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.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hatteras' Boat Handling Class

The First Annual Hatteras Expo was held last week at the builder's plant in New Bern, North Carolina. Not only did attendees get to tour the Hatteras fleet, they were also invited to participate in hands-on activities. One such activity was a basic boat handling workshop taught by our own senior editor Capt. Ken Kreisler. The workshop took place aboard Hatteras' 50-foot sportfish and, we're happy to note, most of the attendees were women.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good Enough to Eat

Every now and then, when Richard Thiel deems our behavior worthwhile of a reward (such as being permitted to leave our cubicles to see sunshine), we here at Power & Motoryacht kick back and relax. We did that earlier this week, to celebrate the release of our annual August issue article "The World's 100 Largest Yachts," now known as the Power & Motoryacht 100. It's a big attention-getter each year, and it's already being noticed by the likes of Dow Jones' Marketwatch.

So what better way to celebrate than by diving into the all-chocolate cake pictured here? Even the cleat and anchor were edible. It didn't last too long with this crowd (not that we're sugar addicts or anything...). Custom-created by Craving Something Sweet, it mimicked our August cover.

If you haven't gotten your issue yet, what are you waiting for? Run, don't walk, to your local bookstore, or log on to our Web site to see who's #1 (and even #100).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Finals for Fido

From August 10-12, the 2007 World Championship Boatyard® Dog Trials will be held in Rockland, Maine during the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show. Yes, you heard me—the Boatyard Dog Trials. And I have it on good authority they’re a total blast to watch.

So, what’s a dog gotta do to take top prize at such an illustrious event? It turns out, quite a lot. First, each dog must complete a rigorous dockside obstacle course. Next, he or she must master a tricky dinghy-hopping trial. And lastly, each contestant has to show off a special talent in the all-important freestyle event. In past years, dogs have shone in this last section by executing spot-on Elvis impressions.

This year’s contestants include (among others) a border collie, a yellow lab, and last year’s champion, Soldado, who hails from Culebra. What are these entrants going to be judged on? Both the handler and dog must finish the trials totally soaked. Other than that, they’ll simply be judged on their pizzazz.

The bottom line? This event promises to be a real riot. So, if you’re a dog-fan and find yourself in Rockland mid-August, do yourself a favor and go check it out. Woof.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Forget the Boat, Check Out the Pool

We yacht enthusiasts aren't the only ones who e-mail each other photos of boats we've seen in our travels. This series of pix is making the rounds on Wall Street right now, with the subject line "Larry Ellison's small boat." Seems somebody saw Rising Sun in his/her travels to Italy this summer and has hedge fund managers and denizens of the trading desks gawking over the tender—specifically, how something that's considered by many to be an aspirational boat is merely a toy for Ellison.

The funniest part is, I didn't even notice the tender—I can't stop gawking at the kiddie pool on the aft deck.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Women on Water

Earlier this week, I braved the NYC traffic and headed to Liberty Landing Marina to participate in a beginner boating class for women. Women on Water is a program created by MarineMax. The aim of these free, four-hour-long seminars is to teach women (who all too often leave the boat handling to men) how to run a boat.

My class was small, due in large part to the rather nasty weather. It was an oppressively hot morning and the afternoon forecast was for rain. The good news was that the limited numbers meant more personal attention for us all. We started indoors with a classroom discussion. Our very able instructor, Capt. Merrill Miller (see photo, with a member of my class), a US Coast Guard licensed 100 ton Master, covered some basics. And because we were a particularly inexperienced crew, I mean basics. We took turns tying lines with everyone chanting, "round and round and reverse loop."

After that, we got on our boat, a Sea Ray 44 Sundancer. Each woman took turns maneuvering her around the marina and then out towards the Statue of Liberty. Capt. Miller was great—informative and lively—and I could see the benefits of being in an all-female class. There was no pressure or judgment. We were all in it together.

At the end of the day Capt. Miller’s message was clear—there’s nothing inherently difficult about running a boat. All it takes is a little practice, patience, and perhaps a trip to one of MarineMax’s Women on Water classes.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Fun and (Mine) Games

Given how polished these computer-generated illustrations look, the owner of Mine Games will probably be floored when he sees the finished product.

Currently in build at Trinity Yachts, the 164-footer features the interior handiwork of Patrick Knowles Designs. There will be a multitude of architectural details, such as hand-forged black iron railings, intricate marble inlays, and hand-painted murals and overheads. Cherry, maple burl, and bubinga woods will provide a dramatic backdrop for the combo bar-saloon (top image) and split-level master suite as well as the rest of the yacht, which will also accommodate 11 guests and ten crew.

Exterior areas aren't left out of the equation: Furniture will range from teak to woven materials with a deep Java chocolate finish.

Maybe it's because I'm posting this at lunchtime, but that sounds good enough to eat.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Customer Service Awards

I don’t think I’ll be taking a particularly controversial stance by asserting that customer service is a big, big deal. No matter how great the product, if you’re dealing with lousy service, your buying experience is bound to be a painful one. That's particularly true when it comes to buying a boat or an engine—shoddy service can lead to a lot of hair pulling.

On the flip side, great service is, well, really great. Today, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced their 2007 Marine Industry CSI (Customer Service Index) award winners. The CSI awards recognize boatbuilders and engine manufacturers that maintained a customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent or higher in 2006-2007. This year, 64 boatbuilders and manufacturers were acknowledged and we salute them. Keeping customers happy isn’t always easy, but it sure is important.

Here are just a few of the big winners (see the 2007 CSI Award Recipients for a complete list).

Albemarle Boats
(Inboard Fishing Express Boats)

Carver Yachts
(Inboard Motor Yachts & Trawlers)

Grady-White Boats Inc.
(Fiberglass Outboard Boats)

Honda Marine
(Outboard Engines)

Regal Marine
(Sterndrive Cuddy Express Boats)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Fourth of July on a Boat

With so many different ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, how do you choose? If you're one of the 73 million boaters in the U.S., you'll probably want to watch the fireworks from your own aft deck. Here are a few cruising spots where you can get a front-row view of the festivities, courtesy of Discover Boating:

Austin, Texas: Rent a kayak or bring your own boat and enjoy beautiful symphony music while you watch the fireworks display on Austin's Town Lake. (July 4, 9:30 p.m., Zilker Park)

Chicago, Illinois.: From Lake Michigan you can see Chicago's skyline illuminated with background accompaniment by the Grant Park Orchestra and U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants. (July 4, 9 p.m., Grant Park)

Los Angeles, California: Head over to Marina Del Ray for free family fun and an exciting fireworks display. (July 4, 9 p.m., Marina Del Ray)

Memphis, Tennesse: The Beale Street Fourth of July celebration offers great food, live music, and, of course, a grand finale of fireworks over Tom Lee Park. (July 4, 9 p.m., Tom Lee Park)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee's annual Summerfest returns to defend its title of Discover Boating’s "2006 Top City to Watch Fourth of July Fireworks from a Boat." Cruise out on Lake Michigan for the best view of the U.S. Bank fireworks show. (July 3, 9:30 p.m., Veterans Park)

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Broadway at the Beach has everything you need for a fabulous Fourth of July celebration. Check out the entertainment megaplex, featuring shops, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, a miniature golf course, Ripley's Aquarium, and a 23-acre lake. (July 4, 10 p.m., Broadway at the Beach over Lake Broadway)

New York, New York: Prepare to be dazzled by Macy's half-hour celebration featuring more than 35,000 pyrotechnic shells. It's the biggest Fourth of July fireworks display in the nation. The best view is from the East River. (July 4, 9 p.m., East River between 23rd & 42nd Streets)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.: July 4 isn't just about music, fun, and fireworks in the city of our nation's birth, it's also about history, which you can honor by visiting the Liberty Bell and Independence Mall before cruising the Delaware River to witness a roaring fireworks display. (July 4, 8:30 p.m., along the Delaware River)

These are fun ideas, but I'm sure you have a few of your own. How do you plan to celebrate, and what is your idea of the perfect Independence Day bash? Do you have a traditional way of spending the the Fourth of July, or memories of past celebrations that stand out? Please share with us!

Reefrunner 70

Outer Reef Yachts, a company noted for its line of large passagemaking vessels, is launching a new line of fast deep-V motoryachts. The Reefrunner series will offer vessels ranging in size from 55 to 80 feet LOA. The first Reefrunner to launch will be the 70-footer you see here. This vessel can be built as a sedan or in a flying-bridge configuration offering three or four staterooms. With standard 1,550-hp Caterpillar diesels, the Reefrunner 70 should be able to hit a 35-knot cruise speed and top out in the 40-knot range.

The World Marinas

If you were a marina, where would you be? Of course, you wouldn’t be just any marina; you’d be top-notch: the George Clooney or Julia Roberts of marinas, and you’d want the best spot the world had to offer.

In that case, The World, the group of islands off the coast of Dubai, is the place to be. And they’re getting exceptional marinas under the management of Island Global Yachting (IGY), a leading developer of luxury marina facilities and the exclusive provider of design, development, and management services for Nakheel, the property development firm that created The World.

The partnership will entail 40,000 new marina slips in Nakheel’s $30-billion waterfront development, which will “establish Dubai as a global yachting destination and facilitate the growth of the marina industry in the Middle East,” says Andrew L. Farkas, founder and CEO of Island Capital Group, an affiliate of IGY. Not a bad move on IGY’s part, considering Nakheel’s project is establishing itself as the star destination for business and luxury tourism.

So now the question is, if you were an IGY marina, in which “country” of The World would you be located?