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News Notes Mid Atlantic March 2007

Hinckley Co. expands Chesapeake Bay presence

The Hinckley Company on Jan. 3 acquired the service business and entered into a long-term agreement to operate a full-service facility at the former Whitehall Yacht Yard in Annapolis, Md. All existing employees of Whitehall have joined Hinckley, the company says.

The Portsmouth, R.I.-based Hinckley has steadily expanded its network of now six full-service yards on the east coast which also includes Southwest Harbor, Maine: Portsmouth, R.I.; Oxford, Md.; Savannah, Ga.; and Stuart, Fla.

The Hinckley Company was founded in 1928 and is considered one of the oldest yacht manufacturers in the United States. The company’s Sou’wester sailboats and Talaria jet boats range from 29 to 70 feet and are each hand-built to order. In addition, the company provides yacht refit, maintenance, repair on yachts up to 150 feet and 180 tons, storage services, yacht brokerage and charter service.

Owners decry state boat taxes

Kentucky’s state Department of Revenue notified in December some 3,500 people that they would need to begin paying state and local property taxes on their houseboats, cabin cruisers and other large vessels. The boats have been untaxed for years because they were registered with the U.S. Coast Guard, and not the state.

State officials say they recently received information from the Coast Guard to help identify the boats. The state can seek up to five years in back taxes, plus penalty and interest.

Taxing the boats would be detrimental to the state’s tourism industry, which thrives on its lakefronts and world-class marinas, said Karen Chrisman, an attorney who represents a group of boat owners who oppose the taxes. She says many large-boat owners will instead dock their boats in other states, taking their slip fees and tourism dollars with them.

The group Chrisman represents hopes to persuade state lawmakers to exempt them from most of the taxes. The group comprises some 150 to 175 boaters in the Louisville area who own federally documented boats.

The state says the average tax bills are $700. But Chrisman says most of the bills she has seen have been in the thousands.

Museum acquires artifact collection

The Chesapeake BayMaritimeMuseum in St. Michaels, Md., announced it has acquired the Robert H. Burgess collection, believed to be the largest and most comprehensive private collection of Chesapeake maritime artifacts.

“This is the most important acquisition in the history of the museum,” says CBMM curator Pete Lesher. “Our interest in the Burgess collection dates back to the beginning of the organization, when founder Vida Van Lennep courted Bob Burgess in hopes of bringing him or his collection to St. Michaels. It’s been a long time in the making.”

Lesher cited the scope and documentation of the Burgess collection as primary reasons for its significance.

“What makes the Burgess collection so extraordinarily valuable is how well documented it is,” says Lesher. “For a museum, the importance of these types of objects is their context, which Burgess documented meticulously. So many artifacts lose their context, their story, when they go through the marketplace.”

Robert H. Burgess (1913-2003) was born in Baltimore, the son of a Bay sailor and steamship engineer. After graduation from BaltimoreCityCollege, he shipped out for three months on the four-masted schooner Doris Hamlin, taking photos of this vessel and other Chesapeake Bay sailing ships and steamboats. He joined the staff of the Mariners’ Museum, in Newport News, Va., in 1941, and except for a wartime tour of duty on a destroyer escort in the Pacific, remained with the museum until his retirement. Burgess published numerous books and articles on the Bay, and was known as the Dean of the Chesapeake. He also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Chesapeake BayMaritimeMuseum.

At the heart of the collection is a group of about 100 nameboards and trailboards, in addition to billetheads, figureheads and other carvings from Chesapeake Bay schooners, pungies, bugeyes and skipjacks. These range from simple utilitarian nameboards from cross-bay ferries to elaborate trailboards with patriotic and floral motifs carved in high relief. Burgess purchased or salvaged these items from vessels at the end of their working years along with interesting pieces of hull, rigging and ironwork.

The level of documentation for these items is remarkable, with tags identifying the vessel of origin and other details. Burgess’ collection of photographic prints, which are also part of this collection, further support the documentation of these objects. He often photographed the hulks at the time that he salvaged artifacts from them, and each print is labeled in pencil. His collection also shows the fruits of his partnership with Baltimore artist Louis Feuchter, with a large portfolio of the artist’s sketches and paintings, as well as hundreds of prints from Baltimore pictorialist photographer A. Aubrey Bodine.

“We are honored that Bob Burgess’ children, Janet Burgess Loyd and R. Bruce Burgess, want to have their father’s collection reside at CBMM,” says museum president Stuart Parnes. “Both Bob and his legacy have indeed found a good home.”

The museum is in the process of developing a new exhibition to display key parts of the Burgess collection, as well as related programs, including a March lecture series focused on the passion of collecting. The exhibit will be open to the public later this winter.

Schedule change for Virginia boat show

The third annual Virginia In-Water Boat Expo has been rescheduled for Sept. 14 to 16 at TownPointPark on the downtown Norfolk waterfront. The show was originally slated for the previous weekend, but the date has been changed by show organizers National Marine Manufacturers Association and Norfolk Festeventsto avoid conflicts with competing events.

Despite a 4-percent increase in attendance at the 2006 show, organizers decided the show could draw even more people if it were not competing for attendance with three other high-profile events in the region: the NAS Oceana Air Show, Hampton Bay Days and NASCAR’s Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Specific details regarding the 2007 show will be released in this spring.

Study: nutrient pollution increasing on coasts

A NOAA research project reportedly shows pollution from nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus in estuaries, bays and harbors from the Mid-Atlantic to New England is on the rise.

The study’s findings are compiled in a report, “Improving Methods and Indicators for Evaluating Coastal Water Eutrophication: A Pilot Study in the Gulf of Maine.”

“Nutrient pollution is a pervasive problem that impacts ecosystems and human activities, particularly in highly developed areas,” says co-author Suzanne Bricker, physical scientist at the NOAACenter for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment. “Our study found that the problem is greater in the Mid-Atlantic region, which has a higher population density and more intensive watershed development than coastal New England.”

New England, however, has similar problems that are likely to get worse, according to the study. Results indicated that nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Maine is higher than it was in the early 1990s, and conditions are expected to worsen as the coastal population in that region is expected to increase in the future.

In many coastal ecosystems, future nutrient load increases of 10 percent to 25 percent are expected. These increases, in addition to the natural processing of nutrients once the loads reach estuarine waters, are important factors related to “eutrophication,” the process by which excess nutrients — whether from storm water runoff, sewage treatment plants, septic systems, airborne dust or agriculture — fuel excessive algal blooms that lead to low oxygen conditions. Severe eutrophication causes a number of impacts to ecosystems, ultimately leading to the death of marine organisms, including fish.

The assessment methods were originally developed in the 1990s and were modified through this study. They will serve as the basis for an update of the NOAA National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment that will be released in 2007.

European sailboat builder names dealer

Hellier Yacht Sales, Inc. of New London, Conn., has been appointed the exclusive East Coast representative and sales agent for Malö North America.

Family-owned and -operated Swedish builder Malö Yachts has been building “semi-custom” performance, bluewater sailing yachts ranging from 37 to 48 feet since 1939.

Each yacht is launched, rigged, commissioned and sailed prior to delivery to the United States in an effort to ensure trouble-free delivery for the new owner. Hellier Yacht Sales has more than 38 years of experience with selling and servicing semi-custom yachts.

Hellier Yacht Sales general manager, Rick Dieterich says, “Malö is a perfect alternative to our full keel bluewater cruising boat, Island Packet.”

Hellier Yacht Sales also represents Catalina and Jenneau sailing yachts, Bigfish daysailers and Dyer dinghies.

Located on the ThamesRiver, Hellier offers easy access to Long Island Sound, 17 slips for boat commissioning and delivery, an indoor showroom, a full-service shipyard and an on-site ASA sailing school.

New classes starting at seamanship school

The 2007 class schedule at the Annapolis School of Seamanship was recently announced.

• Advanced Electrical Systems Troubleshooting — March 17, Tuition $225,

advanced electrical systems troubleshooting class.

• Advanced Electrical & DC Equipment Installation — March 18, Tuition $225, installing on-board electronics and DC equipment.

• Marine Diesel Basics — March 24-25, Tuition $349, 12-hour diesel basics class on operating theory, preventative maintenance, and basic troubleshooting and repair.

• Basic Navigation & Piloting — May 5-6, June 2-3, Tuition $349, 12-hour basic navigation class with both lecture and hands-on instruction utilizing charts, plotting tools, government publications and workbook exercises.

Pre-registration is required by calling (410) 263-8848 or by visiting

Tow service appointed to Homeland Security

Sea Tow Services International chairman and CEO, Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer, has been appointed to the Towing Safety Advisory Committee, which serves as a deliberative advisory body to the Secretary of Homeland Security and Coast Guard. Frohnhoefer will serve for a period of three years as one of seven members representing the barge and towing industry.

TSAC, which is sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, acts as a consultancy to the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters of shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. The committee also assists in formulating the position of the United States for meetings of the International Maritime Organization.

Frohnhoefer also serves as a national liaison between the marine assistance industry and the Coast Guard and is on the board of directors at C-Port, the national association for the marine assistance industry.

Philly boat show returns in March

Show organizer MAC Events has scheduled the Second Annual MAC Events Boat Show — Philadelphia for March 22 to 25 at the PennsylvaniaConvention Center.

Organizers expect this year’s show to exceed the size of last year’s show, which had more than 290,000 square feet of exhibits and over $12 million of boats and equipment on display.

“We were delighted with the consumer response to last year’s show,” says show producer Kevin McLaughlin of MAC Events, Spring Lake, N.J. “After a four-year hiatus, there was clearly a pent-up demand for a boat show here.”

The Fisherman Magazine will conduct more than 15 boating and fresh- and saltwater fishing seminars.

WalkerBay Boats extends its hull warranty

Walker Bay Boats has extended their factory-backed warranty on all injection molded hulls, including the Original and Genesis lines, moving from five to 10 years.

“We have put the hulls through rigorous testing and have even hit it with a sledgehammer and driven over it with a truck to illustrate the extremes that our hulls can withstand as opposed to aluminum or fiberglass hulls’” says Michael Carroll, director of marketing for Walker Bay Boats.

WalkerBay boats are manufactured using an injection molding process. Precisely pre-measured UV-protected polypropylene resin is injected with a force of over 8,000 tons into a mold that can weigh up to 82 tons. It is then cooled to take the shape of the mold.

To see video footage of what the WalkerBay hull can take in abuse, go to .

Learn what works with hurricane protection

BoatU.S. in conjunction with The Marine Industries Association of Florida and The Marine Industries Association of South Florida is holding a Marina Hurricane Preparation Symposium March 1-2 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

The interactive conference will help any public or private boating facility minimize its chances of hurricane storm damage. Participants will learn successful storm preparation tactics from other marina operators, exchange ideas, hear how to “harden” their facility and develop a written hurricane plan. Also on display will be storm-preparation products from a variety of vendors.

“The levels of devastation we’ve seen in the past few hurricane seasons can’t be repeated,” says BoatU.S. vice president of government affairs Margaret Podlich.

Marina and boat club operators will also learn what they can legally do to prepare boats in their facility under new Florida law, effective July 2006.

Registration for the day-and-a-half conference is $200. It includes lunch, a reception and all conference materials. Discounts are available for additional staff from the same facility. For information, to register, go to or contact or call (703) 823-9550, Ext. 3561.

Weems & Plath launches new Web site

Engraving customers can now access the products of Annapolis Engraving and Badge at The company, purchased by Weems & Plath a year ago, has expanded its range of products and services.

“Offering the ability to view products online allows customers the opportunity to see all their options at their convenience,” says Peter Trogdon, president of Weems & Plath and Annapolis Engraving & Badge. Customers can request quotes by e-mail to save multiple visits to the office in the Eastport section of Annapolis. A sampling of engraving services includes: brass, metal or plastic signs, name badges, personal items, wood plaques and trophies with names and corporate logos.

Annapolis Engraving and Badge is located at Weems & Plath at 214 Eastern Ave.

Foundation receives Spirit of Hope award

Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad W. Allen, has awarded the Coast Guard Foundation the 2005 Spirit of Hope Award from the Bob Hope Foundation.

“To have the foundation’s commitment to the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged in this way is truly an honor,” says Ross Roeder, chairman.

Established by Bob Hope in 1996, the award is given to the heads of the five armed forces, with the request that they use it to recognize an individual or organization that provides distinguished service to its members. Prior recipients through various branches of the military include Senator John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, President George H.W. Bush and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In addition to receiving a medal, recipients are recognized on a wall of honor in the Pentagon.

The Coast Guard Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard and its Academy. The foundation funds academic and athletic excellence at the Coast Guard Academy, provides scholarships to the children of enlisted personnel and educational grants to Coasties pursuing college degrees, and builds training and education facilities across the country.

WoodenBoat Show going to Seaport in June

Carl Cramer of WoodenBoat Publications announced that the 16th Annual WoodenBoat Show will take place at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, June 29 through July 1. The admission price allows visitors to access all the boat show displays and activities and to explore Mystic Seaport, complete with a recreated waterfront village, historic tall ships, a working shipyard and more. Adult admission is $17.50; children ages 6 to 17 are $12. and children 5 and under are admitted free. Hours are 9 to 5 each day.

Cramer said, “We are ecstatic to be returning to Mystic Seaport as it is the place where the WoodenBoat Show comes most alive.”

The WoodenBoat Show presents traditional classics and contemporary wooden boats of every type. Some represent centuries of evolution and traditional application while others have been developed to take advantage of today’s technologies in adhesives and coatings.

Additional activities include exhibitor demonstrations, workshops by industry experts, author book signings and slide presentations, boat trials and interactive family activities. www.the

Westlawn students get museum discount

The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology has announced that discounted student membership in MysticSeaportMuseum is available for all Westlawn students. Further, the first year of membership in Mystic Seaport is included at no cost for students who enrolled after Jan. 1, 2006, and who have completed at least three lessons.

“You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been, and the increased knowledge and understanding resulting from a Mystic Seaport membership will make our students better yacht and small-craft designers, better boatbuilders, and better marine surveyors,” says Westlawn director, Dave Gerr.

Students will also be able to continue their membership for two additional years at the special student discount price of $30 per year.

Annapolis dealer adds Ocean Yachts line

Annapolis-based Intrinsic Yacht & Ship was recently named the Maryland dealer for Ocean Yachts.

Ocean has been building high-

performance sportfishing yachts, currently from 40 to 73 feet, since 1977. Intrinsic Yacht & Ship was founded by Chris Ruggieri in 2001.

Intrinsic is the exclusive East Coast representative for San Juan Yachts.

Striped bass has below-average reproduction

Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the 2006 striped bass (rockfish) juvenile index, a measure of striped bass spawning success in Chesapeake Bay, is 4.3, well below the 53-year average of 12.0. During this year’s survey, DNR biologists collected 561 young-of-year (YOY) striped bass.

Striped bass populations are well known for highly variable reproductive success from year to year. Typically, several years of average year-classes are interspersed with occasional large and small year-classes. Striped bass spawn in large numbers and individual females can produce millions of eggs to take advantage of favorable environmental conditions in some years. The survey has documented above-average spawning success in three of the past six years.

DNR biologists have monitored the reproductive success of striped bass and other species in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay annually since 1954. Twenty-two survey sites are located in the four major spawning systems: The Upper Bay and the Choptank, Potomac and Nanticoke rivers. Biologists visit each site monthly from July through September, collecting fish samples with two sweeps of a 100-foot beach seine. The index is calculated as the average catch of YOY fish per sample. For more information, go to

North Carolina picked for concierge community

Lake Lure, N.C., will be the site of the new concierge residential community, FireFly Cove. The development will consist of 41 home sites that will be built on 54 acres. The lots will range from $600,000 to $1.5 million.

LakeLure is located in western North Carolina, and sits in the heart of Hickory Nut Gorge. East of Asheville, the Rocky Broad River’s water flows through a valley to make LakeLure. National Geographic selected the lake as one of the ten most spectacular manmade lakes in the world.

The development will be centralized around a community building, which will offer a central gathering place as well as a fitness area. Over the community center, there will be several condominiums that will serve as rental property as well as family guest homes. There will be a broad selection of programs and events for personal growth and artistic expressions for visitors and residents alike. A concierge service will also be available 24 hours a day.