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New Notes – Long Island Sound

Nordic Tugs dealers host ‘tug fest’ debut

Nordic Tugs dealers are hosting the first National Nordic Tug Fest July 12-13 at dealer locations nationwide. The event will feature tug tours, sea trials (by appointment), barbecues and door prizes.

“This is the first time Nordic Tugs and our dealers have partnered to organize a national sales event,” says David Goehring, executive vice president of Nordic Tugs, adding the event “will provide a fun venue for prospective customers to learn more about Nordic Tugs.”

The dealer for the Northeast region is Wilde Yacht Sales at 39 Pratt Street, Essex, Conn. Phone: (860) 767-2540 or e-mail .

The Nordic Tugs owners’ associations throughout the United States have announced their 2008 rendezvous dates. East Coast gatherings include one at Essex Island Marina, Essex, Conn., July 23-26.

In other news, the Seattle office of the U.S. Department of Commerce recently gave Nordic Tugs an Export Achievement Award in recognition of the company’s successful move into foreign markets.

With economic indicators pointing to a potential slowdown in the domestic boating market, Nordic Tugs’ executive staff made the decision in 2006 to research international export opportunities. Working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the company looked first to the European market, in part because of the strength of the euro.

Historic whaling ship returns to New London

The Mystic Whaler is a historic tall ship that has been offering cruises since 1967 with home ports of New London, Conn., and Baltimore, Md. With summer returning, the ship returns to Southeastern Connecticut.

The ship offers lobster dinner cruises, day sails, and three- or five-day vacation sails. Its special events include Sailfest, trips to the New York City and full-moon cruises. The Mystic Whaler also offers training programs for primary and secondary schools. Ports of call include Block Island, Newport, Shelter Island, Sag Harbor, Mystic and Martha’s Vineyard.

The tall ship departs from New London daily throughout July, August and the first two weeks of September. For information, visit or call (800) 697-8420.

Maritime painter’s works on display

From June 7-22, new paintings of marine artist Don Demers will be on display at the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, 1657 Post Road in Fairfield, Conn. The public is invited to meet the artist at the opening reception on June 7 from 5-7 p.m, and hear a presentation by Demers at 6 p.m. This marks the first national exhibition of Demers’ marine paintings in two years. It will include 28 new paintings ranging in size from 8-by-10-inch to 5-by-6-inch.

The paintings feature pilot boats, classic square-rigged ships, steam ships and famous yachts. Subjects will also include life along some of New England’s best-known rivers and harbors from Connecticut, Cape Cod and Maine, involving the intriguing variety of coastal craft and atmospheric landscapes.

“I don’t want my paintings to just look right, I want them to feel right,” Demers says. “I work on trying to activate more senses than just sight. I want you to look at my picture of an early morning at sea and say, ‘My gosh, it looks cold out there, and really feel the chill.”

The Jinishian Gallery is located at 1657 Post Road. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10-5:30 p.m. There is no admission charge. For information call (203) 259-8753 or e-mail .

New York organizers move up boat show date

Organizers of the New York National Boat Show recently announced new dates, which they hope will make the show part of the Big Apple’s holiday festivities instead of an afterthought.

After five years of less-than-ideal dates that straddled the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, show organizers this year moved the dates up two weeks to Dec. 13-21.

The change was made after feedback from exhibitor and show committees, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produces the show. The show will continue to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

“The change represents a significant development in ongoing efforts with the city and state of New York to relocate the show to a more favorable timeframe,” says Ben Wold, the NMMA’s executive vice president, in a statement.

The NMMA and exhibitors hope the earlier dates will begin to reverse a slide in attendance that has hurt the show since it was moved on the Javits Center calendar in 2003.

The show had previously been in mid-January to kick off the boat-selling season, but the Javits Center moved the dates to accommodate another event. The boat show has been held during the holidays ever since, much to the chagrin of exhibitors and trade association officials.

Attendance has fallen off precipitously since 2003 — from around 100,000 to 60,000, according to David Dickerson, manager of state government relations for the NMMA.

— JoAnn W. Goddard

Down East-style boat builder makes a deal

The Turkish boatbuilder Vicem Yachts recently announced the merger of their U.S. operations with Down East Yachts, a former dealer, to create Vicem USA.

Michael Landsberg, previously president of Down East Yachts, and now president of Vicem USA, will oversee all sales, marketing and service operations for Vicem USA. Also joining Vicem USA from Down East Yachts are Dave Mallach, general manager and Dee Dimperio, New York office manager.

Commenting on the initiative, Landsberg said “the integration of Vicem’s unmatched talent at building the most beautiful and elegant yachts to be found anywhere, with Down East Yachts’ widely known sales and marketing abilities and our dedication to an unparalleled customer experience, presents wonderful opportunities for all of our clients — past, current and future.”

Vicem USA sales and service offices are located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Huntington, N.Y., on Long Island.

Historic steam yacht to be at Mystic Seaport

A large and rare 1901 steam yacht will be exhibited to the public later this year on the waterfront at Mystic Seaport.

Built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Edwardian tradition of the late 1800s, the yacht Cangarda was a toy of the rich. Built in Wilmington, Del., Cangarda is the last surviving American-built steam yacht in the country and one of only three of its type left in the world.

Never in its lifetime has Cangarda been exhibited to the public. But thanks to its current owner and restorer, the antique yacht will be accessible for public viewing at Mystic Seaport for many months of each year.

“We are pleased to have this, one of the last grand American yachts, home-ported at Mystic Seaport,” says Jeff Rutherford, who directed the restoration of Cangarda. “From the beginning of this project, we have always been dedicated to the concept that it should be available for the public to enjoy. Mystic Seaport is a great venue for this, and we look forward to developing this partnership with the museum.”

Cangarda was named after its original owners, Charles Canfield and his wife, Belle Gardner. They later sold the yacht to George Fulford, a prominent Canadian, whose business sold “Pink Pills for Pale People.” Home-ported for much of its life in the Thousand Islands stretch of the St. Lawrence River, the yacht hosted a dinner in 1927 attended by the Prince of Wales, Duke of Kent and the English and Canadian prime ministers.

Cangarda served the Royal Canadian Navy as a training vessel during World War II, but in her post-war years she slowly fell into disrepair. A restoration effort got under way in the 1980s under Richard Readly, who fully dismantled the vessel, sent its seven steam engines to England for restoration and preserved and stored its elaborate wooden components. Readly, however, became ill and was forced to abandon the project. The hull actually sank at a Boston pier in 1999.

Cangarda was restored to her current form from 2004-2008. Under the agreement, the yacht will spend the majority of its time at Mystic Seaport. The vessel is expected to arrive at the museum in July for a short stay, followed by another brief visit in August. It will return in September for the remainder of the year.

Marine documentarian honored again

SEA-TV in New Haven recently won two Platinum Awards at the 41st annual Worldfest film festival in Houston for its documentary, “High Seas Schooner.” The production house won the top awards both for the feature-length documentary and for the 90-second preview of the production.

High Seas Schooner chronicles a three-week voyage on the 100-foot wooden schooner, Harvey Gamage, as it sails from the Virgin Islands to Gloucester, Mass. In the North Atlantic, the schooner encounters storms and high seas. Rigging breaks and the skills of the crew are tested, as they battle the extreme conditions.

“This is a documentary for anyone who wants to know what it feels like to be out there on the high seas on a classic wooden sailboat,” says SEA-TV producer Chip Croft. We produced it with minimal narration so that the viewer can get the true feeling of being on the ship. This was one of our toughest shoots. At times we were shooting in 50 mph winds and over 30-foot seas.”

Worldfest is one of the oldest and largest film festivals in the world, with over 4,500 entries received from 37 countries. It was founded by award-winning producer/director Hunter Todd to present a quality film festival for independent filmmakers. Among the number of filmmakers who have presented work at Worldfest are Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and Peter Weir.

These are the ninth and 10th film festival awards for SEA-TV.

New Morris 48 launched, bound for Europe

Bass Harbor, Maine-based Morris Yachts launched Barra, a 48-foot Ocean Series Yacht, this spring.

The owner of Barra and his family plan to cruise and participate in offshore racing. The first event is the Newport Bermuda Race. From there, the boat will sail to Scotland then travel down to the Canary Islands for the 2008 ARC race to the Caribbean.

The mast is 9 feet taller than the standard and the keel is 8 feet instead of 6.5 feet. The deck of the 48 was customized for racing, while the interior is done in the Herreshoff style of cherry-and-white bulkheads. The three-cabin layout: v-berth forward, portside aft guest cabin and starboard crew cabin quarterberth will accommodate the family for weeks at sea.

Irish yachts discussed at biennial symposium

The Herreshoff Marine Museum’s third Classic Yacht Symposium, held April 11-13 in Bristol, R.I., featured Irish yachting historian Hal Sisk, owner of Peggy Bawn, a restored 1896 Irish-built cutter.

Sisk’s talk revealed that Irish sailors built the first one-design boats in 1821 and had a major influence on one-design racing. They also started the first yacht club — the Water Club of Cork — in the early 1800s. It is all allegedly true, although Sisk was later heard to remark, “Never let a fact get in the way of a good story.”

Sisk’s often uproarious talk was the highlight of a weekend of papers and presentations about the restoration of classic yachts. The Classic Yacht Symposium is held every two years (on opposite years to the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium), and this year’s program brought 175 delegates who gathered at Roger Williams Law School for the three-day event.

The program included tours of three boatyards in Connecticut — Stonington Boat Works; McClave, Philbrick and Giblin of Mystic; and Taylor & Snediker in Pawcatuck. At these yards delegates were able to see various yachts undergoing restoration, including the Herreshoff-designed NY50 Spartan.

Maritime Marine debuts new 25 fishing series

Joining Maritime’s current line of 14- to 25-foot fiberglass family fishing boats is the new 25 Series, available in five different models: the Defiant; the Patriot; the Voyager; the Classic and the Challenger.

Based on Maritime’s dry riding, seaworthy, fuel-efficient 23-foot hull design, these new 25-foot models incorporate a full transom, full-width stern platform, a transom fishbox/storage locker, lockable storage compartments, and foldaway rear bench seat. The design changes add expansive interior cockpit space along with all the features of Maritime’s 23 product line, according to the builder.

Each Maritime 25 features a 50-degree deadrise forward, flared and round bow, wide chines, lifting strakes and relatively shallow 14-degree deadrise aft.

One-stop shop for free Canadian charts

GPS software manufacturer Northport Systems, of Toronto, recently announced upgrades to its online map resource, Fugawi Touratel. An interactive mapping Web site targeting outdoor enthusiasts, Fugawi Touratel allows users to view and print Canadian and U.S. topographic maps from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Fugawi is the first and only company to provide both Canadian and U.S. topographic maps in one place. In addition to its new comprehensive collection of Canadian topographic data, www.toura now supports faster zoom and enhanced print capabilities including grid lines and large format printing.

The site is a free service, enabling users to view and print copies of high-quality maps. The site contains NRCan maps in 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scales for all Canadian provinces and USGS topographic maps for the U.S. states, including Hawaii and Alaska, at all available scales, including 1:24,000, 1:100,000 and 1:250,000.

For information, contact (416) 920-9300, or visit .

Yamaha reformulates marine four-stroke oil

The Yamaha Marine Group recently announced it has a new four-stroke marine engine oil formulation, which the company claims reduces wear and provides cleaner operation.

Yamalube 4M engine oils, both 10W-30 and 20W-40, have a new low-phosphorus formulation fortified with molybdenum compounds, which reduce wear caused by the sudden changes in engine speed common to four-stroke marine engines.

Independent testing shows the new oil provides added wear protection — an 85 percent reduction in wear over the prior formulation, according to Yamaha. These oils have properties and additives automotive oils don’t. In addition, they continue to contain a proprietary mixture of detergents that help clean internally lubricated parts and dispersants, which help to carry trapped dirt away from the engine to the oil filter. The end result is cleaner oil.

In other news, Yamaha has put its marine care products under the trusted Yamalube brand. Products affected include fuel additives, adhesives and lubricants, which will now bear the name Yamalube.

EarthNC Version 2 charts for Google Earth

One year after the release of EarthNC electronic marine charts comes

Version 2.0 of the free EarthNC Online ( and retail EarthNC Plus ( electronic marine charts for Google Earth.

New features for EarthNC Online and Plus include new layer organization for faster load times, additional chart notes and information, more than 500 integrated ‘Waterview’ bridge pictures for inland waterways and new ‘Submit Information’ links with photo upload capability and a corresponding EarthNC User Layer with user-submitted photos and notes.

EarthNC Plus, EarthNC’s flagship product for Google Earth charting, additionally gains a new seamless chart loading option, new layer view options for land features, non-navigable areas and deep depths, a shaded depth area overlay option and an integrated beta of EarthNC Premium Ocean Weather with 5-day wind, wave, temperature and current forecast maps.

For information and screen shots of version 2.0 enhancements, go to .

Mystic Seaport toexplore Inuit culture

“Frozen In: Captain Comer and the Hudson Bay Inuit,” an exhibition chronicling the life and work of Capt. George Comer of East Haddam, Conn., and his extraordinary relationship with the Inuit, opened in the Schaefer Gallery at Mystic Seaport on May 24.

The exhibition explores the lives and legacy of Comer and the Inuit, as well as the challenges they faced living in one of the harshest environments on Earth.

“Frozen In” will feature a full-scale reconstruction of Comer’s winter deck house from his 1903 expedition aboard the vessel Era, as well as a reconstructed Inuit igloo, traditional clothing, tools, journals, photographs and actual voice recordings made by Comer and his Inuit companions more than 100 years ago. Authentic Inuit objects of ivory, bone, sealskin and stone will also be displayed.

“Comer dedicated much of his working life to the establishment of a bridge between two cultures, and he did so with great success,” says Fred Calabretta, the exhibit’s curator.

By 1905, Comer possessed an understanding and appreciation of the people of western Hudson Bay that was unsurpassed by any other outsider. Despite a lack of formal training, he conducted pioneering fieldwork in Arctic anthropology, employing the use of photography, sound recordings, archaeology, written records and plaster life masks. Anthropologists, museum curators and scientists encouraged and supported Comer’s work, and he provided them with a window to people they knew little about.

‘Frozen In’ will remain open through April 2009. The exhibit is free with museum admission. For information, visit .

Sportfishing boat builder adds dealers

Scout Boats has added two national dealers to its current roster, bringing the total number of dealers in Scout’s growing network to 70. Scouts can now be purchased at Cabela’s in East Hartford, Conn.; and Gifford Marine in Dartmouth, Mass.

Since its founding nearly two decades ago, the Summerville, S.C., builder turns out sportfishing, fish ‘n’ ski, walk around, flats and bay boat models ranging from 14 to 35 feet.