The Cal 20 fleet's sailing season was cut short, and several emails to Parks Board management went unanswered, or gave vague reasons as to what was happening. On September 25, 2020, Mr. Tim Collins advised us that our request for more information should be handled through the City's Freedom of Information Department. Accordingly, a request was filed with the FOI office that same day, asking for any documentation related to the crane and wharf, over the previous few years, so we could understand if there had been any prior inspection report, concerns about qualifications for use, maintenance actions, etc.
It took much longer than expected to receive the documents. Firstly, the FOI office initially wanted to charge us $720 for the information. A "Pay-wall" to discourage us, it would seem. After several negotiations with the FOI staff, we were able to reduce the scope of the request. Even so, the FOI office then told us that there were 3rd parties involved, and they had to be consulted, and give their approval for documents to be released. Each communication from the FOI office seemed to involve delays of several more weeks.
At long last, we now have the documents. See this link:
To summarize, these appear to be the concerns:
- Some welds which need to be assessed, if any cracking or corrosion is found
- The crane itself is only rated for 2,500 pounds, but the electric hoist is rated for 4,000 pounds, this is a no-no. (but was installed like this by whom? and had been like this for how long?)
- Condition of wood pilings below needs to be assessed. Uncertainty as to whether previously recommended repairs had ever been carried out.
- Concern by Mr. Tim Collins about who would be qualified to operate the crane (and mentions that there would be no instances where they would allow non staff members to use the crane).
The most damning comment however, is an email from Mr. Tim Collins, dated Nov 4/2020, stating:
"This item is a throwback to the past and not sure that it is really required by the marina or VPB operations and subsequently may be removed."
If this statement by Mr. Collins gives any indication of management policy, it appears clear then, that the crane will be removed, and as usual, there was never any consultation of the marina users. Has the Cal 20 fleet (and other day sailor users of the crane) been thrown under the bus?