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News Notes Florida March 2007

Florida marina sports a makeover

Fishermen’s Village Yacht Basin in Florida’s Charlotte County was closed in 2003 because of structural problems on its 25-year-old docks. In addition, the water depth was shallow because of years of silt deposits, and the basin could no longer handle deeper draft vessels.

The permitting process for state and federal agencies took two years because the harbor is designated a Florida Special Aquatic Site, as well as a National Estuary by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The first phase of the project consisted of dredging to the original depth when the basin was created (ranging from -7.5 feet to -3 feet at mean low water). More than 24,000 cubic yards of dredged material was removed. Next came the demolishing of the old docks, which were replaced with prefabricated cement structures.

A third aspect of the project involved building the new fuel dock. This included the installation of two new underground fuel tanks, each 12,000 gallons (one gas and one diesel). The new tanks meet all state and EPA 2009 underground storage tank regulations, including a computerized leak detection system, according to harbormaster Jim Branch.

The final aspect of reconstruction was the replacement of pilings, dock boxes, trash boxes, cleats, fire mains, electrical pedestals, potable water stands and safety ladders. Also, the restroom/shower/laundry facility and the marina office/ships’ store, which were severely damaged by Hurricane Charlie, have been rebuilt.

Fishermen’s Village Yacht Basin has 111 permanent slips, of which 97 are available for public use, and 31 temporary docking areas for transient boaters. The docks can accommodate vessels up to 120 feet.

Luxury So. Fla. marina in development

Flagstone Property Group has begun building Island Gardens, a large waterfront development on Watson Island in South Florida.

Surrounded by 360-degree views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, the $575-million project will integrate a super-yacht harbor, a luxury hotel, a business hotel, fractional residences, high-end retail shops, waterfront dining, a leisure garden and a maritime gallery.

The Island Gardens’ 50-slip marina will be exclusively designed for megayachts larger than 80 feet, with space for vessels of 450 feet or more.

“Superyacht harbors are proven magnets in attracting crowds, as experienced in St. Tropez, Monte Carlo, and Monaco,” Mehmet Bayraktar, chairman and CEO of Flagstone Property Group, said in a statement. “Flagstone Property Group aspires to create the excitement surrounding a megayacht anchored lifestyle experience at Island Garden.”

Fractional ownership club adds Wally Yachts

Barton & Gray Mariners Club in Boston has complemented its fleet of Hinckley Jet Boats with WallyPower 47s and WallyPower 70s for both Luxury Runabout and General Mariner Membership types.

Wally, headquartered in the Principality of Monaco has been building sailing and power yachts for more than a decade. Sandy Spaulding, president of Barton & Gray commented, “Wally’s appreciation for design, quality, and fun make their yachts a perfect addition to the Barton & Gray Mariners Club Fleet.”

Barton & Gray Mariners Club is accepting reservations for partial ownership of both the 47- and 70-foot WallyPower for all markets served by the Mariners Club. Call (866) 726-3555 to learn more.; .

New Bimini marina is taking shape

Construction has begun on Browns Hotel and Marina in Bimini, Bahamas. Browns includes a 300-foot boardwalk and seawall. It is scheduled for completion and expected to be operational by early spring, according to Bimini Heritage.

The marina features luxury condo-hotel apartments with slips in Bimini’s port of call. The construction is part of a residential and commercial real estate project, called Heritage Village, to revitalize Bimini’s Alice Town.

The Heritage Village development plans feature family-friendly nightlife, lodging and 17 one- and two-bedroom luxury condo-hotel apartments, connected by a public access boardwalk, according to the company. The resort will include 17 marina slips for vessels ranging from 50 to 140 feet.

The first Heritage Village project completed was the redevelopment of Big John’s Hotel, which launched Aug. 1, 2006. The hotel was included in restoration plans for Compleat Angler bar, which was destroyed by a fire Jan. 13, 2006.

For details, visit

Foundation receives Spirit of Hope award

Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad W. Allen, has awarded the Coast Guard Foundation the 2005 Spirit of Hope Award from the Bob Hope Foundation.

“To have the foundation’s commitment to the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged in this way is truly an honor,” says Ross Roeder, chairman.

Established by Bob Hope in 1996, the award is given to the heads of the five armed forces, with the request that they use it to recognize an individual or organization that provides distinguished service to its members. Prior recipients through various branches of the military include Senator John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, President George H.W. Bush and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In addition to receiving a medal, recipients are recognized on a wall of honor in the Pentagon.

The Coast Guard Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard and its Academy. The foundation funds academic and athletic excellence at the Coast Guard Academy, provides scholarships to the children of enlisted personnel and educational grants to Coasties pursuing college degrees, and builds training and education facilities across the country.

School teacher turns the lucky ignition key

Lakeland, Fla., science teacher Greg Underwood held the key that cranked a new Formula 240 Bow Rider boat. He won a prize package from Passport Marine that includes a free one-year boat lease, including all maintenance, storage, insurance and a $1,000 gas certificate.

Nearly 30 finalists from across the state had a chance to start the Formula boat, culminating a two-month promotion in which Lifestyle Family Fitness health club members used special “Formula Boat” guest passes to bring friends into the club. Each time a friend visited a Lifestyle Family Fitness club with the guest pass, the pass was entered into a drawing. One qualifying person was chosen at random from each club to receive a key and a chance at winning the Formula Boat.

“I’ve always wanted a boat, but it was never something I could afford,” said Underwood, 39. “I’m looking forward to becoming a captain and taking faculty members from my school out on the water with their families during the summer. I even plan to offer my students learning incentives, with the winners getting a half-day trip on the boat.”