Please select your home edition
Edition
Maritimo 2023 M600 LEADERBOARD

No end in sight for boating season

by Scott Croft 29 Aug 2022 15:32 PDT
TowBoatUS Grand Haven, Michigan, owner Capt. Rich Lenardson anticipates the Labor Day holiday will be a busy one for recreational boaters © Scott Croft

With gas prices continuing to fall and the summer boating season coming to a close, more boaters are expected to take to the water this Labor Day holiday. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nation's largest advocacy, services and safety group with more than 800,000 dues-paying members, is advising boaters to keep safety at the forefront of their boating activities.

According to an online survey of BoatUS members across the country, 65% of respondents plan on boating this Labor Day weekend. Almost 80% said they are welcoming lower gas prices and plan to extend their boating season into the fall.

"We know the Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but for many boaters, the long weekend serves as a 'last blast' invitation to get out on the water, and we expect increased boating activity on lakes and coastal waterways," said John Condon, vice president of towing services for BoatUS. "Our survey also indicated that there's no end in sight for a lot of boaters as they are starting to take advantage of lower gas prices and extend their season into the fall. However, this is a great opportunity to get boaters to think about finishing their season with safety and preparedness in mind."

BoatUS typically receives more than 90,000 calls annually with the major boating holidays - Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day - driving the most calls for assistance from members and non-members. The most common requests for on-water assistance from recreational boaters include some type of engine or mechanical breakdown, running aground in a shallow area, needing a jumpstart, running out of fuel, and needing a tow.

Capt. Richard Lenardson, owner of TowBoatUS in Grand Haven, Mich., and his team provide on-water assistance for boaters on Lake Michigan, are anticipating another busy holiday weekend this Labor Day and are communicating their safety message out to boaters now before the holiday rush picks up.

"I tell folks on the water all the time: 'you've got to treat the lake like an ocean,'" Lenardson said. "You never know what the waters and weather will do from one minute to the next, so preparation and safety are key." Lenardson urges all boaters to have reliable communications equipment such as VHF marine radio and not depend solely on cell coverage, which can be lost offshore.

Capt. Robert Estrada, owner of TowBoatUS Lake Lanier, Ga., expects boating activity on the lake to "triple" this Labor Day holiday and also urges boating safety fundamentals.

"Many people use checklists for their grocery shopping, so I tell boaters to use a checklist for boating," Estrada said. "U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets should always be first on your list - especially for children, followed by boating safety essentials like flares, fire extinguishers, working navigation lights, and inspected engines and fuel systems."

Estrada also recommends a designated sober boat operator is identified before leaving the dock.

A range of boating safety topics - which can be customized to include on your own checklist - are available at the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. For more information on towing services, visit www.BoatUS.com/Towing, or call 800-888-4869.

Related Articles

Are boaters doing better when it comes to safety?
Just-released U.S. Coast Guard stats show decrease in fatalities, accidents, but problems persist The recently released U.S. Coast Guard 2023 Recreational Boating Statistics shows some good news on the boating safety front, with fatalities falling by 11.3% to 564 from 636 in 2022. Posted on 15 Jun
BoatUS Foundation opens Grant Program
For $7.5M effort to remove ADVs from nation's waterways From June 10-August 12, organizations are invited to apply for grant funding to clean up their local waterways Posted on 10 Jun
‘Extremely active' 2024 hurricane season expected
BoatUS helps boaters prepare Colorado State University's (CSU) Tropical Weather and Climate researchers, long known for their annual hurricane forecasts, are calling for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season to be "extremely active". Posted on 30 May
Boating season begins on Lake Texoma
Prepare with affordable 3-hour powerboat training courses It's boating season on Lake Texoma, and as boaters return for a summer of fun on the water, are they ready? It's important for every boat operator to be confident behind the helm. Posted on 25 May
BoatUS Spring Commissioning Checklist
Be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations for your specific boat, engine and accessories The recreational boat owner's advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), has help for all types of boat owners with its highly popular Spring Commissioning Checklist. Posted on 3 May
7 practical boating tips for a safe, fun summer
Ahead of National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24 How can you make your summer on the water a safe one? With National Safe Boating Week coming up May 18-24, the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water offers seven practical tips to keep you boating safely all summer long. Posted on 1 May
Affordable 3-hour powerboat training courses
TowBoatUS Jordan Lake, N.C. make it easy to boost confidence behind the helm If you've always wanted to try boating, or you're a safe boat operator with a desire to grow your powerboat-handling skills or give yourself a boost of confidence behind the helm, now is your chance. Posted on 24 Apr
BoatUS offers for Earth Day
Does your boat 'say' what it's supposed to? Every new boat comes adorned with a plethora of warning labels for just about everything from obvious hazards to what a tow pylon should be used for. Posted on 17 Apr
Boating season begins on Lake Hartwell
TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell and BoatUS Foundation make it easy to improve boat-handling skills Springtime on Lake Hartwell means recreational boats begin to make their annual migration from winter hibernation on the hard to launching into the lake, bringing to mind the importance for every boat operator to be confident behind the helm Posted on 12 Apr
Free online course meets Brianna's Law Requirement
Boating Safety Course can help state residents meet mandatory boating safety education deadline Brianna's Law was named after Brianna Lieneck, an 11-year-old Long Island girl who was killed in a 2005 boating accident. Posted on 19 Mar
Maritimo 2023 M600 FOOTER