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News Notes - Florida

Yacht brokerage opens 15 new Florida offices, the North American subsidiary of the yacht brokerage organization, recently announced the launch of the newest addition,

Located in Sarasota, Fla., will focus on developing 15 new sales offices throughout the state. Officials say there is a fast and aggressive roll-out plan with office locations on both the West and East coasts already confirmed in Sarasota and Miami. Thirteen additional locations are confirmed across the state from the Keys to Destin, including Tampa, Daytona, Melbourne and Fort Myers.

Change in the air for brokerage show

The 20th annual Yacht & Brokerage Show, scheduled for Feb. 14 to 18 along the Indian Creek Waterway and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, will include new features.

“Our main priority is to address the needs and desires of boat buyers in the best possible way, even before they set foot at the show.” says Andrew Doole, vice president of Show Management, producers of the event. “The changes and improvements we are incorporating range from the show’s online presence to the in-water displays.”

The redesigned show Web site offers information and new interactive features. The My Show Planner section allows attendees to locate exhibitors before going to the show.

When you click on the site a fresh and vibrant show logo will greet you. It features an eye-catching illustration of a yacht under the Florida sun. It serves as an easily recognizable symbol of the show.

Highlights include: the complete line of sportfishing boats by Viking Yachts; and Vicem Yachts, the Turkish builder of Down East-style motor yachts, will be showcased at the show for the first time. Volvo Penta and MAN Engines will also be joining the show for their first time.

Boatbuilder, boat dealer form a partnership

The Turkish boatbuilder Vicem Yachts recently announced the merger of their U.S. operations with Down East Yachts, a former dealer, to create Vicem USA.

Michael Landsberg, previously president of Down East Yachts, and now president of Vicem USA, will oversee all sales, marketing and service operations for Vicem USA. Also joining Vicem USA from Down East Yachts are Dave Mallach, general manager, and Dee Dimperio, New York office manager.

Commenting on the initiative, Landsberg said “the integration of Vicem’s unmatched talent at building the most beautiful and elegant yachts to be found anywhere, with Down East Yachts’ widely known sales and marketing abilities and our dedication to an unparalleled customer experience, presents wonderful opportunities for all of our clients — past, current and future.”

Vicem USA sales and service offices are located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Huntington, N.Y., on Long Island.

Naples Hinckley offers mobile service yard

The Hinckley Co. recently announced Ed Hegarty is the new Operations Manager of Hinckley Yacht Service Naples (Fla.).

Former Operations Manager Gary Rolfe is now the customer service manager at the Stuart yard.

The seven full-service Hinckley marine complexes span the East Coast and specialize in all phases of yacht refit, repair for all makes and models of boats and storage.

Hinckley Service Naples is the company’s new mobile van service center that provides diagnosing and repairing of diesel engines and outboards as well as mechanical and electrical shipboard systems for power and sailboats. Hinckley canvas and cushion repair and fabrication is also offered.

For information, call (239) 261-2870 or e-mail .

Bertram yachts has a new leader

Miami sportfisherman manufacturer, Bertram Yacht, has appointed Mike Myers as its new president/COO.

Previously President of Boston Whaler and Brunswick’s Saltwater Boat Group Division, Myers holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from PennsylvaniaStateUniversity, and has 28 years of managerial experience, including eight years at General Electric and 20 years in the marine industry.

Bertram currently builds models from 36 to 70 feet, and remains the benchmark for superior performance, durability, reliability and efficiency.

Bertram Yacht is part of the Ferretti Group, leader in luxury motoryachts, with a unique portfolio of exclusive brands in the nautical world: Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Apreamare, Mochi Craft, Custom Line and CRN.

New fishing guide and charter locator

Plan your next fishing trip with help from a new Fishing Guide and Charter Locator at The Web site is the online home of BoatU.S. Angler, a membership program that offers services, fishing tips and safety information just for trailer boat anglers.

Anglers can search by region, state or even by species. Included with each fishing guide or charter company listing is contact information and links to their Web sites. Many listings also have detailed descriptions on their business and the types of species available, boats and equipment being used, professional credentials, or other relevant local information.

The Fishing Guide & Charter Locator also includes an informal rating system that allows customers to share their experience online.

Boating safety education program marks 60 years

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s public education program, which has played a role in saving lives. Educating the boating public on recreational boating safety as a means of “preventative search and rescue” has been one of the Auxiliary’s cornerstone missions since its inception almost 70 years ago.

In 1939 Congress created the Auxiliary as the civilian, nonmilitary component of the Coast Guard. Sometimes called “America’s Volunteer Lifesavers,” the nearly 30,000 men and women members teach boating safety in classrooms across the United States; as well as perform search-and-rescue, assist boaters in distress, conduct safety examinations of recreational vessels, and assist the active dutyCoast Guard in virtually all their missions, except direct law enforcement and military actions.

Although the missions of the Auxiliary have broadened over the years, teaching boating safety has always been one of its strengths.

“The goal of our classes is to prevent tragedy through education,” says Ed Sweeney, Chief of the Auxiliary’s Department of Public Affairs.

Horizon Rum Cruise marks a milestone

Horizon Yacht Charters (Antigua) has launched a 14-day Horizon Rum Cruise 2008 package. Aimed at sailors (and non-sailors) seeking adventure, the flotilla will depart from Antigua May 9 with experienced guides, Paul and Marguerite Jackson, and embark on a 200-mile voyage through the Leeward and Windward islands.

The group will visit a variety of rum distilleries, sampling the rum on the way, and end the cruise in St. Lucia May 23.

Charter a yacht for the full two weeks from $5,850 to $8,550. Skippers are available from $150 per day. To find out more about the package contact the reservations team, e-mail or visit .

Ocean observing system installed in MobileBay

NOAA recently announced that the Port of Mobile, Ala., has become the 14th location in the United States to install the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System.

PORTS, developed and operated by NOAA, provides accurate real-time oceanographic and meteorological data to mariners that can significantly reduce the risk of vessel groundings and increase the amount of cargo moved through the port.

Administered by the NOAACenter for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, PORTS measures, integrates and disseminates observations of water levels, currents, salinity, wind and bridge clearance. Port of Mobile PORTS data are updated every six minutes and thoroughly quality controlled to ensure accuracy.

While designed to be of service to the marine transportation community, the data is freely accessible at .