Regarding Michael Turton’s Cold Spring’s Riverfront Puzzle (Feb. 15): In 2014 I proposed that Dockside would make a great place for a boatyard.

A century ago the dockside property was a heavy industrial site served by the active marine traffic on the Hudson River. The glorious sloop Victorine called at Dockside often, bringing Albany green sand and taking cast-iron product to market. Victorine was the model for the Clearwater, which was built in Maine and launched 50 years ago.

Dockside, with its immediate access to deep water and incredible views, would be an ideal place for a boatyard. A wooden boat builder of worldwide fame, Nat Benjamin, offers his advice and experience and has given us the plans for his yard and marine railway in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.

This will be a perfect fit for Dockside and is a shovel-ready design ready to be built this summer. (The cost of shoreline stabilization proposed by New York state parks at $1 million and the money spent in Kingston for Clearwater repairs totaled $2 million. Nat’s yard was rebuilt after a fire for $200,000.)

Lake Iseo (Photo by
Ivan Zanotti / Flickr)

The Dockside property, with its boatbuilding activities and marine studies, would be a fine southern terminus to the proposed Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail. The river shoreline would be stabilized as part of the yard with the construction of small rock jetties that will produce, in short order, small beaches for additional marine study and river access.

When the trail is completed, it will be preferable, especially for the elderly and families, to walk only parts of the trail and have a readily available launch service for breaks or a return trip. The Dockside pier can be one of these stops, and  it will be linked to a series of other stops from Peekskill to Beacon on both sides of the river to bring the maximum number of people to the Hudson. A Dockside boatyard would be an ideal, centrally located home port for the river launch.

An excellent model for the appreciation of the Hudson Highlands is Lago di Iseo in the Alpine region of Italy (above). Uncannily similar to our Highlands, Lago di Iseo offers dozens of hiking trails and a comprehensive launch service serving the many towns on the lakeshore. It is enjoyed by many thousands every year, and has been for centuries.

Sandy Saunders, Garrison

Behind The Story

Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

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One reply on “Letter: Riverfront Puzzle”

  1. I think Sandy is right about using a launch service to enjoy the water and surrounding views and help ferry hikers back and forth from the trails to the train. It would also create a few jobs. The walkway costs and the maintenance seem out of reach. He is also right about older people who will not be able to do that trek.

    It would be nice to see something community-driven at dockside. The boatyard building could also be used for meetings, workshops and other community events. There is a popular boat-building barn in Port Jefferson, Long Island, that builds small boats and sells them. There is also one in the Hamptons. Kayaks, row boats and other types of boats could be built involving teens and the elders.

    We often take up prime parking on the weekends to load and unload our 14-foot WhiteHall row boat. By the time I have accomplished this process, I am tired. I think a row boat/kayak rack is a must for our town. We would be willing to build it ( and the town could collect rent per slot.

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