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HMS Bounty to be refit for pirate movie sequel

The Greenport, N.Y.-based HMS Bounty, a 180-foot wooden square rigger built by MGM for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty,” will once again be a movie star. Now appearing in the recently released SpongeBob movie, the ship is getting ready to be refit for the sequel to the popular pirate movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.” No release date has been set.

The Bounty is frequently used for movie and special project assignments — The History Channel used it for a biography of Capt. William Bligh. The Bounty is adapted for the script each time it is used.

Since appearing in the movie featuring the most infamous maritime mutiny of all time, the Bounty also stars in dockside tours along the East Coast and the Great Lakes, welcoming over 250,000 visitors each year. Originally built as a British Navy vessel, the Bounty continues to exemplify the life of a sailor in the 19th century.

Between port appearances, the ship offers leadership and sail-training programs, while preserving the art of square-rigged sailing. www.tallshipbounty.org

Hoax caller pleads guilty, faces fines, prison

A Detroit-area man accused of making false distress calls to the Coast Guard in January pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Bradley Taylor, 28, of Rochester Hills, admitted to calling Coast Guard Station Belle Isle the night of June 1, 2003, and falsely reporting that his vessel was taking on water in Lake St. Clair.

There were four suspected hoax cases in the Western New York area alone in 2004, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to the Coast Guard.

While Taylor was sitting on a boat moored at a Detroit-area marina, he reportedly told the communications watchstander at Belle Isle, Mich., over VHF channel 16, that he was sinking and expected his radio to fail imminently. The estimated cost to the taxpayer as a result of that hoax call alone is at least $10,718, according to the Coast Guard.

As part of his plea agreement, Taylor faces a maximum term of six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, he will be required to reimburse the Coast Guard for the expenses incurred for the search and rescue effort.

Maritime Aquarium rolls out boat shop programs

Among the spring Boat Shop classes at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Conn., is a special class to learn how to finish off a custom boat like a professional.

The schedule includes:

• Adult/Child Model Making Weekend, Feb. 19 and 20.

• Family Boat Building Weekend, March 12 and 13.

• The Art of Finishing, May 7 and 8.

• Toy Boat Making, every Saturday and Sunday.

Also, a Customized Boat Building Program is designed for people interested in building a type of boat other than those offered this season at the Maritime Aquarium. The program also features flexible hours.

For information on programs at the aquarium, call (203) 852-0700, Ext. 2206. www.maritimeaquarium.org

Boatbuilding school schedules a job fair

The Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design has set April 8 as the date for its annual job fair, which will be held at its facility in Arundel, Maine.

The school calls the “dwindling marine trades labor pool” a concern for boat businesses across the nation, and says the fair offers employers a chance to attract “the most qualified entry marine professionals currently available.”

Information on the fair is available by contacting the school at P.O. Box 1490, Kennebunkport, ME 04046, or www.landingschool.edu.

Tow service providers hold annual meeting

Sea Tow Services International held its 17th annual meeting in Wesley Chapel, Fla., in December.

Nearly 200 employees participated in a series of workshops, seminars and activities designed to foster teamwork. A highlight to the weeklong conference was an exercise in which teams of two build boats from cardboard and tape to race across a swimming pool.

Captains Shawn McWhorter (N.J.), Martin Bolster and Dan Sparks (Beaufort, N.C.), Les Trafford (Shinnecock/Moriches, N.Y.) and Bob DiSanto (R.I.) were honored with Lifesaving Awards for incidents in 2004. www.seatow.com

McKee Craft adds dealerships

McKee Craft of North Carolina, a fishing-boat manufacturer, has named six new dealers: two in Florida, two in Maryland, and one each in New York and New Jersey.

The new dealer in New Jersey is Paul Hoffman’s McKee Yacht Sales in Wildwood, and the New York dealer is Mac Yacht Sales in Mamaroneck, owned by Felix Carcano.

McKee Craft, founded in 1966, builds 14- to 28-foot fishing boats. Because of high-pressure, foam-filled hulls, the boats are unsinkable, according to the company. www.mckeecraft.com

Norwalk Aquarium has deep sea sub simulator

Only a select few ever get the opportunity to explore the ocean’s depths, and sea life and volcanic fissures in the Earth’s crust found beneath the sea.

For most, a new attraction at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Conn., may be as close to that world as they get.

Deep Sea: The Ride is a submarine simulator that is part of the Aquarium’s special exhibit, “Into the Abyss: Extreme Deep Discovery Zone.”

“Passengers” will feel as if they’re aboard a deep sea submarine searching for signs of life in the dark and mysterious ocean depths. The stationary simulator incorporates seats that move and a high-definition projector that delivers computer-animated footage on the view screen.

Participants will follow a sperm whale and cruise near a spectacular hydrothermal vent community teeming with life. Then, enveloped within a vast shoal of squid, a giant squid is spotted. Some surprises are also in store.

Tickets are $4.50 per person ($3.50 for Maritime Aquarium members) Call (203) 852-0700. www.maritimeaquarium.org

Whisper confirms she’s a fast yacht

Churchill Yacht Partners of Newport, R.I., report that the sailing yacht Whisper enjoyed a great year on the race circuit. Living up to her reputation as a fast yacht, Whisper placed third in the St. Barth’s Bucket in April, first in the Newport Bucket in July, second in the Opera House Cup in August in Nantucket, and first in the Shipyard Cup in Maine in September.

Whisper was designed by the Ted Hood Design Group in collaboration with the Fontaine Design Group of Portsmouth, R.I., and was built at Holland Jachtbouw in Amsterdam, Holland, and launched in summer 2003.

Churchill Yacht Partner’s Charter Manager, Sandy Carney, oversees the charter management of the 116-footer out of Newport. www.churchillyachts.com

Egg Harbor owners set ’05 rendezvous

The Egg Harbor Owners Association will celebrate their rendezvous anniversary July 28 to 31 at Block Island, R.I.

Champlin’s Marina will accommodate the entire fleet. Reservations must be received by Jan. 15 to guarantee slip and hotel reservations.

Contact Champlin’s Marina, Hotel & Resort, P.O. Box J, Block Island, RI 02807. (401) 466-7777. www.champlins resort.com

Scout Boats adds new dealers

Scout Boats has signed more dealers to its roster, bringing the total number of dealers in Scout’s growing network to 74.

In the Northeast Dave Bofill Marine of Hampton Bays, N.Y., has signed on as a Scout dealer. The Long Island marine dealership has been in business for 30 years.

Scout builds sportfishing models ranging from 14 to 28 feet. www. scoutboats.com

Industry captains guide school endowment

The Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design will be getting an added boost in its efforts to raise funds for the Olin J. Stephens II Chair in Yacht Design.

Eric Goetz, president of Goetz Custom Sailboats, and Will Keene, president and CEO of Edson International, have volunteered to serve as co-chairs for a recently launched effort to build the endowment.

The Stephens Chair in Yacht Design was created by the Landing School to honor the world-renowned designer by celebrating and instilling in students Olin Stephens’ high standards, his innovative thinking, his respect for science and his love for the art of yacht design. Stephens, who has served the Landing School as a close advisor for many years, served as chief designer for the legendary Sparkman & Stephens design firm, which he co-founded in 1928 with yacht broker Drake Sparkman.

Stephens was an early proponent of tank testing for hull models, and made extensive use of the technology in the development of many of his designs.

Founded in 1979, the Landing School offers programs in boatbuilding, yacht design and marine systems.

www.landingschool.org