Author Topic: Boat ramp stuff  (Read 4977 times)

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Ahnkochee

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2009, 10:41:42 AM »
When the surf is up at both Kihei, and Kahului harbors these ramps get totally over run with surfers.  They get in the way of both private boaters, and commercial operators who not only pay the ramp use fee but also a percentage of their gross to the state.  These clueless selfish surfers also use the main channel of harbors for access to the surf break.  There have been several very close calls of surfers almost getting ran over and a couple actual hits.  When the surf is up boats have to time entering the harbor between sets (of waves) and you cannot see surfers paddling out between the swells in the channel.  Boats have to enter the harbor at a good clip to make it in between the sets so hard to avoid these idiots at the last second.  These surfers try to use the same argument that they are taxpayers and so have every right to use the launch ramp and channel to get to their waves.  They will even double park in trailer parking.  DOCARE has to be at the ramps during high surf times preventing confrontation between surfers and boaters, and citing these guys for breaking the rules.  A former Maui district manager even suggested getting surfboards registered as vessels to collect additional fees including ramp use fees, and to make their presence at the ramp legal.  I have been a surfer since I was 8 years old but the attitude of these few clueless harbor surfers piss me off because their selfishness can ruin it for the rest who know better. 
I don't want to see this attitude spread to the kayaking community.  One of my best friends and a hanai brother had a kayak tour company on Maui.  He owned a couple trailers that held like 8 kayaks for his business.  He was always on the up and up and did things right so before trying it he asked the Maui District Manager if he could use the ramps to launch his kayaks, and he was given a firm but polite negative to that request stating among other things the liability issues in the refusal.  He was cool about it and instead chose other shoreline areas to launch. 

Ahnkochee

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2009, 07:49:35 PM »
I have to agree with Uncle Ji, I own a Jet ski and the so called trailer fee is a misconception, it's actually called ramp fees. Fees that are asses for the use of the boat ramps. This is in addition to boat fees... I pay 45.00 Dollars for ramp fees and 55.00 Dollars for the jetski annually.

I have seen DLNR issue citation for boaters without current ramp fee stickers or boat stickers, as well as deny them from launching their boats.

Amen, if you don't have a current ramp use fee sticker verifying compliance you cannot use the ramp regardless of what type vessel that you are trying to launch.   If your vessel registration is current but you forget to apply the current ramp use sticker on your trailer you can't launch from a state ramp either.  ARGH $45.00 now for ramp use permit?  That sux.   >:(  I'm glad I sold all my trailer boats, what PITA owning one or 3 that was.  ::)

Offline Koanalu

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2009, 11:27:40 PM »
I realize this is an old topic, but I thought it might be helpful to post the actual applicable state statutes and administrative rules as they pertain to launching our kayaks at boat ramps.  The short version is that only trailered boats are required to pay a fee for use of the ramp, and fines as well only apply to trailered boats.  If you launch your yak from a trailer at a ramp, you have to pay the fee and get the sticker.  If you don't use a trailer, there is no fee to be paid and no prohibition from using the ramp.  Any state official that tries to enforce otherwise is exceeding their authority.

Here's the whole scoop:

Hawaii Revised Statues
[§200-4]  Rules.  (a)  The chairperson (of the Board of Land and Natural Resources) may adopt rules necessary:
     (1)  To regulate the manner in which all vessels may enter the ocean waters and navigable streams of the State and moor, anchor, or dock at small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities owned or controlled by the State;
     (2)  To regulate the embarking and disembarking of passengers at small boat harbors, launching ramps, other boating facilities, and public beaches;
     (3)  For the safety of small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities, the vessels anchored or moored therein;
     (4)  For the conduct of the public using small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities owned or controlled by the State;
     (5)  To regulate and control recreational and commercial use of small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities owned or controlled by the State and the ocean waters and navigable streams of the State;
     (6)  To prevent the discharge or throwing into small boat harbors, launching ramps, other boating facilities, ocean waters, and navigable streams, of rubbish, refuse, garbage, or other substances likely to affect the quality of the water or that contribute to making the small boat harbors, launching ramps, other boating facilities, ocean waters, and streams unsightly, unhealthful, or unclean, or that are liable to fill up, shoal, or shallow the waters in, near, or affecting small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities and the ocean waters and navigable streams of the State, and likewise to prevent the escape of fuel or other oils or substances into the waters in, near, or affecting small boat harbors, launching ramps, or other boating facilities and the ocean waters and navigable streams of the State from any source point, including, but not limited to, any vessel or from pipes or storage tanks upon land.  The rules may include:
         (A)  Requirements for permits and fees for:
              (i)  The mooring, docking, or anchoring of recreational and commercial vessels or the launching of recreational or commercial vessels at small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities; or
             (ii)  Other uses of these facilities;

Hawaii Administrative Rules
§13-234-34 Fee for use of state boat launching ramps.
(a)   An annual fee of $25 shall be paid by owners of trailered vessels using state launching ramps and other boating facilities for recreational and fishing purposes to gain access to the waters of the State for the purpose of defraying costs of maintenance of the state boating facilities and use of water.
(b)   Owners of trailered commercial passenger vessels who pay the commercial fee for use of state launching ramps and other boating facilities under the provisions of section 13-234-31

State of Hawaii
Department of Land and Natural Resources
Civil Resource Violations System
ADMINISTRATIVE SANCTIONS SCHEDULE
Adopted on March 13, 2009
By the Board of Land and Natural Resources

Part 3. Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR)
Item 3-4. Unauthorized Recreational Use of Boat Launching Ramps or Other Boating Facilities of the State

(b) The Department may issue a violation notice to the owner or operator of a trailered vessel using a state launching ramp or other state boating facility for recreational and fishing purposes without a permit pursuant to §13-234-34, HAR.

Offline scupperpro

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2009, 12:57:17 AM »
very interesting.
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Ahnkochee

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2009, 09:09:27 AM »
I realize this is an old topic, but I thought it might be helpful to post the actual applicable state statutes and administrative rules as they pertain to launching our kayaks at boat ramps.  The short version is that only trailered boats are required to pay a fee for use of the ramp, and fines as well only apply to trailered boats.  If you launch your yak from a trailer at a ramp, you have to pay the fee and get the sticker.  If you don't use a trailer, there is no fee to be paid and no prohibition from using the ramp.  Any state official that tries to enforce otherwise is exceeding their authority.

Here's the whole scoop:


You can interpret the rules any way you want too but you will have pissed off trailer boaters behind you while you launch your kayak which will only create more animosity against kayakers, and you be can be cited by DOCARE officers (many have with none winning their cases) with potential of losing your equipment, and encouraging this behavior (ramp launching) by kayakers to me is a disservice.  The beauty of Kayak fishing is the ability to launch from anywhere not needing a ramp.  I do realize many places especially the Big Island is more difficult to find suitable launch locations, and maybe in these places both the Harbor Agents and DOCARE officers may turn a blind eye especially during low use times.   Maybe if you have time and money you can settle this debate in court with DLNR but I wouldn't encourage others to use the ramp and risk their being cited.  Remember I worked for DLNR for something close to 16 years and have seen kayakers warned, and cited for not only using the ramp but also for washing down at the ramps which the ramp use fee includes.   Remember this is a maintenance fee for ramp and infrastructure which kayakers using the ramp also would cause wear and tear though to a lesser degree.   Every other harbor user pays some sort of fee be it moorings or ramp.  There is also a safety issue.  Why risk a Kayaker getting run over in the harbor not only by ramp launched boats but also by the bigger moored boats.  Bad feelings and bad press not good for Kayaking.
I'm not saying I agree with DLNR practices, just stating the way things are.  Kayaks in Hawai'i currently don't require registration thus no ability to collect these fees but if enough people start forcing the issue by using the ramps for kayak launch it will only lead to mandatory registration of kayaks and collection of fees, mark my words.  Give Lingle an excuse and a source of new revenue and she will milk the new cow dry.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 11:27:47 AM by AhnkoChee »

Offline Koanalu

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2009, 02:03:07 PM »
I'm not saying what is good or bad for kayakers to do.  I'm just saying the law is quite clear and it is permissible for kayakers to use the ramps without payment of fees.

Personally, if I'm launching from a ramp I unload my kayak and gear nearby without blocking the ramp or access to it.  I get everything ready and either carry or drag the yak to the ramp when no boats are using it.  When I return, I wait for any boats either coming in or going out before I approach the ramp.  Once in, i clear my yak of the ramp as quickly as possible.

I have not personally experienced anything but friendliness and cooperation from the guys with boats, neither have I heard of any conflicts with boaters among the kayakers I know personally.  Neither has law enforcement ever been a problem.

The problem I do commonly see is with swimmers on the ramps - mostly unsupervised children who are oblivious to the fact that a boat is approaching.

Offline Uyeda Brothers

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2009, 03:28:07 PM »
I have not personally experienced anything but friendliness and cooperation from the guys with boats, neither have I heard of any conflicts with boaters among the kayakers I know personally.
We had a problem here (Oahu) last year with a crew of STUPID, IGNORANT kayak fishermen who blocked up a ramp on a busy weekend, then proceeded to paddle out of the harbor side by side blocking the boats from getting out of the harbor. There were a lot of PISSED OFF boaters to say the least. My favorite part was when our boater friends and other people started asking me if I knew them and if they were part of our "group" (AQUAHUNTERS). I posted about it in here last year and we haven't had another incident that I know of since...and I hope we never do. The worst thing about these IDIOTS was that there is a super good place to launch from less than 5 minutes away from the harbor. So sad...the few ruining it for the rest of us. >:( >:(

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Offline Rocket

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2009, 10:48:43 PM »
It goes without saying, let the boaters use the ramps. That's AH etiquette! ;D

Offline whipit

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2009, 10:52:05 PM »
We have so many places we can launch from.  No sense clog up the ramps.

Ahnkochee

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2009, 11:46:46 PM »
I'm just saying the law is quite clear and it is permissible for kayakers to use the ramps without payment of fees.


That's the way YOU interpret the law.  Boat ramps were constructed for use by trailer boats, no other purpose.  Just because you have gotten away with it so far does not make it right.   Boaters pay a use and maintenance fee, kayakers don't.  My experience is a lifetime of living here, 35 years as a trailer boater, and 16 years working for DLNR Boating, and seeing people like you getting warned, and then cited for doing exactly what you are promoting- using the launch ramps for kayak ingress/egress.   
What if some nOOb listens to your advice here then gets cited by enforcement, and his equipment gets confiscated, then the nOOb states he got this information on the Aqua Hunters forum, how is that going to make us look?   What if this nOOB gets ran over by a power boater who did not see him in the harbor entrance channel and gets injured or worse?   If you want to misinterpret and break the law fine but don't encourage others to do so.   

Offline Doc Hall

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2009, 07:48:15 AM »
Amen to that.
Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.

Offline Kayaking Bob

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2009, 08:00:19 AM »
My weekly sailing partner just had a knee replaced (he's MUCH older than me :) ).  Because of this, he is looking at buying a trailer to use more often to launch our AI's from harbors & boat launches.  He was told no problem, buy the yearly sticker for the trailer and you are welcome to use them. 

Also they told him the AI does NOT require registration as it's a kayak with a sail, not a sail or power boat (even if trailered). 

I have mixed feelings on adding the trailer, but would be more comfortable using the ramps with a stickered trailer instead of worrying about getting thrown out or worse!

It would be nice if it was crystal clear, but like anything government, more of a gray area, at least as far as enforcement goes.  (We have talked to very nice enforcement guys who say no problem for us to use, until someday it might become our problem.)

Also, when coming in or out of a "boating" area, like a harbor or boat launch, I ALWAYS have my sail out to better be seen.  Same goes for when fishing, when power boats are near, even when there is no wind.   Gotta be safe.

Kayaking Bob

Offline Koanalu

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2009, 12:45:00 PM »
A matter of interpretation?  Well, that's why I posted word-for-word what the statute and adminstrative rules say.  Anyone can read them for themselves.  They are pretty clear.

As far as whether I'm breaking the law, that is why I checked this out in the first place.  I read the topic and it made me wonder so I checked out the actual law to make find out.  In fact, I am not violating any laws; I am not "getting away" with anything.  Neither am I being discourteous or unsafe on or near the ramp or am I saying anything to encourage others to be discourteous or unsafe.  Since I spent the time and effort to get the facts for myself, I think it is worthwhile to share the information with the aquahunters and that is why I posted it.

Concerning a nOOb that gets cited or gets equipment confiscated, because I posted the actual law he will understand his rights and be better prepared to defend himself against unlawful enforcement action.  We should all obey the law, but we shouldn't let ourselves by bullied by the law.

Offline Doc Hall

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2009, 01:59:29 PM »
(A)  Requirements for permits and fees for:
              (i)  The mooring, docking, or anchoring of recreational and commercial vessels or the launching of recreational or commercial vessels at small boat harbors, launching ramps, and other boating facilities; or
             (ii)  Other uses of these facilities;

what is it that you see that is pretty clearly telling you it's legal to use?  i've read and re read your post, and the only thing i really see that comes close to an untrailered vessel is what i posted above. 
it looks like its legal IF you pay the fee's and have permit.  do you have permit?  if not, then it seems that it's illegal. 

i've read these rules and other before and they are purposely hard to translate, so the gov't can get away with stuff.
Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.

Ahnkochee

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2009, 08:04:03 PM »
A matter of interpretation?  Well, that's why I posted word-for-word what the statute and adminstrative rules say.  Anyone can read them for themselves.  They are pretty clear.


Show us all here by highlighting the exact portion of the Hawaii Revised Statutes that says you as a non-paying citizen (maintenance, registration, mooring, etc. fees) has just as much right to use the ramp for launching your kayak, washing down your kayak, and parking at the ramp parking as boaters who actually pay annually a considerable some of money do.
I don't see it, please educate us simple locals.  I know it doesn't say you can't do it, but also doesn't say you can't wash your pet elephant down at the ramp either so does it mean it's okay to?   What is the difference between you and a surfer or stand-up paddler?  Kihei, Kahului, and Lahaina harbors all have a nice surf break right outside the mouth of the harbor.  When the surf is up DOCARE Enforcement has to station officers at these facilities to prevent some of the idiot surfers from using the ramp and channel to access the surf break, and getting run over by boats or worse.  Those that refuse to comply are cited just as kayakers who disobey the rules are.   

The rules are plane and simple, they state the permitted activities at State ramps, and those who are permitted to do these activities which are the paying trailerboaters, no exceptions to kayaks, surfers, etc. are stated.   If you don't understand the rules you ask either a harbor agent, a DOCARE officer, or the boating regulations officer in Honolulu, you don't interpret the rules any old way you want so it is favorable to you then accuse the state officials and enforcement officers of being oppressive bullies when they enforce the rules.   And you certainly don't encourage others to follow your course without being accountable.  You state (quote) "because I posted the actual law he will understand his rights and be better prepared to defend himself against unlawful enforcement action".  That is BS leading someone astray then leaving him out to dry with that comment.  If you want to misinterpret the rules to your favor then break them I could care less especially since you no like listen to experience or reason.  You gonna show up in court to support them when they get in trouble following your advice?   It'll catch up with you eventually, but in the meantime you give the rest of us conscientious kayakers a black eye.

Offline AH_Moderator

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2009, 10:17:56 PM »
Ok guys I think both sides have had their say, let's move on.

Offline AH_Moderator

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Re: Boat ramp stuff
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2009, 08:55:43 AM »
aloha gang.  I have reopened the thread to add this info as it was deemed relevant to this discussion.  At the worst, we have some type of record of DLNR's stance on this hot issue.  It probably won't stand up in a court of law, but it is better than hearsay.  The thread will be closed after this.


I email'd DLNR with the following question:

"Am I allowed to launch my kayak from a boat ramp?  Is a permit required?  I note that the administrative rules note specifically that a permit is required for “trailered vessels” only, and that violations and fines also refer only to trailered vessels. "

The following is their response:

Aloha,

I've got an answer from our Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.  There is no permit requirement for or prohibition against lauching a personal recreational kayak from a boat ramp, although this is not an activity that we recommend for a ramp.  The close proximity of trailered boats and vehicles and a person in a kayak and the fact that ramps tend to be a little slippery suggest that it's not the safest of conditions at the ramp.  We normally will recommend that they move to either side of a ramp or somewhere in a harbor to launch.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Bin C. Li
Administrative Proceedings Coordinator
Department of Land and Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
Tel: (808) 587-1496, Fax: (808) 587-0390
DLNR.CO.APO@hawaii.gov

 

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