AVALON ― An underwater hull cleaning service was awarded a waterside permit to operate in Avalon Harbor, as the Avalon City Council voted Jan. 17 to approve Triton Yacht Services’ request to offer its services to Catalina-bound boaters.
Triton Yacht Services submitted an application to conduct underwater hull cleaning on yachts in Avalon Harbor. Certain conditions had to be met for the permit to be granted.
The yacht service company is now allowed to wash boats at a designated pump-out dock location but only during nonpeak hours to allow other boats to get rid of their waste. Nonpeak hours are defined as “before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 30 and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the rest of the year,” according to a city staff report.
The company is only to use desalinated water produced from their own equipment.
To avoid further issues with overcrowding, the company is allowed only one skiff to be secured to a dinghy dock at one time. The company requested two skiffs but will have to find a skiff in another location.
“Is it really necessary to clean the bottom of boats in the harbor,” City Council member Joe Sampson asked at the meeting. “What concerns me are the chemicals when you have swimmers in the harbor. It is an environmental hazard.”
Capt. Alison Osinski addressed City Council members, saying boat bottoms need to be cleaned about every three weeks in the summer.
“You guys make is so difficult for boaters,” Osinski proclaimed.
She explained boat bottom cleaning only becomes a hazard if it is not done frequently.
“When you clean the boat regularly every three to four weeks, the paint holds really well and doesn’t disintegrate into the water,” Osinski clarified. “When you wait six weeks to eight weeks because you can’t get somebody to clean the bottom of the boat, that’s when you have to use more aggressive methods and that’s when you get toxins into the water.”
Osinski said more regular bottom cleaning should be encouraged. She pointed out the more frequent boat bottoms are washed, the less damaging it is to the environment.
“I would like to please ask you to consider the boaters for once,” Osinski implored. “Don’t make it so hard to have a boat here.”