Waterline

 It will soon be April, and this new edition of The Waterline is all about gearing up for the start of the boating season.  There’s a lot to report from the Harbormaster’s office in Manchester. 

Waterway Renewals  

Now is the time to get on renewals, because a late fee of $100 dollars will be assessed until March 31 at which point any unpaid mooring fees will trigger loss of the mooring.  There are two ways you can avoid the late fee.  Letters postmarked March 31 will be accepted, and those who pay online before that day will have the late fee forgiven. 

Tuck’s Point 

As we reported earlier this month, the Mass Department of Environmental Protection public comment period is open now through April 4 for the Tuck’s docking facility project.  Public notice was given of the Waterways license Application by the Town of Manchester for Tuck's Point Public Access Facility Restoration and Improvement Project to construct and maintain a new 3,146-square foot pile supported docking facility and authorize a 15,358-square foot reconfiguration zone in and on flowed tidelands of Manchester Harbor.  The proposed project has been determined to be a Water-Dependent Use.  As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.   

Morss Pier  

The Seaport Economic Council awarded Manchester $132,000 for the engineering and permitting of a dock system for the commercial fishermen at Morss Pier on February 24th. This would cover 80 percent of the costs for this project. No work will begin until after the Town Meeting on June 21. 

Area 4 Moorings 

The much-delayed conversion of “Area 4” moorings from single to double moorings will happen this spring.  All existing moorings will be removed to the shoreline.  When appropriate, existing moorings will be reused to reduce the expense to the mooring holder otherwise two moorings will be installed.  

Rhodes 19 owners, you can be exempted if your vessel has no stern cleat.  Please notify me if this is the case, as all of the Rhodes will be grouped in one area. 

Be sure to contact your mooring service provider right away to schedule your installation.  

Important:  If you are self-installing you must schedule with the harbormaster to inspect your tackle and get preapproval for tackle location!  Any tackle set without prior approval will be removed and mooring rights revoked!  Check before buying materials! 

Every attempt will be made to keep moorings as close to the original spot as possible.  

The picture below gives an approximate idea of the layout.  Feel free to call with questions. 

Marine Mammals 

A beached whale, dolphin or porpoise should be reported immediately and left alone pending further instruction.  Call the NOAA 24-hour Marine Animal Hotline: (866) 755-6622. Please leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached. 

Sea turtles in our region do not typically come ashore unless they are seriously debilitated.  Call the 24-hour Marine Animal Hotline: (866) 755-6622. 

Seals belong on the beach. It’s normal.  What should you do if you spot a seal on the beach? 

Keep people and dogs 150 feet away from the seal.  Does the seal look injured or unhealthy?  If so, please call (866) 755-6622 or call me, your harbormaster.  All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  This law makes it illegal to touch, disturb, feed or otherwise harass marine mammals without authorization. 

Manchester Draw Hours 0f Operation 

Since November 1, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Bridge at mile 1.0 in Manchester has been operating as follows: the draw shall open from Memorial Day thru Sept. 30 from 7.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.  From Memorial Day and from Oct.1 to Nov.1 from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.   At all other times, the draw shall open on signal with at least four hours of notice.  Call (617) 222-6114. 

Towing Policy 

Manchester Harbormaster only tows those vessels that are in immediate danger or present a potential environmental hazard.  Please contact a towing or salvage operator should you need to be towed. 

Towing Insurance 

What happens when you breakdown or run out of gas or some other unforeseen event that ruins a perfectly nice boating day?  If you are lucky enough to be in an area where the community allows towing by the harbormaster help is nearby and probably free.  Many communities including Manchester do not allow towing unless there is risk to life or property involved, otherwise you will pay large sums for towing service.  It would be wise to consider the purchase of towing insurance from your insurance company, Seatow or Tow Boat US. For a reasonable rate you will potentially avoid paying thousands in towing fees.   

Think about it and plan for next year. 

Towing Policy  

Manchester Harbormaster only tows those vessels that are in immediate danger or present a potential environmental hazard. Please contact a towing or salvage operator should you need to be towed. 

Office Hours now through May are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., Monday thru Friday.  Hours will vary depending on training, Safe Boating classes and meetings.  Feel free to call before coming to the office.  And if you do come in, please wear a mask and stick to safe distancing requirements. 

Finally, be vigilant and notify the harbormaster of any missing or off station aids to navigation. The latest Manchester Harbor Rules and Regulations are posted on the Harbormaster website