If you are looking to join a team, please Contact Us or any one of our Teams directly!
Well, KOIN didn't quite get the teaser headline correct (the Festival is on hiatus for another year), but our boats are back on the water and fully vaccinated individuals are practicing now!
If you are looking to join a team, please Contact Us or any one of our Teams directly!
As we’re sure you’re aware, the wake board boats are increasing in number and weight, creating more and bigger wakes. In addition to causing damage to the shoreline, docks, and other structures, they have created a hazard for us, kayakers, SUPs and other non-motorized river users. The Oregon House of Representatives is considering two bills this session. The first would require licensing and safety training for all motorized boats (HB 2351) and the second bill will provide the Marine Board with the power and authority to limit their usage in certain parts of the river (HB 2352).
We strongly urge our membership to write a short note to your state representative in support of these measures. It would be helpful if you stated your concerns about the safety of the paddlers on your team, emphasizing the seriousness of getting swamped and flipping the boat. You may use this link to find your representative: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html
Someone has been retying the ropes on our boats! This may be a well-meaning gesture, but the way the ropes are being retied could cause damage to the boats.
Over the past few weeks we have seen ropes retied so tight that they get under the stringer boards, pulling out screws and damaging the seat tops as pictured below:
We have also seen ropes retied to the foot braces which are very fragile and may break if a rope tied to them is pulled on:
The ropes are tied loosely around the stringers at the front and rear of the boats using a bowline knot to 1) not tug on any of the fragile parts of our boats when tied to the dock and 2) allow us to tow the boats to and from Willamette Park when we rotate our fleet. This is what they should look like:
Please, please, please do not retie these ropes in the manner shown in the first two pictures above. If a rope comes loose or is missing, retie it as best as you can as shown in the third picture and notify the maintenance hotline (via text of voice message) at (503) 479-5577 as to which boat / end may need further attention. Also, if you witness anyone retying our ropes, please ask them to stop (if you are comfortable doing so) and report the details to the maintenance hotline as well.
A few DragonSports members are exploring the possibility of putting together a
tour to China (complete with participating in a dragon boat race or two) in the coming year.
Please complete the following form or contact Don Boje if you are interested.
We're only a few weeks into our peak practice schedule where we have 8 boats in the water and we're already having some serious issues challenging the maintenance schedule for our boats. If we are going to continue to have enough boats in the water for teams to use, we need EVERYONE to take better care of our boats and to report maintenance issues to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. Failure to do so is a violation of the Team Rental Terms.
While we recommend that everyone review all of the Team Rental Terms as well as our Safety Rules & Guidelines, we wanted to highlight two issues that have surfaced in the past week.
Properly parking, locking, and tying up the boats
When you return to the dock, please remember to put the boat fenders out before reaching the dock and then approach the dock slowly and carefully. Please refer to the diagram below for proper boat parking (yes, this is a 6-boat diagram, the other two go to the left when we have 8 in the water).
Once you've got that maneuver down, don’t forget to tie up the boats properly to dock cleats using a cleat hitch (no more than one per cleat), like this:
Please also be sure to lock the boats when you are done, unless another team is on the dock and waiting to take your boat out (same goes for the lockers). If a lock is broken or missing, please email email@example.com immediately.
Broken till mounts
This one is for the tillers, and we know you've heard this before, but another till mount was broken last week.
As far as we know, there are really only two causes (other than normal wear and tear) for the breakage: 1) hitting another object, or 2) backing up the boat and leaving the till in the water.
In the photo above, the till bracket on the right is pretty severely bent. This has all the hallmarks of a tiller backing up the boat and trying to use the till as a rudder, rather than using sweeps, to correct the boat’s course. It’s very easy to lose control of the till in this situation. Typically one of two things will happen: 1) the till blade will be caught by the water and swept away from the boat, twisting the till bracket and putting quite a bit of stress on the till, along with potentially pushing the tiller out of the boat; or 2) the till will be caught by the water and swept downward, pushing the top of the till bracket backward until it bends, or the till mount breaks, or both.
The till bracket on the left in the photo isn’t bent, which would indicate that the breakage in this case was more likely from a direct impact, rather than till-induced.
If a till mount is broken or if there are any other issues with the till (we also heard a rope wrapped on a till came undone this past week), please email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
The manager of the RiverPlace Hotel has communicated to us that the bathroom use from the dragon boat teams is getting a little difficult for them to manage... and this is in advance of the Rose Festival teams starting practices. Please understand the extra traffic takes a toll on the hotel's paper products and requires additional services to keep the restrooms clean and stocked for their guests.
Please be respectful of our hotel neighbors!
Please know that you may still continue to use the hotel restrooms in urgent situations or when patronizing the RiverPlace restaurant and bar, but that there are public restrooms at the south end of the RiverPlace walk which we should otherwise use.
From Susan West
Friends of RiverPlace
Thanks to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s River Patrol, the Portland Parks Rangers, and the Friends of RiverPlace, we can safely walk on the Public Docks in our neighborhood once again. The situation with squatters and unhealthy conditions has improved, but it has not been solved. Your help is needed in letting City Hall know to vote for the budget to keep the Multnomah County Sheriff River Patrol (MCSRP) and Portland Parks Rangers on the job at RiverPlace.
Last year the Mayor allocated $98,000 out of the general fund to provide 15-20 hours for RP dock patrol. What a difference it made! We need to ask the Mayor and Commissioners to make this money available again, in fact make it a line item in the budget.
Please take the time to write a letter to the Mayor and other commissioners, expressing your concerns and requesting sufficient resources to alleviate them.
It is very important that a few of us give short testimony at the public budget hearings. April 5, Tues., 6:30-8:30 Wilson High School and April 12, Tues, 6:30-8:30 at Alice Ott Middle school. Contact email@example.com for instructions. It’s EASY.
Please send your letters to:
Charlie Hales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Fritz: Amanda@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Nick Fish email@example.com
Commissioner Steve Novick firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Dan Saltzman email@example.com
A sample letter: Modify it to express your concerns and requesting the city provide sufficient resources to alleviate this problem. Sight specific examples that you have seen. Ask them where they stand.
Dear Mayor Hales and Commissioner Fritz,
Thank you and the rest of the City Council for your support in keeping the public docks at RiverPlace safe and secure. I appreciate your providing funds in the budget last year to contract with the Multnomah County Sheriff River Patrol to patrol the RiverPlace breakwater dock allowing Portland Park Rangers to work hand in hand with the Sheriff to make the dock clean and safe for recreational boaters and the general public.
The continuation of the MCSRP’s contract to patrol RiverPlace is vital to keeping our community and city safe and secure.Please make this a permanent line item in your budget.
Will you add this to the budget and vote for this?
Friends of RiverPlace walks and cleans in our area. Drug paraphernalia, garbage and all kinds of litter are picked up by volunteers on a regular basis. We have a great Partnership between the Friends of RiverPlace, the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Program, SOLVE, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office and River Patrol, CYA, DragonSports and the Parks department that helps keep our neighborhood clean and safe. We are all working together to keep our neighborhood clean, safe, and welcoming to all.
DragonSports has received an urgent request from those working on the Transient Boat Issue to get letters to City and County elected officials now, as budget planning is underway, to make sure that adequate funds are allocated to address this issue in the coming year.
There is a sample letter below. You may use it as is, modify it as noted, or send one of your own. Once finalized, email it to:
Re: Transient Boat Issues
Dear City and County Officials,
I am writing in regard to the Transient Boat Task Force that has been assembled to address the derelict boat problem and lawlessness issues of some of the live aboard community in Portland and throughout the state.
[Optional to insert personal experience here. Note what you do on the water - paddler, fisherman, boater and what you have seen in terms of behavior, distressed boats, junk, safety concerns.]
Parks Security and River Patrol, both part of the Task Force, have put in numerous hours to come up with an executable plan for dealing with the crime and the derelict vessels. I support the efforts and hard work of the Parks Security and the River Patrol and would like to see city and county officials do the same.
I am asking you, an elected official, to allocate additional funding and/or personnel in the upcoming budget to aid the efforts of Parks Security and River Patrol and to set new policies and/or support legislation which would prevent the issues from continuing. There is much work to be done to keep this ever expanding problem in check and the work cannot be done without additional personnel, funding and/or equipment and new policies.
It is important to me, as a citizen, that priority be given to keeping our rivers, docks and waterfront safe and free from lawlessness. Live aboard boaters should be made to follow the same rules as the rest of the boating public.
Please respond and let me know what you will do to support Parks Security and River Patrol. Thank you.
[Sign your name here, include any affiliations you think are important - paddling club, boating group, etc.]
One of our DragonSports members in an Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 618 located in Beaverton, OR and is currently working with Eagle Scout potential Nick Boggs on his Eagle Project to replace the current DragonSports lockers. He's got great designs to eliminate theft, protect from weather damage, and improve usability for DragonSports members.
Nick has done an outstanding job of fundraising for his project, including asking many of you at the September race already, but he still needs help to reach his goal. At your remaining practices and holiday parties this month, please pass the hat and send what you can collect towards his goal. Individual contributions are also welcome.
Checks may be made payable to "Troop 618" and mailed to
Boy Scout Troop 618
6558 SW 88th Ave.
Portland OR 97223
Donations are needed in the next week, but latecomers through the end of the year will be welcome!
Announcements have been sent out to team contacts and captains already, but we wanted to make sure everyone knew that the scheduling meeting we typically hold in early December has been pushed out to January. We are working with the larger teams and the City on a plan to make sure there are enough boats for everyone during peak practices times.
The few teams that practice through the winter may maintain their current schedules for now.
Revenue totals from 2014, including volunteer points, are still being calculated and will be sent to interested parties soon. Our scheduling rules are currently under review, but for reference, are posted below:
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