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Sunday, November 9, 2003



Maalaea Harbor boaters
frustrated at facility upkeep

Some captains say they are
embarrassed by unsafe conditions


MAALAEA HARBOR, Maui >> Some vessel captains on Maui say they're not getting their fair share of state money to renovate Maalaea Harbor where state facilities are unsanitary, inadequate and potentially hazardous.


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Boaters said electrical wires lay exposed, the public restrooms are inadequate, and the harbor needs a facility for removing sewage from vessels.

Warren Keiley who works aboard the sports fishing boat Rascal, said on many mornings, there are more than 1,000 customers boarding vessels and the harbor has a men's restroom with only one toilet, while the women's restroom has two toilets.

"I'm embarrassed to send them to the restrooms," he said.

Doug Hunt, who works as a captain aboard a snorkeling tour vessel, said a pipe carrying utility lines is sagging so low it touches the harbor water at high tide.

Hunt said the harbor also needs a pump-out station for emptying sewage from boats.

Vessel are authorized to empty their sewage once they're three miles from shore.

Crew people working aboard vessels also say some of the moorings on the dock are so old they would be ripped from the concrete dock if there were high winds.

Commercial boaters said they're frustrated with the conditions because they pay 2 percent of their gross to the state boating division and more money is taken from them than is going for improvements.

Maalaea Harbor generated $664,381 in fiscal 2002-2003 and about $489,000 was spent on improvements and personnel, according to the state Division of Boating & Ocean Recreation.

Carol She', the division's Maui district manager, said her office is requesting $2.5 million for improvements to harbors, including a temporary sewage pump-out station and new restrooms at Maalaea Harbor.

She' said her office is developing separate plans to improve the electrical wiring at Maalaea. She' said the requests need to be reviewed by the Lingle administration.

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