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HomeNewsArchivesSTUDY: CROWN BAY DOCK HAS POTENTIAL, AT A PRICE

STUDY: CROWN BAY DOCK HAS POTENTIAL, AT A PRICE

The V.I. Port Authority may have to spend up to $9 million if it wants to realize the full potential of the cruise ship dock in Crown Bay. That's the gist of a preliminary report released this month by Star Center, a Florida firm hired to conduct a feasibility study on further development of the Sub Base docking facilities.
VIPA wants the capacity to accommodate cruise ships up to 1,000 feet in length at all three Sub Base docking berths, mainly to accommodate overflow from the West Indian Company dock in Havensight. VIPA, WICO and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association commissioned the study.
Port Authority executive director Gordon A. Finch said Wednesday he doesn't expect the final findings to differ substantively from the preliminary ones. With the $9 million investment "and some minor dredging in the Gregerie Channel," he said, "we should able to handle about 90 percent of the ships now at sea."
With the projected redevelopment, Finch said, it should be possible for cruise ships up to about 970 feet in length to berth on the south side of the dock and those up to 800 feet to tie up on the north side. He said he will recommend that the authority also pursue the development of the Crown Bay terminal.
Cruise ship operators have said that the configuration of the docks and the location of Gregerie Channel make it difficult to maneuver the large vessels in and out of Crown Bay.
The Star Center report, dated April 3, cites the findings of more than 60 simulator docking exercises carried out by St. Thomas harbor pilots and captains from various cruise lines. The simulation exercises concentrated on accessing the Crown Bay terminal. But because the north- side berth requires the most maneuvering, the report said, "a concentrated effort was made to test approaches and departures from that berth."
With winds of less than 20 knots, according to the simulation findings, vessels would have no difficulty accessing either side of the dock. But with winds in excess of 20 knots, the report said, the vessels could get to the southern berth without difficulty, but "access to the northern berth required excessive thruster usage for extended periods of time."
According to the report, most of those taking part in the simulator exercises agreed that the best way to ease access to the north side of the dock would be to add a 200-foot finger pier extension on that side.
Star Center is expected to submit its final report to VIPA, WICO and the cruise line association by the end of April.

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The V.I. Port Authority may have to spend up to $9 million if it wants to realize the full potential of the cruise ship dock in Crown Bay. That's the gist of a preliminary report released this month by Star Center, a Florida firm hired to conduct a feasibility study on further development of the Sub Base docking facilities.
VIPA wants the capacity to accommodate cruise ships up to 1,000 feet in length at all three Sub Base docking berths, mainly to accommodate overflow from the West Indian Company dock in Havensight. VIPA, WICO and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association commissioned the study.
Port Authority executive director Gordon A. Finch said Wednesday he doesn't expect the final findings to differ substantively from the preliminary ones. With the $9 million investment "and some minor dredging in the Gregerie Channel," he said, "we should able to handle about 90 percent of the ships now at sea."
With the projected redevelopment, Finch said, it should be possible for cruise ships up to about 970 feet in length to berth on the south side of the dock and those up to 800 feet to tie up on the north side. He said he will recommend that the authority also pursue the development of the Crown Bay terminal.
Cruise ship operators have said that the configuration of the docks and the location of Gregerie Channel make it difficult to maneuver the large vessels in and out of Crown Bay.
The Star Center report, dated April 3, cites the findings of more than 60 simulator docking exercises carried out by St. Thomas harbor pilots and captains from various cruise lines. The simulation exercises concentrated on accessing the Crown Bay terminal. But because the north- side berth requires the most maneuvering, the report said, "a concentrated effort was made to test approaches and departures from that berth."
With winds of less than 20 knots, according to the simulation findings, vessels would have no difficulty accessing either side of the dock. But with winds in excess of 20 knots, the report said, the vessels could get to the southern berth without difficulty, but "access to the northern berth required excessive thruster usage for extended periods of time."
According to the report, most of those taking part in the simulator exercises agreed that the best way to ease access to the north side of the dock would be to add a 200-foot finger pier extension on that side.
Star Center is expected to submit its final report to VIPA, WICO and the cruise line association by the end of April.