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News Notes - Connecticut & New York


Vicem Yachts will have a new Connecticut dealer this spring. Turkish-based Vicem specializes in stylish motoryachts from 34 to 150 feet - like the 58 Classic Express pictured - and offers a range of vessels from sportfishers to cruisers.

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Old Saybrook, Conn.-based Island Cove Yacht Sales is the only place where  Vicem yachts are available in Connecticut. Todd Schenk, Vicem sales representative and Connecticut yacht broker will be partnering with Jon Manafort, owner of Island Cove. There are also dealers and service centers in Newport, R.I., Huntington, N.Y., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Soundings contributor to speak on cruising in Cuba

Soundings contributor Peter Swanson will give an illustrated talk on the high and low points of cruising Cuba if the embargo is lifted.

If the embargo to Cuba is lifted, more American boaters will be seeing the customs office at Marina Hemingway.

"Sailing in Cuba," takes place at 4 p.m. Feb. 7 at the town hall in Essex, Conn. The talk will be the latest installment of the "Essex and the Sea" programs.

Despite being a mere 90 miles south of the tip of Florida, Cuba is still an unknown and undiscovered region for Americans. The coastline of Cuba is striking, but also utterly bereft of sailing amenities, says Swanson. "Nothing works but the beautiful, beautiful waters," he says.

Swanson will be accompanied by Soundings editor Bill Sisson, who will speak about Pilar, author Ernest Hemingway's sportfisherman. Hemingway was also a noted big-game angler who fished the waters off Cuba.

Call (860) 767-2814 for reservations.

Connecticut officer part of CG team in Iraq

In his civilian life, Barry Natale and his wife Neisha operate Sound Navigation, which offers lighthouse tours and romantic cruises, as well as charters. Their boat, Seaport Express, carries up to 27 passengers and departs from the Rowayton Market dock on the Five Mile River in Norwalk, Conn.

Coast Guard boatswain mate chief Barry Natale should be back in Connecticut in time for the boating season.

But now USCG boatswains mate chief Barry Natale is in Iraq as part of the small Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment (RAID) team, preparing soldiers for redeployment back in the United States. RAID teams inspect shipping containers, assist the Army in safely packing hazardous materials and perform individual customs with the solders.

Natale says the most memorable part of his job is his interaction with the many soldiers he meets. The RAID team inspection is one of the last steps that must be completed before the soldiers return to the United States.

"It's all part of the Army redeployment process. The Coast Guard is here helping soldiers to get home which is rewarding for sure," says Natale.

Natale, currently assigned to Coast Guard Station New Haven, is tentatively scheduled to return to Norwalk, Conn., around the beginning of June, just in time for the start of boating season.

Seaport exhibition explores waterways

Building America's Canals, an interactive exhibition revealing the construction and operation of the nation's human-built waterways, opens Jan. 30 at Mystic (Conn.) Seaport.

Building America's Canals blends history and science through hands-on activities and encourages visitors of all ages to step into the roles of lock tender, canal engineer, crane operator and canal boat captain, according to Mystic Seaport. Divided into four sections relating to key canal structures - locks, masonry arches, cranes and aqueducts - each area will feature accompanying interpretive panels with photographs, diagrams and text detailing the historical context for America's canals.

The exhibit will remain open in the museum's Mallory Building through Oct. 11. Entry is included in museum admission.

Knickerbocker club goes up for auction

After 135 years of sailing and socializing, Long Island's second-oldest yacht club Knickerbocker Yacht Club, which closed earlier this year, put its Port Washington, N.Y., waterfront property up for sale.

Lots offered for sale at the clubhouse included several sailboats, sails, a 15-foot workboat and outboard motor. Also for sale were kitchen and dining room furnishings and items such as flat-screen TVs and a piano, along with club memorabilia.

The 1-acre property was to be sold separately to a development company interested in building condominiums, according to club commodore Brian Raskin.

The club was founded in Manhattan and operated out of Port Washington since 1907. It was renowned in sailing circles for inventing winter "frostbite racing" in the 1930s. Numbers had dwindled to 54 from a high of 280 in the 1980s, says Raskin.

- Bill Bleyer

Gudzik's Marine owner dies

Kenneth Michael "Mike" Gudzik, co-owner of Gudzik's Marine and The Boat Place in Port Jefferson, N.Y., died Oct. 19 after a brief battle with cancer. It was his 65th birthday.

Gudzik was born in Garfield, Ga., and graduated from Port Jefferson High School in 1963, going on to study marine biology at Muskegon College in Michigan.

He recently retired from the marine industry, both from Gudzik's Marine and Venice Boat Sales in Lindenhurst and Freeport, N.Y. He was also a past board member of the Association of Marine Industries and served as a representative to the Empire State Marine Trades Association.

An upgrade will get you free airtime

KVH Industries is offering $500 of free airtime as a trade-in allowance for customers upgrading to Inmarsat FleetBroadband service and a new Inmarsat-compatible TracPhone system from KVH. This program is open to customers with old Globalstar, Iridium, AMSC/MSV or other regional or low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite systems, according to KVH.

Those trading in their old systems have the option of selecting one of KVH's hardware and airtime packages. Customers selecting the "Premium Value" broadband plan can also receive free FB150 hardware or reduced-cost FB250 and FB500 hardware.

Inmarsat's FleetBroadband is provided by a trio of new satellites that cover the globe and are capable of providing a data rate of up to 256 kbps, according to the company.

The trade-in program lasts until Dec. 31 or 100 trade-ins, whichever comes first. For information, visit (Sept. '09)

This article originally appeared int eh Connecticut & New York Home Waters Ssction of the February 2010 issue.