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News notes - Florida

Marlow to debut new flagship at Miami show

The new flagship of Marlow Yachts, the Marlow Explorer 86 Cockpit Motor Yacht, will make its debut at the 2008 Miami International Boat Show in February. This new model represents the 100th Marlow Explorer Yacht to be produced.

The exterior appearance and interior accommodations of the yacht were designed for maximum performance and comfort at sea. The placement of three separate crew cabins located amidships insures privacy.

The Snead Island, Fla., builder can be reached at .

Cape Coral to get a drystack condominium

Skipper Marine Development, an affiliate of Skipper Bud’s of Winthrop Harbor, Ill., is developing a 151-slip drystack condominium in Cape Coral, Fla.

The new Del Prado Boat Club is being built to withstand 130-mph winds in the event of a hurricane. Del Prado will offer service and safe storage but “without the costly frills” that would increase the unit owners’ monthly fees, according to general manager Mike Morrison, in a statement.

“The attention is focused on providing a high level of service, which means taking care of each boat as if it were our own,” said Morrison.

Fishing chain seeks antique memorabilia

Bass Pro Shops is building a historic display that honors the great outdoors and is asking anglers to share their artifacts, photos and treasures, which will be displayed at the chain’s stores.

Currently, Bass Pro Shops is seeking quality antique fishing, hunting, camping or other outdoor sport items, any North American game mounts, or old historical fishing and hunting photos from the 1800s to the 1960s for the new store being built in Denham Springs, La. If you have any such items and would be interested in Bass Pro Shops taking a look at them, please contact Allen Morris at (417) 350-5710 or e-mail him at .

All original photos will be returned to the owner if received by mail, and if used in the store’s décor, the owner will be given credit.

Megayacht crew nominated for award

Northrop and Johnson Fort Lauderdale recently announced the nomination of Argyll, a 153-foot yacht, for the International Superyacht Society Distinguished Crew Award.

The honor is designed to “recognize yacht crew whose distinguished acts of service best exemplify the standards to which professional yacht crew aspire.”

Earlier this spring, while in transit from St. Thomas back to Miami, Bosun Christopher Burton was on watch aboard Argyll when he spotted a small boat a couple of miles off the port bow. Burton hailed Capt. Robert Corcoran and they diverted to assess the situation. Chief Engineer Anuar Vasquez communicated with the captain of the boat and learned they were out of gas, lost a propeller on one of their two outboards, and had been drifting for a few days without food or water.

Corcoran directed his crew to secure the yacht and gather all the extra water on board, any fruit or other perishable food, blankets and first aid supplies. They passed more than four cases of bottled water to the refugees, as well as a large bag of food.

“They were eating the food as soon as they got it aboard,” Corcoran said. “It was quite a sight to see the food opened and consumed so quickly.”

Then they placed a satellite call to the Coast Guard in Key West and waited for their arrival after drifting about 8 miles away from the initial spotting. The Coast Guard vessel stopped about 100 yards away and dispatched a dinghy to make contact with the refugees.

Argyll is part of the Northrop and Johnson Charter Fleet and is available for charter in the LeewardIsland at $137,200 per week, plus expenses. This quad-deck, elevator-equipped vessel boasts lavish accommodations for 10 guests in five staterooms with the master suite encompassing 2,400 square feet of private living space.

Charter firm offering anniversary specials

Southwest Florida Yachts has invited boaters to a “berth-day” party, a three-year celebration of 25 years of chartering power and sailing yachts on the protected waters of Florida’s Gulf barrier islands.

The company officially marks its silver anniversary in July 2009, but the celebration starts Jan. 1, 2008, and continues through Dec. 31, 2010.

During the high season, Dec. 14 – April 30, charterers receive one extra day of cruising, free, on any charter of three days or longer. Between May 1 and Dec. 14, charters of three days or more receive two more free days of cruising.

Southwest Florida Yachts charters power yachts from 32 to 43 feet and sailing yachts from 24 to 35 feet. The company’s chartering operation maintains its offices and power yacht fleet at Marinatown Marina in N. Fort Myers. The sailing fleet is located at Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda.

Florida dealer picks up Grand Banks line

Classic Yachts International was recently awarded the dealership for Florida’s East Coast by Grand Banks Yachts. The company offers the complete line of Grand Banks Yachts, including Heritage, Eastbay and Aleutian Series models from their locations in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Pierce, Fla.

Previously, the Grand Banks dealership on Florida’s East Coast was handled by Hal Jones & Co.

“We are very excited to represent Grand Banks Yachts here in our Florida sales territory,” says Steve Fithian, president of Classic Yachts International. Partnering with Fithian is CEO George Potochney, a successful entrepreneur, and a Grand Banks owner.

Classic Yachts International is participating in all of the major boat shows in Florida this season and will host a four-day rendezvous for Grand Banks owners at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, March 13 to 16. For information on Classic Yachts International, call (877) 527-2778 or visit .

Hurricane preparation symposium set for March

BoatU.S. is planning a practical look at reducing the impact of future hurricanes through a two-day symposium that will give marina owners and yacht club managers the tools they need to weather the next hurricane, minimize damage and successfully recover.

On the agenda will be information on preparation techniques that have worked well; “storm-hardened” marinas in the future; and legal rights for preparing boats for hurricanes.

The symposium will take place March 4 and 5 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla. Go to to sign up to register, receive e-mail updates, reminders, press releases or to book a room, or call Kristin Loyd at (703) 461-2878, Ext. 3561.

Insurance firm expands diesel warranty program

FPC Premium Marine Protection has expanded their diesel warranty coverage to now include new and used yachts and boats up to 80 feet and up to 2,000 hp per engine.

According to the company, “this is unprecedented in the pleasure boat market, and no other service warranty provider has ever offered this level of coverage to a growing yacht market.”

Customers purchasing new and used yachts up to 80 feet can now buy extended service warranty coverage on engine and drive train, equipment, electronics, hardware and other accessory components, much like the programs FPC has offered on smaller boats and cruisers.

Officials get a look-see at Keys reef project

The chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality joined other federal and Florida state officials Oct. 8, to examine a decommissioned U.S. Air Force missile-tracking ship being prepared to be intentionally sunk as an artificial reef off Key West, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

James Connaughton viewed some of the major cleanup work already accomplished on the 524-foot-long General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. The ship once tracked Mercury and Gemini space liftoffs and was a movie set in “Virus,” a 1999 thriller that starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Sutherland.

The $5-million-plus ship-to-reef project is scheduled to culminate in late spring 2008, with the vessel’s scuttling about six miles south of Key West. Once sunk, it should provide new habitat for marine life, a recreational venue for divers and fishermen and an “underwater classroom” for marine science students.

“We have a huge set of ships from World War II and beyond that are now destined for scrap,” Connaughton said. “By taking ships like the Vandenberg and instead turning them into an artificial reef, we create a new conservation opportunity for marine wildlife and also generate economic activity.”

Decommissioned in 1984, the Vandenberg had been in “mothballs” among many ships retired at the James River Naval Reserve Fleet in Fort Eustis, Va.

Prior to the sinking, workers must rid the Vandenberg of all environmental hazards, ranging from petroleum products to PCPs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Among items that must be removed from the vessel are 800,000 feet of cable.

More than 50,000 man-hours of work will be necessary, but the end result, according to project officials, will be a diversified structure that should appeal to divers of all skill levels.

Charter/brokerage firm adds Caribbean location

Fort Lauderdale-based The Sacks Group and Select Yachts in Sint Maarten recently announced a strategic partnership and the grand opening of The Sacks Group’s new Caribbean location on SimpsonBay.

Ann E. McHorney, owner and director of Select Yachts, will act as a Charter and Yacht Sales Agent for The Sacks Group as well as providing support services for the fleet. Tswana Burleson has been hired as office manager for this new location.

Select Yachts will continue to operate as a premier agency for sailing yachts, maintaining their vessels separately under their charter marketing umbrella only.

For information call (954) 764-7742 or e-mail .