Boatel on the Narrows

boatel on the chesapeake

A full-service boatel that houses approximately 400 boats is planned for 7.5 acres on the northwest quadrant of Kent Narrows, Maryland, according to meeting minutes of the Kent Narrows Development Foundation. The boatel’s website states that it will open next fall.

The indoor boat storage facility (boatel) will be 55 feet tall and include a restaurant. A ship’s store, concierge service and boat rentals are also planned components of the project. The site was previously approved for a 49-unit condo building. Thankfully, that has been nixed for a much-needed facility that should fill up quickly. The developers also intend to provide public access to the waterfront with a boardwalk or deck, which will fulfill a public amenities requirement. The haul-out and splash area will be on the north portion of the property.

The boatel will store outboard and inboard-powered boats with a LOA of up to 34 feet, a beam of up to 11 feet and a max height of 14 feet. Boat rentals are planned for Sea Hunt center consoles and Hurricane deck boats by the hour, day or weekend. The facility will be open from 7AM to 6PM in season.

Virtual rivers

If you’d like to see what a Chesapeake Bay tributary looks like before you actually take a boat there, you can do that now thanks to the Chesapeake Conservancy and Terrain360. The goal of their partnership is to bring virtual tours of the entire Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail to your computer or mobile device.

Richmond-based Terrain360 built and operates a boat equipped with six cameras mounted 10 feet above the water’s surface to capture high-resolution, 360-degree images every 50 feet. The images are then stitched together to create a digital image map of an entire river.

Virtual tours already completed include the Nanticoke River, the Susquehanna, the James, the Rappahannock, and the Patapsco (including Baltimore’s Inner Harbor). Tours of the Elk, Northeast and Sassafras are scheduled to be completed this year. Links to the tours are available when you scroll down on the home page of the conservancy’s website

Pump it out

Recent accounts indicate the overall health of the Chesapeake is slowly improving thanks to collective efforts of individuals and organizations within the watershed. One such effort is coming from the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, which teamed with government agencies to operate a pump-out boat on the Miles and Wye rivers this past year.

In May 2016, the conservancy, with funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Clean Vessel Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, began operating a 22-foot pump-out boat for the two mid-Chesapeake rivers. In its first season, which concluded in October, the boat pumped over 8,500 gallons of waste from almost 350 boats.

The pump-out boat is the first of its kind on Maryland’s eastern shore and enables cruisers to conveniently and properly dispose of waste rather than discharging harmful pollutants into waterways. The free service is much needed since there are no pump-out services on the Wye and few on the well-travelled Miles. The boat’s operators can be reached on VHF Channel 9 or by mobile phone at (410) 829-4352.

By Christopher Knauss, Southern Boating Magazine February 2017