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News notes – New England

Coast Guard, Oak Bluffs police sign security deal

The Coast Guard and Oak Bluffs, Mass., law enforcement recently signed an agreement to improve safety and security in and around OakBluffsHarbor.

The agreement, signed by Capt. Raymond J. Perry, the captain of the port for southeastern New England, and Police Chief Erik G. Blake, provides the Oak Bluffs Police Department federal authority to enforce Coast Guard safety and security zones.

In the past, when local law enforcement agencies suspected someone of entering a safety or security zone, they were required to contact the Coast Guard before taking action. With this agreement, Oak Bluffs authorities are allowed to enforce these zones immediately on behalf of the Coast Guard.

The agreement went into effect immediately.

Coast Guard cutter and ferry collide off B.I.

The Coast Guard is investigating a July 2 collision between the 140-foot Coast Guard buoy tender MorroBay and a 175-foot ferry that occurred three miles north of Block Island, R.I. There were no serious injuries reported.

Coast Guard investigators are interviewing both the crew of MorroBay and the ferry, which was shuttling 257 passengers from Point Judith to Block Island. Drug and alcohol tests were conducted on ferry and Coast Guard crew members.

The commanding officer of MorroBay, Lt. Douglas Wyatt, had just taken command of MorroBay in a change of command ceremony in Newport, R.I. The cutter was headed back to its home port in New London, Conn., following the ceremony when the collision occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the accident.

Largest urban port to ban boat sewage

With state and local backing, the Environmental Protection Agency designated in July all of BostonHarbor as a “no-discharge” area. The status means that discharges of treated and untreated boat sewage are prohibited within Massachusetts waters that include the towns and cities of Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Hingham, Hull, Milton, Newton, Quincy, Watertown, Weymouth and Winthrop.

In May, state and local officials petitioned the EPA to approve the no-discharge designation. Following consideration of the request and a 30-day public review and comment period, EPA approved the request to protect these coastal waters from boat sewage.

Many other areas in New England already have designated their coastal waters as no-discharge areas or are in the process of doing so. These include all state marine waters of Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. In Massachusetts: Harwich, WaquoitBay, NantucketHarbor, Wellfleet, Barnstable, and Buzzards Bay (including Wareham and Westport), the Plymouth/Duxbury/Kingston area; the harbors of Scituate/Marshfield/Cohasset, and Salem Sound. In Maine, Casco Bay; and Lake Champlain and LakeMemphremagog in Vermont.

Restored steamer Sabino turns 100

Mystic Seaport is honoring the 100th anniversary of Sabino with six history-themed river cruises.

The 90-minute cruises leave Mystic Seaport at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 14 and 21. Visitors will tour the historic MysticRiver as the sun sets, while listening to speakers discuss the history of the steamer, the river and local peoples. A cash bar will be available, as well as light fare for purchase.

Built in East Boothbay, Maine, Sabino entered service for the Damariscotta Steamboat Company in 1908. The 57-foot coal-fired steamer spent her days delivering passengers to the numerous hotels along the 12 miles of the scenic DamariscottaRiver.

After a long career on the rivers of Maine and Massachusetts, Sabino was

retired and in 1975 began a new era of passenger service at Mystic Seaport. As the last wooden, coal-fired steamboat still in operation, Sabino was in 1992 designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Tickets are $19 per cruise. Call (860) 572-5351 for reservations.

Tow firm reports steady holiday activity

Sea Tow Services International released statistics on the company’s activity level for what was a moderately busy Independence Day holiday.

While call volume at the company’s 24-hour national dispatch center was statistically on par with last year, it experienced a 30 percent increase in the number of requests for on-the-water assistance.

Of the more than 1,100 service calls reported, there were 682 tows, 119 ungroundings, 103 fuel drop requests, 99 jump-starts, 61 salvages, 19 maydays and 11 MARBS. Nearly 25 percent of the calls came during off-peak hours (between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.) and Sea Tow captains were involved in at least a half-dozen life-saving incidents across the country.

Sea Tow’s franchise network employed more than 600 staffers and had more than 350 boats on patrol that burned in excess of 20,000 gallons of fuel while assisting boaters in need throughout the three-day weekend.

Honda Marine offers new financing options

Throughout this year’s summer boating season, Honda Marine will offer special retail financing rates as low as 6.49 percent APR.

Offered by Honda Financial Services through participating Honda Marine dealers, the program is available to boaters purchasing new, unregistered Honda outboards (2-225-hp) for repower, and inclusive boat, motor and trailer packages (including accessories) between June 2 and Sept. 30. Consumers have the option of deferring payments for 90 days while accruing zero interest for the first 60 days.

In addition, all Honda Marine outboards sold for recreational use through June 30 offer Honda’s True 5-year, factory-backed, non-declining limited warranty. True 5 offers full Honda backing in comparison to the outsourced, extended service contracts typically provided by other manufacturers. Coverage under the program is the same on the last day as it is on the first.

Boatyard chain offers $25,000 gas giveaway

Brewer Yacht Yards is giving its customers over $25,000 worth of fuel this summer with a dozen $100 drawings at each of its locations. The drawings began June 5 and will continue until Labor Day.

Brewer Yacht Yards will be drawing one name, each week, at each of its 23 yards. This equates to 276 winners during the course of the season.

Every Brewer Yacht Yard slip customer will automatically be entered to win. Brewer customers also have the Customer Club Card, which offers benefits such as gas discounts of 10 to 20 cents per gallon.

Free gas paired with incentive for buyers

Two of Zodiac’s RIBs — the 28-foot Zodiac Pro 20-Man and Pro Open 850 models — are now available with a $1,000 free gas promotion, available through participating dealers in North America.

“By pairing this $1,000 free gas offer with two of our most popular, fuel-efficient center console RIB models, we’re delivering a one-two punch to high fuel prices that will really resonate with boaters,” says Howard French, vice president and general manager of Zodiac of North America, Recreational Sector. Buyers also have the option of choosing a $1,000 cash rebate instead of the free gas.

Nantucket yacht club breaks ground

The Great Harbor Yacht Club, the first private yacht club to be built on Nantucket in more than 100 years, officially broke ground on its clubhouse at a ceremony in June. Scheduled to open next summer, the clubhouse features a variety of dining and meeting facilities.

The clubhouse, designed by architect Hart Howerton in collaboration with Lyman Perry, is modeled to be reminiscent of the old SteamshipAuthorityBuilding and is in keeping with Nantucket’s historic ambience. It will house a grill room, a main dining room and indoor/outdoor seating adjoining the lounge. The model room will be a casual gathering area with displays of club trophies and half-models.

Founded in 2003, the Great Harbor Yacht Club is located on Nantucket’s waterfront and offers professional marina services provided by Grey Lady Marine, programs on sailing, fishing, general boating and a variety of educational activities for all ages. For information, call (508) 325-5200 or visit .

Workshops offer hands-on experience for kids

Throughout the summer, visitors can participate in workshops at Mystic Seaport and then take home the fruits of their labor with “Hands-On History,” the museum’s newest interactive program. Eight hour-long workshops are offered on a rotating basis.

“Hands-On History lets children and parents work together while trying their hand at 19th-century craftsmanship,” says Jonathan Shay, director of exhibits and interpretation for the museum. “Staff artisans lead a series of workshops focusing on the specialized trades that may have been found in a seafaring village similar to Mystic Seaport.”

Children can stop by the toy boat workshop to assemble and decorate their own wooden toy boat daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Three times a day, older children and adults can try their hand at that day’s selected workshop. Visitors can make a canvas ditty bag, learn fancy knot work and rope slices, make a wood carving, press flowers in the Victorian style, dip tapered candles, print decorative note cards and try their hand at blacksmithing. This summer two of these workshops will be offered daily.

For information regarding each day’s offering of workshops, contact the Sabino and Hands-On History ticket office at (860) 572-5351.

Cadets in need of new sailboats for training

The Coast Guard Academy is seeking modern sail training vessels to train cadets. The goal is to build eight boats, one for each cadet company, to supplement summer waterborne training and for weekend cruises when academy juniors and seniors would earn qualifications.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is the uniformed civilian component of the United States Coast Guard, suggests those interested in supporting the program contact Donald B. Trone, director of the Institute for Leadership at (412) 860-4982 or e-mail .

U.S. Power Squadrons now issuing MMSIs

The United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is now an official source for Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers, which corresponds to the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 System.

USPS also has a seminar titled “Using VHF and VHF/DSC Marine Radio” that explains how to select and use the new radios and their advanced features. In the seminar, attendees will be able to observe simulated calls and take home a CD to practice on their own. The seminar also comes with a waterproof “Quick Guide.”

By registering a MMSI number for their vessel, through their GPS, boaters provide key information to the Coast Guard about their vessel and its owner.

To evaluate requirements or to obtain your free MMSI for domestic use, go to or call (888) 367-8777.