Marina is Scarcely Rotting Away

Marina is Scarcely Rotting Away

Recent letters in the Alameda Sun have insinuated that the Alameda Marina is rotting away into nothing. The authors of these letters state that nothing will be lost by putting housing on the property.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been a tenant in past years and was a tenant until quite recently.

On my last day of tenure this month, before hauling my boat trailer off to its new home in Richmond. I walked the marina from one end to the other. I counted every single boat in every single dry-berth slot. I counted every RV that’s parked there. I walked the docks and counted every single boat in every single slip. It took about two hours to do this, because there are a LOT of boats in the Alameda Marina.

As of mid-January 2016, there were 382 currently-occupied dry-berth slots at the Alameda Marina and 262 of those are boats on trailers, the rest are RV’s or trucks and trailers. 

I personally know a significant number of those boat owners. They sail these boats at least monthly, some quite a bit more than that. The Alameda Marina is not just a “storage lot” which can be moved out to Manteca or Fresno. There are also 315 boats in “wet storage;” meaning at a slip, in the water.

These numbers — a total of 679 — has a wiggle room of 1 or 2 percent. For example, a boat might have been out sailing when I walked the docks, so that boat wouldn’t have been counted. This is hardly a rotting-away, unused facility. If it’s “rotting away” then how is it that Pacific Shops has just invested some $500,000 in marina infrastructure, as part of the terms of the tidelands lease with the city?

There are almost two dozen lively, active businesses in the Alameda Marina as I write this. There are two sailmakers, a print shop, an Aikido school, a golf shop and a company that specializes in marine corrosion control. In addition there’s a woodworker and a company that does top-side boat maintenance. 

There are two construction companies and incredibly, a company that makes research submarines. Yes, that’s right, research submarines. 

If you don’t believe me, just go down there and look for yourself. The address is 1815 Clement Ave. It’s open during daylight hours, you can just walk in or drive in and park. Some people are pushing the idea that there is no public access. This is just preposterous. There are businesses in that marina. The Alameda Marina has to remain open so those businesses can function. The Alameda Marina has been open to the public for 50 years and must remain open.