New Milford plans to crack down on boat sizes for slip rental at Lynn Deming

Photo of Currie Engel

NEW MILFORD — While the boats docked at Lynn Deming Park on Candlewood Lake keep getting bigger and wider, the slips where they’re tied up are not. And it’s starting to create a problem.

At a Parks and Recreation Department meeting Monday night, local officials discussed the possibility of modifying slip agreements that the boaters traditionally fill out to include dimensions with proof that the boat is actually the size slip-renters say it is.

This could mean the attachment of boat measurement specification sheets or some other verification method. The department has never asked for specifications before, Director Daniel Calhoun said.

He noted that they will now be updating their rules over the winter.

At the meeting, officials said boat size have continued to increase on the lake in recent years, and they can’t rely on the honor system any more. Calhoun said that the biggest issue was the increasing boat width. Many have grown from an average width of eight feet to eight-and-a-half feet.

Of their three docks, Docks A and B can only fit boats that are eight feet in width, and their third dock, Dock C, can fit up to eight-and-a-half feet in width.

The current request form asks for type of boat, length, beam width/length, and draft in water, among other items, but there will now be stricter reporting required moving forward.

The form clearly states that “giving incorrect information concerning boat length or width can result in loss of boat slip & possible forfeiture of registration fee. DO NOT GUESS!!”

Despite this warning about fudging measurements, it is still happening. This makes it hard to appropriately place boats at their docks, Calhoun said.

In one particular circumstance, a boat was so large that it was taking up two slip spaces.

The CT Boat Registration form does not include beam length, so boat owners will have to use other methods to verify the measurements.

“You can either contact the manufacturer or you can usually go online,” Calhoun said.

Slips are already sold out at the park for this year, and interested renters have to join the wait list and cross their fingers.

The town council raised the cost for a slip and park sticker by $100 earlier this year. A slip now costs $1,500, and for those over 65, the fee was just raised $75, and a slip is now $1,435.