Waterline

Welcome to 2021, and welcome to the newest edition of The Waterline.  There’s a lot to report from the Harbormaster’s office in Manchester.

Waterway Renewals

Monday March 1 was the cutoff date for mooring renewals, which means we are now in the phase where a late fee of $100 dollars will be assessed until March 31.  After that, any unpaid mooring fees will trigger loss of the mooring.  There are two ways you can avoid the late fee.  First, if payment received by mail was postmarked on or before March 1.  Or, secondly, those who pay online before March 31 will have the late fee forgiven.

Tuck’s Point

The Seaport Economic Council awarded Manchester $811,000 for the restoration of the Tuck’s Point dock system on February 24.  This will cover 80 percent of the cost of this project.

The final permitting challenge is the DEP permit.  This permit is moving to the public comment phase, which is closer to the end.  It is hoped that the DEP permit can be issued in April and the town can go out to bid for contractors.  An aggressive timeline could see completion in late June. 

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. During the comment period at the Council meeting last week, one of the council members expressed strong support for this particular project, saying that many people tell her the fisheries are dead, to which she responds absolutely not, “The fisheries will not die but they have changed.”  She also stressed the importance of support from the communities where fisheries exist.  Mindful adaptation to ensure that continued access is available for these working individuals is crucial. This industry not only feeds us all it is part of the fabric that binds us to the ocean we live next to and benefit so greatly from. The fleet in Manchester is the reason for at least 50 percent of the more than two million dollars in state grants that this harbor has received since 2015.

Supporting the fleet is good business, as evidenced by this most recent award. 

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 pre-approval 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.

Random but Important

Please remember that if you are on a kayak, canoe or paddleboard between September 15 and May 15, please remember you must wear a PFD (personal floatation device) at all times.

Office Hours from December to February are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., Monday to Wednesday.  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.