled public access to the guest moorage docks. While the marina disclaims any responsibility for boats or contents, it seems they should at least make an effort to control or limit access to its paying guests, given the acknowledged increase in drug related crimes. Permanent moorage is almost always secure, but what are your thoughts about security for guest moorage?
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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Many public bathrooms have needle containers lately for insulin/diabetes, medical purposes, don't they? Of course they could be used for illegal activity too - but then those users tend to keep and reuse those needles, rather than toss them away. I guess I just don't necessarily assume a criminal purpose.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:21 PM   #3
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Well, that's a nice thought, but there aren't that many homeless diabetics that would use this public restroom. This is a well documented heroin problem and my point is that I believe the marina should control public access to the guest docks as a minimal measure of security for its customers.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:55 PM   #4
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Doesn't the "public" restrooms there at the top of the ramp above the marina require a code to get in? They used to...
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:00 AM   #5
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Have you discussed your concerns with the marina? I would think that would be much more productive than just putting your rant on TF.
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
Doesn't the "public" restrooms there at the top of the ramp above the marina require a code to get in? They used to...

The marina restrooms do require a code. The restroom i'm referring to is in the park next to the marina.
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:38 AM   #7
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Have you discussed your concerns with the marina? I would think that would be much more productive than just putting your rant on TF.

Yes, i contacted the port manager. I'll let you know his response. I intended to characterize this as a legitimate security issue. Sorry you view it as a rant.
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:22 AM   #8
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Thanks drb1025 for bringing this up. Why someone has an issue with you bringing this up is beyond me. You are informing people of a potential problem. I view this as current local knowledge that is very helpful. I would think twice about leaving my laptop, or other valuables in plain sight when visiting this area. I appreciate you looking out for us.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:48 AM   #9
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In crummy areas the best defense is 2 dinks ,and a radio left on, so a thief doesnt know when your gone.

We also rigged a 12v, 20 mile cattle fence shocker to bare lifelines in the Carib.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:54 AM   #10
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I don't mean to be argumentative, but I just visited Cabelas outdoor outfitters in Mitchell, South Dakota. Pheasant season is huge here, and rich hunters from all over the country hop in their Gulfstream commuter jets and descend on South Dakota lodges for the season - and stock up at Cabelas. They had a "sharps" box in their bathroom. Had to have 20 needles in it. I only noticed it because it was near where I washed my hands, and I happen to run a government complex with similar drop boxes in the bathrooms and the medical waste removal bills cross my desk every month. Made me wonder who does the removal for them in relatively small Mitchell, SD. I'm not talking about "homeless diabetics" either. I really don't think those rich hunters are dealing drugs in the men's room in Cabelas, shooting up. I just haven't heard yet why you assume that the drop box is filled with heroin needles - just statistically, that's very unlikely.

Last time I was in the airport in Westchester, New York, a little girl next to me in the waiting area pulled out a little black case - thought it was going to be her cell phone, turned out to be an injection kit. She just non-chalantly did the injection, then put it away. I was pretty impressed such a little kid handled it so casually. Anyway, again, I don't mean to argue, I've never been there, maybe Paulsbo, Washington is indeed an illicit drug hotspot - but medical injections are much more common than most people think, I wouldn't base a conclusion on crime and marina theft rates based on just a container of syringes in a public bathroom.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:15 AM   #11
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I have a friend who averages around 2 medical injections a day. After just a week cruising that would be 14 needles he would dispose of, responsibly, at the first available facility with a drop box. Addicts, in our part of the world, tend to be a little less responsible, so it may well have been innocent. I also agree that sharing your security concerns is a good thing. Readers can choose to heed the advice or not.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:34 AM   #12
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No need to panic.

People who dispose of syringes in a safe manner tend to be people who have respect for other people and their property. This includes most people with medical conditions and some people who are illegal drug users.
And they don't all steal to support their habit.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:39 AM   #13
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You have all made good points. Thank you for the responses. Here is a news article about the crime and drug problem. Consider it or not. I don't plan to use the guest dock until the marina controls public access. But I will continue to buy fuel there and anchor in Liberty Bay. It is a scenic area and Poulsbo has some nice restaurants and a famously good bakery.
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/P....html?mobile=y
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:56 AM   #14
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I've never felt insecure at the Poulsbo public marina. The only "problem" I've encountered was a crappy yacht club that was spread all over the docks, yelling, throwing things at each other, and pushing each other in the water.

That said, the reciprocal at Poulsbo YC is excellent and a medium walk into town.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:04 AM   #15
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The "guests" are the problem in our little municipal marina. While the restroom facilities are lock coded, that doesn't stop transients from stealing loaner power cords and stealing lines that early morning fishermen have left on cleats while they're out fishing. Then there are the non-paying guests who slip in after the marina staff have left and slip out before they arrive in the morning. Marina management doesn't bother trying to track them down as it costs more than it's worth. A mooring field would be a joke.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:51 AM   #16
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Suggest you post the security concerns on Active Captain. The more cruisers that know about a potential security issue the more likely it is to be addressed by the management. It has been demonstrated that one of the biggest deterrents you can have is to prominently post a "Beware of Dog" sign on the door to the boat. Howard
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:41 PM   #17
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I've never experienced any problems at the Poulsbo guest dock (other than other boaters) and I've been there many times. I see no issue with public access to the docks any more than I do with public access to the park. It's hardly a crime ridden area.

Securing access would diminish the small town charm of the place and add increased cost for the marina. Ultimately, it would increase costs for the visiting boaters with no clear benefit.

I like it the way it is.
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:52 PM   #18
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I have been on the water for over 60 years. I have visited marinas, both public and private, literally around the world, often in third-world countries. In those 60+ years, I have NEVER been adversely affected by "the public", either homeless or not, while on the docks. Yes, I have seen and talked to many folks walking the docks for pleasure, usually with family in tow, and simply out for some entertainment. I enjoy those conversations, and appreciate the joys of just being close to the water, especially for those of us not privileged to own a boat. Having said that, I take normal precautions with my belongings (no, I don't electrify my boarding gates!), just as I do at home. Neither am I brain-dead and assume everyone in sight has good intentions. And I do not view with alarm needle containers in public restrooms, nor regard them as a sign that illicit drug use is rampant, even in Poulsbo.

I often visit the Poulsbo marina, and thoroughly enjoy it as-is. I would rather the public docks remain open to the public, and look forward to my next visit. And as always, your experiences and expectations will vary from mine.

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Old 10-04-2014, 02:40 PM   #19
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OK, I was probably a bit too strong in my use of the word "rant".

I was thinking of how I would have reacted to your situation and I would have first called those responsible for the marina and expressed my concerns to them. IMO they are the only ones who can have any effect on the problem.

After that, if I thought to do it, I might post my experience with the problem and the response I got from the people at the marina.

I apologize of you were offended by my use of the word.
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:41 PM   #20
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Suggest you post the security concerns on Active Captain. The more cruisers that know about a potential security issue the more likely it is to be addressed by the management. It has been demonstrated that one of the biggest deterrents you can have is to prominently post a "Beware of Dog" sign on the door to the boat. Howard
Active Captain and other cruising guides and organizations are what brought much of the transient miscreant crowd to previously nice sleepy little towns in the first place.
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