In August, some people from California sailed up the Hudson River in their 40-foot sailboat named Kokopelii. Their journey had started in San Francisco, their home port. They'd sailed down the coast of California and Mexico, through the Panama Canal, and up along the Atlantic coast to New York City, where they picked up a friend who lives in Hudson. The plan was to sail up the river to her home.
The group took their time on the river, enjoying the hospitality of marinas along the way. They stayed overnight at marinas in Croton-Harmon and Kingston. Wherever they stopped, the Kokopelii was welcomed. Marinas were thrilled to host a 40-foot sailboat that had sailed all the way from San Francisco . . . until it reached Hudson.
When the Kokopelii sailed into Hudson and tried to dock at the Power Boat Association, they were told to leave. Although there appeared to be plenty of available spots, they were told, "This waterfront is private--no visitors, no exceptions." The HPBA, it seems, maintains no spots that can be rented to visiting boats. The Kokopelii had to go across the river and dock in Athens. The California visitors were disappointed; the Hudson resident thoroughly embarrassed.
The exclusionary "private" policy of the Hudson Power Boat Association, which apparently is not shared by other marinas along the Hudson, and the rude manner in which the policy was articulated by a member of the HPBA underline the bitter irony of calling Hudson "The Friendly City." Tourism is a component of our economic development strategy. Tourists, who buy local products, patronize local establishments, create tax revenue, and support local amenities, don't only arrive by car or by train. They also arrive by boat, and the Power Boat Association is turning them away.