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Local boat shops preparing for another busy season on the water

Rescue crews getting ready as well
It's getting warmer and many are now preparing to get back on the water
Posted at 5:43 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 06:11:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We're seeing record-breaking heat this week. Of course, the water is still cold, but in the past few days, some people have been breaking out canoes and kayaks. And store managers at boat shops expect another busy year on the waterways.

"Last year, we kinda looked like the grocery stores, we emptied out our aisles. Probably gonna see that again this year," said Ken Murlin, store manager at West Marine.

The shelves are full again with boating accessories and anything else you need for the water, but shoppers are back already.

West Marine sold out of most of their product in 2020
West Marine sold out of most of their product in 2020

"We’re seeing a lot of people starting for what we call spring prep, just all the cleaning stuff to get ready to get their boats out on the water," said Murlin.

Murlin says because of high demand, it’s harder to get kayaks and paddle boards. Before other things sell out, he recommends getting what you need now.

“We have the best selection of inventory right now, we are expecting a big rush this year," said Murlin.

They also sell inflatable boats, paddles and accessories you’ll need on the water.

"We have water carpets and tubes and skis and all the fun stuff on the water, plus most importantly we have all the safety gear for people," said Murlin.

Safety on the water is top of mind right now for ALERT Region 1 or Advanced Local Emergency Response Team.

"It got to a point out there where the water got pretty dangerous last year," said Klimowicz, Assistant Coordinator for ALERT Region 1.

Kayaks are back on the water already this season
Kayaks are back on the water already this season

He’s already seeing people hit the water and has some tips before you get back on the waterways.

"Buyer beware of what you’re buying, not all kayaks or canoes are made for this kind of environment out here," said Klimowicz.

He says make sure what you buy has a bulkhead. That’s the vertical part inside the front of the kayak, that helps it float. For first timers and renters, make sure you're prepared.

"If you’re renting kayaks, talk to the rental place and say I’ve never done this before," said Klimowicz.

He also recommends researching the area beforehand to make sure you don't stray too far. And of course wear a life jacket.

"It’s imperative and it’s required for any paddle vessel out there. I wish everyone a happy boating season but be sensible, be educated, don’t go beyond your means," said Klimowicz.

At West Marine they have a spring boater check list, so you can make sure you have everything you need for boating season.

West Marine has a spring boating checklist to prepare you for the season
West Marine has a spring boating checklist to prepare you for the season

And boating season could land you a job, West Marine is looking to hire in sales and parts departments. Click here to apply.