News Notes - New England

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Coast Guard denies Mass. LNG project

The First Coast Guard District Commander denied an appeal May 21 filed by Weaver’s Cove Energy regarding a determination that the waterway to a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Fall River, Mass., was unsuitable for LNG tankers.

Weaver’s Cove Energy requested that Rear Adm. Timothy Sullivan reconsider the decision made by Coast Guard Capt. Roy Nash, the captain of the port at the time, that the channel from Prudence Island, R.I., to the proposed site was unsafe because of navigational hazards.

Nash based his decision primarily on navigation safety issues confronting large tankers between the old and new BrightmanStreetBridge over the TauntonRiver, between the cities of Fall River and Somerset, Mass. Tankers would have to transit between the bridges to reach the Weaver’s Cove Energy facility.

Nash concluded transits could not be safely conducted on a routine, repeatable basis, and that the risk of a casualty was “unacceptably high.”

Weaver’s Cove Energy requested that Nash reconsider his assessment. That request was denied in December 2007. Weaver’s Cove Energy then filed their appeal in January.

“After thorough review of the detailed appeal by Weaver’s Cove Energy, I support Captain Nash’s decision that the waterway is unsafe in the vicinity of the Brightman Street Bridges for the transit of LNG tankers because of the same navigational hazards previously addressed,” says Sullivan.

Weaver’s Cove Energy can appeal Sullivan’s decision to the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship in Washington, D.C.

Power Squadrons honors Maine woman’s work

During the 2008 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, the United States Power Squadrons recognized Kathleen Mastbeth of Sedgewick, Maine, with its 2007 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching. Once a year, the USPS chooses the five most effective volunteer instructors from across the nation to receive the award.

Mastbeth, of the Penobscot Bay Sail and Power Squadron, District 19, has been an active member of PBSPS for four years. She teaches Boat Smart, Boating and Seamanship courses that comprise the essentials in navigation, sailing laws and regulations, boat handling, communication, and boat care.

According to students, Mastbeth “kept us motivated, provided us with technical guidance and opened the door on many other areas of concern for those of us just beginning our boating experience.” www.pbsps.org

DiMillo’s Yacht Sales adds and expands

Portland, Maine-based DiMillo’s Yacht Sales recently announced the opening of their newest office, DiMillo’s Yacht Sales at Dysarts Great Harbor Marina, in SouthwestHarbor, scheduled for July.

At the new location the company will display Back Cove Yachts, Chris-Craft, Sabre Yachts and Ocean Yachts.

“We feel that the outstanding quality of the semi-production Maine-built boats we offer will fill a void currently on Mount Desert Island and PenobscotBay,” says president Chris DiMillo.

The company also welcomed Brad McClelland, who will run the new SouthwestHarbor office. McClelland, a certified professional yacht broker with the Yacht Brokers Association of America, has more than 20 years of yacht sales experience and many years with both Sabre and Back Cove Yachts.

In other news, at the Miami International Boat Show in February, DiMillo’s Yacht Sales was named the 2007 Back Cove Yacht Worldwide Dealership of the Year, the 2007 Sabre Yachts Worldwide Dealership of the Year and the 2007 Sabre Yachts Outstanding Dealership of the Year. DiMillo’s has been in business since 1998 with offices in five locations in the Northeast. www.dimillos.com

‘New’ classic daysailers take to the water

In May, the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) and the Museum of Yachting in Newport each celebrated a launch of their own. On the last Saturday in May, IYRS students celebrated graduation in a unique “final exam” — by launching the boats they restored in front of a crowd of onlookers, then sea-trialing them on NewportHarbor.

Nine classic New England Beetle Cats were splashed along with a Manhasset Bay One Design; an 1924 6-Meter, Madcap; and an 11-foot Bulldog sailboat. Ceremonies also recognized the first graduates from IYRS’s new Marine Systems program, developed with the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) to meet the marine industry’s demand for workers skilled in the maintenance and installation of onboard systems.

In the afternoon, the crowd at IYRS graduation migrated across the harbor to the launch of three new exhibitions at the Museum of Yachting. The May events capped a year of milestones. IYRS and the museum joined forces in 2007, and this summer is the first the two organizations are coordinating exhibitions with boatbuilding and restoration projects: A display on Sparkman & Stephens is coupled with the building of an S&S-designed 6-Meter Cherokee; the restoration of the 133-foot 1885 schooner yacht Coronet at IYRS is paired with an exhibit on the grand voyages of one of the yacht’s owners, Arthur Curtiss James (1867-1941); a third exhibit, “The America’s Cup: The Newport Years,” covers Cup lore from 1930 to 1983. www.iyrs.org; www.moy.org

Trans-At solo sailor opens restaurant

Clay Burkhalter, who sailed the 21-foot Mini Transat named Acadia to a12th place finish out of 87 boats in last year’s single-handed Mini Transat race from France to Brazil, has opened a new restaurant at Dodson Boatyard in Stonington, Conn.

The Dog Watch Café, which Burkhalter opened this spring with his brother-in-law, Dave Eck, general manager at Forte Carbon Fiber Products in Ledyard, Conn., replaces Boom, a popular spot for many years.

“You can’t be any closer to the water than we are,” says Burkhalter. “At high tide, the water under the café is halfway to the bar, and you can practically reach out and touch the boats.”

Burkhalter says he got the idea for the eatery on the layover in the Mini Transat in Horta, Azores. Eck had flown over to help with boat repairs and the duo were eating at Peter’s Café, one of the most famous sailing bars on the Atlantic.

“We joked about having a place like it on the water in Stonington … provided I made it to Brazil and was not lost at sea,” Burkhalter says. “And here we are.”

The dog watch is a term well-known to offshore sailors and boaters and has been used on ships since the 18th century to shuffle watch system hours and get the whole crew in for food at or near the proper dinner hour.

Raised in Stonington, Burkhalter is an experienced sailor, having logged more than 95,000 offshore miles and, as a youngster, he helped his uncle Rod Johnstone build the first J/24 sailboat — Ragtime — in Johnstone’s garage on Elm Street in Stonington. More than 5,000 J/24s have been built since, and it is the most popular keel racing boat in the world. Burkhalter’s boat ACADIA was designed by his uncle.

For information on Dog Watch Café, call (860) 415-4510.

New fractional club services region

Ultimate Boat Clubs, Inc., is a membership-based boating club that provides the enjoyment of boating without the hassles of boat ownership.

The club has opened locations at Harbor Park Marina in Stamford, Conn., and Saybrook Point Inn/Spa/Marina in Old Saybrook, Conn., where they provide a fleet of professionally maintained boats (currently Monterey, Robalo, Singray and Maxum) for members’ use. The club intends to open locations in Westchester, N.Y., and elsewhere in Connecticut.

The owners stress the cost of owning a boat goes beyond the purchase price and note additional expenses such as depreciation, insurance, seasonal slip space, commissioning and decommissioning, winter storage, electronics, maintenance, and repairs. Members are only responsible for the actual fuel they use.

One-, three- and five-year memberships are available, ranging from $3,900 to $8,900 per year. To learn about the club and membership opportunities, visit www.ultimateboatclubs.com or call (203) 894-9661.

Boat show returns to Rockland in August

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine will present its Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show Aug. 8-10 on the Rockland, Maine waterfront.

The only annual in-water event of its kind in the state will showcase examples of Maine-built boats, from runabouts to yachts, daysailers to round-the-world cruising sailboats, kayaks to rowing shells, all arrayed on more than 1,500 linear feet of dock space. On land, there will be more boats, plus Maine-built goods for the home.

With nearly 300 exhibitors, the show offers visitors the opportunity to board boats and speak with boatbuilders, then head ashore to see what makes Maine-made boats and handcrafted furniture known for design and construction.

“Where else can you step aboard gorgeous boats by builders like Atlantic Boat, Hinckley, Lyman-Morse, Morris Yachts, Pulsifer, Sabre Yachts, and John Williams, and then go try out a handmade Windsor chair by a famous maker such as Thomas Moser, or view the custom cabinetry of the Kennebec Company?,” says John K. Hanson Jr., founder of the magazine and show.

Special features of this summer’s show will include the exhibit “Tremolino! and the Work of Lance Lee.” Educator and boatbuilder Lance Lee has worked from the coast of Maine for more than 40 years, including founding the Apprenticeshop in Rockland. His latest project is a 1/3-scale balancelle, a lateen-rigged western-Mediterranean cargo vessel, a replica of the boat in Joseph Conrad’s novel, “The Tremolino.”

Also on display will be the 83-foot Jacob Pike. This recently retired sardine carrier is now part of the PenobscotMarineMuseum and a symbol of two of Maine’s most important industries: fishing and shipbuilding.

Dog lovers will enjoy the popular World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials, held the final morning of the show. www.maineboats.com

New limited-edition print introduced

Nantucket, Mass.-based Eric Holch, an internationally recognized printmaker, has released his latest limited edition original print, titled “After the Storm”.

“After the Storm” has been limited to 150 signed and numbered prints, with five Artist’s Proofs and three State Proofs, and was pulled in 16 colors on premium cotton rag paper. The outside dimension of the print is 13-by-30 inches. The image area is 10-by-25 inches. The price is $450.

“Late-afternoon light is what every artists loves,” Holch says. “So when a large squall moved off to the East and that low Western sunlight peaked below the storm clouds and blasted the white topsides and red steadying sail of a lobster boat returning home, it reminded me of Lord Byron’s quote and inspired ‘After the Storm.’ ”

The quote: “The sky is changed, and such a change! O night and storm and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, yet lovely in your strength ...”

www.ericholch.com; e-mail: eric@ericholch.com