Capacity Crowd for FHA Annual Meeting


This digital wheel of fortune determined door prize winners | screen shot from Zoom | post by Larry Clinton

The Floating Homes Association’s Annual Meeting on February 23 was the first to be conducted virtually. “And, hopefully the one and only,” said FHA President Michael Labate. While he couldn’t offer the pleasure of a catered dinner as in the past, he said, “We’ll try and make it a good time tonight anyway.” The entire meeting was recorded and can be viewed on the FHA website.

A full capacity audience was introduced to new FHA Vice President Pete Hudson. Pete introduced the new dock reps and summarized their responsibilities.

Treasurer Teddie Hathaway announced that the 2020 financial statement, along with a budget for 2021, was also on the website. She pointed out that “the major source of our funding for over 30 years has been tours, both public and private. In 2017 we went to a tour every other year. Because of COVID-19 there was only one private tour last year. The result is we faced a serious shortfall. 2020 ended $8,000 in the red. Going forward we need to figure out how to get money if tours aren’t possible.”

“This is what we do with our money:

  • Restock the trailer with emergency supplies.
  • Reimburse members for Community Emergency Response Team training.
  • Subsidize dock activities.
  • Provide a list of contractors and funding sources.
  • Buy and repair shopping carts.
  • Produce the Floating Times.”

“We are members of the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce. We donate to Marin City Library, Sausalito Historical Society, Sausalito Village, The Marine Mammal Center and others. We are making it easier for residents and their friends to donate funds to the FHA and renew memberships on our website.”

Emergency Preparedness Chair Flo Hoylman demonstrated the contents of the Disaster Response trailer parked on Gate 6 Road. Flo thanked Peter Hudson who has been overseeing the trailer, Michael Lewis for taking pictures and Fionna Clements for setting up the medical supplies. She noted that there are lists on the side and rear entries to the trailer with contact information for residents who can open the trailer when needed.

Liberty Rep Jim Rettew announced that he is upgrading the FHA website and previewed the new site in progress. Anyone with ideas should let Jim know. He is also looking for pictures. If you’d like to help, contact Jim directly.

Michael Labate announced that Lisa McNelley and Jill Sherman are the co-members of the year. They conducted a survey last fall that has provided guidance in setting FHA priorities and they co-produced the Annual Meeting. They are planning a speaker series on topics of interest to the entire community and are soliciting questions and suggestions for topics.

Lisa McNelley chaired a panel discussion on floating home hulls, with the following panelists:

Robert Morgan: working on houseboats for 40 years and specializing in concrete hulls
Darren Parker: maritime engineer who trained in Scotland
Ian Moody: owner of Aquamaison, building floating homes and concrete barges for 30 years

Topics included:

  • Pros and cons of a concrete hull vs. floats or pontoons
  • Feasibility of placing a failing concrete barge inside a new one
  • How to determine whether a damaged hull should be repaired or replaced
  • The effectiveness of zinc anodes to prevent hull damage from electrolysis
  • How long it takes to build a concrete hull and how much they cost today
  • What should be done to keep a concrete barge in good shape
  • How chloride-based cleaning products can weaken concrete
  • Leveling the mud a floating home sits on at low tide

The three panelists welcomed any additional inquiries:
Darren: via email at

Jill hosted a drawing for door prizes:  The prizes and donors are:
Firehouse Coffee gift certificate
Hawser Marine Insurance Services: $200 gift card
Bay Area Escrow: Mood and Mind Kit
Bay Area Escrow: doTERRA Relief Kit
Bay Area Escrow: doTERRA Immunity Kit
Bank of Marin: Bottle of Champagne
Teddie Hathaway: glass art
Steve Sekhon, Compass Realty: Door Dash Meals
Steve Sekhon, Compass: Door Dash Meals
Rachelle Dorris, Frank Howard Allen: $300 gift
Michelle Affronte, Engels & Volker: Cart with case of wine

Michael adjourned the meeting by urging everyone: “Take care of yourselves.”