Smith Island Dry Dock Affected by Shoaling - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Smith Island Dry Dock Affected by Shoaling

Posted: Mar 26, 2018 5:16 PM Updated:

SMITH ISLAND, Md.- After the long, nasty winter the peninsula endured, many boats near Smith Island are in need of repairs. But fixing those problems is a problem in itself. The Smith Island Dry Dock is being impacted by shoaling.

A dredging and jetty project have been underway since October, and Islanders hope the project will help dig them out.

It's not just the waterman who are going to benefit once all this work is complete, but rather the boat dock as well. Between oyster and crabbing seasons, the owner of Smith Island Dry Dock, Chris Marshall, explained he doesn't get much rest.

"Between Tangier Island, Smith Island and Crisfield, there's a lot of boats," Marshall said.

Their business revolves around getting boats up and out of the water and into the yard, but that task isn't as easy as it seems.

"My biggest problem here is the shallow water directly right out here in front of my lift well. Where the boats have to come in to get to the travel life. It's filled in. You can't really see it right now but on low tide, there's dry land out there," Marshall said.

So instead of coming straight into the lift, boats have to follow a zig-zag pattern.

Watermen, like Danny Tyler, said the shoaling is not only a safety hazard but a time constraint as well.

"Once they get this jetty done out here, it'll cut close to five mile running if we're working out in the bay. So that'll cut at least 25 minutes of running time before I can get to my gear. Time is fuel," Tyler said.

The project will cut time and costs. Especially since Marshall said things have gotten worse over the past several months.

"This winter has shoaled it up dramatically. And hopefully when the jetties complete, and the dredging portion of it starts they can come all they way through here and knock that big old hill that sits out there," Marshall said.

The jetty portion of the project is slated to be completed by April 2018.

 

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