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News notes Long Island Sound

Yacht club hosts safety ‘flare-off’

Boaters on MiltonPoint in Rye, N.Y., launched an hour-long barrage of aerial distress flares over the American Yacht Club as part of a late-May Safety Seminar conducted by Captain Don Lloyd of Division 6 of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Rye Marine Police. The event allowed attendees to discharge their out-of-date distress signaling flares and smoke devices.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 an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in discharging the flares required on their boats. As the devices carry expiration dates, this was an opportunity to “retire” the devices while 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 marine authorities.

American Yacht Club Commodore Mike Bruno, speaking for AYC and the other participating yacht clubs, expressed his appreciation to the combined team and echoed comments heard by many at the event who said, “The knowledge gained from your expertise ... may one day save a life at sea.”

Coast Guard revives Storm Flag program

The Coast Guard is re-establishing a Storm Flag program at selected Coast Guard boat stations throughout the United States to warn the public of approaching storm conditions.

Coast Guard stations participated in the National Weather Service’s official Coastal Warning Display program for more than 100 years along with yacht clubs and marinas until it was discontinued in 1989.

“For everyone living along the coast these storm flags serve as a visible reminder of the destruction that can be wrought by nature, especially as we head into this year’s hurricane season,” says Rear Adm. David Pekoske, assistant commandant for operations. “Storm flags are a nautical tradition for mariners and the Coast Guard is pleased to bring back this part of our maritime heritage.”

Starting June 1, the first day of hurricane season, selected boat stations hoisted display flags to warn of small craft advisories, gale warnings, storm warnings and hurricane warnings. Residents of coastal communities are urged to tune to National Weather Service radio broadcasts for the latest information when they observe a flag hoisted as part of this program.

The Coast Guard plans to have a minimum of 37 stations participate. The first stations to activate the program are located in Shinnecock, N.Y.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Merrimack River and Chatham, Mass.; Georgetown and Charleston, S.C.; Tybee Island and Brunswick, Ga.; and in Florida, Mayport, Ponce de Leon, Port Canaveral, Fort Pierce, Lake Worth Inlet, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Key West, Marathon and Islamorada. Stations in Sandy Hook, N.J.; New Haven, Conn.; and Jones Beach, N.Y., may soon come on line.

The flags are not intended to preclude mariners from taking necessary precautions as soon as possible to protect their vessel and crews.

Mariners are encouraged to visit for suggestions on how to prepare their vessels ahead of a storm.

Hinckley Co. names new CEO

The board of directors of The Hinckley Company has named James P. McManus the new president and chief executive officer of the Maine-based yacht manufacturer. He is scheduled to assume his new duties in July.

A native New Englander, McManus is a graduate of YaleUniversity and the HarvardBusinessSchool. He has worked in corporate finance with Lehman Brothers and management consulting with McKinsey & Company. While at the Aramark Corporation, he served as president of several operating divisions until finally heading Aramark’s largest group, the Business Services Group, with $2.3 billion in revenue.

He comes to Hinckley from Zoots Corporation, the largest and fastest growing dry cleaning chain in the country with 78 service sites and 300,000 customers, of which he is president and CEO.

“As a lifelong avid boater, Jim fully appreciates the high quality and craftsmanship of Hinckley yachts,” says Hinckley’s chairman of the board, Ralph Willard.

McManus lives in Newton, Mass., and Block Island, R.I. with his wife Robin and their three children.

McManus replaces Gerry DiSchino, who died unexpectedly at his home March 10.

World record becomes official

Ralph Brown of Spring Hill, Fla., and Bob Brown of Merritt Island, Fla., were recognized by the WorldRecordAcademy as being the holders of a new record: the longest unescorted oceanic crossing of a flats boat.

A flats boat by definition is a single engine (trolling motors don’t count), low-profile, open fishing boat, that can operate in less than one foot of water. This particular flats boat, the Intruder 21, made by the brothers’ company, Dream Boats, can operate in less than 6 inches of water.

Many smaller boats have made a longer trip, but they have had either a keel, considerably more freeboard, a cabin, sail or an escort.

The Brown brothers departed from Atlantic Beach, N.C. at 9:15 a.m., April 30, arriving in Bermuda around 1 p.m. May 2. They departed Bermuda May 9 at 9:30 a.m. and arrived in New YorkHarbor at 3:15 p.m. May 11, where they received a ticket from an officer for the U.S. Park Police around Ellis Island. The brothers say they accidentally ventured into restricted waters.

More details can be obtained from the WorldRecordAcademy’s Web site: .

Maritime paintings, models on display

A new exhibit titled “From Model to Masterpiece: The Work of Thomas Hoyne and Erik Ronnberg” recently opened at Mystic Seaport. The exhibit brings together the work of two artists — the maritime paintings of Hoyne and the ship models created for those paintings by Ronnberg.

From 1972 until his death in 1989, Hoyne created more than 100 maritime paintings. He acted as a “visual reporter,” recreating historical maritime scenes on his canvas, taking great pain to create images that were true to life.

After researching a particular vessel or maritime event he wanted to paint, Hoyne would often commission Ronnberg to create a scale model of the vessel. Using the newly created model, Hoyne would sketch the vessel in a variety of positions by placing it in sand or cat litter to capture the ‘movement’ of the ship as it cut through the water. To show proper stances and body positions of his figures, Hoyne would work from photographs of himself and friends posed in fishing gear.

Before embarking on his maritime paintings, Hoyne was a commercial illustrator. His best known work is the Jolly Green Giant and the Charmin baby.

From Model to Masterpiece will remain open until March 2008.

Grants awarded to improve water quality

Almost $1.6 million was recently awarded to 12 non-profit conservation groups, universities and government agencies to fund water quality and restoration projects in Long Island Sound and JamaicaBay. The nearly $1.6 million will be leveraged by $2.1 million raised by the recipients themselves toward the projects, providing a total of $3.6 million towards conservation.

The source of the grant money is the Dissolved Oxygen Environmental Benefit Fund for the Western Long Island Sound and JamaicaBay designed to support restoration and water quality projects that reduce pollution, particularly nitrogen, threatening the health and living resources of these estuaries.

Two projects will reach out to 3,000 recreational boaters by providing free pumpout services, removing 3,000 gallons of sewage from JamaicaBay and Long Island Sound. Five projects involve restoring natural tidal flow and salt marshes. Two projects will deliver tools and strategies to reduce water pollution from multiple sources, including common pharmaceuticals threatening humans and animals that share coastal water. One project involves long-term survival of fish, shellfish and crabs by allowing resource managers to improve management of nitrogen discharges allowed in open waters. Another project will contribute technical information to the public dialogue surrounding sewering by quantifying pollution discharges from groundwater, comparing sewered and unsewered watersheds.

Safety message starts L.I. boating season

Coast Guard Auxiliary Division Capt. Anthony Wuestman joined local politicians, recreational boaters and the town harbormaster to promote safe boating in the waters of the Town of Huntington.

A press conference took place May 24 at the Town Dock as a kick-off of the 2007 boating season. Four members of the Coast Guard Station Eaton’s Neck arrived in a 25-foot rigid hull inflatable.

The press conference coincided with National Safe Boating Week and marked the Huntington’s kick-off of the 2007 boating season. Officials stressed the need for safe boating, citing the following statistics:

• about 1/3 of the nation’s 78 million boaters are in the Northeast;

• New York has the fifth-highest number of boating accidents in the country;

• 70 percent of those accidents are attributed to a lack of education;

• in 78 percent of boating accident fatalities, no PFD was being worn by the victim.

For information visit .

Conn. islands closed to protect nesting birds

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has closed CharlesIsland in Milford and DuckIsland in Westbrook to the public from May 20 to Sept. 10 to prevent disturbances to birds nesting on these islands. Over the last several years, the DEP has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the nesting colonies.

“When young birds become agitated by the disturbance, they often fall from the nest,” says Jenny Dickson, a DEP Wildlife Division biologist. The adults will not care for these grounded young birds, which ultimately die of starvation or predation; if the disturbance is repeated numerous times, the adults may completely abandon the nesting area, she cautions.

Examples of disturbances include illegal camp-outs and bonfires, unleashed dogs roaming the island and human visitors entering the fenced nesting areas. DEP reports its Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be patrolling the islands; anyone caught trespassing will be arrested. The public can report any observed violations at (800) 842-4357.

MarineMax opens Sag Harbor location

The new MarineMax Yacht Center Sag Harbor, Long Island, opened in June, featuring Ferretti Group products including yachts from Ferretti Yacht, Pershing, Riva, Apreamare and Mochi Craft, some never seen before in the Northeast market.

The initial vessels on display include the Ferretti 630, the 56 Pershing, the 44 Rivarama, and a Mochi Craft 44 Dolphin.

Located in the Sag Harbor Cove Yacht Club, the new facility offers sales and service of Ferretti Group yachts, as well as brokerage services.

MarineMax can arrange for a customer to purchase a yacht in the Northeast and have it delivered in Florida, use it in Florida during the winter months and then have it delivered back to the customer’s northern yachting location for the summer. MarineMax can also arrange the delivery of Ferretti Group Yachts in Italy for cruising in the Mediterranean before the yacht is shipped home to the United States.

For information visit .

Conn. marinas receive recognition

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection recently recognized Noank Village Boatyard, Gwenmor Marina, Mystic Shipyard West and Connors and O’Brien Marina as the latest boating facilities in Connecticut to receive certification as “Connecticut Clean Marinas.”

This certification acknowledges these facilities efforts to go beyond regulatory compliance and participate in voluntary measures to keep Connecticut waters clean.

The addition of these four marinas now brings the total number of Connecticut Certified Clean Marinas to 10.

Two centuries of charting the coasts

In 1807 President Thomas Jefferson recognized the need to chart the coastal waters of this country as vital to the independence and prosperity of the economy and to the security of his fledgling nation. Jefferson compelled Congress to pass an act establishing the Survey of the Coast, a predecessor agency of today’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the nation’s first scientific agency.

The Survey of the Coast charted the nation’s ports and waterways, researched physical characteristics of the ocean bottom and explored many of the world’s oceans. The organization was known for a tradition of perseverance, scientific integrity, engraving and charting skills.

In recognition of the 200th anniversary, NOAA and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service have created the exhibit, “From Sea to ShiningSea: 200 Years of Charting America’s Coasts,” which opened June 21 in both the Cold Spring Harbor Library and the ColdSpringHarborWhalingMuseum.

Illustrated with photos, charts, and artwork held in the archives, this 20-poster set exploring the Survey’s history, accomplishments and scientific contributions will be exhibited in its entirety across the two institutions.

Schedule set for Hudson cruise line

Beginning Oct. 6, the American Star begins its inaugural season cruising along the Hudson River.

After spending the summer months in Maine, the American Star will cruise the Hudson River with visits to ports of call including West Point, Catskill, Tarrytown, Albany and New York City. The American Star’s additional Hudson River cruises will be roundtrip cruises departing from New York City.

The 100-passenger American Star is 215 feet long. The new luxury ship features oversized staterooms with private verandahs, each with large opening picture windows. Every room is fitted with a flat-screen satellite TV and DVD player, individual climate control and Internet access.

The ship is equipped with an elevator for easy access to all four decks and boasts four lounges, an observation deck, a library and a glass-enclosed dining room providing landscapes and coastal scenery as you dine.

For information, call (800) 814-6880 or visit