Saturday, December 29, 2007

Make Room in Your Wallet

In part because of its rising boating-related fatality rate, Florida is poised to make boater ID cards mandatory for anyone who takes the helm.

Currently, all Florida boaters under 21 must carry an ID card, which signifies they have taken a boating safety course. But now, citing statistics from other states that show a positive correlation between mandatory safety courses and lowered fatality rates, the state's Boating Advisory Council has proposed a plan that would raise the required age in five-year increments over the next 11 years. If enacted in 2008, the legislation would apply to all boaters by 2020.

Capt. Richard Moore, the state's boating-law administrator, insists that the boater ID card is not a license. It merely reflects that the boater has taken a safety course, and once you have a card, it's good for life.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Murders At Sea Solved?

The Associated Press reported today that a suspect held in the slaying of four crewmembers aboard the South Florida fishing boat Joe Cool was party to the crime but insists he wasn't the triggerman.

The inmate, identified only as CS1 in court papers, said Guillermo Zarabozo told him in a jailhouse conversation that co-defendant Kirby Logan Archer fatally shot the captain of the 47-foot Joe Cool along with the captain's wife and two crew members in September.

The four people were killed because they refused to take the men to Cuba instead of the originally agreed-upon destination of Bimini, Bahamas, the informant said Zarabozo told him. Zarabozo also supposedly said he threw the bodies into the ocean and cleaned up the boat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Remembering Lyford Stanley

Lyford Stanley, the 82-year-old designer who’s been with the Maine-based John Williams Boat Company since its founding in 1971, died in late November.

Lyford had a natural gift for designing boats. “He could quickly size up a boat on land and envision this boat in the water, then readily determine the position of the actual waterline,” says Jock Williams, the company founder and longtime friend of the designer. “The things he knew from his experience in the water, he incorporated into the design of his boats.” That experience included being a lobsterman, scalloper, halibut fisherman, purse seiner, harbormaster, tour-boat captain, and water-taxi driver. His father was also a lighthouse keeper on Great Duck Island, Maine, so his passion for the water was fueled at an early age.

It was also fueled by one of his high-school teachers, who encouraged him to pursue a career in boatbuilding. Lyford apprenticed at the Sam Davis Boatyard in Bass Harbor, but he built his first boat, a 22-footer, when he was 25. Since he didn’t have a workshop, he used his and his wife Norma’s bedroom. The trick, of course, was launching it: He removed one of the bedroom’s walls to get Little One out. (Apparently Norma was a patient woman; the photo above shows the couple years later, partners in every way possible.)

It’s interesting to note that it was Norma who convinced Jock Williams to work with Lyford. In the 1960’s Jock ran the fiberglass production program at Hinckley, and Norma was one of his employees. “She kept telling me that I should get together with Lyford about building lobster boats in glass,” Williams says.

And the rest, as they say, is history. By 1973 the two men began building what ended up as the Stanley 36 fiberglass production lobster boat (seen here), a model of which more than 100 have been built. The Stanley 28, Stanley 38, and Stanley 39 also sprang from Lyford’s vision.

At the time of his death, Lyford was working on a Stanley 42.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Port Louis, Grenada—Part 1

A few weeks ago I visited the Port Louis Marina in Grenada, a marina and an island that is perched to become a new Caribbean hot spot, and I believe it's got a good chance of succeeding. The new marina, which is expected to have over 150 slips when it’s completed, is the labor of real-estate mogul Peter de Savary. In our upcoming February issue we will feature the story "Master Class" by Alan Harper about de Savary's yacht Savvy. Included in the article is my sidebar with a good deal of information on the Port Louis project. However, we couldn’t fit in many of the photos that showcase the changes being made, so look through these shots and look for the article in February:

The lagoon after Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The lagoon (with Port Louis Marina being constructed) in November 2007. The plans call for the hill behind the marina to be home to a series of multi-million dollar condos.

Port Louis Marina from the fort across the harbor. The plans call for almost the entire lagoon to be filled with dockage.

Infinite pool at De Savary's home far north of the harbor, mentioned in Master Class story.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Haul-Out Fallout

All we can about this poor sportfisherman is ouch! It appears that either the crane or dock may have given way during this haul out. Hope everyone has good insurance. If you know who owns this boat, please send him our condolences and hope she's back on the water soon.

Baby Boat Seats—The Newest Thing?

Without knowing it, this boating daddy may have created the newest hit in safety at sea. I came across this image on a fishing-based Web site, and if you look closely at the helm, this little crewmember is secured in a what looks like a car seat at the helm of a Regulator center console. (How'd he get the safety straps over the PFD?) What some people won't do to get out on their boats. Let's hear it for ingenuity.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Megayacht Contest Continues

If you've been hithering to and fro to get your Christmas shopping finished, you're not alone: A few people have told us they've been meaning to enter the "I Want to Tour a Megayacht" contest but have gotten bogged down with paper and bows (the latter being the pretty glittery items on presents, not the pointy things on boats). They've asked for more time, beyond the December 21 deadline, so we're granting it.

Of course, that includes you, too. The new deadline is January 18.

Click here for details on how to enter.

Westport Yachts Gives Back to Neighbors

In a year that has seen waves of storms batter the northwest States, Westport Yachts has decided to help out its weather-worn neighbors in this season of giving. It is donating $57,000 to an assortment of charities that are are helping families recover from the Dec. 2nd storm that struck the Pacific Northwest.

Westport says this is in addition to the annual food donations that the company makes to local food banks.

During Westport’s recently held annual food drive, the company and its employees collected 13,746 pounds of food for local food banks. Employees at all three of the shipbuilder’s manufacturing facilities – Westport, Hoquiam and Port Angeles, Wash. – participated in the drive, and the company agreed to contribute $1 for every pound of food, up to $12,000. Westport added an additional $10,000 this year to help those affected by the storm.

“Our team has really come together this year to help children and families affected by the recent storm,” said Daryl Wakefield, president of Westport Shipyard. “We’ve seen the generous outpouring of support from our friends and neighbors, and we want to do our part to help restore order to the lives of those affected. We want to help everyone in the community join in the holiday spirit.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sevenstar Solves Space Shortage

You're looking at more than 60 boats loaded onto one of Sevenstar's ships in Savannah, Georgia. The occasion, earlier this month, was the first voyage the yacht-transport company was making on its new route between Savannah and Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Sevenstar added the route because of a shortage of space on transatlantic routes, particularly for boats up to about 40 feet, according to Richard Klabbers, the company's managing director. Both boat owners and boatbuilders were feeling the pinch. "Our response has been to set up special terminals at the load and discharge ports in order to make truck deliveries easier for clients," Klabbers adds.

The new service will involve monthly sailings; check Sevenstar's Web site for exact dates.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas in Savannah

The city of Savannah, Georgia, rang in the holiday season on November 24 with its annual Boat Parade of Lights. Fortunately my visit to the city happened to coincide with the event. More than 50 boats participated in the parade, which required entrants to donate toys to children in need. The parade was kicked off by the lighting of a Christmas tree, which was accompanied by music from the Savannah Pipe and Drums Corps. Thousands of people braved the chilly night and lined the Riverwalk to watch the brightly decorated yachts and tug boats light up the waterway.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Aicon's New Soles

What does Marc-Udo Broich, President/CEO of Aicon Yachts Americas, know about shoes? Well quite a bit, it turns out. Broich took over as the CEO of footwear brand Maui Surf Company (MSC) earlier this year. But if you're an Aicon nut, don't despair—Broich will continue with his post there, too.

Under Broich the "new" MSC will not only continue to create shoes that are inspired by the laid-back Maui lifestyle, it will pursue some serious innovation. Leave it to the head of Aicon to understand what boaters want: from boat shoes that reportedly weigh less than 10 oz. to a water shoe line that promises a revolutionary water drainage system. Now that Broich's in charge of MSC, boaters everywhere are likely to take a second look.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

HMY-Viking Megadock Tournament 2008

It's never too early to plan next season's angling events. If you're into big-game fishing and plan on being around the Charleston, S.C., area in early July, the HMY-Viking Megadock Billfish Tournament should be on your to-do list. This three-day event is limited to 75 boats, and prize payouts will total more than $400,000. If you enter the Megadock prior to January 31, 2008, you'll pay the 2007 entry fee rate. The final day to register (if the 75 boat limit has not been reached), is June 12, 2008. Last year, the tournament reports, there was a 45-day wait list to get into this event.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Platinum Lighthouse?

Ever wondered if your local light beacon was one of the best lighthouses in America? Well, is the place to find out. On the site, they rate U.S. lighthouses (no international ones up yet) on a scale of 1-5 for seven different features: History, Majesty, Preservation, Surrounding Area, Water View, Accessibility, and Beacon Type. The sum of all its features gives each lighthouse a score, with the max score being 35 points. Anything above 30 the site considers a platinum lighthouse (25-30 is gold and 20-24 is ranked silver).

Even if you view lighthouses more as essential safety beacons instead of tourist attractions, you may be persuaded to the latter after reading the Web site’s lighthouse histories. Click the light and peruse the tales of odd shipwrecks (such as the December 24th, 1886 wreck of the Annie C. Maguire at Portland Head Light in Maine where the shipwrecked sailors put up a plank and climbed over the frigid Christmas time waters to safety) or even murder (see St. Simons Island Light in Georgia).

With items like heights, directions, and even contact numbers the website does a fine job at bringing mariners closer to the lights that guide them than they ever should get from the water.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Want to Tour a Megayacht?

Depending upon what part of the country you live in, you may very well have been preparing for an onslaught of Old Man Winter's wrath this weekend. Personally, I find it far too early to be experiencing the white stuff, so that's why I'm looking forward to escaping the Northeast and heading to sunny and warm Florida for the holidays.

If your first escape won't be for a while, or if you're looking for a good excuse, there's always the Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht & Brokerage Show in February. And it just so happens that we at Power & Motoryacht are holding a contest right now where one lucky reader will get a personal tour of a megayacht, from bridge deck to bilge, at the Yacht & Brokerage Show.

To read full details and enter, click here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down

Even though the wildfires returned to Malibu this weekend, many boaters are still dealing with the first round of blazes that hit Southern California earlier this month.

From Los Angeles to San Diego, thousands of powerboats along the coast have been coated with a powdery coat of ash. If boaters don't clean their hulls quickly—and properly—they'll have an expensive problem on their hands.

If you live in the area, The Log, a local boating and fishing newspaper, offers a few simple tips to help you clean up your cruiser. White ash from wildfires contains more than just wood particles: There's plastic, fiberglass and other compounds that could damage your hull. And the longer the ash stays on your boat, the more trouble it could cause.

If you clean it yourself, don't use ammonia, heavy-duty soap, or anything that will strip your hull's gelcoat. Your best bet, according to The Log, is a wash-and-wax type soap—and plenty of elbow grease.

You should also consider vacuuming every inch of your boat's interior. Ash is often difficult to detect on carpets and cloth surfaces, but if the toxins are there, they can also cause damage belowdecks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Next Time, Use the Head

A Japanese deckhand fell overboard last month while urinating off the side of a tanker. And here's how things got worse: He had no life-vest, it was almost midnight, and neither his shipmates nor the Japanese Coast Guard could find him.

But, after that, he couldn't have been luckier. The seas were pretty calm, and while treading water in the dark—about 12 miles off the coast—the 28-year-old found an empty two-liter bottle. Amazingly, he was able to use it to keep him afloat for about 12 hours.

The next morning he was spotted by fishing boat and rescued. Who knew a two-liter bottle could serve so well in a pinch?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Davis 70

Davis Yachts debuted its Flagship 70-footer recently. And it's quite a sizeable machine. As you can see here, her mezzanine is made for spotting fish on the teasers in the shade, saving you from the heat and glaring sun. And as fish boats go, this one is on the glam side of that equation. The proof: Take for instance, her high-gloss interior, internal stairway to the flying bridge, or the full-beam amidships master with NBA-player headroom. And she can be yours for about $4.7 million. Stay tuned as PMY will put this behemoth battlewagon to the test in an upcoming issue of Power & Motoryacht.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Manatee Money Plan

Broward County asked the question: Who should pay the tab for our manatee protection program? And it's about to settle on the answer: Marina developers.

Here's the plan: For every new boat slip a developer wants to build, he or she must pay a $750 initial fee and an annual $20 fee. All that money will go to protecting the threatened sea cow—everything from better warning signs to increased enforcement of manatee zones.

If you live in Broward, you might want to weigh in on this before the County Commission takes up the issue in the next few months. One of the committee members recently expressed a likely, if cynical, scenario. Bernie Gartner told the Sun Sentinel that any new fees will just get passed down to the consumer: "Whoever's paying for it, it's going to come back to the boater."

Mighty Madiz

If you've followed the various editions of the Power & Motoryacht 100, no doubt you'll remember Madiz as being one of the oldest in the world. I've had the pleasure of corresponding with her owner, who himself has had the pleasure of becoming quite a celebrity in his native Greece, thanks to the painstaking, three-year refit he had the 106-year-old yacht undergo to be reclassed under Lloyd's rules. He and the yacht were recently on Greek television, and since he shared their story with his fellow countrymen, I thought I'd take it one step further and share the tale with you (don't worry, there are subtitles):

Friday, November 2, 2007

New From Turkey

This 46-footer is a fresh new import from Turkey. Wayne Helms, who used to distribute for Vicem, a well-known Turkish builder, decided to introduce this new line of cruisers under the name Soluna Yachts, and brought the first one into Lauderdale for the boat show. The 46 features all equipment (including electronics) standard at price in the mid $700-k range.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fishing Charter Crew Makes Two Rescues in One Day

A 24-foot Mako with four passengers onboard capsized last week in the Ambrose Channel, the main shipping channel serving the ports of New York and New Jersey. Three of the boaters were tossed into the water after hitting the towline of a passing tugboat. The fourth was able to cling to the overturned vessel.

The crew of Capt. Dave, a charter boat fishing nearby, was alerted to the accident and high-tailed it to the scene, where they were able to pick up the man clinging the the capsized Mako. (Coast Guard boats and NYPD helicopters were able to rescue one of the men in the water and retrieved the bodies of the others, who had already drowned.)

After passing the stunned boater over to the Coast Guard, the crew (seen above, from left to right: Captain David Paris, Peter Paris, Paul Paris, and Ralph Giovacco) was on its way back to shore when they spotted a windsurfer off a jetty at Rockaway Point. The 46-year-old windsurfer was trying to travel nine miles from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Staten Island, New York. He was blown off course after his sail broke off and had been clinging to his board for 6½ hours before the crew of Capt. Dave came along.

Adventurous Adventure Us

While I unfortunately don't have a photo to show you, trust me when I say that Ted Haines, a crewmember aboard the 82-foot Hargrave Adventure Us, wasn't exaggerating when he showed me the galley and declared, "Welcome to our four-butt kitchen!" There's enough space between the appliances and prep island for a small crowd to gather (and you know everyone always gathers in the galley, just like at home!).

The yacht, which I toured during last week's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, is packed with personality. The owners have kids of various ages and not only made Adventure Us stuffed-animal-friendly, but also welcoming for their multiple generations to relax together. The saloon, for example, has a table that has hosted some rousing games of chess as well as studying. The flying bridge, where the owners themselves run the yacht, has a small observation settee to port of the helm, and they and their kids have spotted whales and various schools of fish from Kennebunkport, Maine, down to Key West.

Haines, who handles lines and related tasks for the owners, loves having the kids around. Even though there are two bunk-berth staterooms each with a Pullman in the guest accommodations for the boys and girls to use, Haines says he's found the kids, usually the boys, hanging around his cabin, located just aft of the engine room.

But maybe that's because Haines keeps his small freezer stocked with ice cream...

Nautical Gifts

It's hard to believe that Halloween is already here, which means that the holiday shopping season is lurking not too far around the corner. Yikes. But, lest you begin to stress out about all the shopping you've got to do, know that there's some good news.

The folks behind the Captn Jack's Catalog recently announced that their 2007/2008 Holiday Catalog will expand its focus beyond the high-end electronic marine navigation gear the company has traditionally offered. They'll be selling a variety of new marine lifestyle gear, which means plenty of gifts for every boater on your list. Some of my favorite highlights include the Remote Control Pirate Ship ($65, with "functioning" light-up cannon), the i-blue 757 Pro Solara GPS ($119, which lets you broadcast GPS data throughout your boat with a Bluetooth enabled sensor), and the Rocking Dory ($265, a beautiful, handcrafted lap-joint dory) for the little ones. Happy (upcoming) Holidays!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Meet PMY at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

Meet PMY at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which starts Thursday. Our stand is number 1229, near the engine tent, at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center.

Straight from the show we're giving you a look at the newest boats, yachts, gear, etc. We're adding new pictures every day, so keep checking back.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Desirable Destination

It's always a thrill to receive a letter from a reader when he/she likes something you've written. This morning I had just that experience when Mark Allen of the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey, e-mailed me to say how much he enjoyed my November "Megayachts" column, in which I urge yacht owners to expand their horizons and explore places other than the same spots they go to year after year.

Here's what Mark had to say:
We’ve been actively trying to entice the larger motor yachts to visit our marina here in Cape May for the past couple of years. We can handle up to three in the 110’ range at one time and have plenty of water underneath. And we have a great town for both crews and owners as well as a year-round service facility at our nearby sister marina.

But we can’t seem to get the "desirable destination" message out.

Consider the word out, Mark. As for you yacht owners: Consider yourselves educated. Being a Jersey girl, I can attest to how beautiful Cape May is. A few of our other editors have been there, too. And if any of you have, feel free to share your knowledge here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Piracy Attacks on the Rise

According to the London-based International Maritime Bureau, maritime piracy attacks rose 14 percent in the first nine months of 2007 from a year earlier, with Somalia and Nigeria showing the biggest increases.

The Associated Press reports that:
While Africa remains problematic, Southeast Asia's Malacca Strait, one of the world's busiest waterways, has been relatively quiet, the International Maritime Bureau said in a report.

A total of 198 attacks on ships were reported between January and September this year, up from 174 in the same period in 2006, the IMB said.

It said a total of 15 vessels were hijacked, 63 crew kidnapped and three killed.

"If this current trend continues, it would appear that the decline in piracy attacks since 2004 has bottomed out," it warned.

Indonesia remained the world's worst piracy hotspot, with 37 attacks in the first nine months of 2007 - but this was an improvement from 40 in the same period a year earlier, the IMB said.

But attacks rose drastically in Somalia to 26 reported cases, up from only 8 a year earlier, it said. Nigeria also suffered 26 attacks so far this year, up from 9 previously, it added.

IMB director Pottengal Mukundan urged ships to stay as far as possible from the coasts of Somalia and Nigeria, which remained very dangerous with large numbers of violent kidnappings.

"The level of violence in high risk areas remain unacceptable. Pirates in Somalia are operating with impunity, seizing vessels hundreds of miles off the coast and holding the vessel and crew to ransom, making no attempt to hide their activity," he said.

Only four attacks were reported in the Malacca Strait this year, compared to 8 in the same period in 2006, thanks to increased cooperation between states straddling the waterway, the IMB said.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Serenity at Sea

Last weekend I was the first journalist to not only see Lazzara Yachts’ new flagship, a 116 christened Serenity, but also to take a ride on her, from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. And what a ride it was: Mother Nature threw lots of messy four- to six-footers at us, with a few eight-footers tossed in clearly for the heck of it, thanks to northeasterly winds gusting in excess of 20 knots. Now, while some of you may be groaning and/or mimicking the same nauseated expressions my friends and family did when I relayed this information, trust me when I say that my normally iffy stomach in these situations wasn’t the least bit disturbed. Thanks to the stabilizers doing their job and Lazzara’s in-house design team, the yacht’s captain comfortably ran us at 21 knots for about an hour and a half. (And I even fell asleep for about 30 minutes of it—seriously. But don’t tell my boss I was sleeping on the job.)

Serenity, which I photographed above during her christening in Fort Lauderdale, will be at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show next week. If you don’t get a chance to see her, look for my feature article in the January issue of Power and Motoryacht.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Contest for Cruising Kids

The National Safe Boating Council is asking for entries for its 2008 Boating Safety Sidekicks Contest "I'm a Safe Boater, Are You?"

Children between the ages of four and 15 and are encouraged to submit stories, posters, or videos that describe how they stay safe on the water. Winners will receive prizes courtesy of West Marine and WithinReach.

For more details and to view last year's winning entries, visit the Boating Safety Sidekicks Web site.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bookworms Wanted

Not that long ago, I became enamored with a series of coffee-table books about travel that I'd seen aboard a yacht I'd toured. Since they weren't esoteric topics, I figured my local bookstores would carry them. Unfortunately, one didn't, and while the other did, the titles were out of stock.

If you're a book nut like me and/or have compiled a collection for your boat's or yacht's bookshelves, surely you've experienced the same situation. And you've likely encountered worse frustration if you've searched for highly collectible or limited-edition titles. A new company feels your pain and intends to make not just your individual title-shopping experience easier, but also your search for hard-to-find editions and even your need for an entire library.

The company is Designarta Books, started by individuals with more than three decades' experience in art publishing. The firm has hundreds of titles about everything from art and architecture to fashion, photography, travel, and lifestyle. I spent some time this morning perusing the Web site, and not only was I delighted to see a book containing vintage posters promoting Italian tourism, but also a photography book about my favorite sport, baseball (go Yankees!). Designarta even has the highly promoted Superyacht book that's selling for a few thousand dollars worldwide.

If you want more than just one or two titles, Designarta Books specializes in creating bespoke libraries, taking care of everything from selecting titles for you based on subjects you specify to delivering them and even setting them up onboard your yacht.

Interested? Designarta Books is extending a ten-percent discount to PMY readers. Enter code PMY1 at checkout on its site. (Note that Designarta Books says its contracts prevent it from applying the discount to collectors' editions but that other books are eligible.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Avoiding the Six Most Common Winterizing Mistakes

BoatU.S. Marine Insurance recently reviewed its claim files and came up with a list of the most common mistakes made when winterizing a boat:

1. Failure to winterize the engine: Freezing temperatures occur in all 50 states and while they are taken seriously up north, it’s the balmy states of California, Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Georgia where boaters are most likely to have freeze-related damage to engine blocks. It routinely occurs to boats stored ashore here. Boats left in a slip are less susceptible to sudden freezing as the surrounding water retains heat longer than air.

2. Failure to drain water from sea strainer: If your winterizing plan calls for draining the engine, the seawater strainer must be winterized or residual water could freeze and rupture the watertight seal. Sometimes you won’t know it’s damaged until spring launching and water begins to trickle in.

3. Failure to close seacocks: For boats left in the water, leaving seacocks open over the winter is like going on extended vacation without locking the house. If a thru-hull cannot be closed the vessel must be stored ashore – the sole exception are cockpit drains. Heavy snow loads can also force your boat under, allowing water to enter thru-hulls normally well above the water line.

4. Clogged petcocks: Engine cooling system petcocks clogged by rust or other debris can prevent water from fully draining. If one is plugged, try using a coat hanger to clear the blockage or use the engine’s intake hose to flush anti-freeze through the system.

5. Leaving open boats in the water over winter: Boats with large open cockpits or low freeboard can easily be pushed underwater by the weight of accumulated ice and snow. Always store them ashore.

6. Using bimini covers as winter storage covers: A cover that protects the crew from the sun does a lousy job protecting the boat from freezing rain and snow. Unlike a bonafide winter cover, biminis tend to rip apart and age prematurely by the effects of winter weather.

Visit the BoatU.S. Web site to get free copies of its Winterizing Guide, which they will send by mail, or through e-mail.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ballast Water Battle

On Thursday, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Bill Nelson (D-Florida) pledged to fight a ballast water permitting scheme that has been much maligned by many in the boating community. In a U.S. District Court case last fall, several environmental groups successfully argued in that ballast water should be government regulated, due to the fact that it introduces non-native species into the water. The ruling was intended to target big, commercial vessels that use and expel large amounts of ballast water. However, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, "The court's ruling also includes boat engine cooling water, bilge water, gray water and common deck runoff—none of which was considered by the court, as the case focused solely on commercial ship ballast water." They add, "The court has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a new, complex and costly permitting scheme for the nation's estimated 18 million boats by September 2008."

Boxer and Nelson share a strong belief that recreational boaters should be exempt from such permitting, and are dedicated to resolving the issue before the 2008 deadline. The senators’ commitment has met with great support from many boating groups, and the NMMA has thrown its hat into the ring. "NMMA, leading a collation of boating and outdoor recreation partners, has created a grassroots website to mobilize the boating community on the ballast water permitting issue," the association said in a recent press release, "It's estimated spending by recreational boaters is responsible for some 855,000 U.S. jobs." For further information from the NMMA and BoatUS, check out BoatBlue.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mega Power

When people refer to engines as being "big iron," they're not kidding—at least in the case of this new 20-cylinder powerplant (emphasis on power) that MTU unveiled last week at the Monaco Yacht Show.

The 20V 4000 M93L series engine produces 5,795 hp, mostly suitable for the 60- to 80-meter (197- to 262-foot) megayacht market, but MTU sees potential even beyond that size range. This latest addition to the 4000 Series is in is in the same power range as the MTU 595 Series engine, which it's intended to replace.

There are a few significant differences between the 20V and the 595 Series. First, it's more compact: about a foot and a half lower in profile and about 3,300 pounds lighter. It's also a common-rail design, so emissions are lower, meeting EPA Tier 2 specifications. And finally, MTU says it's more fuel-efficient, representing a 10-percent fuel savings over the 16V 595.

Four engines have already been sold, according to MTU, with the expected ship-out date in April 2008.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Better Borrow Your Kids' Nintendo

For those headed to the Boston In-Water Boat Show from September 27 to 30, don’t forget to bring your gaming thumbs. The Power Boat Docking Challenge (PBDC) pits you against other competitors to see who has the precision to dock a 4-foot model boat into a slip.

Standing behind the throttles at one end of the 20-foot tank, each competitor is timed to see how quickly he or she can wiggle the boat into the slip and then gun it back out to the other end of the tank through a set of channel markers. Of course, speed is not the only factor. Drivers accrue penalties for every bump of the dock on the way in and out of docking, and these are calculated together with their times to determine a final score.

If you think you’ve got the boat handling skills, competitions are scheduled throughout the day, the first being held at noon on the weekdays and 11 a.m. on the weekend. When entering the Boat Show via the dock, the floor plans show the PBDC in the back left corner. Remember to arrive early to beat crowds.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Two Rescued, Four Crew Still Missing

The captain and crew of the charter boat Be Cool went missing last week shortly after leaving with a charter, CNN reported earlier today. The vessel, a 47-foot sportfishermen, "made several erratic movements before heading south" about halfway into her voyage, according to the vessel's global positioning system (GPS). The boat was found floating 160-miles south of Bimini. The captain, Jake Branam, his wife Kelly Branam, and two crew members, Scott Campbell and Sammy Cary, are among the missing.

The Coast Guard reports it has rescued two of the six missing boaters. The names of the rescued are Guillermo Zarabozo and Kirby Archer. Archer is being investigated, as he has the same name as a man who stole over $90,000 from an Arkansas Wal-Mart back in January. Foul play has not been ruled out.

According to Coast Guard reports, family members reported Joe Cool overdue at approximately 5:45 p.m. Sunday after the vessel failed to return to Miami Beach Marina. The crew of the 110-foot cutter Pea Island found the vessel late Sunday. The cutter's crew said the abandoned vessel was in disarray with the life-raft missing.

Zarabozo and Archer were found by an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter approximately 12 miles north of that location and taken to the cutter Confidence. The Coast Guard immediately began searching with a HC-130 aircraft from Elizabeth City, N.C., the Cutter Confidence, the Cutter Pea Island and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Miami deployed to the Confidence.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Feadship's New Concept Yacht

I'm presently at the Monaco Yacht Show, and yesterday I stopped by Feadship's display to see the model of its latest concept project. You're looking at F-Stream, a decidedly futuristic 55-meter yacht that reflects some innovative thinking on the part of the De Voogt design office, which designs and engineers each Feadship. (It's also the realization of the project Royal De Vries' president Henk De Vries told me about in our exclusive podcast over the summer.)

Out of all the cool features, such as hybrid propulsion and abundant use of glass, the one grabbing the most notice is "The Snug," a.k.a. the cozy sundeck. Why? Take a look at the illustration here: The roof opens or lowers, depending on the owner's mood. Talk about a twist on the ol' sunroof.

If you're at the show, you can see The Snug's roof open and close on the model every seven minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Riviera Launches Three New Models

Australian boatbuilder Riviera Yachts will launch not one, not two, but three new models at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show taking place October 25 to 29, at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center. The debuting boats include 41- and 45-foot flying-bridge vessels (like the one seen here), and a 48-foot offshore express. While Riviera has made great headway in the States with its flying-bridge models, it's been several years since it offered a sleek-looking offshore express boat. Stay tuned as PMY will be reporting live from the Fort Lauderale show with more industry news and reports of the latest launches.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Megayachts Go Dry—and Vertical

Usually when I receive a press release claiming something "defies convention," my reaction is, "Yeah, right." (As if moving a radar arch a few inches or changing the slope of a window by a few degrees is revolutionary.) But when I read the news about how the Vertical Yacht Club Marina Mile, which should begin construction in Fort Lauderdale next summer, will become the first dry-stowage facility for megayachts up to 85 feet, I blinked.

The idea isn't as crazy as some of you may think. After all, if production-boat owners can save maintenance dollars, why can't you? Wet slips are fine if you use your yacht frequently, but if you don't—or if you're among the many owners who's ruing the lack of dock space—dry stowage is a concept whose time has come. And considering the facility will also reportedly withstand hurricane-force winds up to Category 5, it's extra peace of mind.

Being created jointly by Aqua Marine Partners and Vertical Yacht Club Development, the Vertical Yacht Club Marina Mile will house 46 yachts weighing up to 90 tons each in climate-controlled "suites." Upon arrival at the building, your yacht will be picked up by what the developers call the Hercules system, an overhead bridge crane and an open-rack system. You'll have a custom platform as well, which Hercules will transport and store your yacht on and which will slide into the suite via rails. Domestic and European power will be available, and you can opt for a monthly maintenance program to have the facility check your engines, electronics, and other systems are in good shape.

For further details, contact Vertical Yacht Club Development.

All that Glitters

The presentation of the first Horizon Elegance 62 designed by Fiona Swarovski recently took place in Venice, Italy. The boat represents a collaboration between the Horizon Group, Yaretti Motoryachts, and Fiona, who is heiress to the Swarovski estate and an accomplished designer. The collaboration was born when a Yaretti representative met Swarovski at the presentation of her FWS fashion line and was immediately drawn to the heiresses' talent and her warm, sparkling (forgive me) personality.

According to Horizon, the yacht's interior features "fine woods" and "glossy textiles." Swarovski's keen attention to detail is certainly evident throughout—she even helped design the vessel's stunning china. But perhaps the most eye-catching design element of the boat's interior are the hundreds of crystals adorning everything from throw pillows to tables.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Viking 60 Convertible Debuts at Lauderdale

Hold on to your hats because this 60-footer from fishing-focused boatbuilder Viking Yachts is expected to hit 40-knots-plus (46 mph) with optional twin 1,825-hp Caterpillar C32 ACERTS (2/1,550-hp MANs are standard). The vessel's performance and her striking profile should be a favorite among hardcore tournament anglers. That, and perhaps 170 square feet of fish-fighting space, a stylish cockpit mezzanine, a massive bait freezer, which will keep a season's worth of 'hoo on at the ready, a 40-gallon livewell, 53-gallon in-transom fishbox, and much more. An enclosed-bridge version of the 60 will also be available. You can check her out at the Viking display at Bahia Mar during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which starts on Thursday, October 25.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cruise With a President

Well, sort of. This Friday marks the first of a few opportunities that wine enthusiasts will get to experience cruising aboard the famous Presidential yacht Potomac.

The "Floating White House," as the yacht has been nicknamed for some time, has hosted San Francisco Harbor tours and special events for a few years. But she's no dinner cruises ship; she's a registered National Historic Landmark and maintained as a memorial to FDR, who entertained dignitaries and family alike onboard.

The wine tasting, called the Foggy Bridge Wine Cruise, will showcase selections from northern and central California, but of course still allowing attendees to learn about the yacht. The Foggy Bridge Web site, mindful that some people may never have been aboard a boat, wisely states that everyone should wear proper shoes and even adds, "dress as if you are having Sunday brunch with the President on his yacht."

If you can't make the cruise, you can learn more about Potomac by picking up a copy of the November issue of Power & Motoryacht, which hits mailboxes and newsstands in mid-October. Potomac is included in our annual exclusive feature "America's 100 Largest Yachts."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Man Bites Shark...Sort of

In true mob-mentality fashion, a harmless, toothless sand shark was taunted and manhandled by beachgoers off Coney Island over the Labor day weekend. Luckily, lifeguards save fish, too. The lifeguard noted that nearly 100 swimmers were surrounding the fish and some were hitting it. The shark's saviour swam out, took the fish from the unruly group, and then continued swimming to deeper water before releasing it. The sand shark, like the one seen here, is not a threat to man. I've caught and released many of these fish, and they're as docile as your puppy dog.

Granted, there was leftover hysteria from a report of a five-foot wayward thresher washing up on Rockaway Beach a day earlier, but even this shark while toothy and intimidating with its large whiptail, is not a true threat or maneater. In fact it's well-known that threshers come into the shallows during the summer to birth their litters on nearby reefs where food is plentiful for their pups.

Either way, Jaws was 30 years ago, and it's perfectly safe to go back in the water.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Crochet Coral

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world's largest living structure, covering over 130,000 square miles. Unfortunately climate change has become a major threat to the reef, creating environmental concerns like coral bleaching (when stress causes the organism to lose its color, eventually leading to the demise of the coral colony). Some scientists say the reef is in so much danger it could actually disappear within the next 20 years.

Organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace have been working on ways to save the reef for years. And the Institute for Figuring has recently come up with their own creative way of paying homage to the reef—by crocheting a reef made of wool!

This is just one of the many beautiful examples that crocheters from around the world have contributed to the woolen reef. Click here to view photo galleries of other works and to find out more about the threats facing the reef.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Findings at Feadship

I'm presently overseas on a tour of a few shipyards in Holland and Germany, and I thought I'd share some news from my visit to the two Feadship yards today, Royal De Vries and Royal Van Lent.

Perhaps the biggest news is "small" news, specifically the 39- and 45-meter series projects each yard (respectively) has underway. While some people thought adding a semicustom series to each yard's offerings would be risky, it's not adversely affecting them. Royal De Vries has two SL39s (as the series is called) in production, with a third yacht expected to start next year. Royal Van Lent has the second and third launches in its F45 series sitting side by side in one of its build sheds. The first F45, Space, was delivered this summer and should be cruising the Med as you read this.

In fact, Feadship hopes to have the yacht on display at the upcoming Monaco Yacht Show. If negotiations with the owner are successful, you can expect to read my first impressions here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Latrell Sprewell Loses Yacht

Milwaukee's Best has suddenly become Milwaukee's Bust.

Former basketball player Latrell Sprewell had his 70-foot yacht repossessed this week, according to a report in the newspaper Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A federal marshall seized the Azimut, which Sprewell bought in 2003, from a storage facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, after North Fork Bank claimed he was in default on the monthly mortgage payments of $10,322. In fact, North Fork states that the insurance hasn't been maintained either.

Even though Sprewell had the yacht registered to LSF Marine Holdings LLC, court documents apparently show that he guaranteed the bank loan personally. North Fork wants Milwaukee's Best sold so that it can recoup the $1.3 million that it says remains on the loan.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

PMY Podcasts

If you've poked around our Web site lately, you may have noticed we're now featuring podcasts. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. Simply enter "podcast" in the search box at the top of the homepage, and you'll see the lineup we have so far. (You can also download them from iTunes; search for "Power and Motoryacht.") There's my interview with Feadship's Henk De Vries about a new concept project Royal De Vries has in the works, and there's Capt. Bill Pike speaking with Volvo Penta's Clint Moore about a new facility the engine company is building to address the big-yacht and even megayacht markets.

In the next few weeks, we'll have even more. Those of you who enjoy reading "At Sea" will hear a recent column come to life, courtesy of Pike himself, and you'll hear Kim Kavin, our resident charter expert and owner/operator of Charterwave, give advice on how to find a reputable charter broker for your next on-the-water vacation.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Big Weather + Big Seas = Beat Up Boat

Me and the crew onboard the 43 Viking, Blinky III, had just finished fishing the White Marlin Open. We thought it would be good to head home from Ocean City, Maryland, to Long Island, New York, one day early in order to beat some bad weather heading south. The trip home would run 155 miles, and with east winds not predicted to go over 15 knots, our 45-degree heading (once we passed Manasquan, NJ) at 24 knots would have us home in about six or so hours.

Well, the crew was in good spirits as the first 136 miles passed uneventfully with the iPod cranking and memories of the weeklong fishing trip already growing into tall 'tails'. Then the radar lit up the deepest red I've ever seen. It expanded out 24 ugly miles from its center. This was a big thunderstorm moving from the west, which was about to collide with an increasing wind from the east. Our problem: The only place we could go was through the thinnest band in the middle. The storm was moving too slow to wait it out and the east wind was picking up to 25-plus (not predicted). We decided to proceed slow and steady.

The second we crossed into the red zone, we were smacked with a qualified gale on the beam. For the next three hours we slugged our way through 30-35-knot-plus winds, rain, and eight- to 10-foot vertical walls of water smashing down on Blinky. The waves were hitting hard enough to actually push water through the ziplock-tight zippers in the isinglass. It was getting a bit hairy. The vessel literally slid down a couple of larger waves as our speed slowed to four and five knots. The 36,000-pound boat was being tossed like a salad.

We managed to get a call to land to confirm our float plan with a family member, and kept on a 30-minute call schedule to confirm our position. Life jackets were brought out and a secondary life raft was made ready just in case.

Luckily, with four experienced crew onboard and a sturdy boat beneath, we crawled through the storm with little more than some bruised bodies and one more war story to tell.The power of the wind and storm was evidenced in what remained of our brand-new ensign. Old glory had gone from a wonderfully double-stitched expression of freedom to straggly and sad-looking strands of thread in less than 20 miles of heavy wind and big seas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Merrill-Stevens Set to Grow

Megayachts aren't the only things getting bigger these days: The service yards they head to are as well. Case in point, Merrill-Stevens, the Florida-based yard that got a green light for a $55-million expansion in late July.

Located on the Miami River, Merrill-Stevens wants to take over some land adjacent to its current spot to create a yacht-repair staging dock and training/apprentice facilities. While construction won't begin until 2009, when the project is complete, the yard should be able to service yachts to 250 feet.

But refit and repair aren't the only things that will be addressed. In an interesting move, Merrill-Stevens is also emphasizing the beautification of the waterway, so it plans to add two pedestrian paths along the river and dress up the general landscaping of the facility. It also is working with the Historical Museum of Southern Florida to create a historical exhibit space that will include everything from photos to tools used in the marine trades to showcase how the industry has evolved in the state.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

Last Wednesday, a 61-foot Weaver sunk in six feet of water in Alabama’s Perdido Pass. The Tar Baby, as she was known, was en route to the Orange Beach Billfish Classic when her operator ignored a marked channel, opting instead to enter the Pass between the jetties and beach. In doing so, she ran into submerged rocks and ultimately sank in the shallow waters.

Tar Baby’s operator was arrested for boating under the influence, though it remains unclear whether he or a dockhand was running the boat. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained, save (of course) for the boat’s.

Marine Police Public Information officer Rick Miller told the Orange Beach Community Web site, “No one who has been drinking should drive a boat because the water is very unforgiving. And if you are going to drink, you've got to have a operator who is licensed to operate the vessel." Certainly, these photos serve as a good reminder for us all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Summer Cruise

Reality hit as soon as I stepped onto the shaky dock: I was so excited about going on this boat cruise since the beginning of summer that I’d forgotten I get motion sickness.

Luckily, group managing editor Eileen Murphy had come prepared with anti-puke pills, which made the three-hour cruise along the East and Hudson Rivers on PMY’s Cranchi Atlantique 50 named Office Ours so enjoyable. The boat is beautiful and elegant, with cream-colored leather seats in the saloon and aft deck, where I spent most of my time indulging in the breeze while the rest of the gang (or crew) enjoyed the view from every vicinity of the boat. I snapped pictures of practically everything we passed—the Statue of Liberty, the Mayor's mansion hidden behind bushes, which publisher Dennis O'Neill pointed out to me, and five bridges, these being Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan, Queensborough, and George Washington. I can totally see how being out on the water in a luxurious boat can become an addiction; it’s one of the most relaxing things I’ve experienced, and I can’t wait to do it again!

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Vision Indeed

Here's your first look at the new Vision 68 built by Horizon Yachts. She was recently delivered from the yard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to Seattle, as her owner plans to keep her in Canada.

Measuring just shy of 70 feet, she packs a lot into her package, thanks to designer Greg Marshall: four staterooms (each with private heads) below decks and an optional enclosed skylounge with a day head and an observation settee aft of the helm. The 20’6” beam should make all of the spaces comfortable, as should Soundown insulation for vibration and sound control. And expanses of windows in the VIP stateroom and the master stateroom plus a skylight in the saloon keep the interior bright.

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, keep your eyes out for this lady, which is expected to cruise at 15 knots thanks to twin 1,000-hp Caterpillars. She probably won’t be hard to find, considering her owner plans to travel throughout the region with a friend who owns an 82-foot Horizon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Foul Antifoulant

Bottoms up boaters. Starting on January 1st, 2008, the IMO’s zero-tolerance ban on Tributylin (TBT) will be in effect. Prior to 2003, the biocide TBT was a common additive to antifouling, keeping legions of hull growth at bay. Unfortunately, as TBT leached out of the antifouling, it settled on the seabed, where it continued to be effective at suppressing life. High levels of the toxin were found throughout the aquatic food web, including inside the carcasses of poisoned dolphins and otters. And although the effect on these environmental poster-children was grim, TBT's imposition on one mollusk, called the dog whelk, was...let me just say, disturbing: "TBT causes dog whelks to suffer from imposex: females develop male sexual characteristics such as a penis. This causes them to become infertile or even die. In severe cases males can develop egg sacs."

Although an IMO ban on applying TBT to vessels has been active since 2003, the upcoming 2008 ban will go further, requiring any vessel with TBT in its antifouling to have its bottom either sealed with an approved sealant or stripped and repainted. Vessels over 24 meters (~79 ft) and under 400 gross tons will be required to have both a TBT-free antifouling certificate and documentation of the work (ie: a paint receipt, etc.)

The European Union has surpassed the IMO's ban with even stricter legislation; if your vessel attempts to voyage through European waters without TBT-free antifouling, she may be subject to a fine and will not be allowed to enter any port.

Even without Europe on your itinerary, if your vessel's bottom has not been repainted in the past 5 years, it’s time to adjust the lift's slings for a haul-out. As you open your wallet to purchase the updated paint, just remember this: an androgynous whelk is a friend to no man.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Fitting Tribute

From Saturday, August 4th to the 11th, West Marine will celebrate National Coast Guard Day by offering a ten percent discount to the USCG on all retail and Port Supply transactions. Coast Guard personnel need only show proof of membership to qualify for the discount.

We applaud West Marine’s effort to honor the contributions of the US Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Power Squadron. And of course, we thank the Coast Guard for all that they do.

Antique Boat Stamps Coming To a Post Office Near You

When I was little I had a sticker collection. It drove my mom crazy because I’d buy every cool-looking sticker in the store, but they all just went into my little box because I reasoned they were too precious to be actually stuck on something. Oh, kids.

But the fascination with images on sticky paper continues well into adulthood, except adults call them postage stamps instead of stickers. Those who love stamps and antique boats are in for a treat this Saturday when the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York, hosts the United States Postal Service’s First Day Issue Ceremony of newly designed Vintage Mahogany Speedboat stamps. The stamps feature photographs of four antique speedboats—a 1915 Hutchinson Brothers Launch, a 1931 Gar Wood triple cockpit runabout, a 1939 Hacker-Craft, and a 1954 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout. The ceremony honors the new stamps with historical reflections provided by Anthony S. Mollica, author of Gar Wood Boats: Classics of a Golden Era and American Wooden Runabout. Admission is open to the public and begins at 5 p.m. You can pick up the stamps at your local post office, and add them to your sticker collection.

For more information, see the Vintage Mahogany Speedboat stamps press release.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Super Achievers

Each year the International Superyacht Society (ISS) bestows design awards on a handful of yachts, noting them for achievement in engineering, style, and performance. The finalists for this year's competition were announced earlier today, and judging from the list below, there's going to be a tough battle.

Without further ado, the nominees are:

BEST POWER, 23 to 32 meters:
Royal Denship's 85 Flybridge
Azzura Yachts' Cambria II
Moonen's Far Niente
Bloemsma & Van Breemen's Griffoen
Danish Yacht's Moon Goddess

BEST POWER, 32 to 43 meters:
Royal Huisman's Arcadia
Broward 120
JFA Shipyard's Bystander
Alloy's Como
Moonen's My Issue

BEST POWER, 43 meters +:
Feadship's April Fool
Alstom's Kogo
Lurssen's Oasis
Nobiskrug's Triple Seven
Royal Denship's Turmoil

The winner in each category will be announced on October 25. In the meantime, let the guessing games begin. Who do you think will win? Who do you want to win? (Sometimes they're not one in the same, after all.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cool Cruisin' Cruzin Cooler

I laughed right out loud when my Mom sent me the link for this motorized cooler, who in turn got it from a friend who lives on a houseboat in the Carolinas. But you know what? The person who created it is probably laughing his or her way to the bank, because the Cruzin Cooler is being used on more than one dock around the country right now.

The electric-powered cooler (gasoline models not yet available) can carry a person weighing up to 250 pounds, though apparently it's been tested to 540 pounds. The cooler itself can hold two cases of soda, beer, etc. plus upwards of eight pounds of ice. Even with a load, the Cruzin Cooler can scoot along at 13 mph.

To learn more or order one, for $349, click here.