Water world: Marina, boaters share safety tips for Geist Reservoir  


Geist Marina is gearing up for summer fun with activities for water enthusiasts with safety preparation in mind.

In conjunction with National Safe Boating Week May 21 to May 27, America’s Boating Club of Central Indiana recently held free boat safety checks for all boat owners at Geist Marina, 11695 Fall Creek Rd., Indianapolis.

The central Indiana chapter is one of only two Coast Guard-approved organizations to offer boating courses and seminars.

Club members Bob Beall and Mike Crowell performed the safety checks, which they said are not required by law but are helpful. Beall said many boat owners are surprised when they discover they might have a few items that need to be addressed.

“A fire extinguisher is a required item to have on a boat, and many people find this as a surprise,” Crowell said. “We check everything on the long list to have your boat pass inspection. When boaters pass the safety check, they receive a ‘safe boat’ decal to display on their windshield.”

Dawn Harlow brought her boat to have it inspected and to learn the basics of boat ownership.

“We are first-time boat owners and don’t know the ins and outs. We are still learning everything that is needed to be safe and have fun,” Harlow said. “It is great having the pros helping you be safe on the water all summer. Owning a boat has been on my dream board since 2017.”

Harlow plans on getting on the lake at least a couple time a week to teach her kids how to ski and wakeboard.

“Water is the feature here. People come out to play. Rental boats operate from April through October,” Geist Marina manager Greg Binder said. “We try to make it a great destination for boating and fishing. People can do all the things they love to do on the water. The water is great and the fishing here is fantastic.”

Binder said people can visit the Hamilton County Health Dept.’s website for water quality.

The marina hires many young people during the busy summer months.

“We employee a lot of local high school and college kids who just love the water and they love coming back and love their jobs,” Binder said. “We have approximately 25 positions a season, from everything waterfront related (to) guest support.”
Henry Dufour 19, a student at Indiana University, and Bryce Perkins, 17, a student at Lawrence North High School, are seasonal employees who are familiar with water safety and water activities.

“There is every type of water sports you can think (of), from joining the Sailing Club and skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, wake surfing, jet skiing and fishing,” Dufour said.

Things to do around the reservoir

Geist Marina manager Greg Binder said there are countless recreation activities at the marina, even for people who don’t own boats.

“This place hops all summer,” Binder said. “If you don’t own a boat, you can rent one and learn how to drive it here. There are excellent restaurants. Eddy’s, Crave, Puccini’s Pizza, and Wolfie’s is a waterfront restaurant, too, so you can have a meal and watch what’s going on. And there are always fishing tournaments and the fireworks.”

Binder stressed said the Fourth of July’s fireworks are geared for people in boats on the water or for homes on the lake, because they are not set up for visitors to watch from the parking lot or the bridge.

All information on boat rentals and other activities at Geist Marina can be found at geistmarina.com.