News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 21, 2018
Guildive dinghy request would set precedent, selectmen say

by Anne Berleant

Requests by the owners of the 56-foot sailing yacht Guildive, which offers cruises around Castine Harbor and calls the Castine port its home, will be turned into a formal recommendation, voted upon by the Harbor Committee and then passed to selectmen for review.

The four requests by Zander Parker, who owns and operates the Guildive with Kate Kana, were discussed at a June 18 selectmen’s meeting. They are 1) to permit a pennant at the yacht’s mooring for easier tying up; 2) to waive the $25 overnight fee at the Acadia Dock; 3) to permit a seasonal 1x6-foot sign by the harbormaster’s shack, where passengers congregate before a cruise; and 4) to grant the Guildive’s dinghy a commercial designation.

Over 1,000 passengers boarded for Castine cruises on the Guildive in 2017, according to harbor committee member Mike Coughlin, who had reviewed the requests.

There is no separate dinghy policy for commercial dinghies, but a policy adopted February 20, 2018 limits dinghy sizes to 13 feet, with permits issued each year for one of the 12 spots in the dinghy basin. Guildive can apply for a permit in order to store its dinghy as needed, Town Manager Jimmy Goodson said following the meeting.

“We recognize that the Guildive is an important asset to the town,” Selectman Chairman Gus Basile said.

However, creating a commercial designation for dinghies would set a precedent, selectmen held.

The dinghy basin has been a tickle in the harbor committee and selectmen’s cap for several years, and adding a commercial designation seems unlikely.

“That commercial designation scares me,” Selectman Peter Vogell said. “We’ve been years fighting over six inches, up motor, down motor, everything else.”

The first three requests were simpler to respond to. No one at the meeting found an issue with a pennant at the mooring, although a question over liability was raised. Instead of a sign at the harbormaster’s shack, a sandwich board could be placed and the shack will have its number address displayed. Waiving the $25 schooner overnight docking fee did not find favor, as fairness would dictate the fee be waived for all schooners. Other boats are charged $3 per foot.

The harbor committee meets on July 11, when it will vote on its recommendations to selectmen.

In other town business, selectmen approved:
2018-19 appointments of town officials and committee members;
Witherle Memorial Library to apply for grant for new sound system;
pesticide application to town commons, Dyce Head lighthouse, Fort Madison and Emerson Hall for grubs;
signing a right-of-way easement, which had expired, at Fort Sherbrooke Lane to allow homeowners access to their property;
contacting Maine Coast Heritage Trust over need to place bear trap in Witherle Woods, given recent, frequent sightings of bears in Castine.
The selectmen next meet on July 2 and July 16 at 4 p.m. in Emerson Hall.