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Old 12-30-2012
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Re: Mooring bouys

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Not necessarily... Every time I return to Maine, I'm seeing more and more "Destination Moorings" being placed by individuals in prime locations, apparently with little or no regulation whatsoever... A place like Perry Creek on Vinalhaven is a prime example, now choked with private moorings that might have been placed by some hedge fund manager from Boston with a summer vacation home in Camden, and used only on Saturdays thru the summer, or during the month of August...

Those Morris 42 "Weekenders", or Friendship 40 Faberge' Eggs aren't really meant to be anchored, after all... (grin)



Friends of mine in Maine tell me this phenomenon is becoming a serious annoyance... Perhaps Maine Sail or Down will weigh in on this...

This issue was raised in OCEAN NAVIGATOR a decade ago:

Are private moorings crowding Maine waters? - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2003

And here's Curtis Rindlaub's take on it from back then, I would guess his opinion has likely hardened a bit in the interim...

MAINE COAST: Cruising the Maine Coast => Vacant moorings

Jon,

I agree 100% and detest "destination" moorings. I think many towns could do a better job of "qualifying" moorings at places like Long Cove, Perry Creek, The Goslings and many others.

The problem however is not an easy one, especially at areas like Perry Creek. At places like Monhegan we have the opposite problem. A solid granite bottom which precludes safe anchoring and ONE town mooring..... Monhegan could stand to have half the moorings from Perry Creek.

If you ask around most every mooring at Perry Creek is for "storms" for the locals. Yes some of them are owned by "summer folk" but during storms their boats are there with all the lobstermans boats. Sure some are "destination" moorings but they are well in the minority as I have been told locally.

They also never complain when people pick up those moorings and use them, unless they happen to be there. The Goslings have the same "unwritten" stance on using moorings.. Who am I to deny the Islanders of Northhaven & Vinalhaven the right to have a safe & known mooring for storms when they live on an island and depend upon their vessels for not only the food they put on the table but also for their connection to the mainland? Who am I to complain when the use of these moorings is not "disallowed" when the owners are not present. Who am I to compalin that with these moorings you can now often "fit" in Perry Creek because with 2:1 scope moorings a lot more boats can be packed in there. We minimized going to Perry Creek years ago, during prime season, because even with less moorings it was always PACKED with idiots trying to use 7:1 scope or being the only one bow/stern anchored (unless way up in the head of the harbor where it is necessary)... These "destination" cruising guide locations are the first ones to become obnoxious. Perhaps the bigger issue is the Cruising Guide calling out these "prime" locations.....

As for the Goslings I'd be happy to see every mooring in there get removed except for island property owners, like the Dugas family, or residents on the Harpswell neck who regularly move boats there in the fall for protection from the NW winds..

When we lived in Sunset Cove in Harpswell I had a legal and permitted storm mooring there. The Goslings were directly out our front window, a nice view. In the fall I would put my boat there in a NW blow and take the dinghy back across the bay. I could see our boat there from the living room window. Our home mooring was VERY exposed to the NW so as a Harpswell resident and tax payer I had no issue keeping a storm mooring there. I also had no qualms with people using it and had it clearly labeled as to chain and mushroom size so there were no "surprises". When I lived in Harpswell I was on the waterfront committee. I fought for "criteria" for non-resident "destination" moorings at both Quahog Bay and the Goslings. It fell on deaf ears, in the mid 90's, but I did what I could do as a resident, tax payer and waterfront committee member. One issue was that I was up against another member who was a mooring guy. he made a tidy business managing moorings at the Goslings and was about 10th generation Harpswell resident.... Small town politics...

When we moved across the bay to Cumberland I did the right thing and REMOVED our mooring from the Goslings because it would have made it a "destination mooring", something I strongly disagreed with then, and still disagree with now.. Occasionally when we go there we use the moorings of people we know, but often we still anchor. There is still plenty of room to anchor there despite all the moorings.

Even with all the "destination" moorings in Maine there are literally HUNDREDS of places to anchor. If you "must" go to a tourist trap "Cruising Guide" destination EXPECT a crowd even without destination moorings. Carver Cove and about 10 other PRIME locations (not Carvers Harbor) are just around the corner from Perry Creek. There is NO need to go to Perry Creek unless you want bugs or crowds and this has not changed because of the moorings... The moorings actually make more room in there and give more people more access. I still don't like the roughly 20% of them that are "destination" moorings but have no complaints for the locals who use them during storms or in the winter when we are not even there.

Recently a lobsterman on Vinalhaven placed a number of moorings in Long Cove. He rents them. I find this unnecessary but after asking around it seems he and his buddies all use these moorings in storms or let other locals who are "exposed" do so. I have used one and gladly put the money in the Coke bottle, because this like Perry Creek and some others, is a tricky one.

The Goslings are not as tricky. Only a few residents of Haprswell neck and the Dugas family and other island owners have "legitimate" reasons for having a mooring there.. Perhaps 90% of those moorings should ideally not be there and are "destination" moorings. Quahog Bay is also filling up as is the Basin.....

At Perry Creek perhaps 20% should not be there but this anchorage is managed by the residents of Vinalhaven, a tough lot, and I seriously doubt it will change. Could they make the permitting process tougher with more "justification" like "Is this a storm mooring for a resident of Vinalhaven or Northaven?" Sure, they could, but this is island life and you will NEVER get or understand the small island politics nor penetrate it or dictate what or how they should or should not manage their waters....

Are "destination" moorings an issue in Maine? In the big scheme of things I would have to say no. I say this because we have HUNDREDS of places to anchor. If you "must" visit Perry Creek or The Goslings, and feel "entitled" to do so then you can use the moorings until the owner comes along as this is the "unwritten rule". Even at Perry Creek you can still anchor just as you can at the Goslings... You may not get the most "prime" spot but you can still anchor...

People always complain about Sebasco and the over abundance of moorings yet we anchor there nearly every time we go. It is not an issue for someone who actually knows what they are doing. This still doesn't stop the whining...

30 years ago Jewell Island was filled with "destination" moorings. They were removed. They are now all gone except for the caretakers mooring. Jewell Island is the #1 best place to get dragged into on the coast of Maine. Perhaps some "destination" moorings would stop the stupidity of people who have no clue how to anchor? We stay away from Jewell in prime season not because of an over abundance of destination moorings but because there are sooooooooooooooooo many morons on the water who have not a clue as to how to anchor a boat. This is perhaps why we have so many "destination" moorings popping up everywhere...

A catch 22 I'd say.....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-30-2012 at 11:58 AM.
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