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Dry Southeast Leaving Some Boat Owners Trapped
Low water levels have alrady trapped some boats in shallow coves or dry anchorages

Posted Thursday, November 1, 2007

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BoatU.S. Urges Owners to Haul Out Early for the Winter

With impoundment lake levels continuing to drop throughout the parched Southeast, BoatU.S. is urging all boaters on the affected bodies of water to haul early this year and put their boat into winter storage. If they don’t, boat owners may not have sufficient water to safely navigate to launch ramps to remove their boats at the traditional end of the boating season, potentially leading to hull, running gear or engine damage.

BoatU.S. Technical Director Bob Adriance said BoatU.S. has received numerous reports from recreational boaters that low water levels had already trapped some boats in shallow coves or dry anchorages.

“One BoatU.S. member called saying he had intended to haul his boat, but instead went on vacation for a few days. By the time he got back the water had dropped to the point that there was no longer a way out,” said Adriance, noting that while there may be sufficient water depth at your own anchorage, it may not be that way on the entire route back to the launch ramp.

Boaters should keep in mind that a boat left in the mud will be more vulnerable to vandalism. Outdrives and hulls can also be damaged from laying on the bottom, especially if there are rocks or stumps. And if your boat’s engine requires winterizing with anti-freeze – a task done ashore – a cold spell could crack the engine block.

BoatU.S. is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 650,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 870 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatU.S. Magazine, the most widely read boating publication in the U.S. For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.

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