Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Boating businesses start season slow as they deal with wet weather

The abundance of rain, wind, and record high water levels has started the boating season off on rough waters.
Credit: wtol
Boats sit in the dock at Cullen Park as the water levels read at a record high.

TOLEDO, Ohio — It's been a rough start to the boating season. With bad weather, record high water levels, and more boaters are hoping for brighter days ahead.

 "The boating community, they are a strong community,” said Paul Lis, Owner of J&M Cruise Lines. “They are going to pull together, they are going to keep using their boats and we're going to make this an amazing summer."

But several are still waiting for the summer feeling days. Brenner 75 Marine provides boat service, storage, sales and docks. They say business has been slow to start the season.

"It's delayed a lot of people,” said Bill Aiken, Sales Manager at Brenner 75 Marine. “There's a lot of people that are just getting their boats ready with shrink wrap coming off the boats, getting them in the water and all the preparation that goes into getting a boat ready and it's been a big delay."

They say typically at this point most of the year their storage boats are back in the water, but not this so far. The weather has pushed that back for some of their customers. Yet, other boats are in the water and enjoying the few nice days we’ve had. The Sandpiper was full for a family cruise Friday night, but not every night is as busy.

"The good days always outweigh the bad so, I still wouldn't trade it for anything,” said Lis, who operates the Sandpiper, downtown docks and the water taxi.

But they also say the weather has impacted business over the past few weeks. Fewer people are signing up for their cruises, they have to make detours on the because of the record high water levels not to mention the additional maintenance needed as the debris piles up from the rain and wind.

"The debris tends to get caught up and damage the propellers so we've had a lot of problems with that,” said Lis. “It causes motors to overheat and that causes other problems down the line. We've also had issues getting under the local train bridges and getting into areas where we normally wouldn't get just due to the high water."

As waves crash the pavement in Point Place and boaters have to continue to jump through water to get to the docks, they are hoping for brighter days.

"Hope for good weather, light winds and average water depths there,” said Aiken. 

And hope for a good fun safe boating season."