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Budding designers vie for $25,000 scholarship

The Marine Design Resource Alliance is offering a $25,000 scholarship to attract design talent with fresh ideas to the boating industry. The Pinnacle

Scholarship Award is open to students registered in a college-level design program, and a total of $15,000 will be awarded to the student who creates the top design overall, with $10,000 going to his or her school.

Entries consist of a pictorial rendering of a proposal that creates a new boating/marine concept, design or solution to a specific problem. Categories include powerboat design, sailboat design and other applications, such as interior design, safety and rescue, docks and piers. “Our goal is to spotlight design as a ‘creative’ resource rather than a function of engineering,” says MDRA president Peter Granata in a statement.

Entries will be accepted through July 15, and will be judged by a panel of professionals led by Jack Telnack, former head of corporate design for Ford Motor Co. Visit for more information.

Life rafts recalled due to valve problem

BFA Marine, a division of Zodiac International, has announced the recall of several life raft models manufactured between 1997 and 2006. The company has identified flaws, due to an incorrect assembly process, with the overpressurization valves on Atlantic, Pacific, Baltic and BFA/XM Offshore models that could lead to deflation.

BFA states that if both valves on the two independent compartments fail simultaneously, the life raft will sink. The recall does not affect commercial models. The BFA rafts included in the recall have five-digit serial numbers from 10001 to 50180 or 12-digit serial numbers beginning with XDC, found either on the log card or canister.

Owners of the life rafts in question should take them to a BFA-approved service station so the valves can be inspected and, if necessary, replaced. For more information and to find an authorized service station, visit .

Group urges mandatory boating safety education

The Coast Guard Auxiliary passed a resolution urging state legislatures to require mandatory boating safety education, regardless of age. Passed unanimously at its Auxiliary National Training Conference in St. Louis earlier this year, the non-binding resolution supplements a resolution passed in 2003 that suggested boating safety education be required for anyone under the age of 16 who operates a powerboat or personal watercraft.

The latest resolution cites the high number of fatalities that occur on boats whose operators received no boating safety education. Moreover, statistics indicate that the majority of fatalities are adults, so states that require mandatory classes for younger boaters only aren’t fully addressing the issue of education, the group argues.

The majority of states that have some form of mandatory education tend to base the requirements on the operator’s date of birth, and anyone born before the statutory date is exempt from the mandatory class requirements.

Nordic Tugs renames larger models

Nordic Tugs has announced nomenclature changes for its forthcoming 47 and existing 52. The models are now known as the Nordic Tug 49 and Nordic Tug 54. The change more accurately reflects the length overall (excluding bow pulpit) for the two models, measured from the aft edge of the swim platform to the bow, according to the company.

“Our naming conventions worked in the past, although today the model names actually shortchange the boats, particularly on the larger vessels, which have an overall length much larger than the name infers,” says David Goehring, Nordic Tugs executive vice president, in a press release. “It was confusing to the consumer, who thought a Nordic Tug 52 had a length overall of 52 feet but in actuality is 54 feet, 2 inches.” The new Nordic Tug 49 measures 49 feet, 10 inches overall.

For now, the name change affects only the company’s two largest boats, but the Burlington, Wash., builder is reviewing the naming conventions of the remainder of its fleet. No further changes would take effect until the 2009 model year.