Parts of New Jersey are still struggling to recover after Hurricane Sandy tore through six months ago and, as a result, some marine businesses continue to take a hit. After scrambling to get things back up and running, boat businesses are facing a new challenge.
After hearing about all the debris littering New Jersey waterways, boat dealers and marina owners are reporting that customers are too worried to boat this season. So members of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey decided to address the issue firsthand.
The group decided to prove waterways were once again navigable by shooting videos while boating on waterways around the state.
“We pretty much spent all winter getting our facilities up and running so we could be ready for the spring,” Don Ditzel, of Comstock Yacht Sales and Marina in Brick, N.J., and vice president of the MTA/NJ, told Soundings. “We do not want to sit here saying everything was fine if it wasn’t, so the only way to prove it was fine was to go boating and freeze.”
Gov. Chris Christie, known and often respected for his outspokenness, had emphasized the debris during some public meetings, Ditzel told Trade Only Today.
“I don’t know if they were scare tactics, but it almost put boating in New Jersey as a wash this season,” Ditzel said. “We wanted to say kind of the opposite. We’ve been boating since early March and we’ve encountered no issues.”