Pay more, get more

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2001

In response to Bob Tkacz's complaining about a rate hike for liveaboards (My Turn, Dec. 6): Who's he kidding? Juneau has very low rates, and our biggest problem is not enough stalls, the building of which requires money. Boat owners (like me) should foot most of the bill.

Tkacz should compare moorage prices to the Lower 48. My 47-foot sailboat moored in Seattle would run about $750 per month, plus a $100 per month liveaboard fee if you can find a harbor that accepts liveaboards (most don't). In Juneau, I pay about $250 for transient moorage, less if I were able to find a stall (nine-year wait). The Seattle area is currently limiting liveaboards to 10 percent of the harbor population, and there's a possibility it will diminish further. The city is pushing to have no liveaboards.

Liveaboards environmentally sensitive? That's the biggest joke of all. Our harbors don't have viable pump-out stations, which means most liveaboards dump human waste into the harbors on a daily basis. Aurora and Harris are Juneau's undiscovered toxic waste sites.

The harbor bottom is littered with batteries, ex-wives, fishing gear, tools, engine parts and drunken sailors who slipped off the docks in winter. Ask any diver about how his lymph glands swell for a week after diving the harbors. If the Feds or state DEC ever test the waters there, we may no longer have any liveaboard privileges. The e. coli readings would be off the charts.

Pay more, get more. We're pretty lucky.

David Mallet


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