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Letter to the Editor: Big Boats Don’t Belong on Candlewood

Reader urges others to support proposed regulation banning large boats on Candlewood Lake.

In follow-up to , I would like to add my strong endorsement for that would set a maximum length of just less than 26’ for vessels plying Candlewood’s waters. Importantly, I would also urge all residents and boaters who share this view to contact the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to underscore this message with your reasoning before the 4 p.m. deadline this Friday, January 27. For your voice to count, the time to act is now.

There has been much discussion over whether the Lake is overcrowded, ‘undersafe,’ and occupied by too many boats with too much power and girth. While the proposed rule will not (indeed cannot) address all user concerns, conflicts and engine configurations, it represents a significant and sensible step forward in preserving essential lake and boating values enjoyed by so many over the years. It will improve boating safety and

enjoyment by other users while protecting the lake, its shoreline from erosion, owners’ boat lines and docks from excessive strain and secured vessels from potential damage. 

Given the Lake’s waterprint, its long fingers and relatively narrow passageways, boats of excessive size and power can produce outsized problems. Moreover, there is no inherent need for large-scale boats — the distances are not great, the seas seldom threatening and the extra freeboard is simply not required — and they can introduce negative influences that are contrary to enjoyment, while presenting their own safety hazards to others and their property. While such influences and risks are not limited to these larger boats, they can certainly be a major contributor to them.

There is a point at which size matters. Big boats (although not exclusively) typically bring with them big baggage: big horsepower, big speed, big noise, big water displacement, big wakes, big docks, even big party venues. In my view, big boats as defined are too big for Candlewood and simply don’t belong — they infringe and detract from an otherwise terrific Lake experience for other boat operators and shoreline residents.

Send your comments by fax (860/434-3501) or email to timothy.delgado@ct.gov, the CT DEEP designee charged with assembling public input. Take this opportunity now; it’s important and may not present itself again.

Jim McAlister
20-Year Lake Resident, Boater and Kayaker
Chair, Candlewood Watershed Initiative
Steven DeVaux January 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Jim, Couldn't agree with you more Jim. Just look at what happened a few years ago when that speedboat left down the hatch? Can you imagine if it hit a boat with a family and kids?
Jean Hartnett January 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Each time this subject comes up, we hear that we "cannot" address all of the issues, the most important one being the NUMBER of boats. There is simply no reason this cannot and should not be be addressed.

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