NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

Erik Baard
Wed Nov 1 17:08:19 EST 2006

I think Bonnie was rounding up the minimum wage ($7.15), and her point 
was that even at that small value, the labor hours contributed by many 
volunteers easily exceed the monetary  value of straight-payment 
storage options, which fall between $300 and $700 per season in the 
metro area. And by the way, people (families) are actually forced to 
make ends meet on minimum wage in NYC; it isn't purely theoretical. All 
the more reason the public free paddling programs are key to equity.

As for no-hassle public access to the water, it would be great and we 
should strive for it. But for many urban agencies that will constitute 
a cultural change, and those come slowly.

Erik Baard

On Nov 1, 2006, at 4:53 PM, David Gottlieb wrote:

> Bonnie,
>  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 won’t 
> 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 wonderful!!!!
>  David
>  On 11/1/06 11:13 AM, "" 
> <> wrote:
>> 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
>> **********************************************************************
>>  The NYCKayaker mailing list is hosted by, and 
>> is a public service offered to the kayaking community by the Hudson 
>> River Watertrail Association. Learn more about HRWA at
>>  To unsubscribe or change delivery options:
>  **********************************************************************
> The NYCKayaker mailing list is hosted by, and is 
> a public service offered to the kayaking community by the Hudson River 
> Watertrail Association. Learn more about HRWA at
> To unsubscribe or change delivery options:
LIC Community Boathouse

Nature Calendar


Join our low volume email Announce only list, learn about special 
events and other occasional announcements.

Get more involved and join our discuss list, ask/answer questions of 
the LIC Boathouse Community, plan trips, etc. Remember, it's your 

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/enriched
Size: 15565 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the NYCKayaker mailing list