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News notes – Mid-Atlantic

Harbor Fest unveils winning poster design

The cloak was lifted March 20, revealing the winning artwork and official poster for Charleston Harbor Fest 2008, May 16-18. Jason Fletcher was introduced to an audience at the Art Institute of Charleston as the winner of the Official Poster Competition. Fletcher is a graphic artist at The Post and Courier newspaper and also designed the winning poster for the BB&T Charleston Food & Wine Festival.


For the Harbor Fest competition, artists were asked to submit original work that reflects


’s rich maritime history, while incorporating


’s modern harbor and highlights of the annual Harbor Fest event. Fletcher received a $1,000 check for his winning design, and his work will be featured in event advertisements, promotions and on retail items for sale.

“I was going for sort of a classic look and was inspired by old travel posters from the ’20s and ’30s — bright colors and big graphic shapes,” Fletcher said. “Since both the festival and


are rooted in history, I wanted to create something that felt nostalgic.”

To view the winning design and learn more about the event, visit


Local boat to star in feature movie

Many Annapolis residents are familiar with Sagamore, the 26-foot classic 1955 Chris-Craft cabin cruiser owned by Gene and Kathy Severens.

The wooden vessel can often be seen motoring out of Spa Creek on summer afternoons with the Severens and their grandchildren aboard, heading for favorite swimming and picnicking spots on Whitehall or Mill Creeks.

Next year, however, Sagamore will make her debut on the silver screen in the romantic comedy named “The Proposal,” and staring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Scheduled for release in fall 2009, the story centers on a publishing executive (Bullock) who forces her assistant (Reynolds) to marry her so she can avoid deportation to Canada. Much of the plot takes place on the water, and Sagamore will play Bullock’s character’s boat.

The story calls for a small, well-maintained vintage cabin cruiser and the movie company found Sagamore via Annapolis Classic Watercraft. A previous owner had brought her to ACW several years ago for restoration, and the movie people found her picture on the ACW Web site.

Turns out Sagamore was exactly what they wanted and Bill Donahue, ACW’s owner, directed them to Gene Severens, and a deal was quickly struck.

Filming was done in Gloucester, Mass., but not before Sagamore was hauled out and brought to the ACW boat shop for a quick round of paint and varnish.

Local sailing non-profit to hold fundraiser

The Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) nonprofit organization is holding its annual Back Creek CRAB Party on May 10 from 5-9 p.m. at the Port Annapolis Marina Pavilion in Annapolis. All proceeds are dedicated to making sailing on the Chesapeake Bay accessible to people with disabilities.

“I think disabled people deserve a shot at sailing like anybody else,” said Don Backe, executive director of CRAB.

Backe, a 6-foot, 4-inch former football coach and offshore sailboat racer, has been a paraplegic since a 1987 car accident. Backe says at one point he thought his future in a wheelchair would be grim.

“When I realized I could sail again, and I had the tiller in my hand, I was so moved that I cried,” he says. “I could have fun again.”

The fund-raiser will feature live local bands including The Eastport Oyster Boys, Calico Jack and Caryl P.Weiss; food and drinks; live and silent auctions; and a raffle. Items up for raffle include two Segways, two scooters or $5,000. Admission tickets are $40; half of that price is tax-deductible. Raffle tickets are $20. The money raised will go toward running the program and expanding the fleet of sailboats. Backe’s next endeavor is to add a larger cruising boat to the fleet that a family with disabled members could use for weekend trips.

For tickets or to donate an auction item, call Backe at (410) 626-0273.

Boatbuilding programs at marine museum

Building on its mission to preserve the traditional skill of wooden boatbuilding, the CalvertMarineMuseum in Solomons, Md., is offering the opportunity to build a 16-foot wooden canoe or a 12-foot rowing skiff on a schedule that suits the builder.

The Build a Canoe by Appointment Program provides dates of two consecutive Saturdays to build a boat. Scheduling is open for April through December. Class hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday. Simple hand tools and guidance from experienced instructors will enable participants to assemble a boat ready to paint at the end of the second Saturday. Friends and family may join in, including children 10 and older.

A fee of $600 for CMM members and $650 for the general public includes all materials necessary to complete one canoe and paddles; paint is not included. The fee for the 12-foot rowing skiff is $950 for members and $1,000 for the general public. A sailing version including sails, spars, daggerboard and rudder is available for an additional $800.

For information and scheduling, contact George Surgent at (410) 586-2700 or

The museum also announced its schedule of specialty cruises aboard the historic Wm. B. Tennison for the 2008 cruising season. All cruises are open to the public and are sold on a first-come first-served basis. For information or to purchase cruise tickets, contact Melissa McCormick at (410) 326-2042, ext. 41 or .

Governor supports artificial reef effort

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley recently joined New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner in support of the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI) to obtain the Navy Spruance Class Destroyer Arthur W. Radford to create a new artificial reef.

The initiative is aimed at enhancing habitat life off the Delmarva Peninsula and, if granted, would become the largest artificial reef project on the East Coast.

“Fishing in Maryland is not only a favorite pastime of many of our residents and visitors, but it also helps to drive our local economies and reconnect people with nature,” O’Malley said.

If the Navy grants use of the 564-foot vessel, it will be placed on a permitted artificial reef site known as DelJerseyLand. The reef site is approximately 30 nautical miles north east of the Maryland’s OceanCity inlet, 28 nautical miles east of Delaware’s Indian River Inlet in Delaware and 32 nautical miles south east of Cape May, NJ.

Supporters in the three states will begin fund-raising to cover the costs necessary to reef the vessel. In Maryland, the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI) has taken the lead in fundraising for artificial reef projects. For information about MARI visit

Maryland DNR Police receive new patrol boats

Monticello, Ark.-based SeaArk Marine recently completed a contract for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police for five 25-foot VC Commander RAM Class vessels.

The vessels are tasked with patrolling the Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River and surrounding estuaries within the jurisdiction of the Maryland DNR.

The Commander Class vessels are based on a proven hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates of Boston and constructed of all-welded marine grade aluminum. The boats feature a deep-vee variable deadrise hull that produces a smooth, dry and stable ride with a top speed of 43 knots.

The boats incorporate a four-man climate-controlled pilot house. Electronics consist of a Furuno radar/NavNet system, Garmin chart plotter, Hurley infrared camera, ICOM radio and Wing foam collar. The main propulsion engines are twin 225-hp Evinrude E-Tec outboard engines.

Engine manufacturer lengthens warranty

Yamaha Marine Group recently announced that effective Jan. 1, it has lengthened the limited warranty period for Yamaha Marine replacement parts, accessories, instruments and gauges sold by its authorized dealers.

Customers will now receive a full year of warranty coverage from date of purchase against defects in materials or workmanship, for pleasure use, direct from Yamaha, subject to certain exclusions and limitations.

“Moving from the previous 90 days to a full year’s limited warranty coverage on most of these items is a comfort for our customers and serves to further Yamaha’s reputation for quality,” said John Rigsby, Yamaha Marine Group national sales manager.

Yamaha Marine has won the marine industry’s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception.

Nominations sought for boating access award

With more boaters having a hard time gaining access to the water, nominations for the second annual BoatU.S. Recreational Boating Access Award are being accepted. The award recognizes those who have succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access.

Waterfront development, regulatory red tape, poor planning and restrictive covenants are just some of the factors contributing to the decline of waterway access for recreational boats.

“Municipalities are levying hefty tax hikes for marinas. Boat clubs and yards are assessed at highest-use rates, which makes them targets for high-density housing, and some marinas simply give up after being stymied by years of red tape required to get a permit,” said BoatU.S. vice president of government affairs Margaret Podlich.

“Access also includes storage issues. Local ordinances and property covenants increasingly prohibit boat storage — even in your own backyard,” she added.

Judges will look at four criteria: First, the challenges faced in retaining or increasing access in an area; Second, the direct impact or measurable results of the solution; Third, the level of success in increasing awareness of the issue in a community; and Fourth, “repeatability,” the ability to take the successful approach and adopt it in other areas.

Eligible activities need to have been undertaken in the last three years.

Applications are being accepted from June 15 through Oct. 1 and winners will be announced by Oct. 31. Previous entrants are asked not to reapply.

New leader takes the helm of the USPS

The United States Power Squadrons installed Creighton C. Maynard as its 51st Chief Commander. The 2008 Annual Meeting of America’s oldest and largest boating education organization met in Dallas as delegates from across the nation representing 45,000 members joined the event.

Maynard grew up in Beaumont, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University before entering the military. He earned his law degree and Juris Doctorate from Baylor University in 1961 and practices law in Fort Worth. He has been an avid boater and Power Squadron member for many years.

The new leader installed his key officers: National Executive Officer, Frank A. Dvorak of Bellevue, Wash.; National Education Officer, Richard E. Kyle of Old Lyme, Conn.; National Administrative Officer, John T. Alter of Raleigh, N.C.; National Secretary, David L. Hinders of Rio Vista, Calif.; and National Treasurer, Joseph R. Mesenburg of Columbus, Ohio. Serving with the leadership team as the seventh member of the new National Board of Directors is Past Chief Commander Ernest G. Marshburn of Raleigh, N.C.

Life jacket loaner program seeks to expand

The nation's only program that lends kid-sized life jackets for free to boaters and anglers is looking to grow. The BoatU.S Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Program, which offers infant, toddler and children's life jackets at more than 350 nationwide locations, has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 in additional funds to meet increasing demand by establishing new loaner locations at marinas, boat ramps, waterside resorts, boat clubs, bait shops, towboats, firehouses and other public facilities. The life jackets are typically loaned out for a day or weekend.

Started in 1997, the program has been responsible for loaning an average of more than 50,000 life jackets a year — and saving at least three lives.

A tax-deductible donation of $10 will buy one vest-style life jacket and $250 will create a completely new, fully stocked loaner site. The $50,000 fundraising drive will also help replenish life jackets at some existing locations. Funding for the program is also supported in part by the 650,000 members of BoatU.S.

Go to to make a donation online or mail donations to: BoatU.S. Foundation, c/o Life Jacket Loaner Program, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304.

New addition to local marine loan group

Trident Funding Corporation recently announced a new addition to their Annapolis Sales team. Jane Tayman was recently appointed a sales position with Trident Funding and will be responsible for retail marine loan originations in parts of Maryland and Virginia.

Tayman has been with one of the largest yacht dealerships in Annapolis for over 23 years, Annapolis Yacht Sales. Trident Funding Corporation is the largest private marine finance company in the country with 13 offices serving customers nationwide.

Digital nav firm offers new Bahamas charts

Navionics recently added the Bahamas Special Edition to its Gold+, Platinum and Platinum+ marine cartography products. Available as a new special chart area, the Bahamas Special Edition charts cover the northern Bahamian waters from Grand Bahama and Abaco to Long Island in the south, as well as the southeast coast of Florida.

Navionics new Special Edition charts provide exclusive surveyed content with spot sounding and depth contour detail that has previously been unavailable. The charts are available in Navionics’ range of good, better, best solutions.

Bahamas Special Edition chart packages are available at marine and sporting goods stores throughout the United States and Canada at a retail price of $129 for the Gold+ edition, $199 for the Platinum edition and is included free with the purchase of Navionics Platinum+. For information, call (800) 848-5896 or visit .

Tow firm unveils new corporate brand identity

Sea Tow Services International unveiled a new brand initiative recently that represents a significant milestone in the company’s 25-year history and reflects Sea Tow’s evolution into a full-service organization dedicated to the savings, services and security of the recreational boating public.

Sea Tow has moved beyond Marine Towing & Salvage to the comprehensive core identity of “Where Boaters Belong.”

The company has been quietly forging a fundamental shift in its business approach for the last few years by expanding its suite of services to include Trailer Care, Sea Smart VHF, Sea Insure, Sea Loans and the Boating Safety & Education Foundation, while also expanding its member-exclusive Advantage Network savings program and significantly growing its marine assistance network, both domestically and internationally.

Sea Tow has promoted Ann Medford to Senior Managing Director and tasked her with the national implementation and execution of the company’s re-branding efforts.

Charter firm announces ‘free cruising days’

Southwest Florida Yachts announced that sail and power-yacht charters of three days or more will get two free days of cruising time for cruises during the "low season" between May 1 and Dec. 13.

Similarly, as part of a three-year celebration of the company's 25th anniversary in 2009, two free days will be added to low-season cruises of three days or more in 2009 and 2010.

High-season charters are also rewarded, says Barb Hansen of Southwest Florida Yachts. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, cruises of three days or longer scheduled between Dec. 14 and April 30 receive an extra day of cruising at no additional cost.

Southwest Florida Yachts charters power yachts from 32 to 43 feet in length and sailing yachts from 24 to 35 feet long, primarily for cruising and sailing the inland waters between the Florida barrier islands of Sanibel/Captiva and the village of Punta Gorda on Charlotte Harbor.