Fire boat Viking Shield arrives in the next few weeks | The Scuttlebutt


Poulsbo’s Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park and the Port of Poulsbo Marina are family-friendly venues. Grab some ice cream and come down to enjoy the boats, people and pets.

NEW MOBILE PUMP-OUT SERVICE. Last month, The Scuttlebutt discussed an extremely popular and new resource working to clean up Liberty Bay. Terry and Sons has started a new pump-out service on Liberty Bay. The port has decided to collect a small fee from resident boaters that will help support this free service, available dockside and at anchor. Donations are also gladly accepted by Terry and Sons.

Reservations for service can be made online at Channel 68 (VHF) is also monitored.

NEW FIRE BOAT. As mentioned several months ago, Poulsbo Fire Department’s new 28-foot fireboat — the Viking Shield — will arrive in the next few weeks. It will be moored at the Poulsbo Marina and provide invaluable, additional protection for local vessels and waterfront property owners. Watch for the celebration at the Port of Poulsbo.

PORT FINANCIAL UPDATE. It’s time to plan the 2018 budget for the Port District. There is little disagreement over the proposition that marinas are expensive operations. For 2018, the Port District is reviewing revenue sources and increasing various fees. For example, while other marinas charge for use of boat ramps (Brownsville charges $5), the port’s ramp has always been free. A new ramp fee is on the table for consideration. The port’s commercial parking lot — becoming even more valuable as Poulsbo loses parking spaces to construction — is seen by some as a bargain, for which the monthly fee of $100 should be reevaluated.

More controversial is the monthly moorage rates for resident and guest boaters. Guest boaters pay $1 per foot for overnight moorage; a 40-foot boat pays $40. Perhaps it is time to take another look.

For permanent resident boaters, rate reevaluation is also on the table. There has been criticism in some circles addressing, as some have suggested, the “discounted” moorage rate in the Poulsbo Marina. With Port District taxpayers adding around 25 percent to the marina’s revenue stream, previous commissioners endorsed reduced moorage rates. Another way at looking at moorage rates is determining a fair market rate which takes into consideration factors such as: rates charged by Brownsville, Kingston, and Liberty Bay marinas; and the downtown location on the Poulsbo waterfront.

Currently, the port’s marina charges 30 percent less than the next nearest marina — Liberty Bay Marina — which is difficult to explain. At a recent Port Commission meeting, the suggestion that the moorage rate on Jan. 1 should be increased to $6.45 per foot was met with groans from attending boaters. One might argue that this 10 percent increase — still 20 percent less than our nearest competitor — is much too small.

Interestingly, rare indeed is the attendance at a port meeting of the district taxpayer who is subsidizing marina discounts.

NEW COAST GUARD MOBILE APP. The U. S. Coast Guard recently announced its new mobile app, loaded with pertinent boating safety information. Examples include safety equipment checklists, hazards, NOAA weather buoy data, and local regulations. The app can be used to report navigation hazards, request safety inspections, request assistance, and file an official float plan. Did we mention “free?” The new app is available for Android and iOS platforms. Check it out.

AMERICAN CRUISE LINE PORT VISITS. Beginning Sept. 8, American Cruise Lines’ M/V American Spirit (205 feet) delivered passengers to the dock at Oyster Plant Park. Weekly visits, weather and seas permitting, will continue this year through November. The ship arrives to anchor around 0800, and departs for the final Seattle-bound leg of its week long cruise at noontime. Beginning in March, a second ship, M/V Constellation (267 feet), with capacity for 175 passengers, will also make port calls in Poulsbo.

Poulsbo has proven a popular port for American Cruise Lines passengers traveling to Seattle from all over the United States. Forty-two visits are schedule for 2018.

PORT QUIZ. Never heard of the “binnacle list?” If my recollection is correct, the ship’s “binnacle” was the large, bridge-located housing for the navigational compass. Sick sailors were required to report to the bridge (or quarterdeck on open-deck ships). A list was maintained with names of sick crewmen.

How about this new term, which is a part of non-naval vocabularies: “skylarking.” Send your best “guess” on this nautical term to The first response with the correct answer will be recognized in The Scuttlebutt’s next issue.

Got a naval term to offer? Don’t be shy … you too can contribute to our community’s nautical heritage and The Scuttlebutt.

FREE PUBS. Each month, two entertaining and informative publications are delivered to the port for free distribution to the public. “48 North,” the sailing magazine, and “Northwest Yachting,” for power boaters, are available from the sliding window on the marina side of the bathhouse (near the ramp to the docks). Each reports boating events scheduled throughout the Northwest and discusses issues of interest to the boating community. And, as previously noted, they are free.

PORT EMAIL LIST. The port’s email list enables the port executive director and staff to efficiently contact marina boaters, visitors, and Port District residents. If you would like to be on our contact list, please send your name, contact information, and email address to

PORT INVITATION. The commissioners, employees, residents, and guests of the Port of Poulsbo (, one of 75 Washington state ports, wish you a safe visit to Poulsbo’s spectacular waterfront park, and a safe transit on Liberty Bay. Bring your friends and families down to the port’s marina and greet our staff and visiting boaters on E and F docks.

Port commissioners meet twice monthly to discuss issues and review policies. These meetings are open to members of the public. Mark your calendar for 1900 (7 p.m.) the first and third Thursdays and come down to the port’s floating conference room to find out what’s going in the Poulsbo Port District.

— Stephen L. Swann is a Poulsbo port commissioner. Contact him at