News notes – Long Island Sound

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Local yacht club celebrates 20-year mark

Breakwater Yacht Club was formed in 1988 with the purpose of promoting yacht racing in the waters around Sag Harbor, N.Y., and of fostering interest in sailing among young people.

An informal group of Sag Harbor sailors began racing together on Wednesday nights in the summer of 1987. In 1988 they organized as Breakwater YC in order to sponsor the sixth annual Sag Harbor Cup, which generated $5,000 to support a local drug awareness program.

Today, proceeds of the races support Junior Sailing by offering scholarships to local area youth to participate in Breakwater’s Junior Sailing Program, which started in 1989 and has grown to more than 300 youths.

In 1995, the club constructed a clubhouse on waterfront property leased from the town. With the clubhouse as a resource, Breakwater has been able to expand its programs and now hosts its own competitive race series Wednesday nights throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons, one design racing in JY 15’s and Lasers, and winter frostbite racing. In addition, the Breakwater hosts regional and national events such as the Sprit Fest and East Coast Laser Championships.

Still vital to the club is its mission of promoting yacht racing and fostering interest in sailing among young people. Breakwater offers adult sailing lessons during the summer months and maintains a fleet of boats for member use. The 26th Sag Harbor Cup will be held Aug. 16. www.breakwateryc.org

American Yacht Club hosts safety-flare show

Boaters off MiltonPoint in Rye, N.Y., were busy calling the Coast Guard the evening of June 1 as the sky over the American Yacht Club (AYC) glowed with an hour-long barrage of aerial distress flares and other pyrotechnic signaling devices.

Fortunately, the Coast Guard was well aware boaters representing area yacht clubs were attending a Safety Seminar, conducted by Capt. Don Lloyd of Division 6 of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Rye Marine Police, that allowed the attendees to discharge their out-of-date distress signaling flares and smoke devices.

Hosted by AYC, attendees from the Indian Harbor, Stamford, Larchmont and Riverside yacht clubs took part in a “Flare Off” that offered them an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in discharging flares they are required to carry on their boats. Because the devices carry expiration dates, this was an opportunity to “retire” the devices while actually learning how to deploy them.

Rye Police Officer and Coast Guard Master Mariner Gary Olivier, who trained the group in proper firing procedures, supervised the “firing line.” The shoreside live fire exercise was preceded by a detailed safety seminar in the AYC Clubhouse conducted by Don Lloyd, Officer Olivier and their colleagues.

Honda Marine offers new financing options

Throughout this year’s summer boating season, Honda Marine will offer special retail financing rates as low as 6.49 percent APR.

Offered by Honda Financial Services through participating Honda Marine dealers, the program is available to boaters purchasing new, unregistered Honda outboards (2-225-hp) for repower, and inclusive boat, motor and trailer packages (including accessories) between June 2 and Sept. 30. Consumers have the option of deferring payments for 90 days while accruing zero interest for the first 60 days.

In addition, all Honda Marine outboards sold for recreational use through June 30 offer Honda’s True 5-year, factory-backed, non-declining limited warranty. True 5 offers full Honda backing in comparison to the outsourced, extended service contracts typically provided by other manufacturers. Coverage under the program is the same on the last day as it is on the first.

www.honda-marine.com

Marine artists exhibit at Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme, Conn., will hold a special exhibition of marine art featuring the American Society of Marine Art (ASMA) as well as its Elected and Associate members of the LAA opening from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 15 and on display through Sept. 20.

More than 200 works of art, including works in mediums of oil, watercolor, pastel and pencil, will be on view and for sale at the Lyme Art Association. As part of this special exhibition, the LAA has invited top marine artists to show works, sketches and preliminary studies.

American Society of Marine Artists that will be on display will include Chris Blossom, John Atwater, Robert Blazek, Brad Betts, Jeffrey Sabol, Al Barker, Sergio Ruffo, Bill Duffy, Ed Griffith, Jerry Levey, Loretta Krupinski, Bill Davis, Len Mizerek, Victor Mays and Charles Robinson.

The Guest Juror for this show is Victor Mays, who was born in 1927, enlisted in the Navy at the latter part of World War II, and is a graduate of YaleUniversity. He retired from the Naval Reserve as a captain. After illustrating numerous books, and now retired, he made the decision to focus entirely on 18th- and 19th-century American and British maritime history. Mays began doing historically accurate watercolor paintings of maritime vessels. He is in great demand as a fine artist and has won many awards from museums and juried shows.

For information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes or becoming a member, call (860) 434-7802.

DEP enacts shorebird protection measure

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced that CharlesIsland in Milford and DuckIsland in Westbrook will be closed to the public through Sept. 10 to prevent disturbances to birds nesting on these islands.

Both islands have been designated by DEP as Natural Area Preserves, primarily because of their importance as nesting habitats for several state-listed nesting birds, including snowy egrets and great egrets (state threatened species), glossy ibis and little blue herons (state special concern). The two islands have also been designated as Important Bird Areas by Audubon Connecticut.

The DEP has also requested beachcombers, sunbathers and boaters along the Connecticut shoreline respect the fencing and yellow warning signs that have been placed along beaches where piping plovers and least terns nest.

The piping plover, a small, sandy-colored shorebird about the size of a sparrow, is a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, as well as a state threatened species in Connecticut. The small, gull-like least tern, which nests in colonies in the same beach habitat as the piping plover, also is a state threatened species.

DEP environmental conservation police officers will be patrolling the islands, particularly on weekends and after dark. Anyone caught trespassing on the islands will be arrested. Landing of watercraft on the beaches is prohibited. Violations can be reported at (800) 842-4357.

Boat show charity exceeds expectations

The Toronto International Boat Show reported its ninth annual Boating for Charity Special Preview Night raised $98,689 Jan. 11, almost double the amount raised at the 2007 show. The donations will go to four children’s charities, including Ontario Sailing.

“The record amount raised just amplifies the show’s 50th anniversary celebrations,” says Cynthia Hare, Show Manager. “In its nine years, charity night has raised more than $500,000 — a truly spectacular amount and a tribute to the industry’s commitment to children and their exposure to boating.”

Since the inception of Boating for Charity Special Preview Night, Pride Marine Group has provided the evening’s featured auction item. This year’s bidding showpiece was a customized 50th anniversary Chris Craft 20 Lancer, valued at more than $62,000. www.TorontoBoatShow.com

Trans-At sailor opens Conn. restaurant

Clay Burkhalter, who sailed the 21-foot Mini Transat named Acadia to a 12th-place finish out of 87 boats in last year’s single-handed Mini Transat race from France to Brazil, has opened a new restaurant at Dodson Boatyard in Stonington, Conn.

The Dog Watch Café, which Burkhalter opened this spring with his brother-in-law, Dave Eck, general manager at Forte Carbon Fiber Products in Ledyard, Conn., replaces Boom, a popular spot for many years.

“You can’t be any closer to the water than we are,” says Burkhalter. “At high tide, the water under the café is halfway to the bar, and you can practically reach out and touch the boats.”

Burkhalter says he got the idea for the eatery on the layover in the Mini Transat in Horta, Azores. Eck had flown over to help with boat repairs and the duo were eating at Peter’s Café, one of the most famous sailing bars on the Atlantic.

“We joked about having a place like it on the water in Stonington … provided I made it to Brazil and was not lost at sea,” Burkhalter says. “And here we are.”

The dog watch is a term well-known to offshore sailors and boaters and has been used on ships since the 18th century to shuffle watch system hours and get the whole crew in for food at or near the proper dinner hour.

Raised in Stonington, Burkhalter is an experienced sailor having logged more than 95,000 offshore miles. As a youngster, he helped his uncle Rod Johnstone build the first J/24 sailboat — Ragtime — in Johnstone’s garage on Elm Street in Stonington. More than 5,000 J24s have been built since, and it is the most popular keel racing boat in the world. Burkhalter’s boat ACADIA was designed by his uncle.

For information on Dog Watch Café, call (860) 415-4510.

New fractional club services the region

Ultimate Boat Clubs, Inc., is a membership-based boating club that provides all the enjoyment of boating without the hassles of boat ownership.

The club has opened locations at Harbor Park Marina in Stamford, Conn., and Saybrook Point Inn/Spa/Marina in Old Saybrook, Conn., where they provide a fleet of professionally maintained boats for members’ use. The club intends to open locations in Westchester, N.Y., and elsewhere in Connecticut.

The owners stress the cost of owning a boat goes beyond the purchase price and note additional expenses such as depreciation, insurance, seasonal slip space, commissioning and decommissioning, winter storage, electronics, maintenance, and repairs. Members are only responsible for the actual fuel they use.

One-, three- and five-year memberships are available, ranging from $3,900 to $8,900 per year. To learn about the club and membership opportunities visit www.ultimateboatclubs.com or call (203) 894-9661.

Classics take to the water in Newport

In May, the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) and the Museum of Yachting in Newport each celebrated a launch of their own. On the last Saturday in May, IYRS students celebrated graduation in a unique “final exam” — by launching the boats they restored in front of a crowd of onlookers, then sea-trialing them on NewportHarbor.

Nine classic New England Beetle Cats were splashed along with a Manhasset Bay One Design, an 1924 6-Meter Madcap, and an 11-foot Bulldog sailboat. Ceremonies also recognized the first graduates from IYRS’s new Marine Systems program, developed with the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) to meet the marine industry’s demand for workers skilled in the maintenance and installation of onboard systems.

In the afternoon, the crowd at IYRS graduation migrated across the harbor to the launch of three new exhibitions at the Museum of Yachting. The May events capped a year of milestones. IYRS and the museum joined forces in 2007, and this summer is the first time the two organizations are coordinating exhibitions with boatbuilding and restoration projects: A display on Sparkman & Stephens is coupled with the building of an S&S-designed 6-Meter, Cherokee; the restoration of the 133-foot 1885 schooner yacht Coronet at IYRS is paired with an exhibit on the grand voyages of one of the yacht’s owners, Arthur Curtiss James (1867-1941); a third exhibit, “The America’s Cup: The Newport Years,” covers Cup lore from 1930 to 1983. www.iyrs.org; www.moy.org

Charter sailboat takes on water, lives saved

The owner and captain of a 48-foot charter sailboat credits a rented Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), acquired through the BoatU.S. Foundation EPIRB Rental Program, for helping save four lives when the boat stuck an unknown submerged object May 13 about 200 miles east of Brunswick, Ga. The boat, named Wolf, had been in transit to its summer charter base in Bayshore, N.J.

There was significant damage to Wolf, and it began taking on water. Emergency efforts failed and bilge pumps could not keep up with the volume of water entering. Capt. Paul Doughty activated the beacon at approximately 5 a.m.

Fifteen minutes later, the captain called a mayday on a satellite phone to the Coast Guard, which told him that the EPIRB signal had already been identified and that the Cutter Reliance was six miles away and had been directed to the foundering sailboat’s location.

The Reliance’s crew dropped a Rescue Assistance Vessel over the side and safely removed all four mariners. The 10-foot seas made it too dangerous to make further salvage attempts. With its interior now full of water and only its cabin top remaining above the waves, the sailboat was abandoned.

The $750 EPIRBs can be rented for as little as $40 a week. The BoatU.S. Foundation EPIRB Rental Program is intended to fill the short-term safety need for occasional offshore passages and is funded by the voluntary contributions of 650,000 BoatU.S. members. For information, call (888) 663-7472 or visit www.BoatUS.com/foundation/epirb .

New limited-edition print introduced

Nantucket, Mass.-based Eric Holch, an internationally recognized printmaker, has released his latest limited-edition original print, titled “After the Storm”.

“After the Storm” has been limited to 150 signed-and-numbered prints, with five Artist’s Proofs and three State Proofs, and was pulled in 16 colors on premium cotton rag paper. The outside dimension of the print is 13 by 30 inches, The image area is 10 by 25 inches. The price is $450.

“Late afternoon light is what every artists loves,” Holch says. “So when a large squall moved off to the East and that low Western sunlight peaked below the storm clouds and blasted the white topsides and red steadying sail of a lobster boat returning home, it reminded me of Lord Byron’s quote and inspired ‘After the Storm.’ ”

The quote stated: “The sky is changed, and such a change! O night and storm and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, yet lovely in your strength...” www.ericholch.com ; e-mail: eric@ericholch.com

Quarter-century old line retains strength

Engineers at Yale Rope Technologies recently retrieved a 2-inch-diameter section of Yale Uniline that had at least 25 years of use. Tests by an independent lab proved the line had retained 100 percent of its original 164,000-pound breaking strength, according to Yale.

“We have long known that Uniline is tough as nails, as well as being an efficient way to use fiber,” says Dick Hildebrand, VP of sales for Yale Cordage. “Now we have the proof. Although its load history is sketchy, this 25-year-old piece of line still looks pretty good, with some fading and scuffing. We respliced the line and sent it to a lab for testing, and were delighted when the results came back indicating the line had retained all of its original load rating.”

Yale acquired Uniline when it purchased New Jersey-based Wall Rope in 2007 and established Yale Rope Technologies, a division of Yale Cordage.

Aquapalooza set to be larger and louder

This summer Sea Ray will again celebrate AquaPalooza, the annual multi-location marine extravaganza.

“We’re creating quite a stir in the industry with AquaPalooza. It’s really incredible that so many people show up in so many places at the same time,” says Rick Stone, president of Sea Ray. “The event is Sea Ray-inspired, but really it’s all-inclusive, and everyone is welcome. It’s a testament to the boating lifestyle. And no other boat company can replicate AquaPalooza, because we already invite everyone. It will always be wide open, but always associated with Sea Ray.”

“The World’s Largest Boating Party” expects to draw a record 50,000 guests this year to 150 events on lakes, rivers, bays and harbors from New York to California, Egypt to Australia. Last year, AquaPalooza attracted more than 10,000 boats and 30,000 guests to 120 events worldwide — a 42 percent increase from the inaugural event in 2006.

Most of this year’s festivities will take place during the last two weekends in July, but other events are planned both before and after these dates.

You can visit the AquaPalooza Web site at www.aquapalooza.com or call (800) SRBOATS to see what events are scheduled.

Composite repair training program offered

New England Institute of Technology, working with various boating industry companies and government agencies, has introduced a composite repair training program for residents of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts designed to give them the skills needed to enter the workforce as a composite repair technician.

The training program was developed with the assistance of Goetz Custom Boats and the expertise of New England Tech’s Marine Technology Department. The outcome is a 208-hour, hands-on training program that runs in the evenings at Goetz Boats in Bristol, R.I.

The marine trades industry is actively seeking individuals with experience working with fiberglass, epoxy and other composite materials to construct and repair various products.

Composites are used in a variety of industries, including marine and aviation. Resins such as vinyl ester and polyester are becoming more widely used for many different purposes. In less than four months, participants of this training program will learn boat repair and construction based on industry standards. They will learn to work with composites and apply different processes to boat construction and repair.

The first session of the program debuted March 31 and will run through June 30.

Interested parties should contact Fred Santaniello at (401) 739-5000, ext. 3382 or fsantaniello@neit.edu .

Two new Down East boats introduced

The John Williams Boat Company recently announced the Stanley 42 and the Williams 28 Bass Boat. Both boats evolved from custom orders from customers.

Work on the Stanley 42 began in the fall of 2007 for a family that summers in Maine and wanted a larger version of the Stanley 39.

Stretching the Stanley 39 three feet enabled the builder to incorporate the accommodations and amenities required for this project while retaining a narrower beam.

The layout has a centerline queen berth forward in an enclosed stateroom.

Just aft to port is an over/under berth cabin opposed by the head and standup shower. The large U-shaped galley abuts the cabin to port, and the crew can keep tabs on the chef from the L-shaped settee that looks across to the galley. An enclosed pilothouse has helm and navigation seating and ample room to add a settee or navigation table. The open air cockpit houses a stern seat and access to the flying bridge.

Almost three years after selling their Stanley 36, a couple from Marion, Mass., decided they needed a new way to enjoy fishing and cruising Buzzards Bay with their grandchildren. They wanted something smaller than the Stanley 36. The new Williams 28 Bass Boat retains the larger boats stability and sea-kindliness in a smaller frame.

Founded in 1971, the John Williams Boat Company combines traditional Maine boat building techniques with modern technology.

For more information call (207) 244-7854 or E-mail info@jwboatco.com . www.jwboatco.com

Northeast dealer adds Bavaria sailboats

Bavaria Yachts USA has named New England-based Eastern Yacht Sales as a new dealer representing Bavaria’s complete line of cruising and performance-cruiser sailboats.

Bavaria has expanded its line of cruising boats with the new Vision series, a deck saloon-style boat available in 40-, 44- and 50-foot models, and has upgraded its Cruiser line with new 31, 34, 38 and 40 models to compliment the 42, 46 and 50.

Eastern Yacht Sales is one of the largest dealers in the United States with 24 years experience and three separate locations: a Marblehead, Mass., dealership serving the Northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine territories; a Hingham, Mass., dealership serving the Southern Massachusetts territory; and a Portsmouth, R.I., dealership serving the Rhode Island and Connecticut territories. Eastern Yacht Sales is opening its Marblehead office to support the Bavaria product line.