News notes - Soundings Online

News notes

Author:
Publish date:

Trawlers trek from Va. to Bermuda

It was a light-air, fair-weather passage to St. Georges for the four trawlers participating in the first annual West Marine Trawler Trek, a 640-mile passage from Hampton, Va., to St. Georges, Bermuda. The event was run concurrently with West Marine’s 13th Bermuda Cup cruising rally from Hampton to Bermuda.

The rally started June 21 from a point just south of the Thimble Shoal Light in Hampton Roads, under sunny skies and light northeasterly breezes. Captains reported positions twice daily on the radio and received forecasts from Commander’s Weather.

Setting the pace for future trawlers was Crosswater, Norm Mosher’s Crosswater 49, from Urbana, Va. With a crew that included author and instructor Hal Sutphen, designer John Marples, and Lantz Mearkle, the 5,000-mile-range power cat completed the passage in a fast 51 hours and 40 minutes.

One trawler and one sailboat returned to Hampton after the first night at sea. The trawler lacked stabilizers and found the motion unacceptable and the sailboat suffered from numerous electrical problems.

Organizers say the event can best be described as an experiment. Nearly a year of preparation took place under the guidance of trawler owner Bill Bradshaw, who helped establish the first set of Rules and Conditions for the conduct of cruising events under power. Organizers say lessons learned will help shape future events for trawlers.

“I love being out on the ocean, especially in my own boat [a Northend 42],” said participant Lee Robinson. “On this trip the sea was an incredibly beautiful and luminous blue. At one point at least 35 dolphins accompanied Katahdin, and the flying fish constantly kept me entertained.”

Festivities in Bermuda were held at the host club, St. George’s Dinghy and Sports Club, where a week of exploring the islands culminated in a Gosling’s Black Seal Rum party and an awards dinner before the return trip. Awards were presented to all of the successful passagemakers.

The next Trawler Trek event is scheduled for June 20, 2006. For information, call Steve Black at (757) 788-8872 or log on to www.carib1500.com .

Sail, power shows

return to City Dock

As the boating season wanes, an early fall tradition returns to the Annapolis waterfront in the form of the annual sail and powerboat shows.

First, the United States Sailboat Show returns for a 36th year with domestic and foreign cruising and racing boats, dinghies, inflatables, equipment and accessories.

The show kicks off 10 a.m. Oct. 7 and wraps up 5 p.m. Oct. 10. Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger. For information call (410) 267-6711.

A few days after the sailboats clear out, the fleet of the United States Powerboat Show moves in. Featuring a wide variety of boats from tenders up to motoryachts, the show opens 10 a.m. Oct. 13 and runs to 6 p.m. Oct. 16.

New this year will be a TrawlerPort section, sponsored by PassageMaker magazine and featuring the newest recreational trawlers and tugs, as well as demonstration and seminars on the cruising lifestyle.

A section dedicated to power catamarans is also new, featuring boats from 16 to 64 feet.

Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger. For information call (410) 267-6711. The Web site for both shows is www.usboat.com .

New boat show

debuts in Norfolk

The Virginia In-water Boat Expo, the first major boat show between Annapolis, Md., and Charleston, S.C., will debut Sept. 9 to 11 at downtown Norfolk’s Waterside Marina and Town Point Park.

Co-sponsored by Norfolk Festevents and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the expo will feature more than 100 boats in a wide range of sizes, along with the latest in boating accessories and gear. The expo will have boats on land and in the water, as well as inboard boats, outboard boats, kayaks and other floating regalia.

Other features include a Let’s Go Fishing Center, where professional captains and anglers will be on site sharing secrets on fishing techniques and local hot spots; hourly fishing and sailing seminars; and a Discover Boating Center.

The event will coincide with the Virginia Seafood Sampler and a beach-music festival. With several marinas to choose from, expo organizers suggest the event will make for an appealing destination for a September cruise. www.virginiaboatexpo.com

N.J. restorer Jerry Bass dies at 67

Antique boat restorer Gerhard H. “Jerry” Bass, of Florham Park, N.J., died suddenly on July 27. He was 67.

A professional for the last 25 years, Bass restored two 38-foot Chris-Crafts and Avocette, a 1930 48-foot Huckins, among many other boats. He was a member of the Classic Yacht Association and the Antique & Classic Boat Society, and owned a boat shop in Point Pleasant, N.J.

Bass kept all the boats he restored, says his friend, Ginger Martus. Before he died, Bass had been planning to build a marina where he could keep his collection of restored boats, she says.

Bass also worked for the state of New Jersey for 43 years, developing and evaluating experimental drug treatment programs. He graduated from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy.

Bass is survived by his wife, Bette; his daughters, Suzanne Holtsclaw and Cynthia Gensinger; his son, Christopher; two brothers; four sisters; and four grandchildren.

Weather workshops slated for fall

A two-day Marine Weather Forecasting Workshop will be held in Annapolis, Md., on Oct. 10-11. Sponsored by Seven Seas Cruising Association, the workshop curriculum includes cause and effect of marine weather, charting symbols and terminology, the patterns of weather systems and interpreting surface and 500-mb charts.

The workshop is designed to enable self-reliant mariners to determine the safest routes for their voyages. Lee Chesneau, a senior marine meteorologist for NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center and a USCG-certified STCW instructor, will conduct the courses.

The cost of the workshop is $250 per person for SSCA members, and $275 for non-members. The fee includes a 250-page interactive workbook as well as breakfast and lunch both days. Class size is limited to 20 participants. For more information or to register, call SSCA Home Base at (954) 771-5660 or

e-mail office@ssca.org . Registration forms are also online at www.ssca.org.

Antique ferryboat

made into reef

A century-old boat that once served as a floating nuclear energy information center and later as a Hooters restaurant was intentionally sunk more than eight miles off the coast of New Jersey.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sank the 207-foot (LOA) Elizabeth last August near Cape May, N.J., to become part of the state’s artificial reef site located there, a news report says. The boat will join approximately 135 other sunken boats that provide habitats for fish and support the state’s diving industry.

The Elizabeth (originally named Lakewood) operated as a ferry on the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City, a report says. The boat was later refitted and docked at a nuclear generating complex in Lower Alloways Creek Township, where it housed exhibits educating visitors about nuclear energy. In the 1990s, the Elizabeth became a Hooters restaurant on the Delaware River near Philadelphia.

The boat sank in 2003 — a year after the restaurant closed — but was later raised to become part of the reef. The DEP purchased the Elizabeth, along with two other boats, with a $100,000 appropriation.

Before the vessel was scuttled, the Independence Seaport Museum personnel rescued the 45-ton, 4-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engine. Dominion Marine of Portsmouth, Va., the owner of the ferry, donated the engine to the museum.

“Intact assemblages of steam machinery of this vintage are extremely rare in North America, and ones built on the Delaware River are virtually non-existent,” said David Beard, museum curator.“The sudden and unexpected appearance of a rare and perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the museum to help save the steam machinery from the former ferry Lakewood was a major coup.”

The museum is seeking more than $20,000 to refurbish the 20-foot by 8-foot by 16-foot engine, which is expected to be a yearlong process.

— Jason Fell

Diesel basics class

set for Oct.

The Annapolis School of Seamanship has scheduled fall and winter dates for a course titled “Diesel Engine Basics for Boaters.” The two-day class, hosted by Annapolis Sailing School, is structured to help both sailors and powerboaters.

The 12-hour class is taught by instructors from local marine service companies: Capt. John Martino of Annapolis School of Seamanship and Scott Segal of Bay Shore Marine Engines. Students will receive both lecture and hands-on instruction in operating theory, preventative maintenance and basic troubleshooting and repair skills.

Classes are scheduled for Oct. 22-23, Nov. 19-20, Jan. 28-29, Feb. 25-26, March 25-26 and April 29-30. Tuition is $349. For information, call (410) 267-7205.

UD launches new

research vessel

Cheers and applause erupted from the Dakota Creek Industries shipyard on July 16 when the University of Delaware’s new 146-foot research vessel, Hugh R. Sharp, was christened amid sunny skies and patriotic red, white, and blue bunting.

With the words “I christen thee the Research Vessel Hugh R. Sharp. May God bless all who sail aboard thee,” Carolyn Thoroughgood, UD’s vice-provost for research, broke a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bright-blue bow.

The vessel will operate primarily in the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. Hallmarks of the new ship will be its clean, quiet operation, which will be particularly advantageous in studies of fish and marine mammals, as well as pollution research.

Anchor Bay gets

$1.2M expansion

Anchor Bay East Marina owners Art and Tina Cox recently completed a $1.2 million expansion of the Dundalk, Md., marina. The expansion includes purchase of an adjacent property, and the addition of a new bulkhead, floating piers, ramp, lifts, repair shops, marine store, fuel, and pump-out service.

More than 37 dumpsters of waterway debris were removed from the one-acre expansion site, including rotting piers and sunken boats. The marina was Baltimore County’s first certified Clean Marina, meeting voluntary state pollution prevention measures that go beyond legal environmental protections.

Fawcett Boat Supplies buys Oceana

Thomas and Stephen Ripley, owners of Fawcett Boat Supplies on Annapolis City Dock, announced in August the purchase of Oceana, an Annapolis-based marine distributor.

Founded in 1980, Oceana supplies marine-related products and services to marinas, boatbuilders, repair yards, and retail marine supply outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“This is a great moment for the customers of both businesses. With this purchase we will be able to combine the product lines of both companies to offer better service, more competitive prices and greater selection.” said Thomas Ripley.

The sale of the business was to become final in September 2005. Financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Lippincott Marine to sell Mainships

Graconville, Md.-based Lippincott Marine announced in August it will become an exclusive dealer of the Mainship Trawler and Pilot series of Down East-style boats.

Lippincott, a Mainship dealer since 1995, is one of the top three Mainship dealers worldwide for the past three years, and had additionally retailed a line of sportfishing cruisers. The Chesapeake Bay business is also a broker of 25- to 60-foot boats, and operates a full-service marina at its location at Kent Narrows on the Bay.

“Our new-boat sales are now 100 percent focused on Mainship,” said owner Richard Lippincott. The marina will enlarge seven slips to accommodate more of the larger Mainship 43 Trawlers as part of their in-water “showroom,” and will increase the regional boat show display to feature more Mainship models. www.mainship.com