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Hyde Street Harbor Set to Open June 9

The Official Take

John Davey, Maritime Operations Manager, Port of           San Francisco on the New Hyde Street Fishing Harbor.

John Davey, Maritime Operations Manager, Port of San Francisco

The new Hyde Street Fishing Harbor is a long needed improvement to the facilities down at Fishermen’s Wharf. Currently, what we have there is a fixed pier configuration where the boats have to come in and tie up between stall piles and use counter weights or a floating camel situation. A floating camel consists of pilings with tires wrapped around them so as to a bumper between the boat and the dock. It softens the friction of the forces because they both have to rise and fall with the tides.

The new Harbor has a modern floating dock. It’s familiar to recreational boaters; the docks, including the walkways and everything, float on the tides. It a safer because fishermen won’t have to worry about lines getting tangled and more convenient because of the walkway right alongside the boats. Right now, the fisherman have to come in stern to the tide so they can tie their sterns up along the wharf and come down a ladder to get on their boat. That’s not so easy when you’re lugging all your gear and provisions up and down a ladder. It can get dangerous handing heavy things back and forth across the gap between a vessel and the docks.

Also, the new harbor is configured for larger berths. The original Fishermen’s Wharf was built back in the 20’s and 30’s, when fishing boats were smaller. The average length of a berth at the wharf right now is about 35 feet. The smallest berth we have in the new harbor is 40 feet and we have a couple of 60 footers and even some 80 foot berths. So now, we’ll be able to accommodate some of the larger fishing vessels, which we haven’t been able to take into slips at Fishermen’s Wharf. The larger ones currently have to tie alongside Pier 45.

Bigger, better and cleaner berths await hard-working fishermen

We’ll have all new modern utilities; electrical, water and such. There’s also a first-rate system for handling bilge water so that it’ll be fed into the city’s sewage treatment system. That will cut down almost entirely on gray water and bilge water being discharged into the bay, and important improvement in water quality for the harbor. There will be with a much better security because we’ll have a single locked gate. Currently with the fixed piers, there are probably as many ways to get on the pier as there are boats. You can come from all different directions, which makes security far more difficult to monitor.

We added 62 births. We currently have about 120 so this increases the capacity by about 50%. A lot of the fishing fleet is transient. They follow the fish, so they may be home ported one place — Mendocino County, Oregon — but spend upwards to a month or two in San Francisco, We’re planning in our management to set aside about 25% of the berths strictly for transients.