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News notes – Mid-Atlantic – October 2006

Organizers gearing up for Annapolis boat shows

Each October, for more than 37 years, the United States Sailboat Show (Oct. 5–9) and United States Powerboat Show (Oct. 12–15) take over the docks and harbor of the colonial seaport of Annapolis.

The two events, the oldest in-water shows in the industry, are the only major boat shows not produced in an existing marina. Playing host to more than 250 sailboats, nearly 500 powerboats and hundreds of land exhibitors requires the construction of a temporary marina facility.

To accommodate the fleet of recreational vessels, show producers will drive 57 temporary pilings in the waters of Annapolis harbor. The pilings anchor more than a mile of floating docks, assembled in 20-foot sections. Exhibitors are supplied with fresh water for washdowns by a temporary water system incorporating 1,400 feet of 3-inch fire hose.

More than 200 tents, erected on 500 wooden floor sections covering more than three quarters of an acre, accommodate land exhibitors. Both land and water exhibitors receive electrical service through a system of submarine cables and wiring that incorporates more than 57 miles of wire.

The U.S. Sailboat Show begins Oct. 5 with a Trade/Press/VIP Day. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 6 through Oct. 8 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9.

The U.S. Powerboat Show begins Oct. 12 with a Trade/Press/V.I.P. Day. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 13 and 14, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 15.

Tickets can be ordered online or by calling (410) 268-8828.

Adult and children’s tickets as well as VIP day tickets for both shows can be purchased at by clicking on the ticket icon.

Stop fishing, start bailing

Seven people aboard a convertible sportfisherman from Cape May, N.J., needed rescuing the morning of Aug. 9 after the boat began taking on water during a fishing tournament about 30 miles off Ocean City, Md.

The captain of the 60-foot Dream Catcher radioed the Coast Guard for help around 5:30 a.m., according to the Coast Guard, which launched a helicopter and a 47-foot motor lifeboat. Winds were at 10 to 15 knots and seas were 1 to 3 feet at the time of the incident, says Coast Guard petty officer Larry Chambers.

By 6:15 a.m., when the first Coast Guard officers arrived, all seven passengers aboard Dream Catcher — built by North Carolina custom boatbuilder Paul Mann — had been transferred to two other boats also participating in a white marlin fishing tournament, according to the Coast Guard. The Fighting Lady rescued four Dream Catcher passengers and SeaToy rescued three. The Coast Guard did not immediately interview the captain of Dream Catcher or his passengers as they remained on their rescuing boats to continue fishing.

A dozen hours later, Dream Catcher was floating and partially submerged, with about one-third of the boat out of the water, Chambers says. Officers at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Virginia are investigating the incident. As of press time, the cause had not yet been determined.

— Jason Fell

Fatal shooting at Maryland boat dock

The Maryland Natural Resources Police are investigating a marine police officer involved in a shooting. The incident, which followed an altercation with an NRP officer at a boat dock on Tar Creek near Bellevue, Md., left a Talbot County man dead.

Thomas Samuel Sherwood Jr., 49, of Bellevue, was shot and killed during the July 31 confrontation with the officeraround 11:30 a.m. The shooting occurred after Sherwood, who was returning to the dock in his boat, had an altercation with officer Hubert F. Brohawn.

According to NRP, Brohawn confronted Sherwood about driving a motor vehicle with a revoked license. Sherwood reportedly charged Brohawn with a car bumper jack and swung the jack several times at Brohawn. Sherwood did not stop after repeated verbal commands to do so by Brohawn, and the officer fired shots from his department-issued .40 caliber Beretta pistol and struck Sherwood.

Brohawn reportedly attempted to call for backup several times during the confrontation and immediately called for medical assistance. Sherwood was pronounced dead at the scene.

Maryland State Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police Integrity and Inspections Unit are investigating the shooting.

Brohawn has been an NRP officer for 4-1/2 years and is assigned to the Upper Eastern Region. He was previously employed by the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office for nine years. He was to be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

C.G. auxiliarists test their skills

Two teams of Coast Guard auxiliaries won a competition at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., July 24, qualifying them to advance to the seventh annual International Search and Rescue Competition to be held in Virginia in October.

The teams, representing the 5th Coast Guard District, Southern Region and the 7th Coast Guard District, won first and second place overall, respectively.

The competition comprised events to test skills they use in their duties as Coast Guard auxiliarists: line handling and knot-tying, shipboard damage control as well as communication and teamwork.

The teams will join four other Coast Guard Auxiliary teams to meet the best six teams representing the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary at ISAR 2006 in Portsmouth, Va., Oct. 27 and 28. Visit for more information.

New hand at helm of Annapolis Sailing School

A one-time instructor at the Annapolis Sailing School has purchased the nationally recognized sailing school on Back Creek.

“Kathy and Jerry Wood devoted their lives to developing this company and to the industry that they loved,” says new owner Tim Dowling. “I am incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to continue the tradition that they began.”

Dowling, who began his career with the sailing school in 1980 as a part-time instructor, recently purchased the school from the estate of Kathryn Wood, who died in June 2005. Wood’s husband, Jerry Wood, founded the school in 1959. He died in 2003.

Dowling worked for the school for 26 years, learning the business literally from the bottom up. “My first assignment was to cut the grass in front of the office before the classes began,” he said.

Annapolis Sailing School was the first commercial sailing school in the country. The school has taught more than 100,000 beginners how to sail and has had a major role in establishing the sailing instruction industry. Recent additions to the program include KidShip sailing school for youngsters 5 to 15 and the Annapolis Powerboat School.

ABYC opens new headquarters

The American Boat & Yacht Council and its educational affiliate, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, held a grand opening ceremony of its new headquarters with a ribbon cutting July 25.

The new headquarters is at 613 Third Street in Annapolis, newly named the “ABYC Bunzl Maritime Trades Building.” The building was dedicated to honor the ABYC Foundation’s largest benefactor, Richard Bunzl, who has been a longtime financial supporter of ABYC and member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

ABYC has been developing, writing and updating the safety standards for boat building and repair in the United States for over 50 years.