Beach Bag mess

Steve H

Active Member
Just found this on facebook................

My family just finished up a great week at Lake Powell. With the lower lake levels we actually found it more difficult to find good spots for the houseboat, but something that added to this greatly were the beach bags.
We went up in Face Canyon and there were more than a half dozen beach bags with no houseboats. I saw what I thought was a park ranger at the floating bathroom and went over to ask about the beach bags. It turned out to be an employee from Antelope Point marina.
He said that the beach bags are left on the beach and then the marina pilots out houseboats to the spots, anchors them, and then rotates them with new customers throughout the week.
We saw several days were there were no new boaters, just the beach bags. Antelope Marina has taken over Face Canyon (and others). They have all of the best spots essentially "reserved" indefinitely for their customers and just rotate people through.
I know that one solution is to just camp in the spot if there isn't a boat there, but I feel that something needs to be said to the National Park Service. I brought it up when we were leaving and they said that the entire lake is on a "first-come" basis, but I think it would be important to have our voices be heard on this.
 

Jackalope

Well-Known Member
Here is your answer to the pinned bags ...

"
2. An Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program is underway on Lake Powell: The Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program seeks to provide non-destructive anchoring methods that can provide viable alternatives to the growing illegal practice of securing houseboats using rebar and other types of metal pins drilled into sandstone along the shoreline.

The pilot program currently includes one commercial use authorization permittee, Beach Bags TM, offering alternative anchoring services. The following provides additional details about the Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program and Beach Bags TM:
  • Beach Bags TM is an authorized out-of-park Commercial Use Authorization permittee (CUA) and a participant in Glen Canyon’s Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program.
  • As an authorized CUA, Beach Bags TM must adhere to established CUA standards to rent, deliver, and/or install alternative anchoring equipment for park visitors on Lake Powell. This may also include piloting of park visitor vessels to anchoring locations. Their business begins and ends outside the park and does not authorize the holder to advertise, solicit business, collect fees, or sell any goods or services within the boundaries of the park.
  • Beach Bags has been issued a six-month addendum to their CUA permit to evaluate their alternative anchoring equipment on vessels larger than 75 feet in length. While operating under this temporary addendum, Beach Bags is authorized to use “back pins” in conjunction with their water ballast bags on larger houseboats only in limited, designated areas. Holes resulting from “back pins” must also be repaired by the permittee (with materials currently under development).
  • Beach Bags are also available for rent. Contact 480-504-0895, or visit beachbaganchors.com
  • The Park welcomes applications from potential participants in the Pilot Program to facilitate additional alternative anchoring technologies at Lake Powell. For more information, contact [email protected].
  • Please also see the attached news release for more information about the Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program or visit the park’s commercial use authorization webpage at: Vessel Services - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)   For more information on safe and legal conventional methods for anchoring your vessel, please visit: Anchoring A Houseboat - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service).
"
 

Dougie

Well-Known Member
No that was not an answer. It doesn’t explain how they have “taken over” Face Canyon leaving their unsightly bags for days on certain beaches while rotating customers through. The NPS low water update does not address a semi-permanent installation like this. It merely authorizes a pilot program. This is the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. There must be big money involved…wish we could follow it.
 

Powell4life

New Member
Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster. Appreciate all the great knowledge that is openly shared on this site by people who love lake Powell.

I’ve been going to the lake for 25+ years and have watched the practice of drilling and pinning become commonplace as boat sizes have increased. I’ve also spent time following threads on this site calling out this illegal practice in no uncertain terms.

In that vein, It’s ironic to me that this beach bag pilot program is getting such a bad rap here - my understanding is that the goal is for this to eliminate drilling but now we are complaining because they are ugly and reserve a handful of spots across the lake?

The reality is that this is the first year Antelope point does NOT offer an anchoring service that uses pins and drilling. I can validate this as my party has used it numerous times in the past and no longer offer it, beach bags are the alternative. For everyone saying that the beach bags still use pins, that is currently ONLY for boats longer than ‘75 and ONLY until beach bags “scientifically” proves out that their bags can handle the amount of force generated in the most extreme circumstances.

I am in no way affiliated with this company, but to me this seems like a step in the right direction. We can all sit here and complain about reserving spots (and I don’t disagree with most of the points made on that topic) but it seems like a small sacrifice for the greater good if it ultimately stops or significantly reduces drilling. Bigger boats are not going away, and I believe the vast majority of people with these boats will happily pay a 2,500 dollar fine to continue to pin if a solution like beach bags is not in place.
 

Michael Pyle

Active Member
If the bags have to be “back pinned” for larger boats than they are not solving a problem. Actually making it worse as the back pinning uses two pins for every bag where usually they only need one pin per line.

This is not a solution in any way. It’s actually worse and now we have someone taking up spots and selling them. All in the name of saving the beaches from the “horrible” pinning. They are taking advantage of the law and fear.

Most small boats do not pin anyway so they are to really helping reduce anything.

The large beach bags are doing damage to the beach. So to say they have no impact is false.

Not to get political but this seems like most liberal programs. It sounds great and makes people feel good but actually does more harm than good. It’s like raising minimum wage, sounds great but in reality does not work to help anyone but the government with more tax dollars being paid.

This program is no different, it’s only real value is the profit it is making someone. It’s not helping the lake or the users of the lake.

Big boats have to be pinned to be safe, period. Let’s work to make a filler that works and educate on how to pin with the least amount of damage. Maybe require a license or permit. If they are allowing the beach bag company to pin then why not allow others?

Personally I have had sand anchors come undone and did a lot of damage. It created a very unsafe situation. What my boat drives and hull did the to beach was way worse than what any pin would have done. We have a 75” with 3rd level and the wind load is big.

Mike
 

boatdaddy

Active Member
I encourage any new enterprise that delivers value for services offered, however, I see the possibility of this service getting out of hand.
Questions:
1. Is there a limit to the number of reservations during any fixed period?
2. Will high use of the service limit available beach locations?
3. Is data captured for the number of hb and shore campers?
launched by week or month?
4. How will they determine the number of bag locations available?
4. Is it possible to estimate the number of possible available beach / camping spots? I know its a stupid question!

As a pilot program I hope their findings are good for all interested parties. Good beach locations are often hard to find. We have
had many trips where we spent hours looking for a good spot and finding none, settled for a beach offering little wind or wave protection.

I thought we only had to worry about water levels.
 

Powell4life

New Member
If the bags have to be “back pinned” for larger boats than they are not solving a problem. Actually making it worse as the back pinning uses two pins for every bag where usually they only need one pin per line.

This is not a solution in any way. It’s actually worse and now we have someone taking up spots and selling them. All in the name of saving the beaches from the “horrible” pinning. They are taking advantage of the law and fear.

Most small boats do not pin anyway so they are to really helping reduce anything.

The large beach bags are doing damage to the beach. So to say they have no impact is false.

Not to get political but this seems like most liberal programs. It sounds great and makes people feel good but actually does more harm than good. It’s like raising minimum wage, sounds great but in reality does not work to help anyone but the government with more tax dollars being paid.

This program is no different, it’s only real value is the profit it is making someone. It’s not helping the lake or the users of the lake.

Big boats have to be pinned to be safe, period. Let’s work to make a filler that works and educate on how to pin with the least amount of damage. Maybe require a license or permit. If they are allowing the beach bag company to pin then why not allow others?

Personally I have had sand anchors come undone and did a lot of damage. It created a very unsafe situation. What my boat drives and hull did the to beach was way worse than what any pin would have done. We have a 75” with 3rd level and the wind load is big.

Mike
I think you are underestimating the number and size of boats that pin, but I have no factual data to back that up. To be clear, I actually don’t take issue with pinning like I do some other things done on the lake(and others would say who cares it is still illegal) - but to your point, with some of these boat sizes it becomes a safety and liability issue. (And I actually sleep at night)

I guess my point is that there is always going to be a large contingent that opposes any kind of drilling - Like many issues, my hope is not that this ultimately becomes an all or nothing solution (despite what politics say on most issues) I applaud private enterprise working to solve an issue before the government tries to step in . But I also think vilifying it before the true impact is understood is more of a head in the sand/my way or the highway approach.

I realize this is a multifaceted issue- I eagerly await the results of this pilot (assuming they are shared) after the season
 

Powell4life

New Member
I think you are underestimating the number and size of boats that pin, but I have no factual data to back that up. To be clear, I actually don’t take issue with pinning like I do some other things done on the lake(and others would say who cares it is still illegal) - but to your point, with some of these boat sizes it becomes a safety and liability issue. (And I actually sleep at night)

I guess my point is that there is always going to be a large contingent that opposes any kind of drilling - Like many issues, my hope is not that this ultimately becomes an all or nothing solution (despite what politics say on most issues) I applaud private enterprise working to solve an issue before the government tries to step in . But I also think vilifying it before the true impact is understood is more of a head in the sand/my way or the highway approach.

I realize this is a multifaceted issue- I eagerly await the results of this pilot (assuming they are shared) after the season
Also if you haven’t had a chance - check out the beach bags website and the load testing they do. I still think more work needs to be done and I’ll ultimately make a decision once I have the chance to try them out, but I appreciate their transparency.
 

kilojuliett

Active Member
Leaving beach bags unattended for more than half a day is totally unacceptable. The vendor should be required to set the bags within a few hours of the houseboats arrival and remove them within a few hours after the boat leaves. That is a simple requirement that NPS should require of the vendor. And it will be easy for vendor to comply and this is a very reasonable requirement. Just time and money for the vendor. Lake Powell is a National Recreation Area and it is not in the Park Services mission to allow visitors to reserve beach areas by paying money to an out of the park vendor.

All that said I am interested in how many of the bags are being placed on rock only beach and how many are placed on sand beaches. I have seen many large HB at rock beaches (they are pinned). For the life of me I do not understand why someone would want to beach the bow of their boat on rock. Do any wordlings know how the boats do this without the potential for damage?

I have a 54 foot aluminum pontoon HB and only beach in sand. A few years ago I had to put aluminum doublers at the turn of the underwater chine at the bow due to a leak that I am sure was caused by beaching even though I only go into sand.
 

Rainbowbridge

Escalante-Class Member
Leaving beach bags unattended for more than half a day is totally unacceptable.
Yup, agree!! AND pinning is totally unacceptable. Did you folks read where they are to fill the holes with....pardon my paraphrasing: 'something that hasn't been developed yet'

IMHO.....this is SO typical of govt....look for the revenue$ first.....then have taxpayers clean up the (always) resulting mess.

On one hand they say pinning undermines the geologic formation, on the other they say, oh it's ok if they fill it with an as yet undetermined goop.

Uh......has this undetermined goop been tested? How could it possibly be tested in a meaningful 'geologic time frame'?

Sorry, at 67, I now see govt looking at $$ first......and it's always a short sighted view.

off the soap box......(for now)......

One last thought....:) When Stan Jones and a handful o'folks were pinning in the late 60s......probably not a big problem......but now, with gigantic boats and more peeps? could be big problem. (I miss 1977 at the lake).........

but, hopefully cooler heads will prevail.....

;)

P.S. as an afterthought......love the waterbed solution......had one in the 70's......:cool:
 
Last edited:

Michael Pyle

Active Member
Dave from Adonia was testing a mixture to mix with the Sand from that beach. It looked to work pretty well. Not sure what happened to that project.

Maybe they were not going to make enough money or NPS wanted a more expensive solution. LOL

It makes sense to me to fill the holes and put them in good places.

We usually find a sand beach as we like to be on the sand. But sometimes we have to pin one corner or one side. The only failures we have ever had were sand anchors where the sand was not very deep and there was rock below.

We use old holes or put ours under where sand was. We clean out a corner or move some sand and put the hole there. We never leave a trace and are responsible with how we do it. Have been doing it for many years and never had a problem. I have had NPS come to our boat for other reasons and never mentioned the couple pins. It’s just the way it is. It can be done responsibly but filling is the best.

Mike
 

Paul_G

Active Member
The video I posted from Thor directly relates to and addresses questions of this "Beach bag mess" why was it deleted as "off topic"
 

Brent

Well-Known Member
I was contacted by beach bags a few years ago to try their new system. Actually reserved the bags last year but was unable to use them for our houseboat could not be launched due to low water.

I was actually very excited to try them.

But to hear that they are now leaving the bags on the beaches and also back pinning the bags is unconscionable. Either pinning is legal or illegal to all or to none.

Im headed up the first week of August. If I see a perfect beach unattended with beach bags I’m going to do my normal thing. Drop off a crew member with an igloo and a chair. Go back and tell the houseboat where we are and anchor away. I’ll then take pics and tell Tiff where I found some trash for her next trash tracker trip.
 

Fish Finder

Active Member
The fact that pinning is dangerous and damaging to our beautiful lake's shoreline should be enough to stop anyone from engaging in this practice. Those who continue to do so obviously do not care about damage or how it affects others, very self-absorbed.
Maybe we should consider allowing graffiti as well, as long as it is "filled in".
Pinning is illegal and anyone engaging in this is breaking the law. I find the attitude of " I'll just pay the fine" to be disgusting. Play by the same rules as everyone else or take your spoiled *** back home.
It is a wonderful privilege to be able to utilize this magical wonderland. Anyone that refuses to respect the rules should have that privilege revoked, permanently. Maybe their lake Powell boating pass should be canceled and if that fails, confiscate the offending boat. Still willing to pay that price? I realize this may not be practical but it needs to be taken that seriously.
It is unacceptable to have those that are responsible for enforcing the rules to be turning a blind eye to this, let alone condoning it. Do the job we pay you to do!!
If we allow this practice to continue how long before every decent spot is reserved and the only way to acquire one is to pay to park?
This is a bad idea from the get-go. If you need to have a 75-footer for compensation or whatever reason then you better figure out how to park it respectfully and legally.
Lake Powell is for everyone not just the wealthy.
 
Top