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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > US Northeast > Long Island > Block Island - Champlin's Marina Showers
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Thread: Block Island - Champlin's Marina Showers Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-16-2012 07:25 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Block Island - Champlin's Marina Showers

While we like the Oar better anyway (lots of memories that go back decades), I'm not offended by Champlain's policy that their showers are for slip renters only. That's their right. It's also the customer's right to not go there for food, booze and ice. I love the free market.
05-15-2012 11:14 PM
paulk
Re: Block Island - Champlin's Marina Showers

Champlin's may be in business to make money, and may view sailboats as an impediment to that. As rwy36 alluded above, Champlin's in recent years attempted to expand their docks (private enterprise: $150/night into their pockets) into the public mooring field (moorings run by the town at $40/night.) I reward their anti-social attitude by not giving them any business whatsoever. If I need a shower, I'll try the Oar.
02-04-2012 09:01 AM
-OvO- I go sailing to get AWAY from people.
02-04-2012 08:16 AM
Minnewaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by melliott0352 View Post
Too bad, it seems like a very nice place to sail to. The only one time I was there was a week after laborday monday, after Irene. Had a whole pier to myself! Think I'll skip it over the summer unless a midweek one nighter.
Crazy, but mid week during the height of the summer won't be any different. You'll need a reservation for a slip and, if you can get one, you may be rafted to another boat at some places. Many go out for a vacation week, drop anchor for the night and pull it at dawn and start cruising the mooring field for departures. It can take days to get one, as the moorings can't be reserved.

When there this past Sept, I asked the Harbor Master about the summer, as I hadn't been back since May. Crazy as always, he says. He said there were 2,500 boats in the pond over July 4th weekend. I estimate there are only a few hundred slips and moorings.
02-04-2012 01:24 AM
melliott0352 Too bad, it seems like a very nice place to sail to. The only one time I was there was a week after laborday monday, after Irene. Had a whole pier to myself! Think I'll skip it over the summer unless a midweek one nighter.
02-03-2012 08:38 PM
rwy36 Hi Tempest,

You've hit the nail right on the head - the service business is about service, but it has to be reasonable and sustainable. Having some sensitivity to that reality (and as related by our colleagues here) hopefully mitigates any possible negative impacts - but then there are the jerks. Running a service business in the 'modern age' must truly be a daily challenge.

I agree with your sentiments about Block I in general, particularly in July and August. The Admiral's family is usually out there sometime in August so we're typically obligated for a one- or two-day stopover, but it is indeed becoming more of a challenge. It's funny you mentioned your dinghy - we were at the Oar one night and watched someone toss several garbage bags into our dinghy while they climbed out of theirs onto the dock! It's this kind of stuff (similar to your experience) that makes you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible - and Block I certainly qualifies!

Take care,

Bill
02-03-2012 08:12 PM
Tempest Hi Bill, I tried to temper my comments, by saying it's often better to ask permission, than it is to simply assume a right. As you experienced, more often than not, people in the service business really want to say yes, and will try to accomodate you, if they can.

I haven't had to fuel up there often, It's never been a problem..could have been a bad day...

I agree with some of the other posts, that it's a little too crowded and loud there for me.
( Champlins) in peak season. Though, when I was last at anchor, this past summer, we had a boat drag past us heading for a power boat behind us. I had to call the harbormaster. The tow boat got there just in time to avoid the collision. The anchorage is no picnic, I much prefer a mooring. I like block island, but I'm thinking that it's not the place I want to be in July and August any more. It can tax ones patience. Someone tossed a cigarette on my brand new inflatable a few seasons ago at the dinghy dock, put a nice burn mark on the tube, by the time I noticed it and flicked it off, the person was lost in the crowd.
02-03-2012 07:24 PM
rwy36 Tempest,

Although I think you are technically correct, Champlin's view regarding 'theft of services' seems to have changed a bit after their proposal for expansion was denied after a lengthy and I'm sure very expensive legal battle. The story I related at the beginning of the thread regarding my 'theft of services' experience was back in the day when Champlin's provided the Freedom Launch which brought you to and from your boat in the anchorage to their facility. On this particular weekday afternoon, we visited the bar up by the pool area, and as I recall, even asked the bartender if it was OK if we grabbed showers while enjoying a cocktail or two. No lines, no impact, no hassle - and Champlin's was kind enough to even save us the dinghy ride! At this point, unless I was pursuing donuts, as far as I was concerned, Champlin's was the only marina in the harbor.

Now, though, things seem to be different with them. No more Freedom launch (I think it runs now at a charge, but no more 'freebies' at all). No more 'liberal interpretations' of policy for customers of all types, 'guests' now has a strict interpretation judging from Rob's unfortunate experience. I also related a more recent negative experience at the fuel dock which was pretty unusual by any professional standard, in my view. Nowadays, it's all strictly pay as you go - and apparently we weren't paying enough. Considering the legal bills they are probably looking at, I can't say that I blame them - but I think it could possibly be counterproductive over the long haul.

Take care,

Bill
02-03-2012 12:56 PM
Tempest I've stayed at Champlins, on town moorings, private moorings and anchored out.
They all have their plusses and minuses. Champlins like all the other options can get crazy during peak season. It is what it is. I know what to expect if I stay there and have always been treated well. ( have received the respect, that I have given. )

If I've had a long day (s) of sailing, I'll sometimes stay at Champlins upon arrival to Block, so the crew can relax, get showers, I can take on water etc, charge batteries, and use their bb-ques, and pool etc. @ $4.25 per ft it gets expensive. Early the next morning, I'll head out in the dinghy to try to obtain a less expensive town mooring, failing that, you can call the harbormaster and obtain a private mooring, or anchor out for free.

As an alternative, there are pay showers at Fred Benson town beach an easy walk along corn neck road.

Like them or not Champlins is a private business, using services that are provided for their guests is basically " theft " of services. We can rationalize it anyway we want it doesn't change the reality. Condemning them for protecting their private property rights and the rights of their guests to not have to wait in line for a shower behind all the freebies seems a little disingenous. There's also no confusion that " guest" means someone who pays for a slip or " raft up" as often occurs there, not someone who runs up a bar tab. Anyone that owns or runs a business, especially a service business, can relate to the various rationalizations that people give for thinking that they're entitled to more than they've paid for. For those that might take exception to this, I will simply say, that it's not personal..it's business. Sometimes, it's better to ask permission than have to ask forgiveness.










@ 4.25 per foot, roughly $150.00 a night.
02-03-2012 06:13 AM
Minnewaska I've been told the Vineyard Haven marina on Martha's vineyard will not allow it's mooring customers to use any shore facilities. Not the bathrooms, garbage, nothing. 10 to 1, I've seen sailboats on the moorings and power boats at the dock. The power boats are probably paying $5 per foot per day and grabbing a few thousand in fuel before they leave.

I will grant that there are no sailboats that are actually going to bridge the gap with shoreside purchases. Nevertheless, the ill will that must cause just seems like bad business karma. I would never do it. I would sooner take the moorings out, if I had a problem.

By the way, I tried to stop at this marina for fuel once and their pumps were broken. Karma.
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