They may be empty now, but all the canoe and kayak racks at town beach have been claimed for this summer.

In mid-April, the Harvard Parks and Recreation Commission held its annual lottery for the racks. Parks and Recreation chairman Mark Mandozzi said this year 140 households registered for 90 slots. The department issued 110 permits, knowing from experience that some permits would be given up or not paid for by the April 29 deadline.

Because rack space is limited, Mandozzi said they filter out multiple applications from the same household. Residents apply online or by phone and selection is made using a random number generator. Parks and Recreation notifies lottery winners by email and when it receives the required $20 payment, it sends the sticker by mail. The list of winners and waiting list are on the Parks and Recreation website at

Racks are not assigned to specific people: The sticker allows storage in any of the rack slots. According to Mandozzi, if a household wins a sticker, the rack slot chosen can be used for two kayaks or a canoe and a kayak by contacting him for a second sticker. Some racks are reserved for seniors or disabled boaters who need a low rack.

Mandozzi said the Commission would like to add more racks, but space is not available at the beach. Increased use of the pond by the crew team and its need for storage racks cuts down on availability there. Space at Barba’s Point is available, but only two of the 140-rack requestors wanted that location. And Thurston’s Beach is not available because there is no parking in that restricted area, he said.

Strong demand affects allocation of boat slips and outer moorings for sailboats and motorboats as well. Families can apply once for each category of space — racks, slips, or moorings. Mandozzi said that 32 people applied for 16 outer moorings and 16 people applied for eight boat slips. Cove moorings for smaller sailboats, which could be expanded, “are never used completely,” he said. Eleven people applied for 12 cove moorings.

“Locking boats to racks is strongly recommended,” Mandozzi said. In a windstorm, boats that are not secured could be blown off the racks and damaged, he said. They have only had a few incidences of vandalism, he added, but locking boats will minimize risks.