A second free town dock was opened to the public in April of this year, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=137352. Now that dock, originally intended for pleasure craft and located just to the southwest of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Oriental Marina and Condos, is being over-utilized by commercial craft, prompting these editorial comments and reports in Oriental’s Town Dock. Our thanks to good friend Tom Beaty for sending this report.
Here are some clips from Town Dock from the past two days:
When Oriental’s new Town Dock opened this spring on the southeast side of the harbor, it was thought to be a place where visiting boaters — cruisers, day-sailors, small craft basically — would tie up for free and visit town. In recent weeks, a wrinkle in that expectation: relatively massive trawlers have tied up to the dock, denying the smaller boaters their chance to stay at that slip.
That’s prompted a Letter to the Editor from resident Steve Snyder who asks what the Town Board is going to do about it.
There is currently nothing in the Town’s Docking regulations to prohibit the large commercial fishing vessels from using the free Town Dock intended for pleasure craft. Coincidentally, the Oriental Town Board at its meeting tomorrow night is to consider some amendments to the 6 month old Docking Ordinance.
Whether the Board takes steps to keep the large fishing trawlers away from the docks — we’ll know after the meeting. But, given some of the buzz about town in recent days, this subject is likely to come up at the very least in the Public Comment period at the opening of tomorrow night’s meeting.
Non-recreational vessels may not tie up to Oriental’s Town Docks. The Town Board voted just now to amend the Docking Ordinance to read that commercial vessels of any size — with exceptions such as recreational fishing charters, recreational charters, and tow boats — may not use the Town Docks nor stay overnight. It was an amendment suggested by Commissioner David White.
4:15p A big fishing trawler has now moved away from Oriental’s new Town Dock but its presence there since Saturday has provoked questions that don’t go away: if the dock was meant to attract pleasure craft, why are commercial fishing trawlers tying up there and what should the Town Board do about it?
The trawler was having work done from the adjacent property owned by fishing businessman Chris Fulcher. The story is here. The Town Board meets tonight starting at 7p
Letters to the Editor on the subject are here.
Oriental’s Town Board last night amended the town’s Docking Ordinance. Among other changes, it now states that commercial vessels could not use the Town Docks. There were some exceptions — recreational charter fishing vessels, recreational boat rentals, recreational charter sailing groups and tow boats.
town hall signCommissioner David White’s amendment was a response to several fishing trawlers in recent weeks tying up to the new Town Dock. The Town Dock was to have been an attractant for recreational boaters but their access was limited by the trawlers. In recent days, the Gulf Stream III, an 80 foot fishing trawler getting repaired out of Chris Fulcher’s adjacent property, had been using the new Town Dock as a personal repair yard. It filled or blocked a slip there off and on since Saturday. More on the story coming.
The Board also formally formed a permanent Harbor Waterfront Advisory Committee and voted 5 residents to it: Bill Hines, Art Tierney, Lisa Thompson, Ed Bliss & Gerry Crowley. That panel could fine tune the overall Docking Ordinance.