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What are the Current Massachusetts COVID 19 Boating Guidelines?

I could be wrong, but I thought Coast Guard regulations stipulate that we are only supposed to have people on our boat who live in our house; in other words close family members only. I am amazed that you keep posting pics of you breaking that pandemic rule.

I got this comment on my Edgartown story and my first reaction was to allow it and reply with some kind of snarky comment like:

Thanks KAREN – “Every party needs a pooper, that’s why I’m inviting you, party pooper, party pooper …”

Instead I trashed it thinking My Buzzards Bay doesn’t need some Debbie Downer yelling at us about having fun on our boats.

But within 30 seconds I realized that it was a fair question and one that hadn’t crossed my mind in months, so I decided to hit up the ole Interweb and find the truth for myself.

Well Floopy MkJava, your wrong, in fact you’re quite wrong.

1. The Coast Guard never stipulated anything about recreational boating. I visited their website and searched for RECREATIONAL BOATING COVID RESTRICTIONS and got this:

As you may know, google presents search results based on the best fit with the search parameters. NONE of the links that came up say anything about restricting recreational boating to family members or people living in the same house.

2. There was such a restriction put in place in Massachusetts on May 18, 2020

This was quite clear and legal in that the Governors 45 day limit on Emergency Powers had not yet expired. By the way, they did a few days later and there are several law suits challenging every edict he’s made, but since he shut down the courts, these cases won’t be heard til late fall.

I am proud to say that Mrs. Horne and I followed these rules and boated alone or with our dog Daisy (who lives in our house).

3. On May 25th, I read in the paper that “Boating was opening in Phase 1”. I went to the state website and found this:

The only problem was that when you clicked on the link, you got no additional guidance. So I emailed the State Department of Outdoor Recreation…

Much to my shock, they never replied! So I assumed the May 18 boating rules had been eased, but I didn’t know how.

4. On June 9, the state moved to Phase 2 and boating opened up more with two significant restrictions:

No more than 10 people on a boat and no rafting. This was a few weeks before Flotilla Trip to Nantucket and at one point we did indeed have exactly 10 people on the boat. I did do a concert on the dock, but everyone was in family groups at least 6 feet apart.

5. On July 3, the State went to Phase III Step 1 and boating completely returned to normal…

No restrictions on who can go on your boat, no limits on the number of people you can have on your boat, even rafting is okay again.

And so Karen, I mean Floopy MkJava, you weren’t just wrong, you were completely wrong, but you’ll always be My Buzzards Bay’s first troll…

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