We were puzzled last week at the news that the Town of East Hampton was putting off even temporary or conditional approval of a request from the Viking Fleet to berth a seasonal party-fishing vessel at the Commercial Dock on Three Mile Harbor.
Viking, which runs a large recreational fishing operation out of Montauk, had asked the town board for permission to dock a 65-foot-long day boat there for access to Gardiner’s and Peconic Bays in the spring. No more than 20 paying customers would be aboard at one time, and the trips would be prepaid and by reservation, obviating the need for a ticket booth at the East Hampton site. Members of the board, while not sharply opposed, declined to move forward with the Viking Fleet’s request, saying they wanted to think about it some more. The decision shouldn’t require too much cogitation.
Commercial Dock is a bulkhead at the end of Gann Road. A parking lot there is rarely used in the off-season, although a jumble of boats and fishing gear is piled along its landward margin. Space for one vessel remains, though more could be made available if a relatively useless town-owned barge was moved or sold.
It seems that the dock could accommodate Viking’s plan with minimal impact on other activities or neighbors. Throw in a little jolt of springtime economic activity in that neck of the woods, and you have a compelling argument for at least a one or two-season trial.