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Upper Keys to host

marine flea market

Free admission and bargains are on tap for attendees of the Upper Keys Nautical Flea Market set for Feb. 25 and 26, at Founders Park, mile marker 87, in Islamorada, Fla.

The 11th annual edition, organized by the Upper Keys Rotary Club, is expected to draw hundreds of marine- and watersports-related vendors as well as thousands of buyers seeking great deals on new and used boats, marine equipment, electronics, fishing tackle, dive gear, nautical arts-and-crafts and food booths.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 25, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 26. www.giganticnauticalfleamarket.org

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Sailors turn out

for St. Pete show

Strictly Sail St. Petersburg’s new location at Spa Beach at the base of St. Petersburg Pier and a show of special regattas and events drew close to 9,000 sailors — slightly down from last year’s show. But considering the circumstances leading up to the show, organizers were pleased with the turnout.

Extensive damage at Vinoy Marina from Hurricane Dennis forced Strictly Sail St. Petersburg to move to Spa Beach at the base of St. Petersburg Pier this year. Then the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma led the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to reschedule its show at the same time as Strictly Sail St. Petersburg.

“In light of these circumstances, we think we did very well in attracting sailors from throughout the Gulf Coast that generated solid sales for our exhibitors,” said Kevin Murphy, national show manager for Sail America, one of the show’s producers.

Strictly Sail St. Petersburg will be at the same Spa Beach location for the 2006 show Nov. 2-5, since the Vinoy Marina will likely still be under construction.

The show’s featured attraction, “Sailing for Miracles,” helped raise about $30,000 that will be donated to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Sailing legends Allison Jolly, Ted Irwin, Charley Morgan, Frank Butler, Mark Ploch, Ted Hood, Steve Pettengill, Olaf Harken and Jen French competed in the Masters Under Sail regatta, where they raced Sonars loaned by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club with crew members who each donated $100 to sail alongside their favorite sailing master. www.strictlysail.com

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New Orleans Boat Show

will go on with new dates

The 36th annual New Orleans Boat Show will take place March 8-12 in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The event was originally scheduled to take place from Feb. 8-12 at the Louisiana Superdome but has been moved and rescheduled due to damage following Hurricane Katrina.

In addition to featuring the latest boats and marine equipment, the show will offer marine electronics, PWC, fishing accessories, vacation destination information, and many activities and products for family fun on the water. www.neworleansboatshow.com

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New Florida rules

to curtail airboat noise

Florida state officials, responding to residents’ complaints, have adopted measures to reduce the noise generated by airboats.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Nov. 30 ruled out flex pipe as an effective muffling device, and required airboats to have mufflers. The commissioners also directed FWC officers to promote compliance through a six-month educational period.

Public outreach efforts will include an airboat-sound reduction competition next spring to develop innovative solutions for making airboats quieter.

FWC conducted six workshops to gather input from airboaters, sound experts and residents to address complaints about the loud noise. Nearly 400 participants overwhelmingly agreed on the need for an airboater code of ethics and the need for mufflers on airboat engines.

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Sarasota marina

opening its doors, slips

Marina Jack of Sarasota, Fla., turning 40 years old and having expanded its facilities, is now looking for opportunities to host boat, engine and accessory manufacturers for product introductions and dealer meetings.

According to marina manager Sam Chavers, the newly defined waterfront gives Marina Jack 316 slips for vessels up to 175 feet, and includes restaurant docking, outside waterfront dining decks and a party platform overlooking the marina. A fuel center and pumpout station have also been added.

Marina Jack will also soon be the managing force behind Sarasota’s public mooring fields along Bayfront Drive.

Four restaurants are on site as well as the Marina Jack II, a special-events boat. Purchase of a larger boat is planned for 2006. Marina Jack is also scheduled as a stop on the 2006 World Billfish Series. www.marinajacks.com

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Florida dealership

opens a ‘toy’ department

Yacht dealer Allied Richard Bertram Marine Group has teamed up with Yacht Toys to offer a variety of “toys,” including custom golf carts, Vespa-like scooters, outdoor grills, inflatable yacht tenders, jet boats and safety equipment, at the company’s main showroom in Fort Lauderdale.

“Whether they purchase a 116-foot luxury Azimut yacht from us or a 42 Open Atlantis cruiser, the first thing a new owner does is load up on toys to enhance their fun out on the water,” said George Jousma, president of ARBMG. “Partnering with Yacht Toys has allowed us to become a one-stop-shop for our customers.”

Fort Lauderdale-based Yacht Toys

are built and distributed by Rendova Tenders.