On Air: Fall Boating and Winter Boat Storage
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation and Tourism Specialist, P: 315-312- 3042, E: dgw9@cornell.edu

Syracuse, NY, October 16, 2020 - Whether you’re still getting in some Fall boating, or you’re ready to winterize your boat for the cold months ahead, you have to admit it’s been an amazing boating season. 

That's what New York Sea Grant Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White shared during a boating segment that aired on several 93Q programs, including Street Talk and Ted and Amy in the Morning. 93Q broadcasts on WNTQ-FM in the greater Syracuse region. 

The 14 minute segment, which can be streamed below, airs at around 5 minutes 30 seconds into the broadcast and runs until around 19 minutes 40 seconds.

You can listen to White's full conversation on 93Q ...

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Full Transcript:

[00:00:04] Welcome to Street Talk, a public affairs presentation of Cumulus Media aired on our Cumulus stations and Syracuse Street Talk is a weekly show keeping you in touch with the individuals and organizations that work for and serve our community. 

[00:05:30] Whether you're still getting in some fall boating or you're ready to winterize that boat for the cold months ahead, you have to admit it's been an amazing boating season. Dave White is the recreation and tourism specialist for New York Sea Grant.

[00:05:42] I mean, boating hasn't been better. I mean, really, hasn't it just been fabulous?

[00:05:48] We kind of joke, you know, when we started talking about this, that boaters have been socially distant for generations because, obviously if you want to be social, but it wasn't very difficult to still take part in one of your favorite hobbies and not have to worry about being around a lot of people.

[00:06:05] It really has. It's been an absolutely awesome summer for, you know, the staycation vacation concept. We've welcomed a whole new family of boaters. And by that I mean boating families to join us on all of our great waterways, whether it be someone that, you know, hey, let's start doing some paddle sport activity, you know, all the way up to powerboats, sailboats, you know, pontoon boats. It's just great to see. And as a person who works with this industry for a long time, it's just been great to see the number of people out on our waterways enjoying our resources and their families. It's been fabulous to see.

[00:06:45] And, you know, I think we've also talked about this, both of us from this area, seeing it from the waterways around here gives you a totally different perspective. I mean, it's absolutely amazing to go out on Onondaga Lake and to see it on that view as compared to going down 690 every day.

[00:07:02] Absolutely. It gives you an entirely different “viewshed” of it. So let's take advantage of what we have. And when you're going through the canal system or along any of our bodies of water, and you're beginning to see that fall foliage change and then just the reds and the oranges and yellows as we get into later September and early October from a boat, especially when it's reflecting off the lake, you can't beat it.

[00:07:27] You really cannot beat that “viewshed” that you'll have on any one of our bodies of water and from any kind of watercraft that you're on.

[00:07:34] I got to tell you, I spent a little time down on Cayuga Lake this summer and I went kayaking. I have been kayaking in the past, but it was one of those times when you're sitting on the lake, it's like, holy cow, it's just great exercise. And again, it's just so good for the soul to be out on the water.

[00:07:51] It is, especially on the time of day you might be out and you know, you're there.

[00:07:55] I love going out early morning in the kayak and into the back bay that I go into. And I'll just sit there and just stop paddling and just listen and relax and enjoy it. And that's what the water does for us.

[00:08:09] You know, it's so calming as well as exciting depending on what time of day you're there, who you're out with and the family members that you may be with. So it really gives us a different feeling. It gives us a different mindset. And it's been a real way of getting away from the day to day of what's going on and all of our lives and the stress that folks have had and the anxiety that they've had. You know, when you get on that boat, whatever kind it is, it just drains away from you. And especially with your family there, you can you can see them all. It just drains away. And for that day or that weekend, it's a different time and place. And that's what being out on the water is all about.

[00:08:53] You know, you talk about boating during the fall. So, boating season is not yet over, but it seems as though boating safety would be even more important because water getting colder and, you know, sometimes it's rougher in the in the fall.

[00:09:05] So really, everything we always talk about with boating safety is even more important if it is. And you're absolutely right, you know, as I say, before you get in the water, dip the toe in the water and you might go, yes, it’s getting a little cool there. But yeah, especially if you are a paddle sport person, you still have the opportunity to be falling out of the boat way too easy sometimes, so you definitely need to have your life jacket on. You need to be prepared for that. 

[00:09:30] Also, taking into account the fact that the weather changes throughout the day, we've got these cool mornings, warmer afternoon. So, we always talk about dressing in layers. This is definitely the time to be thinking about that. And also, over the summer people have extended what I call into their COVID family. You know, a lot of folks have, with all the safety precautions, they're COVID family may now be their, you know, their brother or sister, his family and the cousins are together, you know. So if you're taking your COVID family as I now call it, which certainly could be more extended than just [00:10:00] your immediate family, make sure you have all the gear on board for them. Especially if you’re taking your nieces and nephews out, make sure you have the right life jackets on board. You know, you should always be thinking about that. But definitely in the fall we need to be thinking about that. And we've already seen some issues with folks being on boats and having cause for alarm and taking those safety things. All you need to do is 15 minutes of extra planning before you go to make sure as the captain of the vessel, you have all the gear, [00:10:30] what the weather conditions are going to be and you're going to be safe the rest of your day can be relaxing.

[00:10:34] It's not something you need to worry about moment by moment. If you're well prepared, then you can have that really fun day out on the water knowing that if you have a problem, you're well prepared.

[00:10:45] And also, I'm saying from November 1st to May 1st in New York State, everybody aboard has to be wearing personal flotation device all the time, right?

[00:10:54] Absolutely. Yes. And that's really just to help. It is. I always say extend your survivability until rescue. And that's really, you know, a lot of folks, they like to go out fishing in November or just maybe they have one last ride out. So having your life jacket on, if you do have a problem and you either have to get out of the boat or you fall out of the boat, heaven forbid, you've got the life jacket on that's going to provide you that time period for someone to realize that you're out there. Also, as we get into this time of year, if you are going out, and we do have a lot of hunters and fishers that will go out alone, make sure you're, “filing a float plan.” And what that means is you need to tell someone where you're going, when you're going and when you plan to come back so that if they don't see you pull back in the driveway at around one o'clock and you said you'd be there, they know to make a phone call to say, “Dave went out boating. He left about 10:00 and said he'd be back by 1:00 and it's 1:30 and he's not back yet.” That becomes really important, especially if you're going out alone to make sure someone knows what your plan is. And they refer to that as filing a float plan. So make sure you're doing that as well.

[00:12:04] It was carbon monoxide poisoning that happened in Sylvan Beach. And that is another thing you have to kind of worry about because this summer has been so warm, people have not had to use heaters or anything like that, even if they're staying overnight. So, boy. Something I would think is extremely important that people have to think about as we get into the colder months.

[00:12:25] They really do. And what I often say to people is if you have a style of boat that you can sleep on and live on for a period of time, you really have to think of all the same considerations as you do your house. You know, if you're going to have a generator on it, you're going to run an engine of any kind it needs to be vented. You know, you can't be doing that in an enclosed environment. I mean, as we're going into fall and everybody is starting to talk about, you know what, you're going to use your generator, make sure it's outside, not in your garage, you know, make sure it's far and away from your house that you're not having the fumes come in. If you're able to live and sleep on your boat, you have to think those same things as you're moving forward. 

[00:13:00] So, as I've said all year long this year, your boat is really an extension of your home when it comes to COVID, but it really is an extension of your home. If you're able to sleep and live on it for a period of time, those precautions when you take it home are the same as it would be on the water. And we begin to lose some of that more on the boat thinking it's uniquely something different, but it really isn't. So all of those normal safety precautions you would take if you're going to be running an engine or a generator or a heater of any kind, it's the same precaution when you would take it home because it's an enclosed environment at that point.

[00:13:38] Well, let's talk about when we finally take our boats out of the water. Do you need insurance off season? Talk a little bit about that.

[00:13:45] Most insurance companies cover your boat for the year. Where you want to be, make sure when you go into winter to either, you know, you’re DIY [do-it-yourself] and I'm going to winterize my boat myself and do all these kind of things, or I'm going to hire somebody [00:14:00] to do it. Either way. But you want to make sure it's done correctly, because if you do have a problem over winter and you have a lot come spring or something happens, you need to make sure it was done correctly because that's where an insurance company will come in like any other kind of accident that would occur. You know, were all the correct precautions taken. Was it winterized correctly? I'm a real fan of using all of our good friends and colleagues in the marine trades industry throughout central and upstate New York because they do a great job. They guarantee their work. You can store your boat with them, they'll shrink wrap it. And then come spring, when you say I'm ready to go, you put a battery on your turn that you're ready to go. You know, you don't have to worry all winter about what's going to happen to the boat.

[00:14:46] It's safe and secure working with one of our great businesses. The other thing I've been wanting to remind people of is this is the time of year. Even if you want to keep your boat out for a while longer, be making the appointment to get your boat serviced for the winter. And also, make sure you have a place to store it. A lot of new boaters that have joined us might have an HOA [home owners association] and they might be limited in their ability to store their boat at their home property. So, if that's the case, you've got to be thinking about “so where can I have my boat stored for the winter” and there's a lot of great storage places around. They'll work with you to take care of getting your boat in, your boat out. So a DIY, great opportunity through great videos online, a lot of great information online from our friends at Boat U.S. and Discover Boating with great checklist. You know, make sure you're doing it correctly and making sure you're following your manufacturer's guidelines as well.

[00:15:37] And also snowing outside. I mean, all the things that you just mentioned that are kind of taken care of when you do store it elsewhere outside is sometimes difficult, especially because you don't want to plow into it either if it's stored on your road or something like that.

[00:15:52] Absolutely. And that's where working with some of our great marine great folks in upstate New York, that's what they're there for, is to make sure your boats are going to be safe and secure in. You know, a lot of folks think, well, jeez, if I didn't have my boat at that marina, per say, or I didn't buy my boat from that service place, I can't take it back. They'll welcome you back. You know, they'll welcome you with arms open because they want to work with you. They want to make sure you know that you're going to have a boating experience that again come next spring your boat is ready to go for you. So, that's the one thing about the boating industry we have in upstate New York. These folks are partners. They are friends, and they're going to provide all the guidance and suggestions and really work with folks, especially the new boaters coming in, because a lot of folks this year had a great year. But now as we go into winter again, in our part of the world, winter means a lot of things for a boat. So, there are just great partners to take advantage of and work with to make sure you're both going to be well protected over the winter as well.

[00:16:51] You know, I always like to ask you about the New York Sea Grant and just kind of explain to me what you guys do here in New York.

[00:16:57] We are one of 34 programs across the country, [as we always say to folks, we’re the sister to land grant, and they go, well, it’s land grant. And what we do is, in partnership here in New York between Cornell University and the State University of New York and obviously our friends within the National Sea Grant College program, we fund research on coastal issues including boating, recreation, tourism, fishing, coastal resources and processes, helping people understand water level management and protecting their property, helping people learn about all of our waterways systems, especially the Great Lakes. Mine and my colleagues’ job is to take that research-based information, whether it be here from New York or anywhere or, you know, across the country, and really help people understand that information better about our water resources. And, as I always say, how we live, use and play along our water resources. It's where we step in. And my area expertise is in boating and recreation and tourism. So I work on diving and shipwrecks and boating and tourism issues and working with our marine trades folks, working with byways and beaches. So, I enjoy what I do, as you well know.

[00:18:09] But the great thing that I enjoy seeing is a summer like this when what we're doing with boating safety, boating, education and economies of boating and seeing people out there just, you very seldom see a sad face on a boat. And that's what's great about boating. And you might walk down the street and people don't wave a lot to you a lot of times on the street. But I dare you to go by a boater that doesn't wave to you. It just is a change in mindset. And it's been such a great summer to see so many people out there with their families enjoying what we have in New York. As you can complain all you want, the one thing you cannot complain about in New York is the awesome outdoor recreation resources we have. Whether you want to go mountain climbing, you want to go boating, you want to go kayaking, you want to go diving, you pick it. We have it. And we probably have it better than any place in the country. So, complain all you want about a lot of things, but you cannot complain about what we have when it comes to our recreation resources that people come from across the world to enjoy.

[00:19:15] And we have it right here in our backyard. It is always great to talk to you. I'm excited as I'm sitting here looking out at a great sunny day. I'm seeing a lot of people keeping their docks in and their boats ready to go. And we've got some great weather coming up. And I just love the water in the fall as well. Take the special precautions, but really take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the view, as they say.

[00:19:42] For more, visit www.nyseagrant.org/marina

[00:22:49] Street Talk has been a public affairs presentation of Cumulus Media, where Ted and Amy, thank you for joining us each week here on Street Talk.

More Info:
New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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