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Unmanned boat runs aground on beach

A boat was discovered hard aground Sept. 11, in Mashpee, Mass., with its navigation lights on and engine in gear and running — but no one on board. Authorities believe 58-year-old South Sandwich resident Paul Bertolozzi had been the only person aboard.

Two days later boaters aboard a 65-foot schooner found Bertolozzi’s body in the water about two miles from Point Gammon, near Hyannis, Mass., the Coast Guard says. Coast Guard officials from station Woods Hole, Mass., recovered Berolozzi’s body and turned it over to state police.

Bertolozzi reportedly left Edgartown, Mass., at about 8:30 p.m., on board his convertible, Bon Gusto, and was headed home to Osterville, Mass. Bon Gusto, which various reports described as 29 and 35 feet, was found around 10 p.m. on Tidewatch Beach in Mashpee, Mass., according to news reports.

Bertolozzi and his wife, Gail, reportedly traveled from Osterville to Edgartown earlier that day. The Cape Cod Times reported the couple allegedly had an argument and Bertolozzi left without his wife, disappearing at some point during the nine-mile return trip. Six- to 7-foot swells in Nantucket Sound that night could have contributed to Bertolozzi’s disappearance, according to Coast Guard officer Jay Cadorette.

In response to the incident, the Coast Guard launched a 110-foot cutter, 41-foot utility boat, HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HU-25 Falcon jet, conducting a 38-hour search that covered more than 1,000 square miles. State and local police, good Samaritan boaters and aviators, Coast Guard Auxiliary and numerous harbormasters also assisted in the search, the Coast Guard says.

— Jason Fell

Fishing vessel collides with pleasure boat

Coast Guard personnel pulled five people to safety Aug. 26 after their anchored boat was struck by a fishing boat about one mile from Point Judith Harbor in Rhode Island.

The 40-foot sailboat, Ecstasy, lost one of its two masts when an outrigger on the 47-foot fishing boat, Hard to Handle, struck it, the Coast Guard reports. Ecstasy’s crew contacted the Coast Guard by VHF radio. The incident happened at about 3 a.m.

Coast Guard officials pulled five people from Ecstasy aboard their 27-foot rescue vessel, including two children. The rescue was called only “precautionary” by a Coast Guard spokesperson.

The cause of the accident was being investigated by the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office in Providence, R.I.

Regatta raises thousands for hurricane relief

Spectacular weather on Narragansett Bay set the stage for the Museum of Yachting’s 26th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta held on Labor Day weekend. The Regatta featured more than 80 classic sailing yachts racing on Narragansett Bay, a parade through Newport Harbor and a race around Conanicut Island.

In light of the catastrophe facing residents of the Gulf States, a focus on fundraising was adopted and more than $15,000 was raised for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by event organizers. The Museum of Yachting held a spontaneous live auction of items donated by sponsors and participants including Best Life magazine, Audi and The Carnegie Abbey Club, photographers Cory Silken and Billy Black, the charter yachts Adventuress and Rum Runner, and vintage prints donated by race official Ray Perry.

Lifeboat added to National Register

Built in 1946, the Motor Lifeboat CG36500 performed admirably during years of service at the Chatham Massachusetts Lifeboat Station, but never more so than on one night off Chatham back in 1952.

The CG36500 was made famous by its crew of four in the Feb. 18, 1952, rescue of 32 survivors of the ill-fated tanker Pendleton, during a tremendous 70-knot northeasterly storm.

The four Coasties took 36500 out in this storm in what seemed an impossible mission. They each received the Gold Life Saving Medal for getting to the scene under intense conditions and rescuing the 32 crewmen from the Pendleton.

Decommissioned in 1968, CG36500 was left to deteriorate until the Orleans Historical Society intervened, acquired ownership and executed a comprehensive restoration.

The Lifeboat now once again travels the water off Cape Cod and beyond and, according to society members, it is the only restored 36-foot Motor Lifeboat that still gets under way. The vessel is berthed at Rock Harbor, Orleans, Mass., during the summer months.

On May 25th, the CG36500 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only motor lifeboat individually listed.

‘Nautical Nightmares’ back at Mystic Seaport

A new mysterious boat ride along the historic Mystic River will highlight the beginning of Nautical Nightmares, the annual Halloween-season event at Mystic Seaport.

Nautical Nightmares is a 70-minute dramatic experience that explores the mystery of historic ghost tales, legends and unsolved mysteries of days gone by. This event is not recommended for children under seven.

Performance nights are Oct. 14, 16, 20-23 and 27-30. Tours leave every 20 minutes beginning at 7 p.m. The last tour leaves at 9:20 p.m. Tickets for Nautical Nightmares are $17 per adult ($15 for members) and $14 per child (4-18, $12 for members). Tickets can be purchased by calling (888) 973-2767, or at the Mystic Seaport Visitor Reception Center.

Cruising class for experienced mariners

Offshore Sailing School is offering a new course for experienced sailors who have mastered basic cruising and navigation skills.

Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making combines two advanced US Sailing certified courses: the four-day Coastal Navigation all-classroom course, followed by the Coastal Passage Making course aboard a 50-foot Moorings yacht on a six-day Caribbean passage.

Course dates are set for March 22 - April 2. Participants stay at the Moorings’ Mariner Inn in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, for four days of in-depth coastal navigation classroom study, about six hours each day, culminating in a comprehensive exam for US Sailing certification.

On March 26 sailors move aboard the Moorings 50 and set sail from the BVI the next morning, en route to one of the leeward islands of Anguilla, St. Martin or St. Barts. This non-stop 80-mile journey across the Anegada Passage is repeated downwind back to Tortola, with the final night ashore at the Mariner Inn before heading home April 2.

The complete package price for both courses and accommodations for two is $4,095 per person. If traveling alone, the package is $4,385. These packages include five nights in the hotel, certification courses, most meals while on board, initial fuel, ice and certain fees.

For those not yet ready for Coastal Passagemaking, Coastal Navigation may be taken alone at $1,195 per person double occupancy, ($1,590 single) which includes the course, course materials and the hotel stay at Mariner Inn. There is no prerequisite for Coastal Navigation except basic navigation skills.

Call (800) 221-4326 or visit www.offshore-sailing.com.

Back Cove builder is expanding, moving

North End Composites, builder of Back Cove Yachts, is looking to expand its operation by relocating to a 230,000-square-foot warehouse in Rockland, Maine.

“The move is going to allow us the breathing room we’ve wanted for a number of years,” says marketing manager Bentley Collins.

The company has finalized the purchase of the former Nautica warehouse, located in Rockland Industrial Park, and began moving in last month, Collins says. The company had been working out of a 39,000-square-foot facility also located in Rockland.

North End Composites had planned to expand its previous building by 22,000 square feet, according to Collins but when the Nautica warehouse became available, the North End management team decided to pursue that option instead.

“With the additional space, we hope to increase part fabrication, to be able to house our molds indoors and, in the future, to produce new Back Cove models,” says Collins.

Back Cove Yachts offers two Down East cruisers: the Back Cove 26 and the Back Cove 29.

“We ship a Back Cove 29 once every week and a Back Cove 26 once every 10 days or so,” Collins says. “This brand has really hit a spot in the marketplace. It’s taken off in an extraordinary way.”

North End Composites also makes fiberglass-reinforced plastic composite hulls and decks for larger Sabre Yacht models.

www.backcoveyachts.com; www.sabreyachts.com

— Jason Fell

Florida trawlers explore waters Down East

Eight Great Harbour trawlers steamed out of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Aug. 26 on a group cruise to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, intended to sharpen owners’ seamanship skills and give them a taste of the New England coast.

The cruise was led by Mirage Manufacturing, which builds the Great Harbour trawlers in Gainesville, Fla. Except for one, none of the boats had ever been further up the East Coast than the Hudson River. The fleet consisted of six Great Harbour 37s, a Great Harbour 47 and an N37, all of which share the same hull design.

The itinerary included Onset, Mass., Provincetown, the Isles of Shoals (off the New Hampshire coast), Portland and Booth Bay Harbor. The plan had been to duck into Gloucester as well, but the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Katrina’s remnants prompted the group to arrive at Portland a day early, and provided the skippers with a lesson in weather window planning.

In Portland the fleet went alongside docks at the Maine Yacht Center, the only scheduled docking on what Mirage dubbed the Down East Cruise. Otherwise, the boats anchored or picked up moorings.

Shoreside, the crews enjoyed a private concert in the marina’s lounge by Eileen Quinn, itinerant troubadour of the cruising lifestyle; a clambake on the beach at Provincetown and a lobster bake at Boothbay.

Several of the participants saw their first whales as the vessels paralleled Stellwagen Bank en route from Provincetown to the Isles of Shoals. En route to Portland, many of the skippers also got their first taste of navigating in fog.

Life jacket part of modern art exhibit

The StayAlive Life Jacket manufactured by Innovations & Solutions will be featured in a unique safety products design exhibition opening Oct. 16 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“SAFE: Design Takes on Risk” runs at MoMA through Jan. 2, and features about 300 products and prototypes designed to protect the body and mind from dangerous conditions, respond to emergency situations, ensure clarity and information, and provide a sense of comfort and safety.

Retired Florida Marine Patrol Officer Dan Williams invented the StayAlive Life Jacket. It combines a U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device with necessary safety items to greatly improve the chances of survival and rescue in emergency situations.

For more information about the StayAlive Life Jacket visit www.stayaliveinc.com or call (305) 289-7376. For information about the exhibit, call (212) 708-9400. www.moma.org

Classic yachts wrap up summer events

Castine, Maine, hosted a series of classic yacht events this past summer including a race from Cape Cod to Castine, match racing of Six Meter and New York 32 yachts, and the sixth annual Castine Classic Yacht Race to Camden.

The second annual 175-nautical- mile race from Cape Cod to Castine was co-sponsored by the Castine Yacht Club and Concordia Company of Padanaram, Mass.

Of the four boats that raced, the Concordia 39, Arapaho, sailed by Jeff Makholm of Boston, was declared the winner, ahead of Concordias Phalarope and Kee Nee Noh. Arapaho was awarded the Phalarope Trophy, given to the Castine Yacht Club by Rosebud Boat Company in memory of Thomas G. Ashton, Sr.

Match racing by fleets of Six Meter and New York 32s graced the Castine harbor in August. The Six Meter Lucie, skippered by Greg Carroll, led the fleet, followed by Totem, sailed by Jacob Vargish, and Alana, sailed by Toby Rodes.

The New York 32s are a class built in 1936 and designed by Olin Stephens. Now 97, Stephens sailed on Bob Scott’s Falcon, which led the fleet, followed by Siren, sailed by Peter Cassidy, and Gentian, sailed by the Rogers family.

Thirty-seven yachts raced to Camden in the sixth annual Castine Classic Yacht Race. Wild Horses, a 76-foot sloop built by Brooklin Boatyard and skippered by Donald Tofias, covered the course down east Penobscot Bay and around Robinson Rock in 2 hours, 19 minutes to take the Spirit of Tradition Class. Wild Horses edged out by 28 seconds Goshawk, another 76-foot sloop in her maiden race sailed by Richard Schotte. Steve White’s Vortex took third.

David Bicks, co-chairman with Bob Scott of the Castine events, presented the Ames Cup to Peter Cassidy, owner of Siren, as overall winner of the Castine Classic Yacht Race.

Rhode Islander named head of Shannon Yachts

Shannon Yachts of Bristol, R.I., announced in September the appointment of Bruce Brown as president and chief operating officer of the company.

Brown has a sailing, yacht building and business background, having been a key executive with Ted Hood, Sr., when developing his Rhode Island companies, and most recently as general manager of Palmer Johnson. Brown resides with his wife, daughter and son in Portsmouth, R.I.

Shannon Yachts, builders of semi-custom power and sailing yachts from 32 to 60 feet has been synonymous with seaworthy yacht construction for over 30 years. It currently has over 300 boats of varying sizes plying national and international waters. www.shannonyachts.com

Maine boatbuilder honored by state

Hodgdon Yachts of Boothbay, Maine, was recently presented with the Pine Tree Zone Certification by Gov. John Baldacci.

The governor introduced the Pine Tree Zone program, an aggressive incentive package structured to bring jobs and new business to Maine, in February 2004. State officials credit the program with helping to create 2,800 jobs. Fifty-three businesses have received PTZ certification.

Hodgdon, which currently employs 76 people, plans on adding up to 25 new jobs as part of its long-term growth strategy, which includes a contract with the Navy to design and build a composite high-speed prototype patrol vessel. www.mainebiz.org

Jobson among museum lecturers

The Herreshoff Marine Museum of Bristol, R.I., is offering a lecture series through October.

America’s Cup sailor, author and commentator Gary Jobson will give the Carlton J. Pinheiro Memorial Lecture on “The Rolex Trans-Atlantic Challenge 2005” Oct. 11.

The lectures take place Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Aria Gallery at the museum, and are free to museum members. Non-members’ fee is $5. Herreshoff Marine Museum, 1 Burnside St., Bristol, RI 02809. (401) 253-5000. www.herreshoff.org

Maptech offers updated New England guide

The new “Embassy Guide, New England Coast,” from Maptech, with 575 pages, 156 nautical charts, over 800 marinas and 274 photos, now offers coverage to the area known as Region 2 in Chart-Kits. It also works hand-in-hand with other MapTech titles, namely ChartKit, Marine Navigator, and Digital ChartKit.

Areas covered are Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Nantucket Sound, Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay, Cape Ann to Maine, the Southern Coast, Casco Bay, Midcoast, Penobscot Bay, Mount Desert Area, the Bold Coast and Passamaquoddy Bay.

Embassy Guides are available directly from Maptech and from marine retail stores nationwide. www.maptech.com

New Safe/Sea vessel on patrol in R.I. waters

Safe/Sea, the Rhode Island-based marine assistance and salvage company continues to upgrade its fleet of rescue vessels to better serve local boaters. A new 35-foot RIB began service in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound May 2.

Almar, of Tacoma, Wash., designed and built the new vessel. The new boat is 2 feet longer, and has more powerful engines and an expanded electronics package from previous boats built for Safe/Sea.

The vessel is powered by two Yanmar LY series, 370-hp aftercooled turbo-charged diesel engines instead of the previously used 315hp Yanmar engines. These are coupled to Borg Warner model 72, 1:1 marine gears modified for commercial use and Hamilton model 274 jet drives. This package not only allows the vessel to cruise at 36 knots, but the Hamilton jets provide unparalleled maneuverability when docking, including the ability to move the vessel directly sideways, as well as turn the vessel within its own length.

Boat donations now made easier

A new online service called ONEtool is helping the Massachusetts Maritime Academy reduce the time it takes to process donated vessels.

Donated boats are used by the academy for seamanship, boat handling, maintenance and piloting training. Vessels are also used to facilitate the college’s educational programs through internships, federal work-study, and cooperative learning services in International Marine Business, and Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Degree programs.

The marine software and data management services company, Secured Marine Trust, is located in New Haven, Conn. It operates on a secure Web-based server, and quickly executes a one-click transfer of vessel information from the U.S. Coast Guard database of documented vessels. A form ready for signature can be prepared within minutes.

Call MMA at (800) 453-2541. www.maritime.edu