Leeway Sailing Center granted $26,100 for equipment replacement

City project would allow for upgrades to canoes, kayaks and sailboats.

LONG BEACH — A city-run sailing center at Long Beach’s Alamitos Bay Marina will receive $26,100 in state grant funding to help make upgrades to the facility’s stock of non-motorized vessels.

The Long Beach City Council voted to accept the funding from California’s Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) to help pay for “much-needed replacement of non-motorized vessels, such as canoes, kayaks and sailboats” at Leeway Sailing Center.

“The vessels are necessary to continue sailing, kayaking and aquatic programs that are offered through [Long Beach’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine],” city staff told council members ahead of their April 17 meeting.

“These affordable programs focus on water safety for visitors of all ages throughout the Southern California region,” city staff continued.

Leeway Sailing Center offers on-the-water themed programs, such as sabot and capri sailing lessons, bay kayaking, keelboat classes, racing clippings and sailing camps, year-round.

“The vessels currently being utilized at Leeway Sailing Center were built in the 1970s; many of the vessels are past their useful lifespan,” city staff stated in its report to council members. “Safety is a concern and constant repairs can extend the vessels’ usefulness for only a short period of time. Budget constraints and the constant need for repairs on many of the aged vessels have made it difficult for [the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine] to afford replacements.”

Long Beach and Leeway Sailing Center must use the state funds by Sept. 30, according to city staff.

Using the funds to upgrade non-motorized vessels would also be meet sustainability goals, city staff added.

“Unlike motorized vessels, non-motorized vessels, such as sailboats and canoes, do not create pollution. Acquisition of new non-motorized vessels will enable [the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine] to teach more people how to use these types of vessels, which will reduce exhaust fumes in the air and polluting fluids in the waterways,” city staff stated in a report.

Long Beach’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine operates Leeway Sailing Center at the southwestern shore of Alamitos Bay.

“Leeway Sailing Center is separated from the open ocean by the Alamitos Peninsula, which makes it an ideal environment to offer beginner and intermediate programs away from unpredictable open ocean elements, and within the watchful eye of certified boating and sailing safety instructors,” city staff stated.

Long Beach’s council members approved acceptance of the DBW grant as part of their consent agenda on April 17.

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