Older Boats Not Welcome at Lake George, NY

jth877

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Aug 12, 2021
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22
New guy here. I just inherited a 1998 21ft Caravelle 209 from my FIL. Alpha One Gen2, 5.0 Merc 2bbl, 200 hours. Always trailered. I know it's an oddball. Boat needed a good rotary buffing, and little things fixed- Tach, limit switch etc... I repaired everything, did fluids and gave it a full detail. Looks brand friggin new.

We typically use Lake George in NY because we live 30min away. Before taking ownership and becoming the boat's caretaker, we have taken it to a few different marinas for launching. Now that I control the boat I'd like to use it more and have been inquiring about trailer launching memberships at various marinas. The one I like the most said they have a strict no boats older than 2005 policy in their trailer launch or dock program. It was explained that they do not have parts available for the older boats in case we break down or they winterize it. Huh?

1) The alpha is still current 2) A lot of parts are universal and are spec'd to multiple engine/outdrive combos 3) If you don't have alpha merc parts I'm not sure you can service anything.

Has anybody even heard of such a policy anywhere? It seems completely ignorant and they are just trying to pander to big money boats.
 

dingbat

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Nov 20, 2001
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What that tells me is that its a "full service" marina.
You are not allowed to perform repairs, fuel the boat, etc. yourself.
Liability issues

Finding more and more repair shops that don't support "antique" (1996) motors as well
 

jth877

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Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
22
What that tells me is that its a "full service" marina.
You are not allowed to perform repairs, fuel the boat, etc. yourself.
Liability issues

Finding more and more repair shops that don't support "antique" (1996) motors as well
It would explain dockage but not the trailer launch. I could take my boat anytime i felt like it to work on it.

It must just be a money thing.

When did they stop producing 3.0, 5.0, 5.7 blocks? AFAIK you can still buy them... I do know there are few mechanics working on stern drives as the outboard mob has taken over.
 
Last edited:

dingbat

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I could take my boat anytime i felt like it to work on it.
Locally, you can take your boat eleswhere to work on it.
Can’t work on it on marina property or have a mobile mechanic come onsite
 

GA_Boater

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Have you looked at ordinary ramps? Do you need marina ramp?
 

Grub54891

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Boy, if that happend around here, All the marina's would be empty! Not only are the older boats easier to diagnose, they are easier to work on to a point.
 

dingbat

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Not only are the older boats easier to diagnose, they are easier to work on to a point.
Tell that to a “kid” that was trained in the 21st century to simply plug his laptop into a ECM that spits out a troubleshooting code.
 

Grub54891

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Tell that to a “kid” that was trained in the 21st century to simply plug his laptop into a ECM that spits out a troubleshooting code.
Well true. It is getting harder to find good mechanics nowadays. Plug and play isn't as simple as it should be. Even the diesels that needed no power to run after startup are now all computer controlled. UGH....
 

poconojoe

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I've been contemplating taking a trip up to Lake George. Haven't been there since I was a kid. Probably 50 years ago!

Anyway, aren't there any pay daily launches or even free State launches on such a big lake?

I get the convenience of joining a club membership with launch access, but it's not so bad paying every time you go out.

I live 30 minutes from Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania and there's one free State run ramp and 3 owned by the power company you pay daily. The fee is only $10.
I pay the $10 because that place seems more secure for my empty trailer since there are people that work there. The free ramp means I'd have to trailer another 30 minutes, plus the free one tends to get busier.

None of the marines here let the public use their ramps... no matter what. Liability, it seems.

Since retirement, we only go boating during the week. The ramps on the weekends and the lake itself are so insane during the weekends that it's no fun.
 

hugh g

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Dec 21, 2002
Messages
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I've been contemplating taking a trip up to Lake George. Haven't been there since I was a kid. Probably 50 years ago!

Anyway, aren't there any pay daily launches or even free State launches on such a big lake?

I get the convenience of joining a club membership with launch access, but it's not so bad paying every time you go out.

I live 30 minutes from Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania and there's one free State run ramp and 3 owned by the power company you pay daily. The fee is only $10.
I pay the $10 because that place seems more secure for my empty trailer since there are people that work there. The free ramp means I'd have to trailer another 30 minutes, plus the free one tends to get busier.

None of the marines here let the public use their ramps... no matter what. Liability, it seems.

Since retirement, we only go boating during the week. The ramps on the weekends and the lake itself are so insane during the weekends that it's no fun.
I don't believe there are any state operated boat launches on Lake George, which is a shame because it's a beautiful lake. A buddy of mine a few years ago towed his boat there & was able to launch it at a private marina but I don't know which one. I would contact the Lake George tourism bureau & see if they know.

Not far from Lake George, south of there is Saratoga Lake that has a state operated boat launch, that's something to consider if you can't launch on LG. You can get more info at NYS Parks & Recreation website, it's quite informative. Good luck.

I can guarantee it will be busy as h*ll on a weekend no matter where you go as summer is almost over in upstate N.Y. & people want to get out there. If you want to camp out or rent a motel don't head up there without a reservation or you'll be out of luck.
 

matt167

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Ive never had the urge to go to lake George. It's a party lake and packed. Several Accidents every year. Long lake and Saratoga lake are better options in the same area
 

hugh g

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Ive never had the urge to go to lake George. It's a party lake and packed. Several Accidents every year. Long lake and Saratoga lake are better options in the same area
I visited Saratoga Lake years ago but never boated on it. I towrd my boat to Long Lake years ago & it was gorgeous. We also launched on Raquette Lake south of LL but didn't care for it, too many unmarked shoals.

I never boated on Lake George but we did take a tour boat ride. Once we got out a few miles there weren't many boats around. It's the most beautiful body of water other then the St. Lawrence as far as freshwater that I've ever been on. Just mho.
 

ahicks

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Sep 16, 2013
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So bottom line, owning an older boat has nothing to do with the lake. It's the PIA marina that's giving you the headache. Just find a different one.
 

Pruno

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Oct 9, 2019
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Looks like there's a couple DEC run boat ramps on Lake George. We bought the empire pass which gets us into state parks, and most boat launches without additional fees (not sure which ones require the additional fees, but we haven't found one yet). It's been great for us, and doesn't limit you to one lake if you're trailering. We've also used the pass for regular day use of the park system too.
It's $80, plus a few $ off if you renew. might not be worth it for the remaining 2021 season. For us it's much cheaper than our town launch, and as I said gives us the perk of multiple lake/parks.
 

poconojoe

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Looks like there's a couple DEC run boat ramps on Lake George. We bought the empire pass which gets us into state parks, and most boat launches without additional fees (not sure which ones require the additional fees, but we haven't found one yet). It's been great for us, and doesn't limit you to one lake if you're trailering. We've also used the pass for regular day use of the park system too.
It's $80, plus a few $ off if you renew. might not be worth it for the remaining 2021 season. For us it's much cheaper than our town launch, and as I said gives us the perk of multiple lake/parks.
I figured there had to be State run ramps.
Lake George is pretty big and the DEC should have a presence there.
 

hugh g

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I figured there had to be State run ramps.
Lake George is pretty big and the DEC should have a presence there.
You may be right. I seem to recall seeing a news story that the state DEC has set up boat wash stations at their ramps on LG to guard against invasive species. But where they are, idk.
 

poconojoe

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You may be right. I seem to recall seeing a news story that the state DEC has set up boat wash stations at their ramps on LG to guard against invasive species. But where they are, idk.
I'm sure if you check the DEC website, you'll find the info you need.
Here in Pennsylvania, they are very thorough.
Web pages describe all their facilities, state wide.
 

jth877

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Aug 12, 2021
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Actually I do launch at the million dollar beach state launch. It's very popular when in season and nice. Forget about weekends- it fills up by 7am and the boat must be out by 7pm. No over nights at any public launch. Kinda makes it hard to use the awesome camping islands in the narrows.

I have been on Saratoga Lake but it's tiny, full of weeds and no public picnics or camping. Just not that kind of lake. LG is everything. Desolate up north and party time on the south end. Probably why it's so popular.

I'm looking into other places to trailer launch. Looks like $2k/year minimum. Not a cheap lake.
 
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