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News notes Fla Dec 06

News notes Florida and the South -  December 2006

Exclusive contract for South Florida dealer

Ocean Yachts announced the selection of SunDance Marine as their exclusive dealer in the important South Florida markets of Monroe, Dade and Broward counties for its full line of yachts beginning Oct. 1.

Ocean Yachts, based in Egg Harbor, N.J., offers a line of sportfishing boats ranging in size from 42 feet to 73 feet, as well as the Odyssey cruising yachts of 57 feet and 65 feet.

With more than 80 employees and in excess of $40 million in sales, SunDance Marine is one of the top marine dealers in Florida. SunDance Marine also offers Regal Boats, Silverton Yachts and Fountain Powerboats, and is the largest Wellcraft dealer in the world.

SunDance Marine has facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Pompano Beach, JensenBeach and Stuart and a satellite dealership in the Florida Keys. Fort Lauderdale and JensenBeach are full-service marinas. Ocean Yachts will be offered out of the Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami facilities.

Diesel fuel analysis offered by company

Fuel analysis is part of engine maintenance. The cost of diesel fuel, although expensive, is small when compared to the problems that may develop without the proper purchase specifications, verification of those specifications, handling, storage and distribution.

Generally speaking, most fuel is within the grade; however, occasionally a fuel delivery may be substandard. Fuel can also degrade and become contaminated in storage and transfer.

Dieselcraft Fluid Engineering offers a $99 fuel stability testing program. The program will indicate if the fuel is up to ASTM standards and if there is an unwanted rapid degrading taking place in the fuel.

A prepaid order form and sampling canister is sent to the buyer with complete instructions on how to prepare the sample and where to send it for independent lab results. For information visit

Diving history exhibit displayed at museum

The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum, at Mile Marker 83 bayside in Islamorada, has completed construction of its final exhibit area, which opened Sept. 20.

Scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays, the museum features one of the world’s greatest collections of diving equipment.

Beginning their tour in the “Timeline of Diving” gallery, visitors are introduced to 3,000 years of underwater exploration beginning with breath-hold diving.

The museum then brings visitors within inches of the earliest diving machines, including a full-scale replica of an all-wood diving bell.

An early highlight of the self-guided tour is the collection of open-bottom diving helmets. The most famous of them, the Miller-Dunn, was invented and produced in Miami in 1916.

A separate gallery is dedicated to Art McKee, generally regarded as the father of recreational diving. McKee began diving with Miller-Dunn helmets in Islamorada in the 1940s and was the first underwater treasure hunter to turn his work into a tourist attraction.

Midway through the tour, visitors come upon the Parade of Nations, a collection of historic hard-hat dive helmets from around the world. Helmets from 25 nations are presented side by side for close inspection.

Galleries featuring the development of underwater lighting and communication lead into the scuba gallery, where today’s divers can check out some of the earliest scuba gear.

The final gallery, “Into the Abyss,” features authentic deep-diving suits — the kind that resemble the Michelin man. Weighing up to 900 pounds, these suits allow divers to work at extreme depths.

The museum is purposely low-tech, with the focus on ancient and antique equipment.

Admission is $10 per adult and $9 for kids 5 to 12. Children under 5 are admitted without charge.

Dealer markets an ‘east meets west’ program

An East Coast dealership is offering its customers a chance to cruise the Pacific Northwest.

Rhumb Line Yacht Sales, with offices in Stuart, Fla., and Newburyport, Mass., has launched a program, allowing customers who purchase a new Camano trawler, built in Canada’s British Columbia, to take a shakedown cruise in the Pacific Northwest.

“This is a great opportunity for boat owners to use their own vessel to explore an area they may not otherwise have an opportunity to visit,” says Beth Simkins, owner of Rhumb Line’s northeast office.

Simkins says many buyers have mentioned how much they’d like to cruise the Northwest, considered to be some of the best cruising in the world. But getting there from the East Coast can be challenging.

“After a while it dawned on us: Because the boat is manufactured and launched there, we can offer it,” says Simkins.

Customers travel at their own expense to a marina in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the newly purchased boat will be docked. A representative will meet them to discuss boat systems, provisions and local cruising. A complete set of navigational charts and cruising guides will also be on board. Customers can cruise the Pacific Northwest for as long as they like, says Simkins. Upon their return to Vancouver, the boat will be decommissioned and prepared for shipment.

The yacht then can be delivered to either the Rhumb Line office in Florida or Massachusetts. The option to take delivery in either office also opens up the potential to cruise another area of the country, says Simkins.

Northeast customers, for example, can potentially cruise the Northwest, take delivery in Florida, then cruise throughout the winter in the Southeast and then cruise up the Intracoastal Waterway in spring, says Simkins.

Rhumb Line says the program will be offered indefinitely.

Camano is built in Delta, British Columbia, just south of Vancouver and 130 miles north of Seattle. A new yacht equipped with cruising options costs about $220,000.

— JoAnn W. Goddard

Sailboat manufacturer receives safety award

Hunter Marine of Alachua, Fla., one of the world’s largest sailboat manufacturers, was awarded a special commendation by the National Water Safety Congress Aug. 8 for its initiatives of voluntarily placing carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in the cabins of all its keel boats.

Hunter Marine has made CO detectors standard equipment for the past five years in its boats 25 feet and larger.

“Carbon monoxide detectors are a part of our comprehensive effort to provide as much safety equipment as possible on all of our boats,” said Eric Macklin, market development manager for Hunter Marine.

Since 2003 when the Coast Guard began tracking CO as a cause of injury, 58 people have been injured and 10 people have been killed on boats by CO poisoning. It is speculated that many accidents and deaths before then may have been caused by CO, but may not have been attributed because of a lack of knowledge regarding the dangers of the odorless and tasteless gas.

Hunter Marine meets or exceeds NMMA and federal requirements for safety features and in many categories the standard safety equipment included on its models extends well past federal and NMMA required standard safety equipment.

Hunter Marine is part of the Luhrs Marine Group, and is an employee ownership company. With facilities in Alachua, Fla., East Lyme, Conn., and Portland, England, Hunter Marine distributes sailboats from 14 to 50 feet in more than 46 countries throughout the world.