New York Parks
Department to Place Moorings in Deep Bay
Cruisers visiting Deep Bay this summer will
discover sixty new moorings available for their use. Picking one up
will cost $13 per night. Deep Bay is a very popular anchorage on
Lake Champlain and is frequented by numerous boats during the
summer. Point Au Roche State Park surrounds Deep Bay and is managed
by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic
Preservation. According to Mike Mullarny, General Park Manager, the
department has contracted to have sixty auger moorings placed in the
bay and hopes to have them installed by June 1. If things go
according to plan, two additional staff will be hired at the park to
administer the collection of the $13 per night mooring fee.
The moorings will be laid out in a grid on the
West Side of the bay. A fairway will be maintained to the east of
these moorings. The moorings are arranged so visitors choosing to
anchor outside the mooring area will be in an unprotected area.
Moorings in Deep Bay were first proposed in 1994.
Budgetary concerns kept it from becoming a reality until this year.
In the past boaters have flocked to Deep Bay to enjoy the protected
harbor as well as the facilities at the Point Au Roche State Park.
Boats would often raft together during the evening. Although rafting
is a great way to socialize, it is not the safest way to moor.
Strong winds from the southwest would often disrupt the festivities
when a "raft of boats" would break loose and begin to float toward
land. The new mooring field will help avoid this problem.
Mark Drolette, dockmaster at Marina Champlain in
Plattsburgh, NY believes that the addition of a fee will make
staying at a marina with complete facilities more attractive. Kelly
Everlets, general manager at Moony Bay Marina, sees it differently.
Moony Bay is the closest commercial marina. Kelly views the
situation as the State of New York running a marina subsidized with
tax dollars. According to Everlets, this amounts to unfair
competition. With the unfavorable exchange rate, Canadian traffic is
down and this will make surviving that much more difficult. "What's
next - a ships store?" says Everlets.
Deep Bay has already been designated a special
anchorage area, which means that boats are not required to show an
anchor light when anchored at night. The area will also be marked on
charts. Historically the regulation of moorings on Federal waterways
has been a sticky issue in other parts of the country. Some boaters
claim that the right to free anchorage is included in the concept of
free navigation. Boating facilities already present at Deep Bay
include a dock and pump out station. The New York Parks Office is
treating the mooring field as an extension of the park and the
mooring fee is the same as a non-electrified camp site in the park.
Similar restrictions about length of stay will apply. Two continuous
weeks is the park camp sight limit.