Everything You Need to Know About Snubbers

Thursday, March 28

Sunnyside Continues to Upgrade High Speed Wireless Internet

Monday, April 4

Each year we replace our wireless antennas as needed. The technology changes quickly, so each time we change them we are also upgrading. 

In April of 2024, we replaced all of the modems that connect our antennas to the internet. This modem upgrade increased our speeds from 350 mbps to 750 mbps. We tested the Wi-Fi at every slip before we began launhing boats and the connectivity and speed was awesome throughout the Marina.

Please remember that if you plan to work from your boat, you may want to consider getting your own modem. Our "Free" internet is really designed for e-mail, Facebook and streaming Netflix and Hulu.

New Public Launch Ramp

Monday, February 14

Marine HVAC-Installation, Repairs & Maintenance

Tuesday, February 8

Toilet Tips from our Service Department

Thursday, September 30

Engine Cut off Switch

Saturday, April 10

U.S. Coast Guard Announces Requirement for Use of Engine Cut-off Switch


The U.S. Coast Guard announced last week operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length will be required to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL), effective April 1, 2021. NMMA applauds this new requirement, mandated by Section 8316 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, which will improve safety for millions of Americans who take to the water each year.

The ECOSL attaches the vessel operator to a switch that in turn shuts off the engine in the event the vessel operator is displaced. The ECOSL is typically a lanyard-style cord that attaches to an ECOS in close relation to the helm, or on the motor itself. When strong tension is applied, the ECOSL is disengaged from the ECOS resulting in the automatic shut down of the motor.

ECOS and ECOSL are critical tools used to prevent unnecessary injury and accidents caused by a recreational vessel operator being displaced from the helm. The Coast Guard's latest requirement will better protect vessel operators as well as all other marine vessels, operators, and maritime law enforcement officers on the water who are at risk when encountering a runaway vessel. Additional information on the function and need for ECOS and ECOSL may be accessed here.

For more information, please contact NMMA director of federal government relations, Clay Crabtree at ccrabtree@nmma.org.

Buying a Slip at Sunnyside Marina

Thursday, January 30

Thank you for your interest in purchasing a slip at Sunnyside Marina! Sunnyside is a full service, private, Marina on the St Croix River. We are just south of downtown Stillwater, Minnesota and just north of the beautiful St Croix River Crossing Bridge. We benefit from amazing views, and easy access to the shops and restaurants of downtown Stillwater. We are also situated on the 5 mile loop bike path that connects to the Browns Creek and the Gateway Bike Trails.

We are an association of Slip Owners and are governed by a Board of Directors, made up of Slip Owners. The Board of Directors' duties are outlined in the By-Laws of the Port of Sunnyside Club, Inc. The Board of Directors delegates management of the operations of the Marina to the General Manager, Rick Chapman, and his team.

Our mission is to be the premier marina on the St Croix River ensuring maximum enjoyment, safety and beauty for our members.

What you are buying:

When you purchase a slip at Sunnyside, you aren't actually purchasing a hole in the water. You are purchasing a percentage ownership in The Port of Sunnyside Club, Inc. This includes, the land, buildings, docks, equipment, gas dock operation, service department operation, etc. You are, in turn, leased back your exact slip. Each slip owner is issued a Certificate of Ownership and a Proprietary License and Lease Agreement.

How the Marina Operates Financially:

The goal of the operation of Sunnyside Marina is to maintain a net zero budget. We work to provide the most services to our boaters and keep our Owner Assessments as low as possible. We generate revenue from slip rental, our service department, our gas dock, and our launch and haul out services. All of that revenue goes to offset the expense of operating the marina. Then, the Slip Owners are charged "Assessments" for the remaining costs. The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the Slip Owner Assessment levels each year.

Part of the Slip Owner Assessments are also set aside for future Capital Improvement projects. These funds can only be used with membership approval. Approval is given through a ballot process. A majority of those slip owners voting is needed for the project to be approved.

By setting aside these Capital Improvement Funds each year, we hope to avoid any Special Assessments.

Slip Owner Assessments:

Assessments are calculated in two ways. Some expenses are divided per-capita. These are expenses that everyone shares equally, like garbage removal and security. Other expenses are divided Pro-rata and are determined by square footage of the slip. These are expenses like general liability insurance and property taxes. Please contact the Marina office to find the exact Assessment for the slip that interests you. Assessments are billed quarterly and due at the end of January, April, July, and October. All future assessments from the day of closing will be the responsibility of the buyer.

Special Assessments:

From time to time, the Board of Directors may recommend a "Special Assessment" to complete a specific project. There was a "Special Assessment" in 2004 to re-build the entire marina with all new floating docks. Most recently, a "Special Assessment" was approved by the membership for a landscaping project and repaving of our parking lot. In all cases, a ballot must be approved by a majority of those slip owners returning a ballot.

Closing Costs:

As the buyer, you are responsible for two additional expenses at closing. The first expense is $2,500 and is called the "Initiation Fee". This money goes directly in to the Capital Improvement Account. The second expense is $250 and is called a "Transfer Fee". This money goes directly in to our general operating account and simply covers our time and supplies for the closing.

How to Buy a Slip:

Simply contact the seller and make them an offer. If your offer is accepted, agree on a closing date and schedule it with the Marina office. All closings must be completed in the marina office and we are the keeper of all the records for the slip. These transactions are completely private and there is no reporting of any kind outside of the marina office. All records are stored in a fireproof cabinet in our office.

Thank you for your interest!

Please call the marina office for any further information. We will be happy to walk through all aspects of Slip Ownership and connect prospective buyers with Owners. We can be reached at www.sunnysidemarina.com, or 651-439-2118.

Insurance Requirements

Monday, February 18

The Port of Sunnyside Club, Inc. requires that all boats in our marina, or stored in our parking lot, have specific liability insurance coverage. We require each boat owner to carry $1,000,000 in boat liability insurance and we require that each certificate of liability insurance list Sunnyside Marina as an additional insured. These requirements were adopted as policy by our Board of Directors to protect all of the boats in our marina, and on our property, while also protecting the interests of the Slip Owners of the Port of Sunnyside Club, Inc., the owners of the Corporation.

Melinda is the person in charge of enforcing this policy. She spends one day each week throughout the year managing this process. It has been suggested that we simply explain to boaters that we will not launch their boats in the spring if these requirements are not met.

In general, this is exactly what we do. However, just because a boat has met these requirements on the day of spring launch does not mean the boat is covered the following day, week or month. All policies expire on different dates throughout the year. Melinda is responsible to make sure we have current certificates of liability on file at all times.

Support Your Ship's Store

Monday, February 18

Did you know that Amber can meet or beat, pretty much any price from of our competitors, on items we stock or order for our Ship's Store?

Before you purchase any item related to your boat, check with Amber and save some money.

It is very important, to the overall operation of our Marina, that our boaters spend their boating dollars  in our Ship's Store. Thank you for your support.

Renter Retention Program

Monday, February 18

Each year we offer our renters the opportunity to save money on the rental of their slip for the following season. We offer a $5 per foot discount if the full slip rental is paid before the Minneapolis Boat Show in January. Give Rick Chapman a call if you are interested in taking advantage of this offer.

Plastic Gasoline Container Warning

Saturday, July 28

Please take a moment to read this important warning. This was sent to me by one of our slip owners, Jake Collins.

Last week in the news, a video was shown where a boat exploded somewhere in the Caribbean. One woman was killed and another lost her legs. As a safety professional for my career, I wanted to take a moment to share some information. I know everyone is bombarded with various scary stories in the news cycle and I don't want to be part of that. But there is a widespread engineering failure that can lead to the type of explosion that happened last week. Often when people are injured, an analysis of the factors will reveal multiple conditions which combined into what is then called a "freak accident". For a Sunnyside boater, the factors would go something like this:

  • The boat operator has an additional gasoline-powered engine to use, not fueled by the boats main fuel tank. A portable generator, outboard motor, etc.
  • To fuel this engine the boat operator has a plastic general purpose fuel portable container, or, even a plastic fuel tank designed for the outboard.
  • The container was filled at a filling station.
  • The container was placed on board and has been there for over a week, out of sight.
  • Any ignition source, chafed wiring, cigarette ash, electrical switch, static electrical discharge, in the storage space will equal an explosion.

Engineering failure:

When ethanol was introduced to the automotive fuel supply, the portable plastic fuel containers sold everywhere were not redesigned to slowly vent pressure. As ethanol breaks down, which it does immediately upon exposure to air, it produces extra fumes. In a steel fuel container, the UL type 1 or type 2 container has hard sides and is designed to slowly vent fumes. The inexpensive plastic portable gasoline containers lack such a design. They "puff up" until a pressure level is reached whereby they "pop" and release a rich quantity of gasoline vapor all at once. If this event is unlucky enough to find an ignition source, the result is a disaster.

What can be done by boaters?

  • Don't store any fuel on board in enclosed spaces.
  • At home or on your boat, avoid general-purpose plastic gasoline containers.
  • For any small engine at home or on your boat, don't buy fuel with ethanol.
  • Tell any tobacco products users, "Sorry, not on my boat".
  • If you have stored any fuel in an enclosed space, do a sniff test to check for a problem.

I hope this information is helpful to anyone unaware of the danger posed by these plastic gasoline containers when used in conjunction with ethanol.

Jake Collins, ALCM, CPPS, CSP, CSRM

Keeping our River Clean

Friday, July 27

Fast Facts about the River

Sure you want a clean river because it's more fun to swim and boat in, but what are the economic benefits of having a clean river? Well, those are interrelated subjects. If we maintain a beautiful river, people want to come to see it. It is, after all, one of the most diverse and clean rivers in the United States. The more people out visiting the St. Croix, the better local businesses do, which subsequently means more money in the community. And this all results in our river towns being better places to live. Another major reason for why keeping our river clean is so important is the cost of replacing pipelines. Zebra Mussels are a huge concern for public works departments who have access points to the river. If these pipes are clogged by massive amounts of zebra mussels, the cost to replace them would be enormous.

Ways to Protect the River

Always throw out your trash, and volunteer to clean up others' trash along the river. Keeping our river and its shoreline clean allows people to enjoy the river and communities to prosper. The St. Croix River Association is dedicated to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species as we protect, restore, and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed.

Learn more about the St. Croix River Association programs and ways you can get involved.

Reporting Invasive Species

Thursday, June 28

Fast Facts about the River

Have you ever seen that plant before? That seems like a new fish. Why are there so many snail shells on the shore now? If you find yourself asking these kinds of questions and making these types of statements, it's time to think about reporting invasive species. Invasive species reporting is a very important component to conserving the River. The sooner new infestations are found, the less management work will have to be completed in the future which means saving money. If something doesn't seem quite right, report it to a local agency or check out the Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) app to report directly from your phone!

Ways to Protect the River

Keep an eye out for any invasive species and stay up to date with possible threats to your area. If possible, take a picture or a sample of the species to allow for positive identification of the species. The St. Croix River Association is dedicated to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species as we protect, restore, and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed.

Learn more about the St. Croix River Association programs and ways you can get involved.

St. Croix River is a National Park

Monday, April 30

Fast Facts about the River

Many people who spend time on the St. Croix are unaware that it's actually a National Park. The Upper St. Croix became a national park in 1968 after President Lyndon B. Johnson approved the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSR), created so that many of the United States' beautiful and culturally rich rivers could be "preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations." In 1972 the 27 miles below Taylors Falls, MN was added to the park, and the 25 miles after that became a state-administered river in 1976.

Ways to Protect the River

Supporting groups such as the National Park Service or environmental non-profit organizations lead to better care of areas such as the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. The St. Croix River Association is dedicated to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species as we protect, restore, and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed.

Learn more about St. Croix River Association programs and ways you can get involved.

Water Quality of the St. Croix River

Thursday, March 29

Fast Facts about the River

The St. Croix River is one of the cleanest rivers in the Midwest. However, water quality is a growing concern. Much of the land use in the upper St. Croix's watershed is agriculture, which can lead to phosphorous-filled runoff that increases unhealthy algal blooms. Another major concern for water quality is the increase in recreational use of the Lower St. Croix due to its proximity to the Twin Cities.

Ways to Protect the River

If you like to boat, make sure to protect the river in other ways. Always take your trash with you, recycle your recyclable materials, only use local firewood and remind your friends to be similarly conscientious. The St. Croix River Association is dedicated to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species as we protect, restore, and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed.

Learn more about the St. Croix River Association programs and ways you can get involved.

Sophia's Law Fact Sheet

Monday, March 27

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