New Haven may soon be a destination of luxurious yachts, thanks to a new development in the city’s harbor.
Three new moorings that will allow visiting yachts to dock will likely be installed in the harbor this spring. At their Nov. 14 meeting, the New Haven City Plan Commission will hear the proposed agreement between the city and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.
The cost of the new moorings will be divided. Seventy-five percent of the cost of the new moorings will be covered by a boating infrastructure grant from the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior.
“We are going to be getting $6,360,” said Frank Pannenborg, the urban design coordinator in New Haven’s City Plan Department. “The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection got the money from the federal government, and they are the people who are handing this out.”
The grant program is a response to the insufficient moorings for large boats. The nationwide Boating Infrastructure Grant Program will provide $32 million to states and territories over four years to construct, renovate or maintain tie-up facilities for recreational boats 26 feet or more in length.
The purpose of the grant includes bolstering community interaction by strengthening local ties to the boating community and the economic benefits it provides.
The city and its partners will split the rest of the cost of the New Haven Harbor moorings. The city will pay for 10 percent, while the Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Rusty Scupper Restaurant agreed to pay for 7.5 percent each.
“It’s a cooperative thing, and I really like that,” said Pannenborg.
New Haven Harbormaster Michael Pimer said that the new moorings fill a need at the harbor.
“New Haven needs out-of-town moorings,” Pimer said. “All up and down the coast, the cities are running marinas and bringing in money, and so far New Haven hasn’t been doing it.”
Pannenborg said he hopes the moorings will attract yachtsmen traveling up and down the seaboard.
“It’s getting New Haven on the map of cruising yachtsmen,” Pannenborg said. “There are so few things like this. These [moorings], as far as I know, will be free of charge. It’s nice to be able to do it.”
Pannenborg added that there is currently only one free guest mooring at the New Haven Yacht Club.
Pimer said he thinks the moorings will have a positive effect.
“[They are] good for the economy and the city,” Pimer said. “People come in and spend money.”
The boating community will learn about the new moorings from city publicity.
“We built into the budget about $1,500 for an intern to try and publicize this, to send flyers to all the yacht clubs with a map to try and entice people to come and use them,” Pannenborg said.