Sausalito Waters Littered with Aging Boats

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Oct 29, 2010  |  Updated 8:15 AM PDT
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Sausalito Waters Littered with Aging Boats

marinmodern.com

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Watch where you float if you're anywhere near Sausalito.

A tradition of docking boats has left some marinas choked with deteriorating vessels. It may look charming and old-timey, but it's also a hazard.

The decaying boats span a wide variety of types, from large to small, new to old, complete to dilapidated. The practice dates back decades, when Sausalito was known for its informal, welcoming atmosphere.

What are they doing there? The most likely explanation is that their owners can't afford repairs and can't afford to store them. Boats are expensive, after all. Not to mention, some of the boats are also homes. It's not a great way to live, since there's no direct connection to utilities like power and water. But some owners have no other choice.

There's a danger to having such a crowded waterway. Anchor lines, drifting from side to side, can disturb the underwater ecology, making the water dirtier and potentially unhealthy. And even worse, the lines can break, sending boats careening into each other in storms.

So far, little has been done to clean up Sausalito's floating city.

It's a far cry from the strict rules that govern McCovey Cove, just outside the Giant's World Series games. There's a "no motor zone," where vessels must be human-powered. Life vests and lights are required. And there are absolutely no overnight anchorings.

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