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Old 08-03-2011, 06:18 AM   #1
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Where are the boats?

Just interested to see what is happening in other areas.* We definitely saw fewer boats on our trip from South Florida to South Carolina.* While down at the boat in Hilton Head, I ovserved only 2 cruising boats (transients) in the harbor.* The city docks in Chattanooga have been virtually empty all summer.* I did notice one house boat there last night as I took my evening walk.* Usually there will be many cruising clubs coming to experience our great downtown and waterfront.

St. Augustine City Marina was mostly empty in May.* The only harbor that had a significant number of cruising boats was Jekyll Island, GA.* Even the sailboat traffic seemed lighter.* It looks like fuel cost is taking its toll on our chosen form of recreation.



*
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:54 AM   #2
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RE: Where are the boats?

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:*It looks like fuel cost is taking its toll on our chosen form of recreation.
******** Don, that's interesting as I have seen more traffic on San Diego Bay (sail boats) than usual. On Wednesdays there's always a lot of traffic as that's our "Beer Can" race day & the number of empty slips in my marina is quite noticeable. Just a few years ago you couldn't even find a slip in this town.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:07 AM   #3
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RE: Where are the boats?

A slight correction to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina comment.* While there were many empty slips, the new mooring field did have boats.* How many were permanent and how many transient was hard to tell.* There are several livaboards there.

We would have probably been in the mooring field had we not had inverter problems.* It is just easier to make repairs when in a slip.* The mooring field is a great deal.* For about $20 or so per night, they offer service by a pumpout boat and water taxi to and from shore every hour.* Of course, they have a dinghy float also.* What a great stop.* It is good for several days if you have the time.

By the way, it took about 60 days to get Xantrex to replace the 2 day installed failed inverter, but it is now in and seems to be working.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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RE: Where are the boats?

I our harbor, until last year or so there was a waiting list for moorings. Now there are quite a few empty moorings and a lot of them are for sale. The harbor mistress thinks its the result of a combination of factors: bad economy, older folks getting decrepit and out of boating and younger generation not interested in boating, too busy with kids to boat, or can't (yet?) afford boating.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #5
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RE: Where are the boats?

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dwhatty wrote:
IThe harbor mistress thinks its the result of a combination of factors: bad economy, older folks getting decrepit and out of boating and younger generation not interested in boating, too busy with kids to boat, or can't (yet?) afford boating.
*David, watch that talk about decrepit boaters. (I guess I resemble that remark)* It can come back to haunt you young guys someday.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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RE: Where are the boats?

There were noticably fewer boats cruising Desolation Sound in July this year. The good news is that good anchorages are easier to get later in the day, and dock space in Refuge Cove was also readily available for those topping off stops.

The bad news of course is that it isn't good for the businesses that rely on the summer marine traffic.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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RE: Where are the boats?

I'm one of those thinking of giving up boating, something I have done my entire adult life. We cruise in the PNW and this year it just doesn't seem as fun as it has been. I have been in all the places many times in the past in my local area in the San Juans and Gulf Islands and it is just getting a little boring and the weather has just been the pits. It has been rare to get a day above 70.

I've been to Alaska 3 times and would have liked to go again this year but the fuel prices scared me off not knowing how high they would go when I had to make a decision in late April. Now we have extreme uncertainy as to where the economy is going and who knows what is going to happen to the value of the dollar and one thing we can count on for the next 2 or more years is ever increasing fuel prices. Right now, in BC, I am paying about 10% more because of the weakness of the dollar for everything we buy here. And almost everything we buy is way higher in price than what it would be in the US.

Just seems like everything is going to hell and I don't think I'm alone in that thinking.

Selling the boat is something that would be hard to come to grips with. When not using it, it has become my man cave. I only live about 2 miles from the marina so it is easy to come down and spend some quiet time with her. A tough decision.

Any of you thinking the same?

Ron
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
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Where are the boats?

We're not.* One of the great things about doing things on the water (in a boat or floatplane) is that the marine environment is always changing.* We go to the same places a lot, largely dictated by the fact I'm still working and will be for a while so don't have the time for more than one longer cruise a year.*

So we take the boat to our property in the San Juans regularly and visit places we like like Westsound as ofen as we can.* And it's never the same twice.* There is always something different going on, something different to see, the weather is different, the wildlife is different, you name it.* Even the 100 mile drive up to Bellingham almost every weekend*brings different things to see each time on the route we follow.

* Same thing with the plane.* I have landed a floatplane thousands of times at Kenmore at tne north end of Lake Washington.* Same approach, same body of water, same docks,*yet every single landing and docking is different and has some new challenge to it.

Neither the boat*nor the plane has ever been even remotely boring or "the same."

And the old GB is great because it's like the world's biggest workshop*hobby. Always something to do on or to it, always something new to learn how to do.

We intend to keep boating until we are either physically or financially (or both) incapable of doing so.


BUT.... if the bloom is off the rose, if going to the same places has become nothing more than going to the same places, if simply being out on the water and "messing about in boats" is not enough, or is not enough to justify the cost of owning and operating a boat, then the faster one gets out of it the better as the bills never stop coming.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 3rd of August 2011 12:20:16 PM
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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RE: Where are the boats?

Not me. Like you said it is still my man cave.

I just don't go as far and*I am exploring the areas closer and I am finding a lot of interesting things that I did not know about.

SD
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #10
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Where are the boats?

Quote:
Marin wrote:
*

And the old GB is great because it's like the world's biggest workshop*hobby. Always something to do on or to it, always something new to learn how to do.


*Marin, I have to agree with that and I think if I did not have something to do on the boat I would have to find something to fix whether it needed it or not. I do get a challenge out of fixing stuff and not paying someone to do it for me.*

Concerning boat traffic, our usual July 4th anchorage to view the fireworks was more crowded than I can ever remember. And the local boat show last November was far better attended than a year ago. May it was just a temporary uptick in this area or maybe not, don't know, but the selection of new boats and those that manufacture them does seems way down. And if the boat manufactures can't figure a way of making new boats that folks can afford they will never come back.*


-- Edited by timjet on Wednesday 3rd of August 2011 01:35:51 PM
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #11
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RE: Where are the boats?

*
The Everett WA marina has a 20% vacancy rate, most marinas have vacancies*and not many boaters are taking long extended cruises.* Mostly short local week end cruises.* Many of the bots have been moved to cheaper moorage across the sound, and or stored on the hard. *Many of the newer/nicer boats have been bought and shipped to other countries.* If we did not live on the Eagle we would moor it on the other side of the Sound and/or on the hard which a lot cheaper.*
*
Its not just the cost of fuel but the over all cost of ownership, maintenance, moorage, insurance, and loan payment.* Most boaters are no fixing/repairing/maintaining there boats like they use to, so large expense/bills are being put off, which make the boats not as reliable for long extended cruises.*
*
After owning the boat for 16 years and living on her for 14 years we have talked about moving off the boat.* If we did not live on the boat we could not justify the cost, so we would eventually sell her.* Being we both work its hard to get away for very long which means going to the same old places that we have been before over the past 30+ years of boating, and our children are grown with their own children and busy lives, so it just my wife and me.* Much cheaper/easier to leave the boat tied to the dock and use the dink/run about to enjoy the local area/waters. Why go to another marina, when we can do the same thing at our own dock. *
*
This years the weather so far has been cold and wet.** This is the first week the temp will be above 70 all week, with no rain but the morning dew is still heavy, so it take until noon for things to dry out.* My wife been hinting at buying a land yacht again, just what I need another major expense to maintain 10 month of the year so we can use it a couple of time in the summer. *
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:38 PM   #12
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RE: Where are the boats?

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:
Just interested to see what is happening in other areas.* We definitely saw fewer boats on our trip from South Florida to South Carolina.

*
*Don--- On our Westsound cruise to join up with Carey and "Happy Destiny" the other week I would say there were considerably fewer recreationalcruising boats out and about than we would have expected to see during a stretch of nice days like that at the end of July.* The boating "season" here tends to start in early July and run through Labor Day.

There seemed to be no drop in the number of fishing boats (16 to 25 feet) that we saw, however.

I have not heard any specific reason for our perceived drop in the number of recreational cruising boats.* It might have been because our weather patterns have been changing up here with wetter, cooler summers and no really long stretches of good weather, and this might be discouraging to some boaters.* The usual suspects of fuel prices and the continuing*recession have, I'm sure, put a dent in a lot of people's boating plans (as it has in the plans of RV people we know).

It's not as though the boats were few and far between over the four days we were out, just that the numbers were noticeably lower.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:51 PM   #13
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Where are the boats?

Quote:
windmist wroteSelling the boat is something that would be hard to come to grips with. When not using it, it has become my man cave. I only live about 2 miles from the marina so it is easy to come down and spend some quiet time with her. A tough decision.

Any of you thinking the same?
******* I've toyed with the idea this year more than in the past. The only thing that stops me is "I'm in love with my little trawler". (yeh, I know...It's a thing!) Should I decide to do so, it would only be to move back up to a bigger, faster boat. I'd probably bronze SeaHorse & display her in my back yard. (Right David?) OOps! She won't fit in my back yard.


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Wednesday 3rd of August 2011 03:52:32 PM
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:55 PM   #14
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RE: Where are the boats?

Here in SE Alaska there is definitely fewer traveling boats. Fewer sports fishermen too. But it's far from dead. Outside people are all over the floats every day in their "outside" clothes, new camo stuff, waders ect. A new state F@G law dosn't permit out of state fishermen to take halibut over 37" long so many sports fishermen are not coming back. Ther'e starting to fish the halibut out. Fewer bears too from over hunting in the past. Some hunters from outside can't even tell the difference between full grown bears and cubs and I've heard some can tell but shoot the cubs anyway. Some just want to kill something. I do see new local boats in the harbor but most belong to fishing lodges and federally employed forest service people. I still think there is not going to be a recovery in the economy. I don't see any force to bring it about. The economy may get worse slowly though. On the bright side perhaps some of the pricey moorage will become more affordable.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:13 PM   #15
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RE: Where are the boats?

and as they come on the market they will be exported to australia to bugger our second hand market .There is always a down side?

Bob & Cheryl
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #16
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RE: Where are the boats?

In NJ the Barnegat Bay area it is quite busy on weekends,** not as busy as in the past but still crowded.

It is more of the head out for a spin and back to the house crowd,** Fast and furious.

Sailing is active, but has been slowing down for a few years.

The clubs still hold their races, and the kids are out sailing in their groups every day.

The weekdays are awesome, if you like being away from the crowds.

The serious fishermen still fish.

All and all it has been a good Season.

If you want some good news, crude oil prices are dropping and may continue.

The Oil companies have ways of accessing the oil shales and tapping the large reserves of oil in the midwest.* We may have Opec worried, so the price will back off.

Hoping to wind up the Season with a month cruise to the Chesapeake and take in the Trawler Fest.** Boat shows are not what they used to be, the economy has taken a toll on dealers and vendors.

Not interested in selling the boat, just have to keep it simple and hope to avoid any expensive repairs.

JohnP
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:11 AM   #17
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RE: Where are the boats?

The Oil companies have ways of accessing the oil shales and tapping the large reserves of oil in the midwest. We may have Opec worried, so the price will back off.
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________

Unfortunately, the current administration won't approve any exploration and development of the vast oil resources we have in the US. Don't expect much or any relief from high oil prices in the near future.
-----------------------------------------

On another note, here in the PNW I have never seen so many Canadian boats cruising in the US. We started our summer cruise from Olympia, which is almost as far south as you can go in Puget Sound, and saw 3 Canadian boats there. In the San Juan's, it almost appeared they where as many Canadians as US boats. My guess for this is that the strong Canadian dollar and the lower US prices for everything is the big reason.

Now I'm in British Columbia and in the past, it seemed like US boats almost where more numerous than Canadian boats. That's certainly not the case this year! I guess the US is not far from being a thrid world country.

Ron
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:36 PM   #18
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RE: Where are the boats?

In our little corner of San Francisco Bay, Loch Lomond Marina, the 46' slips are filling up as the year goes on and the smaller slips seem to be holding their own, albeit, light occupancy.* Unlike other marinas, LLM has worked hard to maintain the status quo. Still waiting for the promised new showers but the docks are all good.* The bay still fills up on nice days and the lunch stops and Ayala Cove*slips are full on weekends.

cheers,
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:35 AM   #19
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RE: Where are the boats?

Our experience in NC is that the marinas are quite full!* We've recently moved to the New Bern Grand Marina, and most of these boats have people on them every weekend!!* Most of them leave their slips too!!* It's been incredibly hot though, and if there isn't any wind, being out on the water isn't*super enjoyable.* But earlier in the season there were lots of people boating!* I imagine that will happen again come late September.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:48 AM   #20
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RE: Where are the boats?

Quote:
windmist wrote:
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________

Unfortunately, the current administration won't approve any exploration and development of the vast oil resources we have in the US. Don't expect much or any relief from high oil prices in the near future.
--------------------------------------
********** This is one way the Administration could positively help the U.S. Economy.

********* Tapping these oil fields represent lots and lots of jobs, for our young people.

********* Steady jobs with a good income to buy homes, cars, whatever.

********* Money spent in their own States,* Also the surge in consumer spending would spur more stores and service providers to hire and or expand.

********* It is a total win- win,* keep the money in this country and let it circulate.

It is an opportunity we can't afford to miss.*** JohnP
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