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Old 09-07-2024, 14:24   #1
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How busy is it on the water East Coast?

I noted in this previous thread It's a Buyers Market that it had been very quiet on the water earlier in southern New England. Well, this past July 4th and weekend confirms it for me--this is a very unusual season. I spent the forth at one of our favorite spots--Cuttyhunk Island. We have spent many July 4th holidays there over several decades and usually the problem is finding a place for the boat since the harbor is packed and there is no room to anchor. Not this year. We anchored on the outside anticipating the usual jam, but nobody showed up. We were near one of the outer mooring fields where maybe two moorings were occupied, and there were around a dozen boats total. We could have anchored inside if we had wanted to. Stayed on for the weekend, but moved into the anchorage inside--plenty of room. Almost all weekend there were moorings available inside and even slips in the marina. I kept asking people what was going on and nobody knows. My guess is boating traffic was down at least 50% from previous years. What are you seeing in your area along the East Coast?
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Old 09-07-2024, 14:55   #2
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

Similar on the lake I live on in the south east. On the 4th we were commenting on the reduction of traffic.
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Old 09-07-2024, 15:02   #3
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

Same.

We spent the 4th on the water and anchored off Bayville to watch the fireworks, saw very few boats, maybe a tenth of what we usually see, and it was a perfect day!
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Old 09-07-2024, 15:48   #4
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

I live on Tampa Bay and keep my sailboat at the city marina. There are perhaps 1,000 boats docked along the St. Petersburg waterfront. On the best days, there are perhaps a dozen sailboats out on the water.


About a quarter of those boats are permanent liveaboard, many of them owned by people who would have difficulty backing out of their slips, assuming the motors still run.


The rest? A mystery. These are people spending $400 to $1,000 a month to dock their vessels, plus insurance. Many of the boats are in mediocre to poor shape. If there is an answer to why they own boats, I don't know it.


I went for an afternoon sail today. Admittedly, it was cloudy and hot, threatening a shower or two. The feels-like temperature was 104. Still, it was nice once I got on the water.


Two other sailboats were out, as far as my eyes could see. I could tell there were also a couple of small powerboats because they kept pissing off the Coast Guard by asking for radio checks on 16.



Other than that, I had the bay to myself.
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Old 09-07-2024, 23:42   #5
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

Locally (North Shore of Boston/Salem area) 4th of July week was very busy. The good weather was prohably one reason. Sunday was a very busy day sail wise. Today I spoke to my hauler, he said he's still doing a lot of launches this late in the season. Mentioned that this was very unusual in his 30 years of hauling.

Normally the peak time for season's launches is Memorial day, being the top of the launch curve. All of May and 1st half of June our morring field was relatively empty but since the 4th it gotten as full as it should be for this time in the season. I guess there were a lot of stragglers who launched later than usual.
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Old 10-07-2024, 01:08   #6
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

My home mooring field has many vacant balls…. Very atypical. At block island now…… the upcoming bad weather is keeping some away but there were over 10 moorings available at 2:00 which is unusual. Anchorage is also empty…… but we are not complaining!
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Old 10-07-2024, 04:26   #7
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

Local temps over this last week or two have been in the 90s, "feels like" in the 100s... and I suspect that's influenced boat usage. Maybe more pool time than underway time...

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Old 10-07-2024, 04:46   #8
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

Quote:
Local temps over this last week or two have been in the 90s, "feels like" in the 100s... and I suspect that's influenced boat usage. Maybe more pool time than underway time...
The coolest place here in Massachusetts was on the south coast and on the water, yet very low boat traffic. Frankly, the weather has been pretty normal for summer so far. Another thing we noted was very few boats from "away." Saw one from Philly, a few from New York and Connecticut, and a couple from the Chesapeake, but mostly just locals.
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Old 10-07-2024, 05:30   #9
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

It’s the economy. Young families lack the disposable income to get started in “boating” and those who are established in it already are staggered by the expense of ownership while the basic cost of living ashore is spiraling ever upwards.
The population of boat owners are aging rapidly so those who can absorb the increased cost of ownership are now facing physical challenges.
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Old 10-07-2024, 05:31   #10
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

Despite it being pretty hot and humid, the July 4th weekend is the point where the season here suddenly started to feel close to "normal" here on Lake Ontario. There are still more open slips than usual, but over the last couple of weeks more boats have gone in the water (both trailered and larger), activity seems to have picked up towards normal. A few people have shown up with newly purchased boats as well.

Right now we have the most transients I've seen at one time in the marina, the guest dock at the yacht club we visited over the weekend was busier than I've seen it in a few years, etc. I've seen quite a few loopers coming through the area as well.
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Old 10-07-2024, 05:34   #11
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

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It’s the economy. Young families lack the disposable income to get started in “boating” and those who are established in it already are staggered by the expense of ownership while the basic cost of living ashore is spiraling ever upwards.
The population of boat owners are aging rapidly so those who can absorb the increased cost of ownership are now facing physical challenges.
So, I wonder if we will start to see some price reductions due to lack of demand? As I noted, the outer mooring fields at Cuttyhunk ($55 per night) were almost empty, while the inner harbor moorings ($60 per night) were available most of the weekend. In the past on busy holidays you had to get there by noon in order to pick up a rental mooring.
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Old 10-07-2024, 06:13   #12
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

I doubt there will be a general decrease. Everything today is considered a profit center. When my family was young, as an example, Block Island’s Great Salt Pond was an open anchorage and the town was not in the business of mooring ball rentals. Once visiting “yachts” were recognized as a potential source of income we started down the path which now results in a small portion of the pond open for anchoring and the vast majority consists of rental moorings.
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Old 10-07-2024, 06:26   #13
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

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I doubt there will be a general decrease. Everything today is considered a profit center.
No rentals, no profit! Just expenses since presumably they maintain the moorings.
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Old 10-07-2024, 06:27   #14
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

The spring season was unusually wet, it rained the majority of the time.
In the marina where I store my boat they're still putting in boats, most owners were not able to get many workable days in during the spring so the majority of boats went in late. When your working for a living and it rains most weekends it's tough to get anything done.
Also,many boats are dock queens, and rarely leave the dock.
I'm sure there are also other contributing factors involved, but it hasn't been a great year weather wise.
Most recreational boaters are sunny day sailors and there haven't been many sunny days.
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Old 10-07-2024, 06:35   #15
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Re: How busy is it on the water East Coast?

From my perspective, boating in Florida is 10% of what it used to be, both power and sail.

My 2c is that everyone and their uncle decided that the boating world was ripe for plundering....excessive marina fees, paid mooring balls, etc, ad infinitum.

My local marina is a classic example. Once filled to the brim with every slip taken, these days, the place is a desert. Even the well heeled boat owner has said...enuff is enuff..

It's been going on for a while now, won't be long now and many marina's will go belly up...
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