I hear the Maxwell House beach will have a boathouse sometime in the future, maybe a year or two. I can't wait. I'll be so thrilled to paddle up to that great beach. I hear the details of how the boathouse will run are still being worked out. Maybe I can offer up a few tips.
I run the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse kayaking program out of Frank Sinatra Park. Last summer we put close to 1,000 people on the river safely in five short days. The program is so popular. The Downtown Boathouse wanted to donate free sit-on-top kayaks, gear and a storage container to Hoboken. I was told there was no room for the container now. River access is an important issue to me, and I'd like it to be worked out the best and safest way possible for Hoboken.
We had actually run our first few paddling programs at the Maxwell House beach many years ago. It is quite the beautiful spot, so great for strong kayakers that can really handle getting out on the river and all its challenges. But we found the embayment there to be very tiny, too small for a paddling program for novice kayakers. We moved our kayak program to the Frank Sinatra Park embayment. It's larger. It worked much better for beginner kayakers. It too, has its own safety issues but we just make it work safely there because there's no other river access here as of right now. The lifeguarding kayakers make it look rather easy because of years of experience, but it is a lot of work, take it from me....a labor of love for river access and the community.
Here are some safety issues we could avoid totally if a boathouse and public kayak program for families, beginners etc., - was at The Weehawken Cove - (on the Hoboken side.) Paddlers would not have to deal with 1) strong under-tows; 2) huge wakes from motor boats; 3) large slippery jagged rocks; 4) strong river currents; 5) and, lastly, paddling across river from Manhattan for each Hoboken program. If the weather looks bad in the early morning the program is cancelled even if it clears up and is a beautiful day (due to river currents,)
Life could be so simple if we had a boathouse for novice paddlers, families, etc., at the protected calm waters of the Weehawken Cove. It could be like paddling in a lake. I never see a boathouse on The Cove in Mayor Roberts' park plans. And, I fear "active park use" is not a favorite thing for some developers. Developers might just hate the idea of the community utilizing The Cove to its recreational potential. So If you like paddling around and around and around with your kids or your honey in a nice safe spot on the river, The Weehawken Cove is still the best place for that kind of paddling.