Owners of some boats in the waters of the District of Columbia would pay substantially higher registration fees in 1978 under a proposed revision of D.C. harbor regulations.
Speaking Friday before some two dozen representatives of local marinas, marine dealers and boat clubs, Lt. Thomas M. McGlynn, harbormaster of the Metropolitan Police Department, said that a proposed revision to the District's harbor and boating safety regulation to be considered by the City Council would make registration fees dependent upon boat length.
"Under the present regulation," McGlynn said, "boats with propulsion machinery pay a $10 yearly fee while boats without pay $2. Boat length is not a factor. What we're considering is $5 for boats less than 16 feet in length, $10 from 16 to less than 26 feet and $20 from 26 feet to less than 40 feet. Boats 40 feet and longer would pay $40. The rate schedule would apply equally to both powered and non-powered boats. Boats used exclusively for racing would continue to be exempt from registration fees."
McGlynn said that documented vessels, which are presently excluded, ought to come under the registration and fee provisions that apply to the D.C. waters. "We find documented boats broken into, on fire, sinking and abandoned and we don't even have a telephone number so we can call the owner. Registraton would help us do a better job of keeping track."
Other proposed revisions could affect speed limits, temporary anchorages and takeoff and landing areas for amphibious airplanes.
McGlynn said that "a number of boaters feel that the six-miles-per-hour speed limit between Memorial Bridge and Roosevelt Island Bridge on the Potomac and between Haines Point and the Titanic Memorial on the Washington Channel should be raised. We've considering that."
McGlynn also suggested that a portion of the Anacostia River, the Washington Channel and the waters near the Washington Sailing Marina should be designated as temporary anchorages. At present, there are no designated anchorage areas anywhere in D.C. waters.
Landing and takeoff areas for amphibious aircraft should also be designated, McGlynn said. "The planes would be controlled by National Airport. We think the primary area might be near the mouth of the Anacostia River with the Washington Channal a secondary area. Boats would be denied those areas only during actual takeoffs and landings."
McGlynn said that he hoped that the revised regulation would grant him the authority to "impound unattended vessels in violation of the regulation."
McGlynn emphasized that the proposed revisions are tentative. "There will be a formal hearing before the D.C. Council in three or four months," McGlynn said. "Everybody that wants to will have a chance to comment. I hope the revised regulation will be in effect by the first of the year. In the meantime, boaters are reminded that the three-inch validation sticker for 1977 should now be displayed. We'll be checking boats in all the marinas April 30 and May 1."
Boaters may write to McGlynn at 550 Water St. SW, 20024, for a copy of the proposed legislation.