I took this picture on 3/8/09. looks like its ready for use
I took this picture on 3/8/09. looks like its ready for use
We launched off of the new ramp on 2/27/09, Friday before last and it was indeed very nice. It was also closed and the cops came by to tell us so but there were no signs or anything indicating that it was closed so we left from there and had to retrieve on the other old ramp. From what I saw, it looked ready to use.
I spoke with the Harbormaster and the engineering company inspected the work yesterday and they are waiting for them to sign-off on it to open it. The formal opening is supposed to be April 15 but they feel that it will be sooner than that.
Well, congrats to the harbor master on a job apparently well-done. And as importantly, on time for the season opener! With all the grief Whittier has (rightfully) taken on ramp conditions, they deserve some praise for getting it right. Hope ramp ops smooth out this year - time will tell. And hopefully prices won't skyrocket - they are still outrageous.
Though I've fished PWS a few times with others, I've never personally launched in Whittier. Some friends are getting a PWS trip lined up for May. If I pulled my boat over from Homer, what could I expect in costs? (tunnel, launch, parking for a few days and what ever else I haven't thought of) My boat is 10 x 30. I know what the permit to haul it is.
I was at the Harbor Masters office in Whittier to buy my season launch permit today ($120 by the way). While there I took a look at the new launch ramp. I asked the lady at the office what will happen to the west ramp. She said that the west ramp will be eliminated.
This created some alarm in my mind. There were a total of 4 sides or lanes to launch from with the west ramp and the old east ramp. The new east ramp will provide a total of 3 sides or lanes to launch from after the west ramp is gone. This means that all the boat traffic will be concentrated in front of the east ramp and all the vehicle traffic related to launching will be at the intersection in front of the east ramp.
It looks like a net loss of one lane to me.
I took the attached pictures at a relatively low tide. look at how shallow it is at the end of the east dock. This is going to make it difficult to get backed out and turned around. There is very little room to back up and work your way out of there and there appears to be hazards to your prop etc on top of it all.
27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
Eliminating the west ramp??? Why the heck are they going to take out a functional ramp? I understand that it is not the best thing to use during low tides, but at least it reduces the overall traffic of the east ramp since it is easy for smaller boats to use. If this is true, it is a pretty poor decision.
They ought to use the west ramp for kayaks. They hold up the "show" quite a bit from what I have seen.
Has anyone ever wondered why they don't go down to the end of the bay and put in a new harbor and boat launch? From what I have seen there is plenty of land and a whole hillside of rock close by for building.
How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!
For a while, there was talk of a tractor launch at the head of the bay. Don't know what became of it.
The east ramp in Whittier Harbor is ready to use. Make sure you have traction devices if you come between October and April. If you get your seasonal launch pass before April 1, it is only $120.00. April 1st to October 1st there is $.05 tax on the dollar making it $126.00. You can phone the harbor office and order one over the phone with a Visa or Mastercard and they will gladly mail you one. If you come before the private parking lot is open it is $10.00 a day 12am to 12am to park in the harbor area. You get parking permits at harbor office. Just remember after the private lot has snow removed there is no more parking the the harbor area. Do not forget to get a parking permit or you will get a parking ticket. The harbor office is open from 8am to 5pm, 7days a week.
April 1st Whittier launch permit will have a $6 tax added on.
That will suck if they close the west ramp. i always use it since i have a jet and can get in at low tide most of the time. It frees up the East ramp for you bigger boats and frees up my time waiting for you big boats!!!
I was impressed, came back last friday late afternoon expecting the usual cluster with outgoing boats. One ramp was being used just for boats pulling out of water so by the time I got my truck I had to wait about 1 minute and I was out of the water. Maybe I just got lucky but if it continues like that I'll be a happy customer.
We too got thru in good time (mid week) last time out, but I do have a small complaint! That figures huh? The old dock used cleats, low to the ground, out of the way etc. The new dock has a kind of bunk arrangement which is much higher and probably a little closer to the edge which touches AND marks any boat with a normal amount of bow flair! It would be wonderful if they were relocated a couple inches to elimenate this small inconvience, until then I guess I'll go back to tossing out fenders!
In my opinion, the new docks are not very functional. Or at least their operation isn't.
Launched between the two ramps and tied up while parking the trailer. In order to get away from the ramps to get out of the harbor, had to zig-zag back and forth between the boats behind us. If there were a solid line of boats on both side of that lane, then you wouldn't be able to get in or out because there's not enough room to drive a boat (or walk it) between the boats. Same problem when coming back in on Memorial Day, around 1 PM or so. Some boats going out and some coming in. Was up close to the ramp (leaving one space in front of us) and while going to get the trailer, someone who was heading out put their boat in the water in that space. Arrived with the trailer and backed down to the water to retrieve the boat I was on. The boat that had just put into the water in front of us (her husband was off parking the trailer) couldn't get out of our way because there wasn't room to walk their boat behind us so that we could move forward our boat out of the water.
So far I'm not impressed. It would have helped if someone had been there directing traffic. Maybe I just hit it at a bad time and hopefully I will have better experiences in the future. But I did hear several other people there complain, also.
Been down once and didn't see anything saying ramps in or out of the water, has any of that changed? My one trip was good at the ramps but it was later in the afternoon both ways.