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For those of you in the Seattle area, we have a new threat to navigation on Lake Union (if you are not in the Seattle area, Lake Union is a unique lake surrounded by the city that offers good sailing and boating, SUPers, and kayakers. It is connected to both the much larger Lake Washington and to saltwater via the Ballard Locks, and is surrounded by marinas housing thousands of recreational boats).

There is a long history of seaplanes using the lake alongside a large number of recreational and commercial boats. To my knowledge, there has been no safety problem and no accidents of any kind despite tens of flights daily and sometimes a landing or takeoff every few minutes.

The major seaplane airline here, Kenmore Air, is now requesting a "no-go" zone covering much of the lake that would severely interfere with use of the lake by boats. By making much of the middle of the lake off-limits, this would make it very difficult to sail upwind (forcing short tacks up very narrow areas along the lakeshore), and would make the Tuesday night race series almost impossible to conduct.

Here's the link to the group opposing the no-go zone: https://www.savelakeunion.com/

As well as a disaster for the Seattle area, this would be a terrible precedent for other waters shared by seaplanes and boats. Just thought you should know.
 

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A for-profit company take over public space for it’s own benefit? That’s not the American Way??

If they had to buy the space for a runway it would cost them millions of dollars and put them out of business. Can’t have that!

If they had to rent the lake from the city it would impact their cash flow and slow down the payments they need to make to the capital investment sharks who loaned them the money for their new planes. (There ARE sharks in Lake Union after all!!) Can’t have that!

If they don’t expand service it’s also going to impact their cash flow and slow down the payments (see above). Then the investors will make them go bankrupt and put them out of business. Can’t have that!

so... they have to have total control of the lake in order to stay in business. Why would anyone object to this ? Everyone in Seattle and Washington State should be signing the petition.
 

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I wish you luck, but with the federal government selling off public lands (our lands, not theirs) at an alarming rate with nary a citizen blinking, I don't see a group of concerned citizens having much of a chance against a wealthy transportation company, these days.
Again though, good luck.
 

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I wish you luck, but with the federal government selling off public lands (our lands, not theirs) at an alarming rate with nary a citizen blinking, I don't see a group of concerned citizens having much of a chance against a wealthy transportation company, these days.
Don'cha just love it when somebody who doesn't even live here and has zero skin in the game tells you that fighting to make this a better country is a waste of time?
 

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Don'cha just love it when somebody who doesn't even live here and has zero skin in the game tells you that fighting to make this a better country is a waste of time?
So it is mandatory for a concerned CITIZEN to be a resident to have an opinion, in your opinion? Then why are you voting on a Seattle matter as a California resident? Isn't that a bit hypocritical?
 

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So it is mandatory for a concerned CITIZEN to be a resident to have an opinion, in your opinion? Then why are you voting on a Seattle matter as a California resident? Isn't that a bit hypocritical?
You are entitled to your opinion (I never said otherwise), just as I am entitled to mine about yours. Regarding "voting": I didn't vote, I signed a petition, just as you could. I happen to love Seattle and Lake Union. I don't have to be a resident of that particular city to be concerned about what happens there.

But that's not the point. The point is that those of us who still live in this country are tasked with doing the heavy lifting of making it a better place. A responsibility you have abdicated. I, for one, do not appreciate your defeatist attitude, despite your right to have it.
 

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You are entitled to your opinion (I never said otherwise), just as I am entitled to mine about yours. Regarding "voting": I didn't vote, I signed a petition, just as you could. I happen to love Seattle and Lake Union. I don't have to be a resident of that particular city to be concerned about what happens there.

But that's not the point. The point is that those of us who still live in this country are tasked with doing the heavy lifting of making it a better place. A responsibility you have abdicated. I, for one, do not appreciate your defeatist attitude, despite your right to have it.
If you consider spending us$50.00 to insure our absentee ballots arrived on time for the elections and paying our state and federal taxes abdicating our responsibilities, to you, then perhaps you do not understand the word. The only difference between you as a resident and us as nonresidents if that you get services for your taxes that we as nonresidents don not. so, in fact we are supporting services for you and yours. In those terms you should be thanking us, not belittling us.
 

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If you consider spending us$50.00 to insure our absentee ballots arrived on time for the elections and paying our state and federal taxes abdicating our responsibilities, to you, then perhaps you do not understand the word.
Point taken.
 

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I'm not taking sides here but if you were to ask the pilots if there are any safety issues I think their opinion may not line up with the 'no safety problem' statement. We have a very busy float plane industry in the Nanaimo Harbour. While I don't spend much time sailing in the harbour we must cross it to reach open water. I do not like the planes taking off and landing a hundred meters over my head. As long as things go according to plan there is no problem. But what if's cross my mind all the time. My personal biggy is 'what if one of those propeller blades broke free'.
 

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Read up on the various Homestead acts and the Land Ordinance of 1785. The federal government has sold off land since this country was established.

Do you really want to live like the serfs in England where the king and nobles owned all the land? People flocked to America so they could become landowners.

Do you have any idea how much land the federal government owns in America? Add in state owned land, tribal owned land, and municipal owned land and the number might shock you.

The federal government owns around 640 million acres of land in America, or around 28% of the entire country. Again, that is just the federal government. The federal government owns around 85% of Nevada, 46% of California, 61% of Alaska, and 28% of the state of Washington.

Maybe you like bureaucrats bossing you around. I don't.
 

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We have a thriving float plane industry in Vancouver harbour as well. The planes have to coexist with pleasure craft of all kinds, commercial traffic of all kinds, and transit traffic. They have a designated landing area, but it is not a "no go zone", although there is no sailboat races in the area.

There seems to be a growing trend down in the USA of putting business interests ahead of the public interest.

Good luck with the fight!

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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Just to lighten things up a little, here is a pop quiz: Under the International Rules, which is the stand-on vessel in a crossing situation between a seaplane and a sailboat? The sailboat is motor-sailing and the seaplane is floating on the water on the yacht's starboard side.
 

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Just to lighten things up a little, here is a pop quiz: Under the International Rules, which is the stand-on vessel in a crossing situation between a seaplane and a sailboat? The sailboat is motor-sailing and the seaplane is floating on the water on the yacht's starboard side.
I would guess the sailboat is obligated to give way, as the float plane has restricted maneuverability.
 

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2. Who has the right of way, a seaplane or a boat?

FAR 91.115 places collision avoidance responsibly on the seaplane pilots with the language, "Seaplane pilots shall, insofar as possible, keep clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation."


https://www.seaplanepilotsassociation.org/resources/faq/operations/
So if we can just apply that rule to Lake Union in general, the problem’s solved: Seaplanes shall avoid impeding all vessels. Setting up a no-go runway zone impedes all vessels - turning the rule on its head. Has anyone mentioned this to the Coast Guard?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So if we can just apply that rule to Lake Union in general, the problem’s solved: Seaplanes shall avoid impeding all vessels. Setting up a no-go runway zone impedes all vessels - turning the rule on its head. Has anyone mentioned this to the Coast Guard?
Exactly. The seaplanes have always avoided boats - they have been flying out of Lake Union for decades and as far as I know, there have been zero incidents. I have flown with them in the past and was very impressed with how good their pilots are and how maneuverable the planes are. They have always done a good job of avoiding boat traffic.

I can't really see what has changed now, except that there are a lot more high-paid tech workers living near South Lake Union and I would suspect that Kenmore Air sees a business opportunity in expanding flights.

The company president wrote an extremely self-serving letter to the city complaining about crowding, and also tossed in the suggestion that they should start enforcing he open container laws on the lake (he even very helpfully threw in some citations to the laws covering that).
 

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Wonder what Kenmore’s insurance costs are like. If they can get a “no-go zone”, it could cut their costs considerably. Does not sound like they want to be good neighbors any more. Investors must be pressuring them.
 

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Seaplanes are at the bottom of the "pecking order" for vessels. They should giveway to all other vessels. But, as is always the case with the COLREGS, there is a caveat.

COLREGS Rule 18
"(e) A seaplane on the water shall, in general, keep well clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation. In circumstances, however, where risk of collision exists, she shall comply with the Rules of this Part."

So it would appear that part of the motivation for creating this exclusion zone on Lake Union is to make a special situation where seaplanes are at the top of the pecking order.
 
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