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Boat Yards, Marinas Remain Busy As Hurricane Irene Heads North

Officials at two local boat yards say they are at capacity bringing owners boats to safety.

As Hurricane Irene drives up the coast to meet Southern New England, area boat owners say they are very concerned.

That concern has transferred to orders at and to pull their boats from the water.

At Brewer Sakonnet Marina, the phones were ringing off the hook.

According to General Manager Dave Rodrigues, they have hauled out six boats in the last day and have 17 more scheduled as of Thursday night to be taken out before Irene hits.

All the slips are filled and they are only pulling out power boats.

The reason they are only focusing on the power boats and not sail boats is because with the very high winds sailboats in the boat yards act like kites and become dangerous said Rodrigues.

“Also, according to company policy all the boats have to go back in as soon as the storm is over and it’s safe. That’s because, when we pull them out, we are just placing them somewhere and not at their winter spots,” said Rodrigues.

Over at New England Boat Works, officials there say they are very busy, but on a much grander scale.

 “We are at full capacity,” stated Marina Manager Stan Piszcz.

“We have 100 boats on the schedule to be pulled and I can’t even imagine what we have done before we started to put it on our calendar,” he said.

Piszcz said the boats go right back in after the storm as there is still plenty of good sailing left in the season.

Also concerned with the plight of the boats was MST3 Kira Adams of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Adams was visiting one of the many local marinas in the area.

“We perform harbor controls on a regular basis. But in a case such as a hurricane, we touch base with every boat yard from Point Judith to Tiverton,” she said.

“We want to know if owners aren’t around or if the boat yards are overwhelmed. If they do need help, we have names and contacts to help them. But these guys always do a great job and never need any help,” she said.

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