NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

Erik Baard
Thu Nov 2 12:31:44 EST 2006

Permits are getting more expensive each year, which is also a limiting  

And bringing Joy and Ralph together, I can say that many of us rip what  
we didn't sew!  :)


On Nov 2, 2006, at 12:14 PM, Joy Hecht wrote:

> Thanks for the explanations, Ralph.
> Maybe part of the lobbying tactic, if those permits are still in  
> effect, is
> that all of you get everyone you know who has ever even thought of  
> putting a
> boat in the water anywhere in the NYC area, all go and get permits.   
> So the
> city will see that you have numbers.  If permits were really easy to  
> get -
> application forms at every place you might put in, at every commercial
> venture selling anything related, etc. - would they be that much of an
> imposition?  NYC isn't like Florida or even Rockland County - it's  
> dense,
> and there's competition for every little bit of space or resources.   
> So you
> need to show numbers to get your piece - you can't just claim it as a  
> right
> when someone else is claiming it as a right for a different activity,  
> and
> there isn't enough to go around.
> If permits help do that, go for permits en masse!
> Though I suspect, Ralph, that you couldn't even reap where you did sew.
> Sewing does not usually lead to plant growth.  In my experience it  
> leads to
> buttons being attached, jeans hemmed, and occasionally new clothing.
> Now sowing, on the other hand...
> Joy
> :::-----Original Message-----
> :::From: [mailto:nyckayaker-
>] On Behalf Of ralph diaz
> :::Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 9:24 AM
> :::To: Jeff Hoyer; NYCKayaker
> :::Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
> :::
> :::Interesting discussion thusfar and most of it with valid points.   
> Just
> :::some
> :::clarification on things:
> :::
> :::This was started not as a way to regulate paddlers.  It had other
> :::purposes.
> :::First, NYC Parks wanted to reduce its liability regarding paddlers
> :::launching
> :::from its designated sites.  Paddlers are supposed to get a permit  
> and the
> :::application form comes with a short document that exposes the  
> paddler to
> :::a
> :::reminder of safety precautions about weather, traffic, cold water
> :::exposure
> :::etc.  Second, NYC Parks also wanted to have an idea of how many  
> people
> :::were
> :::paddling in the city.  That is why I and others such as Tim Gamble  
> at the
> :::DTBH strongly urged people to get permits.  I don't think in any  
> given
> :::year
> :::we ever got more than 100 or so to get permits.  Now if there had  
> been a
> :::thousand paddlers or 2,000 per year (figures that begin to scratch  
> the
> :::surface of paddlers in the city), then NYC Parks would have taken  
> notice
> :::in
> :::terms of numbers of launch sites and other park systems such as  
> Hudson
> :::River
> :::Park Trust would have taken notice.  To jiggle a saying "We don't  
> reap
> :::what
> :::we don't sew."
> :::
> :::Several other things about NYC Parks and the permit system.  I was  
> on the
> :::scene just a few years after it started.  Given the difficulty of
> :::launching
> :::unguided amateurs into the more turblent and traffic filled waters  
> of the
> :::East River and lower Hudson (south of Riverside Park), no launch  
> sites
> :::were
> :::ever located there.  They were in waters that more resembled  
> conditions
> :::in
> :::Rockland County where one paddler on this list freely launches.   
> Frankly
> :::it
> :::was not anticipated that the level of skills would grow so fast as  
> they
> :::have
> :::done through the DTBH and companies such as Manhattan Kayak and NY  
> Kayak
> :::that have made paddling by large numbers of kayakers reasonably  
> safe in
> :::those trickier waters of the harbor.
> :::
> :::NYC Parks early on anticipated the storage issue.  I remember going
> :::around
> :::with officials looking for potential places and having some pointed  
> out
> :::in
> :::the Orchard Beach area and in Northern Manhattan.  None were that  
> large
> :::(building space is at a premium even for NYC Parks).  And none were  
> in
> :::lower
> :::Manhattan, obviously.
> :::
> :::The Hudson River Park Trust and the Hudson River Park Conservancy  
> that
> :::preceded it had nothing to do with the creation of any of the  
> paddling
> :::establishments that sprang up.  All are grassroots affairs or humbly
> :::begun
> :::businesses started by enthusiasts who had a similar desire to see  
> people
> :::enjoy their rights to their waters only differing in whether for  
> profit
> :::or
> :::not for profit.  All of these establishments are untidy in the  
> Trust's
> :::eyes
> :::and suffer from "not made here" in the sense that the Trust did not  
> put
> :::them
> :::in place from some grand scheme of things.  So, the Trust is always  
> going
> :::to
> :::be of a frame of mind that it wants to either do away with them (now
> :::don't
> :::be shooked; the Trust doesn't like anything funky and paddling is  
> funky)
> :::or
> :::wants to regulate them into something that is anathema to the free
> :::spirited
> :::souls usually drawn to paddling.  The Trust is not a friend, so  
> don't
> :::expect
> :::much from it that you can't wrestle from it through sheer weight of
> :::numbers
> :::of paddlers and their supporters.
> :::
> :::In the records of Manhattan Kayak, NY Kayak,  Outriggers Group,  
> etc. but
> :::most importantly the DTBH are names and names of people who support
> :::paddling
> :::because they are either deeply involved in it or have taken a  
> lesson or
> :::two
> :::or gone out with the free program at the DTBH operations.  While  
> people
> :::do
> :::change addresses etc.  I am sure that there are probably 40,000  
> names
> :::that
> :::can be pulled up of which some 25,000 are NY State residents and  
> about
> :::20,000 residents of the five boroughs.  That is voting power that  
> would
> :::impress the Trust, which afterall is a NY State/NY City governmental
> :::agency.
> :::
> :::I know a whole lot of the people who have piped up on the issue,  
> Bonnie,
> :::Mike Pidel, Joy, Jeff Hoyer, Eric Baard, Nancy, etc.  You are  
> really all
> :::on
> :::the same page.  You want access and, part of that is storage.  That  
> is
> :::now a
> :::challenge that while large is not as threatening as the one Bonnie
> :::mentioned
> :::that led to the creation of The Human Powered Boating Group (HPBG).
> :::Remember the threat back then was to the very use of the harbor  
> waters of
> :::the Hudson south of Riverside Park, all of the East River and Upper  
> Bay
> :::bordered by Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Battery and New Jersey.  
> The HPBG
> :::joined together all commercial paddling operations that used the  
> harbor
> :::(not
> :::just Manhattan Kayak and NY Kayak but also Atlantic Kayak Tours and  
> other
> :::upstate outfitters), DTBH, the Barge paddlers,  outriggers, surf  
> skiers,
> :::Floating The Apple.  You name it . . . if it held an oar or paddle  
> it
> :::became
> :::part of the group.  As Bonnie noted, the shipping commercial  
> interests
> :::and
> :::the Coast Guard stood up and took notice.  Efforts to effectively
> :::regulate
> :::us out of existence in NY harbor waters was stopped.  We came to an  
> modus
> :::operandi with the ferries, got law enforcement to help stop the  
> rising
> :::harrassment of paddlers  by renegade jet skiers and did pioneering  
> work
> :::on
> :::effective lighting for night paddling.
> :::
> :::It cost not a dime to unite.  All it took was to see the common  
> interest
> :::being threatened and presenting a strong, reasoned front.  A threat  
> is
> :::exactly what is happening with the Trust and paddling.  Jim  
> Wetteroth
> :::(DTBH)
> :::was one of the principal people behind the creation of HPBG and  
> Bonnie
> :::(Manhattan Kayak, Barge) played an important role is the gains we  
> made as
> :::did Randy Henriksen (NY Kayak) as well as Michael Glass (surf  
> skiis).
> :::Others are still around.  Get together to make sure there is a pie  
> that
> :::can
> :::then be divided.
> :::
> :::ralph diaz
> :::
> :::
> :::
> ::: 
> **********************************************************************
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