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Alden Yachts building 49-foot flybridge express

Alden Yachts of Portsmouth, R.I., announced in September the signing of a new contract to build another 49-foot Flybridge Express. The yacht will be hull No. 14 in the Alden Yachts 40-49 Express Series, and will be the fourth 49 constructed since the introduction of that model.

“In some ways I think the 49 is the perfect size,” said Jim Ewing, vice president of Alden Yachts. “It provides the necessary interior space to allow for very comfortable accommodations — you don’t feel that any of the spaces are compromised to fit into a 49-foot yacht. At the same time it is small enough for a couple to easily handle, and with stern and bow thrusters is a breeze to dock.”

The yacht will be powered by twin Cummins 660-hp diesels. Its interior will feature a two-stateroom, two-head arrangement finished in cherry.

The yacht will also offer Alden Yachts’ Acoustic Noise Reduction Program, which involves 10 different techniques, including machinery isolation mounting, exhaust silencing, vibration dampening, and sound blocking and absorbing. Completion of the 49 Flybridge Express is scheduled for summer 2006. www.aldenyachts.com

New director for Mystic Seaport gallery

Jeanne C. Potter of Old Lyme has been named director of the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Conn.

Founded in 1979, the gallery hosts a number of shows annually, including the International Marine Art Exhibition, which opened Sept. 24.

Before coming to Mystic Seaport, Potter held a number of positions at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., most recently as assistant director of continuing education. She has extensive experience in a variety of areas in art including publishing, fine art gallery management, exhibitions, installation and special events.

Potter holds a BFA and MFA from Syracuse University. www.mysticseaport.org

Holiday tour returns to Mystic

Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Conn., will present its annual Lantern Light Tours this year throughout the month of December. This year’s tour, written by museum staffmembers, brings back Christmas Eve 1876 as a costumed character leads the way through a festive 19th-century seaport village, visiting a tavern, locals and sailors in port for the holiday.

Performance dates are Dec. 2-4, 8-11, 15-18, 22-23 and 27-29.

Tours leave every 15 minutes beginning at 5 p.m. Each tour is about 70 minutes long. Family Nights ( Dec. 8, 15 and 22) will feature live music and a visit from St. Nick.

Lantern Light Tour tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for kids 4-18. The tours are not recommended for children under 4. Tickets can be purchased by calling (888) 973-2767, or at the Mystic Seaport Visitor Reception Center. Reservations are strongly recommended, particularly for Friday and Saturday evening tours. www.mysticseaport.org

Key West Worlds turns 25

For NASCAR racers it’s the Daytona 500. For NFL players, the Super Bowl. In tennis, there’s Wimbledon.

For offshore powerboat racers, the Key West World Championship is a priority ritual every November. This year the event, to be held Nov. 13-20, will celebrate its silver anniversary.

“This is where true offshore racing is,” says Mark Rossi, a Key West city commissioner and president of the Conch Republic Offshore Powerboat Racing Association, the event’s producer in conjunction with Super Boat International Productions.

Race organizers expect nearly 100 boats to participate in the event that serves as the culmination of the 2005 racing season for Super Boat International and American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique competitors.

The 6.5-mile course through Key West Harbor and surrounding waters is what makes Key West one of the premiere racing venues in the world. What racers seem to like most about the course is the availability of both calm and rough-water racing.

“You can be doing 140 to 150 mph in the harbor and then all of a sudden you hit the outside [legs] and the waves can knock you down to 90 mph,” says John Tomlinson, the veteran, multiworld-champion throttleman for the Bacardi Silver Superboat. “That can make the race most intriguing.”

A pass for the week, which includes viewing and admission to the race village/pits area at Truman Annex, is $95 per person. Daily village admission on race days and non-race days is $15 and $5, respectively.

A variety of VIP packages, including lunch during race day and admission to social events, begins at under $200 per person. For details, visit http://www.superboat.com  or call (305) 296-6166.