On Air: Get Out On The Water, It's Worth Every Penny
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, July 1, 2022 - Central New York boating season is here and even though it may cost you a bit more at the pump to be out on the water, Dave White from New York Sea Grant says it’s still affordable and worth every penny.

"This is just a great time of year to be thinking about all the variety and great ways to get out on the water," he says.

This information was shared during a 10+ minute long 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.

You can listen to White's full conversation on 93Q, which starts just after 13 mins 50 seconds in on the clip below ...


If you don't see the player above, it's because you're using a non-Flash device (eg, iPhone or iPad). You can download the mp3 file by clicking here (mp3). It may take a few minutes to download, so please be patient.

Full Transcript: 

Speaker1: [00:00:04] Welcome to Street Talk, a public affairs presentation of Cumulus Media aired on our Cumulus stations in Syracuse. Street Talk is a weekly show keeping you in touch with the individuals and organizations that work for and serve our community. Where your hosts TED and AMY.

Speaker1: [00:13:46] Central New York boating season is here. And even though it may cost you a bit more at the pump to be out on the water, Dave White from the New York Sea Grant says it's still affordable [00:14:00] and worth every penny.

Speaker2: [00:14:01] As you and I have talked many times, and I just love being being on with you because of your excitement and enthusiasm for all of the water resources we have, whether it's something we're doing in the winter, spring, summer fall, we are a four season, you know, community of waterways. And, you know, we're now kicking into summer and a lot of people have had a great spring out on the water. They've tried to get the boats out early. I've seen a lot of kayakers and canoers and Paddle Boarders, so it's been a fabulous [00:14:30] spring and welcome to summer now. So, you know, this is just a great time of year to be thinking about all the variety and great ways to get out on the water.

Speaker3: [00:14:37] I remember talking to you in 2020 when a lot of people were trying boating for one of the first times or buying a boat because they needed to have something that wasn't surrounded by other people. And it's always kind of been that way when it comes to boating.

Speaker2: [00:14:51] It has, you know, and it gets us out into the resources that we all love, which, you know, is one of the reasons we all love to live in this part of New York [00:15:00] with the great waterways that we have. But it is just such a family friendly friend, friendly, if you will, or just very personal. I want to get out on my own and our waterways give us that opportunity, whether you're a kayak canoer, a paddleboarder, you know, powerboater or sailboater or yachter or, you know, it just gives us that opportunity for the depth and breadth to really enjoy our resources really twenty four seven. A lot of folks are out late evening into the night, fishing early morning. [00:15:30] So our waterways are so diverse and the opportunity is so diverse. It just, it provides that for all of us.

Speaker3: [00:15:36] I know that we have become more stringent on the rules when it comes to boating. So can you run that down again just regarding who can operate a boat and ages and certification and all that?

Speaker2: [00:15:49] Absolutely. And you know, I even forget what the specific year is if I don't look it up myself. And I do that intentionally with folks to say by 2025, [00:16:00] everyone who operates a motorized vessel on the waterways of New York will have to have taken the eight hour course. And that course is taught by our good friends at the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Power Squadron, you know, our Sheriff's departments, our volunteers with the state program. And you can also take it online. And, you know, it is ratcheting up. I think we're into maybe the upper twenties, early thirties, if you're, if you're of that age or younger, you have to have taken it. But we're [00:16:30] all going to have to have taken it by 2025. And it's a great course. I'm a volunteer instructor for it. And I also remind folks that own boats also by taking the course, a lot of the insurance companies will give you a price break on your insurance because you have demonstrated that you're going to be a safe and clean operator. So there's also an economic value to, to folks as well as being safe, you know, out on the waterways, making sure that everybody on board is safe and secure so that we all have a great time when you're out on the water.

Speaker3: [00:16:59] You know, we're very [00:17:00] lucky around here because I think if you don't own a boat, there's places that rent them. I mean, I know there's places now that if you rent a specific cottage or whatever it comes with a boat, it's just I think people who decide to do that, you can't just jump willy nilly into operating a boat. You really have to find what you're doing before you actually experience it.

Speaker2: [00:17:20] You really do. And you know, rent rental boats have been around, you know, as long as you and I have, but it's really become much more mainstream now. A lot of places [00:17:30] are renting pontoon, especially pontoon boats, because they are easier to manage, a little safer for a lot of folks, a little better comfort level. But when you rent a boat, you're also getting training at the rental sites. So it's not, you know, here's the keys. Good luck. Godspeed. You are getting training from the folks that are there in some cases it is restricted who can rent them and there's additional restrictions on possibly where you can go with them, but that's more body of water or [00:18:00] type of rental that you're doing. But I encourage people to rent that, want to begin to think about getting into boating. It's like folks that buy a car and a lot of times they'll say rent, rent the type of car you might want to buy so you get a chance to kind of kick the tires and drive it. In this case, you kind of kick the prop and drive it. But rentals are great and a lot of paddle sport rentals are out there and they'll even deliver it to a launch ramp for you and they will do the same thing. If you've never been in a kayak or a paddle board, they'll give you the basic knowledge of how do you operate it [00:18:30] safely so that you have a great time out on the water.

Speaker3: [00:18:33] Well, David, I had to I hate to put a damper on boating season, but I think we have to talk about gas prices because, you know, I think part of the draw during the pandemic was the fact that you could really affordably operate a boat. And things have changed. I mean, you know, gas prices are going to be affecting things that are on the water now, too.

Speaker2: [00:18:52] They are and, you know, but I like to put it in perspective. You know, we you know, we're headed right into summer now. You [00:19:00] know, we have, you know, depending on the type of boating, you do three to four good months of boating for folks to get out there. And this is just almost like it's a plea for me. I mean, I've been boating all of my life. I just love the water resources we have in upstate New York. Go boating. Yeah, it's going to be a little more expensive, it is. But there's ways you can try to contain that. You know, just like with your car, you know, make sure you're balancing out the weight on your boat. If you have things that are sticking up in the air, like if you've got your canvas up there, lower it down [00:19:30] so you don't have as much drag on it. You know, doing those kinds of things, make sure your engine is tuned. If you're trailering the boat, make sure your trailer, the tires are inflated well, so there's a whole host of things you can do to help reduce the cost of operating the boat. But please go boating. I mean, it's just, you know, it's it's just really enjoy it, folks, because, you know, it is what we're about living up here. It's a great opportunity.

Speaker2: [00:19:57] And maybe instead of going out for when you're out [00:20:00] on the lake, you're going to be out there for the day or the river you know, you might drive an hour out into, you know, the body of water and then sit for a while. Well, maybe you'll only go a half an hour, which is but you're still going to be out on the water for 6 to 8 hours on a Saturday or Sunday, really enjoying the water resources that we have. So I really encourage folks to do that and think of ways to save money. Maybe instead of trailering your boat an hour away from the house trailer, it may be a half an hour. So you're saving money on your [00:20:30] your car gas as you're rolling that into the boating season. So, you know, it's just something I hope people don't let it stop their opportunity to just really enjoy it. It just think of creative ways maybe to cut the cost back. And I also want to share with folks that, you know, all of our great marine dealers here in the Boating Industry Association and across upstate New York, they're not gouging you at the pump at the marina. It's a great service they provide at the site. And, you know, they're not making a lot [00:21:00] of money on it because it costs them more to get the gas because they you know, they're a seasonal business.

Speaker2: [00:21:05] So they don't have, you know, the 12 month refill going on. Also, the bigger gas trucks can't get to the facility, so they have to transfer it to smaller trucks to get it there. So the gas that they have in their tank at a marina, they're actually paying more for. And they're just you know, they're trying to provide that service for folks so they're not gouging you. And also, we do need to talk about the ethanol issue as well. Ethanol [00:21:30] is blended gas. You know, it's how it's produced. In many cases, it's more efficient. A lot of our gas stations sell 10% ethanol. The EPA is given a waiver to increase that to 15% for a longer period of time. It's helped our corn producers and others. So, you know, there's there's a benefit to, you know, E10, E15, gas that we see at our local gas station. The problem that you have is many marine engines, especially older engines, [00:22:00] were not designed to burn ethanol gas. So there's a real concern and we want people to be very cautious of that, that, you know, you need to, and that's also why sometimes it's a little more expensive at marinas is you need non ethanol gas or low ethanol gas. You can actually if you use E15, you can actually void the warranty on your engine because it's not designed to utilize that gas as a lot of recreational vehicles are in the same situation.

Speaker2: [00:22:28] It's just how they were designed. So [00:22:30] be cautious of the gas that you're using. You know, and again, I technically, I just got gas in my jeep and I was just checking it out as I was standing there, and the non ethanol gas was $0.50 more a gallon. It's cheap, it was cheaper than diesel. It's more than, you know, the unleaded I was putting in mine. And you can get it at most gas stations as well. But also, remember, if you're at a marina, they really don't want you bringing your five gallon gas can in because, you know, you putting boat gas [00:23:00] in your boat at the dock is a is a recipe for potential disaster, because if you have a spill, it would shut an entire facility down while they go through, you know, cleaning up any gas that was leaked in. So make sure you're reading the rules. Again, the marina operators are there to help. They're providing a great service and be creative. But please use your boats. I mean, don't don't let the high gas stop you from that great fun, you know, friendly fun that you can have on the water.

Speaker3: [00:23:25] And you kind of already mentioned safety, but, you know, you know, life preservers, things like that [00:23:30] that you're going to need. Just make sure that if you're starting out this season, you have all of that in place.

Speaker2: [00:23:35] I just love the conversations you and I have because I know we've we've had those conversations and I know you love to get the message, just like you said, have it all in place so you're ready to go. You know, at the start of the boating season, do you have enough life jackets? Are they in good working order? Are they accessible? Are your flares up to date? You know, is your fire extinguisher in good working order? So I just did a program last week where I actually showed them, you know, I have a very small Tupperware container and I call it my boat safety [00:24:00] box. And it says that right on it that it's always ready to go. I get it ready at the beginning of the year. It's on the boat. A lot of people don't like to leave their gear on the boat to make sure it doesn't get stolen. So if you're doing that by having it all in one box that you've checked the beginning of the year, you can just take it out of the garage, put it back on the boat, take it out of the shed at the cottage, put it back on the boat, and it's always ready to go so people know. Grab your life jacket, grab the boat safety box. It's all ready to go. You've done all the preplanning. So once you hit [00:24:30] the water, it's just a great day. That preplanning has really put it in context so that everybody on board just has a really good time. You're not worrying about, oh, if I if I do have a problem, do I have the gear I need? If I do get stopped, for whatever reason, just a courtesy check, I have all the gear I need, just takes all the pressure off so that you're just going to have a good time while you're out there.

Speaker3: [00:24:50] Well, David, always fun to talk to you this time of year. Is there anything that I'm not asking you about that you want to talk about?

Speaker2: [00:24:56] Well, no, but, you know, as you said, you know, you had to talk about the downer at the end about gas. But [00:25:00] again, it's a plea for me and just an encouragement to folks. Don't that don't let that dissuade you from using the vessels that you have as best you can to get out on New York waterways. It is going to be a great summer. I mean, we're seeing the weather for this weekend, you know, for graduations. It's going to be great for other parties. And then we're going into the fourth. I think it's just going to be a great summer. And as people are really emerging from COVID and we're back with our friends and our extended families, it doesn't get any better than enjoying [00:25:30] a day out either in the kayak with the family on that pontoon boat or that powerboat or that sailboat to to really bring everybody together, connect, relax, just enjoy the day. So take advantage of it because we've got four months of it. So, you know, they say this too shall pass and it might cost us a little more this year. But don't don't lose a year of boating because of that. Don't don't don't lose that from your family and your friends because it's just what we all live for.

Speaker1: [00:25:56] Learn more tips about boating at nyseagrant.org.

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, SUNY 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.

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