No fuel dock floats at Avalon Harbor this summer

AVALON — Boaters arriving in Avalon Harbor this summer will notice something absent: A floating fuel dock.

The construction of a ramp at the city’s pier means Avalon Harbor will not be able to make its summer floating fuel dock available to local or visiting boaters during the peak travel season.

Harbormaster Brian Bray said boaters will still be able to access the fuel dock at the pier.

“We will still operate off the fuel dock pier; we will just not have the seasonal fuel dock floats this summer as adding the ramp to the current pier may compromise the structural integrity of the pier,” Bray said. “The permit process is still underway to replace the fuel dock pier and it is expected to be replaced in its entirety by June 2016.”

Avalon Harbor experiences peak boating traffic during the summer months. The city reported 1,380 boats moored and another 65 anchored in Avalon Harbor in June 2014, with 5,520 people at Catalina Island aboard a boat. One month later, 2,021 boats reportedly moored and 166 anchored at Avalon Harbor; there were 8,084 people aboard a boat at Catalina in July 2014.

August 2014 was the busiest month last summer, with Avalon reporting 2,239 vessels moored, 151 anchored, and 8,956 people aboard boats. Traffic began to slow in September, with 1,703 moorings, 98 anchors, and 6,812 people aboard boats.

In all, there were 7,343 vessel moorings and 480 anchored boats between May and September 2014.

According to the most recent harbor activity report, there were 846 vessels moored and another 42 anchored in March, with 3,384 people reportedly aboard a boat.

It is too early to estimate how the lack of a floating fuel dock will impact boaters during the summer season, but at least one boat owner who regularly visits Avalon called The Log and expressed concern of how the harbor will manage the high volume of boaters without the floating fuel dock.

Potentially complicating matters is Budweiser’s #UpForWhatever event, which takes place in Avalon the weekend after Memorial Day.

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