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News notes

Mercury certification benefits Rinker buyers

Rinker has completed the new Mercury Marine Propulsion-Installation Certification Program, which partners boatbuilders with MerCruiser to improve product quality and enhance consumer satisfaction. Rinker is one of only a handful of boatbuilders already certified.

This also means there is now a two-year Mercury limited engine warranty instead of only one year. This warranty will now come standard with all MerCruiser powered Rinker boats. All MerCruiser engines registered on or after Rinker’s certification date of Sept. 20, 2004, will automatically receive two years of factory warranty.

The Installation Quality Certification Program is the boating industry’s first and only comprehensive manufacturer-installation certification system, according to Mercury. Mercury engineers will assist Rinker and their installers to achieve manufacturing efficiency.

Higher attendance

at Strictly Sail St. Pete

Strictly Sail St. Petersburg attracted higher attendance over last year, according to organizers.

With sunny skies and sailing-perfect winds, close to 10,000 show-goers attended the largest all-sail in-water show on the Gulf Coast at the Vinoy Basin from Nov. 4 to 7.

Discover Sailing rides and seminars (some filled to standing-room-only capacity) were highlights, as was the tall ship Unicorn, a 90-foot (LOA) schooner appearing at the show.

“I’m thrilled with the results, because we went into the show in the midst of the uncertainty of the general election and after Florida had experienced the hurricanes,” said Scot West, executive director of Sail America, the show’s producer. “So the fact that we increased our attendance and exhibitors reported that sales were up is very promising for the show for the next several years.”

Long lines of show-goers waited to board two new Catalina Yacht models introduced at the show — the Catalina Morgan 440 and the Catalina 22 Sport.

Next year’s dates for Strictly Sail St. Petersburg are Nov. 3 to 6, 2005.

Florida DEP

to ease dock rules

Florida marina owners may soon be exempt from some state restrictions limiting the size of private docks — a step industry leaders say is badly needed to deal with the state’s dock space crunch.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has drafted a proposal to allow condo developers to build larger, multifamily docks capable of accommodating more boats, as well as let single-family homeowners band together to build larger docks, according to a report in the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press.

“Our feeling is that there’s a water-access crisis,” Ken Stead, executive director of the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association, told the News-Press. “I don’t know of any existing marinas that are not full. The average boater doesn’t have a place to go.”

The old rule was enacted in 1986 after studies showed large multifamily docks were being overbuilt and sitting vacant. The regulation placed limits on both the square footage of private docks and the number of boat slips allowed, based on the size of the condo development it served, the newspaper reports. A final vote is expected early this year.

New hull-cleaning service

available in 10 states

The developers of SodaBlast have selected and trained an initial group of 11 SodaBlasting Preferred Marine Contractors to provide the company’s innovative boat hull cleaning services in 10 U.S. states.

SodaBlast Systems plans to build a worldwide network of qualified contractors. The system uses a special formulation of environmentally friendly granulated baking soda in conjunction with a SodaBlasting machine to clean and strip boat hulls.

“SodaBlasting removes marine growth from the hull much faster than traditional cleaning methods and, unlike sandblasting, doesn’t harm the gelcoat,” says co-founder Jerry LeCompte. “Our system also makes it much easier to determine the exact condition of the hull bottom and if any repairs are needed.”

Selected as SodaBlasting Preferred Contractors are: Atlantic SodaBlasting, Mount Pleasant, N.J., (732) 600-7826; Blaster Clean, Holland, Ohio, (419) 356-6025); Carolina Soda Blasting, Summerville, S.C., (843) 297-9806; Chesapeake Soda Clean, Arnold, Md., (410) 271-2652; Connecticut SodaBlast, Branford, Conn., (203) 483-5810; Long Island SodaBlast, North Woodmere, N.Y., (516) 791-6185; Dr. Gary Sinopoli, Ocean Springs, Miss., (228) 818-9729; Carlos Suarez, Sanford, Fla., (407) 252-4608; Tampa Bay Soda Strip, Lutz, Fla., (813) 376-0610; Technology Solution, Maple Plain, Minn., (612) 965-2285; All Island SodaBlast, Riverhead, N.Y., (631) 727-3354; and Western Soda Blast, Lakewood, Colo., (720) 635-0300.

Sportfishing icon,

‘Hal’ Lyman, dies

Henry “Hal” Lyman, former publisher of Salt Water Sportsman magazine, died Aug. 13. He was born in Boston in 1915, graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1937, and served in the Navy aboard destroyers in WWII.

His career in publishing began as a reporter in Hyannis, Mass., for the Cape Cod Colonial newspaper; later, following graduation, he worked for the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield. Released from active duty in 1946, he became editor at Salt Water Sportsman, a modest 7-year-old publication dedicated primarily to the interests of surf fishermen in the Northeast. He purchased the magazine shortly after, taking over as publisher, the title he held for a half-century.

He retired from the military in 1953 after serving in the Korean War. Always an avid fisherman, Lyman espoused the budding concept of catch and release, and would go on to champion clean water, responsible fishery management and ethical angler behavior. He participated in dozens of state, federal and international fishery boards, commissions and associations.

Lyman authored nine books, seven on saltwater fishing and two on bluefishing, as well as many magazine articles and editorials.

Marine Technology

seminars return

Marine Computer Systems’ popular Marine Technology Seminar series returns in 2005 at venues in Maryland, Florida and Maine.

Two day-long seminars will be offered: “Electronic Navigation Using Nobeltec” and “Offshore Marine Communications.” Participants can attend one or both sessions.

“Electronic Navigation with Nobeltec” focuses on the company’s Visual Navigation Suite software. Students will learn the differences between various types of electronic charts, and master the basics of moving about in VNS. Plenty of time will be spent on Nobeltec’s more advanced features. A representative of Nobeltec will attend the session.

“Offshore Marine Communications” topics range from SSB to satellite. Students will place a call to a coast station, and send and receive e-mail using a Pactor modem and the SailMail service. All participants will also have an opportunity to place voice calls and exchange e-mail using a variety of satellite options, including Iridium, Globalstar, SkyMate and Inmarsat.

Led by Daniel Piltch and Tim Hasson of Marine Computer Systems, both seminars take a hands-on approach using live working equipment set up and operating with real-world practical exercises.

Registration is $295 per person for one day and $495 for both days, with a 20-percent discount for a spouse or additional student on the same registration. The schedule is:

• Jan. 29 and 30, Pier 5 Hotel, Baltimore

• Feb. 19 and 20, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Miami

• April 2 and 3, Portland Marine Complex, Portland, Maine

Contact Marine Computer Systems Inc., in Portland, Maine at (207) 871-1575. E-mail: info@marinecomputer. com. n