Boating season a strong one for local marinas


SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - With Labor Day weekend spelling the end of summer and boating season, marina owners said that business has been good this year. The weather has also been good for boating.

"Obviously May was pretty slow with all the rain that we had, but once June came around things started to pick back up," Friendship Marina General Manager Chris Koserski said. "June, July, and August were very successful."

"We could see as much as over a thousand, visitors on a busy summer day," Suntex Marinas Marketing Specialist Shanalda Burden said. "We have hundreds of people who stop by our marine center for shopping, for fuel, or just to come in and have a quick lunch."

Boaters I spoke with said that they were enjoying the good weather after the rain Hurricane Harvey sent north.

The marina owners expect more customers to turn out for the rest of Labor Day weekend.

"Over the past few years we've gone on an incline again," Koserski said. "The boating business is coming back up. With the fuel prices going down again, folks are coming out more, using our boats more."

While boating business is increasing, boating accidents have trended down over the past several years. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, boating incidents have dropped from 171 incidents in 2012 to 134 in 2016. 2017 data has not been released yet.

During the winter months, some boat owners will take their boats out of the marinas, but there will still be enough here to bring in some money.