TREMONT — The last few years, boat owners on Mount Desert Island have pulled their vessels out of harbors prematurely for winter storage as swells from hurricanes threatened coastline property in Down East Maine.
In 2009, Hurricane Bill, a storm that swept visitors in Acadia National Park into the ocean, resulting in one death, had boatyards scrambling to haul and store vessels in mid-August.
Hurricane Earl in 2010 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 instigated a similar early flood of vessels to their winter berths.
But this year, boatyard workers are enjoying a comparative calm in the storm of activity that normally occurs this time of year. With no more than several small craft advisories in the last month, boats are moving into storage facilities – dry docks, yard and indoor storage, mostly – in a calmer fashion.
“It’s definitely a breather this year because we are able to do everything that needs to be done orderly,” said Jean Beaulieu, co-owner of Classic Boat with his wife Margaret Beaulieu.
When storms force the boatyards to work overtime and haul vessels in a hurry – about 60 percent of the time, Mr. Beaulieu estimates – they must remove boats first, organize and maintain them later.
“Basically, you park the boats and then head out for more,” said Mr. Beaulieu.