Dispatches

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:

The Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg disappears beneath the surface after charges were detonated seven miles off Key West, Fla. The 523-foot Air Force missile-tracking ship, which played a key role in the Cold War and tracked NASA spacecraft launches in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, was scuttled to create an artificial reef to attract divers and anglers. It sank in less than two minutes. www.vandenbergreef.com

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Divers survey the USS Monitor

Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and partnering organizations deployed divers and state-of-the-art technology this summer to study the condition of the USS Monitor, the Civil War ironclad protected as a NOAA national marine sanctuary.

During the weeklong expedition, divers surveyed and photographed sections of the Monitor using non-invasive techniques, including high-resolution digital still and video imagery. An autonomous underwater vehicle was sent down to scan the wreck using sonar and to collect water-quality data. This is the first time a survey of this type has been conducted over the Monitor wreck site and the surrounding area. NOAA will use the information gathered to check the condition of the historic vessel and the sanctuary.

The USS Monitor in 230 feet of water off Cape Hatteras.

The Monitor sank in a storm 16 miles off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1862. In the late 1990s through 2002, several artifacts were recovered and are being conserved at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va. www.monitorcenter.org

Grady-White brings back its Tournament 192

Grady-White has reintroduced the Tournament 192, a versatile, coastal dual console discontinued in 2004. “We aimed to provide an unprecedented value in this very cost-conscious economy,” says vice president of sales and marketing Joey Weller. The Tournament 192 with a single Yamaha F150 retails for $43,035.

The 4-stroke powers the 19-footer to a top speed of 45 mph. The boat maintains some impressive mileage numbers at cruising speeds, from 22 to 30 mph, with the best fuel economy — 4.6 mpg — coming at 27 mph. The fuel supply is 60 gallons.

This Grady is an improved version of the original Tournament 192, which was replaced by the Tournament 205, also a dual console. The builder offers an 18-foot dual console, as well, the 185. Both the 205 and 185 will remain in the Grady-White fleet.

The 192 is more “family fun” than its predecessor, with easy-to-get-to storage for water toys, according to the company. There’s a new D-ring slam hatch on the port console storage door, and the starboard console has access at foot level for storing water skis. Also, the builder has outfitted the boat with a new standard flush-mount radio box and a new instrument panel.

The 192 is one of several Tournament models in the Grady-White fleet.

The 192 rides Grady-White’s variable deadrise hull, the SeaV2. It has a beam of 8 feet and a cockpit depth of 25 inches. Two jumps seats in the aft cockpit corners sandwich a high engine splash well. There’s a third cockpit seat on the backside of the companion seat. A walkthrough windshield leads to the bow seating.

There is an insulated cooler under the starboard seat, along with storage space under the port settee. Options include a freshwater washdown system and a satellite-ready Kenwood sound system with MP3/auxiliary radio connection. The boat has the same oversized hardware and scuppers as other Grady-White models.

- Chris Landry

In our wake

On Sept. 26, 1908, the 239-foot iron-and-wood tramp steamer Volund
was making her way through the narrow passage connecting eastern Long
Island Sound and the Atlantic known as “The Race.” In a dense early
morning fog, she was struck on the port side by the recently launched
438-foot passenger steamer Commonwealth. The Volund sank bow-first
within minutes, but the skipper, his wife and all 14 crewmembers were
rescued by the Commonwealth crew. During the investigation, it was
alleged the Commonwealth was steaming at 13 knots — too fast for the
conditions — which the Commonwealth captain denied. The Volund remains
on the bottom in The Race, upright and partially intact.

This article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue.