October 01, 2013 | 03:31 PMGeneva Lake is still the place to float your boat, if you’re so inclined.
The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency released its results for the 2013 boat count, which was conducted Aug. 22.
Once again, the lake’s leisure-time armada came close to, but didn’t quite reach, a threshold of one boat for each of the 5,280 acres of lake surface.
Boat census takers from the GLEA and the Water Safety Patrol tallied 5,167 boats this year, down 18 from the 5,185 counted last year. The audit was done Aug. 22.
The boat count inventoried all boats docked, moored on the lake and 635 stored in off-lake suites.
The vessels are categorized as motor, sail, personal water craft (Jet Skis and Wave Runners) and other (which includes kayaks, canoes, rowboats, paddle boards and dinghies).
Motorboats again account for most of the boats with 3,209 craft, or 62 percent of all boats. The second largest group of boats was the “other” with 847, or 16 percent of the boats. Personal watercraft accounted for 670 craft (13 percent) and sailboats had a count of 441 (9 percent).
Over the past decade, the estimated number of boats at Geneva Lake has wavered around 5,000.
During that time, the greatest number of boats counted was 5,231 boats in 2011. The lowest number of boats was 4,815 in 2006.
The boat census is generally conducted on a cool, wet day, to ensure most boats are docked.
Ted Peters, GLEA director, said the counters do not tally boats on the lake because of the risk of double counting.
This year the count was done during a day that was interrupted by thunder storms.
For those who like silent running, 2013 was a slight improvement.
Compared to the 2012 count, motor boats decreased by 24 and sailboats increased by 17.
Personal watercraft increased by three and others decreased by 14.
Fontana came in first in boat totals, with 2,035 moored on the lake and another 535 stored off shore. Williams Bay was second with 1,111 boats moored on the lake, with another 168 in off lake storage.
Town of Linn south shore had the third greatest number of boats at 1,055, followed by Lake Geneva with 678 boats and Linn North Shore at 288 boats. Only Williams Bay and Fontana have off-lake storage.
Geneva Lake has a total of 112,854 feet of shoreline. Of that, 48 percent of the Geneva Lake’s shoreline is in the town of Linn.
Fontana has 19 percent and Williams Bay and Lake Geneva have 17 percent and 16 percent respectively.
Boat density can be measured by feet of shoreline per boat.
That measure can give an idea of potential boating pressure.
The 2013 lakewide boat density of docked or moored boats on Geneva Lake, including the off water-storage, is one boat every 21.8 feet of shoreline, the same as in 2012.