Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boating in upstate New York

You'll find that most upstaters have some hole in the water stored in the driveway; a canoe, a bass boat, a pontoon rig or something that floats. Figuring that we can see snow from September to May, (yup, that's right, eight months out of a year) we basically have visitation with our boats about 4 months out of a year. Maybe you still have a few days in October if you're lucky so we make the best of it while the water isn't frozen.  We enjoy the water thanks to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation who offer clean, safe and excellent facilities for boating and camping.

The Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of the upstate boating season and it looks like the start of a NASCAR race at the boat-launch. It seems that a lot of people forget how to launch a boat after a few months off. I take solace in the fact that I've got a great pit crew when we put the boat in. Everyone has a job and we're in or out in a few minutes. HOWEVER, that is not the norm and you can get some great footage of what not to do if you don't die laughing in the process.

A few pointers:

  • Put the stern hull plug in...the boat fills up fast without it.
  • Charge the battery before you hit the launch.
  • Put all your gear in before hand.
  • Practice backing at home, we don't want to see it when we're waiting to put in.
  • Undo the straps that hold the boat onto the trailer, the boat drives much better without the trailer attached.

Don't forget your PFDs!


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