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Dec 31, 2012 1:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Peconic Baykeeper Seeking Donations To Keep The Kathy Afloat

Jan 9, 2013 10:06 AM

After 14 years serving as the Peconic Baykeeper’s wheels on the water, the 29-foot-long Kathy is in need of some upkeep and community support.

Dry-docked at the Hampton Shipyards in East Quogue, the Kathy, a Dyer boat built in 1970, now requires roughly $25,000 in repairs before she is ready to once again sail the open seas. Baykeeper Kevin McAllister, and the directors and employees of his organization, have started a campaign to keep the Kathy afloat.

Battered by Hurricane Sandy, the subsequent nor’easter and years of steady use, the Kathy’s hull is damaged, her decks are rotted, her wiring is faulty, and her steering is shot, Mr. McAllister said.

“The notion of just abandoning her for a different boat—that would be difficult,” he explained last week while glancing at his beloved vessel.

He said the organization, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the aquatic ecosystems of the Peconic Bay and South Shore estuaries, does not have the funds available to cover such repairs, which are urgently needed but were not anticipated. Mr. McAllister said the Kathy serves an invaluable purpose in allowing him to have his eyes on the water, monitoring pollution and changes to the shorelines, and surveying damage after severe storms. The Kathy, with its 190-horsepower diesel engine that allows it to travel approximately 20 knots at full speed, also provides school groups, politicians and governmental organizations with the opportunity to see the issues that plague the East End’s waterways firsthand.

And apart from its pragmatic purpose, the Kathy has sentimental value, Mr. McAllister said. Standing on a wooden platform and peering onto her deck, he recalled appearing on a television show shortly after taking the Baykeeper position in March 1998 and asking the community to help him find a boat he could use to explore East End waters. He received a call the next morning from Skip Tollefsen, the former owner of the Lobster Inn in Southampton, who said he had a boat he could offer.

Mr. McAllister recalls visiting the business a few days later and being dismayed at the sight of the Kathy, which was then sunk in the mud in a corner of the marina. But after a few months and some serious elbow grease, the Kathy was eventually launched from the Lobster Inn and set out on her mission.

“This boat has seen many a day on the ocean,” Mr. McAllister said, adding that the Kathy was originally outfitted for catching swordfish and has traveled as far as 80 miles off the coast of Montauk. “It’s a good boat.”

In addition to monetary donations to help get the Kathy back on the open water, the Baykeeper is asking community members who might be interested in donating electrical work, 
graphic detailing, and a new transmitter or radio, to contact the organization at (631) 653-4804 or email info@peconicbaykeeper.org.

“We are in dire need of these repairs,” Mr. McAllister said. “We have to get the work done and we have to find a way to pay for it.”

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Good to know that groveling and begging is alive and well.

Try American Heart Association, East End Hospice, Southampton Hospital, American Cancer Society, Southampton Fresh Air Home, Guild Hall, Parrish Art, Sandy Victims Fund, Red Cross, and so many others ...... These are charities that are in dire need...

That's my two cents anyway...
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Jan 2, 13 5:07 PM
... I don't get the "we" part?
By William Rodney (558), southampton on Jan 2, 13 7:26 PM
what exactly is "the baykeeper position" ??
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jan 2, 13 9:04 PM
The Bays are worth saving. Kevin as done an excellent job of being a stewart of the waterways. I see Kevin at every town trustee meeting giving them an earful of the truth. Fact is most people DO NOT care that leaching septic systems are causing brown tide and low shellfish yields. But as soon as something is shut down, people start bitching! Peconic Baykeeper IS a worthy cause.
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Jan 2, 13 9:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
yes- the bays are worth saving. But you didn't answer my question. What is this position? Is it appointed, volunteer, paid; if so by whom? And what are kevins qualifications, experience, education? Just curious- Ive seen him out there on his boat but don't know what he is doing.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jan 3, 13 10:22 PM
2 members liked this comment
The Kathy’s hull is damaged, her decks are rotted, her wiring is faulty, her steering is shot, and probably a whole list of other repairs like electronics. I can see the cost of this exceeding the $25,000. Sorry, Kevin. But there comes a time when one has to come to terms when it's not cost effective to try to repair an old rotted wooden boat. Time to take the chainsaw out. May I suggest begging to the local marinas and see if they can donate a good used boat. I'm sure they have something ...more
By Jaws (244), Westhampton Beach on Jan 6, 13 11:30 PM
Maybe you could get the government to give you the money- but then you'd have to change the name from "Miss Kathy" to "Miss Appropriation"
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jan 7, 13 5:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hampton Shipyards is a worthy local business. This would be good work for them and their employees. An added benefit of supporting an organization which is advocating for your right to enjoy the bays free from pollution.
By rburger (82), Remsenburg on Jan 9, 13 10:32 AM
I come from further up island where we had bay constables. Is a bay keeper the same thing as a bay constable?
By btdt (449), water mill on Jan 13, 13 4:17 PM
No - Southampton has their own bay constables. The Bay Keeper is a not-for-profit scientist/advocate for the bays/river systems on the east end.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 13, 13 4:26 PM
It would be interesting to examine Baykeeper's financial statements to see what percentage of its budget goes to administration including McAllister's salary and annual cost to provide him the ability to go "messin' 'round in boats" on everybody else's dime. What else do they do with their money?

By VOS (1230), WHB on Jan 13, 13 6:52 PM
Yes - that would be interesting to see indeed. Is that information available on-line since it's a non-profit?
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Jan 16, 13 12:49 PM