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News Notes – Florida & the South

Rybovich opens new megayacht service center

In West Palm Beach, Fla., Rybovich Boat Company recently opened a40,000-square-foot Mega-Yacht Service.

In addition to the significant equipment investment, the company has added a 660-ton TravelLift to complement their 330-ton lift. Rybovich’s new service facility also includes hard space for nine yachts up to 200 feet and seven in-water slips for yachts to 275 feet.

“By combining innovative ideas and state-of-the-art technology, we have made significant progress toward the goal of creating a mega-yacht destination of choice,” said Wayne Huizenga Jr. owner and Chief Executive Officer of Rybovich.

New waterfront village for Florida’s Panhandle

Shailendra Group, an Atlanta-based development company, recently announced the development of its waterfront community that is situated along Florida’s EmeraldCoast near Panama City.

Named EastBay, an “old Florida” coastal town that offers a “laid-back, relaxed lifestyle that incorporates the new urbanism concept of sustainable living and mixed-use design.”

Located 20 minutes east of Panama City, EastBay is situated on 1,400 acres of waterfront property that meanders four miles along EastBay and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

“The Panama City area is projected to experience record growth in the next five years,” states Shi Shailendra, CEO for Shailendra Group and managing member of EastBay Development Company. “Add to this the confirmed $300 million international airport, a thriving military operation at Tyndall Air Force Base and the growing retirement of the baby boomer generation who are migrating to warmer climates. What you have is an opportunity to create an exciting, and in EastBay’s case, a genuinely unique community.”

Construction plans call for a full service bay front marina with quick access to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a town center, which includes a retail village, a neighborhood square, and a waterfront park all woven along miles of waterfront scenery.

Phase one of the development consists of 350 home sites with lots starting in the $85,000 price range and homes from the $350,000 price range. A variety of lot sizes and architectural styles will be available to ensure a differentiated yet complementary aesthetic to the overall community.

For information, call (800) 574-8190 or visit .

Coast Guard Foundation appoints new president

The Coast Guard Foundation has appointed Anne B. Brengle as president of the national nonprofit organization. With her background in nonprofit management, fundraising and capital campaigns, Brengle will lead the organization’s nationwide effort to increase public awareness and funding for programs benefiting the men and women of the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Academy.

 “I look forward to leading an aggressive nationwide campaign to educate the American public about the urgency of the Foundation’s mission, and the ways in which they can help,” Brengle said.

Brengle has nearly three decades of experience in institutional advancement and management.Before being appointed president of the Coast Guard Foundation, Brengle served as president of the New BedfordWhalingMuseum in Massachusetts from 1994 to 2007. Prior to joining the New BedfordWhalingMuseum, Brengle served as the Executive Director of the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and GardenMuseum in New Bedford, Mass., from 1990 to 1994.

As a lifelong sailor, Brengle says she knows and appreciates the dedication and hard work of the men and women of the Coast Guard. She worked with Rear Admiral Mary E. Landry, the Coast Guard’s Director of Governmental and Public Affairs, in overseeing the federal response to the oil spill in Buzzards Bay, as well as the recent blessing of a Coast Guard fleet in Massachusetts.

The Coast Guard Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the men and women of the Coast Guard and its Academy. The Foundation’s fund-raising efforts satisfy equipment, training, and education needs not met through government and military sources. The Foundation distributes funding among all nine Coast Guard districts, overseas units and the Academy. .

Charter firm relocates its Mexican base

The Moorings yacht charter company is relocating its bareboat sailing and power yacht base in La Paz, Mexico, to the CostaBaja Resort and Marina in La Paz.

There, The Moorings will offer a range of sailboats with monohulls 35 to 51 feet and catamarans from 40 to 43 feet. The Moorings Power Yachts will also offer the recently launched Moorings 474, a 47-foot, four-cabin yacht from this location.

The new facility, a five-star resort, is a double-basin marina with slips for 250 yachts.

The 500-acre CostaBaja Resort is being developed by Parque Reforma, Mexico’s leading development and construction firm. It is located on a white-sand beach on the shores of the Sea of Cortez, a 10-minute drive from downtown La Paz, capital of Baja Sur California, Mexico, and 90 miles north of Los Cabos.

Moorings and Sunsail choose antifouling paint

In 2008, the bottoms of the nearly 2,000 boats in the Moorings and Sunsail combined worldwide charter fleet will be re-painted with Micron 66 anti-fouling paint from Interlux Yacht Finishes.

The changeover comes after Moorings and Sunsail product testing revealed cost savings and environmental benefits for the world’s largest yacht charter company.

Owned by First Choice Holdings, Limited, Moorings and Sunsail Vacation Charters have bases in 43 countries. For information, visit and .

Georgia boatbuilder resumes production

Marine Manufacturing, the Douglas, Ga.-based manufacturer of Key Largo, Palm Beach, CapeCraft and Clearwater boat brands, resumed production on Nov. 1 — eight months after a fire destroyed the entire production plant of three of its brands, as well as its corporate offices.

Company president Steve Harris says the multimillion-dollar fire destroyed a significant number of boat molds, as well as a 50,000-square-foot building. The molds have been replaced and the new plant has undergone a significant upgrade and has 350,000 square feet of work space, he says.

“It’s been tough these eight months as we were totally shut down for all but our Clearwater brand, which is manufactured at a second plant in Douglas,” Harris said in a statement. “We are very appreciative of our dealers’ patience and loyalty through this difficult time, and we look forward to the resumption of shipments of our product.”

Children asked to describe safe boating

The National Safe Boating Council, with the support of West Marine, is asking for entries for a boating safety contest.

The third annual Boating Safety Sidekicks Contest, “I’m a Safe Boater, Are You?” asks for children between the ages of 4 and 15 to submit stories, posters or videos that describe how they stay safe on the water.

First-prize winners will be awarded in three different categories for each age group, 4 to 7; 8 to 11; and 12 to 15. Essay winners will be chosen based on good grammar, punctuation, composition and the story told. Poster and video winners will be evaluated on design, style, artwork and the safety message.

To view last year’s winning entries and for contest requirements, deadlines and more details, visit the Boating Safety Sidekicks Web site .

Cruise Asia for 13 days

Star Clippers is offering a special 13-night cruise tour between Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand, during the 2007-08 Far East season. The package combines a seven-night Southern Route or Northern Route round-trip Phuket cruise with a four-night pre-cruise tour of Bangkok and a two-night post-cruise tour of Phuket. The “Senses of Siam” cruise tour is offered on eight departure dates through February 2008.

The cruise tour enables guests to explore Asia aboard Star Clipper, a 170-passenger authentic tall ship. Guests will have time to immerse themselves in Thai culture, taste exotic delicacies, take advantage of many spectacular diving opportunities and discover the amazing pagodas and temples throughout the country.

Economy season rates for the Jan. 21, cruise tours start at $2,750 and go up to $3,670. Rates for the remaining six departures start at $2,850 and go up to $3,770. All rates are per person, double occupancy. Port charges, an air tax and fuel surcharge are additional. For cruise and land tour only, deduct $800 from the above rates. These special rates are available only to residents of the United States and Latin America.

For information call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551.

SeaArk delivers patrol boat to BVI

Monticello, Ark.-based SeaArk Marine has delivered a 55-foot Patrol Boat to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The vessel, St. Ursula, and her crew are tasked with drug interdiction, combating illegal immigration, search and rescue and securing the borders of the British Virgin Islands.

The SeaArk Dauntless Class vessel is based on a hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt and Associates and is constructed of all-welded marine grade aluminum. The vessel features a deep-vee variable deadrise hull that produces a smooth, dry and stable ride.

The vessel is powered by twin Caterpillar C-15 engines at 800-hp each coupled to Twin Disc gears and can attain a top speed of 32 knots with a range of 300 miles and operates at a service speed of around 28 knots.

Online database available for NOAA coral reef

The NOAACenter for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment is now providing public access to new digital photographs from six years of coral reef field studies. The online Coral Reef Ecosystem Database, developed and managed by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, provides access to images of coral reef species and habitats, which were taken during studies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

More than a thousand new digital images were added to the searchable database providing high-resolution digital photographs of fish, hard and soft corals, hydroids, sea grass, sponges, and other invertebrates, vertebrates and algae, which can be directly downloaded.

“These new photographs are an additional component to a larger database providing public access to fish and habitat data for the Caribbean, and are the result of long-term research activities that have been conducted jointly with our federal, territorial and academic partners,” said Tom McGrath, database developer for NOAACenter for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment.

Coral reefs are some of the most biologically rich and economically valuable ecosystems on Earth. Yet they are threatened by overexploitation, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, diseases, bleaching and global climate change.

Lauderdale marina getting a makeover

RiverBendMarineCenter in Fort Lauderdale is undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation and will soon be a marina of choice for midsize yachts seeking top-of-the-line service and for brokers seeking a prime location to conduct business.

River Bend’s new general manager, Cathy Petowsky, is overseeing the 12- to 18-month refurbishing together with service manager Ed Brown. Both are veterans of the industry, each bringing 30 years of experience to the job.

“At a time when many area marinas are orienting their facility upgrade programs to serve megayachts, we are committed to serving midsize boats,” says Petowsky. “We want to provide the highest quality of services to this important group.”

In the works is a full-service boatyard serving vessels up to 85 feet, with a 3,000-square-foot service center that houses a carpentry and mechanics shop. Owners of yachts from 40 to 85 feet will find slip space at River Bend, and snowbirds with yachts up to 60 feet will find dry storage. River Bend boasts a 15-ton hydraulic yard crane and 60-ton self-propelled boat transporter with a new 81-ton Travelift arriving late September.

“We’re not only transforming how we look but also how the midsize market is serviced,” says Petowsky. “It will be on a par with what is usually reserved only for megayachts.”

The marina will remain open during all of the renovation. For information on slip availability and other services, call (954) 523-1832.

So. Florida tow firm announces promotion

TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale, a Broward County-based company, recently promoted one of its captains.

Capt. Eric Bachewicz has been named assistant supervisor, south office. Bachewicz grew up sailing, fishing and diving. His involvement with the marine industry included acting as Mate sailing on Tall Ships and as Tug Mate for six years on tugs. Bachewicz is a certified Diver, maintains an STCW certification as well as an AB Tankerman certification and a Hazmat certification.

TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale was founded in 1989 by Larry Acheson. The company operates from three ports and provides towing and assistance to boaters in all of Southeast Florida and the Bahamas. For information, contact TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale at (954) 783-7821.