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High water,boaters the target...

Old 06-15-2019, 09:04 AM
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Default High water,boaters the target...

So we have high water levels here in the Great Lakes region,not exactly breaking news.Levels are at an all time high and the possibility of going higher is there,depending on the weather. This current high water kind of snuck up on property owners because it wasn't really forecasted to get this high. It's been about 30 years since levels have been here and a lot of the current waterfront property owners were not on the water back then. Sandbagging is the norm,but seawall cap extensions are also popular. The average homeowner has about 4" of seawall before waves come over. Local facebook pages are going after boaters for their wakes, using video to document the wake and turning the videos over to the Sheriff Dept with a complaint. The local authorities are writing a ton of tickets for wake violations. This is the St Clair River,an international waterway with industrial shipping and tons of great fishing and recreational boaters. The current attitude is quickly turning anti boater with the locals threatening to shoot at boats with pellet guns,set traps etc. Boaters are probably not doing anything that they haven't in the past, but the waves now wash over seawalls and people are pretty touchy. I guess my question is,what will the average boater do to cope with the high water? Slow down and pretty much putt around at no wake speeds? Forgo boating until the water levels drop? Business as usual? Just wondering where this may go because the area is very dependent on seasonal boaters for the business the bring and the money they spend.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:17 AM
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You said that the local authorities are writing tickets for wakes. Wouldn't that mean the boaters are at fault and should start following the no wake rules?
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:24 AM
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Innocent until proven guilty is still the rule of law in most jurisdictions.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SOSC View Post
You said that the local authorities are writing tickets for wakes. Wouldn't that mean the boaters are at fault and should start following the no wake rules?
Boaters should follow the rules,to a point. These situations can turn into a major fundraiser for the authorities too. Most of the major channel is 200'-600' wake restrictions on 26' and up boats, but a large boat running at speed may cause waves that go over seawall tops 1000' away. The boat is legal,the water breaches the top anyways.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:43 AM
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Who is responsible for writing the tickets for all those waves/wakes caused by Mother Nature?
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:48 AM
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I have about 10 inches until it comes over my seawall, but I live on a canal and no one is throwing a wake.
I haven't been out to the North Channel, but I could see how those out there are concerned. It's like a washing machine out there even without the high water level.
If you're in a big boat...you'll be putzing along more when out there.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:53 AM
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Aren't boaters responsible for any damage caused by their wake regardless of no-wake zone?
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:00 AM
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Itís a touchy situation. A lot of property owners have neglected to take action to protect their property by sandbagging. A lot of boaters lack awareness or courtesy, and donít recognize when it is and is t reasonable to slow down.

the ACOE has been predicting these levels for months and urging property owners to expect new record setting levels. Clay Township and other municipalities in the county have been providing sandbags for residents since at least the beginning of May, so itís not like they havenít had time to prepare before boating season kicked off.

Enforcement of the 200/600 rule is a good thing. But itís not reasonable to expect boaters to slow down and putt around for the whole summer because property owners failed to take action. Property owners also seem a bit sensitive. I saw a video on Facebook of a good sized Tiara traveling down one of the channels, plenty far from shore with reeds on the other side, and the poster was cussing the boater out for not slowing down, and commenters were threatening to start casting lead at passing boaters. Itís bullshit really. Boaters should do whatís reasonable to reduce their impact, and property owners should have reasonable expectations for what to expect, and they should do what they can to protect their frontage and limit damage. Itís not like this is the first time water levels have been this high. Ask any old timer and heíll tell you levels run on a 30-year cycle. Unfortunately when it comes to waterfront property, you have to take the bad with the good.

My granddad has property on the North Channel with canal frontage on the opposite side. When Iím running behind his house this summer and hugging the opposite side of the channel, I donít plan to slow down, nor does he expect it.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:16 AM
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I am a big supporter of not damaging anything with my wake. Let's be honest, this is the great lakes. If the water is up to someone's house/property, there is pretty much nothing a recreational boat can do that would match the wind driven waves rolling into the shoreline.

Back in the day, I surfed lake Michigan on a few occasions.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Powers View Post
Aren't boaters responsible for any damage caused by their wake regardless of no-wake zone?
But you have to realize these are water ways that will be traveled heavily. Not to mention, what do you think happens when a large freighter comes through. They push a ton of water.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:59 PM
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Just wait till your boat starts bouncing on its lift when the wakes hit it. Guess we all should of have had our lifts built higher too. The 30 year cycle isn't quite accurate.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:27 PM
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How about when Ice floes take out your lift in the winter, then who is to blame? Or when a freighter goes by? I agree that boaters need to be respectful and slow down when it is reasonable to do so. But what good is it if I slow down to no wake speed 700 feet from shore in the South Channel, when a fully loaded thousand-footer will come by and suck out five feet of water? That water is going to come back with more force than than my wake will have from 700 feet away.

We are also talking about an international waterway connecting two of the Great Lakes. A lot of boaters traveling through the area arenít from around here and may not realize the extent of the situation. Is it fair to have people threatening to cast lead and damage a boat from out of town, when the skipper thinks he is following the 200/600 rule and being legal?

Again, itís a touchy situation. Iíll do everything I can to limit the impact of my wake within reason, but for some property owners it still wonít seem like enough. My sister was traveling down the Clinton River on Memorial weekend. She was at dead idle with both engines in gear, not throwing a wake at all, and she was yelled at three times to slow down. Any slower would have left her with one engine out of gear and no steerage with her twin outdrives. Whereís the middle ground?
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:30 PM
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Not sure how to answer , but I fished that a lot , in tournaments , and I don't see me putting around .
To much ground to cover .
Sorry about the damage , but it's great fishery , kinda miss it .
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:41 PM
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by muskamoot View Post
So we have high water levels here in the Great Lakes region,not exactly breaking news.Levels are at an all time high and the possibility of going higher is there,depending on the weather. This current high water kind of snuck up on property owners because it wasn't really forecasted to get this high. It's been about 30 years since levels have been here and a lot of the current waterfront property owners were not on the water back then. Sandbagging is the norm,but seawall cap extensions are also popular. The average homeowner has about 4" of seawall before waves come over. Local facebook pages are going after boaters for their wakes, using video to document the wake and turning the videos over to the Sheriff Dept with a complaint. The local authorities are writing a ton of tickets for wake violations. This is the St Clair River,an international waterway with industrial shipping and tons of great fishing and recreational boaters. The current attitude is quickly turning anti boater with the locals threatening to shoot at boats with pellet guns,set traps etc. Boaters are probably not doing anything that they haven't in the past, but the waves now wash over seawalls and people are pretty touchy. I guess my question is,what will the average boater do to cope with the high water? Slow down and pretty much putt around at no wake speeds? Forgo boating until the water levels drop? Business as usual? Just wondering where this may go because the area is very dependent on seasonal boaters for the business the bring and the money they spend.
1st of all your post looks a lot like you'r rambling.
How would you like to be on the edge of having water in your house and some jerk in a boat just zipping along creating a wake?
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:54 PM
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A boat's wake is responsible for the damage it causes.

Some water splashing over a sea wall does not constitute damage.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
A boat's wake is responsible for the damage it causes.

Some water splashing over a sea wall does not constitute damage.
No but if it causes water to enter the dwelling it does constitute damage
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
No but if it causes water to enter the dwelling it does constitute damage
I guess I'm not picturing this well enough... houses are built so low that water splashing over a sea wall is entering the house? Some posts here mention 4" and 10". A 4" wake would enter a house? That seems like an issue with the house and property, no?
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:00 PM
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As others have mentioned the wind/waves do way way way more damage but the problem is mother nature can't be sued. The boaters are going to be blamed for any & all damage because they can be sued.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
1st of all your post looks a lot like you'r rambling.
How would you like to be on the edge of having water in your house and some jerk in a boat just zipping along creating a wake?
Rambling? Trying to sort out the effects of high water and recreational boating from both sides.Your second statement is just stupid.Boats make waves,water does what it does. What may look to be someone in a boat enjoying life,now is looked at as property damage. Is the jerk the boater or the homeowner? There are also consequences to living on the water,in hurricane areas,on the side of a mountain,in the middle of bear country etc. By the way,homes are not being damaged,we are talking about yards getting wet.Mother nature can cause the water to rise to the point that homes are damaged,not boaters at this point.
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