Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lining Up for Dealer Certification

Although social networking is a popular reason to log on to the Web, the Marine Dealership Certification Program—hoping the industry uses the Web to its advantage—is now offering a series of online Launch Workshops. The idea beyond the virtual workshops is to make it more convenient for dealerships to earn the Marine Industry Certified designation, at a reduced cost.

Signing on for a Launch Workshop is the first step in the certification process—which explains the program requirements and provides the tools need to complete the process. "The new Web-based workshops provide exactly what the dealers themselves told us they wanted: A quality program with an eye toward keeping the dealers' program costs as low as possible," explained Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America and vice president of Marine Certification Inc.

With the new format, more dealership employees can participate without having to travel to attend classes because they can log on from their office computer. The workshops with take place over the course of two consecutive days. The Web-based Launch Workshops will be offered January 20-21, February 24-25, March 17-18, April 7-8, April 21-22, and May 12-13.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rule Change

Just in time for the winter boat show season, boatbuilders and dealers are getting some relief from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. NMMA's executive committee voted today to temporarily relax the non-current show policy for the 2009 winter boat show season. The association's show committee originally made the recommendation.

Under existing rules, exhibitors are only allowed to display 20 percent of their previous model year products at any 2009 NMMA winter boat show. However, in a move to help dealers sell their existing stock, that limit has been raised to 50 percent, according to a release from the NMMA.

"The NMMA show committee, executive committee and staff understand the economic realities currently facing the boating industry and believe this one-time policy change will give dealers a prime opportunity to sell more product at boat shows over the next few months," explains NMMA executive vice president Ben Wold.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Equity Boost

Riviera, a luxury boatbuilder based in Australia, is taking steps to weather the global economic storm, and those steps include getting a financial shot in the arm.

After a strategic and operation review of the current economic climate, and its resulting slowdown in demand, the builder received an injection of new equity from its institutional investors which include Ironbridge and Greshman Private Equity, according to a Riviera statement. The financing arrangement, which includes a new three-year debt facility, provides the management team with greater flexibility as it responds to the challenges in today's global market, CEO John Anderson said. Riviera did not release the amount of the new equity.

Anderson noted Riviera's "encouraging" sales performance at international trade shows in the latter part of 2008; however, he expects the market in general to continue to slow as a result of the overall economic situation.

"We believe our new banking arrangements provide the business with greater operational flexibility and a more stable platform from which to build the business over the medium term and that the support of our bankers and institutional investors clearly reflects the underlying strength of the Riviera business," he added.

In addition, the builder is making changes to its executive team, appointing Ly-Eng to chief financial officer and Les Galbraith to managing director of the company's Australian retail organization R Marine. Former managing director Tim Sayer is moving up to new position of director of global sales and marketing. Also, Michael Burke climbs the ladder to director of operations.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long-Range Goals

Ocean Explorer 125

Platinum Marine Services is not just dipping its toe into the long-range exploration pool; it is jumping in feet first. The full-service shipyard in Vancouver, British Columbia is teaming up with Bray Yacht Design for the new 125-foot Ocean Explorer series.

Ocean Explorer 125 will be the workhorse of the two new designs, featuring a large open aft that has the ability to carry a helicopter, submarine, or large fishing tenders. The Explorer Yacht, the second in the series, favors a larger interior living space. Both vessels feature the master suite on the main deck and for guest staterooms on the lower level. Both can also accommodate up to six crewmembers.

According to Platinum Marine, the semi-displacement hull with a seven-foot draft was model-tested at the Ocean Engineering Centre in Vancouver for power selection and sea keeping. The bulbous bow and dynamic hull shape continues naval architect Patrick Bray's work with super fuel-efficient technology. Both the Ocean Explorer 125 and the Explorer Yacht have a range of 6,500 miles at a 12-knot cruise speed and a top speed of 20 knots.

Pat Logue takes WBS Grand Championship

Pat Logue took the World Billfish Series Grand Championship last week, winning himself a bronze Grander Marlin trophy by marine artist Geoffrey Smith, a custom gold champion’s ring, the keys to a new 2009 Mercedes C-300 automobile, and the title of WBS World Champion of Billfishing.

Logue, from Cape Coral, Florida, was fishing out of Costa Rica aboard his 74-foot Viking Convertible First Strike. The top angler managed 1,000 points with two blue marlin and two sailfish releases.

In second place was Napa, California, angler Larry Drivon, fishing aboard the 42-foot Maverick, Dragin’ Fly. Drivon released six sailfish on the final day to score 600 points, taking home a custom crystal trophy and a custom Joseph Henry timepiece.

Finding third place was Costa Rica’s native son and the 2007 WBS World Champion, Mainor Oporto.

Tax Relief on the Horizon?

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which represents the United States' recreational boating industry, has announced its plans to lead a 71-member coalition in petitioning Congress for the extension of the net operating loss (NOL) carryback period from two to five years. The hope, the association argues, is that in doing so, Congress will "help businesses suffering from tough economic times."

An NOL is a period of time during which a company's expenses exceed its revenues, thus resulting in a negative taxable income. According to a press release from the NMMA, a company can currently opt to use its NOL to offset the taxes it owes on profits from the previous two years. It would like to see that period extended by three years. The rationale behind providing such a carryback period is simple: Businesses are required to pay taxes when they earn money, therefore, they are also are deserving of some form of tax relief if they begin to lose it.

"Congress has used NOL carryback relief in the past to help manufacturers, retailers, and companies across all sectors," NMMA president Thom Dammrich has explained. "We encourage legislators to use this tool again to enable these companies to retain jobs and avoid going out of business."

To that end, the association states that in the coming weeks, it (and its coalition partners) will meet with leaders in Congress and members of President-elect Obama's transition team to press for the extension. An extension aimed, as the NMMA puts it, at "ensur[ing] that the appropriate tax relief is enacted in a timely manner."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Newport Yachts 71

Here is the Newport Yachts' 71SS4 going through sea trials this week in Taiwan. The planing-hull-designed 71 is equipped with Quad Volvo IPS engines/drives. According to the builder, the quad engines burned 40 gph at 31 knots (35.65 mph). At 20 knots (23 mph), the fuel burn was reported to be 17 gph. Top speed was just under 32 knots (36.8 mph) and there's still some prop tweaking to take place,which could add another knot or two to the top end of this big cruiser.

This solid-fiberglass-bottomed boat is built to meet ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) specifications and to ISO9001 standards to assure a consistent level of quality control.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


There’s been a limited recall on ACR GlobalFixlM iPRO EPIRBs. Here’s the notice:

Posted December 5, 2008

ACR has discovered that a small percentage of GlobalFix™ iPRO™ EPIRBs may not activate manually and has decided to issue a limited recall notice. The condition could exist in a maximum of 400 units built within serial number range of 1000 to 1688. If you own or have a GlobalFix™ iPRO™ that falls within this serial number range you should contact ACR's Customer Service department immediately at +1-854-862-2110 or at

ACR discovered that some of the witness seal tabs require the application of excessive force to put the switch into the correct position when manually activating the EPIRB. The water activation feature works separately and is not affected by the manual switch. The manual switch assembly needs to be reworked on a maximum of 400 units to insure that the switch and witness seal will activate as designed and intended. The 400 units potentially affected by this problem fall into the serial number range of 1000 -1688. If your GloblaFix™ iPRO™ serial number falls outside this range, then your GlobalFix™ iPRO™ is not affected by this notice. The 400 units could be of either the PIN 2846 Category I (automatic deploy) or PIN 2848 Category II (manual deploy) model.

This condition does not occur in any other ACR EPIRB model. This recall is limited to only the GlobalFix™ iPRO™ units falling within the serial number range of 1000 to 1688.

For more information or to obtain a Return Authorization contact:
ACR Customer Service
Telephone: +1-854-862-2110 (in the USA: 1-800-432-0227, ext. 2110)

Tragic Accident off Montauk

An ordinary father-son fishing trip turned deadly last weekend 12 miles off Montauk Point, New York. The son, Cody McMillan watched helplessly as his father Marty was pulled into the cold water by the anchor line. Mr. McMillan was not wearing a life jacket when he tossed the anchor overboard. The line got tangled around his leg and he was dragged over.

The son fired a flare into the sky and called the Coast Guard. The Mayday call was heard by the USCG at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Fishing boat Capt. John DeMaio was about a hundred yards away when he heard the call. He rushed over and helped pull the father’s body from the choppy waters.

DeMaio had begun cardiopulmonary resuscitation when the Coast Guard arrived. Marty McMillan was taken back to shore, where he died at Southampton Hospital.

For more on the story click here.

Boat Blaze on the Hudson

A vessel caught fire this morning Lincoln Harbor Marina in Weehawken, New Jersey, says news station NBC New York. Emergency crews arrived around 7:30 a.m., and although early reports noted one body aboard, subsequent interviews with deputy police chief Jeffrey Fulcher stated no one was injured (the latter is correct). Black smoke billowed over the Hudson River and could be seen for miles. Traffic slowed in the nearby Lincoln Tunnel as drivers watched the flames.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. More information to come.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Charity Cruise for the Holidays

Yacht owners in Tacoma, Washington, got into the spirit of the holiday season with a Christmas Cruise for charity. According to an article in Tacoma’s News Tribune, dozens of boat owners from two local yacht clubs, as well as the U.S. Army, donated sea time to people with disabilities. Some 200 guests boarded the flotilla in Gig Harbor for a few hours of sightseeing. The largest vessel in the fleet was the Army’s 174-foot Malvern Hill, a landing ship.

The endeavor, which is in its 25th year, cost about $4000; the funds were pooled together by volunteers. For more on the story, click here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whale Collisions Mean Speed Restrictions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a new regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales. Starting December 9, 2008, all vessels 65 feet (19.8m) or greater (subject to the jurisdiction of the United States) will be subject to a 10-knot speed restriction during certain times and locations, also known as Seasonal Management Areas (SMAs).

Right whales can collide with vessels which potentially results in serious injuries or death. On average, two of these mammals per year suffer from collision-related injuries. The current right whale population only ranges from 300 to 400. Additionally, vessels can be damaged or passengers may lose their footing or even be thrown from a boat during a collision.

All instances of significant vessel damage were reported from vessels traveling faster than 10 knots. Studies suggest that severe injuries to a whale can be decreased when vessel speed is 10 knots or less.

If it is necessary to deviate from the 10-knot speed restriction, the reason, speed, latitude and longitude of the area, and time and duration of the deviation, must be entered into the vessel’s logbook, which must be signed and dated by the vessel’s master.

Nautical charts, a compliance guide, and additional information is available at

Monday, December 1, 2008


Nordhavn’s 56-foot Motorsailer (see “The Return of the Motorsailer?” July 2008) splashed this week at the company’s headquarters in Dana Point, California. The boat was unloaded in San Diego Harbor after being shipped from it’s construction in Taiwan. The sailing rig will be added later.

According to Jim Leashman, Pacific Asian Enterprise’s chief of design, ““She’s more slippery and sleeker than what we’re used to. With the sailboat underbody she effortlessly and quietly motors along at nine to ten knots.”

The vessel will be make it’s debut at the San Diego Boat Show in February. For more information, visit Nordhavn’s Web site here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai Terrorist Attacks Claim Life of Yachting Mogel

Andreas Liveras, owner of the Liveras Yachts and one of England's richest men, was a victim of the terrorist attacks that took place this past week in Mumbai, India. He was at the Taj Hotel for a meal, according to the BBC. The hotel was one of the primary targets of the terrorists.

Liveras Yachts
owns the 280-foot Alysia and 295-foot Lauren L (see PMY's World's 100 Largest Yachts, numbers 27 and 22, respectively). They each charter for around €500,000 a week. More information on his boats is located at the company’s Web site. For more on the story, click here.

He is survived by his four children.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New On The Scene

Cutting begins on the first steel sheet for the Bandido 148.

The steel megayacht market can now count one more among its members. To mark the event, the Horizon Group held a traditional Chinese ceremony for the start of the construction of the Bandido 148 Explorer Megayacht—a move that brings the boatbuilder into a new era by growing its model lines to include the steel luxury megayacht market. The steel hull and aluminum superstructure will be delivered in 2010.

The latest addition, under construction at Premier Shipyard, is a result of collaboration among the Horizon-Premier team, its dealer Drettman GmbH in German, and designer Juan Carlos Espinosa. Espinosa was tapped to design Horizon's first steel megayacht following the success of the Premier 130 and Bandido 75. The Bandido 148 will meet BV Classification, ICE Class, and MCA LY2 Compliance. The vessel will be powered by twin MTU 12V4000M60 1,800-hp engines, and reach a maximum speed of 15.6 knots, a cruising speed of 12 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles. The Bandido 148 will also will feature ABT’s TRAC stabilizers and four 22-square-foot fins driven by TRACSTAR technology will provide stability when at anchor or underway.

The first Bandido 148 Explorer Megayacht will have accommodations for eight guests in four staterooms on the lower deck amidships. Eight crewmembers will be situated in four cabins—with private bathrooms–forward, plus laundry facilities and a crew's lounge. The full-beam master suite with a king-size bed, office, and his and hers bath with a Jacuzzi can be found on the main deck forward. A large galley, full-beam dining saloon and main saloon are also located on the main deck.

Moving to the upper deck you will find the pilothouse and the captain’s stateroom, a large skylounge, an exercise room and a sauna, both which are designed with fold-down balconies. The Bandido 148 will accommodate an atrium staircase connecting all levels plus an expansive flying bridge with spa pool for ten, lounging areas, bar and dining amenities. In addition, the tender will be housed in a garage aft of the engine room and accessed via a hydraulic garage door off the transom.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tis the Season

The holidays are upon us, if you can believe it, which means that it's that time of year again. Time for family, time for food, and time for festivities. And for many of us, its also time to reach out and give something back.

Well, it seems that the pre-holiday spirit recently took hold at the Daiwa Corporation: The tackle-manufacturing giant announced it was donating $10,000 to the FishAmerica Foundation."We wish to make this donation in support of FishAmerica's invaluable work in habitat and sport fish restoration," said vp of sales Terry Pederson. "As we and others who have been in this industry for so long realize, our hobby and livelihood could not exist without strong stewardship of our sport fishery."

Now that's a gift that promises to keep on giving...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Change Is in the Air

Brunswick Corporation is making some strategic organizational moves to strengthen its operations internationally and to ensure the continued integrity and quality of its Hatteras Collection.

William Naumann is taking the role of chairman of the Hatteras Collection, effective immediately. He will be charged with, among other things, leading the efforts to build upon relations with dealers, customers, and suppliers. Naumann retired from Hatteras in 2006. In addition, James Meyer is stepping up to president-Hatteras Collection, replacing Keri Theophilus. Meyer was formerly vice president-product development, supply chain and business integration for the Brunswick Boat Group. Both Naumann and Meyer will report to Dustan E. McCoy, Brunswick's chairman and chief executive officer.

In turn, Theophilus is taking a new assignment in Brunswick International; however, details were not released at this time. He will report to John Pfeifer, president-Brunswick Marine in Europe, Middle East and Asia.

“These actions are a testament to the managerial bench strength and resources we have at our disposal at Brunswick, both from within and outside the company,” McCoy said in a company release announcing the moves. Meyer joined Brunswick in 2006 from the Ford Motor Company. Theophilus, who joined Brunswick in 2007, had most recently worked for Samsung Petrochemicals, a joint venture between BP and Samsung based in Seoul. Naumann, who led Hatteras for nine years, recently had been heading up a number of civic and philanthropic activities in retirement.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Undercover Anglers Nab Non-Compliant Captains

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has charged Viking Starship Inc. with illegal fishing.

State officers and federal agents posed as patrons aboard charter vessels operating in New Jersey and New York. During these undercover operations, two charter operators, Jerome E. Hurd of Avalon, New Jersey, and Steven N. Forsberg of Montauk, New York, caught striped bass in federal waters with patrons. Forsberg, the owner of the F/V Viking Starship, and Hurd were also charged with submitting false oral or written statements about the catch to authorized federal officers. Forsberg and Hurd were each issued potential fines, $30,000 and $25,000, respectively. For Forsberg, the NOAA mandated a 30-day permit suspension.

Possessing, fishing, and harvesting of Atlantic striped bass, a prized sport fish, is illegal in federal waters, which exist beyond a states’ three-mile offshore boundary. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have been trying to manage the declining population of striped bass in state waters, and the government banned commercial fishing this valued fish species since 1990.

Sunken Pirates

An Indian naval vessel, the INS Tabar, stopped a suspected pirate ship off the Coast of Oman. When the officers tried to search the vessel, pirates fired upon them. Guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers were visible on the upper deck of the pirate’s ship. Once fired upon, the Tabar struck back, which set off explosions onboard, and consequently sank the pirate “mothership.” These motherships are often large vessels, used as bases to strike merchant vessels or to take smaller attack vessels and their pirate crews into deep water shipping lanes.

Following the firefight, the Tabar followed two suspect speedboats in that were originally being towed. One speedboat escaped while the other had been abandoned.

So far this year, 95 ships have been attacked in the Gulf of Aden. Thirty-nine of these have been hijacked. Attacks are spreading farther south off the Kenyan coast and farther north into the Gulf of Aden.

Noel Choong, the head of the Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia said, “The risks are low and returns are extremely high for these pirates.” Pirates receive millions of dollars in ransom for these acts without the consequences of prosecution. Seventeen of the reportedly hijacked vessels remain in the control of the pirates, along with 300 crew members.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Itchin' to go Fishin'?

It may be getting cold in many parts of the country, but the Florida Keys is heating up on the fishing front. And to prove it, the 45th-Annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament will take place next month. So before you pick up that snow shovel, maybe you should pick up a plane ticket and head to the sportfishing capital of the world for a little kite-flying, fish-flying action.

The 45th-Annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament will kick-off on December 4. Fishing takes place December 5-7. The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is a light-tackle tournament using 12-pound test line.

Entry fee for the first angler is $600.00 and $500.00 for each additional angler. Junior anglers under the age of 16 can enter for $200.00. All winning anglers and winning crews receive a trophy. The tournament also has trophies for Most Outstanding Catch other than a sailfish, largest tuna, king mackerel and dolphin.

The Whale Harbor Inn and Marina will host the event. Whether you are a seasoned angler or just wish to hook a billfish for thrill of a lifetime, the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is a great way to do so. The gala awards dinner on Sunday night at Whale Harbor's new Braza Lena Brazilian Steak House culminates with trophies and prizes for the tournament winners.

The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is the first leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship. The The Gold Cup series includes the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament and the Islamorada Fishing Clubs Sailfish Tournament. The Gold Cup Series has a limited entry of 30 boats. Space is still available for the Gold Cup Series. Check out all the information under Florida Keys Gold Cup at

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Amazing Dolphin Trick

We all knew dolphins are playful, but blowing bubbles? And then turning those bubbles into spinning rings? See the footage below:

And here's an explanation someone sent, "these silver rings...are 'air-core vortex rings'. Invisible, spinning vortices in the water are generated from the tip of a dolphin's dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly and turning. When dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into a closed ring. The higher velocity fluid around the core of the vortex is at a lower pressure than the fluid circulating farther away. Air is injected into the rings via bubbles released from the dolphin's blowhole. The energy of the water vortex is enough to keep the bubbles from rising for a reasonably few seconds of play time."

Friday, November 7, 2008

She's Baaack! (And Open.)

For those of you who'll be in or around the Big Apple this weekend, here's something to consider: Tomorrow, after an extensive two-year renovation, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will reopen its doors to visitors. According to the the museum's Web site, the new and improved facility will include interactive exhibits, restored aircraft, dry-docking, a paint job for the former USS Intrepid, and more. Plus, the first 1,000 visitors will get a coin commemorating the ship's return. The museum opens just in time for Veterans Day (Tuesday, November 11th) when it will host a ceremony that's slated to be attended by President George W. Bush, New York Governor David Paterson, and some 2,500 veterans.

Bid On A Boat

For those boaters with some cash to spare and buying a boat on their mind, there may never be a better time to find the vessel of your dreams. And there are many ways to do so: brokers are offering great incentives to purchase late-model inventory and used boats are everywhere.

But there is another place to find great boat deals, too : This Web site is dedicated to selling boats via bid. The vessels for sale are acquired through repossession, salvage, and some are brokerage product.

The inventory list is updated every week, with bidding ending every Monday. Just visit the site and you can bid on anything from the 23-foot Gray White and 39-foot Topaz pictured here to the 515-foot passenger ship as well. Happy boat shopping.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Allied Marine

Ferretti Yachts recently procured an esteemed boat dealer, Allied Richard Bertram Marine Group, an acquisition which will enable the Italian yacht company to sell directly to U.S. buyers.

The recently established company, Allied Marine, intends to sell American-made Tiara yachts in addition to Ferretti's nine lines of luxury yachts.

Previously, MarineMax was Ferretti's sole U.S. dealer, and as the country's largest boat dealer, it provided stability in a declining economy. Ferretti's contract with MarineMax expired this year, ­they chose to not renew.

MarineMax's general manager, Bob Fritsky, stated that it will direct more focus towards selling luxury yachts from another reputable Italian builder, Azimut.

The new president of Allied Marine, Rob McDougal, recognizes that it is an arduous time to become a dealer, but is ultimately optimistic and enthused about "providing a higher level of service and being closer to the customer."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hybrid Discount

As boaters continue to search for ways to beat see sawing gas prices and, at the same time, become more eco-friendly, their efforts are now being met with at least one reward. Travelers offers the industry’s first hybrid boat insurance discount—up to 10% on hybrid boat and yacht insurance. “Hybrid vessels are using the latest, state-of-the-art technology in the marine industry,” says Chantal Cyr, vice president of the Boat and Yacht Division for Travelers.

The move comes as several versions of hybrid boats enter marinas around the world, including the Island Pilot DSe Hybrid, which is currently making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. “Travelers marine specialists thoroughly reviewed the functionality and operation of hybrid boats currently in the marketplace,” adds Cyr. “Our research suggests boat manufacturers will begin incorporating hybrid designs into different models to provide a hybrid option similar to what’s taking place in the automotive industry.”

Travelers defines hybrid boats as those with an integrated propulsion system that incorporates both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor in its original design. For more on hybrid boats, and an in-depth look at the Island Pilot DSe Hybrid, look for Power & Motoryacht’s special January Engines Issue.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It’s Officially for Megayachts

Megayacht owners now have a new port of call on the West Coast with the Port of San Diego’s official launch of its megayacht mooring facility along San Diego's bayfront Embarcadero. Situated on more than 200,000 square feet of water between the Grape Street piers and the San Diego Maritime Museum, the facility offers up to eight spots for megayachts between 100 and 400 feet.

This past summer, the Port of San Diego’s board of commissioners awarded a two-year lease to San Diego Mooring Company to manage the facility. The deal runs through June 30, 2010 and during the two-year lease the Port will issue a Request for Proposals to secure a long-term operator.

The official launch comes six months after the formation of the San Diego Superyacht Association (SDSA), a coalition of maritime-related companies that serve the local large-yacht industry. Its mission: To spread the word that San Diego is a world-class megayacht destination and to act as a conduit to marine services and suppliers. Several factors lend to San Diego’s emergence as a megayacht destination, including its year-round temperate climate similar to the Mediterranean, its West Coast location, and the growth of local world-class yacht repair facilities and marine support firms.

Photo Courtesy Wikipedia: Port of San Diego Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Man Kills Boaters, Faces Death Penalty

Former child actor, Skylar Deleon, was found guilty of killing Tom and Jackie Hawks for their life savings and $500,000 boat. Deleon faces the death penalty.

In the opening statements, defense lawyers stated that Deleon was guilty, a strategy to avoid the death penalty.

Deleon, who had a small, non-speaking role in one episode of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” joined the Hawks’ aboard their boat for a “test run,” since he pretended to be a prospective buyer. He was joined by John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Alonso Machain – the three men overwhelmed the couple, forcing them into handcuffs and sealing their eyes and mouths with duct tape. Then, the couple was coerced to sign title transfer documents for the 55-foot yacht, named “Well Deserved.” Afterwards, the men tied the victims to an anchor, and dropped the anchor into the sea. The bodies were never recovered.

When initially pursued by the Newport Beach Police, Deleon stated that the Hawks sold him the yacht for $440,000. The truth of the homicides emerged once one of his accomplices confessed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Direction

Admittedly, this video of the new SolarStar 21 isn’t the most heart-pounding footage you’ve seen, but it’s interesting for another reason. Solar Star International has teamed up with Kachina, who has been building high-octane racing boats for 45 years, to develop this fully-electric boat (i.e.: fossil-fuel free). The vessel is being built in Arizona, and should be available for purchase this upcoming January. No word yet on her top speed. For more information, visit Kachina’s Web site.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Batman Boat Stops Smugglers

What does the Navy do with a $6-million boat? Well, according on article on, it petrifies drug runners with it. After a two-hour chase, part of which was over 5-foot-deep flats, the Navy apprehended the drug runners when they ran out of fuel. On their capture, the befuddled criminals said, “it was like being chased by a UFO.”
The futuristic design by builder M Ship Co. uses a proprietary method for reusing the bow wave to create an air cushion between the sponsons in order to achieve less drag while running, her Web site says. She measures 80-feet LOA, with a 40-foot beam with a draft on merely three feet. The carbon-fiber hull has a purported top speed of 60 knots.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

QE2 Retires

The New York Times reported today that the QE2 made her last visit to New York after nearly 40 years of transatlantic service. She reached her berth at pier 90 in Manhattan at 6:00 AM Thursday morning, initiating her 710th visit to the Big Apple. The Cunard line has sold the QE2 to investors from the United Arab Emirates, who will make a hotel out of her in Dubai. The four-year old Queen Mary 2, which is more than twice long as the QE2, was followed her predecessor into New York Harbor. For the full article, which has lots of information on the historic QE2, click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Luhrs 37

The Luhrs 37 Open premieres at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and can be seen there from October 30th to November 3rd. The builder claims the vessel has the industry's first full-size guest stateroom in an open sportfisherman under 40 feet.

Her design yields spaciousness - the 37 has an open cockpit, a bridge deck suitable for eight people, and a commodious galley and main saloon.

The Luhrs 37 comes in two power versions, the standard Volvo Penta IPS and the optional triple Yamaha F350 V-8 gasoline outboards. Both are practical for fuel and space-savings.

Flipper, the Heavyweight

, it was throwing some good punches. Mike Tyson couldn’t hit harder than that.”

Surprisingly, the above statement, which comes from 64-year old Norman Howard, is about a dolphin. Last Thursday, near New Smyrna Beach, Florida, a 400-pound dolphin plunged into an 18-foot boat, and landed on top of Howard and his wife's laps, injuring both with blows from his massive tail.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the bloodied passengers after witnesses called 911. Both Norman and his wife, Barbara, were treated for facial lacerations at Bert Fish Medical Center. Norman also suffered from abdominal injuries. The dolphin was eventually rolled back into the Intracoastal Waterway.

Between last week's
shark brawl and this week's dolphin sucker punch, one can only hope that by next week, nobody ends up in a half nelson with a whale.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Deadliest Ale

As I've mentioned before, I am an unabashed fan of a couple of boat-related reality shows. I loved America's Port, and I loooove the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. Nothing helps me get through a gym visit like tuning in on my treadmill's TV and watching those fishermen hunt down crab in the Bering Sea. And, I'm not alone. The Deadliest Catch is so popular that it has spawned a whole lotta merchandise—video games, books, t-shirts, and more. Well, here's a new one: Captain Sig Hansen, one of the show's stars, has partnered with Rogue Ales to create his very own Deadliest Ale. Designed to complement the flavors of his Alaskan King and Opelia crab, the ale will come in 22 oz bottles and will be sold in Alaska, Texas, Florida, and more. A portion of the proceeds of the ale will be given to the Fisherman's fund, a non-profit foundation established by the Hansen family.

King of the...Water?

Everyone knows that the lion is the king of the jungle. But does that mean the sea lion is the king of the, well, sea? Apparently the sea lions on the West Coast believe if the crown fits, wear it.

According to an Associated Press report in today’s The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California, sea lions are taking over boat landings, swamping boats and even using the vessels as their own litter boxes at Port San Luis in the Avila Beach area. The creatures, which can weigh in at a hefty 550 pounds, are also the prime suspects in the sinking of three boats. Harbor manager Steve McGrath said that the sea lions are attracted to smaller boats moored in the harbor. It takes only a few of the creatures piling onto a sailboat to sink it.

But the Port San Luis area is not the only one under siege. National Marine Fisheries biologist Garth Griffin said sea lions are posing similar problems along the coast, from Baja California to British Columbia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Picture Perfect

Quantum Of Solace © 2008 Danjaq, United Artists, CPII. 007 TM and related James Bond Trademarks, TM Danjaq.

It may not be the red carpet, but the Sunseeker Superhawk 43 gets her shot at the bright lights when she appears in the new James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. The movie hits the big screen on Oct. 31 in the United Kingdom.

The Sunseeker Superhawk 43 enters the spotlight in a lead role in a boat chase sequence, which was filmed on location in Panama in March. But she is not the only Sunseeker to have a role in Quantum of Solace. The Sunseeker Sovereign 17, one of the company’s first open-cockpit speedboats, is used to transport James Bond, played again by Daniel Craig. The Sunseeker 37 Metre Yacht M4 also makes an appearance in the film.

This is not the first time Sunseeker models have made it to Hollywood: five others have appeared in the previous three James Bond movies. Casino Royal (2006) featured the 108 Predator with appearances from the XS 2000 and Sportsfish 37; Halle Berry climbed aboard a Superhawk 48 in Die Another Day (2002); and a Superhawk 34 sped down the River Thames in The World is Not Enough (1999).

Not be outdone, Sunseeker International’s managing director Robert Braithwaite CBE appears as a speedboat captain onboard one of the models with 007 himself. In the scene, filmed on location in Italy in April, Braithwaite is on the Sunseeker Sovereign 17—the first boat he ever built.

“For everyone at Sunseeker, it’s very rewarding to be involved in Quantum of Solace and once again see our British-built motoryachts appear alongside Britain’s most famous secret agent,” Braithwaite said.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fishing On Jupiter

The Jupiter team premiered the first model of its new sportfishing line, the Jupiter 39 Express. With input from naval architect Donald Blount and Associates, the builder endowed their first express-style boat with a large bridge deck and a full cabin suitable for six people, which makes it particularly ideal for cruising excursions.

Solid teak-and-maple floors line the cabin’s interior, while stowage spaces and a bar unit grace the boat’s main deck.

Her cockpit bears a custom hardtop and marlin tower, extra rod holders, and a bait-prep center complete with a transom-mounted livewell, and freezer.

This 39-footer is also fuel efficient as she is expressly suitable for the new Yamaha 350-hp, V-8, four-stroke gasoline outboard engines in either Twin- or triple-engine applications.

The USS NY, a Symbol of Recovery

In approximately one year, New York City will commission a transport ship built from steel remnants of the World Trade Center, the USS New York. This ceremony will officially proclaim this warship as a unit of the operating forces of the US Navy.

In 2002, New York Governor George Pataki requested a rare exception for the warship’s name, he sought to name a surface vessel after the attacked city, despite the upheld tradition of granting state names exclusively to submarines. The Secretary of the Navy Gordon England obliged the appeal. The USS New York bears its name in honor of the victims of 9/11.

The Navy and shipyard evaluated the recovered steel and determined that it was strong enough to be used in the design of the vessel. Twenty-four tons of steel was melted for her construction; seven tons were used for the bow stem, the foremost section of the ship, officially completed in August 2005.

The 684-foot-long USS New York is still under construction in New Orleans at the Northrop Grumman Ships Systems. This company is America’s exclusive builder and designer of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, and one of only two builders of nuclear-powered submarines.

The USS New York is the fifth amphibious transport ship in the LPD 17 San Antonio class. Like others within this class, she has a Colt-Pielstick PC2.5 STC engine, which facilitates high propulsion power. Despite her name, she’s planned to be based in Norfolk, VA.

The naming ceremony took place in Manhattan’s Intrepid, Sea Air & Space Museum, back in 2002. New York Veterans, representatives from New York’s police and fire departments, as well as victim’s families were invited. In late 2009, the vessel which honors the collective bravery of New Yorkers, loss of friends and family, and a nation’s fortitude will be admitted into the naval forces.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Father, son survivors off to Disney

Last week, a father and son who survived 12 hours in the open ocean without life jackets went to DisneyWorld, the place they say is responsible for their incredible story.

When Walter Marino, 46, and his 12-year-old autistic son Christopher, were pulled out to sea by a riptide at Daytona Beach last month, the pair stayed in contact by yelling to each other lines from the Disney movie Toy Story.

“To infinity!” Walter would shout. “And beyond!” his son would reply.

The pair kept repeating the phrase as night fell and until they drifted so far apart they could no longer hear each other. When Walter Marino was rescued in the morning by fisherman, he believed his son was lost. But, incredibly, Coast Guard rescuers found the boy alive.

After the pair recovered, Disney officials invited them to Orlando, as special guests of Buzz Lightyear, the character whose catchphrase helped save their lives.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Homecoming Queen

At 11 a.m. Thursday the USS Intrepid bid farewell to the Homeport on Staten Island and began her three-hour voyage home to Pier 86 in Manhattan.

The World War II aircraft carrier made her historic journey with the help of four tug boats. On her way she paused to salute the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero, where crewmembers unfurled a 60-by-40-foot American flag from the starboard side.

The USS Intrepid left Pier 86, her home for 24 years, in 2006 for extensive repairs and improvements. The work totaled approximately $120 million. The Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum is slated to open its doors to visitors on November 8.

For the full story, see the Associated Press.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Jab to Jaws

Jake, a rat terrier, was attacked last Friday afternoon by a shark during his daily swim in the Worldwide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina pier in Islamorada, Florida. The five-foot shark surfaced and captured almost all 14 pounds of the terrier in its mouth. The dog’s owner, carpenter Greg Lenoir, witnessed this scene and immediately bolted into the water, and punched the shark, who then released the dog.

Despite punctured skin and muscle on his abdomen, chest, back, and legs, Jake is expected to make a full recovery.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Monster Marinas

Back in our May issue, we told you about a few of the new megayacht marinas that are currently cropping up (or are at least slated to crop up) around the world. Well, here's another one to add to your list. In late 2009, Island Global Yachting (IGY) will reportedly open a massive, dedicated megayacht marina in Dubai. And not just anywhere in the UAE, but on both the west and east sides of the Palm Jumeirah's trunk. (The Palm Jumeirah one of the government-owned, artificial islands that's shaped as a massive palm tree. It has 17 fronds.) When completed, IGY's Anchor Marina should feature some 700 berths, concrete pontoons to ensure stability (and thus guests' comfort), and a 24-hour concierge service.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rising to the Occasion

Here is a series of neat images capturing Vango rising in the Ballard locks transiting from Puget Sound to Lake Washington in Seattle. Thanks to Dave Genisman for the images. To find out more about Vango, check out America's 100 Largest Yachts in our November issue. She comes in at no. 81.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Making Her Debut

The boating scene has a new member—a 101'6" enclosed bridge motoryacht custom built by Burger Boat Company. Fully ABS certified, the Tò-Kalòn sports strong, lightweight materials and carefully calculated design and engineering parameters. Her interior features Sapele paneling with accents of Sapele Pomele, which flows throughout the main deck saloon and guest accommodations. A hard-to-miss feature is the centrally located open spiral staircase. Suspended in front of three full-length windows, the staircase was built from select Sapele veneers and hardwoods accented by custom brass balustrade with antique bronze finish supporting the Sapele hardwood handrail.

Rivaling the spiral staircase, which ascends from the owner’s accommodations to the skylounge and pilothouse, Tò-Kalòn’s skylounge showcases leather Chesterfield sofas and a domed ceiling, which was painted by a New York artist win a motif embracing the yacht’s name.

And not to worry, this American beauty is staying true her roots—she was built for a U.S. yachting family.