Less than 48 hours before the scheduled landfall of Hurricane Irene, most North Kingstown and out-of-state boat owners had already decided to keep their vessels in the water.
But several others have decided to have their boats at least temporarily removed and stored inside or on land, according to Jack Nicolls, assistant manager.
“We have been working 12 hours a day for the past three days, but we will stay as long as we can on Saturday until the weather gets too bad,” said Nicolls. “We have about 80 boats on our list to haul out. That includes everything from the Victoria Rose, a 1963, 63-foot Burger to a 10-foot inflatable.”
Maureen Rondeau, Brewer Wickford office manager, said the predicted path of the storm was ominous for Brewer marinas up and down the Northeast Coast. “It seems they forecast it to follow a path where all of our Brewer shipyards are located up to South Freeport, Maine,” she said.
in Quonset, the only indoor dry-stack storage facility in the state, was doing a brisk business on Friday, according to President Jim Shiner.
“We have been getting some temporary requests, some (all-year) dry-stack clients, some storm haul-and-launch and a couple for winter storage,” said Shiner of his facility, quickly filling up by late Friday afternoon. “We are trying to be reasonable and accommodating to everyone. We offer indoor and outdoor storage."
According to Shiner, the Mill Creek building is designed to withstand winds of up to 130 miles per hour, much less than what is predicted to hit the Ocean State on Sunday.
Then there is another alternative – battening down the hatches
Sam Angelini, owner of , has thousands of items boaters might need for the storm. “Fenders and mooring lines, shackles and anchors,” he responded about the most requested items he sold in advance of the storm. Pumps and hoses and ropes were also other items he says has in abundance.
According to officials at Quonset Yacht Club and Mill Creek Marine, most boats will remain in the water at this well-protected location of Allen Harbor.
But at Brewer Wickford Cove Marina, all bets are off for boats in water or even on land, if stored close by, especially if there is unprecedented rain and storm surges. "If we have a plus 4.7 (foot) high tide and a 10 to 12 foot surge that would overtop our pilings," said Nicolls of a worst-case scenaro.