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Old 08-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
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Twelve years of red tape finally pays off

So what's the big deal? It's a fuzzy iPad picture of an old boat sitting at a new dock.

The big deal, at least in our marina, is that this is the new F dock at Gate 3 in Squalicum Marina. In the background is the new G dock. When we bought our boat the wood F and G docks were the oldest in the marina and they were pretty funky. When we got our first permanent slip it was on F. We really liked the location and we didn't mind the funky dock at all. Of course we immediately heard that the dock was going to be replaced but nothing happened for the next twelve years.

Finally last fall the announcement came that the F and G replacement project was actually going to get underway and all the boats still on those docks (the port had not been assigning slips on them for a couple of years as they came vacant) were given temporary slip assignments elsewhere in the marina. We made it known that we wanted to return to our old position when the new docks were completed.

That finally happened this past weekend. They did a bang-up job on the new docks using the latest type of power stands, new dockboxes, perforated cleats, lighting, etc.

The reason for the twelve-plus year delay in the project? Paperwork and red tape. Permits, delays, countless tiny design change requirements from the city, county, and state that took months to approve, environmental impact statements, more permits, more changes, fish migration dates that had to be observed..... On and on and on. All to drive new piles in place of the old ones and install new concrete floats in place of the old wooden ones.

I have no idea of the figures but it would not surprise me at all if the cost of the project was multiplied ten or twenty fold (or more) simply because of all the time required by the red tape and paperwork. And a project that ultimately took about six months to complete including dredging took twelve years.

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Old 08-13-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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Wow. And I thought 3 years of red tape to build a boat ramp 200 yards across the creek from an enormous coal fired power plant was over the top.

Twelve years to replace on top of the existing footprint ... geez.

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Old 08-13-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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It probably wouldn't have taken nearly as long if the port hadn't wanted to combine the dock replacements with an extensive dredging operation. The outer part of one of the two basins had been slowly filling in due to the high-volume stream that dumps into the bay right next to the marina in addition to the good size river that has its delta in the bay a few miles away. The currents carry suspended silt around the edge of the bay and some of it ends up dropping out in the marina.

The removal of the old docks provided a perfect oppportunity to get in there with a big dredge and clean out the whole deal but I'm sure there were multiple environmental impact statements that had to be drawn up and reworked countless times covering not only the dredging itself but the depositing of the spoils on shore.

The final setback was the fire that destroyed a 20-stall boathouse and all the boats in it a few months ago. While the fire did not damage the new docks which were already in place, the work on them came to a halt while the investigation was ongoing.

Speaking of the fire, it was a lesson in looking to your dock wiring. The linear boathouse was owned by the people who had boats in the stalls and they were responsible for the boathouse's upkeep. The thing was ancient and decrepit and we learned this weekend that the wiring was so bad and had been so modified and cobbled together by residents over the years that when it had a load on it---- particularly duing the winter when there were heaters going--- the water would actually bubble and boil around the cables.

Ironically the owners had just finally agreed to do something about it when the power draw, largely from the one liveaboard boat, reached the tipping point and a massive short occured and set the boathouse on fire. The liveaboard couple, awakened by the noise and smoke, could not get out the side doors of their boat for the flames, and they'd piled a bunch of stuff on and against the aft cabin hatch so they couldn't get out that way. They called on their cell phone that they were trapped and dying and then the phone went dead.

So------ if your dock or boathouse or marina has wiring you think looks a bit suspicious, say something to somebody Even if you're wrong, it's better than saying nothing.

And always have at least two unblocked ways of getting out of your boat.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:42 AM   #4
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City: Hampstead,NC
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They rebuilt our docks 3 years ago, using aluminum frames and trex decking, All new rub rails and the pilings all have a plastic covering on them, Best addition is all the cleats are on a track system that allows you to taylor each slip to fit your boat and move the cleats where you want them. We are lucky no dredging in 0ver 15 years here and at low water i have 6 feet of water in the slip.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
City: Seattle
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Marin-excellent point about the wiring in marinas. Cruising around the PNW, I see more than a few covered moorings that would give me nighmares if I docked there. They just look like a great fire trap.
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