Port of Poulsbo settles dispute over errant electrical damage

POULSBO — The Port of Poulsbo settled a dispute on June 13 with a former tenant who alleged that errant electrical discharge into the marina caused significant electrolysis damage to his boat.

Jim Wider said at first he wasn’t sure if anything was going to come of his claim against the port.

“I wasn’t sure, but they finally came around and agreed that it was a problem,” Wider said. “It’s nice to have it over with; this way I can enjoy my summer.”

Wider said that because of the electrical discharge, he was required to replace his 37-foot Nordic Tug’s sacrificial zincs several times over a six-month period. Wider also said in an interview earlier this year that the copper-based antifouling paint on the hull of his boat was so damaged by electrolysis that it required a complete reapplication. While he couldn’t remember the full cost of the damage to his boat, Wider did acknowledge that the $5,000 settlement check from the port didn’t cover the expenses he incurred.

“Our main thing was that things got changed over there, which they did, so that worked out well,” Wider said, adding that the recent managerial restructuring seemed indicative of a sea change at the Port of Poulsbo.

While the settlement may look like the port accepting responsibility for the damages, in fact the settlement agreement includes no admission of liability.

“The Port and the Widers each deny any liability to the other … The Port specifically denies any liability for the Stray Current Claim,” reads the settlement agreement between the Widers and the Port of Poulsbo. The agreement also released Wider from a claim by the port that he did not pay his moorage fees the month of his departure from the marina.

Wider now moors his boat at the Liberty Bay Marina where he says things are going “fantastic. We love the place, we’re treated very well. It’s just a great place.”

—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpub

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