Marinas preparing to reopen under new boating rules as Memorial Day weekend nears

Hampshire County

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching, but the coronavirus pandemic will have an affect on business.

The Memorial Day weekend usually means many boaters out on the water but with the pandemic continuing, things may look a little different this year.

Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley is preparing for business as usual this holiday weekend. Their docks were empty Monday, but they expect to be about 90 percent full come Saturday. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, staff hopes to see many boaters safely out on the water, especially after a slow start to the spring.

“It was very quiet in March until the last two weeks or so, it was very quiet in our marina. Once the sun started to shine and people wanted to get out, the phone started to ring after two months, which is nice. We are starting to sell some new boats and we are hoping for a good season,” said Luke Brunelle of Brunelle’s Marina.

There are new boating guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts. All boaters are asked to practice social distancing while on the water and shore. Boaters are also being asked to push off quickly, and non-boaters are not allowed at the launch area.

On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker announced phase one of the reopening plan in the state. Outdoor areas like beaches, parks, outdoor activities such as fishing, and select athletic courts and fields will begin to reopen on May 25.

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