Letter to the Editor

Proposal to build a Boat Slip in the copper coast area has gained a fair bit of support. I have been approached by people and answered their questions.

Why does the area need this facility?

This marina has progressed slowly and now requires a slip area. There are boats needing to be slipped for maintenance. There is also owners of larger boats desiring to bring them up to the marina. Some have indicated to me the lack of facilities hasn’t enabled them to permanently moor their boats. They would like to travel up or live here and be able to enjoy the many island and coastal sights north, west, south and east of the Copper Coast, this is a huge potential market. The supply of diesel fuel on the marina has helped but many new and older boats are gasoline powered. Perhaps the development of a slip could include providing fuel for them.

Safety!

Its not safe or legal to carry large amounts of petrol in your car, it concerns me that boat owners have to carry fuel down to their boats and tip the fuel into the tanks. Petrol fumes filling up the inside of the hull and spillage is dangerous. Boats that haven’t been slipped for years have not been checked for leaks or corrosion. There has already been a sail drive that corroded and leaked oil into the water. Shaft seals have failed and excessive amounts of water leaked into a boat. When the automatic bilge pump switched on, oil, water and dirt from inside the bilge area was pumping into the marina.

One of the proposals suggested to our MP Fraser Ellis was to upgrade the slip built at can do marine to allow the safe removal of yachts with fixed keels. Presently at a normal high tide there is 1.5 which has enabled us to slip vessels up to 40ft safely. If a channel was dredged to the shelf that exists 40m out from the present slip, 18m wide and 1.5 deep, would allow safe pulling of any vessel in the marina. It is not intended to service any trawlers because they have existing networks and ability to travel to Port Adelaide or Port Lincoln safely, however a emergency requiring a immediate pull would be available for any vessel.

The present slip allows us to retrieve the boats and bring them up into the yard where there is security and facilities that comply with the E.P.A for antifouling. The yacht most recently pulled using the existing boat ramp has been allowed to use the area next to the sailing club because of the height of the mast. There’s no way round to the yard because there’s not sufficient clearances under power lines or the conveyor that shifts grain to the ships.

Though antifouling and maintenance is being carried out with as much care for the surrounding environment as possible, the dust can’t be wetted down and bagged easily and the provided regulation catch sheet and bunting is not ideal. Dust dries quickly and inevitably gets blown around and settles towards the beach or over into the new development. The noise from the blasting or grinding most probably wouldn’t be tolerated once the townhouses and Sea Rescue builds new headquarters are built across the road.

What would a slip look like?

The extra development required to finish the slip already in place at Can Do Marine would require building a rock wall each side of the slip out into the water 30m and wide enough to allow the excavation of a channel between them. Inside these walls would be boxed and concreted to leave a walkway along the inside of both sides of the rock wall. The existing ramp would need to be concreted right up into the yard, a winch and jinker system installed that would compliment the existing tractor and trailers.

A properly run slip and hard stand area will bring more people to the area. There would be more work, needing younger people to be trained. More specialized work may require attracting a trained shipwright to live and work in the area. Recreational and professional boaties are the lifeblood of the Copper Coast towns. There’s a growing need for providing services for our visitors and their boats.

Sent to the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, written by Bruce