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.