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Thread: Where can I launch my Zodiac out of Whittier?

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Default Where can I launch my Zodiac out of Whittier?

    Couple quick questions for you guys. I have a Zodiac that I am going to launch down in Whittier this weekend, but am unsure of where I can do it easily and legally. I'm bringing it down in the back of my truck, so I think I am not able to use the boat ramp since I don't have a trailer. Is that correct? I do not have launching wheels since they interfere with my trim tabs on the transom too. Also, where am I allowed to park my truck so I don't get a ticket, or even worse, towed?

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    You can launch at the ramp even though you don't have a trailer. I believe that's what kayakers do (although you're still supposed to pay a launch fee. Go figure). I don't remember if you have to pay to park in front of all of the businesses there as I always have a trailer behind me and park in the boat lot and have never paid attention. There are probably signs somewhere.

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    You will still have to pay to park. And, you will probably have to pay to launch at the launch. You used to be able to launch inflatables at the head of the bay and camp there. Best of all - it was free. But, I have heard that this a frowned upon practice now as they don't like it when you don't pay, pay, pay, pay, pay, and pay.....I have a love/hate relationship with that town. If you launched an inflatable at the beach in Seward, Homer, Deep Creek, or just about anywhere else nobody even notices.

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    Red face

    there is a another ramp that would be good for a zodiak,except i really cant give you good directions to it.The best way i can explain it is go all the way to the east end down by the railroad property.It is a private launch and they do charge but there is way less traffic and i know alot of kakers use it.Very nice people too.Oh you got to turn right ,over the tracks and go past the parking area and....

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    Default launch

    That would be Smitty`s Cove. That is where they do all the scuba diving. FYI last time I was there , there is a large boat(ship) perched in the middle of the drive path leading to the ramp which must be negotiated with care. Yes, you still have to pay!

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    How much do I have to pay to launch at either place? Also, thanks for all the quick responses!

  7. #7

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    Something like $20 at the main ramp for boats, but I think it's something like $10 or $15 for kayaks. Don't know about the other ramp prices.

    T.R. - Can someone legally launch at the head of the bay? If the city just frowns upon it, then he could probably put up with that instead of paying a launch fee.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I don't think they can legally block you from launching at the head of the bay. It'll save you the $20 launch fee and $5 or whatever they charge for parking a vehicle.

    I'd be concerned about vandilism, so pay the extortion of $50 every time I want to boat out of whittier, $20 tunnel, $20 launch, $10 to park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I don't think they can legally block you from launching at the head of the bay. It'll save you the $20 launch fee and $5 or whatever they charge for parking a vehicle.

    I'd be concerned about vandilism, so pay the extortion of $50 every time I want to boat out of whittier, $20 tunnel, $20 launch, $10 to park.
    From what I have heard second hand, is that there is now some teeth to their disgruntled nature. Apparently, once again second hand, the city owns that land and they have now rewritten the ordinances so they can now do something about it....ie a ticket. This is a development that has happened in the last 2 years or so, as I used to camp at the head of the bay with my truck and camper pretty frequently and launched my little zoddy there and have since stopped doing this because of this. I have seen a smattering of people camping down there having a grand old time since, but I don't know how their trip ended. I think that it would be wise to open this area up to dirt camping with a dump station - and yes another fee, if the city of Whittier does indeed own the head of the bay. It is a very good place to camp, build a fire, and celebrate life with a few friends.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    With all the fees that Whittier seems to love to collect, you'd think the city would have already made a camp ground/RV park up over by Salmon Run by now. I know I'd be happy to pay for that. It sucks that I will have to pay $25 to launch my little Zodiac and park my truck, but they seem to know that we'll just bend over and take it.

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    I agree, but that would require that they provide a good deal of service in exchange for their fees. It would also require them to act like they want tourists to stay there and from my perspective, I am think that they are very happy when go back to the "other side". One thing for sure - the attitude and hospitality is a far cry from what you get in Seward or other towns that are a little more catering to vacationers.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    In my 5 years of vacationing in AK, I have never been to Whittier.
    And after reading how they are gouging and nickel and dimeing everyone, I don't think I will ever go. There are too many other awesome places in AK to visit where it doesn't cost $20 or more just for the privlidge of driving into the town!!

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm.......let's see now.
    Gas to drive there $20, Tunnel $20, Boat launch $25, Parking $10, Fuel for the boat ?????, Gas for the trip home $20

    You're up over $100 and haven't even left the dock yet!!!!!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    In my 5 years of vacationing in AK, I have never been to Whittier.
    And after reading how they are gouging and nickel and dimeing everyone, I don't think I will ever go. There are too many other awesome places in AK to visit where it doesn't cost $20 or more just for the privlidge of driving into the town!!

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm.......let's see now.
    Gas to drive there $20, Tunnel $20, Boat launch $25, Parking $10, Fuel for the boat ?????, Gas for the trip home $20

    You're up over $100 and haven't even left the dock yet!!!!!
    I don't mind paying something. I think 10-15 dollars is a fair charge for a boat launch fee, as I think that they should probably charge about 15-20 dollars for the tunnel.

    But, what I don't like, is being gouged. The boat launch fees are really steep, the docking fees are high, and I know others are going to counter by how much time and gas you save by not going to Deep Creek, Seward, Homer and other towns. Certainly, this is a valid point given the closeness it is to Anchorage.

    I will continue to bypass Whittier even it costs me significantly more money to do so just out of spite - and because of their attitude.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    I don't mind paying something. I think 10-15 dollars is a fair charge for a boat launch fee, as I think that they should probably charge about 15-20 dollars for the tunnel.

    But, what I don't like, is being gouged. The boat launch fees are really steep, the docking fees are high, and I know others are going to counter by how much time and gas you save by not going to Deep Creek, Seward, Homer and other towns. Certainly, this is a valid point given the closeness it is to Anchorage.

    I will continue to bypass Whittier even it costs me significantly more money to do so just out of spite - and because of their attitude.
    I think if your going for halibut it's worth the drive south. Whitter is just to dang deep.

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