Thread: Riff over Boat Ramp use
04-04-2008, 10:10 PM #1
Riff over Boat Ramp use
All of us are aware that testing a PWC in the water under a 'load' is the best way to find if performance related issues are corrected. Not every dealership has the ability for a water test tune tank, and even so, riding the PWC is usually the best method to inspect....oh well....the prejudice continues worldwide.
Be a good steward!
Making waves in Windham Firm's request to test Jet Skis sparks concern
By Terry DateStaff writer
WINDHAM — A local business's request to use the town boat ramp to test personal watercraft on Cobbetts Pond has stirred waves of concern over liability and water quality.
Naults Windham Motorcycles has asked the selectmen for a key to the town boat ramp so it can test repaired Jet Skis and other personal watercraft. Until now, only local licensed fishermen with small boats have been allowed to launch there, said Cheryl Haas, town recreation director. Otherwise, people must launch their craft from the property of those who live on the pond.
Manager Charles Johnson estimates that Naults would need to use the boat ramp about 10 times a season, which runs from June until August. The Range Road business sells and repairs personal watercraft.
But Cobbetts Pond resident Derek Monson is dead set against the proposal, saying the pond already has a problem with the invasive aquatic weed milfoil, which can choke natural vegetation and make water unhealthy.
Monson, a member of the Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association's board of directors, has been working with the state Department of Environmental Services to combat the pond's milfoil problem.
"That's how it spreads," Monson said, explaining that milfoil typically "hitchhikes" on boat or Jet Ski propellers or trailers and is carried from one lake to another. Allowing Naults to test its vehicles could make things worse, he said.
An earlier e-mail from the Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association's president, Sean Welch, to the town also outlined worries about milfoil.
Selectman Dennis Senibaldi has issues with the proposal as well. He said he would support it, but only if the business agrees to conditions requiring the craft to be cleaned before testing, that testing be prohibited on weekends, and that there be a limit on the amount of testing.
"I wouldn't want them to test Monday through Friday," he said.
Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association member and legal adviser Kathleen DiFruscia said the association has no authority over the ramp since it is on town property. Liability would belong to the town and Naults, she said.
Still, DiFruscia said the association asks that Naults be prohibited from testing on the weekend, and that all watercraft be washed before they are tested on the pond.
Right now, access to Cobbetts Pond is limited to those who live on the pond, maintain a mooring in it, or is a licensed fisherman who has bought keys to the launch.
Fishermen who use the town ramp must launch before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. In addition, the craft they launch may be no more than 15 feet long and be powered by no more than a 15-horsepower engine.
Haas said the selectmen would have to make an exception to the 15-horsepower regulation if they decide to allow Naults to launch on town property since personal watercraft exceed 15 horsepower.
Johnson said Naults is just trying to be a good neighbor by going through the correct channels to receive approval. In the past, it launched watercraft it tested from the property of an employee's family who lives on the pond.
He said the business will honor Senibaldi's requests. He added that the company shares concerns about milfoil and water quality, and trains its employees in proper personal watercraft care.
The board is expected to take up Naults' request April 14. At an earlier meeting, the request drew supporting statements from the selectmen, who said the company has been a good neighbor, employing and serving local residents.
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