Boating just got bigger on the Chesapeake Bay. Gov. Larry Hogan (D-MD) signed a law on Tuesday to let 80- to 200-foot private-use boats — yachts — cruise the upper Bay without having to hire a special pilot.
Kevin Rector with The Baltimore Sun reports that means you’ll be seeing more “mega-yachts” in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Annapolis’ City Harbor. The yachts must have a draft of less than 12 feet though.
The bill passed the state House and Senate unanimously.
Back in the day, Maryland wanted people who knew the Bay to guide big boats around. Now, yacht owners can use GPS to get the underwater know-how.
What’s the big deal? The boats will take up more marina space, squeezing out smaller boats but they’ll pay premium prices to do so. Supporters say well-heeled boat owners can now be tourists cruising their own boats to the local tiki bar, or nearby fuel pier, just like everyone else.