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News Notes – Long Island Sound

Conn. residents honored for rescue of paddlers

Two Groton, Conn., natives who rescued two kayakers were recognized by the Coast Guard in a formal award ceremony on Feb. 7.

The Meritorious Public Service Award was given to John Roberts and Robert Butler and a Certificate of Merit to Shelly Erb and Greg Erb.

David Laffargue and his boating partner tipped over in their kayaks while on the NoankRiver on January 30. Laffargue’s friend managed to swim onto a floating raft; however Laffargue had remained in the 39-degree water fighting hypothermia.

At around 4 p.m., Shelly Erb spotted a man on a floating raft waiving his arms and screaming for help from the road as she was driving home. She arrived at her house and told her husband, Greg Erb, who immediately called the Noank Village Boatyard and 911.

John Roberts and Robert Butler, employees of the Noank Village Boatyard, aware of weather conditions and the threat of hypothermia, reportedly launched a boat and found a man waving his arms, and called 911. As the boat approached, Roberts and Butler saw a second man, Laffargue, clinging to his kayak. They headed for Laffargue and pulled him into the boat. The two men then picked up the second man and headed for an ambulance waiting on shore.

“The quick thinking of Mr. Butler, Mr. Roberts, and Mr. and Mrs. Erb saved these two men’s lives,” said Capt. Dan Ronan, Commander of Sector Long Island Sound. “If the Erbs had just simply called 911 at least one of the two stranded kayakers would have certainly lost their lives due to the frigid 39-degree water temperatures. By notifying the boatyard the Erbs facilitated an immediate response to the men in distress. In addition to Shelly and Greg Erb’s efforts, the selfless actions of Mr. Butler and Mr. Roberts to launch a boat without hesitation in stormy conditions enabled the quickest response time possible and also directly contributed to saving at least one life.”

According to Ronan, Laffargue and his friend were not wearing life jackets and were not appropriately dressed for such extreme cold conditions.

NYC poker run throttles up

The New York City Powerboat Poker Run 2008 is scheduled to start on the Hudson River on June 14 at noon. This fleet will feature more than 100 performance powerboats and express cruisers in what has grown to become one of the largest poker runs in the country.

The action starts at the host Liberty Landing Marina in LibertyState Park, Jersey City, N.J., adjacent to the Statue of Liberty and opposite Manhattan’s financial district.

The rally begins with a Patriotic Powerboat Parade up the Hudson River from the Statue of Liberty to the GeorgeWashingtonBridge and then the horsepower will be unleashed to start the event’s first leg to the Tappan ZeeBridge.

The Poker Run will then continue on to Ossining Boat and Canoe Club, Haverstraw Marina and further destinations on the Hudson River. The last leg is a straight run to the finish at Liberty Landing Marina.

Maine ‘eco-adventure’ by land and sea

For the first time, the Maine Windjammer Association and the Historic Inns of Rockland have joined forces to offer a “coastal Maine eco-adventure.”

Guests can combine a four-day Maine Windjammer cruise with a three-day stay at one of the three Historic Inns of Rockland. Visitors can take in the craggy Maine coast from the deck of a historic schooner, then finish off the vacation at one of Rockland’s historic inns, offering easy walking distance to the galleries, museums and fine dining in Rockland.

The package features plenty of green schemes from leaving no trace on remote islands to arrival presents including an Energy Star compact florescent light bulb. Transportation is via hybrid taxi from docks to Historic Inns of Rockland.

Packages start at $825 per person for double occupancy for the seven-day package throughout 2008. Upgraded rooms and extended cruise or inn stays are also available.

Boat restoration shop to kick off symposium

The 2008 Classic Yacht Symposium, the third in a series of international symposia co-sponsored by The Herreshoff Marine Museum/America’s Cup Hall of Fame and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, will feature a tour of three boat restoration shops that specialize in the restoration of classic yachts. The tour is the first event of the three-day Symposium that will be held April 4-6, in Bristol, R.I.

Included in the tour are MP&G (McClave, Philbrick and Giblin) in Mystic, Conn.; Stonington Boat Works (Bill Mills) located in Stonington, Conn.; and Taylor & Snediker in Pawcatuck, Conn. All these shops will open their doors to tour participants to give them an up-close look at current restoration projects and to see first-hand the techniques used in the restoration of classic wooden boats. Lunch is also included in this all-day event.

The Classic Yacht Symposium brings together classic boat enthusiasts, professionals and amateurs engaged in the restoration and replication of classic yachts from around the world.

For information, visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum Web site,, and follow the CYS link, or contact Curator John Palmieri at or (401) 253-5000.

Connecticut marina takes high honors

SaybrookPointMarina won marine industry accolades Jan. 22 at the closing day of the International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Atlanta. Marina Dockage magazine presented SaybrookPointMarina of Old Saybrook, Conn., with its Marina of the Year award.

“It’s a great honor to be in the same boat with the past winners,” said Stephen Tagliatela, co-owner of the marina. “We’re smaller in size than some that have won in the past, and I give Jeff Howe, our dockmaster, who makes the marina seem like a small village for boaters, lots of the credit.”

The 150-slip marina is the only New England marina to win this national top prize. The award criteria included customer service activities, environmental stewardship, and contributions to the industry and the local community.

When the Tagliatela family purchased the property in 1980, they rebuilt the entire complex to create a waterfront resort that includes the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa and the Terra Mar Grill restaurant.

The magazine also cited the marina’s environmental leadership. In 2003, it became the first marina to receive the state’s Clean Marina Award. In 2007, it received an Energy Star rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Its waterfront is now part of a public access trail, offering interpretation of the fish, birds and other wild residents of the river and sound.

Old Saybrook dealer picks up Pursuit line

Pursuit Boats has appointed Island Cove Marina as its exclusive dealer for the Eastern Connecticut market. Island Cove Marina, located on the Connecticut River in Old Saybrook, Conn., will offer the full line-up of Pursuit Boats and Brokerage operating as Island Cove Yacht Sales

“Pursuit is a great company with a great product,” says Jon Manafort, Owner of Island Cove Marina, is very pleased with the recent appointment.”The quality and styling of their boats coupled with the reliability of Yamaha power fits perfectly with what we do and what our clients expect.”

Island Cove Yacht Sales will host Pursuit’s Northeast debut of their new OS 375 Offshore on May 17 and 18. The event will also be the first annual open house for Island Cove Yacht Sales with food, drink, music, vendors and activities for the family. Several Pursuit models will be in the water and available for sea trial by appointment.

For information call Island Cove Yacht Sales at (860) 388-9007 or visit .

Grants awarded to improve boating

More than $13.5 million in competitive grants will be awarded to 15 states for 19 boating infrastructure projects. The grants, which will help fund construction of docks, boat slips and other facilities to support recreational boating, are made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.

Regional states awarded competitive grants include:

• Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with St. Clements Castle, will receive more than $1.8 million and match that amount with the same to construct dockage for 35 visiting boats at the Saint Clements Marina near Portland.

• New York: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in cooperation with Port of Oswego Authority, will receive nearly $434,000 and match that amount with nearly $150,000 to rehabilitate and convert existing commercial wharf facilities into access for up to 40 recreational visiting boats. The proposed project will also include dockside utilities and restrooms/showers.

Former publisher takes fundraising role

Glenn C. Mallory, the former Publisher and General Manager of Soundings Publications, has been appointed to the position of Advancement Officer at Mystic Seaport – The Museum of America and the Sea.

Mallory, who started December 31, will focus his efforts on raising support on a national scale for the Museum’s upcoming restoration of the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. He will concentrate specifically on the corporate sector. A three-year, multi-million dollar restoration of the vessel is set to begin in fall 2008.

“Our aim is not only to restore the Morgan, but to add entire new dimensions to its story-telling capacity, via new exhibiting and educational programs,” said Museum President and Director Douglas Teeson. “Glenn will be a great ambassador and salesman for the Morgan project.”

Upon his retirement from Soundings, Mallory was named Publisher Emeritus of Soundings LLC. He worked for the organization for more than 20 years, starting as a Regional Sales Representative.

In addition to operating his own consulting business, Mallory most recently served as Director of Publishing Development for MCE Television Networks, Inc., a group launching The Water Channel in early 2008. He has previously served on the boards of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport and Schooner Inc. of New Haven, Conn.

Boat show has memorable anniversary

Steady crowds filled the Direct Energy Centre throughout the 50th Annual Toronto International Boat Show’s nine-day run. Attendance reportedly surpassed last year’s numbers, with 91,433 visitors — an increase of one percent, with a six percent increase over the three-year average. Numbers were also up for dealers, who reported the 2008 Show brought in record sales.

Andy Blenkarn, President of Desmasdons Boat Works, a Grady-White dealer in Pointe au Baril, Ontario, attributes a number of factors to his successful Toronto Boat Show.

“It all came together beautifully this year: great show incentives, a strong Canadian dollar and really engaged shoppers,” said Blenkarn, who reported he sold a record number of boats on opening weekend.

Special preview of sailing movie

US Sailing, along with Roy E. Disney and Pacific High Productions, have organized a special preview of scenes from the yet-to-be-released movie, Morning Light, on March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport, R.I.

Morning Light, scheduled to be released later this year, chronicles one of the youngest crew ever to compete in the Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii. Roy E. Disney combined his love for sailing and film to come up with the idea for the movie, which highlights the recruitment and training of the young crew, culminating in showing the team race in the famous Transpac Race.

In addition to Roy E. Disney, the film’s co-producer Leslie DeMeuse and several young members of the crew will be in attendance at the preview. The event will include select clips from the movie as well as discussion with the production team and members of the crew.

The preview event is open to US Sailing members for $25 per person, with the proceeds going to the organization’s Annual Appeal for youth sailing.

For details, visit