The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
Just after New Year’s Day we learned that the lease held by the International Sailing Center here on Mallett’s Bay (Lake Champlain, Colchester, VT) will end in mid-April. The ISS was created in the 1980’s by the daughter of a former Olympic sailing team member and she remains herself a competitive skipper on occasion even at 70 years of age. The school boasts a fleet of Solings, as well as assorted keel boats 25-30’ in length, offers various ASA certification courses, hosts weekly circuit races and several distance races each season, manages a modest-sized mooring field, and hosts various events with affiliate organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Live Like Benjo Foundation, Colchester Parks and Recreation, and holds chartered sunset cruises. Leslie and I held a mooring there for the past 20 years.
Malletts Bay is a near ideal location for modest sized sailboats. The waters are clean, deep and the geography provides a scenic sailing venue, safe harbor, and the ability to sail under a wide range of conditions because of the surrounding hills and limited fetch. Wave heights in the bay rarely exceed 1’ except in severe storm conditions. The Green Mountains are located on the eastern side and the Adirondack high peaks on the west. Distance from our mooring to the 19th century railroad causeway that separates the so-called Broad Lake from Outer Malletts Bay is about 6 nm.
In hindsight, change was inevitable. We don’t have the amenities that many of you on the coasts or Great Lakes have access to but in recent years, residential development around the bay has been steady, the number and size of boats has increased greatly, and existing marinas and related businesses have, or are, expanding to meet the demands. According to the ISC Facebook page, the owners who hold their lease made a behind the scenes but “lucrative” agreement with a local marina to replace the ISS facilities with a modern motorboat facility. In the meanwhile, the future of the ISS is in jeopardy and our displaced mooring neighbors are looking at exorbitant prices to stay nearby or facilities more than an hour’s drive to the north. The ISC has long been an important part of the Malletts Bay community. It will be missed.
Gerry, this sounds like a disaster to me, and unfortunately when a person or an organization with a spirit of “benefit to the general class of sailboater” can no longer push back against the monied special interests, these gems for the common man become lost. Our marina underwent a similar situation a few years back, and fortunately, the new owner can still make a buck retaining the status quo. But he, like me, is in his later years and I reckon that in 5 to 10 years he’ll want to bail out and retire. Predictably at that time, one of the hedge-fund “filthy-rich” will find our spot and make it untouchable to our middle-class lot. The day of average Joe boating will have ended here as well as in thousands of very beautiful waterfront locations all across the US. Que lastima!
I should know by now to keep my mouth shut, but no…. I checked in with my marina on Monday to find out when I should receive my summer slip paperwork. The new owner wrote me back to explain that “… if you use our winter storage option you’re first in line for summer slip rentals, but if you don’t, we’ll let you know what to expect once we get all paid applications back in mid-February”. In the past, all previous summertime slip people were given preference, and only then were newbies considered. I explained that this would be my eighth year at the marina, and it really doesn’t pay to pishoff your loyal customers. There are a lot of us who choose NOT to store their boats onsite for the winter, whether they trailer out at end of season, or like me who uses a winter storage closer to home. We’ll see how it goes but I’ve already started checking with other marinas. Turns out there’s a slip for sale nearby that’s about 4-5 years slip rental cost. I might make the switch this week.
Gerry, what options do you have on additional marinas? The lake itself in quite long, meaning you’d have to drive a long way to find another marina. Do any nearby towns offer slips or moorings that you would consider? A friend and his wife live about 50 miles from their 32 ft boat. They usually drive down on Friday nights and stay over all weekend, then head back home on Sunday night. That works for them, but it’s not for everyone, especially if you sail a 25 footer.
Bruce, life’s surprises. Amazing the marina did not communicate their seemingly new approach. Hope an acceptable solution presents itself soon. The purchase of a slip, if near to you, might eliminate some uncertainties.
On this end… the Sailing Center’s manager is desperately searching to find a new home but the options are challenging. There are numerous marinas nearby and no doubt my mooring neighbors are canvassing them now. Many marinas have had long waiting lists for years, those nearest the city of Burlington are very pricey, water quality (late summer algal blooms) is a factor in the most southerly reaches of the lake, and most northern marinas are on the NY side of the lake. Access to these wold therefore require ferry transport (1 hr drive) or the bridge on the Quebec border (~1 hr drive). I suspect most, if not everyone, will find a new “home” but the breaking up of essentially longtime community/friendships is difficult.
My situation is almost predetermined. Life sometimes is complicated and after Leslie’s passing my world has been in flux. I am now in NY but three hours from the lake. I kept the boat in hopes of sharing some of the joys of sailing with my grand-daughters (Seattle) but in the era of Covid things have not worked out. I’m still considering moving my boat to Lake Ontario which would only be a 1 hr drive but if the costs are high, I will sell “Great Escape” come spring. Meanwhile I’ve taken up flat water kayaking on a nearby river and picked up a 16’ Tanzer with a cuddy cabin as a project.
Gerry--so sorry to hear of your loss. (Maybe I had forgotten.) I know a little about that and the way it takes your life in unexpected directions. It eventually happens to every great couple... It drove me over to the "Dark Side", given a combination of factors. My C-25 was wonderful for a couple, and became almost useless for me as changes unfolded, so now "Voyager" Bruce is moving forward with her, and I with Sarge (for now). For both you and me, the new path is into uncharted waters, but some of the changes can lead to wonderful surprises.
Dave Bristle Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV, Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.