Letters to the Editor

Island needs boatyard after years of delay | Letters | Oct. 15

To those healthy individuals not infected with the boat disease, all this fuss over a boatyard must seem strange. Yet we are in the first era since the late 1800s where there has not been a vessel haul-out on Bainbridge Island. And paradoxically, there are more boats than ever...hundreds...that have this diabolical need to haul out routinely for the latest perceived improvement or maintenance issue.

So now we must take our business and our checkbook elsewhere. That last line on the yard bill, the dreaded sales tax, goes in part to the local fiefdom of Port Townsend, Seattle, Port Orchard, Edmonds... the places we go to spend our hard-earned money at the boat yards and communities that welcome us.

Being in denial about how much I really spend on this boat pox, it pains me to reveal that each year I spend $400 to $700 for the privilege of working on this inside-out swimming pool (and that’s before I buy the paint and the latest gizmo). Multiply that by hundreds of boats... it boggles the mind. It’s a bigger revenue stream than iced lattes.

Environmental concerns? An advantage of the site at the ferry yard is the paved surface. It seems to me that collection and filtering of the runoff is a good idea to keep things clean. Also, modern vacuum systems with sanders plugged in keep dust out of the air. Best management to keep things clean is now available and achievable.

For the quantity of boats on our fair island, two boatyards – one in Winslow and one in Eagledale – seem viable. So let’s get on with it. We’ve been waiting for years.

Scott Sprague

Bainbridge Island

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