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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Tonight, neighbors of a New Hanover County boat ramp and the boaters who use it will discuss limiting the access from 24 hours a day to sunrise to sunset. Some people who make their living on the water say closing the Trails End Boat Ramp after dark would be detrimental.

Some Masonboro Loop residents say traffic at all hours of the day is too much, but many boaters feel having 24-hour access to the ramp is crucial.

“Many of our commercial fisherman fish at night, or they might come in late, and of course they need to be able to trailer their vessel and take it on home,” commercial fisherman Bill Hurst said. “That way their catch doesn’t spoil, so that’s important.”

Hurst said he wants with all his heart to keep the ramp open, but Trails End Road resident Kelly Thompson and her husband favor limited hours.

“The traffic is crazy,” Thompson said. “I have two small children, so it does concern me that people do not observe the speed limit, and they are traveling down the road way over the speed limit; full-size trucks, boats.”

Thompson said she does not think anyone needs to be pulling a boat on her road at 2 a.m., and if they have to, the boaters should find a ramp that’s not in a neighborhood.

But boater Al Smeilus says flounder gigging, among other things, has to happen in the dark. He feels it’s a safety issue, too.

“I have been stranded at night and had to come in late after dark, and if the place was closed, I’d be caught in the rain in a rain storm and my boat would be sinking, and I couldn’t pull it out. That just isn’t fair and isn’t right,” Smeilus said.

Thompson said, “I just think if everyone could show a little respect, which I think everyone has kind of lost nowadays. So if you could show respect to the residents of Trails End Road, we would be happy.”

Hurst agrees to a point.

“I can understand if people tend to get rowdy and noisy, and we don’t want this, but respectable boaters are going to realize that and do their best to use the facility in the proper way that it was intended,” he said.

If you have an opinion on whether the ramp hours should be limited or remain unchanged, a public meeting to discuss the proposal is set for 6 p.m. at the New Hanover County Government Center.

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11 Comments on "Neighbors want boat ramp hours restricted; boaters disagree"

2015 years 8 months ago

complain about somthing that was there before they moved in. Maybe I don’t like screaming kids while I’m fishing either. I’m sure the majority of people that use that ramp are courteous. I had to use that ramp when my motor quit and I’m glad it was there.

2015 years 8 months ago

Shut up or move. The ramp is for the public and you have decided to reside in a public access area. Either deal with it or move. I am tired of people moving into an area and then wanting to change the way things function in that area.

2015 years 8 months ago

Then we most close other wildlife water access locations at dusk too. The road to the public ramp at Carolina Beach goes threw a residential neighbor hood. Wrightsville Beach’s boat access property lines touch Lee’s Cut and the noise must annoy the Channel Walk folks too! Since the locals were using Trails End road for water access way back in the 50’s and 60’s the area should be “grandfathered”. Plus there is a private marina next door. How many vehicles use the road to access the mariner after dark? Why must we change for people who have never gone floundering at night? Everything was OK when Trail End road had more house trailers than stick built houses. Schedule another meeting with advance notice!

2015 years 8 months ago

Here we go again. Yet one more group of NIMBY’s that move in and then want to change the neighborhood! Boaters and boat traffic bother you? Move back inland where you came from or shut up!

2015 years 8 months ago

I used Trails End when it was only a dirt ramp and not much traffic. Now with a good ramp traffic is never ending with boats that should be too big for that little area. They should have listened to arguments before finishing this park (what a waste of parking for trailers) and limited access to boats smaller than 18 feet.

2015 years 8 months ago

Ive been using that boat ramp for years and the boat traffic at night is not that bad. There is only a hand full of boaters and fishermen that use it at night. I understand the concerns but maybe restricting the park for only boating and fishing after dark is the way to go. The biggest thing these residents need to think about is most of the boaters that use it after dark were using it long before they were there. And if they want to close the park side of the ramp well maybe they shoulnt be aloud to use the old ramp (which is still there, and they say its theirs) at night either.

2015 years 8 months ago

I remember years ago a woman moved in over Firebelly Lounge downtown. At that time Firebelly had live bands, not unusual for a bar. She started calling the police complaining and caused all kinds of legal issues & expenses for them. All because she decided to live over an established and operating business. That is like moving next to the airport and then demanding no night flights because it disturbs your sleep.

2015 years 8 months ago

Not into name-calling, though you are a little NIMBY-*&2*.
So which is it? Traffic or kids? Are your Precious little Darlings out and about 10PM – 2AM- Or at/before SUNRISE, playing IN THE STREET?
The Ramp was there BEFORE YOU for MANY years!
The FUNDS for this Improved Ramp & Park came from, DING!-DING! The PUBLICS Tax Monies and COMMERCIAL FISHING License fee’s!
Flounder Gigger’s use the Park & Ramp
Spot netting happens @ night.
Shrimping happens at NIGHT!
Other People whom use this Ramp, in other words Recreational Fishermen, whom go out in the ocean OFF-SHORE, in other words, the Gulf-Stream you twit, NEED this Ramp to be OPEN as many, or some-one May catch a late afternoon bite, and are coming in @ dark through the Inlet. In addition to numerous safety reasons, the Ramp NEEDS to be OPEN..
The Street you reside on is PUBLIC Highway.. Your Lil Darlings need a Leash, or in BED at these Hours. it’s NOT all about you, and don’t even try to say these trucks are “speeding”, Jesus H. *****, They are Pulling quite a bit of weight, and are NOT going to be speeding down hill towards the water with a boat behind them, Or “speeding” up-hill either, pulling a boat.. Woman; YOU, are a complete MORON or a Lier.
Don’t come-up with this line—> it’s for the Children.. utter and Complete BS….

2015 years 8 months ago

You gotta love it when someone decides to reproduce and then thinks the world should revolve around them and their ridiculous desires. Move to Arizona where you can bitch about the sand being too hot or something.

Uncle Reality
2015 years 8 months ago

Are your kids out at 2 A.M.? The argument is supposedly about restricting traffic at night and the best argument you can come up with is speeding vehicles and your kids? Heck, if that’s the problem you should be arguing to have it open at night only, when the kids are in bed.

Here’s the bottom line – who was there first, the ramp or you?

If the answer is “the ramp,” rest assured you have no sympathy from anyone with a brain.

2015 years 8 months ago

Why is this meeting not listed anywhere on the county web page? Is it a public meeting or not? Doesn’t all meetings have to be posted? I live in the area and this is the first I’ve heard about a meeting regarding Trails End Park.

I can’t understand why the county does the reverse 911 for their community meetings but doesn’t feel this meeting is important enough to notify the neighbors in the area.

Who is in charge of informing the public?


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