Wharf to Embrace the “Mary E” Schooner?

Posted on 12 December 2008

The \"Mary E\" sailing in the waters of the East End.

Matthew Culen returned to the Sag Harbor Harbor Committee, on Monday, December 8, looking for a new home port for his 75-foot Schooner, “Mary E.” Culen hopes to permanently dock his boat on Long Wharf and to run a sailing charter business on it. This highly visible location is imperative to the success of the business, said Culen because it would attract walk-on clients. The committee, however, had many concerns. They told Culen his venture would require upland support. Among the committee’s chief concerns were parking accessibility for charter clients.

Previously, the harbor committee recommended to the village board to disallow permanent or transient docking on the north end and the west side of the Long Wharf. This recommendation targeted larger boats and yachts which obstructed views of the water and impeded local children from fishing off of the wharf. This decision, however, meant the village lost revenue from dockage fees.

“We made a decision to lose docking fees. We gave it over to public use. This boat would have a different historical use, but this seems like a revision of our decision,” said committee member Brian Halweil. The committee believed the “Mary E,” built in 1902, could be used for educational purposes with school children. The committee finally suggested that Culen return to next month’s meeting with a proposal for upland support, especially provisions for parking.

Sag Harbor Village Environmental Planning Consultant, Richard Warren, gave a brief status report on the study of storm water runoff contamination at Havens Beach. Warren said the Peconic BayKeeper, who is conducting the study, will deliver a full report by April. Jim Early, of the village department of public works, has also provided Warren’s office with a list of existing drainage systems in the village, and they are in the process of plotting them out on a map. Warren also reported that the village is looking into installing filter systems, which would be installed in the drainage catch basins.

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