News notes – Mid-Atlantic

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Nordic Tugs dealers host first annual tug fest

Nordic Tugs dealers are hosting the National Nordic Tug Fest, July 12-13, at dealer locations nationwide. The event will feature tug tours, sea trials (by appointment), barbecues and door prizes.

“This is the first time Nordic Tugs and our dealers have partnered to organize a national sales event,” says David Goehring, executive vice president of Nordic Tugs, adding the event “will provide a fun venue for prospective customers to learn more about Nordic Tugs.”

The dealer for the Mid-Atlantic region is Annapolis Sailyard at 326 First St., Suite 18. Phone: (410) 268-4100 or e-mail scott@sailyard.com.

In other news, the Seattle office of the U.S. Department of Commerce recently gave Nordic Tugs an Export Achievement Award in recognition of the company’s successful move into foreign markets.

With economic indicators pointing to a potential slowdown in the domestic boating market, Nordic Tugs’ executive staff made the decision in 2006 to research international export opportunities. Working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the company looked first to the European market, in part because of the strength of the euro. www.nordictugs.com

Blue crab populations subject of legislation

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources proposed new recreational and commercial harvest regulations to help rebuild the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population and fishery. The proposed regulations are designed to reduce female blue crab harvest by 34 percent in 2008.

“We must take action today to ensure that Maryland’s iconic blue crab and the economy it supports continue to be important parts of our culture for generations to come,” says Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The proposed emergency regulations for the 2008 Chesapeake Bay commercial blue crab fishery include an early closure to the season for harvesting female crabs and catch limits on female crabs earlier in the fall. The department’s preferred regulatory option being introduced as an emergency regulatory package would close commercial harvest of female crabs Oct. 23 and impose individualized catch limits effective Sept. 1 based on a waterman’s recent annual average reported female blue crab harvest.

The proposed emergency regulations for the 2008 Chesapeake Bay recreational fishery prohibit any female blue crab harvest.

The current abundance of adult or reproductive-age blue crabs is 120 million crabs, 70 percent lower than 1990 levels and well below the conservation target of 200 million crabs.

Scientists estimate that more than 60 percent of the Bay’s adult crab population was harvested last year. In Maryland, the 2007 commercial blue crab harvest of approximately 21.8 million pounds was one of the lowest recorded since 1945.

Study reveals economic impact of N.J. boaters

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) unveiled the results of a two-year effort to quantify the economic impact of recreational boating in the state at the Association’s Annual Dinner & Elections.

The study, the first of its kind in New Jersey, directly measured expenditures related to recreational boating and their impact on the state’s economy.

New Jersey is well known for its popular water-related recreational activities. The state boasts 127 miles of coastal shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, 1,792 miles of tidal shoreline and more than 4,000 lakes, rivers and bays.

The recreational boating industry contributes substantially to local and state economies, according to the industry study, noting jobs in many sectors of the workforce, tourism and tax revenues.

The data used in the study was captured from a survey of New Jersey’s registered boaters. Boaters were asked to provide information on how much was spent on boat purchases, equipment, boat repair, insurance, services and annual fees associated with the use of marinas. Information on trip-related expenditures such as launching fees, lodging, food, gas, boater profile and geographic information was also collected.

The survey results indicate New Jersey boaters spent approximately $2.1 billion dollars on in-state recreational boating activities in 2006. Of the money spent, $1.1 billion were trip-related expenditures and $938 million were in annual boating purchases (such as registration fees, maintenance, etc.). The study also showed that New Jersey’s recreational boating industry provides approximately 18,000 jobs.

The report can be viewed by visiting www.mtanj.org and clicking on Economic Impact Study on the home page.

USS Monitor Center campaign completed

The Mariners’ Museum recently announced the capital campaign for the USS Monitor Center has been completed, surpassing its $30 million goal.

Of the total raised, $9.2 million were provided by the Museum’s partner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program. The City of Newport News committed $5.5 million, and the Commonwealth of Virginia provided more than $2.5 million.

On March 9, 2007, The Mariners’ Museum and its partners at NOAA opened the doors to the new $30 million, 63,500-square-foot USS Monitor Center. This wing is home to artifacts such as the turret, steam engine and cannon; an interactive exhibition that tells the story of the USS Monitor, the CSS Virginia, the men who served on both vessels, and the story of those who discovered, recovered and conserve more than 1,200 artifacts from the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. www.MarinersMuseum.org

Area port completes roster for tall ships race

The seventh and final port to sign up to host the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009 — Charleston, S.C. — completes the course for this spectacular odyssey for sail-training Tall Ships.

The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is a 7,000-nautical-mile race series around the North Atlantic that will follow the traditional route taken by sailing ships of yesteryear. An international fleet and trainee crews from around the world are expected to compete in the Challenge series, organized by Sail Training International in collaboration with the American Sail Training Association.

The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge started in Vigo, Spain, (April 30-May 3). The fleet then raced to Tenerife in the Canary Islands (May 14-17), then across the Atlantic to Bermuda (June 12-15) where they will form the centerpiece of year-long celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of permanent settlement on the island.

From Bermuda the fleet will race west to Charleston (June 25-29), then up the U.S. East Coast to Boston (July 8-13) and onwards to Halifax, Nova Scotia (July 16-20). From there, the fleet will race back across the North Atlantic to Belfast, Ireland (August 13-16) for the final prize-giving celebrations. www.tallshipsraces.com/atlanticchallenge

Yamaha reformulates marine four-stroke oil

The Yamaha Marine Group recently announced it has a new four-stroke marine engine oil formulation, which the company claims reduces wear and provides cleaner operation.

Yamalube 4M engine oils, both 10W-30 and 20W-40, have a new low-phosphorus formulation fortified with molybdenum compounds, which reduce wear caused by the sudden changes in engine speed common to four-stroke marine engines.

Independent testing shows the new oil provides added wear protection — an 85-percent reduction in wear over the prior formulation, according to Yamaha. These oils have properties and additives automotive oils don’t. In addition, they continue to contain a proprietary mixture of detergents that help clean internally lubricated parts and dispersants, which help to carry trapped dirt away from the engine to the oil filter. The end result is cleaner oil.

In other news, Yamaha has put its marine care products under the trusted Yamalube brand. Products affected include fuel additives, adhesives and lubricants, which will now bear the name Yamalube. www.yamahaoutboards.com

New nautical charts for Google Earth available

One year after the release of EarthNC electronic marine charts comes Version 2.0 of the free EarthNC Online (http://earthnc.com/online) and retail EarthNC Plus (http://earthnc.com/earthnc-plus) electronic marine charts for Google Earth.

New features for EarthNC Online and Plus include new layer organization for faster load times, additional chart notes and information, more than 500 integrated ‘Waterview’ bridge pictures for inland waterways and new ‘Submit Information’ links with photo upload capability and a corresponding EarthNC User Layer with user-submitted photos and notes.

EarthNC Plus, EarthNC’s flagship product for Google Earth charting, additionally gains a new seamless chart-loading option, new layer-view options for land features, non-navigable areas and deep depths, a shaded depth area overlay option and an integrated beta of EarthNC Premium Ocean Weather with 5-day wind, wave, temperature and current forecast maps.

For information and screen shots of version 2.0 enhancements, go to http://earthnc.com/earthnc-version-20-released .

Bay’s underwater grasses show increase

Underwater bay grasses covered nearly 65,000 acres of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers in 2007, about 35 percent of the 185,000-acre baywide restoration goal, according to data from scientists with the Chesapeake Bay Program. Though a 10 percent increase from 59,000 acres in 2006, bay grasses have not yet recovered to the recent high of 90,000 acres in 2002.

Bay grasses — also called submerged aquatic vegetation or SAV — are critical to the Bay ecosystem because they provide habitat and nursery grounds for fish and blue crabs, trap sediments, absorb excess nutrients and reduce shoreline erosion. Bay grasses are also an excellent measure of the Bay’s overall condition because they are not under harvest pressure and their health is closely linked to water quality.

Bay grasses acreage is estimated through an aerial survey, which is flown from late spring to early fall. For information about the aerial survey and survey results, go to www.vims.edu/bio/sav .

Workshop offered for watershed homeowners

On June 21, the Calvert Marine Museum will host BaySmarter: A Conservation Workshop for Watershed Homeowners and Educators.

The workshop will bring participants together with environment experts and government representatives for a full day of conservation-related activities.

After morning discussions, registrants will board the Wm. B. Tennison for an hour-long guided tour of local shorelines. The afternoon program offers sessions on how to be Bay-Wise: A Homeowner’s Guide to a Healthier Bay. Master Gardeners and other experts will present demonstrations. The day will end with a reception at the waterfront home of a local Master Gardener.

All activities are free and open to the public. Because of space constraints, the field trips aboard the Wm. B. Tennison and to the reception are limited to pre-registrants. To register, call (410) 326-2042 ext. 41. The full schedule is available at

www.calvertmarinemuseum.com.

Rare and vintage maritime items to be auctioned

The Lannan Ship Model Gallery of Boston will host a large maritime auction July 19 to benefit the Museum of Yachting at Fort Adams State Park in Newport R.I.

The auction will feature American Steam Yacht models from private collections that will include JP Morgan’s Corsair, the presidential steam yacht Mayflower, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s North Star and Atlantic, as well as Oliver H. Payne’s yacht Aphrodite.

Other important vessels in maritime history will be shown including clipper ships, America’s Cup yachts such as Rainbow, Puritan and America, as well as classic speedboats, tugs and schooners.

“This is a million-dollar collection of some of the best nautical models to be found anywhere, all of which will be sold in a single day,” says gallery owner Larry Lannan.

For more than 40 years, Lannan has been collecting and selling marine antiques and nautical memorabilia from all over the world.

In addition to the models ships to be sold, the auction will also offer fine marine paintings, rare navigational instruments such as engine order telegraphs and full-size binnacles, ship’s wheels, half hulls carved eagles, carved fish, trade signs, clocks, sextants, spy glasses, telescopes, copper and brass ship’s lanterns, masthead lamps and rare buoy lights in various sizes with fresnel lenses. www.lannangallery.com

Edson publishes 150th anniversary catalog

Edson recently announced the publication of its new 150th anniversary catalog available in both print and online “green” versions.

Long considered a must-have sourcebook for sailors, the new Edson Sailboat Products catalog is the most extensive in the company’s history and contains hundreds of innovative boating products and accessories. The catalog also features a four-page pictorial timeline of Edson’s history, beginning with founder Jacob Edson’s invention of the diaphragm pump in 1859.

Available at www.edsonmarine.com , the new Edson eCatalog incorporates a familiar page-flip design, full search and “Go-To” information link capabilities, as well as hyperlinks to products in the Edson Online Store.