Comments on the Marina Fund Financial Situation


by Paul Kamen

March 8 2006


for discussion only - "not for use in navigation."


This document is a follow-up to my comments of February 2 2006 that were included in the Waterfront Commission packet for the February 8 meeting.


The earlier comments can be found on the web at


Alternative Plan for H- Dock and I-Dock Replacement


After discussion with Cliff and Ann, we have come up with a potentially better plan for replacing H and I docks. The major features of this plan would be:


1) Move the fish boats to a new fish boat-only dock in the approximate location of the current I-dock.


Proximity to commercial or charter fish boats is a serious negative factor for recreational berthers and live-aboards, so moving them all on their own dedicated fish boat dock makes sense. It would be similar to the fish boat dock in Emeryville. This arrangement would also make it possible to allocate certain expenses (trash collection and utilities) to the fish boat collective.


The bait shop would relocate to a new structure near the top of the I-dock gangway, or to a floating structure on the docks.


This is a relatively shallow corner of the marina, but fish boats do not have the deep keels of sailboats, and much less dredging would be required than for the 40 ft and larger private slips now shown in the H-I replacement plan.


2) The floating homes would all move to K-dock, mostly near the end.


This would presumably meet some resistance from floating home owners who seem to be extremely resistant to change, but it may be the only way to save floating home berths at any location in the marina.


Existing berth sizes near the end of K-dock are adequate, and a new gate could be placed to separate the houseboat area from the rest of K-dock if desired.


A new sewer line would be run along K-dock to serve the floating homes.


3) Extend G-dock to the south, and extend the east fork of J-dock to the north.


As shown in the PhotoShopped aerial view, this would add at least as much new berth footage as the current plan, at a much reduced cost. The mid-size berth sizes would also be more marketable than the larger sizes (40, 48 and 52 ft) shown in the current H-I replacement plan.


The extended east side of J-dock would be configured take advantage of the large back-out clearance by increasing size to approximately 40 ft berths.


Existing                                                              City Proposal


Existing                                                              Alternative proposal





This plan leaves as much room for access to the old ferry pier as in the current plan, but involves no new gangways, no un-funded expenditures for floating homes (except the relatively affordable sewer line on K-dock) and improves the desirability of private berths by isolating the fish boats and concentrating on the most marketable sizes.


It is significantly less expensive than the current H-I replacement plan.




The floating home owners need to sign on. This will only happen when it becomes clear that the current H-I rebuild proposal is not affordable, and the new plan or something similar represents the only way to keep houseboats in the marina.


Parking will be another issue, especially considering increased restaurant activity in the K-dock area. Accommodating the parking requirements of floating home owners and other live-aboards may make this move much more acceptable.


Sequence of events:


It may be desirable to proceed with the A-B-C dock replacement project first, especially if the current loan includes sufficient funds to replace some of the deteriorating concrete dock sections on docks J-K-L-M-N-O. This has the advantage of not requiring the immediate abandonment of the current H-I plan.


Floating homes would remain at the exiting H-I dock for at least another year, with temporary repairs made to docks and utilities as needed. The move to K-dock would take place after the A-B-C replacement is complete, and possibly after D-E as well. This timeline would push the floating home move all the way back to 2008.