Unbeknownst to many, the Kiama Harbour Boat Owners’ Association Inc is responsible for looking after the whole boating harbour.
“The harbour is owned by Crown Lands, and since 1986 we have had a licence under permissive occupany to utilise the harbour and maintain its infrastructure,” says the Association’s Secretary, Dieter Schultejohann.
The slipway is a much used part of this infrastructure, utilised by boaters from up and down the coast.
Its components require constant maintenance and eventually replacement, and this year it is the turn of the boat cradle.
“It has lasted 40 years by us welding it up and repairing it continually, but it has come time to replace the cradle completely,” says the Association’s Treasurer Paul Wyer.
In 1982, it was built by Wollongong TAFE students, and the Association is keen to try and find a local contractor to do the work this time.
“Ideally we’d like to spend the money locally,” says Mr Schultejohann.
“If we can’t do that then we’ll go further afield.”
The structure would be built off site and brought to the harbour in sections. The old cradle would then be taken away while the new one is put in position.
“I imagine the slipway will be out of action for 1-2 weeks,” says Mr Schultejohann.
The Association runs the slipway at a loss, as a service to the boating community, subsidising it with the leasing fees it receives.