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 www.uscg.mil/news/stormcenter for suggestions on how to prepare their vessels ahead of a storm.
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 1 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: www.worldrecordsacademy.org .
In-water powerboat show returns to South Jersey
The Atlantic City In-Water Power Boat Show, the region’s largest in-water powerboat show and first of the fall season, will be held Sept. 6 to 9 at Farley State Marina, 600 Huron Avenue, N.J., adjacent to Trump Marina Hotel Casino.
Hours will be Sept. 6 and 7, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $20 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
Powerboat dealers and manufacturers are promising deals on more than 700 power boats and yachts, 16 feet to 75 feet. Sport- and motoryachts, sportfishing yachts, performance boats and inflatables will be on display — including premieres of some 2008 models.
There will also be a Marine Accessory Mart, with marine electronics and engines, and a food court.
Information about the show is available at (215) 732-8001 or
www.acinwaterboatshow.com, where tickets can be bought in advance online.
Seamanship school announces classes
The Annapolis School of Seamanship’s upcoming course for their 2007-2008 class offerings are designed to educate and empower mariners with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed, safe decisions when operating and maintaining a vessel.
• Coastal Passage Sailing: Delmarva Circumnavigation — Held aboard the classic Swan 48, Patriot, where students work through all aspects of a coastal voyage, learning navigation skills, weather routing, boat handling and standing watch during a seven-day educational adventure. Courses are July 14-20; Aug. 11-17; and Sept. 8-14.
• Marine Diesel Engines: Level II – Two-day Level II diesel engines class offers students hands-on training on working diesel engines, while learning detailed procedures for troubleshooting and maintenance and repair. Participants work in small teams on various types of diesel engines. Course is July 28-29.
• Marine Diesel Basics — A 12-hour diesel basics class offers both lecture and hands-on instruction in operating theory, preventative maintenance, and basic troubleshooting and repair skills. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to understand, troubleshoot, and perform basic preventative maintenance and repairs to their diesel engine. Classes are Aug. 18-19; Oct. 27-28; and Nov. 17-18.
Pre-registration is required by calling (410) 263-8848 or by visiting
Sailfest added to annual Norfolk boat show
In response to consumer demand, a new Sailfest component, produced by Strictly Sail, will be added to the 2007 Virginia In-Water Boat Expo to take place Sept. 14-16 at Waterside Marina and TownPointPark on the downtown Norfolk, Va., waterfront.
Strictly Sail Shows, produced by Sail America, offer sail boat enthusiasts the chance to view and buy the latest products being introduced by exhibitors from sail boat and accessory manufacturers from around the world.
“Sailfest was created in response to boat show attendees asking to see more sailboats at boat shows, as well as exhibitors seeking ways to showcase their latest offerings in front of more boat buyers,” says Kevin Murphy, national show manager for Strictly Sail.
According to Murphy, the Norfolk show will feature a “mini-Strictly Sail show,” featuring sailboats, gear and accessories, as well as unique seminars for sailors, special events and related features. Of note is the nationally recognized Discover Sailing program, offering would-be sailors an opportunity to “get their feet wet” right from the dock at the boat show. Half-hour sails with experienced skippers are available free of charge for showgoers.