The Charleston Harbor is a great place for sailing. Presently, however, the only two places for the public to launch small sailboats are Remley's Point and Wappoo Cut boat ramps. These are probably the two worst places to launch boats due to strong currents, nearby structures and commercial boat/ship traffic.

Before Mayor Joe Riley was elected, there were three places on the peninsula to launch small boats, and they were heavily used.

A small dirt boat ramp at Brittlebank Park was used by many working-class people to launch fishing boats. Small sailboats were also launched there. But, the city stopped it.

The Mosquito Fleet landing was a longtime place for downtown fishermen to launch their boats and catch fish to sell on the streets. Young people also would launch small sailboats there.

The city took it over and built the ill-conceived Maritime Center that now serves as a marina for millionaires' yachts and fancy shindigs. The city forgot to add a place to launch boats at the Maritime Center.

The City Marina was a busy boat ramp before Mayor Riley leased it to a subsidiary of The Beach Company. People didn't want to pay $28 to launch their small sailboat or motorboat, and to park. As the usage rate slowed down, the boat ramps silted in and are now useless.

Now the city is building a structure at the base of the North Ashley Bridge that will block people from launching small fishing and sailing boats. (While also destroying the view.)

Apparently, Mayor Riley won't be content until he blocks all public small sailboat launching sites in the city before he leaves office.

An average working person once could launch a Hobie Cut or Sunfish at the marina and participate in a regatta or just have a great day of sailing.

This is one of the mayor's greatest failures.

Fred Weickhardt

Shaftsbury Lane