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Old 07-27-2020, 10:10 PM   #1
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COVID Craziness?

I was talking with a marine insurance adjuster, who told me that this season has been his busiest season ever. Also, he mentioned some really bad boat accidents involving fatalities. I thought it strange, until he went on to say that boat sales in our area have been the highest in a long time. He concluded that many people went out and bought boats, basically to get out of the house during COVID, with very little knowledge regarding operating them.

My neighbor had just returned from a day trip and confirmed that the amount of boats on the water was very high and that many were driving recklessly (or "insane" as he put it). It made me feel better as my boat is currently on the hard for maintenance of the running gear. I'm hearing concerns of danger on the water.

Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:23 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. ITB. We're on a dead end (dammed) arm of a river just off the main navigation channel. Nice sized bay for anchoring right behind the house. We've been here 15 years and this year has been the busiest, by far, for boats anchored and people just hanging out. We haven't noticed any increase in the recklessness but we ARE off the main channel. So, yup, very busy.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:33 PM   #3
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We’re on the Gulf side of FL, and to us it looks much busier at sand bars and runabouts going every which way. There’s no shortage of competitive craziness here as a rule, but yes...it has picked up.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:34 PM   #4
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I'm at the gateway to Desolation Sound. Pretty busy, but less crazy.

I've only heard 5 short blasts from the local ferries a handful of times. Usually it is every day, at least.

Maybe there is something to the mandatory pleasure craft operator card, now, by default, everyone on the water here has one.

Hmmmm. Wonder why?
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:16 AM   #5
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Jusy now returning from a month away, mostly away from wifi or cell. As we head toward "civilization" things are noticeably busier than what we had been used to. Up in the wilderness, not so much.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:28 AM   #6
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Our broker (and other) noted that the market in the PacNW is on fire. Another thread tracking San Juan Island “traffic” indicates a plethora of bots, more than usual. With higher density and more new owners I have to believe we will be a)extra cautious; and, b) entertained by the combination of factors. Our plans got delayed by some elective extra maintenance work so we lost a month of cruise time. Should be interesting out there. SJIs for 2.5 weeks. Home for 10 days. South Puget Sound for 3+ weeks. I’m sure we will have tales to tell.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:44 AM   #7
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Two observations:

Just spent two days in Bell Harbor on the Seattle waterfront. This marina, which has very few resident boats was at about 40% transient census on a high-season weekend. Even with two yacht clubs cruising in.

2. Three hour cruise each way, Tacoma-Seattle, virtually no traffic other than sportfishing runabouts.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:38 AM   #8
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Boat sales have been the busiest in many years according to a boat broker friend here in South Australia.
People see it as a safe way to holiday.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:29 AM   #9
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Yes, It is definately a very active boating Season in NJ. We had a favorite anchorage in Barnegat Bay off Island Beach where on weekdays we had the place to ourselves. Now there seems to be a weekend crowd there every time we go. Last time a couple with a good sized sailboat anchored right in front of us, then started dragging. They attempted short scope anchoring about four times. I thought sure they were going to foul my rode and cause an issue. They gave up and motored away, never raised sail in a fair wind as far as I could see. And the jet skis, yikes I must be getting old! On the way home the Admiral and I had a laugh about the slow pass radio dance on the ICW while we were passed by large SeaRays at 25knots port and starboard at the same time one after the other all the way back.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:27 AM   #10
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It's very busy on Lake Ontario as well. And the already high level of stupidity in this area has gotten even higher, almost to the point where my desire to leave the dock in nice weather on a weekend is starting to fade.

Every day at this point it's either someone blasting through a no wake zone throwing a huge wake, plowing along (not in a no wake zone) half on plane throwing a 3+ foot wake very close to a bunch of other boats and often in somewhat confined areas (one of these rolled me better than 20 degrees at anchor a couple weeks ago from about 1000 feet away). Or jetskis coming dangerously close to causing a collision. Or someone launching at a launch ramp, putting out into a narrow channel (75 ft wide) with heavy traffic and severe shoaling on the sides and then just drifting in the channel while fussing with a bimini, etc. and paying no attention at all to the boats around him (while he's sucking up half of the channel).
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:00 AM   #11
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In South Florida, this is our off season and it has often seemed like our busy season.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:49 AM   #12
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We're seeing it busier than normal in our favorite anchorages. We're seeing the dingy docks emptier than normal. The remote beaches that are really only patronized by dinghies are VERY crowded. Many more people swimming and partying on the boats in the anchorage than there normally is.

What is concerning us is the number of people who are clearly new to anchoring. New to No Wake concepts in the anchorage. New to 'put your motor down at the dinghy dock!!'. New to Col Regs (we are constantly the 'give way' vessel lately in ALL circumstances).
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
What is concerning us is the number of people who are clearly new to anchoring. New to No Wake concepts in the anchorage. New to 'put your motor down at the dinghy dock!!'. New to Col Regs (we are constantly the 'give way' vessel lately in ALL circumstances).

This is it. I've seen many people who fit right into the usual "anchor as shallow as your boat can get into so you can stand in the water and drink" trend around here notice us anchored and try to anchor near us. They have no idea what the depth is, so they'll toss an anchor with 40 - 50 feet of line over the side in, say, 48 feet of water. And then a few minutes later, they're very confused why they're still moving...


The colregs thing is bad too. In one area locally, it's pretty much turned into "slower boats are give way". I've given more boats and jetskis the 5 short in the last few weeks than I have in my entire life up to this point.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:14 PM   #14
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I just came through the Trent Severn Waterway. Very quiet compared to previous years. Lockages are down about 30% and through traffic is off significantly. But no US boats allowed, no loopers. Rental houseboats are out in full force. After an uncertain spring they were all fully booked in early June as the social distancing rules were relaxed.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I just came through the Trent Severn Waterway. Very quiet compared to previous years. Lockages are down about 30% and through traffic is off significantly. But no US boats allowed, no loopers. Rental houseboats are out in full force. After an uncertain spring they were all fully booked in early June as the social distancing rules were relaxed.
And back to the subject, no craziness. A few new drivers in new boats, but they weren't a threat.
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