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News notes – New England

Roundtable participants agree on need for boater education

Participants in the Sea Tow Services International Boater Education Roundtable discussion held this October in Southold, N.Y., came out with unified goals. The cross-section of marine industry representatives from key business segments established a goal of identifying a way to provide a minimum level of education for every boater and agreed on the need for that education to be mandatory on a state level.

There was a consensus that such a mandate should be based on a phase-in model and be compliant with NASBLA-approved guidelines.

There were, however, differing opinions among the participants as to whether a federal mandate would be the most effective, or perhaps only, way to ensure the states establish these minimum education requirements.

“The central issue is figuring out how to get all of the states to require the minimum level of education for all boaters and then standardizing that education through NASBLA approval,” said Keith Cummings, president of Sea Tow and moderator of the event. “The next step would then be to move for reciprocity between states.”

The group agreed to formalize a Boater Education Steering Committee to lead this education initiative. They also plan to develop a clear, concise message that communicates the need for boater education and identify the proper channels within the boating industry, including existing grant holders, who will help communicate that message to the masses.

Biggest year yet for LandingSchool

The LandingSchool in Arundel, Maine, started its school year last month with 82 students from 22 states, Canada, England, South Africa and India — the largest student body to date. This includes 13 return students working toward a second LandingSchool diploma.

“LandingSchool graduates with one year under their belt have no problem finding a career of their choice,” said school president Barry Acker, in a statement. “A graduate with two years of LandingSchool skills and knowledge sets can make things really happen for the lucky employer.”

As marine trade associations throughout the nation continue to report a shortage of skilled builders, technicians and yacht designers, Acker said The Landing School continues to attract a diverse international student body interested in making a career out of a passion for boats and the marine industry.

Student backgrounds and ages vary from recent high school graduates to the “change of career” professionals. This year the school attracted 16 recent high school graduates, five veterans, two MaineMaritimeAcademy students (the first to participate through a joint collaboration between the two institutions) and four women.

Contact the school at (207) 985-7976 or visit .

Mystic Seaport names new board chairman

Richard R. Vietor has been elected to chair the board of Trustees of Mystic Seaport Museum. He replaces William D. Forster, who served as chairman for six years.

Vietor has been a Mystic Seaport trustee for nearly 25 years, previously serving as vice chairman, treasurer and as a member of the executive committee. As a member of the board of trustees, Vietor played a significant role in the development of the museum’s long-term strategy for renewal and transformation for the 21st-century.

“There are few people who know Mystic Seaport so well and are as committed to its future as Dick Vietor,” president and director Doug Teeson said.

Professionally, Vietor was a financial analyst and investment banker, specializing in the healthcare sector, with Merrill Lynch, Web MD and Lehman Brothers. He presently serves as director of QLT and InfaCare Pharmaceuticals.

Vietor studied at YaleUniversity, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree there before receiving his MBA from ColumbiaUniversityGraduateSchool. A former Naval officer, Vietor is a longtime sailor and an avid collector. He and his wife Rosemary are residents of Manhattan and Sharon,

Hinckley pairs with high-end waterfront facility

The Hinckley Company recently announced a collaboration with Newport, R.I.’s newest private luxury waterfront venue, Forty 1° North.

Located off Thames Street, Forty 1° North offers dining and entertainment along a docking and yacht service facility.

Hinckley owners now have the option of a new delivery and “ride along” service for all owners docking at Forty 1° North.

As part of this program, Forty 1° North will provide a licensed captain with JetStick training and experience, transportation for owners from their homeport to their docks, as well as professional yacht detailing for the Hinckley.

Attendance up at Toronto In-Water Show

Canada’s boat show season got off to a good start in Toronto as hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of consumers turned out for the ninth annual Toronto In-Water Boat Show. Total attendance for this year’s event was up nearly 7 percent over the 2006 show, according to organizers, with 10,796 people on hand to check out the latest boats, gear and accessories.

More than 250 new power- and sailboats were displayed at the show, which ran Sept. 13 to 16 at Ontario Place in Toronto. The show featured a tent-lined shorefront showcasing boats and accessories, in addition to its in-water portion.

The DiscoverBoatingCenter continues as one of the Toronto show’s most popular attractions, offering free boat rides to those interested in learning about the boating lifestyle and experiencing the joys of being out on the water. This year’s DiscoverBoatingCenter featured seven demo boats, both power and sail, and provided showgoers with a total of 450 free boat rides.

Next year, the Toronto In-Water Boat Show will take place Sept. 11 to 14.

Concrete canoeists compete for a title

Engineering Students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison won the 20th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition held in June in Seattle.

Regatta legend has it that in the 1960s, a group of civil engineering students had what everyone else thought was a crazy idea. They would design, build and race a canoe made of concrete. Despite their success, those students never would have believed that a nationally recognized competition would evolve from their experiment.

While the shape, size and speed of the canoes have changed throughout the years, the innovative spirit and creativity of the competitors remains the same.

Continuing their tradition of concrete dominance for the fifth year in a row, the University of Wisconsin-Madison captured the America’s Cup of Civil Engineering at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 20th Annual National Concrete Canoe Competition in Seattle. Countless calculations and measurements, hundreds of hours spent constructing their canoe and aching muscles from constant paddling practice were just a few of the challenges the Badgers had to overcome. However, in the end, their technical skills, ingenuity and dedication propelled them to victory in their canoe, the Descendant.

Madison’s 19.979-foot-long, 179-pound, natural gray canoe led the field of 22 teams from the country’s top engineering schools, and as the winner of the 2007 National Concrete Canoe Competition, the team will also be invited to participate in the 30th Annual Dutch Concrete Canoe Challenge in the Netherlands in September.

The team’s closest competitors were teams from the University of Florida. The Gator team paddled into second place with the blue, orange and gray, 135-pound, 19.105-foot-long Gladigator. For their top finishes, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Florida and third place University of Nevada, Reno earned $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500 in scholarship money, respectively.

Boating law organization elects new president

At its 48th annual meeting in Burlington, Vt., the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators elected John Fetterman as president of the nonprofit organization for the 2007-’08 year. He succeeds Jeffrey S. Johnson, Alaska Boating Law Administrator.

Major Fetterman of Manchester, Maine, joined the Bureau of Marine Patrol in 1977 as a field officer. Much of his career with the Marine Patrol has been spent as Chief Pilot, flying some 12,000 hours of flight time in multiple aircraft. In non-flight duties, Fetterman also supervised the Bureau’s Special Services, where he focused on safety programs within both the recreational and commercial boating communities. In 2001 he was promoted to deputy chief. In his current position, he serves as coastal boating law administrator for the state of Maine.

Fetterman served as project leader for Maine in drafting the “first in the nation” memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard on enforcement of Safety and Security Zones.

Marine insurance agency adds to yacht coverage

Maritime General Agency of Westbrook, Conn., has released a new policy form for their AIG Executive Yacht Policy. The new form, which is for private pleasure yachts valued between $1 million and $5 million, adds coverage not previously included, such as additional living expenses, fine arts, temporary substitute yacht, search and rescue fees, loss of charter hire, newly acquire yachts, precautionary measures and moped/motorbike coverage.

Coverage by Maritime General Agency is written through New Hampshire Insurance Company and other AIG member companies.

New version for guide to New England river

Now available in a completely revised edition, “The Connecticut River Boating Guide: Source to Sea” details the sights and history of the river from its source at the Canadian border to its mouth in Long Island Sound.

The third edition divides the river into 28 reaches with accompanying GPS-compatible maps. Practical information on boating facilities, ramps, access areas, mileages, some navigational hazards, sources of flow information and portages are included.

Features include: guaranteed binding (If the binding fails, the publisher promises to replace the book for free), GPS-compatible maps, information on camping, fishing and wildlife-viewing opportunities, and the river’s natural history.

This book was authored by, and published in cooperation with, the Connecticut River Watershed Council, the river’s primary watchdog and steward. Council members John Sinton, Elizabeth Farnsworth and Wendy Sinton revised the guide, basing the new maps and text on their latest survey of the river and on the expertise of numerous local river experts.

Price for the 6-by-9-inch paperback is $19.95.

Walker Bay adds Hypalon to Odyssey line

The Odyssey Air Floor Inflatable from Walker Bay Boats is now available in Orca Hypalon.

“The advantage of the Odyssey Air Floor is that it can be rolled up and carried in its own bag, making it the perfect stowable tender,” said Paul Roberts, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Walker Bay. “Adding the Orca Hypalon option makes the Odyssey more appealing to consumers in extreme ultraviolet light regions.”

Four layers of calendered sheets guarantee air-tightness (no porosity) and optimal adhesion of rubbers. This combination of materials provides improved weather resistance against fading and aging as well as resistance to fuel, oil and everyday abrasions.