Council OKs plan for charter sailboat in Port

Officials say 55-foot vessel that will offer day sails promises to help fuel city’s summer tourism economy

    Port Washington’s harbor will become home to a charter sailing vessel next summer.
    The Common Council on Tuesday approved renting a slip in the north marina to Milwaukee Sailing Adventures to provide day-trip charter excursions aboard the 55-foot sailboat Jakob.
    Aldermen also approved a memorandum of understanding with Milwaukee Sailing Adventures that governs the terms of the operation.
    And the Harbor Commission, which recommended the action on Monday, was also told that a converted Navy cargo ship is looking to call the harbor its home.
    The two boats would provide an additional reason for people to visit the marina, Harbormaster Dennis Cherny said.
    “It could be the future,” he said.
    The Jakob, which is expected to offer recreational sails from Memorial Day through the end of September, is owned by Andrew Sadock, who also owns the tall ship Red Witch.
  BOAT  Mayor Tom Mlada said talks between the city and Sadock began several years ago, when Sadock was looking for a new home for the Red Witch.
    He decided to move the boat from Chicago to Kenosha, but Port officials continued to talk to him and this year, those talks paid off, Mlada said.
    Sadock chose Port over two Michigan marinas as the home for the Jakob, he said.
    “I think there are only upsides for our city,” Mlada said.
    Tourism Director Kathy Tank has said people visiting Port often stop at the Pebble House to see how they can get out on the water, and the Jakob will provide that opportunity, he said.
    The sailboat, which has seating for about 30 passengers, will complement the rides offered by the Denis Sullivan when it visits Port, Mlada added.
    Sadock’s goal for 2018 is to take 2,000 people sailing, Mlada said. And noting that tourists are estimated by the state to spend $60 a day in the community,  he said, “That’s a lot of money we’re bringing into our local economy.”
    Because it is a commercial operation, it will also help cement the city’s status as a commercial harbor, Mlada added, enhancing the community’s chances of obtaining grants and other funding for such things as the breakwater repairs.
    Sadock will pay the standard docking fee, which for a 55-foot boat is $4,430 annually, Cherny said. He will likely moor in the marina channel along Rotary Park.
    The Jakob is one of three sisterships, one of which was owned by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Cherny said, and another of which circumnavigated the globe twice.
    The Navy ship, which is currently on the East Coast, is owned by John Kuber of Germantown, Harbormaster Dennis Cherny said.
    Kuber would like to moor the 148-foot boat off Coal Dock Park throughout the year, Cherny said.
    “He’s not worried about the weather,” he said.
    “I think it could be an attraction. A lot of people came here to look at (the superyacht) Tranquility when it was here. This could be the same thing.”
    He estimated the cost to dock the boat off the park would be about $11,000 annually, a figure that “he (Kuber) didn’t bat an eye at,” Cherny said.
    If things work out, Cherny said, the ship would moor here beginning in spring of either 2018 or 2019, he said.
    “I think it would be awesome,” commission member Bill Driscoll said.
    Commission member Dan Herlache noted that the vessel would be visible to motorists and pedestrians if it moored off the park.



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