News Notes Florida & the South - May 2007

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Tons of trash pulled from South Florida waterways

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida praised the contributions of more than 3,000 volunteers who came out in boats and on shore-side March 3 to participate in the 30th Anniversary Waterway Cleanup.

BrowardCounty residents, along with some of their neighbors and friends from Miami-Dade and Palm BeachCounties, removed an estimated 67 tons of trash and debris from the waterways, rivers, canals and shorelines.

“To see so many people come together as a community to help clean up, rejuvenate their neighborhoods and waterway makes all we do worth every moment,” says Marilyn Mammano, Waterway Cleanup Planning Committee chair. www.miasf.org

Dealer chain named to Forbes Platinum 400

Florida-based MarineMax, the nation’s largest boating and yachting retailer, has been named one of Forbes Magazine’s best big companies in America.

To select their annual Platinum 400 list, Forbes screens more than 1,000 corporations with $1 billion or more in revenues. It then compares them on the basis of stock performance, financial metrics, Wall Street forecasts, corporate governance ratings and other public information to arrive at its selections. With a total of $1.2 billion in annual sales, a 26.9-percent five-year total return and $39 million in net income, MarineMax is a leader in the retailer industry.

In addition to inclusion on the Forbes list, MarineMax was named as the top retailer in the Boating Industry Top 100 ranking. www.marinemax.com

New dealers online for SeaStrike & SportCraft

South Florida-based S1 Marine (SeaStrike and SportCraft Boats) recently announced six new SeaStrike dealer locations and six new SportCraft dealer locations have been signed up early in 2007.

Mike Collins, S1’s Director of Dealer Development, says new SeaStrike dealers include: Tea Creek Outfitters, Kernersville, N.C.; North Atlantic Marine Group, Stevensville, Md., and Ocean City, Md.; Aqua Toy Store, Fort Lauderdale; and Nexboat, Inc., Key Largo.

New SportCraft dealers are Rudy Marine, Wilmington, Del.; Boats of Florida, Riviera Beach, Fla.; North Atlantic Marine Group, Stevensville, Md., and Ocean City, Md.; Aqua Toy Store, Fort Lauderdale; and Nexboat, Inc., Key Largo.

Florida marina adds slips for megayachts

OldPort Cove Marina, in North Palm Beach, Fla., is adding what are being called the largest slips available in the county, the South Florida Business Journal reports.

The marina currently holds about 300 boats, ranging from 20 feet to 150 feet, with just a few spots for megayachts. The new footprint will allow about 260 spaces, with about 50 slips for vessels longer than 80 feet and accommodate vessels up to 190 feet.

The renovation is expected to cost about $6 million, the Journal reports.

Work is scheduled to start in May and finish by mid-October. The project includes new floating docks, power pedestals and wireless Internet in the north section. OldPort Cove’s south docks will remain open during the renovation.

Brokerage adds San Marino Yacht line

4Yacht, a professional world-wide yacht brokerage firm was recently awarded the exclusive rights to market San Marino Yachts worldwide.

San Marino offers yachts from 75 through 118 feet. The 88-foot model was on display at the 2007 Miami International Boat Show. The company employs a one-piece molded deck system and vacuum-bagged fiberglass construction.

Visit www.4yacht.com to view a selection of more than 40,000 private yachts for sale, ranging from 40 to more than 400 feet, with the highest price exceeding $200 million.

Owners group sets pleasure tug rendezvous

Nordic Tugs owners’ associations throughout the United States have announced their 2007 rendezvous dates:

• Southeast Nordic Tugs Owners Association, Municipal Marina, St. Augustine, Fla., April 17-9.

• Chesapeake Nordic Tugs Owners Association, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford, Md., May 6-9.

• Northwest Nordic Tugs Owners Association, RocheHarbor Marina, Roche Harbor, Wash., May 31 - June 3.

• San Francisco Bay Area Nordic Tugs Assoc., Coyote Point Yacht Club, San Mateo, Calif., May 17–20.

• Northeast Nordic Tugs Owners Association, Essex Island Marina, Essex, Conn., July 25–28.

For additional rendezvous information or to register to attend, click on the “owners” link on the Nordic Tugs Web site at www.nordictug.com .

Bertram appoints new dealer for Texas

Lonestar Yacht Sales is set to make its official debut as a Bertram dealer at the Texas International Boat Show in Corpus Christi, April 26 through 29.

Lonestar is currently based in Clear Lake Shores and has plans to expand into Corpus Christi. Their sales facility in Clear Lake Shores is at the Watergate Yachting Center, which carries more than 1,100 slips and is home to the Houston In-water Boat Show.

Lonestar’s initial inventory of Bertram models will include, Bertram 450, Bertram 510, Bertram 570, Bertram 410 (to be launched in summer 2007), and the Bertram 700 (to be launched in fall 2007). www.lonestaryachtsales.com

Bitter End Yacht Club names new director

As part of its continuing renovation and enhancement program, Bitter End Yacht Club has named recreation, sailing and watersports specialist Capt. John T. Holmberg as director of Marine Operations.

Holmberg will focus on enhancing and expanding the resort’s waterfront operations and programs. These currently include a full-service marina with 72 moorings and 25 slips, a fleet of 104 recreational watercraft, a ferry service, excursion boats, the Quarterdeck Club, and visiting yacht service center at the British Virgin Islands boating destination.

Most recently, Holmberg owned and operated his own day charter company in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Previously he served for seven years as director of recreation for the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Holmberg has nearly 35 years of international sailing, diving, entertaining and chartering under his belt, including a stint at Bitter End in the late 1970s, when he served as the resort’s first water sports director. www.beyc.com

Boating education program to teach skills

iDrive Boats, a new program created by a former world wakeboarding champion, is built upon online, on-site, and on-water course study that is specific to the type of vessel and power owned by the student.

Consumers can either log on to www.idriveboats.com or sign up for more in-depth, hands-on coursework, such as product demos. Both online and on-site programs have been awarded approval by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Coast Guard.

“If you own an inboard, for example, the information you learn should be specific to what you’re going to do with the boat, and how to operate it properly,” says founder Shannon Starling. “Most boaters aren’t going to drive a tugboat through international waters, so why educate them on something they can’t use? iDrive Boats teaches boaters about the specific concepts of their boat, along with the particular federal and state laws pertaining to where they’ll be using it.”

The company unveiled its concept and Web site at the Water Sports Industry Association Summit in the Snow in Park City, Utah, in February. Online courses were to be available in March, and on-site courses this summer. 

iDrive Boats is a privately-held corporation based in Lake Alfred, Fla. Its primary mission is to provide boating education and safety initiatives to consumers owning boats in the 16- to 24-foot range primarily for inland waters.

Crown Bay Marina solves waste disposal problem

Crown Bay Marina is now the only marina facility on St. Thomas (an official port of entry for the U.S. Virgin Islands) that has been certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and Plant Protection and Quarantine officials to handle, store and incinerate “regulated garbage” as defined by Federal code.

“Crown Bay is a working marina that understands what services today’s international yachting professionals want most,” says Carole Dudley, director of operations.

U.S. Federal law requires that vessels entering U.S. waters, including the USVI, Puerto Rico, and other insular U.S. possessions, that have visited a foreign port within a given period, must properly dispose of certain onboard waste, defined as USDA/APHIS “regulated garbage” upon arrival.

Mariners can visit the recently revamped Crown Bay Marina Web site at www.crownbay.com to learn more about the marina’s new garbage disposal service, and link to official government sources for specific USDA/APHIS “regulated garbage” information, including: which vessels must comply; what types of garbage are regulated; which Federal regulations apply; and penalties for noncompliance.

Georgia plant could be ‘a total loss’

The loss from a fire that engulfed a Georgia boatbuilding plant in mid-February could run into the millions.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon at Marine Manufacturing in Douglas, Ga. It reportedly started with a ventilator fan motor burning up, which ignited air filters, according to an industry source outside the company. The burning filter material scattered around the lamination hall.

An eyewitness told WALB TV news there was a series of explosions after the fire started, and fire officials decided to let the building and its content burn out.

There were no injuries reported.

The plant could be a total loss. This includes the main plant, office, storeroom, engine room and some 50 molds, according to an industry source.

The wood shop that housed the patterns survived and the resin shed was not involved. Also, some of the bigger model molds were in an outside storage shed.

Marine Manufacturing makes the Palm Beach, Key Largo and Cape Craft fiberglass fishing boats at this plant. It also makes the Clearwater line at another plant in Douglas.

New edition for Florida cruising guide

Maptech says its new “Embassy Cruising Guide: Florida” (second edition) comes at a critical period for boaters in southern waters. A series of damaging hurricanes and extensive waterfront redevelopment have dramatically altered Florida’s landscape.

The 622-page comprehensive cruising guide provides updated coverage verified by on-site research on more than 1,200 marine facilities in Florida and Alabama, as well as more than 100 cruiser-friendly marinas in the Bahamas.

Features include:

• coverage includes coast-to-coast, mile-by-mile navigation throughout Florida (including St. Johns River and the Okeechobee Waterway) to upper Mobile Bay, Alabama and the waterway link to the Great Loop (circumnavigation of the eastern United States);

• a comprehensive bridge table available with mile-by-mile coverage of fixed and opening bridges, including GPS locations, opening schedules and height restrictions;

• more than 200 regional and destination NOAA charts, including Notice to Mariner updates;

• Bahamas planning guide including facility details and double-page, uncluttered charts adapted for easier use;

• information on the latest marine safety technology, including Digital Selective Calling and Automated Identification System.

Research in updating the guide is based on “local knowledge,” NOAA chart revisions, Notice to Mariners, and on-site visits to facilities. Aerial photos capture the detailed panorama from St. Marys Inlet at Fernandina Beach, Fla., through to Mobile, Ala., including Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts and navigable inland waters such as the St. Johns River and Okeechobee Waterway.

Embassy Cruising Guide: Florida ($44.95) is available nationwide in marine stores and direct from Maptech at www.maptech.com , or call (888) 839-5551 to order or for more information.

Megayacht charter firm moves to new office

Citing a growth in business, Northrop and Johnson’s Fort Lauderdale office has re-located their Charter Management and Crew Placement Divisions to 112 Rose Drive. Their charter management and crew placement professionals can be reached at (954) 462-1234.

New additions to their charter fleet include a 123-foot Trident, starting at $65,000 a week and a 100-foot Burger, starting at $30,000 a week — both available for charter in Florida and the Bahamas.

For more information contact Sandy Taylor at the above number or sandy@njyachts.com .

Past-president of yacht broker group dies at 57

Paul William Bennett III of Bennett Brothers Yachts in Wilmington, N.C., died Feb. 10 at the age of 57 after a serious illness. A member of Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) since 1989, he served as president and was a member of the Board of Directors for many years. Bennett Brothers Yachts opened its doors more than 20 years ago but friends say Bennett’s interest in all things marine was a lifelong passion.

As a child, he raced dinghies on Lake Keuka near Ithaca, N.Y. From there, Bennett became a yacht broker in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and then moved on to become president of Stevens Yachts. After working with Stevens Yachts for a few years, Bennett decided to open his own yacht brokerage with the partnership of his brother in Stamford, Conn. After several years of service at that location, the decision was made to move the company to its present location in North Carolina.

Aside from his career in the marine industry, Bennett was said to have enjoyed spending time with his wife and four children. His love and enthusiasm for sailing and the history of the Cape Fear region were well-known hobbies and passions.

Additionally he has served his community by serving as the president of the Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust, a member of the Camillus Ministry for the Catholic Church and was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington.