Q & A Report from Tuesday Night

The following questions summarize some of the more pressing and/or common questions the DCYC Leadership has fielded both at the Tuesday meeting and in the recent past. Do you have a question that is not covered here? Please let us know so we can address it for the benefit of both you and your fellow club members. 

What about the sizes of the new docks?

– All eight-foot slips will be changed to ten-foot slips.
– Slips that were ten and twelve-foot will remain ten and twelve-foot slips.
– Slips that were fourteen-foot will now be thirteen-foot.
– The club will gain nine new slips, six of which will be twelve-foot slips.

Who are the contractors under consideration?
The Dock Committee narrowed potential contractors down from six builders to two favorites:

Marine Development Inc.

– Based in Oklahoma
– Steel truss design with concrete panels
– Dock maintenance: Concrete panels can be easily removed
– The predecessor of MDI built our breakwater and Dock 6. The Club has a strong history with MDI.

Wahoo Docks

– Based in Alabama
– Aluminum structure with an African hardwood decking
– Dock maintenance: Decking will need to be unscrewed to access the docks underneath.

Will the decision on the vendor be made before the meeting?
No. The Dock Committee is still negotiating with the two remaining vendors.

Are the docks built on or off premise?
The new docks will be built off premise and delivered ready to install. They will arrive at DCYC in sections and assembled here.

What are the pros/cons of aluminum vs. steel?
Aluminum is fancier, very attractive and a strong trend in yacht clubs across the country. One downside the difficulty of welding the aluminum docks.

MDI’s steel construction is traditional and stronger. Plus, we have a lot of experience welding steel.

What about the floats we purchased for the previous docks? Can we reuse our existing floats?
We do have the option to reuse our existing floats; there are two reasons we opted to go with new floats: (1) using our existing floats would save the Club very little money; (2) the floats we purchased are 12 inches. The new floats are 18-20 inch floats. The Dock Committee strongly prefers higher docks with the taller floats. They also have several ideas on how to reuse and/or resell the original floats.

What’s the starting date/end date?
We are asking for estimates. Possibly starting in November or December, finishing in two-to-three weeks.

How are the docks secured?
We originally looked at pilings which would have cost three-hundred thousand more than our current estimates, a cost we decided we could not afford. The two remaining options are a block-and-cable system and mud poles.

We chose mud poles, in part because we have better ideas of how to prevent future failures. Previous dock failures have occurred when a dry line from West Texas pushed through and broke the mud poles. The new plan includes winches and cables that would tie into the bulkheads. The Dock Committee feels confident the bigger (eight-inch) mud poles with an increased ability to tie them into the dock structure will serve the club well in the long term.

Note: Tropical Depression Bill was a 55-year event. This combination of high water and excessive winds is unique in the history of the club. Prevention of future problems similar to this highly unusual event would simply be cost prohibitive. Rather than engineer for another 55- or 100-year event, it makes more sense to increase our insurance.

What about the debris in the harbor?
We are missing a hydro-hoist, an Opti rack, and Dock 3’s walkway. We think we know where some of it is. Most of the mud poles have been located. All debris will be removed prior to the dock installation. Randall Massey (with the help of volunteers) is picking up more debris every weekend.

What is a mud pole vs. a piling?
A piling is driven into the lake bottom. A mud pole is dropped.

What can members expect in terms of water and power on the new docks?
The plan is to offer power similar to what we had. We looked closely at offering 30 amp power, but the quote was over $250,000.00 and would require new infrastructure. Adding this new infrastructure and power will remain an option in the future with the new docks.

For now, the new docks will offer one outlet for every four docks, just like our previous docks. We are still obtaining quotes for the electrical service, but we hope to have it installed for less than $100,000.00.

Water service will remain similar to that on our previous docks.

What will happen to the boats on Docks 4 & 5 as the new Docks 4&5 are being installed?
Our current plan is to build the docks in two time frames, first Docks 1-3, then Docks 4-5. Between those two builds, we will move all the boats off Docks 4-5 and destroy the docks in preparation for the new docks.

Will the new fingers twist?
No. Both dock plans are extremely stable. At some point, the harbor will go dry as it has before. When it does, the new docks will not have underwater trusses/back braces that will settle on the lake bottom, making the docks twist. The MDI docks offer torsion tubes that also help eliminate twisting.

Will the Club handle the removal and reinstallation of members’ hydro-hoists?
As before, individual members are responsible for uninstalling and reinstalling their hydro-hoists.

Will the walkway between Docks 5 & 6 be restored?
In all likelihood. The Dock Committee is considering some plans to restore access between the two docks.

Will I have my same slip?
The Dock Committee will attempt to keep dock assignments as similar as possible to the current configuration.

Why not just repair Docks 4 & 5 rather than replace them?
Repairing Docks 4 & 5 would cost more than $100,000. Considering repair costs and future maintenance costs, it is actually much more cost effective in the long run to simply replace them now.

What about the damage to Dock 6?
We do have a cost estimate for repairs on Dock 6 and are considering our options.

Will spaces between the slips remain the same?
They will be basically the same. Fingers will be four-foot wide. We considered a two-foot option, but four-foot provides increased stability and better security for attaching hydro-hoists.

Will the slips have built-in V-decks?
The new docks do not include built-in V-decks; the design of the new docks means it will be much easier for members to bolt into the side brackets of the dock structure. The Dock Committee is considering a standard for V-decks.

Are there prefab V-decks available to purchase?
Yes, Wahoo does offer prefab V-decks. We can ask MDI to provide a quote on their V-decks.

What about dock boxes?
The placement of the dock boxes is contingent upon the final widths of the docks and fingers, decisions still under discussion, but the Dock Committee is considering uniform standards for the placement of dock boxes that would enhance accessibility of docks and fingers.

How wide will the docks be?
Six-foot docks make sense given the Corps of Engineers’ emphasis on ADA accessibility, plus six-foot docks are more stable and give us better flexibility in usage. Four-foot docks require extra monitoring and care.

What about edge-guards and cleats?
All docks come with edge-guards and six cleats.

What if we cannot make the meeting?
Dock owners can vote by proxy, members cannot. Please do your best to attend. It is imperative we make the quorum established by our bylaws for this historic meeting.

What are the quorum requirements for the meeting?
We need 25% of the voting members to attend the meeting to meet the bylaws’ requirements for a quorum.

What is this going to cost individual members?
Our current plan is to increase members’ CIF contribution by $10 and the Dock Maintenance Fee by $20 per dock for a total of a $30 increase for members with a single slip. For those who do not own docks, their bills will increase by only $10.00.

We are seeking approval for a loan of up to $800,000.00, though we hope to not use the entire amount. New docks will cost between 1.2 and 1.3 million, of which our insurance will cover around $500,000.00.

Have we shopped around for good interest rates?
Yes, and we continue to do so. We believe our rate will be somewhere between 4.5 and 4.2 percent.

Did we investigate getting assistance from FEMA?
FEMA is not the best option for the Club. Besides, interest rates are quite low at this time.

Did we consider allowing the membership to fund part or all of the loan?
Yes, this option was discussed extensively. The leadership thinks the complexities outweighed the benefits. And again, current bank interest rates remain attractively low.

What about a sunset for the fee increase associated with this loan?
Members always have the option to revise the fee structure at any point in the future.

What if the membership does not approve the loan?
There is no road forward. We cannot built the docks without a loan. If we fail to pass a plan now, we risk having boats on moorings through the winter months. Given the devastation of the docks, the proposed fee increases are not unreasonable. If we do not secure the membership’s permission to move forward on the loan and the dock construction, we risk permanently losing our dock allocations from the Corps of Engineers as well as our most important asset, our members.

How long will the Club pay on this loan?
Currently, we have approval for a ten-year loan, although the Club is seeking approval for a fifteen-year loan. It is the intention of the leadership to accelerate the payment of the loan so we have paid it off in 8.5 years. Even more aggressive repayment plans have the loan paid within seven years.

Can we increase our membership?
The forecasts we have based our projections on are worst-case scenarios. We have a lot of interest from people who are waiting to see what happens. Clearly, the new docks will make our club much more attractive to potential new members.

With rate increase, where does that put us compared to other clubs?
Comparable slips at Cottonwood Creek (our nearest neighbor) run $230–270 per month. Across the board, we remain very competitive and economical in the sailing community.

What about non-dock related damage like the roofs on the smaller structures?
Smaller issues like the picnic table roofs are still under discussion, but membership will handle much of it.


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