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Sunday storm destroys Niskayuna Rowing boats valued at more than $100K

Sunday storm destroys Niskayuna Rowing boats valued at more than $100K

Custom-sized boats for middle-schoolers deemed unsalvageable
Sunday storm destroys Niskayuna Rowing boats valued at more than $100K
The damaged boats
Photographer: Provided

NISKAYUNA — A falling tree in Sunday's storm crushed seven Niskayuna Rowing boats, destroying them, officials said.

Projected replacement costs are expected to be more than $100,000, program director Stacy Apfelbaum said Monday.

Apfelbaum found out about the incident Sunday evening after a storm came through Niskayuna and Schenectady. She described the tree that did the damage as “huge.” It took out the coxed quad boats at Aqueduct Park; boats that were specialized for the organization’s middle-school rowers.

The boats, she said, are uncommon and there haven’t been similar models in 25 years. While they were “somewhat” insured, they were not fully covered, she said. Saratoga Small Craft Repair deemed them unsalvageable, she said. 

Now, Niskayuna Rowing is looking for help.

“Boats have had fires, trailers have flipped, but I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Apfelbaum said.

The organization is currently wrapping up its summer lessons program and preparing for a two-week hiatus before returning in mid-August.

Apfelbaum plans to launch a GoFundMe page to raise money to replace the damaged boats. Niskayuna Rowing currently has a total of 21 boats, aside from the damaged boats, and other local organizations, including Saratoga, Burnt Hills and Shenendehowa rowing teams, have already offered their boats to rent.

Still, Apfelbaum hopes to replace the boats with the community’s help. She says her organization focuses on “building teamwork and character” to over 100 kids in the community, and she wants to “continue to offer that” with replacements.

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