Boat ramp at Keehi Harbor raises safety concerns among sailors

Published: Jun. 26, 2021 at 5:26 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:05 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A sign is posted at Keehi Boat Harbor advising people that the ramp is under repairs. While it’s unclear when the sign was posted, boaters said they haven’t seen much improvement.

After a year of staying away from the Keehi boat ramp, Kerry Kiode of Mililani made his way back Thursday, but he said returning to the ramp wasn’t so pleasant.

“The boat was pushed right over the piling, I don’t know how much damage was done,” said Kiode. “But it was very difficult because the wind was going a little bit, and you can’t see the pilings.”

Koide said the maintenance of the ramp is terrible. He adds that half of the pier is missing and that there are pilings sticking up from underwater.

“What they’ve done here is limit the access to the size of a boat that can come up,” said Ron Dellinger of Kailua. “By the time you tie it up to the pier as you see it there, the bottom of your boat is hitting the cement.”

“So the danger is that the boaters and people that are riding the boat — people that are helping the launching and retrieving the boat on the trailer — they could get crushed because the wind could just blow the boat,” explained Koide.

Although the repair sign suggests using the South Side Launch Ramp, it closes at 8 p.m., which leaves evening sailors out of luck.

They said the 24-hour Keehi boat ramp remains the better option if the necessary repairs are made.

“What’s it going to take to get it maintained with the funds that we pay into it?” asked Dellinger.

“We don’t see any benefit to paying fees when they don’t even take care what we got right now,” said Koide.

Boaters are also asking for a status update on the ramp.

Hawaii News Now reached out to DLNR and the state, but did not get an immediate response Saturday.

However, DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) released the following statement Monday morning.

“The outer half of the loading dock failed during a recent storm and had to be removed. This is a Capitol Improvements Project and we will need to get funding from the Legislature to replace it.  The launch ramp is still useable and we do have another large loading dock people can use adjacent to the launch ramp or they can go across the way and use the Sand Island launch ramp.”

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