Jessica Cejnar / Tuesday, April 20 @ 4:21 p.m.

Engineer Reports Crescent City Harbor's Travelift Piers Are Unsafe; Travelift 'On Its Last Legs,' Says Harbormaster

Though they’re not a complete loss, an independent consulting firm deemed the Crescent City Harbor District’s two Marine Travelift Piers unsafe for use, the port’s CEO told commissioners Tuesday.

Following a recent inspection and report by PND Engineers, Harbormaster Tim Petrick told commissioners that the two piers can be repaired, but at a potential cost of about $500,000. Replacing them would cost an estimated $850,000, he said.
The Travelift itself is on its last legs, Petrick said.

“I, of course, do not expect you to make a decision at this time,” he said. “We can have a lot of discussion about whether we want to get a new Travelift, a bigger Travelift, (and) if we do that, do we want to replace these or repair them?”

After PND Engineers came out with a report on the two Travelift piers, Crescent City Harbor District Board President Brian Stone proposed forming an ad-hoc committee to explore the possibility of either replacing or repairing them as well as potentially replacing the Travelift itself. He noted that the defunct Travelift, which is used to haul boats into and out of the water, and the unsafe piers are examples of maintenance that had been put off at the harbor for years.

Commissioner Wes White nominated the two “experienced fishermen” on the Harbor Commission, Harry Adams and Rick Shepherd.

According to Petrick, who became interim harbormaster in March following the retirement of Charlie Helms, the two Travelift piers are original to the harbor, having been installed about 70 years ago.

When it was operational, the Travelift was capable of hauling 30-ton vessels into and out of the water, but due to its condition, harbor staff “de-rated” it to 20 -tons, Petrick said. If harbor commissioners decide to replace the Travel-lift, he said he’d prefer one capable of hauling a 50-ton vessel.

“I think we could haul a lot of the mid-size fishing boats that we have in the harbor,” Petrick said. “We could really pick up a lot more range with a wider (Travelift).”

Petrick suggested rebuilding one of the piers and install a brand new pier in place of the second one. He said he also wanted to let commissioners know why the harbor wasn’t hauling boats into the water anymore in case the public had questions.

Shepherd said it would be more cost effective to simply replace the Travelift and the two piers to be able to accommodate wider boats.
Adams asked what it would cost the harbor to install a 50-ton Travelift.

Petrick said it depended on the add-ons. Used ones that are in good condition could sell for about $200,000, he said, while larger Travelifts could cost for about $1 million or more.

“In Santa Cruz, one of the things they sprung for, for an extra $20,000 in total, was for the remote control and because of that, boats under 35 feet, you can haul with a single person,” he said.

Shepherd noted that the Port of Brookings Harbor purchased a new Travelift with a remote control. Both he and Adams agreed to read PND’s report and serve on the ad-hoc committee.


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