Sequim marina brimming with boats

John Wayne Marina is running out of slips.

Port of Port Angeles officials say the marina is full, with waiting lists in the dry season. In the rainy season, it’s a bit different in regard to smaller boats.

“Boat ownership has changed,” Port Commissioner John Calhoun said. “People tend to be getting larger boats and there is a limited supply of large slips at John Wayne because the marina was build to the standards of 20 years ago.”

The marina has waiting lists year-round for boat slips more than 36 feet long, while having winter vacancies in the smaller stalls.

“We have had the same exact deal with the Boat Haven in Port Angeles for years,” Calhoun said. “But we are rebuilding half of that marina right now, causing a major shift in configuration that will make the investment pay off.”

Before beginning construction on the Boat Haven, the port surveyed the area, taking into account changing trends in the boating industry.

“Not only are people purchasing larger boats than before, but the people with smaller boats are finding it to their benefit to store on shore,” Calhoun said. “We don’t have an updated plan for John Wayne like we do Port Angeles to reflect these changes, but it will likely come in the near future with plans for reconfiguration.”

Airport and marinas manager Jeff Robb said there is room to expand at John Wayne, but more importantly there is room to reconfigure.

“If or when expansion is pursued at John Wayne, the marina does have significant amounts of headwalks without fingers,” Robb said, referring to the platforms leading to and from boats and land. “We could have long fingers running off the walks to really make use of the space we have laid out.”

Robb said he wasn’t sure how many new slips a redesign could create. He said a study would need to be completed, much like what occurred in Port Angeles.

“The studies are necessary, but sometimes I just want to get to work,” Calhoun said. “Right now we’re being patient and taking our current projects on while looking at what might come next.”

Calhoun said it is the port’s long-term responsibility to make the marinas viable operations.

“The public has invested in us and we need to make sure we are handling that investment in a way that pays off,” Calhoun said. “Which is why we’re aiming so heavily at economic development.”

The commissioner is especially excited about the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposal to create a fishing dock that likely would wrap around the outside of the marina.

“It would be a separate pier and the idea would be we would work together on construction and the tribe would work on releasing salmon or steelhead in the area so they would routinely come back to Sequim Bay,” Calhoun said. “It’s only on the drawing board right now, but if it works out, we think that would be a big draw to the public boat haven.”

Calhoun also said the Dockside Grill, a recent addition to the John Wayne Marina, has been doing well.

“John Wayne Marina is a beautiful place, and we want the public to enjoy it in a variety of ways,” he said. “It is their investment.”

Completely full in the summer, John Wayne Marina sees waiting lists for slips in mid-winter as well. December moorage is as follows:

• 28-foot slip – 68 total with 38 occupied

• 30-foot slip – 42 total with 41 occupied

• 32-foot slip – 28 total and full

• 36-foot slip – 22 total with four waiting

• 40-foot slip – 19 total with four waiting

• 42-foot slip – 21 total with four waiting

• 45-foot slip – 10 total with three waiting

• 50-foot slip – 28 total with 22 waiting

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