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News notes Jan 2007 Florida & the South

Luhrs adds Pensacola dealer

Luhrs Corp. announced that Edgewater Yacht Sales of Pensacola, Fla., will become a new retailer of its offshore fishing yachts for the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama markets.

Edgewater Yacht Sales is between Pensacola and Orange Beach, Ala., on Perdido Key at the Oyster Bar Restaurant & Marina. It offers a 250-seat restaurant, 50-slip marina, in-water new yacht sales, brokerage and a marine service department.

“Edgewater Yacht Sales has a great location that’s close to some fantastic fishing areas,” says Don Smith, dealer development manager for Luhrs Corporation.

The marina facilities are new — including decks, pilings, power and fuel — and the restaurant has been remodeled.

Luhrs has a line of offshore open, convertible and hardtop models from 28 to 41 feet.

Lawsuit filed over hurricane damage

The owners of seven boats that had been moored in the Fort Pierce, Fla., city marina when Hurricane Frances hit in 2004 are suing the city in federal court for failing to properly protect their boats, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers reports.

Bellingham Marine, which supplied the docks and pilings, also is named in the suit for failing to build the docks to withstand hurricane conditions, according to the newspaper.

The boat owners say the city had a duty to protect the vessels and make sure they would be safe. The suit alleges the city failed to properly maintain and inspect the dock and pilings, failed to warn boat owners about the danger and failed to dredge the nearby water to allow boats to safely leave the area.

City officials may countersue the boat owners, saying the vessels were not properly secured during the storm and damaged the docks, the newspaper group reports.

Frances came ashore near Fort Pierce in early September 2004 as a large and slow-moving Category 2 hurricane.

MarineMax mourns executive

Tony Pasca, president of Motor Yachts at MarineMax, died Oct. 5 after a long battle with cancer. He was 52.

“MarineMax and the industry will miss Tony’s passion, wisdom, knowledge and friendship,” says MarineMax CEO William McGill Jr. in a statement. “Tony’s focus on business and family during his difficult five-year struggle with cancer, while never complaining, was an inspiration to our team and customers.”

While attending Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., Pasca played minor league baseball for the New York Mets farm team in Tampa, Fla. After graduating, he worked for Arthur Young in New York City before moving to South Florida to assume the position as controller of Hatteras of Fort Lauderdale.

At Hatteras Pasca played a pivotal role in negotiating the company’s sale to Allied Marine Group, owned by Winthrop Rockefeller. In the mid-’90s, Pasca and a group of partners purchased Allied Marine from Rockefeller. In 2001 Pasca sold his interests in Allied Marine and joined MarineMax as president of Motor Yachts.

Pasca is survived by his wife Celeste; children Kimberly, Angela, John and Ryan; parents Jean and Tony Pasca; and sister Cindy Rogers.

Marine flea market to set up shop in Keys

Free admission is an added bonus for those bargain hunters attending the Upper Keys Nautical Flea Market set for the weekend of Feb. 24 and 25, at Founders Park, Mile Marker 87, in Islamorada.

The 12th annual event, organized by the Upper Keys Rotary Club, is expected to draw hundreds of marine-related vendors as well as thousands of buyers seeking great deals on new and used boats, marine equipment, electronics, fishing tackle, dive gear, nautical arts and crafts.

“Each year I am amazed at the variety of marine products vendors bring to our flea market,” says event chairman Randy Chaney.

The Upper Keys Nautical Flea Market is the second-largest event of its kind in Florida, according to organizers. Staged as the Rotary’s major fundraiser, more than a half-million dollars has been amassed in past years to pay for college scholarships for local high school graduates as well as to purchase equipment for Upper Keys schools.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the first day and the gates are open the following day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Food booths, featuring indigenous Keys cuisine, as well as activities to help keep kids entertained are also on tap.

Construction begins on marina in Costa Rica

Construction on a new marina for visiting yachtsmen and sport fishermen on Costa Rica’s South Pacific coast is under way. The Marina at Bahia Escondida, part of a planned residential, resort and boating destination, is being created in the famed resort town of Golfito on Golfe Dolce Bay.

Long a destination for avid fishermen, this safe, natural harbor is located within the closest sheltered bay to the Panama Canal and is home to one of the world’s greatest untapped fisheries.

The initial phase of the marina includes 86 slips and is scheduled for completion in December 2007. The remaining 130 slips will be available in early 2008. Ranging in size from 50 to 120 feet, the slips are priced from $175,000 to $420,000. Boat owners with vessels ranging from 120 to 240 feet may purchase two adjacent slips to accommodate larger craft.

The marina’s additional features include: a 1,000-foot pier that will accommodate the new breed of ultra-luxury yachts; a private yacht club; concierge service; Bayside Village; dry boat storage for 25- to 40-foot vessels; high-speed fuel dock; state-of-the-art utilities; and float-on/float-off yacht carrying services with on board semi-submersible vessels available from the marina.

Bahia Escondida is available via daily commercial flights into Golfito from San Jose, Costa Rica. Digital Capital International Sales Group is the project’s exclusive sales representative. For information call (866) 502-2442 or visit .

Southwest Florida Yachts adds two Grand Banks

Two 42-foot Grand Banks trawlers have joined the charter cruising fleet of Southwest Florida Yachts for exploring the Gulf barrier islands of Sanibel, Captiva, Cayo Costa and Gasparilla.

Barb Hansen of Southwest Florida Yachts said the newest vessels in the company’s cast of pleasure vessels are MAR-KAT, a Grand Banks Classic, and Joy @ Sea, a Grand Banks Motoryacht.Both vessels, with spacious cabins fore and aft and in the salon, can comfortably accommodate up to five adults on extended cruises.

Power for both vessels is supplied by twin diesel engines and each vessel also is equipped with air conditioning, generators, GPS, autopilots, electric winches, refrigerators, and outboard-powered rigid hull inflatable dinghies.

Each vessel charters for $4,170 for seven days in the winter and $3,334 in the summer.

Southwest Florida Yachts, founded in 1984, maintains its fleet of power yachts at Marinatown Marina on the Caloosahatchee River in North Fort Myers. Its fleet of sailing vessels is based at Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda. Fleet vessels, sail and power, are also used as live-aboard classrooms for students attending Florida Sailing & Cruising School.

For information about charters and courses, contact Hansen at or by calling (800) 262-7939.

Security system helps recover stolen boat

SeaKey, a leader in satellite safety and security communications, provided precise location information that allowed the Miami-Dade Police Department to find a boat stolen and make an arrest on the scene.

On Oct. 20 the owner of a new well-equipped Wellcraft was looking forward to enjoying the boat over the weekend — but found it was gone. The owner called the SeaKey Response Center. Even though the boat was stolen some time the day before, the SeaKey system pinpointed the current location of the vessel. When police arrived at the location, they found the boat in the process of being stripped, and made an arrest.

Normally SeaKey’s GeoFence alarm would immediately signal the Response Center that the boat is being moved outside a predetermined area, but at the time the owner had not armed the GeoFence.

SeaKey is a satellite-based, safety & security system that communicates boat information to the SeaKey 24/7 Response Center, the boat owner, and the owner’s personal SeaKey Web site. The system monitors the location, on-board battery voltage and bilge water level.

Boat show prepares for anniversary show

The Central Florida Boat Show will celebrate its 40th birthday with a big show lineup of special events from March 1 to 4 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Planned events include a wakeboarding “extravaganza,” the Skeeter Interactive Trailer equipped with fishing video games, an extensive fishing and boating seminar program, the Kids’ Zone with a trout-fishing pond, and a Bahama-style Yacht Club where show-goers can relax.

More than 400 boats representing over 100 manufacturers will be on the show floor, ready to be boarded for a closer look, including: fishing boats, family boats, cruisers, yachts, runabouts, engines, electronics and accessories.

Show hours are: March 1 and 2 from noon to 9 p.m.; March 3 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and March 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is $8 for adults, with those 15 and younger admitted free with a paid adult admission.

Soundings writers earn praise

Paul Clancy, a freelance writer from Norfolk, Va., won a $5,000 prize and trophy for his first-person account of a cruise along the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. The story, “One Last Run,” appeared in the August 2005 issue of Chesapeake Bay magazine.

The prize was awarded by the Boating Writers International meeting at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Oct. 27.

Two senior writers for Soundings, Douglas A. Campbell and Jim Flannery, earned honorable mention from the judges. Campbell’s noteworthy story, “Gulf Steam Gales,” was published in the August 2005 issue. Flannery’s story, “80-year-old survives 18 hours in the water,” ran in the July 2005 issue.