Anchor-Outs in the News

Anchor-outs drift in and out of the Bay, just like the tides  |  photo from  |  post by Larry Clinton

The June issue of Marin Magazine  has a brief article about the “ongoing struggle to find a humane and environmentally successful balance on the bay” between habitat protection on one hand and the rights of anchor-outs on the other. Despite attempting to present a balanced view of the situation, the magazine did describe anchor-outs as “a group of people who live on illegally anchored and moored boats.”

On May 29, the Marin Independent Journal reported: “Sausalito police … often find that more derelict boats drift in after others are removed.”

Bill Price, Harbormaster for the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency, which has jurisdiction over Richardson’s Bay outside Sausalito waters, agrees. He recently told me, “RBRA has removed 66 vessels since July and the backfilling continues. It is a consistent problem and we are grappling with an effective program to put in place to address it.”

Meanwhile, nature continues to run its course. On Saturday, May 12, high winds caused multiple vessels in Richardson’s Bay to break free from their anchors and drift towards the Tiburon Peninsula. Price told me:

The storm was a doozy with sustained winds of 30 knots, but it occurred during daylight hours, so response was much better coordinated as a result. The angle of the wind pushed the majority of the boats ashore south of West Shore Road homes [on Belvedere]. We had one speedboat sink on the shore at West Shore. Two 24’ sailboats were aground to the south in rocky shore. One large 45’ sailboat grounded just offshore. An additional runabout washed onto the rocks. All were recovered and deemed marine debris. All were disposed of by the RBRA.

One 40’ sailboat was secured before it hit the homes on Sunday, when the wind picked back up. The owner is paying for the rescue. Another large 38’ powerboat was discovered tied on the Corps dock, and it had no ID or registration, so it is in impound and will most likely be disposed in the coming week.”

One option being considered by the RBRA is to install a mooring field where all boats will have to be registered. That idea was floated years ago by then-Supervisor Charles McGlashan, but it was shot down by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. How they’ll react to a similar proposal this time around is anyone’s guess.

The next meeting of the RBRA, on Thursday, June 14 at Tiburon Town Hall, is open to the public.