By Claire Walla
If you lease a mooring space from Sag Harbor Village, and you only use it part-time, why not rent it out to transient boaters rather than let it sit vacant?
That’s the theory behind Ken Deeg’s business, which he has run out of the Sag Harbor for the past seven years. However, things are a little less laissez-faire this year.
After the Village of Sag Harbor voted to put a two-week restriction on the amount of time moorings can be used by anyone other than their primary permit holder, Deeg went west: to North Haven.
At a North Haven Village Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 1, Deeg stood before the board and requested a permit from the village to allow him to install an 800-pound mushroom mooring on the east side of North Haven, which would allow him to continue running his business without the restrictions imposed by Sag Harbor Village.
Deeg said he would charge transient boats $2 per foot, per night, and would not accept boats over 40 feet long.
“The cheapest dock in Sag Harbor is $4 a night,” he said. “I would reduce my rate for the launch for North Haven residents.”
Deeg explained that he’ll continue to run his business in Sag Harbor this season, but his attempts to expand into North Haven are the result of what he predicts will be a major loss in business.
With only two weeks available at each mooring space, not only will his income drop (Deeg estimated he would have been able to sub-lease at least twice that length of time), but more boaters passing through will be left without mooring options in Sag Harbor.
“I’m just trying to add another mooring for transient use,” he explained. Without it, he added, “I’m going to end up turning a lot of people away. There are going to be a lot of empty [moorings].”
Deeg, who has been in negotiations with Sag Harbor village officials and its harbor master all winter, said the decision to limit the amount of time mooring spaces can be sub-leased to transient boaters was made in an effort to prevent mooring holders from hanging onto their moorings during years in which they’re not being used by the principal lease holder.
“[The village] doesn’t want people to make enough money [through sub-leasing their moorings] to cover the cost of their mooring permit,” Deeg explained, adding that there’s currently a long waiting list for mooring space.
Board members said they needed time to discuss the proposition and browse insurance documents, but would re-visit the issue at their next meeting.
Deeg admitted boaters would probably prefer to be on the Sag Harbor side of the bay, “but if this is the only option, this is the only option.”