A new reservation system to book the 157 slips at the Islip town-owned Atlantique Marina on Fire Island now permits seasonal rentals, a move that has upset some local boaters.
The reservation system now allows Islip residents to rent a large A slip for the entire summer season for $6,000. The marina has three classifications of boat slips: A for large boats wider than 15 feet, B for boats 11 to 14 feet wide, and C for boats less than 11 feet.
The new system also introduces an online reservation component where Islip residents can make seasonal or weekly bookings through the town website. There are nine A slips and 20 B slips set aside for the online reservations. The C slips are not available for online reservations.
The reservation system will start Tuesday, less than a week before the Memorial Day holiday.
“We formulated this plan based on feedback from the residents of the Town of Islip,” said Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter in an email statement. “The online reservation system affects only 29 of 157 slips in the marina, and is very favorable for the residents of the town. As we navigate through the season we will make adjustments wherever necessary.”
Under the new system, nonresidents or day-trippers can only book slips in person at the marina on a first-come, first-served basis.
The town’s website stresses that “nonresidents cannot go online and book slips. The system requires that residents input their decal number at the time of booking. Upon arrival, they’ll be asked to show Town of Islip identification to the dock master. If they are unable to provide this information, they will be turned away.”
Boater Daniel Zecchini, of Oakdale, said the new seasonal rentals are unfair with few options for docking boats on Fire Island. Last year, the town’s policy limited renting Atlantique’s slips to 12-day stretches at most.
“They’re taking a Town of Islip resource that was meant to increase the quality of life of Islip residents and offering it exclusively to some residents” who can pay the $6,000 fee, Zecchini said. “Docking at Fire Island is very limited, so it’s a very premium resource. By renting it out to a select few for an entire season, you’re privatizing a town resource.”
He said the best slips with access to picnic tables and barbecuing privileges would be snatched up by seasonal permit-holders.
Zecchini also worried the online reservation system could be abused by nonresidents making bookings despite not being eligible to do so.
Another boater, Diane Setter of West Sayville, said that the seasonal rentals could also lead to unattended boats if the occupants leave for days.
“It’s an open marina and the winds whip around,” she said. “One of the big rules at Atlantique is no unattended boats . . . If the wind comes up and the lines come loose and the boats drift away, that to me is the number one concern because it’s dangerous.”
Setter added, “They should not sell seasonal slips at this transient marina.”
She said she planned to speak at Tuesday’s town board meeting on the issue.