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Misery Point boat launch renovations still afloat

The Kitsap Poggie Club helped the Department of Fisheries buy the concrete for the original Misery Point boat launch in Seabeck.

Now the local club is spearheading the project to give the boat launch a much-needed facelift.

Misery Point boat launch is more than 40 years old and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) is building a new boat launch to replace the deteriorating one on the Hood Canal.

“We are just doing the designing and permitting this year,” said Kristen Kuykendall, project engineer with the WDFW. “We hope to have permits in place by the end of this year.”

The WDFW received a $200,000 grant from the Boating Facilities Program in 2005 for planning and beginning the preliminary engineering stage of constructing the new boat launch. The WDFW plans to take out the existing boat launch and replace it with a bridged, or elevated, boat launch. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009.

“We’re taking out the existing boat launch and replacing it with an elevated launch,” Kuykendall said. “It will make it easier to launch boats.”

The funds for constructing the new boat launch came from a “combination of grant funds and state funds,” according to Kuykendall. The WDFW also plans to restripe the parking lots and update the restroom facilities at Misery Point. The estimated cost of the project is $1-1.5 million.

The Kitsap Poggie Club approached the WDFW several years ago about repairing the aging facility at Misery Point. They expressed interest in extending the ramp as well as adding a lane and boarding floats.

“We wanted floats really bad, but it is real hard to design floats to withstand that kind of wave action,” said Glen Jurges, Kitsap Poggie Club secretary and Misery Point project leader. “It just got to the point of being impossible to do. A way to tie up and launch, that’s all we can do.”

Jurges said it is typical for boaters to get stuck in the gravel at Misery Point while trying to launch their vessels. The bridged, or elevated, ramp will make it easier for people to launch boats from the Seabeck facility.

“It gets it higher, steeper on the downhill slide,” Jurges said. “You can get the depth that you need easier to launch. At medium to high tide it will be much easier to launch.”

Kitsap Poggie Club members and officials from the WDFW looked for other locations for boat launches rather than repairing the aging Misery Point facility. In the end, they decided to work with what they already had and replace the boat launch at Misery Point.

“With the amount of use it gets it could certainly be better,” Jurges said. “You just have to make do with what you have. Maybe by 2010 we’ll have something that is adequate out there.”

The Misery Point boat launch is the only boat launch on that side of the canal, according to Jurges, and a popular spot for boaters during the summer.

“People have said ‘the more improvements you can make, the more we’re going to use it,’” he said.

Boaters are not the only ones in favor of the boat launch renovation. The Port of Bremerton and Kitsap County support the Misery Point makeover as well.

“We don’t know exactly how it’s going to play out but the Port of Bremerton, Kitsap County and local sporting clubs are onboard,” Jurges said.

Although the Kitsap Poggie Club would have liked to see more work done to the facility, Jurges said the new Misery Point boat launch will be a great advantage to boaters and Kitsap County residents who use the facility.

“If everything is perfect, we should have a great facility out there,” Jurges said.

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