With local docks chock full, no moor places


News staff writer

June 21, 2006

Marinas at the ports of Hood River and Cascade Locks have already filled up and The Dalles’ facility is almost out of space.

What that means is that boat owners soon won’t have a place to permanently moor their boats at a marina on the Columbia River for the summer.

While the season generally brings full marinas, marina managers said the change this summer is how fast and how early slips have rented.

“It was May 8 this year that we were full and June 30 last year,” said Laurie Borton, marina manager for the Port of Hood River.

Five years ago the marina took until mid-August to fill. Borton said the time by which the moorage spaces are all taken has moved up during the past five years she has managed the marina.

The situation has resulted in a waiting list for moorage at the Port of Hood River, which has grown from 13 people last month to 25 this month.

That overflow is affecting the marina at the Port of The Dalles. Marina administrator Micki Bradley said they have been getting calls about moorage primarily from Hood River residents.

“We usually don’t reach capacity — at all,” she said. “In the past two weeks, I’ve put five boats along our side-tie dock and am down to four pull-in slips.”

She predicted those spaces would fill within weeks. The Dalles’ marina uses a different system than either Cascade Locks or Hood River, with capacity being measured by the length of boats rather than numbers of slips. Bradley said if she averaged the boat length at 20-foot-boats, then the Port of The Dalles facility can fit in 30-35 boats.

The Port of Cascade Locks has a 36-slip marina, which has already filled for the season. Marina Manager Kris Miller said they are generally full by April or May with many return renters each year. The highest demand at Cascade Locks is a waiting list for medium slips that fit a 28-foot boat.

“I have had people on the waiting list for those spaces for over a year,” she said.

She has a waiting list of 20 people for moorage. The Cascade Locks marina also has a 200-foot visitor dock, at which boats can moor for up to 72 hours and generally has space open. Miller said with the Columbia Gorge Racing Association booked for 10 events in the town this summer it still doesn’t affect the visitor’s dock most weekends.

“The Association rents two slips but they generally have boats they beach for their summer events,” she said. “But this weekend that dock will be full as well because they have the I-14 championships and the Ultimate 20 Nationals with two different classes competing.”

At 150 slips compared to the marinas at Cascade Locks and The Dalles, the Hood River marina is the big player on the river. The demand for parking a boat at Hood River has come from a combination of local and out-of-town residents.

As far as adding moorage at the ports goes, the marina managers said the decision would be up to port commissions. The decision depends in part on whether the demand continues or whether the request for moorage is a one-time summer trend.

For boaters who want to have a spot to moor their boat for the summertime, Borton advised they think ahead for the future.

“Of the number I have now, the people who return every season thought they were calling soon enough to get a spot,” she said. “That has changed.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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