Poulsbo port officials say summer season a modest success

Weekdays were quiet at the Port of Poulsbo this summer, with most slips unoccupied. Weekends brought hundreds of visitors, officials say. - Brad Camp/For the Herald
Weekdays were quiet at the Port of Poulsbo this summer, with most slips unoccupied. Weekends brought hundreds of visitors, officials say.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Herald

POULSBO — Port of Poulsbo officials say the summer boating season was a moderate success considering the down economy.

Several bouts of bad weather added to quiet weekdays at the port, while weekends remained busy.

"We've been fairly good considering the economy the way it is," said Port Commissioner Arnold Bockus. “Our weekends were fairly successful.”

Port Manager Kirk Stickels doesn't yet have capacity numbers for this season, but said this year is running parallel to last, as expected.

Like last year, fuel prices proved a slight disincentive to some boaters.

Gasoline costs about $3.42 per gallon, compared to $2.50 a few years ago. The cost of diesel is up more than a dollar per gallon since 2007, at $2.99. The port sells 30 percent more diesel than it does gasoline, Stickels said.

Geography also plays a role; Poulsbo is a destination port less convenient for passersby than more easily accessed points, such as Kingston and Brownsville, Bockus said.

The bulk of seasonal visits to the Port of Poulsbo occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but this year yacht club visits are booked through December, said Stickels.

The 14th annual Classic Yacht Rendezvous, a gathering of vintage cruisers, will run Sept. 24-26.

While weekend boaters kept the port near capacity this summer, only about 10 percent of its 130 transient slips were used on average during the week.

That meant port employee hours remained normal, instead of extending later into the evening as they have in years past.

Permanent moorage slips are full at the port, and there is a healthy list of interested boaters waiting for winter moorage, which begins in October.

“We're not facing significant shortfalls and we're not looking at any change to services we've got,” said Stickels. “We feel we're in a good position.”

The port is currently shaping up the Poulsbo Armory building on Jensen Way, which it purchased for $511,000 last year. Commissioners plan to rent the building, Bockus said.

In late 2008 commissioners raised moorage fees by 9 cents per linear foot, with their eye on a list of repairs including a new floating breakwater. The port charges between $4.25 and $4.73 per linear foot for moorage, according to its rate chart.

Both Bockus and Stickels say the season, while a modest success, still holds a few good weekends.

“It's not over yet,” Bockus said.

See more photos at The Poulsbo Beat.

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