Newport Dinghy Dock Debate
August 30, 2010
August 26, 2010: According to a report on the website Newport Now, city officials in Newport, Rhode Island, are debating public use of the stone pier at King Park, which has long been used as a dinghy and tender dock. The pier’s north side is home to a series of floating docks intended for transient dinghy tie-ups and the tenders of larger boats moored in the harbor. It’s one of the few public tie-ups for transient-owned tenders, while moored locals and liveaboards use the pier to come and go. The pier’s proximity to Lower Thames Street, along with available free parking, also serve to boost its popularity.
The pier is so popular that dinghies are often rafted 2 or 3 deep. Boaters have complained that some of the boats taking up space on the docks are over 14 feet, (and therefore not officially classified as “dinghies”), or are rarely used.
For the last several months, volunteer members of the city’s Waterfront Commission have been trying to find a solution for increasing access and easing congestion along the docks. Ideas have ranged from installing a new floating dock system closer to the beach, implementing a sticker program similar to that used to clean up the city’s driftways, and even coming up with a solution for accommodating small craft up to 16 feet.