Launching Fees

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Malcolm
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Launching Fees

Post by Malcolm »

One of our local (small) harbours has started to charge slip launch fees - this is intended to include canoes.

Anybody else have this problem and if so how much are you charged?

Malcolm
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GaryM
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by GaryM »

We were walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path a couple of weeks ago, and all the harbours there have signs displayed with launching fees. Seemed to be £1 per kayak.
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adi2410355
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by adi2410355 »

Bloody shopkeepers. Like RuinAir's paid toilets inventors. No sense of style or dignity whatsoever...
I pay £35/year to paddle on the Thames ;-)

sleepybubble
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by sleepybubble »

GaryM wrote:We were walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path a couple of weeks ago, and all the harbours there have signs displayed with launching fees. Seemed to be £1 per kayak.
So would that mean if you Launch in one place and land somewhere else it could cost you two quid..... thats scandalous!

Tiff
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Tiff »

Several times I've experienced people trying to charge me to launch / land on council slipways and even on a sandy beach in tourist season! One time after a particularly hard paddle, 30 seconds after landing someone tried to charge me £10 for using a 'public' slip!
However as a student I refuse to pay these crazy fees & a few polite choice words from a 6'1" 90Kg 20 year old seems to resolve the problem every time.....

tommfuller
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by tommfuller »

My local club has been negotiating with one of the harbours they use a lot. The original plan was to charge £5 per kayak, this has now been reduced to £1 per kayak, subject to ratification by the SCA access comittee.

The harbour board need to raise money to demonstrate use, to support grant applications for what are likely to be some pretty expensive repairs. The harbour trustees have a legal right to charge for the use of the harbour facilities, so it's fairly easy to see their side. Given that (in this case at least) you could land on the neighbouring beach and carry your kayak to your car, I don't think charging a pound a boat for use of more convenient facilities is unfair.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by soundoftheseagull »

I’m trying to see both sides but find it difficult, what really brasses me off is where are these people on a cold winters morning?
It’s a Summer time scam for easy pickings likewise if your local you pay for the bloomin slipway in taxes, what impact do we have has kayakers on such ..none.
Also demonstrated if you refuse other than linking you with a vehicle they can swivel for my details, and no I’m not big or young.
Dave

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adi2410355
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by adi2410355 »

Oh Tom, pleeease. Don't you pay enough already, as Dave says? Harbours and marinas are primarily designed for larger vessels - fishermen' boats, yachts and motorboats and of course it would be understandable to ask these users to pay for maintenance. Well sure I use one or another from time to time (usually it means climbing in and out from a very high jetty, but oh well), but kayaks are no-impact, recreational little boats and charging them looks like, emmm, paying another council tax pounds for launching your bicycle directly from home (using the public pavement)... And what to charge for a surfing board - 50p?

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by jamesl2play »

The National Trust charges £1 per kayak to launch at Porth Clais near St Davids. Woh betide anyone who walks past the honesty box without paying, the harbour master is most strict (being polite)

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Mike Mayberry
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Mike Mayberry »

jamesl2play wrote:The National Trust charges £1 per kayak to launch at Porth Clais near St Davids. Woh betide anyone who walks past the honesty box without paying, the harbour master is most strict (being polite)
It's not the National Trust who are charging, it's the Harbour Authority. I Have spoken to one of the park wardens who tells me that the Harbour are renting a strip of land at the top of the slip, hence the charge. I fear that this could be the "thin end of the wedge".

To date I have not paid fees at any of the slipways in Pembrokeshire and do not intend to either. My arguement is that the kayak is carried by me and before the slipway was there I could do this down the beach and launch. If it was not maintained due to a lack of funds then I would still be able to launch. I do not require the facility that is there.

If on the other hand it was low tide, at say Prothclais, and I decided to drive down the slipway to avoid the long walk then I have no issue with paying £5 to do so. I have explained this to the car park attendant at Porthclais who has labelled me as a "trouble maker" and records my phone number and van registration number each time I visit.

He seems to finish work at around 4pm most days, so arrive after that if you would like to avoid conflict!

tommfuller
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by tommfuller »

adi2410355 wrote:Oh Tom, pleeease. Don't you pay enough already, as Dave says? Harbours and marinas are primarily designed for larger vessels - fishermen' boats, yachts and motorboats and of course it would be understandable to ask these users to pay for maintenance. Well sure I use one or another from time to time (usually it means climbing in and out from a very high jetty, but oh well), but kayaks are no-impact, recreational little boats and charging them looks like, emmm, paying another council tax pounds for launching your bicycle directly from home (using the public pavement)... And what to charge for a surfing board - 50p?
The coast around me is dotted with tiny harbours which were once busy little fishing ports. With the inshore fishing industry in freefall, and fishing moving to ever bigger boats, the primary use of these little harbours is leisure. The vast majority of them are no use to larger vessels; many near me won't even accommodate yachts. The bulk of them are not run by the council (and never were), they are owned and operated by harbour trusts who are having to move with the times, and maintain and upgrade these facilities against a backdrop of falling and changing useage. You can check the ownership of most ports here e.g. : http://www.ports.org.uk/port.asp?id=663

I'm interested to know why you think the other leisure boats should pay but you shouldn't? What impact do they have that you don't? The impact is not the issue to me, it is the optional use of a facility. It gets trickier where use of the facility is not optional, e.g. where other access points are blocked.

Perhaps if you have a read of this, and the various minutes of the Harbour Management Committee meetings, you might start to see the other side of the equation.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Bards »

Tom, for what it's worth (probably only about tuppence - not even a quid LOL) I found your previous post entirely rational; we as a group do not qualify as a charity case, and cannot IMO reasonably expect others to fork out for our convenience. There are locally slipways where the fee includes parking, so unless you've cycled/shanks pony'ed the boat (of any description) on a wee trailer you need to dip in your pocket, as you have arrived with an impact from the word go...
If locally you get a reduced fee of £1 for use, then I can't see how all parties involved have not arrived at an agreement of laudable decency which merits more praise than scorn... as long as you will be paying less than them damn jet skiers, of course... ;-)

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by active4seasons »

This is an interesting post.

As the BCU local rep for North Northumberland we have a few harbours that charge locally. St. Abbs, Burnmouth, Seahouses and Beadnell beach. Three of these try and charge for beach launching - two of them are adjacent to the harbour.

I would be keen to hear from anyone who has launched from these sites in the last 12months or so as I am going to approach the councils and see what we can do about the beach launching fees - I think they are illegal, as well as trying to look at some sort of local agreement to reduce self kayak launching to a reasonable amount £1 or £2 in my opinion - do others think this is reasonable?

I have just spoken to the Borders Council access officer and she was interested to hear about these fees and is getting back to me - will let you know what happens?

Thanks,

Ollie
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Bards »

Sorry - as a reply to Malcom's original question, personally I don't have an issue, but I suspect that's just because of my personal circumstances, I'm sure...

As I generally handcart my boat to the local beach, or else make a point of using public, free, little-used slip-ways available locally I never have to pay. Would do, though, if the charge was reasonable and the slipway of value to me; toll roads are another story, and I'm unsure where the road owner also has upkeep responsibility for any slipway at the end, or is just liable for the road... the example there would be Kimmeridge... I think the botttom line, then, is that for me each slipway has a different story, and hence different reasonable charge (including 'free', of course!). If any charge I believe to be unreasonable, then I just would do all reasonable to avoid putting in there, at least during manned hours... paddlers in dispute with (in effect) landowners is a well-travelled road, so I do try to go 'off-piste' on that one ;-)

Bards

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joyjohn
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by joyjohn »

active4seasons wrote:This is an interesting post.

As the BCU local rep for North Northumberland we have a few harbours that charge locally. St. Abbs, Burnmouth, Seahouses and Beadnell beach. Three of these try and charge for beach launching - two of them are adjacent to the harbour.

I would be keen to hear from anyone who has launched from these sites in the last 12months or so as I am going to approach the councils and see what we can do about the beach launching fees - I think they are illegal, as well as trying to look at some sort of local agreement to reduce self kayak launching to a reasonable amount £1 or £2 in my opinion - do others think this is reasonable?

Ollie
Surely once you agree to a £1 you are accepting the situation. Better to squash it, if possible, before it becomes the norm.

John
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active4seasons
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by active4seasons »

John,

I am with you in principle but the Harbour walls have to be repaired and although we perhaps didn't ask for them to be built most were put up early 1800's and are now a very useful haven in big seas so I think that may be relevant but beach access no way!

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Jim
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Jim »

Were a slip busy, with people trying to launch dinghies, yachts etc. and paying the full fees, one might expect them to get a little miffed if a group of sea kayakers turns up and monopolises the slip for an hour or so whilst they get packed up and away, but don't pay anything for the privilege.

So how do you rationalise a fees schedule to make it fair to all users when something like this happens, without penalising the solo day tripper on a quiet day who arrives pre-packed with the boat on a trolley and spends less than 5 minutes at the edge of the slip allowing others to launch past him whilst he makes final preparations and stows the trolley?

Unfortunately we are too diverse, and harbours and slipways are too diverse in their use, access and management for there ever to be a countrywide agreement on such matters.

The difficulty generally is identifying what is a private slip, and what is a public one (some public ones are marked on maps), since if a slip is private there is no question at all, the landowner can charge what they want.
Public slips are the problem because different councils take different views - personally I would say that if there is something there which has been built and requires mainentance, then a small fee is fair - it is fair for the people who use the structure to contribute rather than the people who happen to live in the town but may never use it. On the other hand a forward thinking council might use a free slip as a lost leader to get boaters into the town where they will likely spend a bit more money on parking and fish and chips, maybe a trip to the pub or something, especially if neighbouring towns are charging. I think it is great that so many structures are provided for us to use free of charge, but perhaps we need to address our perspective about whether it is a privilege or a right?

As far as my first example goes - I have sometimes been in the large group monopolising a slipway, it's a side effect of the group dynamic. But wherever possible we have done as much as possible in the car park to minimise time on the slip, and again where possible tried to keep to one side allowing access for others. More often than not, the slipway is actually just an easy route down to the beach adjacent to the slip or pier which makes shared access easier - but especially where it is adjacent to pier, do be aware that as you launch and assemble you may also end up blocking floating vessels from coming alongside. Elgol would be an example of a spot where this is a possibility, the fishing boats come alongside the pier very close to the foot of the beach which is itself at the foot of a slip and hemmed in by the pier on one side and rocks on the other - I actually raced some boats back the other month to make sure I could be up the beach out of their way before they arrived - most of the rest of the group held back and waited for the boats to tie up before squeezing in past them, both acceptable but but trying to nick in while the fishing boats were manouevring would have been wrong. And of course once landed it is necessary to keep your gear clear of the guys loading fish boxes on vans and stuff - small harbours can be intensely busy when the boats land and we need to respect that.

Bottom line is, we should complain about unreasonable prices/fees, but to expect things for nothing is possibly to deny someone a chance to make a living.

Ollie - not within 12 months and we landed at St Abbs in some chunky waves rather than returning to Coldingham where the surf may have been up. My brother and I sat with 3 boats at the side of the slip for a good while whilst our dad hiked back to Coldingham for the car, and no-one approached us for landing fees. Pettico Wick could do with some work (it may be beyond work) to restore access to the beach/pier from the road - if money was going towards something like that people might be more inclined to stump up launch fees in the area. On the other hand with the path collapsed it does mean you are guaranteed a quiet lunch break there if you arrive by kayak.... :-)

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Jim>
it does mean you are guaranteed a quiet lunch break there if you arrive by kayak.... :-)
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by active4seasons »

Looks like a late lunch or deep winter Douglas - sun is on the beach in the summer at lunch time!

Just confirmed that beadnell is not charging as long as you are happy to carry your craft around the barrier - only if you ask for the barrier to be opened!

Jim, St.Abbs has hotted up somewhat with a £5 or £7 parking charge and I think £3 launching fee all paid to the harbour trust but it all goes back to the Trust - nothing taken by the council.

Re Pettico Wick and Lighhouse car park there is now a £2 parking charge via an honesty box.

I am just concious that charges seem to be appearing and we need to keep an eye open I think.

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by jamesl2play »

Mike Mayberry wrote:
jamesl2play wrote:The National Trust charges £1 per kayak to launch at Porth Clais near St Davids. Woh betide anyone who walks past the honesty box without paying, the harbour master is most strict (being polite)
It's not the National Trust who are charging, it's the Harbour Authority. I Have spoken to one of the park wardens who tells me that the Harbour are renting a strip of land at the top of the slip, hence the charge. I fear that this could be the "thin end of the wedge".
He seems to finish work at around 4pm most days, so arrive after that if you would like to avoid conflict!
Sorry Mike my mistake. Is it just the car park that is National Trust then?
I do not have a problem with paying the £1 and actually use the honesty box, mainly because I thought it was going to the National Trust. Its the general attitude of the guy that I object to, and the fact he does not give you a ticket or receipt.

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by ian johnston »

Hi All,

I'm with Tom and Jim on this one.

I use a lot of the small harbours around the Aberdeenshire/Moray coast regularly, probably much the same ones that Tom uses. In many cases, it's just not possible to launch from outside the harbour because the harbour is the only spot which isn't sharp rock (example Whitehills), or it's a fair carry to a beach (examples Hopeman and Sandend), or the harbour is the only break in miles of cliffs (example Gardenstown). I've got no objection to a small charge in these cases.

I've never been asked to pay at any of the harbours, but I often drop a quid in the honesty boxes. The smallest harbours are almost exclusively used by leisure craft, and require maintenance. Some have been "gifted" to harbour trusts by landowners who couldn't or wouldn't maintain them. A small donation towards keeping them viable seems entirely reasonable. I was actually told not to bother donating by a member of the harbour trust in one well-used harbour on the Moray Firth (in winter) as the charges weren't intended for paddlers and I wasn't driving a vehicle down the slip.

I don't know of anywhere local to me which charges to launch from a beach (although I understand this used to be the case at Ganavan near Oban). In the case of beaches I'd be far less inclined to pay; especially if there was also a parking charge.

I guess if it "feels" right to drop a quid or to pay a small charge I'll continue to do so voluntarily; but if I feel it's an unfair/unreasonable charge I'll resist or go someplace else. Creeping charges for access aren't confined to paddling - don't get me started on the car park charges in the Cairngorms!

cheers

Ian

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Jim »

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Jim>
it does mean you are guaranteed a quiet lunch break there if you arrive by kayak.... :-)
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Pettico Wick

Douglas
I still have my old hair in that one!
and the path up to the road was possible, last time I was there it would have been a muddy scramble with a high chance of falling back to the beach.

Despite you reminding me a few months ago exactly when that was, I have forgotten again - was it round about March? Not quite deepest winter :-)

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Mike Mayberry
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Mike Mayberry »

jamesl2play wrote:Sorry Mike my mistake. Is it just the car park that is National Trust then?
I do not have a problem with paying the £1 and actually use the honesty box, mainly because I thought it was going to the National Trust. Its the general attitude of the guy that I object to, and the fact he does not give you a ticket or receipt.
Hi James,

There are two car parks there, the one closest to the slipway belongs to the Harbour and the other one is National Trust. I always use the National Trust one as. I have no problem in paying for the parking, I just disagree with the launching fees, the National Trust don't recieve any of this, as I understand it.

longboarder
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by longboarder »

I am going that way next month, Do you have a post code as i cant find this place on a map?
Many thanks
Dave

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by GrahamKing »

Do you have a post code as I cant find [Porth Clais] on a map?
Grid Ref SM740241. Post Code SA62 6RR according to the converter at nearby.org.uk

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Mike Marshall
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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Mike Marshall »

http://www.kayarchy.co.uk/html/04enviro ... access.htm
Quote: "To get to the water, you have a legal right to carry your kayak along any public highway such as a public road or footpath.

You may have a legal right to carry kayaks over private land to get to the beach, even if there is no footpath, but don't expect the landowner to be happy about it. In England and Wales there is a statutory "right to roam" under the Countryside & Rights Of Way Act 2000.

No trespassers signCRoW was intended to open up the countryside for recreation, and gives a legal right for walkers to go onto much private grassland, woodland or heath. You can find the full text either at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/uk ... 00037_en_1 or by searching on the UK Statute Law Database at http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk

CRoW has been amended by Part 7 of the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009 which is intended to provide a two-metre wide coast path right round England and to improve rights of access to some beaches, cliffs, rocks and dunes in England & Wales for recreation on foot. It remains to be seen how this will be implemented in practice. Regulations and orders to be made under the 2009 Act will take account of environmental factors and the rights and activities of commercial and private landowners. The process is expected to be largely complete by 2019. "


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Re: Launching Fees

Post by tg »

This site might prove useful. I haven't used it lately but I seem to remember municipal/public slips/launches being listed.

http://www.boatlaunch.co.uk/

It's wiki..like so any bod can update it. Just hope it's accurate.

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by TerryH »

Here is something I posted September 2009 on the NWSK forum:

"Having been paddling out of Whitby many times I thought people might like to be aware of a new strange encounter last Sunday (6th Sept.)
I like to park and use the Marina at the far end of town. £6.00 parking sounds steep but comparable to the other public car parks and it gives you very easy access to water via a launching slip and very short carry. Plus on iffy days no surf launch and landing (wimp)
Last weekend a different man in the kiosk than I’ve seen before.
He wanted to know why I wanted a day permit, (no problem in it’s self) then proof of my insurance, lucky I had my BCU membership card with me. (Never leave home with out it)
He then tried to charge me £12.00 for boat launching.
He did settle for £6.00 as the “BCU must be some sort of club.”
So just a quick heads up as I have never been asked these questions before. (In-fact I normally engage in friendly banter with the Marina officer, and always found him very kayak friendly)
So you may need to prove up to £1million 3rd party insurance plus only ask for car parking not a boat launch.
I think it’s ever since I went there with Jim the week before, they are worried about a Lancastrian invasion. "

Terry

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

There was an article in the latest Scottish Paddler, SCA mag, about Harbour fees.

I always thought under the SOAC (Scottish Outdoor Access Code) only water access that was previously charged for was allowed.

I appreciate the Harbour trusts etc needing money but car parking and other fees will cover the use. Thin end of the wedge think if we accept it
as it will just go up every year. Think it's better we are seen buying a pub lunch, mars bar etc in the local ammenities.

I would rather have a ten minute awkward launch than pay for a slip's use.

Nick

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Re: Launching Fees

Post by tannys »

I tried to launch in coniston in the summer, until the 'nice' man came up to us said that would be £15 based on the length of my kayak (14ft) we went somewhere else to launch for free
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