No longer safe
The old fishing boat that has been a landmark at Pillar Point Harbor for years is rotting. The San Mateo County Harbor District is looking for a new and welcoming sign. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

For as long as most can remember, an old Monterey fishing vessel has signified the entrance to Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay. Now, after years of wear and tear, the San Mateo County Harbor District Board of Commissioners has decided to demolish the boat and look for a replacement.

“The vessel has been in disrepair for many years,” Director of Operations John Moren said at the board’s Dec. 18 meeting. “… It represents Pillar Point Harbor and the local commercial fishing history. It’s kind of a landmark.”

Due to the boat’s age and water intrusion, the hull was found rotted and in danger of collapsing in on itself, according to Moren. District staff expressed concerns over safety of people who may get on top of the boat and be injured if it does collapse.

“In its current condition it could be considered an attractive nuisance,” Moren said.

The district decided repairing the vessel would prove too costly.

“It’s a tradition to have the vessel there…. it adds to the funky vibe of Pillar Point Harbor,” Commissioner Sabrina Brennan said. “I do not think old vessels are unsightly, but this one has outlived its usefulness.”

Several commissioners were interested in looking for an alternative vessel to replace the boat that will be demolished. But at least one commissioner was open to the idea of leaving the area vacant.

“It would be interesting to see for a few months if the unobstructed view of the harbor is preferable,” Commissioner Nancy Reyering said.

However, all five commissioners stated they supported demolishing the boat and looking for alternative options for signage to the Coastside harbor.

General Manager Jim Pruett said there is no date set on when the boat will be demolished, but he estimates it will happen sometime in January or February. The district will seek bids from contractors to do the work. The final cost is yet to be determined.

No replacement vessel has been identified, but the district is looking, according to Pruett.

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