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News Notes - New England

West Coast yacht arrives at N.E. dealer

The Fathom 40, a new expedition yacht built in WashingtonState has arrived at Brewer Yacht Sales. With 14 sales locations throughout New England, Brewer is making the new pilothouse yacht available to buyers in the Northeast.

Designed by Greg Marshall, the Fathom 40 is built using modern CAD, engineering, tooling and manufacturing techniques. Weight-saving composite materials, a propeller tunnel, and an efficient hull design allow the Fathom 40 to burn significantly less fuel while cruising comfortably from displacement speeds to the high teens with a single electronic diesel.

The Fathom 40 styling is modern and distinctive, but maintains a classic workboat profile that sets it apart from the typical Down East trawler or workboat designs.

The Fathom 40’s 14-foot, 6-inch beam provides stability and ample interior space that incorporates two staterooms, an ensuite head and salon. The raised expedition style pilothouse features a settee for five, a leather helm chair and raised settee. The starboard pilothouse door provides access to the deck. A folding transom lowers to expand the aft deck for access.

The 40 is available in a Pilothouse Model or Flybridge Model for those who would like to pilot from outdoors. The pilothouse version of the Fathom 40 is $519,000.

For information on the Fathom 40, contact Brewer Yacht Sales at (866) 399-6213. ;

Buoy bells vanishing from Maine coast

The Coast Guard and Maine Marine Patrol are investigating a number of cases of missing metal sound signals from buoys along the Maine coastline. At least seven known buoys, primarily throughout the Down East region, have had their bells and gongs removed and investigators suspect they are being stolen and sold.

“It’s possible that they are being sold to either nautical novelty shops or scrap metal yards,” says chief warrant officer Jeffrey Chase, the aids to navigation officer at Sector Northern New England. In either case, he estimates the bells could land hundreds of dollars apiece.

As a deterrent, Chase says Coast Guard intelligence officials are working closely with local shops and scrap yards to identify missing property.

The missing bells and other hardware can cost taxpayers $400 to $1,500 each to replace. If convicted, vandals are liable for the cost of repair and may also be punished under federal law with fines of up to $2,500 and imprisonment of up to one year.

Further, missing navigational aids put mariners in danger.

“It can be compared to someone stealing the traffic lights on a busy main street,” says Cmdr. Brian Downey of Sector Northern New England. “These signals are there to warn mariners of hazards. Both the visual and audible signals are critical to the safe navigation of vessels, from large tanker ships to fishing and recreational crafts.”

Mariners, harbormasters and the boating public are urged to report any navigational aid discrepancies or suspicious activity to the nearest Coast Guard station or make an anonymous report to the Maritime Safety Information hotline at (800) 682-1796.

Nautical program for war veterans

Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, a Rhode Island professional mariner training facility, recently announced the organization has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide training for eligible veterans and their dependents under the GI Bill.

Eligible veterans will now be able to apply their veterans’ benefits towards tuition for three of the facility’s professional-level courses, the USCG Master 100 Ton Captains License, OUPV/6-Pack Captains License, and Able Seaman certification.

All courses are held at the Confident Captain/Ocean Pros classroom, located in downtown Newport, R.I.

New Bedford earns sailing program grants

The Community Boating Center of New Bedford was recently recognized as a Champion in Action, and Citizens Bank and NECN presented the organization an unrestricted $25,000 grant to support their summer, afterschool and school-based sailing programs.

New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang; Robert E. Smyth, president of Citizens Bank, Mass.; Charles J. Kravetz, president of news and general manager at NECN; and Peter Durant, executive director of Community Boating Center took part in the presentation.

IYRS and Museum of Yachting raise $660K

More than 500 guests filed through the doors of the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in July for the 11th annual Summer Gala. The theme of the evening, “A New Launch,” celebrated the joining of IYRS and the Museum of Yachting. The event raised a record-breaking sum of $660,000.

“There is a great deal of momentum surrounding IYRS and the Museum … It’s clear that the community embraces the convergence of these two organizations — and there are many exciting opportunities going forward,” says Carol O’Malley (San Antonio), who co-chaired the event with Joseph Dockery (Newport, R.I./Greenwich, Conn.).

IYRS trains tradespeople for careers in the marine industry, a business that is critical to the state’s economy, and in turn preserves the craft of classic-boat restoration. The school and the museum converged in 2007. This summer they have coordinated exhibitions and boatbuilding projects to create cultural attractions that are engaging the public in the maritime heritage.

Sailor and journalist Gary Jobson served as auctioneer. Items that attracted the highest bids included a vacation at the Castello delle Regine luxury vineyard estate in Umbria, a private-jet flight card with Sentient Jet, a painting donated by Quester Galley by American Impressionist David Bareford, and an opportunity to daysail with Newport skipper Ken Read onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, the new Volvo 70 that Read will skipper in the grueling Volvo Ocean Race.

For information about IYRS, visit For information on the Museum of Yachting, visit .

Trap/pot fishermen get groundline extension

NOAA’s Fisheries Service recently announced East Coast trap/pot fishermen will get six additional months to switch from floating to sinking groundline — the line that connects multiple traps/pots when the gear is set. The conversion will help reduce the risk of entangling large whales in groundline with a deadline of April 5, 2009.

NOAA officials say they believe the extension will have minimal effect on entanglement risks to large whales. The extension occurs during months when trap/pot fisheries are less active, so less gear is being used. Whales are not aggregating at this time in areas where the majority of trap/pot gear is set.

In addition, all other risk reduction measures that went into place in October 2007 remain in effect and are unchanged. For example, this extension does not change existing state and federal requirements for sinking groundline to be used in critical habitat areas for North Atlantic right whales.

The extension also applies to American lobster trap/pot gear, which has been managed under rules for reducing entanglement risk since 1997.

Entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with ships are two primary causes of serious injuries and deaths among endangered large whales along the U.S. East Coast. Between 2002 and 2006, NOAA’s Fisheries Service confirmed a total of 145 whale entanglements and 43 collisions between whales and ships along the U.S. East Coast and adjacent Canadian Maritimes.

Marine art exhibition, sale at Mystic Seaport

The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport is currently holding its 29th annual International Marine Art Exhibition and Sale through Nov. 16.

Visitors can view or purchase pieces from the exhibition between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. each day.

“This exhibition and sale represents the work of artists from 14 countries around the world, including Australia, France, Germany and Ireland,” says Jeanne Potter, director of the Maritime Gallery. “For collectors and lovers of maritime art, the show truly exemplifies how the sea shapes all of our lives.”

More than 125 new works are on display, including sculpture, painting, scrimshaw and ship models by more than 100 noted maritime artists including Robert Dance, Donald Demers, William P. Duffy and Kent Ullberg, as well as emerging talent exhibiting at the Maritime Gallery for the first time.

For information, call (860) 572-5388, or visit .

New leaders set to helm Coast Guard Auxiliary

At the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s recent national conference, Commodore Nickolas Kerigan, who has served as the National Vice Commodore for the last two years, was named to succeed Commodore Budar. Commodore Kerigan graduated in 1977 from Saint John’sUniversity in New York with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Commodore James Vass was selected to serve as the National Vice Commodore for the next two years. Vass began his career in the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1991. He has served in numerous staff positions and elected positions at all levels of the auxiliary. Most recently, he served as the District Commodore Eight Coastal Region where his area of responsibility covered seven states and three time zones, stretching from Tallahassee, Fla., to Arizona.

Decade-old NSBA picks up steam

In 1998 a group of boatbuilders met to discuss the future of their industry. Today the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association (NSBA) has grown to an organization with 39 boatbuilder members and 45 associate members.

When the association was established, it set itself specific goals: promote the industry; upgrade workers skills; certify trades people; recruit youth to the industry; talk to government; provide technical support.

Sailing center becomes accredited

CourageousSailingCenter in Boston has joined US Sailing, the national governing body for sailing, in offering sailing education.

“US Sailing accredits only the top sailing schools in the country,” says Hart Kelley, the organization’s director of keelboat programs. “We are pleased to welcome CourageousSailingCenter as an accredited school.”

CourageousSailingCenter instructors, like their peers at dozens of US Sailing schools across the United States, must undergo a rigorous training program to be certified to deliver curricula created by US Sailing’s national faculty.

New exec joins Rose Island Light Foundation

Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation (RILF) in Newport, R.I., recently announced the selection of Capt. David McCurdy as the organization’s new executive director, replacing retiring director Charlotte Johnson.

McCurdy received a bachelor’s degree in physical geography from Plymouth State (N.H.) University and a master’s degree in environmental resource management from AntiochUniversity. He also holds a 100 Ton Master’s License from the Coast Guard and has a wealth of local experience as a charter boat captain. For the last 10 years, David has been working for the Atlantic States Rural Water Association, where he developed groundwater protection programs with local communities throughout the Northeast.

“We are extremely pleased to have found such a terrific match for RILF,” says Carol Trocki, president of RILF’s board of directors. “David is talented and engaging, with creative ideas and a charming personality. His strong communication skills and diverse background make him the perfect person for this position. We are all very much looking forward to working with him.”

Rose Island Lighthouse sits in Narragansett Bay, one mile off shore on an 18.5-acre island. The RILF was formed in 1984 to restore the lighthouse and its property and become a hands-on demonstration center and living classroom to teach stewardship, conservation and sustainable living through responsible use of its natural resources.