News Notes – Connecticut & New York

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Stimulus money gives IWC boaters relief

The federal government’s stimulus act has turned into a boon for pleasure boaters who too often must detour around shoaled channels and silted harbors.

An estimated $1.9 billion of the $787 billion approved in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is earmarked for dredging. It’s part of a $4.6 billion allocation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rehabilitate the nation’s waterways, flood-control projects, hydroelectric power plants and Corps-managed lakes and recreation areas — and help put Americans back to work.

With stimulus money the Corps now plans to catch up on some of this backlog. Spending includes $1,260,000 for dredging critically shoaled areas on the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and, along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway: $6,175,000 for dredging at Palm Valley in North Florida and constructing a dredge spoil retention area; $5.9 million for dredging in Georgia; $4.4 million for dredging and dike construction along the North Carolina ICW; $4 million for dredging and dike construction in South Carolina; $1,750,000 for bridge repairs in Virginia and along the Dismal Swamp Canal.

All told, there are 892 operation and maintenance and 178 construction projects on the list. The projects are supposed to employ 57,400 workers directly and 64,000 indirectly.

To make the Corps’ list, a project must be far enough along in planning to be executed quickly and result in jobs immediately. Rosemary Lynch, executive director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, expects most of the work to be under way by September.

“Boaters will definitely see relief soon,” she says.

— Jim Flannery

Milford honors Navy at July 4 celebration

The U.S. Naval Academy Offshore Sail Training Squadron will visit Milford, Conn., over the Independence Day weekend. After a 300-nautical mile sail from Annapolis, Md., four NA-44 sailboats will arrive July 3 at Milford Landing when the midshipmen will participate in an Honoring our Heroes ceremonies at the Westfield Connecticut Post Mall. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display.

The public is welcome to meet the midshipmen and tour the USNA offshore sailing vessels from 12 to 4 p.m. July 4 and 5.

Milford Yacht Club will host the midshipmen for a private reception and dinner July 5.

To make a donation and help offset the cost of hosting the midshipmen, contact the Milford Chamber of Commerce, 5 Broad Street, Milford, CT 06880. Please make checks payable to: Milford Chamber of Commerce — USNA Visit.

AquaPalooza 2009 turns up the volume

Singer Alan Jackson will headline AquaPalooza 2009, July 23-26 in Lake Martin, Ala.

The “world’s largest boating party,” sponsored by Sea Ray and hosted this year by Russell Marine of Alexander City, Ala., will include a giant raft-up, games, giveaways and musical performances. Sea Ray will also transform 150 international dealerships into additional AquaPalooza party sites.

The event attracted about 12,000 boats and 56,000 guests to 140 sites in 2008.

For information, visit www.aquapalooza.com.

Historic schooner ties up in Essex

The Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn., has a new partnership with the historic New England schooner Mary E, and will operate daily river cruises, specialty charters and educational programs off the museum’s docks starting in June.

The 75-foot gaff rigged schooner “was built in 1906 and served as a cargo ship, an official United States mail carrier, a swordfishing vessel, a private yacht and an excursion vessel,” says CRM executive director Jerry Roberts. “Ships like the Mary E sailed up and down the New England coast and Connecticut River, stopping at ports like Essex to pick up and offload a variety of goods.”

The Mary E was to set sail for Essex in early May.

“The Mary E has had many lives, including serving as a rum-runner and having sunk at least once. She’s been brought back to life with a complete restoration and will sail into Essex in all her glory,” says owner Matt Culen.

For information on daily schooner cruises and specialty tours, call (860) 767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

New York show dates moved to January

After seven years, the New York National Boat Show is moving out of its holiday dates and back to its traditional timeframe, the National Marine Manufacturers Association announced.

The 105th annual show, which is changing from nine days to five, will take place Jan. 20-24 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Attendance at the most recent show, held Dec. 13-21, was down 49 percent, the NMMA previously reported.

Grant Westerson, executive director of the Connecticut Marine Trades Association, applauded the news.

“As far as the New York show, it’s probably the best thing they’ve heard in a long time,” he said.

For information, visit www.nyboatshow.com.

Taylor Made Products acquires D-Icer line

The venerable manufacturer Taylor Made Products has acquired the D-Icer product line from Pyramid Technologies Industrial, LLC (Pyramid Tech) of Meriden, Conn.

The manufacturing and distribution of the product line has been moved to Gloversville, N.Y., and is immediately available as part of the Taylor Made Products full line of marine accessories.

The D-Icer is a submersible motor-driven water circulation unit developed to prevent ice from forming around docks and pilings by propelling warmer subsurface water to the surface. The oil-free design is energy efficient and offers an optional thermostat control to further reduce energy use.

BoatU.S. hits milestone for radio-registrations

BoatU.S. registered its 50,000th boat owner with an enhanced VHF radio that will greatly improve safety on the water. The registrations are part of a free service BoatU.S. launched in 2000 to enable boaters to take advantage of the U.S. Coast Guard’s new Rescue 21 coastal radio system. Rescue 21 is designed to enhance distress communications, speed up search and rescue response time, provide more accurate direction-finding, and eliminate VHF radio coverage gaps.

By registering a DSC VHF radio with BoatU.S., key information such as a boat description and owner contact phone numbers, is logged into the Coast Guard’s national database used by search and rescue personnel.

While Rescue 21 is not yet operational in all regions, commercial ships are required to monitor channel 70. To register your DSC VHF radio, go to www.boatus.com/mmsi.

An easy way to save on your boat insurance

Boaters who obtain a boating certificate from the United States Power Squadrons could qualify for substantial discounts on boat insurance. Many states require boat operators to earn the certificate before operating a boat or personal watercraft.

The America’s Boating Course Third Edition is certified by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Boaters can complete the course online, as a CD-based course or in a classroom setting. All students will receive an extensive, full-color book and a self-study, animated and narrated CD.

Contact the United States Power Squadrons at (866) 262-8222 for information or visit www.americasboatingcourse.com.

Nordic Tug owners to gather in July

Nordic Tugs owners throughout the country have announced their 2009 rendezvous dates, including one July 22-25 at Essex Island Marina in Essex, Conn.

Events follow throughout the spring and into fall.

Visit www.nordictugs.com for information on upcoming events.

Headquartered in Burlington, Wash., Nordic Tugs manufactures classic tug-style yachts from 26 to 54 feet.

This article originally appeared in the Connecticut & New York Home Waters section of the July 2009 issue.