NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

David Gottlieb
Wed Nov 1 16:53:22 EST 2006


Perhaps an hour is worth $10 to you, but to live in NYC and environs, one
needs much more than $10 per hour. $10 an hour after taxes won¹t even cover
rent or mortgage in our area for a month.

That aside, what NYC needs, are public boat ramps where I can bring my kayak
unimpeded like I can elsewhere along the Hudson. I live outside the city in
Rockland County where there are a number of access points, not enough. But
at these places, no one ever questions me when I put my kayak in. I have the
right to kayak if I wish ‹ alone or with others, unimpeded.... It is


On 11/1/06 11:13 AM, "" <>

> Problem with the bike rack analogy is that our "bikes" need permanent storage.
> Bike racks (and dog runs, and basketball courts, and all that type of public
> space dedicated to specific uses) end up getting used by a whole lot of
> different people. For me to keep my kayaks in the park requires that one
> specific kayak-sized chunk of real estate be devoted exclusively to my
> personal use. That's a privilege (one I'm willing to pay for rather
> handsomely, as are the DTBH folks - only difference being that I pay for mine
> in cash, they pay for theirs in hours, & in fact if you assume that an hour is
> worth $10, they pay quite a bit more than I do) & I don't lose sight of that
> when I'm thinking about the storage problems in the Park.
> Actually that's one of the arguments that's been made in trying to convince
> the Powers that Be to let us keep paddling out of the barge - barge stores a
> whole lotta private boats while actually increasing public space in the park,
> not decreasing it.
> Beyond that - 
> Seems like we're all ("we" being both the capitalist & socialist models of
> boathouse operation in the Hudson River Park) in the same boat right now.
> Easy to get all sectarian when our overall turf is threatened. Say, "We
> deserve this storage more than they do, and here's why".  Think that's a
> little shortsighted, though. We see our internal divisions so clearly, but the
> people who are making the decisions that affect us don't.
> This is sort of like back when the Human-Powered Boating Group had been pulled
> together - to paraphrase Jim W., we were being presented as a problem to which
> a certain person was presenting himself as the solution. If we'd sat there &
> said "Well, we at Pier 63 encourage training & blah blah blah, but those folks
> down at the downtown boathouse, well, there's folks down there  might be a
> problem" (and vice-versa), the whole "Let's quiz all the motor vessels in the
> harbor, powerboats on up, for their specific annoying-kayak stories" might not
> have been dismissed quite as easily as it was when we pulled together,
> presented a united front to the various harbour regulatory agencies that came
> to that meeting. 
> There's been some of that going on already - Nancy's post comes from someone
> who's in an interesting position, given that she's on the Advisory Council due
> to her HRWA role, and active as a DTBH volunteer, and also a regular at Pier
> 63 with New York Kayak Polo. She got the barge on the agenda at the late
> August Advisory Council meeting (where in fact Jim W. made an argument in
> favor of trying to let Pier 63 stay open for a while longer, using the long
> period when the DTBH was shut off the water by their pier closure while
> nothing was done as a parallel - unfortunately the Trust didn't bite, there's
> the whole basketball city nightmare tenant thing complicating matter, but Jim
> did speak up for us & I know at least a couple of people I talked to really
> noticed that); I think that meeting did a LOT to show the Trust & the Council
> that there's a lot more paddling, in a lot of different styles, going on in
> the park than they realized -
> Think this failure to fund the boathouse at Pier 26 is just another reflection
> of this failure to understand the size & breadth of the park-based paddling
> community, and speaking for myself, I think it's probably more productive to
> respond as a member of that community, not as a Pier 63 person.
> Bad time for infighting.
> Just thinking out loud...
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: "Gordon, Peter"
>> Sent: Oct 31, 2006 11:27 AM
>> To: Nancy Brous ,
>> Cc:
>> Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
>> I think that Nancy's points are well taken and we all applaud the public
>> kayaking program that DTBH runs. I'm sure Mike didn't mean to sound
>> pejorative about the people who run it.  But, most people who are kayakers
>> don't really want to limit themselves to queuing up on a Saturday to paddle
>> around in a tub.  Most of us want something a bit sleeker and given the risks
>> of closed cockpit kayaks, they are unlikely to be made available to the
>> general public, so private kayaks are necessary.  Obviously there are options
>> for storing kayaks in the city, but storage often ends up being more
>> expensive than the kayak itself over a couple of years.  I know we New
>> Yorkers are expected to shell out for everything, but many people cannot
>> afford to pay out quite as much cash as is required by the storage facilities
>> available.  I think Mike's point is that since most of us don't have storage
>> space in our homes, and many don't have cars, the situation is a bit
>> different from other parts of the country where these issues don't arise, and
>> a reasonably priced boat storage facility within the city would be a great
>> help for people who are or want to be kayakers.  Perhaps the analogy should
>> be that the city does provide bike racks where bikes can be stored -- and
>> many would argue that there should be more.  I don't think that we should
>> feel bad because people's private bikes are chained up on public property.
>> Perhaps a kayak is more like a bike than a car.
>> Peter Gordon
>> From: on behalf of Nancy Brous
>> Sent: Tue 10/31/2006 10:44 AM
>> To:
>> Cc:
>> Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
>> mike, as i tried to point out, the dtbh was the sole respodent to the very
>> public rfp put out by hudson river park for the boathouse they operate at
>> pier 96 at 56th street.  i'm not sure how you see this as translating to a
>> monopoly. 
>> neither the dtbh nor floating the apple provides private boat storage.  the
>> park dictates what type of activities are acceptable at public boathouses
>> built on public land with public funds, and they insist, for good reason,
>> that these facilities are open to the public for a certain number of hours
>> during certain times of year free or at a very low cost.  so in effect the
>> dtbh does provide public kayak storage--for kayaks to be used by the public,
>> for free. 
>> it seems that there is often confusion on this list about public storage
>> versus private storage of kayaks.  private storage is when you, as a kayak
>> owner, rent a spot for your personal kayak (which is not used by the public),
>> sort of like renting a parking spot for your car.  public storage would be
>> storage of kayaks used by the public on public land or in public facilities,
>> much as there are public tennis courts and parks which can be used by the
>> public.  i doubt anyone wonders why they cant park their private cars in
>> central park or build a private storage shed on NYCs public tennis courts or
>> ball fields.  i cant fathom why anyone would expect (or want) a public park
>> to encourage use of its space for private kayak (or any other) storage.
>> that said, hudson river park will consider a response to the rfp for one of
>> the new boathouses which includes private kayak storage as part of a proposal
>> for the operating and programming of the public boathouse, provided that the
>> proposal  satisfies the public use elements as well.
>> if it is storage rather than monopolies which you are most concerned about,
>> there is currently a group of independent kayakers working to ensure that we
>> maintain adequate private kayak storage in hudson river park, particularly at
>> the pier 63 maritime barge when it relocates to pier 66a next season.  we
>> stand to lose approximately 70 private kayak slots if the DEC permits issued
>> to the barge's owner are not ammended.
>> ithis effort has been mentioned on this and several other lists.  at at least
>> 2 recent park and community board meetings there was a great showing of
>> paddlers who were willing to take their time to come out in support of such
>> storage and show the strength of the numbers in the paddling community.
>> this loose affiliation of independent kayakers (some who need the storage and
>> some who just support the cause) welcomes anyone with ideas and energy to
>> work for this common goal.
>> a yahoo group called HRPAccess has been set up for anyone interested in
>> helping. 
>> there are other groups working toward getting public launches and boathouses
>> set up eventually on the east river in manhattan, in queens, brooklyn, staten
>> island, hoboken, governor's island, on the harlem river, etc.  i'm sure that
>> if you want to become involved in a constructive way you can find more
>> information online or i may be able to help point you in the direction of a
>> few  of these groups.
>> in the interim, as i mentioned, there is NYC parks dept-run kayak storage at
>> the 79th street boat basin, private storage at pier 40 at new york kayak
>> company, and you might want to contact the inwood canoe club as well to see
>> what their policies are.
>> so there is storage on the hudson in nyc now, and if we want to keep it and
>> hopefully add more, we will have to work for it rather than bemoaning its
>> lack and waiting for the kayak storage fairy to pay NYC a visit.
>> On 10/30/06, mike pidel <  <>
>> > wrote: 
>>> There can be a  problem with when one organization with a different mission
>>> than other local paddlers monopolizes the available boathouses.
>>> D TBH does not offer public storage of kayaks.  Many paddlers want public
>>> storage of kayaks without having to volunteer their lives away.
>>> If there was more public storage of kayaks, there would be a larger kayaking
>>> community. Many new and seasoned paddlers don't further their involvement
>>> with kayaking due to no place to keep a kayak in Manhattan
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