September 23, 2021WOLFEBORO — Selectman Luke Freundenburg reported at the Sept. 15 Board of Selectmen's meeting on a dock hand initiative he proposed and put in place as a pilot program with approval of the Board. Freudenberg, owner of Northeast Barge and Dock Company, has more than a passing familiarity with the Town Docks and was able to put his expertise to use on two recent Saturday stints.
His idea was to have dock hands, including himself and two Public Works Department employees, offer assistance to boaters as they negotiated in an out of parking spots along the town docks. Freudenburg noted at the meeting that there are a lot of new boaters, evidenced by information from the state that there were 24,000 new boat registrations and his own personal observation.
According to Freudenberg, he and his team were continuously helping boaters park from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. They offered instruction on how to tie up a boat, offered people a hand getting onto the docks and helped turn boats around to ease getting back out to the bay.
"The docks are wide enough with a little bit of guidance," he commented.
"Boats gather out at the end of the docks because they can't see the spots," said Freudenberg.
The boat traffic was continuous, with people circling by 1 or 2 p.m., but the team was able to alleviate the crunch and be there to catch the rope and guide them in.
He stated, "I never saw anyone have to drive away. At maximum, they had a 15-minute wait."
"We got a lot of compliments," he remarked, adding that he had no negative comments until he posted about the work online.
Asked about use of the 10 – 15 minute parking spot, Freudenberg said he observed a number of boats going in and out. Someone would drive a boat in, use their cell phone to notify their family members or guests that they had arrived, and minutes later, they would return to the boat and head back out to the bay.
With voters on record in rejecting expansion of the docks, he felt institution of such a program would be a good solution to alleviating congestion during the summer months. He estimated a cost of about $8,000 to do so. Chairman Linda Murray and Selectman Brad Harriman expressed appreciation for the initiation and support for the proposal.