One day after their new boat arrived from Maine, Dan and Kathy Warburton were inside their vessel at a Somers Point marina yard, making plans to set sail.
But even as the sun and ocean beckoned the couple Friday, they decided against putting the boat into the water.
“We just hesitated,” said Dan Warburton, 62, of Absecon. “It doesn’t seem sensible to put the boat in when a hurricane is coming.”
With a storm spawned by Hurricane Sandy expected to arrive within the next few days, boat owners and marina operators across the region were busy pulling vessels out of the water or securing them in their slips in anticipation of the stormy conditions.
“There’s a lot of hype with this storm,” said Gary Landsiedel, 56, of Ocean City, who manages the Harbor Cove Marina in Somers Point. “It’s not something we haven’t gone through before, but everyone gets excited when it comes our way.”
The cove has a good history when it comes to surviving damaging storms, so Landsiedel and others said they weren’t overly concerned about what damage Sandy might bring. But still, in the face of the storm, a new moon and several extra high tides during the time Sandy is expected to approach, Landsiedel and others said they were taking precautions.
“We got a hurricane coming and it looks like it’s coming right at us,” he said. “In this business, you got to be vigilant.”
Storm surge was the greatest threat while wind was less of a concern because most boats are heavy enough to withstand them — just as houses are, said Earl Schock, who handles sales at the family-owned Campbell’s Next Generation Marine in Somers Point.
“A 10-foot surge is a problem,” he said.
The timing of the storm also was problematic for boatowners and marinas, who already are in the midst of pulling vessels out for the season, Schock said. The volume of requests has led to a backlog of boatowners looking for help pulling out their vessels
“We’re turning people away,” he said.
The requests started Thursday and will continue through Saturday with 20 to 25 boats being pulled out daily, Schock said.
“We’re stacking them up as quickly as we can,” he said.
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