More Comments on the Dock Box Charge

This graph shows the impact of the flat dock box fee on the progressive nature of the new berth rates as recently approved by the Waterfront Commission.

In the market for boat berthing, the price per month per foot is the standard of comparison. The flat dock box fee raises the effective rate for the 20 ft. berths by $0.25/ft/month, while only raising the rate for 60 ft. berths by $0.08/ft/month. This cuts the slope of the progressive rate curve approximately in half, and significantly compromises the goals of the progressive rate structure.

20 ft. berths are the only berths with significant vacancies in the Berkeley Marina. If we seriously expect to maintain a diverse population of berthers, then it's essential that we not price the berths for the economical small boats out of the market.

The dock box fee is also spectacularly bad public relations among current berthers. Most berthers seem willing to accept the basic premise of market-rate pricing - but the dock box fee, in a market where a dock box is usually an amenity that's included for free - is seen as a gouge. Instead of a fee for a box, there should be a credit for docks without a box. 60,000 in annual revenue (1,000 berths x $5/month) could be obtained easily enough with a small increment in the base rate.