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Discussion Starter #1
The City of DesMoines plans (within the next year) to remove the public launch slings at the marina, offering only the Redondo ramp as adequate/alternative launching facilty between Alki and Pt Defiance. Please join me in sending a short objection letter to the Mayor and city counsel, whether do/have/will use the sling or not. This is a valuable asset for gaining access to the waters of Puget Sound and it would be a travesty to lose it.

For more info on the City of DesMoines Marina Master Plan, click the link. http://www.desmoinesmail.com/webpdf/marina/masterplan/mmp-master.pdf

Send your e-mails to:
Mayor of Des Moines: [email protected]
Des Moines city council: [email protected]

Here is the e-mail I've sent;

To the Mayor of DesMoines and the DesMoines City Councel,

I am upset to learn of the demise of the public launching sling hoist at the DesMoines Marina, and the plan to cater solely to the owners of larger, permanently moored boats.

My family has been using the DesMoines sling-lauch for nearly 30 years. The facility has offered my mom and dad the ability to get our sail boat in and out of the water easily and in a timely manner. We spent countless hours cruising and sailing the South Sound in our sailboat, learning about sea life, exploring beaches, and spending quality family time together. My brother and I loved our boating adventures.

My parents, now empty nesters, have been able to purchase a nicer yet still trailerable sailboat. The ONLY facility in South Puget Sound capable of affordably lauching their boat is the DesMoines sling. Because sailboats require deeper water to float than most power boats of similar size, they can not be launched at a ramp facility. Due to time limitations, my parents can not justify the cost and boat maintenance aspects of permanent wet moorage.

I now have a boat of my own... actually I'm on my fourth. In the past 4 years owning my current boat, I've used the DesMoines facility almost exclusively for getting my it in/out of the Puget Sound waters. (Especially since the "Improvements" at Redondo; more comment to follow.) I prefer the sling for it's ease of use, and the lower maintenance costs associated with not "dunking" my boat trailer in salt water as I would at a ramp. I use the facility for single-day and multi-day boating, fishing, shrimping, crabbing and sight-seeing trips.

I think it is a short-sighted opinion to say fishing opportunities are dwindling in Puget Sound, leading to a decline in sling usage. While currnetly in a long-term slump, Puget Sound waters are on the cusp of a rebound and there will-be a resurgence in recreational fishing and the need for a sling-launch facility in Marine Area 11. (North end of Vashon Island to Narrows Bridge)

I've seen many marina facilities. I have a huge internal draw to the water, and love to visit marinas when and where-ever I travel. I have never seen a more elaborate and/or efficient launching facility than the one found at DesMoines. With side by side pull-through slings, the DesMoines sling is the easiest of any to use. Most sling facilities require backing into, and usually there is only one hoist.

For as efficient and easy to use as the sling facility is, the RAMP facility at Redondo is completely the opposite, and probably one of the worst I've seen. I've used this facility many times both before and after the so-called "Improvements" were made. Honestly it worked better before the improvements. The parking/staging area now is very tight, with TALL curbs and very tight corners. The lanes between the parking rows are too narrow. Many tow vehicles and trailers have been subjected to damage in this facility because of it's poor desing. Also, the facility is very small. There is not enough room to accommodate the lauching demands it experiences now, let-alone if the sling is closed. One of my worst horror stories associated with this facility occurred to me just last summer.

It was the morning of a salmon derby. My fishing partner and I arrived at Redondo and 4:45 am. The parking lot was nearly full already, and the line of boats waiting to lauch was wrapped around the block. It took over an hour of waiting to get the boat in the water. I was forced to park on the side of the road, rather than in the lot. Upon returning to the facility after fishing, we found a bigger mess than when we'd left. Imaging 100 fishing boats trying to get OUT of the water while another 100 recreational boaters are trying to get INTO the water. It was chaos, and tempers were flaring. On top of that, I returned to my truck to find someone had broken a window, rumaged through my things and stolen things from me. The Redondo facility is NOT a good alternative to the DesMoines sling. I will NOT use the Redondo facility EVER again.

I understand that the sling-lauching facility is expensive to use and maintain. I would like to remind you that it is also the most elaborated I've ever seen. I would like to propose that you modify your Master Plan to incorporate a somewhat less-elaborate sling facility than currently found at DesMoines. Perhaps something along the lines of improving the current dry shed slings. The other sling facility you could model it after is the one found at Cap Sante in Anacortes. It features a Travel Lift and public sling on a single pier.

I appreciate your time and considerations in this matter. I would consider it a devastating loss to the smaller boat owning community in the greater DesMoines, South King/North Pierce county area if the sling at Des Moines were to go-away.

Matt Parnel
Federal Way, WA
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Removal of Launch slings at Redondo

Oops, you're right... typo, my-bad.
 

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The Redondo ramp is a complete joke. It is only 2 lanes and you have to be a skilled in reverse as the ramp is VERY narrow and if you are looking at your trailer and not paying attention to what the front of your truck is doing your truck could very well end up hitting the dock. I have seen it happen twice. Aside from that, you have to go through the parking lot maze to even get to the ramp. This is just MORE BAD NEWS!!

Q: Isn't there a boat club ramp south of Anthony's Home Port. May have to join.... conf:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cornfed said:
Q: Isn't there a boat club ramp south of Anthony's Home Port. May have to join.... conf:
That's the DesMoines Yacht Club. I've looked-into joining, but it's awful expensive for just using the ramp.
 

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Here's mine:

Mayor Sheckler, Mr. Piasecki and City Council Members:

I am writing to express my anger, frustration and concerns regarding your proposed plans to remove the sling launch and associated moorage and parking at the Des Moines marina. I’m sure you already have an earful from disgruntled sportsman and recreational boaters. My family and I use the sling to launch our 18’ boat many times a year and often moor the boat overnight when we do. We had our boat trailer modified specifically to use the Des Moines sling launch and we would be extremely disappointed to lose such valuable access to our beloved Puget Sound.

I had rotator cuff surgery this summer and I would not have been able to launch or retrieve my boat if not for the sling launch. While I am fully recovered, it got me thinking about other disabled folks whose only option may be the sling.

The notion that the Redondo launch is adequate is utter nonsense; if any of you have tried to launch a boat there you already know that. I know you have heard it all before, but I will not launch my boat there again. I can barely make it through the maze to begin with and the last two times I launched there the tweekers broke into my truck just to see if there was anything worth stealing and the parking situation in general is abysmal.

Recreational boating, crabbing and fishing are near and dear to my heart. I was born and raised right here and these activities are my passion. As an active member of the South King County Puget Sound Anglers and the Coastal Conservation Association and an active volunteer for CAST for Kids I spend a lot of time, energy and money associated with fishing and boating activities, particularly in Puget Sound and usually out of Des Moines. The sling launch is the last decent public access in the area and the marina has adequate and safe moorage and parking which is critical to our activities.

In spite of the fact that as a public entity you are not in the business of making a profit, I implore you to reconsider your plans even if it means adjusting the pricing structure. At the very least do a feasibility study to see if a ramp launch could be included in your immediate future planning.

I’ve been working in the public sector, planning and constructing public (educational) facilities, for the last 20 years and we are constantly building and maintaining (costly) entities that are defined as “for the greater good�. I sincerely believe that the marina and launch are by far more “for the greater good� than commercial development.

Thank you for your consideration,

Robert “Bear� Holmes
 

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The Peddler said:
Cornfed said:
Q: Isn't there a boat club ramp south of Anthony's Home Port. May have to join.... conf:
That's the DesMoines Yacht Club. I've looked-into joining, but it's awful expensive for just using the ramp.
Good post Matt--thanks for the heads up to your fellow GF's. Tup: I'll send an e-mail or maybe an actual physical letter--that's harder to disregard.

BTW--When you checked into the Des Moines Yacht Club do you remember approximatley how much it was to join and what the dues were :?:
 

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birch,if i remember right,it was 500.00 up front and then its 37 a month.but theres some bennies in it.lots of good folks and exper.on the water.you can tie- up at the dock for 3 days,space avail.parking in a fenced area.just a few.you have recip rights along with outher yatch clubs in the areas.and they go out for a weekend and archor somewhere.they go places so its all what you put in as to what you get out of it. while its alittle spendy,its not as bad as to rent a space in the marina. hope this helps alittle, mic
 

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Tell them if they don't leave the sling you'll move. :mrgreen:

Have you tried the ROC (IAC)? Any input from them?
 

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I've sent a letter and I also cc'ed my mayor (kent) since this also affects residents in her city. Are we too late to change this? I kind of get the impression that we missed the boat and should have voiced our opinions long ago.
 

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Yes the ramp situation is bad and getting worse.
Closing the sling is not good.

Joining the DMYC is not as simple as just paying the fee and dues. It is a member run club, so we expect more than just $$$. I am a member, let me know if you want the membership contact. You can also get that name off the website.

Jim
 

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2 days per week period on the floats. expect rafting..and having your boat moved to accomodate..MUCH larger craft. Also, the North float is shared w marina, so it is MUCH less secure. Hope this helps also.

mics said:
birch,if i remember right,it was 500.00 up front and then its 37 a month.but theres some bennies in it.lots of good folks and exper.on the water.you can tie- up at the dock for 3 days,space avail.parking in a fenced area.just a few.you have recip rights along with outher yatch clubs in the areas.and they go out for a weekend and archor somewhere.they go places so its all what you put in as to what you get out of it. while its alittle spendy,its not as bad as to rent a space in the marina. hope this helps alittle, mic
 

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Here is what I sent them intially:

Here is what I sent them:

Hello Elected Representatives.

As a resident and taxpayer in the city of des moines, I was appalled to learn about the impending shutdown of sling at the Des Moines Marina.
This should not happen for the following reasons:

1. It alllows residents boating access to Puget sound. This access is extremely limited. Aside from the redondo launch, there are no other access points between the Seattle and Tacoma.

2. While it is laudable that Desmoines maintains the Redondo launch, this launch is no substitue for the sling. The redondo launch is not suitable for large boats. Nor is the the launch protected adequately from stronger north winds.

3. Using public space (the launch parking) for development is not in the public interest.

In the strongest terms, I encourage you to take action to keep the sling open and reverse this decision. To me, this is the most important issue facing the des moines city council.

If you fail to act, know that I will not ever vote for you again, for any office. In fact, I will provide support to any candidate opposing you in all future races.

Thanks for your attention.
 

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Here is what they wrote back:

I am interested in doing what is best for the majority of Des Moines citizens.

Keeping the Marina Launch open will require a major capital investment - which the City can not afford unless users are prepared to pay launch fees of about $75 per launch.

If the usage drops at the rate, the rate will need to be increased further.

Since the usage has dropped in each of the recent years, at much lower rates, I am concerned that the launch will continue to be an ever increasing tax burden on our non-boater residents.

None of the comments above considers the tax loss from not having a second viable sales tax generating business added at the Marina.

Show me otherwise, and I’ll support not removing it. Saying you will not vote for me
unless I do what you desire is your choice. I will continue to do what is best for
the City and the majority of its residents.

Ed Pina
 

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Here is my response to Ed Pina,



Hello Ed,
Sorry about the tardiness of my reply. Work has kept me very busy.

I too am interested in seeing the city coucil doing what is best for the majority of Des Moines citezens.

Keeping public boater access at the marina is in the interest of all of Des Moines citezens. Almost no public properties generate revenue (name a park that is a net positive in terms of $$$ for the city ). However, these properties clearly are in the public interest. The same arguement holds for the marina.

Granted, installation of a new state of the art sling is cost prohibitive. However, other options to presever access should be considered.

The most cost effective in the long term should be to replace the sling with a quality boat ramp on the same site as the current sling. A ramp inside the breakwater along the lines of what exists at shillshole marina would be ideal. Replacing the existing slings with two launches would be a large enough acess point that all trailed boats have access, yet capital investments would be minimal aside from building the ramp, as the parking and docking is alread in place. The biggest advantages to this approach would be no large equiment upgrade and minimal staffing requirements compared with the sling.

Another option would be to refurbish the clearly funcitonal equipment already in place.

Bear in mind that the city forced the sale of private lands to aquire the property to build the sling. This was justified by providing the public with access to the water in the form of the marina complex. Taking away the publics access violates that pledge. Taking away access because the city can't find other ways to generate revenue is wrong.

The marina already has three restaurants. Adding a fourth at the expense of public access lacks long term vision. Building the marina was done to provide a public boat access complex. It was not conceived as a private restaurant complex. THe city of Desmoines has plenty of fine restaurants, but not enough access to the sound. Besides, many more of Des Moines citezens and tourists from around the area would utilize whatever boating access point, than they would a new restaurant.

I implore the council to have the vision to recognize that public water access is more important to the future of Des moines than adding yet another restaurant.
 

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I have been waitng about a week now to here back, but nothing so far.

I've got some free time on my hands since I'm recovering from surgery, but haven't heard anything yet.
 
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