Marinas see early end to season

Published online: Sep 19, 2011 News JON BLEIWEIS -
Viewed 238 time(s)

LEWES -- Before Hurricane Irene hit, the Rehoboth Bay Marina housed 172 boats. Now, it has 100.

At marinas all along the Maryland-Delaware coast, employees are telling similar tales. They say customers who pulled their boats from the water at the threat of damaging winds are ending their boating season early, which is costing local marinas.

"A lot of people haven't been coming back since the storm," said Joe Morris, owner and manager of the tackle shop at the Lewes Harbour Marina. "Now there seems to be a string of these storms brewing out there. You never know what the weather on the water is going to be like, so people are apprehensive."

Morris said it's normally a profitable time of year, but John Ashing, an employee at the Rehoboth Bay Marina, said September is typically when business starts to take a dip. Storm or no storm, he said, customers start leaving around Labor Day as their children head back to school.

"We actually had a phenomenal season in terms of boat slips and boat rentals," Ashing said. "We're looking forward to unwinding."

While Rehoboth Bay Marina lost 35 percent to 40 percent of its customers the weekend before Hurricane Irene hit, Ashing said, most were part-time boaters who might have shown up only two or three more times before Halloween.

Dewey Beach resident David Thomas was one of the brave boat owners who opted to leave his vessel docked. He said he wrapped a number of ropes around the boat to lessen the impact of storm surge and high wind.

"If you've been around down here, you respect the fact that if you get a little tornadic activity, it'll start ripping stuff up," he said. "There was a tornado [in nearby Lewes], so there is some vindication."

Thomas said it can cost a few hundred dollars for boats to be taken out of the water, which includes having the boat pressure-washed and placed on blocks and paying someone to operate a lift to get it out of the water.

At Keenwik on the Bay, a community off Del. 54 in Fenwick Island, resident Rich Leimbach chose to take his 20-foot pontoon boat out of the water in advance of the storm. Since moving it to and from the water is a hassle, he said, he plans to leave it on land for the remainder of the season. "As far as I'm concerned, the season's over," he said.


You May Also Be Interested In...

March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
March 17, 2015

World's fastest pontoon boat gets even faster

When you think of fast boats, a pontoon is probably pretty low on your list, just ahead of houseboats and tugboats. Brad Rowland begs to differ.
March 05, 2015

West Marine begins "Do It Yourselfie!" promotion

Show off your selfie fixing up your boat and West Marine could lend you a hand.
March 04, 2015

Pontoon Brands United

Premier Marine announced today the company will transfer the production of its Weeres and Palm Beach brands to its headquarters in Wyoming, Minn.
March 02, 2015

West Marine's New Product Review Day set for March 20

West Marine has announced the date for this year's iteration of their New Product Review Day.
February 19, 2015

Honda Marine and Coach Pontoons Are Now Partners

The PDB team has exciting news! While we were at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, Honda Marine announced their new exclusive OEM agreement with Coach Pontoons!
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!