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.