Opinion

Rendezvous packed ’em in on E and F docks | The Scuttlebutt

By STEPHEN L. SWANN

For those of you who came down to the Port of Poulsbo for our first Winter Rendezvous (weekend of Feb. 7), you quickly discovered that Waterfront Park was a real bee hive of activity with Chip Hanauer, the “Boat Guy,” meeting and greeting visitors to Poulsbo.

Port District merchants reported record February weekend sales, during a time when Front Street is far from crowded. It is rumored that the “Beer-Muda Triangle” bus and brewery tours were extremely popular.

Port and community planners are looking ahead to 2015 for another winter rendezvous. (If you wondered how visiting boaters handled the snowfall late Saturday night, what I’ve heard is that they loved it — a real winter event.) Check out www.theboatguy.com for an extremely funny follow-up — great shots of our Vikings and all the visitors who made this a real success.

The Port of Poulsbo remains a popular destination, even during winter months, for Northwest boaters. Last weekend, the Tacoma Yacht Club brought approximately 45 larger boats to the marina. Port staff are successfully pursuing every opportunity to advertise our marina and Little Norway in boating communities throughout Puget Sound.

PORT COMPREHENSIVE SCHEME (PLAN). Washington state law requires port districts to update their comprehensive plans (termed “schemes” in the law) every six years. The Port of Poulsbo is on track for 2014 and hosted its first public hearing Feb. 27. About a dozen port tenants met with commissioners and staff to discuss the scheme and made excellent recommendations.

A second public hearing will be held on March 20 before the regularly scheduled port meeting. The plan is posted on the port’s newly revised Web site, www.portofpoulsbo.com. In addition to revealing the port’s goals and plans, the Comprehensive Scheme is a key tool in obtaining grants and other funding for capital improvements. (Remember the $12 million breakwater replacement?)

OLD CITY HALL PROJECT. The statutory mandate for Washington state ports is promotion of economic development, including tourism, for their districts. The port has retained a reputable Seattle consulting firm to investigate several real estate opportunities, and funding options in Poulsbo. It is no secret that the city’s old city hall site has been on the market for sometime, and its location is a premier site for development. The port and city are working to adhere to terms of a three- month purchase option. The first consultant’s report will hopefully be received in the next few weeks.

EXPANSION OF LIVEABOARDS IN MARINA. Currently, pursuant to a 1983 permit issued by the City of Poulsbo which considered parking limitations along the waterfront, the port has authorized live-aboard status for 12 marina vessel owners.

Washington state law regulates residential use of aquatic lands, as an environmental consideration, and generally limits live-aboard tenancies to 10 percent of the total of slips in the marina. Increasing the number of liveaboard tenants, by revising the City permit, to the maximum of 36 (10 percent of the total number of slips) will benefit three distinct groups: marina boaters, the city, and the port.

One example is that of bringing more boaters, for longer periods, who would be able to live several weeks at a time aboard their vessels. Marina live-aboards are good customers for Poulsbo merchants, and sales tax revenues are vital to the city. With increased pumpout facilities provided by the port, and a modern, nearby parking lot with more than 50 spaces, the outdated 12-slip limitation is unnecessarily restrictive. The port will be formally requesting in the next few weeks a review of the existing permit, with a view toward expanding to 36 the number of live-aboard tenants.

RETURN OF THE M/V AMERICAN SPIRIT. Mark your calendars for April 4 for commencement of the second season of large tour boats visiting Poulsbo. We are the last scheduled stop on a seven-day cruise departing Seattle on Saturdays.

American Cruise Lines has expanded its schedule to increase visits to Liberty Bay to 22 this year. If you see a visitor in Poulsbo on these Friday mornings, give a hearty “Hello” or “Velkommen.”

PORT QUIZ: Still wondering about last month’s quiz? When everything is “hunky-dory,” everything is O.K., right? Sorry, no correct guesses. For some sailors, everything was great on Honki-Dori Street, in Yokohama.

Here’s another opportunity for fame and fortune. A “long shot” is an event requiring quite a bit of luck; it often relates to risk in gambling. Let The Scuttlebutt know what you think this term originally meant. Send your best guess to commissioner.swann@portofpoulsbo.com. The first responder with the correct answer will be recognized in The Scuttlebutt’s next issue.

Got a naval term to offer? Let us know.

PORT INVITATION. The commissioners, employees, tenants and guests of the Port of Poulsbo (www.portofpoulsbo.com), one of 75 Washington state ports, wish you a safe visit to Poulsbo’s spectacular Waterfront Park and a safe transit on Liberty Bay. Bring your friends and families down to the port’s marina and greet our staff and visiting boaters on E and F docks. (Watch us by webcam at www.siteground315.com/~longship/.)

Also, port commissioners meet twice monthly to talk with district residents, marina tenants, and others from the community. Mark your calendar for the first and third Thursdays, 1900 (7 p.m.), and come down to the port’s multi-purpose conference room to find out what’s going in the district. Our next meeting is March 20.

— Contact Port Commissioner Stephen L. Swann at commissioner.swann@portofpoulsbo.com

 

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