Harbormasters concerned about inexperienced boaters on the water

MARSHFIELD, Mass. — The spring heat is kicking off the boating season. It turns out a lot more people bought new boats during the pandemic and one concern the harbormasters have now is more inexperienced boaters on the waters.

Lori Nelson and her husband are extending their weekend thanks to this spring heat.

”There’s definitely more boats out there,” said Nelson.

This is expected to be one of the busiest boating seasons in years based on the number of new boats turning up in local marinas. Marshfield Police Harbormaster Mike DiMeo told us there was a 30% increase in boaters last year and new boaters can also mean inexperienced boaters. 

“That is kind of the concern that the new boaters with very little experience also taking people with them that have little to no experience,” said Officer DiMeo.

Officer DiMeo says all boaters should take a boat safety class. The classes were virtual during the pandemic but not as widely available and not as effective as in-person classes. These classes are not required for adults but Officer DiMeo says passing one can help a rookie captain avoid common mistakes. 

“They are probably more likely to go out in weather that they are no comfortable in, operating outside their skill set and maybe taking a longer trip or going to a port they have not been to,” said Officer DiMeo.

Before you get on someone’s boat this year harbormasters say don’t be afraid to ask basic questions like how much experience do you have and where is my life jacket.

“Things happen quickly on the water very quickly and very little notice,” said Officer DiMeo.

With so many Covid-19 restrictions going away there are more boat safety courses being held. In fact, the state just released a whole new schedule online.