News notes - Florida

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New resort in the Out Islands of the Bahamas

Boasting one of the largest marinas in the OutIslands of the Bahamas, the new $85 million Cape Eleuthera Resort & Yacht Club is situated on a private 4,500-acre peninsula on EleutheraIsland and features two-bedroom townhouse resort accommodations lining the marina and beachfront lots starting at $600,000.

Located less than 220 miles off the eastern coast of Florida, The Cape Eleuthera resort and real estate project is being developed by the DeVos family, who formerly owned PeterIsland in the British Virgin Islands and is an ideal setting for sport fishing, boating or relaxing on secluded beaches.

“CapeEleuthera is not for everyone,” said David Green, managing director. “It will never be a Las Vegas-style resort transplanted in the Caribbean, but our guests are able to enjoy an authentic, BahamianOutIsland experience, and that is what makes us so appealing.”

The largest world-class marina in the OutIslands, the Cape Eleuthera Yacht Club boasts the longest megayacht dock on Eleuthera at more than 450 feet and features a wide flushing channel to ensure a gin-clear marina basin and protection against surge. The marina also accommodates vessels larger than 200 feet with depths up to 35 feet and currently holds 55 slips with a potential capacity of up to 200.

For information, visit www.capeeleuthera.com or call (242) 422-9977.

Nominations sought for boating access award

With more boaters having a hard time gaining access to the water, nominations for the second annual BoatU.S. Recreational Boating Access Award are now being accepted. The award recognizes those who have succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access.

Waterfront development, regulatory red tape, poor planning and restrictive covenants are just some of the factors contributing to the decline of waterway access for recreational boats.

“Municipalities are levying hefty tax hikes for marinas. Boat clubs and yards are assessed at highest use rates which makes them targets for high-density housing, and some marinas simply give up after being stymied by years of red tape required to get a permit,” said BoatU.S. vice president of government affairs Margaret Podlich. “Access also includes storage issues. Local ordinances and property covenants increasingly prohibit boat storage — even in your own backyard,” she added.

Judges will look at four criteria: First, the challenges faced in retaining or increasing access in an area; Second, the direct impact or measurable results of the solution; Third, the level of success in increasing awareness of the issue in a community; and Fourth, “repeatability,” the ability to take the successful approach and adopt it in other areas.

Examples of solutions could include creative public/private partnerships, changes in land-use planning or permitting processes, tax incentives, legislation or public ballots, publicity or public education. Eligible activities need to have been undertaken in the last three years.

Applications are being accepted from June 15 through October 1 and winners will be announced by October 31. Previous entrants are asked not to reapply. www.BoatUS.com/gov

Engine manufacturer lengthens warranty

Yamaha Marine Group recently announced that effective Jan. 1, 2008, it has lengthened the limited warranty period for Yamaha Marine replacement parts, accessories, instruments and gauges sold by its authorized dealers.

Customers will now receive a full year of warranty coverage from date of purchase against defects in materials or workmanship, direct from Yamaha, subject to certain exclusions and limitations.

“Moving from the previous 90 days to a full year’s limited warranty coverage on most of these items is a comfort for our customers and serves to further Yamaha’s reputation for quality,” said John Rigsby, Yamaha Marine Group national sales manager.

Yamaha Marine has won the marine industry’s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. www.yamahaoutboards.com

Prepare for blastoff

The uniqueness and excitement of navigating under both the old and new Seven Mile bridges in the Florida Keys are prime draws for both powerboat racers and spectators at the Marathon Super Boat Grand Prix, set to begin at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 18.

The race’s course encompasses the old SevenMileBridge, once part of a historic railway stretching from mainland Florida to Key West, and the contemporary SevenMileBridge, the centerpiece of the Overseas Highway spanning the Keys.

The course is roughly nine miles per lap, starting in FloridaBay and proceeding westward to the first checkpoint. Racers make a 90-degree left turn to head to the Atlantic Ocean, passing between the new and old SevenMileBridge concrete foundations. Two more hard left turns point racers back to the bay side, again speeding through the narrow pass between the bridges’ concrete foundations. A right turn in the bay takes racers across the finish line to a hairpin left turn that completes each lap.

The larger boats are expected to navigate nine laps for a total course length of about 80 miles.

Race fans can view the boats and meet race teams Friday and Saturday when the dry pits open to the public at the Marathon city event field, situated near mile-marker 52, between 98th Street and 99th Street.

Spectators can view race action free from SunsetPark at mile-marker 47 on the east end of the SevenMileBridge. www.fla-keys.com

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