Published: Summer 2012
News and updates from the editors of BoatUS Trailering
By The Numbers
The Recreational Boating Statistics Abstract from the National Marine Manufacturers Association shows that 95 percent of the 12.4 million registered boats in 2011 were less than 26 feet — and most were trailered.
Other facts include:
- 83 percent of all powerboats sold in 2011 were made in the United States.
- 72 percent of all boat owners make less than $100,000 a year.
- The most popular boats sold in 2011 were aluminum powerboats.
More BoatUS Towing Ports
Bayfield, Wisconsin on Lake Superior, the Hood Canal just north of Seattle, Washington, and Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee, are three new venues for BoatUS members in need of on-the-water assistance. Roger Slade (right) has added the Hood Canal location to his more northern locations in Port Townsend and Port Hadlock, Washington. Tucker Culbertson will be the go-to person for boaters near the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, and Shane O’Neal has added Old Hickory Lake near Nashville, Tennessee, to other locations in Tennessee and Alabama. For information about towing, go to www.BoatUS.com/Towing
Such A Deal (And A Steal)
From the Department of “Too Good To Be True,” we have this story: A Florida man had a “For Sale” sign on a 2007 30-foot Concept boat with twin 350 Mercury outboards and a trailer, and was asking $20,000. A prospective buyer was suspicious that a boat valued at $137,000 could be available at such a steal so he contacted the manufacturer who traced the boat to its original owner, who had reported the boat stolen last September. The real owner contacted Monroe County Police, who paid a visit to the man offering the boat for sale, and the seller was arrested. Turns out he was the nephew of the boat’s owner.
Minnesota And Invasives
Many observers of the effort to keep invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels out of lakes point to Minnesota as leading one of the most aggressive campaigns against further infestation. Checks last summer indicated nearly one in five boaters failed to comply with the rules. “We’ve been educating the people for quite a few years now and we decided the time has come, we need to take it one step further,” said Maj. Phil Meier, enforcement operations manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The DNR is hiring 150 new inspectors for the season who will be checking to see whether boaters have cleaned off all the aquatic vegetation and other prohibited species before moving their boats. Inspectors can send infested watercraft to decontamination stations for pressure washing if necessary. Inspectors also will enforce a law that says drain plugs must be removed before a boat is moved from any waters. Bilges, live wells, ballast tanks, and minnow buckets must be emptied before leaving the water access. Officers also have instructions to start writing tickets and increasing fines. The cost for violations? As much as $1,000.
An idea that has been bouncing around the city council chambers in Titusville, Florida, for the past three years is back and shows every sign of being approved: concrete pads under boat trailers. According to Florida Today, the effort is being made to keep rodents and animals from living or spending time under unattended boat trailers and RVs parked on grass. Proponents also say the pads will improve curb appeal and real estate values. Under the plan, boats longer than 14 feet will be required to be parked on concrete at a cost to the boater that could run as high as $1,000.
Open For Business
The Michigan community of St. Claire Shores on Lake St. Claire near Detroit has voted to open 9 Mile Road Ramp to nonresidents in an effort to increase visitors and city funds. Parks and Recreation Director Greg Esler said the ramp will attract boaters who will spend money for fuel, hotels, and food. Two other ramps in the community, Blossom Heath and Lac Sainte Claire, will remain closed to nonresidents.
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Wait! Before You Toss That Bait!European night crawlers make great bait (as do these Red Wigglers), and are widely sold for composting as well, but their voracious appetites make them harmful to many American ecosystems.
A lot can go into choosing the best bait or lures. But often at the end of the day when we are in a hurry to get home, we don’t think much about how we dispose of unused bait. Did you know that all common bait worms including night crawlers, Canadian crawlers, leaf worms, and angle worms are nonnative invasive species? While you may think you are doing the worms a favor by pitching them in the woods nearby, you actually could be causing damage. Invasive earthworms eat fallen leaves and the forest ground cover, altering the habitat and making it hard for seedlings to survive. In areas heavily impacted, there is increased soil erosion leading to impaired water quality.
So think equally hard about your bait disposal as you do about your bait selection. Consider catching your own native bait when practical. When you purchase bait, be sure the species you buy is legal to use in the water body you are fishing. And at the end of the day, dispose of any unused bait in the trash, not in the water or on land. Better yet, share it with another angler heading out on the water.