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Baymen Say Viking's Proposal For Springs Cuts In On Their Turf

Viking Fishing Fleet wants to dock a 60-foot charter boat at the Gann Road dock in the spring.

Viking Fishing Fleet, which is based in Montauk, wants to dock a 60-foot fishing boat the East Hampton Town Dock at Gann Road in Springs, but local baymen are no keen on the idea, according to The East Hampton Star.

The proposal is just to run fishing trips out of Three Mile Harbor in April, May, and June.

But, the slips at the town dock are for commercial fishermen. Brad Loewen, the president of the East Hampton Town Baymen’s Association, told the town board on Tuesday that when the Gardiner family gave the town the dock in 1930, it was so that commercial fishermen, The Star reports. He doesn't believe there's enough room there for them, as well as Marine Patrol — which has an office by the dock.

For the complete story in The East Hampton Star, click here.

What do you think of the proposal? Tell us in the comments below.

CUL8R April 11, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Doesn't sound like a smart idea, Three Mile Harbor doesn't need any added pollution from a 60 ft fishing boat, plus this will certainly open up a can of worms once you allow one business to run from the commercial dock. That dock is specifically for local commercial fisherman to work from not for businesses to be run out of.
Tim Babcock April 11, 2013 at 07:23 PM
how much pollution does a 60 foot head boat generate? and last time I checked a head boat is a commercial fishing vessel as they make money by fishing..
todd April 11, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Certainly agree. Can't let one boat biz in and not another. Next will be a booze cruise. Where will boat fill up for gas? Where will it dump fish carcasses after mates clean them?
ViralGrain April 12, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Yea bad idea. It might be fun.
CUL8R April 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM
The Viking makes money by charging customers to fish. They are not going out themselves to catch fish. The dock is not meant for businesses to be run out of. Pollution not only from the boat but from the customers that would be going on the boat, where would the boat unload its human waste (there must be a bathroom on the boat?!), trash left from customers, fish racks...all kinds of added pollution. PLUS parking - its a small lot with only a certain amount of parking spaces that are for the public and for the commercial fishermen to use...not for a business to use.
ViralGrain April 12, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Everything you say Cul8r are very valid points. However the head on a boat like that would have to be self contained and pumped. rules such as no 6 packs of any king do to the plastic rings should be considered. I would hope any crew of such vessel would incorporate in a pre-departure speech to its passengers the importance of not throwing even so much as a cigarette but off the boat and use the opportunity to educate people of the eco system around them and its importance. Its in theirs and everyones best interest to do so. Sunset sails aboard a schooner would be a nice addition to an attraction and something to do. Star gazing where an astronomer can point out the constellations with a lazer pointer and tell the stories of greek mythology would be great also aboard a schooner. Dinner cruises would be nice also. I am by no means for a large party fishing charter in the waters there. For one I don't think our bay can sustain much more fishing traffic then it already does nor does it need any more diesel exhaust being pumped into it. However I do see a way that the town can make some money from that dock, give people of all ages something to do if they would keep it affordable, and for someone to make a nice chunk of change providing the attraction. I think more people would want to get out on the water for attractions like I mentioned other then to stand side by side and untangle line from one another. At least the clientele we now have here, especially in the summer.
tm April 12, 2013 at 02:15 PM
the viking makes money from fishing? sounds like a commercial fisherman to me, dont it?
Michelle Sucsy April 12, 2013 at 02:45 PM
I can see both sides of the coin here. I think the town has to thoroughly think this out with everything taken into consideration including the surrounds, the size of the dock area, the needs of public ( restrooms, parking, garbage, access) and are we that desperate to open a can of worms not for fish. I like some of the ideas with sunset sails, etc. but it would have to be limited to a few special days and a certain amount of people or it would be just plain crazy down there! Large public commercial fishing boat....not a good idea for a small area.
ViralGrain April 12, 2013 at 03:35 PM
You can't expect any boat to stay afloat by only operating a few days out of the year. Its crazy everywhere here already. This can be a great opportunity to educate and entertain the public. It has to be well planned out. How many parking spots would be needed. Who would be responsable for keeping the lot clean and lighted? Would on shore bathroom be provided and maintained by? I think a charter boat of some kind would be great but not for fishing!!! It would reek havoc on a already fragile eco system. Hundreds of people yanking fish of all sized and species out of their habitat weather they are keepers or not is not good. The bay is not that big compared to the ocean and can barley sustain the over fishing it currently faces. WHen I was a kid it didn't take as long as it does now to bring up a keeper which tells me there is not as many fish as there were not to long ago. Keep the party boat fishing charters in the ocean out of Montauk and consider something else that everyone can enjoy that is less intrusive on the environment for entertainment purposes. Not everyone likes to fish! You think some Main Street boutique shopper wants to go bob around and get lines tangled and stink like fish for fun? But everyone likes a good sunset, a constellation now and then and a nice dinner with a water view perhaps with some live music. Your market would be bigger and better for Mother Nature.
CUL8R April 12, 2013 at 04:46 PM
We're only talking about a Viking fishing boat here...we're not dreaming about fantasy boat rides. There are plenty of charter boats that will take you out on sunset tours. Lets keep to the point. The dock is small & for commercial fishermen, not businesses.
ViralGrain April 12, 2013 at 07:13 PM
I don't agree with a Viking or any other party fishing boat operation there or any where else in the bay for that mannor. The location though would be great for a sunset sail and fun excursions and unless the comercial fishing operation makes that dock 100% self sufficient with out the outside contributions of tax dollars to maintain, and pay back the construction costs of the dock then its a drag on the economy and tax payers and other ways of utilizing the area should at least be explored and talked about. Whether it is to stay the same or a new addition is going to be added I think that first and formost profit should not overshadow protecting the ecosystem in our bays and should be made the #1 consideration to any new attraction. Is the cost of that dock 100% self sufficient by comercial fishing? If it is then well enough should be left alone. If not then lets live the dock there up to its potential in a eco friendly way. Not only will it provide a desperately needed attraction, it can make money for the town through dockage fees, and sales tax. It can also be a great educational platform other then Wolfy's down the block.
Lady L April 12, 2013 at 07:23 PM
The dock space is taken up by a barge and the 5 local commerical fishing boats, last I counted, I didn't see any extra space unless they move the barge that was there most of the time.
CUL8R April 12, 2013 at 07:31 PM
I"m sorry but Three Mile Harbor is NOT desperately in need of any attractions. Once again Viral Grain you seem to be side stepping the issue at hand. The only issue and the only one that is being spoke of in this article is simply the issue of the Viking Fleet docking a 60' charter boat. Who cares what the location "could be good for"...its a commercial dock for local fishermen who make their living on the water catching and selling their own fish. They are not businesses bringing in customers to make money there.
ViralGrain April 12, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Do they pay what needs to be paid to maintain the dock? I'm not side stepping anything. I don't agree on a boat like the Viking operating in the bay for environmental reasons and also to protect the resources that provide a living for the comercial fisherman. However I don't support my tax dollars providing a dock that I get no benefit or pleasure out of. Maybe next time I want to go into business with something I will get tax payers to build and provide the space I need to make a living from for the rest of my life. Is the maintenance and construction costs provided by the 5 boats there? I doubt it. If it is I'm sorry. But unless it is I don't see any difference in this then in living on welfare. There is no reason why a slot can't be dedicated to pickup and drop off for water executions and a mooring area off shore be dedicated for such a venture, while at the same time a home base dock be dedicated elsewhere for times of bad weather. I can't believe there are so many nay sayers in this town to any idea that is remotely entertaining. What is your idea of fun? Cheese and crackers?
Montaukman April 12, 2013 at 08:12 PM
How many members are there in the Baymens Association ?
CUL8R April 12, 2013 at 09:49 PM
OMG now you're getting ridiculous, likening the baymen to living on welfare?! C'mon now! So you want to protect the resources that provide a living for the baymen/commercial fishermen, but you're not in favor of a place where they can keep their boats at a reasonable cost that actually allows them to make a living? Or you're willing to allow it IF ONLY you can get pleasure or benefit out of it?! I don't know who you are ViralGrain or how long you have lived here (clearly you are not local) but it seems as though you are like a lot of the "tourists" that now call themselves local, you're ok with something as long as it benefits YOU. Who cares if the local baymen can't make a living, as long as you can get enjoyment out of the situation...am i correct?! I pay a disgusting amount of taxes, and if part of my taxes go to the up-keep of the commercial dock then so be it, I'm happy if they do. Commercial fishing is a part of East Hampton's heritage, its history and what helps to keep a little of the past still here! Again you're bringing up the idea of water excursions/private charter boats when again this is NOT the issue here. I'm sure if charter boats wanted to they could apply for a mooring, and pick up their customers at the dock, they just couldn't dock their boats there. My idea of fun is certainly not a sunset cruise on a chartered boat nor is it cheese and crackers!
ViralGrain April 13, 2013 at 01:35 AM
You mand bro? Why you say I'm not a local because I think outside the box a little. Maybe if there was more people who put their pride aside and thought things over a little beter then they did this town wouldn't be millions in debt which happened relatively quickly. Those tourist that you compare me to which I am not by any means saw this place and took over like it was taking candy from a baby. Thats why Main Street sits with empty stores and other stores no one want to shop in other then the Hardware and grocery store. Thats why you you look out your window now and see you neighbor's house a stone throw away. Things have changed here and it will never be the same. I'm not a socialist who believes that the whole community needs to contribute money every year so 5 boats can operate when a their are other possibilities that can generate revenue to sustain the upkeep of the dock at least. Farming is a part of our heritage also. I don't see tax payers money going to the up keep and assistance to local farmers who have to sell off their parcels of land to yuppies just to pay the taxes. Don't give me that its our heritage nonsense. The heritage went out the window when Willie Spicer left town. (God bless him) The key to survival is adaptation. If we don't start making things at least self sufficient like this dock, or the EMS, and where ever else possible we are going to be faced with the same outrageous taxes like other towns on the island. Location won't be our asset either.
CUL8R April 13, 2013 at 02:02 AM
You're thinking outside the box? You're going on and on about private charter businesses that have nothing to do with this specific issue regarding the Viking vessel. Stores sit empty on Main Street bc of greed. No one can afford the astronomical rents they charge. Yes things certainly have changed, I agree with that, but it is important to preserve what we can. I'm not sure where you came up with 5 boats, but that dock is deeded as to be used for commercial fishermen, not for charter boats. So you've never heard of the town purchasing developmental rights or the land preservation funds that the town uses millions of dollars of tax payers money to preserve farm land, that only those farmers have the right to continue using that land that the public doesn't have access to?! And you're going to complain that only commercial fishesn have a right to ONE dock in Springs?! So fighting for rights that local fishermen have had since the settlement of this town isn't worth it? Not everything needs to change, except the attitudes of folks like yourself.
ViralGrain April 13, 2013 at 03:13 AM
They could still have the rite. You want a ship like the Viking yanking fish out for sport what comercial fisherman depend on to live or would you rather see something that is a little more eco friendly excursion that perhaps educates children, tourists, and locals alike while generating revenue for the town, jobs, and perhaps will inspire and create awareness as to how important our waters are to the next generation. I don't agree to a Viking type charter fishing excursion anywhere in the bay though they could class them selves very easily as a comercial vesal and have the same rites to that dock. I was just giving the best alternative I could think of that may benefit the majority when I mentioned sunset sails, dinner sails, and star gazing sails and perhaps it could keep something like the Viking out. Key word is Sails that could be worded any provisions. Not a massive diesel chugging in and out and slamming against the pier with its steel hull everyday. The dock is large enough to accommodate both comercial fisherman and a small sailing vessel. Cul8r I admire the fact you give a dam and are well aware also.
CUL8R April 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM
How is a private business going to generate money for the town? I am against the Viking being in Three Mile Harbor...and private charters docking at the commercial dock. Have you even ever been down to the dock during fishing season to see the boats there? Of course I give a damn and am perfectly well aware of what is going on and I will stand up for the fishermen. They are limited as to where they can dock their boats at reasonable rates and they shouldn't lose their dock to private businesses.
ViralGrain April 13, 2013 at 02:31 PM
There could be a passenger fee included into any boarding ticket fee that goes back to the town, plus a concession bid just like the town did for the hotdog trucks at the beach. The fishing boats are not there most of the time and especially during times that a pleasure boat would be operate. Its wasted space during that time. I really hope a ship like the Viking doesn't get in because of the environmental impact to the eco system it would have. I don't think the bay or 3 Mile Harbor could sustain any more pillage then it does nor the bay. If the VIking pulls some maneuver where they become a comercial boat I think a good monkey wrench in the gears would be to see to it that anyone they take out to fish be consider an employee since they are fishing for and on a comercial boat and be made to file taxes. That should stop any angle the VIking or any other fishing party vesel may try to pull to gain access to the comercial fishing dock. Also by making it a mandatory for consideration, any charter that operates out of there would need to be always capable of maneuvering under the power of wind. I hope any power at be takes a proactive stance, because trust me those companies that want in there are and obviously there's a loophole that needs to be closed or this wouldn't even been up for discussion. I also hope to see provisions made that may allow a schooner in there to take people out on excursions other then for fishing.
CUL8R April 13, 2013 at 06:22 PM
ViralGrain - Why are you trying to turn this very small commercial dock into a 3 ring circus... concession stand...passenger fees?! The Viking is a chartered fishing boat, that customers pay to go fishing on, if i'm not mistaken, the customers take their catches home with them, so "making them employees" as you suggest would be ludicrous! The fishing boats that use the commercial dock are there for the fishing season, most boat owners (depending on the boat and the type of fishing) don't leave their boats in over the winter, so the dock may be sparse now, but shortly there will be more fishing boats there as the season is just starting up. As this point there really is no need to continue on with your chatter about private charter boats or private businesses being run from this dock, you are the only one who is trying to make that an issue.
ViralGrain April 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM
What ever! The VIking may be considered a comercial boat that makes its money by fishing, therefore it may have every rite to that dock. I'm trying to give a rebuttal that might help to prevent that from happening by presenting a aurgument that because the people doing the fishing aboard a ship that may be classified as comercial, then the people catching the fish would need to have the same coverage and insurance as if they were an employee or dock hand like any other fishing boat that operates out of there. Workman's comp, 1099 or W2. This may present the hurtle needed to stop the Viking ship and ships like it from exploiting this loop whole. Personally I don't care if they make it a Navy Pier. The point is there is a way to help fund the upkeep of the dock by private enterprise and maybe even put some money back in the town kitty. Unfortunately it might take a little planing that our town officials aren't used to since the status quo is just to throw the responsibilities of every endeavor upon the backs of the taxpayers. Eventually because of inflation this is going to become a monster. The only reason I am against the VIking or any other ship like it coming in is I believe that our ecosystem is very fragil as it is and it doesn't need a ship like that contributing to the habitat's demise. Also I think that a ship like the Viking is classless and a schooner offering the activities I mentioned would have far less environmental impact and add a touch of class to our town.
ViralGrain April 13, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Something like this would be nice. It has to do with our heritage. It has a low environmental impact on the eco system and could bee a win win for everyone. Don't like my suggestion? Then get together with the boats that use that space and pay for all the needs that is required to upkeep the dock and payback for its construction. I don't ask them for free fish. Why should they ask me to pay for what they need to do business? http://www.libertyfleet.com/boston-harbor-sailing/boston-schooner-sailing
Lady L April 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM
The Gardiner family gave the town the dock in 1930, it was so that commercial fishermen had a place to tie up. That was the agreement and purpose, so I'm sure there is legal documentation of that. Each boat pays according to the length of their boat for that dock space, and that price goes up most years. Small commercial fishing is dying off because of the government over regulation and small fish quotas, high fuel costs. Only the big off shore boats can keep afloat, which may very well be the goal of the government, since they'd have fewer boats to watch over. Word is that foreign boats will soon be allowed back into our off shore waters. Try controlling them.

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