Following tradition, the Clark Lake Boat Count took place this morning.  Starting at 6 am, two crews surveyed every dock on the lake to determine how many boats, and what kind. 

So, what are the highlights of the 2022 Boat Count?

  • The total number of boats was high at 1,612, but that didn’t beat the peak of 1,653 in 2017.
  • The data is divided into three groups: sail, power, and people.  People power was up 5% but didn’t reach its high in 2017.  Power craft came in at the highest ever at 1,109, up 9% from last year.  Sailing was about the same, but with a noticeable difference.  A surge in Hobies at 43 (up 33%) was matched by a decline in regular hull sailboats at 28 (down 43%).  At the Yacht Club In 2020, there were 2 Hobies, in 2021, 4.  This year, 13.  The beginning of a trend?  In 2014, by popular demand, the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation held a Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta.  Click here for some Hobie history.  
  • Rafts remain the 800-pound gorilla, up 8% from last year, and at the highest number yet, 656.
  • After rafts, the most popular power boat is the inboard at 112.  Meanwhile, inboard-outboards declined to the lowest level ever at 52, since first being counted in 1987.  At their peak in 2005, there were 172.
  • Jet skis made a resurgence, up 19%.  The highest ever was 196 in 2005. 
  • The number of boats at the clubs was about the same as last year.  The Beach & Boat Club topped the category at 122.  That includes some boats parked on trailers, but looked ready to be launched at any moment.  Likewise, the Clark Lake Yacht Club has sailboats that regularly go in the water but were on trailers the day of the count.
  • The average number of boats at each house was 3.4.  That was up from last year, but didn’t beat 2017 at 3.6.


The Boat Count was under the command of Terry Scott.  There were two working groups.  On the command raft, Terry piloted, Tom Bules was the scribe, and Rick Belcher, the barker.  Simultaneously, Josie and Frank Hones counted the boats from Mud Point to where Lakeview meets Eagle Point Road. Some of that area includes shallow water.  In order to come close enough to the docks, they operated from their canoe.    

On the Command Raft—Terry, Tom, and Rick (not pictured). 

Below, Frank and Josie Hones. 

Why July 4th at 6 am?  It has long been believed that if a boat is going on Clark Lake, it will happen by July 4th.  If the count took place later in the day, the results would be muddled by boats not being at their dock and out on the lake, where it’s much more difficult to track them. Even at that, a few early risers enjoyed the lake this morning.  Check out the barefooters this morning.

The only raft at allowed at the Clark Lake Yacht Club is for judging sailboat races.  Then there is this borderline case.