NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

David Gottlieb
Fri Nov 3 08:54:13 EST 2006


Good points. We are not in disagreement. My favorite places to launch are
from beaches. They are much more preferable than docks and much more fun. A
ramp is better than a dock, but I'll launch from a dock or a ramp if no
beach is available.

If the dock is a public dock then -- just like streets, street lights,
public swimming pools, highways, parks, public marinas, sidewalks -- the
maintenance and the liability is the responsibility of the governmental
department. The city has insurance policies galore and maintenance crews.

I see little cost in constructing and maintaining these put-ins (as compared
to a subway line or a new Yankee Stadium or a convention center or a
school.) It is the bureaucracy that finds excuses not to allow unfettered
public access for human-powered boats. Thee is no need for kayakers to sign
waivers (as lawyers have shown that these releases are worth nothing in a
court of law) and there is no need for any organization to have control of
any or all of these public access points. We, as responsible kayakers,
should be free to come and go as we please without any inspection or
perusals or having to wait for a controlling organization's own programs to
get under way before we can launch.

The right to use these public docks should be as equal as our rights to walk
on the sidewalks of New York, or to bike on the streets, or to jog around
the reservoir in Central Park.... .There is no need to police kayakers any
more stringently than we police the pedestrians, the bike riders, and the
commuters standing on the edge of a subway platform, etc.

On 11/3/06 8:24 AM, "Rob Buchanan" <> wrote:

> David, those are all good points, and I can't disagree with any of them.
> Certainly we need a multiplicity of put-in options, and small, cheap docks
> and floats do make a lot of sense in many hard-edged places.
> What I'm saying is that there are also a lot of natural put-ins, many of
> them that we don't even notice, and that many more can be created with
> minimal effort. One example: the way that hoboken boaters shifted the
> rip-rap in frank sinatra park to create a natural landing. Another is the
> opportunity that the parks department seems poised to miss in manhattan's
> east river park, where the sea-wall is being rebuilt with several
> rip-rap-filled 'embayments.' They could likely be modified to allow for
> access or at least emergency egress, but apparently won't be.
> Two other things I like about launching from the foreshore: one, it
> encourages people to see the natural shoreline as something worth hanging
> onto, and two, legally speaking, no one owns it--it belongs to the public.
> With docks come the questions of ownership, maintenance, liability, etc.
> --Rob
>  On 11/3/06 6:56 AM, "David Gottlieb" <> wrote:
>> Rob, we are not talking about docks for the Queen Mary or for the Sixth
>> Fleet. I am suggesting small scale put ins -- whether they are tiny docks,
>> ramps, or beaches. Small docks are not environmentally detrimental to the
>> river. I would say that there is much more environmental damage created in
>> producing one kayak, with all the effluents from chemicals and plastics that
>> are part of the process of making a kayak.
>> The NYC shore line, in many parts is rip-rap and landfill -- not exactly the
>> original environment of the NYC shore line. A few minute put-ins here and
>> there will not be deleterious to the environment.
>> Little docks and ramps cause no environmental harm, and will allow access to
>> human=powered boats.
>> On 11/2/06 2:52 PM, "Rob Buchanan" <> wrote:
>>> Docks are expenisve to install and maintain, get slippery, and aren't really
>>> a step in the right direction as far as the health of the estuary is
>>> concerned. Beaches--natural, restored, or accreted--are the way to go. And
>>> there are lots of them:
>>> On 11/2/06 12:04 PM, "David Gottlieb" <> wrote:
>>>> However, to make boating around the boroughs safer, the city should install
>>>> docks and/or other types of launch sites for boats every few miles, at a
>>>> minimum, in case paddlers need to exit in an emergency.....
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