Skip to main content

In Maine, Some Boaters Create a Covid-19 Challenge


A surge in boat sales and boat traffic has been greeted as welcome news by Maine’s marinas, yacht brokers, boatyards and boatbuilders, but reports of large numbers of boats rafting up is causing concern that COVID-19 transmission levels may also go up.

Maine’s Lewiston Sun Journal reported that on Saturday, a Massachusetts doctor witnessed a cluster of eight boats—some filled past capacity—tied together in a line offshore in Casco Bay. The doctor was horrified, but getting people to break up their rafts is no easy chore.

Kevin Battle, Portland’s Harbormaster, told the Sun Journal that when they tell boaters to spread out, they might get an expletive in return.

Casco Bay and Portland are not the only places large boat gatherings are happening. Much farther Downeast, closer to Acadia National Park, Phillip LaFrance of Brooklin was sailing past a private island last Friday and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw eight boats moored near shore with 40 or more people on the beach, not physically distancing.

La France and his wife tried to engage with the group on Opechee Island, off Naskeag Point in Brooklin, but did not meet with success. “They were mad at us for ruining their good time,” he told the Sun Journal.

Maine Marine Patrol is struggling to enforce the governor’s social distancing regulations. Manpower is one of the challenges. From Yarmouth to Kittery they might only have a couple of officers patrolling and the U.S. Coast Guard has no jurisdiction to enforce any COVID-19 restrictions.

Maine’s governor set stringent restrictions and the state has one of the lowest per capita coronavirus rates in the country, which may be giving some boaters a sense of invincibility.

You can read more in the Sun Journal.



In Maine, Electric Boating is Trying to Make Inroads

Battery-powered outboards are seen as a first step in electrifying the working waterfront


Maine Attraction

After a fire destroyed most of its property's buildings, Lyman-Morse turned their Camden, Maine, facility into “the new working waterfront”


Couple Wins Blue Water Medal for Pandemic-Challenged Circumnavigation

Ginger and Peter Niemann completed two separate high latitude circumnavigations, including a northern rounding that involved border closings and long periods of isolation, to win the Cruising Club of America’s highest honor


FCC Flips the Bird to Boaters

A controversial FCC ruling threatens to make hundreds of millions of GPS devices unreliable and potentially endanger lives

eOPEN family

Zodiac and Torqeedo Team Up to Create Two New Electric RIBs

Zodiac says the two new 100 percent electric models will have no maintenance, no noise, no servicing, less pollution and be affordable


Twelve Gifts for the Boater in Your Life

Soundings editors share their favorite boat related products, so you’ll know what to buy your favorite boater on Black Friday (even if that favorite boater is you).

Screenshot 2020-04-02 13.56.29

Gloucester Seafood Wholesaler Creates a Popup Fish Shop

Without a retail store, a family-owned seafood business sells its fresh wares from a parking lot to bring back a little activity to a coronavirus-idled waterfront.


In the Nick of Time

A video shows a man patiently waiting for rescuers as his boat burns behind him.