Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 09-01-2012
Georgetown, SC has done a wonderful job of dressing up their waterfront with a long wooden “Harborwalk” that provides access to the very heart of downtown Georgetown. A number of the town’s leading restaurants and shops open onto the boardwalk which also offers free dinghy dockage for visiting vessels at anchor in the adjacent wing of Sampit River. Putting all this together, Georgetown remains one of our very FAVORITE ports of call, and a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR.
However, when you visit Georgetown, please be SURE to pick up a wet slip at one of the local marinas, or anchor in the branch of Sampit River and then dinghy ashore. Overnight tie-up, for vessels or dinghy, has never been permitted at the Harborwalk docks, but obviously too many cruisers have failed to pay heed to the signs. Now, the local government is getting SERIOUS about it!
I don’t know if it has been reported yet , the city of Georgetown , Sc. has always had signs on the town docks that read ” NO OVERNIGHT DOCKING PLEASE” now they have added signs that read “OVERNIGHT DOCKING PROHIBITED” with an ordinance no. and a fine of $1092.50!!! YES THOUSAND!!
I can only assume they mean to enforce it! Over the years I have seen many boats tied up overnight especially during the boat migration seasons. The town fathers have obviously become boater unfriendly. I wonder if the Chamber of Commerce is aware??
These docks were always meant to be for stop, shop, eat, etc. but not for overnight stay. Our local tour boats use them if they have a handicap passenger that needs to board as well as local pleasure boaters in for an hour or so.
The problem arose from a few transient and local cruisers staying multiple nights and taking up the docks. One of the local tour captains decided to leave his boat there overnight in order to accommodate a handicap passenger early the next morning (since he was afraid someone else would get it that night). When he arrived the next morning, he had a $1,000 ticket. He went to court to argue the fact, since he watched others do it all the time and it wasn’t enforced. He semi won that battle as the ticket was thrown out and new signs were put up. The amount of enforcement still remains to be seen.
I don’t think by any means this makes the City or county of Georgetown “boater unfriendly”. The docks should be used what they were intended for.
There are (3) nice marinas downtown that offer nightly and hourly transient dockage when available. I should know, I operate one. Thanks.
Chris Carroll, Harborwalk Marina