Marina Owners Start Breaking Ice on Lake Minnetonka

Updated: 04/22/2014 6:05 AM
Created: 04/21/2014 3:28 PM
By: Todd Wilson

Boating season is beginning in Minnesota. Boats had to break up chunks of ice to make their way into marinas Monday.

Owner of Wayzata Marine Dave Briggs was busy breaking up ice in Lake Minnetonka's Maxwell Bay. "This bay was about 70 percent covered with ice and we brought four boats out and started slowly carving it up," he said.

Boaters dealt with fog, wind and thick ice Monday morning, so they had to be careful not to run into each other.

Briggs says there are two ways to break up ice. "One is what we are doing right now and just driving through it. The weight of the boat actually crushes the ice. And the motor just pushes the hull over the top. The other way to do it is to create a wave next to it and the wave of the ice actually breaks everything apart," he said. 

He says they've been breaking ice in 14 of the last 15 years. Briggs says it can be costly if it's not done. "For the marinas who have the permanent docks, if you don't break up the ice, the ice sheets can come in and take out all the docks," he said.

Brandon Toliver, who lives on the lake, said once he heard about the ice being broken - he had to go wake surfing. It will be his first time on the lake this year. "I don't have a dry suit or anything. I have a wet suit so I'm jumping in and we're going for a couple falls and see what happens," he said.

Briggs says two years ago they started in the middle of March. Last year the ice didn't go out until May 2, so this year they are a bit early. He says marinas work together to clear the ice.

"We tackle the ice and get it off and then we can all start putting our customers' boats in. Everybody wants his or her boats in by Memorial Day," he said. 

Minneapolis/St. Paul

46° | 32°
  • Feels like: 13° F
  • Wind: SE 5mph
  • Humidity: 62%
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  • Tue Times of sun and clouds
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