Juan Lagara of Captain Bill's Marina in Bayshore lifts a...

Juan Lagara of Captain Bill's Marina in Bayshore lifts a boat out of the water and loads it on a trailer Wednesday, in preparation of Hurricane Earl. (Sept. 1, 2010) Credit: Newsday / Kevin P. Coughlin

Hurricane Earl has Long Island boaters scrambling.

From Nassau County to Montauk, boat owners are pulling their vessels from the water, checking lines, adjusting fenders and stripping off items that Earl could blow away.

"We decided we would play it safe," said Gina Calabro, who with her husband, Tony, yanked their 21-foot Monterey Bowrider "Carpe Diem" from West Marina at Point Lookout Wednesday around noon. "You are always concerned about whether or not the boat's going to sink."

Carpe Diem now sits in the driveway of the couple's Merrick home.

At Captain Bill's Marina in Bay Shore, workers are expecting to haul at least 25 boats from the water Thursday on top of the handful put on blocks Wednesday. "A long day and a long night, too," predicted marina manager Juan Lagara.

The story was the same at Montauk Marine Basin. Owner Carl Darenberg said he had hauled about 30 boats from the water so far this week and expected to do another 30 Thursday.

Darenberg said his gut tells him Earl will bring winds of maybe 50 miles an hour and high tides - nothing new to Montauk. But with uncertainty about the storm's path, he advised preparation.

"I don't think anybody can overreact with a storm like this, to tell you the truth," Darenberg said.

Elected officials were doing their part to convey a similar message. Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, flanked by other elected leaders and marine professionals, visited West Marina Wednesday to stress the importance of preparing for the worst.

The tips offered included: Use double lines to secure your boat, remove gear that could blow away and make sure batteries are charged so that bilge pumps don't fail. Murray also had some advice she said sounded obvious, but is routinely ignored.

"We have boat rescues every time we have a storm," she said. "Don't go out in a storm."

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