The town will be installing dinghy racks and tie-up rails on public property in an effort to protect the eroded western shoreline of Great Pond and clean up an area on Green Pond.
Falmouth Harbormaster Gregg Fraser received approval from the Falmouth Conservation Commission Wednesday evening, October 7, for 16 racks that can hold 63 dinghies and six rail post systems on town-owned land. The harbormaster’s office can also require removal of the homemade tie-off structures—including PVC pipes, concrete and metal posts—being used by residents to secure their boats on shore. Work will begin soon; the plan is to have some racks and rails in place by late fall.
Once in place, they will be used on the shore off Harrington Street, north and south of the public boat launch, at the end of Priscilla Street, and at a small town parcel across from the boat landing on Green Pond where dinghies are tied to a fence all the way to Menauhant Road. Rail posts will be installed near the end of Oak and Randolph streets.
“Right now there are dinghies up and down Great Pond, and it’s an issue because that area is eroding. The boats are also being stored on the beach grass,” Mr. Fraser said. “We’ve been working with the conservation commission on ways to help protect the resources in these areas.”
Waterfront storage for residents’ dinghies has long been a goal for Mr. Fraser. He looked to Mashpee and Barnstable, which have provided racks and rails at public landings, and wanted to bring that to boaters in Falmouth who need their dinghies to get out to their moorings.
“If you walk up and down Great Pond, you’ll see people have them secured every which way, tied to trees, posts in the ground, tied to cement blocks. The idea is to get rid of the boats off the shoreline, which is severely eroded,” he said.
AmeriCorps volunteers will help construct the racks; some should be in place in late fall. The rest will be ready for spring. There is no fee at the moment, but Mr. Fraser will propose a $25 charge for those who wish to reserve a spot on a rack.
The program is not mandatory, but that could change later if or when enough racks are built to accommodate all the dinghies.