They were pretty busy over at The Boat Place on Saturday preparing for Hurricane Sandy. Boat after boat was being hauled from the Harbor and put up on stands, about 40 in all over the weekend, the equivalent of a month’s worth of work.
“We’ll do our entire November hauling in two days,” said Gary Gudzik, owner of The Boat Place on Beach Road in Port Jefferson.
They had a busy weekend ahead of them but not as busy as last year when they hauled boats before Hurricane Irene. That weekend Gudzik said that they pulled over 60 boats but because Sandy hit at the end of the season this year a lot boats were out of the water already.
A nice assist but the remaining haul still amounts to a Herculean effort on the part of marinas around the area. The Boat Place workers were planning to be there on Sunday as well, when they are usually closed.
It was the same thing over at Ralph’s Fishing Station and Marina in Mt. Sinai on Saturday before the storm hit.
“We’re working overtime,” said Sue Corey, an owner of the marina. “The boys have been working 12-hour days since Thursday.”
Ralph’s doesn’t usually haul on Saturday but they were there pulling out as many boats as they could.
With the weather relatively calm, down the road from Ralph’s at the Brookhaven Town launch it was also busy, the parking lot filled with empty trailers. Boaters were taking advantage of the calm before the storm. Corey said that because it was black fishing season, the boaters were hesitant to take their boats out too soon, getting that last day or two of fishing in before the season is over for good.
But the Town asked everyone to have their marina slips vacated by Sunday instead of Nov. 4, a week earlier than usual, according to Corey. Meaning that the boat ramp was going to be just as busy with folks pulling their boats out themselves.
A village official noted at an emergency meeting on Saturday that the Town launch in Port Jefferson had long queue of people waiting to pull their boats from that harbor too.
At Ralph’s they’ve been packing the boats in on their lot but not as many as they did the year before for Hurricane Irene either.
“Luckily, a lot of boats were out so it’s not terrible,” Corey said.
Over at The Boat Place, Gudzik said that he wasn’t too worried about the potential flooding after his boats were pulled. The boats were high up on stands and blocks.
“Last year the water came up over the bulkheads and ramps but nothing hazardous,” he said. “I hope this will be similar or less severe.”