Winter storms over the last two years have battered Coyote Point Marina, putting one outer dock completely out of commission and costing the county thousands of dollars in rent a month.
As many as 20 berths at Dock 29 have been unusable for nearly two years, taking a toll on marina coffers — funded separately from the county general fund — to the tune of more than $60,000, according to officials.
"Right now, those docks are useless because they had to be basically condemned," said Carter West, the former commodore of the Coyote Point Yacht Club.
West, who owns a 42-foot powerboat, said he’s been displaced to another smaller dock where his boat hangs over the "slip," or mooring area for a boat.
The catch-22 is that the county Department of Parks hasn’t been able to collect the rent to fix the 30-year-old dock because its condition is too poor, said West, who remembers launching from the marina with his dad when he was just a kid.
Compounding the problem is that Dock 29 is normally home to some of the marina’s largest 45- to 50-foot boats, which are the biggest revenue generators since slips are rented based on their length, said Jan Miller, former secretary of Coyote Point Yacht Club.
"It’s tough to walk on [Dock 29] now, let alone tie a boat up to it," Miller said.
The dock’s location, being the farthest out on the Bay, and its age are to blame, according to Parks Director Dave Holland. "It’s out as you enter into the marina, so it takes more of the pressure from storms," Holland said.
One of about four docks that house up to 556 boats, there was no doubt that Dock 29 had seen better days.
Winter storms of 2005 through 2006 brought late rains and landslides on the Peninsula that did it in, West said.
In an effort to repair and upgrade the dock, county supervisors on Tuesday approved a $1.8 million grant application to the state Department of Boating and Waterways.
If approved by the state, the county plans to rebuild the dock, adding amenities such as fire hose cabinets in case a boat catches fire, security gate access, water hook-ups and storage, Holland said.
Electrical service to boats would increase as well.
Holland hopes a new dock would help boost the already respectable 85 percent occupancy rate and $2.4 million annual marina budget. Added amenities won’t necessarily mean higher rents since they are based on the Bay Area-wide rents for public docks and rise with the cost of living, Holland said.
Currently, boaters pay $6.81 per berthing foot, just under the Bay Area average of $6.99, Holland said.
If the grant is approved, the county could see funds in about 18 months, Holland said.