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News notes - Florida

Interlux offers grants for ‘green’ improvements

Interlux Yacht Finishes has announced the company will provide $60,000 in grants to organizations that create sustainable environmental waterfront improvements.

The eight Waterfront Challenge grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, will be awarded in February at the Miami International Boat Show.

“We are excited about launching a program that empowers the boating community to preserve the one thing we have in common — water,” said Bob Donat, vice president of marketing for Interlux. “The health of our bays, streams, lakes and oceans is vital to the future of boating. The Waterfront Challenge is a real opportunity for everyone to go and make a difference.”

Applications will be accepted until Nov. 5. For information, visit

Gulf marine debris mapping site available

In a continuing effort to improve maritime safety and commerce in the northern Gulf of Mexico, NOAA has revised the Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project Web site, an outlet for hydrographic survey data identifying risks posed by debris left in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The updated Web site provides information on both offshore and inshore debris surveys and removal efforts currently under way. For offshore areas, the Web site provides sonar survey information, including maps where the location of marine debris has been identified. For inshore areas, the Web site displays survey maps of waterways identified as having debris issues, along with photos of debris, sunken vessels and the occasional alligator. Site content is provided jointly by NOAA and the Coast Guard.

“A local user can obtain information on specific waterways, view debris location and photos, and be informed of potential boating hazards. A casual, non-local user gains a snapshot of the environment in Louisiana, the work being conducted, and the impact that hurricanes Katrina and Rita are still having on daily activities,” says Nir Barnea, project manager for the Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project.

Chart retailer issues accuracy warning

OceanGrafix, which offers NOAA print-on-demand nautical charts, reminds mariners that hurricane activity may result in cartographic changes that make mariners’ charts inaccurate. NOAA predicted an above-normal hurricane season for 2008, with up to 16 named storms and up to five major hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

“Immediate dangers, such as debris, exist right after a storm, and aids to navigation are often destroyed,” says Richard Sillcox, chief of the Chart Updates Service at NOAA. “But there also can be very dramatic, permanent changes of which boaters must be aware. As many as 300 obstructions to navigation were charted by NOAA subsequent to Hurricane Katrina. Boaters can only know of such changes if they update their nautical charts based on the Notices to Mariners or, better yet, if they get updated NOAA charts.”

Through its exclusive relationship with NOAA, OceanGrafix receives chart files updated daily by NOAA cartographers with important Notice to Mariners changes. As a result, the charts distributed by OceanGrafix incorporate all the critical corrections from the weekly notices. The charts are printed “on-demand,” meaning only after an order has been placed.

Former Bertram, Tiara executive dies

Funeral services were held June 13 in Holland, Mich., for Patrick Daniel Cunningham, retired Tiara Yachts sales executive and one-time president of Bertram Yachts. Cunningham, 65, died after a 10-year struggle with heart disease. A Detroit native, Cunningham was a prominent figure in the marine industry. After serving as Bertram president from 1982 to 1989, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Tiara Yachts until his retirement in 1998. He was a former member and officer of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

“Pat was a dear friend and will certainly be missed…He was a great professional in the industry,” says David Slikkers, CEO of S2 Yachts, Tiara’s parent corporation. Cunningham went to work for Slikkers’ company in 1991, the year the luxury tax was imposed.

Cunningham is survived by his wife of 42 years, Kathie Cunningham; his four children and four grandchildren.

Dry-rack units available on GordonRiver

Minutes from the Naples Harbour Yacht Club (NHYC), a new dry-rack boat storage facility opened its doors in June. The ceremony took place soon after a Certificate of Occupancy was issued for Yacht Clubs of the America’s (YCOA) newest facility. The marina boasts 680 “dry rackominiums” and a luxury yacht club with five-star concierge service on the GordonRiver.

NHYC’s dry-storage facilities are built to withstand winds up to 150 mph, providing a safe haven for boats during the threat of a hurricane.

YCOA is a chain of luxury private yacht clubs featuring wet and dry slips that entitles ownership members to reciprocal privileges at a number of affiliated locations.

In addition, YCOA is ensuring the property can never become something other than a marina. The company’s mission is to preserve the future for the next boating generation by locking down the slips as a deeded asset expected to appreciate.

Owners also enjoy the amenities of a yacht club atmosphere.

Cadets in need of new boats for training

The Coast Guard Academy is seeking modern sail training vessels to train cadets. The goal is to build eight boats, one for each cadet company to supplement summer waterborne training and for weekend cruises when academy juniors and seniors would earn qualifications.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is the uniformed civilian component of the United States Coast Guard, suggests those interested in supporting the program contact Donald B. Trone, director of the Institute for Leadership, at (412) 860-4982 or e-mail .