An­chors aweigh

Long-awaited full-ser­vice ma­rina re­turns to Stam­ford Harbor

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Front Page - By Barry Lytton

STAM­FORD — The re­turn of a fullser­vice boat­yard and ma­rina on Stam­ford Harbor was cel­e­brated on Satur­day, but some be­lieve it won’t erase the dam­age of not hav­ing one for seven years.

Hinck­ley yard and ser­vice cen­ter hosted a grand open­ing in Water­side, ful­fill­ing a com­pro­mise bro­kered by Mayor David Martin be­tween the city’s Zon­ing Board and de­vel­oper Build­ing and Land Tech­nol­ogy — which de­mol­ished a South End boat­yard in 2011 when it ended its lease with Brewer’s Yacht Haven West.

The com­pro­mise, adopted af­ter sev­eral sim­i­lar it­er­a­tions failed, called for BLT to build the Hinck­ley yard on Sel­leck Street and an­other stor­age fa­cil­ity on Magee Av­enue.

The new yard, while smaller than Yacht Haven in terms of boat stor­age and ma­rina spots, will have a sim­i­lar full-ser­vice cen­ter, and it brings back a fuel dock to Stam­ford Harbor, which has not had a sta­tion since 2011. It also has a boat lift, a paint­ing bay and a waste-wa­ter re­cep­ta­cle along the wa­ter.

“Stam­ford was re­ally lack­ing a fullser­vice boat­yard, and that’s what we are,” said Peter Man­ion, Hinck­ley’s gen­eral man­ager. “You name it, we do it.”

The new ritzy boat­yard, with high-end yachts al­ready in the ma­rina, doesn’t do much for ad­vo­cates of bring­ing back the old boat­yard.

Co-founders of the group Save Our Boat­yard said Fri­day they did not plan to at­tend the four-hour open­ing cel­e­bra­tion, even though “the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­ac­tion to this is sure to be en­ter­tain­ing, as rules and law seem to have no place in the ‘pol­i­tics’ of giv­ing devel­op­ers what they want,” Mau­reen Boy­lan said.

“Our boat­yard wishes the Hinck­ley

“Stam­ford was re­ally lack­ing a full-ser­vice boat­yard, and that’s what we are. You name it, we do it.”

Peter Man­ion, Hinck­ley’s gen­eral man­ager

com­pany well as they try to re-es­tab­lish marine ser­vice in Stam­ford,” Boy­lan added. “But many busi­nesses and skilled trades­peo­ple have left the area, leav­ing the boat­ing in­dus­try dec­i­mated.”

In the agree­ment, BLT must also build a boat stor­age fa­cil­ity on Magee Av­enue by Au­gust, Boy­lan said. She and fel­low boat­yard ad­vo­cate Randy Din­ter con­tend the com­pany has not be­gun work on the fa­cil­ity.

Man­ion said Hinck­ley, which rents the lot from BLT, is not in­volved with the other site or the agree­ment. He said the large yacht com­pany, which runs eight boat­yards from Florida to Maine, is sim­ply a ren­ter.

“We are here for the long term,” he said.

The boat­yard is­sue is tied to a long-run­ning dis­pute and le­gal con­tention pit­ting the city against a Long Island Sound ad­vo­cacy group.

A judge ear­lier this spring is­sued a mem­o­ran­dum, re­quir­ing the state Depart­ment of En­ergy and En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion to pro­vide an opin­ion on the fi­nal BLT plan to re­place the boat­yard it de­mol­ished in 2011.

SoundKeeper, the group try­ing to bring back the South End boat­yard, has ar­gued Stam­ford’s Zon­ing Board wrong­fully amended a reg­u­la­tion to al­low BLT to build the Hinck­ley boat­yard as a re­place­ment.

The city has coun­tered that SoundKeeper has no stand­ing in the 2-year-old case be­cause the en­vi­ron­ment was not harmed when the boat­yard re­quire­ment was dropped.

Matthew Brown / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

The grand open­ing of Hinck­ley boat­yard took place on Satur­day in Stam­ford. The new Water­side boat­yard, con­sid­ered by many as a re­place­ment for the one torn down in the South End, fea­tures an in­door stor­age, re­pair and main­te­nance fa­cil­ity with a state-of-the-art paint­ing booth and fuel depot.

Above, visi­tors and guests at­tend the grand open­ing. At left, a ves­sel docks at a slip dur­ing the grand open­ing of the boat­yard.

Matthew Brown / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Dean Lindquist, of New­town, and his daugh­ter, Brit­tany Lindquist, of Stam­ford, take in the pic­turesque views of Stam­ford’s west branch of the Rip­powam River dur­ing the grand open­ing of Hinck­ley boat­yard on Satur­day.

Peter Man­ion, gen­eral man­ager for Hinck­ley Yacht Ser­vices, talks about the fa­cil­ity dur­ing the grand open­ing.

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