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N.H. may be next to ban head discharge

Boaters traveling along New Hampshire’s coast may soon be prohibited from discharging their treated head waste overboard.

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a request from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to designate all of the state’s coastal waters as a no-discharge zone. The petition was submitted in July to the EPA’s Region 1 offices in Boston. State officials are hoping the designation will help improve the quality of New Hampshire’s waters, including its beaches and shellfish beds.

To qualify for the designation the state must show that there are ample pumpout facilities where boaters can get their holding tanks pumped. According to the request, the state’s coastline supports more than 4,500 boats, of which only 962 are large enough to have a head. The state has five on-shore pumpout facilities and one pumpout boat.

Since 1975 the EPA has established more than 60 no-discharge zones, including nine in Massachusetts, two in Connecticut, all the inland waters of New Hampshire and Vermont, and the entire coast of Rhode Island. Federal law prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage from vessels within all navigable waters of the United States, which include territorial seas within three miles of shore.

Before the EPA makes its final decision the New Hampshire petition is subject to a 45-day public comment period, which ends Aug. 22. Additional information about no-discharge zones in New England is available at www.epa.gov/ne/eco/nodiscrg.

— Jason Fell

Coast Guard searches for napping 4-year-old

Coast Guard officials and a number of volunteers in July spent nearly two hours searching Lake Erie, near Sandusky, Ohio, for a 4-year-old boy who turned out to be napping under blankets aboard his family’s 35-foot Egg Harbor cabin cruiser.

Friends and relatives of Eric Lile screamed with relief, a news report says, when the boy emerged from the boat’s cabin unharmed. Searchers feared he had fallen overboard without a PFD.

Two Coast Guard helicopters, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources dive team, local authorities and between 50 and 60 private boats searched an area between Catawba and Kelleys islands for the boy. The boy’s uncle, according to the report, said family members had searched the boat but were unable to find the boy.

“This situation could have potentially been much worse than it was, especially since he wasn’t wearing a life jacket,” says Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew Schofield. “We were very glad it turned out the way it did.”

— Jason Fell

Boatbuilding program aids Maine youth

Three 8-foot skiffs were launched in June at the Atlantic Challenge waterfront in Rockland, Maine, built by middle- and home-school students involved in the Marine Mentoring Program.

The after-school program helps area youth explore and develop ties to Maine’s vast marine heritage through active engagement, construction of traditional watercraft, and exposure to an environment where vessels are used safely and efficiently.

From September through June, Rockland SAD No. 5 Middle School and home school students worked together with retired volunteers and professional educators/boatbuilders to complete a series of the skiffs, emphasizing craftsmanship and community throughout the process.

Atlantic Challenge is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to inspiring personal growth through craftsmanship, community, and traditions of the sea. www.atlanticchallenge.com

Race Week returns to Nantucket

Nantucket Race Week will run from Aug. 13 to 21 this year, and will benefit Nantucket Community Sailing, a non-profit educational organization providing affordable access to sailing and water sports. The Nantucket Yacht Club and the newly formed Great Harbor Yacht Club are cosponsoring the event. America’s Cup sailor Gary Jobson is honorary chairman.

Each day of the event will offer a different type of race, including a one-design series, a junior regatta, a 12-meter regatta, a big-boat series and a Sail Nantucket Regatta, culminating with the legendary Opera House Regatta. Other events include dinners, barbecues, awards parties and a Rainbow Parade. Some of the world’s best sailors, including Jim Brady, Julia Trotman Brady, Kevin Burnham, Dave Dellenbaugh, JJ Isler, Peter Isler, Chris Larson, Keven Mahaney and Jody Swanson will be participants. For information contact Nantucket Community Sailing, (508) 228-6600. www.nantucketraceweek.org

Maine shop completes a trio of restorations

Six River Marine in North Yarmouth, Maine, recently launched three boats restored and completed at its shop.

Ramble is a 36-foot double-planked Ted Hood Little Harbor yawl originally built in 1959. It was launched in Quahog Bay in Harpswell, then driven on her own bottom to her summer home in New York. Driftwood is a 32-foot Down East-style pleasure boat originally built in Southwest Harbor, Maine, in 1952 by Roger Rich and Ralph Grindle. Profiled in WoodenBoat magazine, Chewink is a unique, double-planked 34-foot power cruiser built by Shew and Burnham, and originally launched in 1970. The boat’s hailing port is Telluride, Colo., but her summer will be spent in the waters off Osterville, Mass.

Six River Marine, founded by boatbuilders Scott Conrad and Chip Miller, was established in 1995 and provides new construction, restoration and repair services, with a focus on wooden boat work. Contact Six River Marine

at (207) 846-6675. www.sixrivermarine.com

Dory built, launched by student craftsmen

Apprentices from the Apprenticeshop of Atlantic Challenge launched a 16-foot fishing dory at their Rockland, Maine, waterfront facility in May.

Apprentices Neil Joyce of Shad Bay, Nova Scotia, and David Parham from The Woodlands, Texas, began work on the boat in March. The John Gardner dory design was redrawn from the original draft done at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1884. The boat was commissioned by the Carroll School of Lincoln, Mass., and will be used for youth rowing programs at their facility.

The shop-built boat was planked in pine, the frames are sawn hackmatack, the ribs and bottom cleats are white oak, the stem is yellow pine and the transom is white oak.

These boats row well with a tremendous amount of ballast, as they were designed to haul nets, bring in a catch, and row fish back to a fishing schooner. Banks dories were straight-sided and easily built so they could nest on the decks of the ships.

Other boats scheduled for summer launch include an 18-foot double ender; a 24-foot lobsterboat (currently for sale); a 14-foot Moosabec Reach Boat; three 8-foot skiffs from the Marine Mentoring Program; and a 12-foot Susan Skiff. For information about Atlantic Challenge, call (207) 594-1800. www.atlanticchallenge.com

Museum of Yachting receives new exhibit

The National Sail & Maritime Trust in June presented the Museum of Yachting in Newport, R.I., with a new interactive exhibit called The Discovery Center.

The exhibit has 10 interactive stations that help visitors gain an understanding of nautical concepts. Included in the exhibit are a wind tunnel, giant knot-tying board, a block-and-tackle station and a computer-simulated station that allows visitors to take the virtual helm of a sailing yacht.

“While adults will enjoy these interactive exhibits, we have designed them to help give our younger visitors a better understanding of the elements of physics, seamanship, natural forces and ocean environment that are a part of going to sea on vessels of all types,” says MOY executive director David Brown.

The Museum of Yachting is located at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., and is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 15 to Oct. 31. For information call (401) 847-1018. www.museumofyachting.org

Mass. rope maker sponsors local regatta

New England Ropes of Fall River, Mass., manufacturer of ropes for the pleasure marine market, was sponsor of the inaugural Jimmy Fund Regatta held in Newport, R.I., in June.

More than 90 boats participated in the event, which raised over $90,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies.

The second annual Jimmy Fund Regatta has already been scheduled for June 2-4, 2006 in Newport. www.neropes.com; www.jimmyfund.org

Yacht certification offered in Newport

Capt. Kent Dresser, president/founder of Ocean Pros, has announced that Ocean Pros will begin offering the International Yachtmaster Certification in Newport, R.I., as an affiliate of International Yachtmaster Training, whose world headquarters are located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Upon successfully completing the IYT training program, graduates will be licensed to work on almost any yacht in the world, Dresser says.

Graduates will receive the IYT Yachtmaster Offshore-Shore Based Certificate, a Radio Communications Certificate, an S.T.C.W. 95 Basic Safety Training Certificate, a British Maritime Coastguard Authority recognized IYT Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competency, and U.S. students will receive a 200 Ton Masters license once they fulfill the US Coast Guard requirements. Throughout the three-week course students will not only spend time in the classroom learning navigation and theory, they will complete a five-day training cruise, learn to fight live fires, practice in-the-water survival techniques, and become certified in first aid and CPR.

Call (401) 849-1257 or e-mail kent@oceanpros.com .

No more Sea Tow on Lake Champlain

Boaters on Lake Champlain who need a tow will now have to turn to local and state police, town rescue departments, local marinas or friends for help. The Lake Champlain franchise of Sea Tow Services International recently went out of business.

“We have a number of members in that area, and we’re dedicated to finding the right person to establish a new franchise there as soon as possible,” says Sea Tow president Keith Cummings.

In the meantime, boaters will have to be more careful on the water in order to avoid needing to be towed, says Dave Lumsden with the Coast Guard unit in Burlington, Vt. “The Coast Guard isn’t going to tow a boat if there’s no danger to life and property,” Lumsden says. “Owners are going to have to make sure their boats are mechanically sound. They should leave a float plan with friends and/or family. Getting a tow on the lake is going to be a little tricky for a while.”

Cummings says members can still call Sea Tow if they need help, although it might take a while to get assistance. “We have a list of people and organizations in that area that can tow a boat if we need them to,” he says. “Members there are still covered. We’ll be working hard to make sure boaters don’t have to wait too long for these services.”

Cummings hopes to have a new Sea Tow franchise on Lake Champlain by the beginning of next season.

— Jason Fell