Welcome Back Boaters

Go Boating with Pier 33

Welcome Back Boaters, We’re Glad to Have You at Pier 33!


I hope that you are launched and enjoying your boat. We’ve got some tips, requests, suggestions and information for you. This annual letter always, unfortunately, contains plenty of “don’ts”. This year, let’s start with some “do’s”.

Have a safe boating season. Get to know your boating neighbors even better. Introduce someone new to boating. Join in on Pier 33 activities. Enjoy St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and the ever-growing variety of eateries, events and entertainment that we have. Let us know when you need something that will help you enjoy your boating experience. Help our newest boaters learn their way around. Share your summer with friends and family. Have a great time on the water.



The marina is already active with boaters getting ready to enjoy the season and during the upcoming holiday week many or all of your boating neighbors will be dockside right along with you. Be patient with your neighbors where parking gets tight. Your 2019 Parking Passes have been mailed to you. We have also enclosed the Pier 33 Parking Guide. Generally, each dock is allotted one parking space (not specifically an assigned space) alongside the dock. All areas of the marina have designated room for overflow parking. Please have your guests park in those overflow areas, and park your extra vehicle in those areas to avoid congestion and to leave appropriate spaces for your neighbors. Overflow areas include: around the tree lawn islands at the East Marina, outside the electric gate between Clementine’s & Tavern on the River (please do not park in Clementine’s lot), and between the restrooms/pavilion and The Box Factory. We do also have designated parking areas for our Launch on Command and Hook-n-Go services. Please review the Parking Guide. Additionally, South Marina boaters, it is very important for everyone’s safety, to observe the ONE-WAY TRAFFIC PATTERN at the South Marina. Please do not drive “up-river” beyond the South Pavilion.


The Pier 33 swimming pool will be open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, weather permitting. We’re working to finish-off pre-season pool prep right now, planning to be complete in time for the holiday weekend. Please note: the pool is only for use by Pier 33 boaters (dockers, Launch on Command, Hook ‘n Go) and their accompanied guests. “Accompanied” means that you, the Pier 33 boater, are at the pool with your guests. Please do not inconvenience or embarrass your unaccompanied friends or neighbors by directing them to use the Pier 33 pool in your name. If you are visiting the pool and become aware that there are pool-users present who do not belong, please notify an on-site Pier 33 staff member at that time or call me at (269) 208-2691. If you are driving to the pool, please be sure to have your Parking Pass displayed on your windshield.


Boats and dogs (or other pets) can be a great combination, but please be courteous to all of your neighbors by bagging pet waste and disposing in a nearby dumpster. There are no designated dog-walk areas at Pier 33. Pier 33 provides pet waste bag dispensers. These are located attached to the pool restroom building, just outside the South restroom opposite dock S-94 and attached to the outside of the South pavilion. In addition, please do not leave unattended pets tied to walkway furniture, unattended aboard your boat or potentially pestering your neighbors by causing a noisy nuisance. Pets should never be free to roam the docks, sidewalks or parking lots. Dogs should always be on the leash.


Restroom cleanliness and security is important. Especially as the weather warms up and the bugs come out, PLEASE DO NOT PROP open restroom doors at any Pier 33 facility, at any time of day. This attracts insects, other critters and compromises the security of those rooms. The restrooms are kept locked and closed so that they are accessible only to you, your neighbors and your invited guests. If you encounter a door that has been propped open, please close it.


This is a serious safety matter. Swimming near any marina can expose a swimmer to potentially deadly Electrical Shock Drowning. Faulty wiring on a nearby boat or a loose shore power cord can create an electrical field in the water – and a swimmer would complete the circuit. ALL BOATERS MAKE NOTE: When departing your dock, turn-off the shore power breaker at the head of the dock (where your cord plugs into the dock receptacle) before unplugging the cord from your boat. When returning, plug your boat in and then turn on the dockside breaker. This will help prevent a live cord from inadvertently falling into the water.


Boats & PWC’s on trailers and empty boat trailers are not to be parked in Pier 33 lots on a permanent or regular basis. Dockers may bring a trailer boat or PWC curbside for cleaning & routine maintenance, but are not to use Pier 33 lots for overnight, weekend or weekly boat/trailer parking. Boats that are left in place overnight or during the week may be removed by Pier 33 and placed in locked storage, with the boat owner responsible for any charges incurred for that removal. Please observe this reminder to avoid that situation. If you are already a Pier 33 docker, you can store your trailer or trailered boat/PWC in Pier 33’s Anchors Way storage yard for the summer at NO CHARGE. You must notify Rebekah Shafer, you must clearly mark the tongue of your trailer with your name and you must lock the trailer tongue and provide Pier 33 with a key for that lock. You will have access to your boat during Pier 33’s regular yard hours, seven days a week. No overnight parking of RV’s is permitted. No tents or other temporary sleeping structures may be placed on Pier 33 property.


Pier 33’s staff schedules regular rounds for weekday and weekend trash removal from the common trash receptacles throughout the marina and there are adequate receptacles for ordinary trash needs. However, if you have an abundance of trash (extended personal on-board stays or summer live-aboards, spring cleaning, extra entertaining etc.), please take your trash directly to a dumpster located at either of the marina areas – South or East. Please do not, at any time, overload the receptacles. Pizza boxes, other large containers and overflow trash should be placed directly in the main dumpsters. This is for the health and safety of you and your boating neighbors. In addition, please remember that no oils, paints or other hazardous materials are to be disposed of in trash receptacles or dumpsters. Used oil and filters can be brought to Pier 33’s service office for disposal at no charge. Also, do not dispose of any fish remains in the trash receptacles or dumpsters. All fish waste should be disposed of at the fish cleaning station.


There are areas of the marina that have become congested over the past few seasons as the furnishings have grown and more boaters have added dinghies. Please be respectful of your boating neighbors as you prepare your dock area for the new season. Please keep sidewalks free of obstructions, such as extra tables, chairs, coolers, bicycles and other gear. Keep the path clear for your neighbors’ safety & convenience.  Downriggers & dinghies should not present a navigational hazard or inconvenience for your boating neighbors. Downriggers should be raised or turned inward when the boat is in the dock, so as not to extend beyond the transom. For dinghies, please follow these suggestions and other common sense rules: Raise your dinghy onto swim platform davits whenever not in use. Move your dinghy within the dimensions of the dock. Do not leave your dinghy rafted-off astern of your boat beyond the dock limits when you are away from the boat, especially throughout the week. Position your dock lines & boat so that your boat is tucked within the dock dimensions as closely as possible. Do not bolt or attach any equipment to Pier 33’s steel docks or seawalls.


As we begin a new season, it’s time to remind our boaters to observe the local noise ordinance. Pier 33 boaters should be good neighbors not just to their fellow boaters, but to our land-based neighbors as well. St. Joseph’s city regulations restrict amplified music or other loud noise after 10 PM and also have other provisions meant to prevent noise or behavior nuisances. Noise carries – voices, music, etc. – very easily up the hillside to the Channel Bluff condos, or to the Box Factory condos. Please keep this in mind, nightly beginning at 10 PM.


Fishermen, please help us keep the fish grinder in proper operating order this summer by being sure to follow these steps. Press the GREEN button and WAIT for the water flow to begin and for the grinder to start before loading fish. Press the BLACK button to enable the sprayer wands to work. Press the RED button in case of emergency to stop the grinder.


Some of the services provided at Pier 33 are performed by Pier 33 staff, others are performed by Pier 33 Coordinated Contractors. All contractors performing services while on Pier 33 property, including the docks, storage building, storage yards and all other Pier 33 properties are required to provide proof of insurance and sign Pier 33’s Contractor Policy. Contractors must check-in at the Pier 33 service office upon arrival, regardless of whether they are accompanied by a Pier 33 docker. Please respect this policy and do not inconvenience a contractor who will be disallowed access to Pier 33 property. Outside contractors will not be provided access to Pier 33 dockage or storage facilities, without written approval of the General Manager. Access provided to any contractor is always at Pier 33’s unconditional discretion.


 If you see any suspicious activity at the marina, please call the St. Joseph Police Department at (269) 983-2572 or, in an emergency 911. LECO security does regularly patrol grounds and buildings but does not provide individual boat security. Watchful eyes and ordinary caution are some of the best prevention for security problems. I am available by cell phone most of the time and can assist when needed: (269) 208-2691. Please help us — and your boating neighbors — discourage any would-be thieves by taking appropriate security precautions with your own boat.
  • Do not lend your marina remotes or keys to outside guests.
  • Make sure arriving guests know exactly where to find you and your boat and that you are on site to greet them.
  • Valuable equipment such as electronics or fishing gear should either be stowed out of sight, or concealed from prying eyes by covers.
  • Liquor or beer should not be kept on deck or in any visible area.
  • Boat doors should be kept locked and canvas snapped securely in place when you are away from your boat.

Thanks again for being part of the Pier 33 boating experience. We’re looking forward to seeing you on the water throughout the summer.
Tighe Curran
Pier 33 General Manager

(269) 287-3021, Office

(269) 208-2691, Cell, Text or Urgent/After Hours