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:
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions. It’s EASY.
Please send your letters to:
Charlie Hales: email@example.com
Amanda Fritz: Amanda@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Nick Fish firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Steve Novick email@example.com
Commissioner Dan Saltzman firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
It's no news to paddlers that the derelict boat situation has not gotten any better in the last few months. So, what's it all about? Here's a few bits of information worth knowing. Feel free to share with anyone you like.
Homelessness in Portland is way beyond what the current shelters/funding can handle. There's plenty of people looking for a cheap way to shelter (and some that are just looking for a rogue way of life).
Boats that have not been properly registered, titled, etc. for a few years get handed around from person to person (some sold for as cheap as a hundred bucks). Tracing the temporary owners and even finding the original owner is a somewhat monumental task and, often, the hull ID has been removed. And, evidently, there is a "dealer" out there who specializes in finding these boats for folks. Bottom line, there's a supply.
DSL (Dept of State Lands) owns the land under the Willamette River. They supply permits for docks (it's kind of a lease agreement in a way), but allow boaters to anchor without permit as long as they stay no longer than 30 days in one spot. After 30 days, the boater must move at least 5 miles and not return to the same area within a 12 month period. This rule is being looked at for potential change. Problem is, there's a rule, but DSL has no enforcement arm to their agency, so if someone disobeys there's no consequence via DSL. DSL does not track who is parked where, etc, etc. They rely on the River Patrols, who, quite frankly have their hands full. River Patrols are funded by OSMB (Oregon State Marine Board) and do the best they can to track these boats but it's a monumental task for a small group of Deputies. (For instance, the Multnomah County River Patrol is in charge of 120 river miles). And of course the boaters know exactly where they can push the law limits.
Downtown Docks. The Boathouse dock is owned by PDC, the Duckworth is DOT controlled, Riverplace and Willamette Park belong to City Parks. Any dock owner may remove a trespasser under recent legislation. This does not mean they have the ability to do so.
Duckworth. After Fleet Week, when the transients tied up on the dock caused a security issue, the cleats were removed and the dock was shut down. As that dock was constructed with grant monies, it must operate under grant rules. OSMB was approached for a rule change that would allow them to reopen the dock but no longer allow overnight traffic. There is work in progress to get signage, etc. at when the cleats will be reinstalled and the dock reopened as a day use only dock.
PDC. Issue here is, of course, the swimmers. However, we have a flotilla right off the dock, which means it's on DSL property. PDC has yet to be challenged to remove anyone tied up to our dock since nobody has tried and tested this yet (let's hope they don't).
Willamette Park. City Parks owned. Currently has a "resident". Parks Rangers can ticket, fine, whatever but they have no way to remove the boat. And, there can be up to a 30 day time frame before the receiver of the ticket has a hearing.
Riverplace. Wow, out of control. Again, Parks Rangers can ticket all they want but the boaters know there are not currently any consequences of any big deal coming their way. The Rangers could really use some help from the City of Portland on this because they sure would like to see the problem fixed.
So, bring on the Task Force!
A Task Force has been assembled to find some solutions. The group consists of all sorts of agencies. Governors office, Mayor's office, OSMB, DSL, JOIN, DEQ, DOJ, Parks, Multnomah County RIver Patrol. I have been following the progress of the group, and I will say, it is painfully slow but moving along. So many layers of law and inter-agency dealing to get this solved! And, as with all problems, where's the money going to come from? Lots to figure out.
We need to be patient. I know, it's not like we haven't been already, right? When Duckworth shut down it sent everybody our way which in the end may have been the only reason the Task Force got put together - because so many people complained and got upset about the deluge of derelict/transient boaters.
I will continue to inform when solid outcomes are in place. In the meantime, feel free to send any questions my way. If I can't answer them I will refer you to a Task Force member who can.
DragonSports is happy to report that we have reached an agreement to continue housing our outrigger canoes at the current downtown location.
Due to the increase in marina moorage, our rental fees for the canoes will be
raised to $15 per 90 minute practice.
The increase in moorage rates is still quite significant, so DragonSports will be evaluating the sustainability of the program as well as potential alternate locations. The program still depends upon the canoes being used to continue to exist at this location, so start scheduling practices!
The new rates are effective 7/1.
The Q3 schedule will be available soon, please email email@example.com if you would like to schedule any practice times.
We will be hosting a steering training class in July.
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