Cruisers visiting Deep Bay this summer will discover sixty new moorings available for their use. Picking one up will cost $13 per night. Deep Bay is a very popular anchorage on Lake Champlain and is frequented by numerous boats during the summer. Point Au Roche State Park surrounds Deep Bay and is managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. According to Mike Mullarny, General Park Manager, the department has contracted to have sixty auger moorings placed in the bay and hopes to have them installed by June 1. If things go according to plan, two additional staff will be hired at the park to administer the collection of the $13 per night mooring fee.
The moorings will be laid out in a grid on the West Side of the bay. A fairway will be maintained to the east of these moorings. The moorings are arranged so visitors choosing to anchor outside the mooring area will be in an unprotected area.
Moorings in Deep Bay were first proposed in 1994. Budgetary concerns kept it from becoming a reality until this year. In the past boaters have flocked to Deep Bay to enjoy the protected harbor as well as the facilities at the Point Au Roche State Park. Boats would often raft together during the evening. Although rafting is a great way to socialize, it is not the safest way to moor. Strong winds from the southwest would often disrupt the festivities when a “raft of boats” would break loose and begin to float toward land. The new mooring field will help avoid this problem.
Mark Drolette, dockmaster at Marina Champlain in Plattsburgh, NY believes that the addition of a fee will make staying at a marina with complete facilities more attractive. Kelly Everlets, general manager at Moony Bay Marina, sees it differently. Moony Bay is the closest commercial marina. Kelly views the situation as the State of New York running a marina subsidized with tax dollars. According to Everlets, this amounts to unfair competition. With the unfavorable exchange rate, Canadian traffic is down and this will make surviving that much more difficult. “What’s next – a ships store?” says Everlets.
Deep Bay has already been designated a special anchorage area, which means that boats are not required to show an anchor light when anchored at night. The area will also be marked on charts. Historically the regulation of moorings on Federal waterways has been a sticky issue in other parts of the country. Some boaters claim that the right to free anchorage is included in the concept of free navigation. Boating facilities already present at Deep Bay include a dock and pump out station. The New York Parks Office is treating the mooring field as an extension of the park and the mooring fee is the same as a non-electrified camp site in the park. Similar restrictions about length of stay will apply. Two continuous weeks is the park camp sight limit.