Friday, November 28, 2008

Cruising and Taxes

Found this article on cruising, in a Myrtle Beach newspaper. It's interesting to me, as the Davenport's used to have a slip in our marina.

Marinas say taxes, economy take toll
The weak economy hasn't changed Dick and Lynne Davenport's annual tradition of cruising from Rochester, N.Y., down to Florida in Ladyhawke, their trawler boat - part of the annual migration south for many boaters. "Actually, it's better because the price of fuel went down," said Dick Davenport, who was docked this week at Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach.

Area marinas reported steady, if slightly lower, business this migration season - blaming the drop at least in part on customers' dissatisfaction with S.C. laws regarding boat property tax.

Marinas charge boaters for dock spaces and indoor storage, and offer fuel, food and ship supplies.

"I'm so upset," said Joe Polidore, one of the owners of Crickett Cove Marina in Little River. "It's not the economy that's messing us up; it's the taxation for boat owners in this area. What really hurt our business was losing 70 boaters from North Carolina who didn't want to pay taxes here."

Boaters who are in South Carolina for 60 consecutive days or a total of 90 days a year are required to pay property taxes - in addition to property taxes they owe in their home states.

A new state law lets counties decide whether to allow boaters to stay 180 days a year without paying taxes. The Horry County Council this week approved the first of three required readings of the law.

Ricky Ferdon, the operations manager at Georgetown Landing Marina, said he's lost about four boaters, saying he's heard other out-of-state customers complain about the tax.

To better accommodate folks who have felt financial strain, local marinas have made some adjustments.

"Up until this economic crunch, we only took one payment a year, and they paid for that up front," said Polidore, who has been at Crickett Cove Marina for about three years.

"We've gone to a separate payment plan where if they pay in advance, they get a free month. If they can't afford to pay it all up front, we let them pay quarterly. If they want to do it monthly, it's still a yearly contract, but we allow them to pay with a credit card on file."

The 57-year-old said out of the 292 boats stored inside the marina, about 25 percent to 30 percent have opted to use a payment plan.

Sherry Harrelson, general manager at Osprey Marina, said the marina has lost a few yearly tenants because of the economy, but not many.

"I think they're probably just trying to maintain the boat," Harrelson said.

John Wood, a partner at Ocean Isle Marina & Yacht Club in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., says he's seen a consistent flow of customers in spite of the poor economy.

"They're boaters, and that's an important part of their lifestyle," he said.

Wood, who often takes his children out with him on boating trips, says he's seen boaters adapt their excursions in more budget-friendly ways.

"We've seen where historically you might have a person go out and take a friend to go fishing," said Wood, who also said he's seen folks boating more closely to shore.

"Now, we're seeing that guy round up three friends and they split the gas to go fishing."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

All is well, and all are home! Full house when Kelly drifts in sometime today. Hope she brings more candy. I ate all the stuff she brought over yesterday :) Lot of cooking and baking to do today, maybe a few refreshments too! To all my relatives out there, we do not eat Tofurky!! Geez. I'll post our menu, after we figure it out, so you can rest assured that we didn't just nibble celery sticks all day. More winter photos, that should be fall photos. Going to be a long winter. This is Oak Park Marina, North Rose, NY

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looks a lot like winter

Well I guess I've got to settle into the winter season, unless we get some warmer weather, like we did last December. It's tough to get out to the boat and work, when you have to walk through a foot of snow. My cover has a few holes already, but I expect that. Those cheap blue tarps really don't last long. I hope to remove the old water tanks, and install new. One of the tanks being a holding tank. That should be fun. There's no way I will do this when it's warm out, as it will stink to high heaven. Wonder if Deb will help with this job? I also need to add DC refrigeration. The AC unit is pretty old and noisy. Looks like it came out of an old Frigidaire. It's a Crosby unit that works pretty good, but sucks the life out of the batteries. Not good for anchoring out, which we will do more of. I will add batteries just for the refer, as I'm pretty anal about energy usage. With other things I'm just oral. I talk about it, but never actually do it :) We need to clean and paint some more, but we can do that in the water. The bottom paint is peeling off, and I have to decide whether I should strip it all off (work), or chip off the loose stuff, and re-paint (easy). Hmm If we do get a warm up in December, I'm going to splash the Kayak in Irondeqoit creek, and paddle my ass off. Been itching to paddle some H2O. Need more time in the gym first, so when I squeeze into a wet suit, I don't push all the blood to my head and pass out. Irondequoit Creek View Larger Map Indian Landing which was located on Irondequoit Creek, for many years was used by the indigenous Iroquois as the beginning of the portage route which stretched along Ellison Park.

The Lost City of Tryon, originally founded in hopes of creating a commercial settlement, used the Irondequoit Creek for trade. A store was built that bartered with the Seneca Indians, beginning its trading roots. Rumors are the park is haunted. We've heard some strange things deep in the park, while floating along through the woods. Not someplace I would want to paddle at night. Might be a few Indian graves about. :0