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News Notes – Mid-Atlantic

In-Water Boat Show returns in September

The Virginia In-Water Boat Expo returns for its second year on the Norfolk waterfront, Sept. 8 to 10.

The three-day event will display the newest and largest selection of boats and boat-related products and accessories. Three hundred boats and watercraft, representing 80 manufacturers, will be on sale during the weekend — more than 130 shown in-water. Prices range from $300 to more than $2 million. Sizes range from 9 feet to larger than 70 feet.

Show hours are: Sept. 8, noon-8 p.m.; Sept. 9, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; and Sept. 10, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, children, 15 years and under, admitted free. Advanced tickets are available at .

Dominion Blvd. Bridge regulations altered

The Coast Guard changed the regulations that govern the operation of the Dominion Boulevard (U.S. 17) Bridge across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Va.

The final rule, which was to go into effect July 31, provides for hourly openings of the draw starting at 6 a.m. every day. The rule does not change during the rush hours, which are from 7 to 9 a.m., and 4 to 6 p.m.

The bridge will continue to open on signal at any time for commercial vessels carrying liquefied flammable gas or other hazardous materials. It will also open for commercial vessels that provide a two-hour advance notice. At all other times the draw will open on signal.

The changes were enacted to relieve increased vehicular traffic congestion on weekends, and between the weekday morning and evening rush hours while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.

Six anglers win Md. fishing challenge

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service announced that six lucky anglers caught qualifying tagged fish during the July Fourth weekend, week five of the Second Annual Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge: The Return of Diamond Jim.

Sixty-five-year-old Paul Wolf of Cumberland was one of them. “I may never catch another tagged fish in my life so I’m saving it,” said Wolf. “If I win anything I’m going to mount the fish and hang it on the wall.” Wolf, who only has one leg, says he does not let that get in the way of being an avid angler. He caught a tagged rainbow trout in Rocky Gap Lake July 2.

Wolf and 94 other anglers are now qualified to win one of five grand prizes in the Fishing Challenge, including a chance to win $1 million.

The Fishing Challenge ends Sept. 4. For information about the prizes, rules and where to fish, visit

Sailor starts powerboat rental business

In a town where sails dominate the waterfront, Erin Harrington started a new business that puts Annapolis’ many visitors behind the helm of their own powerboat.

Annapolis Small Boat Rentals offers several 70-hp, outboard-powered boats, including a 16-foot RIB, a 17-foot center console and an 18-foot dual console. The boats seat four to six people.

With nearly 40 years boating experience, Harrington has raced J Boats of all sizes and the Melges 24. She sailed in the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship and has participated in Key West Race Week. Harrington is trading nearly 20 years as a customer service agent with US Airways for a business on the water.

“I’ve been on the water since I was 9-years-old when my mom used to put her nine kids on sailboats to get us out of her hair,” Harrington says. “I bought my first Hobie catamaran when I was 23. And I still own it. To this day I love to sail in it with my husband and dogs.”

Her husband of 10 years, Howard Shure, is president and owner of The Air Works, Inc., a 20-year-old Annapolis-based company that sells and repairs inflatable boats.

To reach Annapolis Small Boat Rentals, at Sarles Boatyard & Marina on 808 Boucher Ave., call (410) 320-6997.

Maryland marine police report busy holiday

The Maryland Natural Resources Police reports it checked 19,845 boaters, made 12,686 contacts and performed 3,712 vessel safety inspections over the July Fourth holiday weekend.

Officers issued 417 citations and 1,531 warnings on the state’s waterways.

Fifteen suspects were arrested for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (a 60-percent increase from last year).

NRP investigated 26 boating accidents, none of which resulted in life-threatening injuries.

Chesapeake Light Craft offers ‘Hybrid’ kayak kits

Annapolis–based Chesapeake Light Craft recently announced a new line of kayak kits — the Shearwater Hybrids — offering builders the speedy assembly and great handling of a West Greenland-style plywood hull, and the elegance and individuality of a strip-planked deck.

“Cedar-strip kayaks are admired for their beauty and functionality,” says John C. Harris, president of CLC. “But kayaks made entirely of cedar strips require a strongback and special molds, translating into a lot of skilled labor and time. On the Hybrid, the plywood hull forms the strongback for constructing the strip-planked deck, so assembly time is a fraction of an all-strip hull.”

CLC’s Shearwater Hybrid kits ship with a mixture of dark and medium colored cedar strips, plus white pine strips for light accents. The strips have been milled at the factory with “bead and cove” joints so that one slides into the next for perfect joinery. While CLC offers suggested deck patterns, individual builders can develop their own unique strip deck designs as they assemble their kit.

The Shearwater Hybrid’s hull is British Standard 1088 okoume marine plywood, which is extremely lightweight, contributing to the Shearwater Hybrid’s sub-45 pound weight.

Shearwater Hybrids are available in 14.5-foot ($1,049), 16-foot ($1,199), and 17-foot ($1,199) sizes. For information, visit or call John Harris at (410) 267-0137.

New Charleston agent for Neil Pryde Sails

Tom Bissell has signed an agreement to be the Neil Pryde Yacht Sails agent for South Carolina and surrounding waters.

Bissell has been involved with Neil Pryde since the 1970s. He worked for Neil Pryde Ltd. in Hong Kong, building sails, and sailing a variety of offshore racing boats and dinghies. Upon returning to the United States he became the national sales manager for the Neil Pryde Boardsail division.

Bissell has competed in the Olympic Finn Trials and the TransPac.

Collect wooden models of Hemingway’s Pilar

The Ernest Hemingway Collection announced it had awarded the license to produce handcrafted wooden replicas of Ernest Hemingway’s beloved fishing boat, Pilar, to Old World Trading Company of Farmingdale, N.Y.

A 28-inch museum-quality replica of Pilar, built to scale from blueprints, is available. There are also two decorative models, which come in 28- and 15-inch sizes, fashioned from photographs of the famed fishing boat. You can buy the replicas in retail stores and online at www.oldworld

In building the Pilar replicas, master boatbuilders ran the ship through a mini shipyard, said Old World Trading Company President Mark Von Zwehl. “The pieces are all handcrafted with particular attention to detail, built just like a real ship — the planking, the ribs and some working parts.”

The original Pilar, a 38-foot Wheeler Playmate, is now docked at Hemingway’s Finca Vigia estate in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba. The boat has been well-maintained and kept under cover, but is currently undergoing some minor restoration work.

The original was teal and black, and the new replicas from Old World Trading Co. will be offered in both teal and black, and red and black, Von Zwehl said. Both models come fully assembled.

“Hemingway was the ultimate sportsman, and the Pilar and its captain, Gregorio Fuentes, are widely believed to be the inspiration for the novella ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and its protagonist, Santiago,” Von Zwehl said. “Producing these ships with the blessing of the family and the Ernest Hemingway Collection gives us great pride.”

Bay museum chooses Parnes as new president

Stuart L. Parnes has been elected president of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Md. The announcement was made in May by James K. Peterson, chairman of the board of governors.

“The board had ‘significant shoes to fill’ with John Valliant’s leaving the museum on April 30 after 19 years of distinguished service,” says Peterson. An executive search firm was hired to conduct a national search for Valliant’s successor. There were nearly 100 applicants for the position.

Valliant’s successor, Stuart Parnes, has more than 30 years of experience in the maritime museum field. For the past six years he has been the executive director of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn., where he has overseen the renovation and expansion of the museum’s facilities, the launch of a major capital campaign, and the broadening of the museum’s educational outreach activities. Prior to that, Parnes was director of exhibitions at Mystic Seaport, where he planned and implemented scores of exhibitions in Mystic as well as traveling exhibitions in the United States, France and Japan.

Parnes currently serves as secretary general of the International Congress of Maritime Museums and has been a board member of the National Association for Museum Exhibition, the New England Museum Association, the Council of American Maritime Museums, and the Connecticut Humanities Council.

Parnes joined the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in July, and will be joined by his wife, Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Sue Ellen Thompson.

“To be selected for this position is a great honor. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is one of the world’s great maritime museums, and professionally one of the most highly respected. I look forward to joining with the board and staff in guiding the museum to even greater accomplishments,” Parnes says.