Boat owners face backlog of repairs from Sandy

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Owners of boats damaged by Hurricane Sandy might have to weigh whether they want to miss some boating weather this spring to get repairs done.

That’s according to New York Marine Trades Association director Chris Squeri, who says owners should be aware that the backlog of repairs will take time to work through.

“The boats that floated are going to get fixed, but we’re going to come into winter months and ... what’s going to happen is people will want their boats back in spring,” Squeri told Soundings’ sister publication, Trade Only, which covers the marine industry. “The cold weather is not conducive to doing gelcoats. It’s going to be a problem in spring and customers need to know that some things will be done on time and some things will not.”

“People will have to take a hard look at what to do and what not to do,” he said.

For example, owners with little scratches on boats might want to wait until the bulk of the major repairs have occurred so they don’t have to wait in line, Squeri said.

“There will be no shortage of fiberglass work in New Jersey and New York for the next year or so,” he said.

Several service and repair yards are still trying to get up and running after the storm. It damaged or destroyed an estimated 65,000 boats and inflicted a projected total of $650,000 in boat damage alone.

Many areas, such as the village where Squeri lives, are still trying to restore shreds of normalcy. That’s part of the reason Squeri thinks people who are focused on home repairs now will suddenly become urgent about boat repairs in the spring.

“There are people who are just now gutting homes,” he said.

— Reagan Haynes