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News Notes – New England

Wintering ground for North Atlantic right whales

Researchers at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center think they have found a wintering ground for North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine. An aerial survey team saw 44 of the highly endangered creatures in December in Jordan Basin, about 70 miles south of Bar Harbor, Maine. The finding can lead to protection measures, such as slowing ship speeds in the area to reduce whale strikes. There are only about 325 North Atlantic right whales, such as these three visible at the surface on Jordan Basin, still in existence. A fourth whale is visible just below the surface at lower left.

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Safety-at-sea symposium runs in March at MIT

The 2009 Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Safety at Sea Symposium is scheduled for March 28 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Experienced speakers will talk about a series of topics of vital interest to ocean racing sailors. The event is sanctioned by US Sailing and will be moderated by Capt. John Bonds, U.S. Navy retired. Bonds is an acknowledged expert on safety at sea and was the first director of Navy Sailing and commodore of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron. Experienced offshore sailors Howard Lapsley and Capt. Henry Marx will accompany Bonds.

The symposium costs $115. To register, contact

Two new no-discharge zones sought by states

The Environmental Protection Agency has received petitions from the states of Maine and Massachusetts regarding no-discharge zones.

Maine is requesting a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of Boothbay Harbor.

Massachusetts is requesting that determination for the waters of Revere, Saugus, Lynn, Nahant and Swampscott.

Comments on both petitions can be submitted until Feb. 4.

Yacht builder launches new online parts store

Grand Banks Yachts launched a new online parts store at Customers can visit the Web site to order and purchase a variety of Grand Banks and OEM parts, including hardware, electrical components and special-order items such as the builder’s signature handmade teak steering wheel.

Each part of the site includes a large photo image, description, specifications and pricing information. Purchases can be made directly from the site using a secure credit card transaction system.

“We wanted to give our owners the convenience of online ordering, and to do it right,” says David Hensel, director of brand and marketing for Grand Banks. “The Web plays such a central role in the way customers connect with Grand Banks, this is just one more example of how we try to meet the rising demand for online support.” was awarded “Best Manufacturer Site” by the NMMA in 2006.

Season of powerboat courses for women

Sea Sense, based in Sarasota, Fla., is offering a season of powerboat courses exclusively for women.

The five-day course will take place aboard a 42-footer, and the curriculum includes open water boat handling, basic engine maintenance, line handling and anchoring. Other topics include close-quarters maneuvering, docking, navigation and crew-overboard prevention and recovery.

Classes are available from January through June and cost $2,795, which includes instruction, on-board accommodations, all docking and fuel costs, and most meals.

For information, visit

Boston Harbor just got ‘bigger’

The Coast Guard has amended a former ruling, effectively increasing anchorage space in part of Boston Harbor.

The allocation of Anchorage Area “A” was determined during construction of Rowe’s Wharf, for navigational safety reasons. The current placement of these docks does not allow enough of a fairway for vessels to transit between the anchorage area and the pier facings, according to U.S Coast Guard filings.

Located at the entrance of Fort Point Channel in Boston Harbor, Anchorage “A” will now provide increased anchorage space for boats 65 feet or smaller. By changing the size of the anchorage area, and thus the placement of buoys, safe passage through Rowe’s Wharf is possible.  

Note that temporary floats or buoys for marking anchors will be allowed, while fixed mooring piles or stakes are prohibited; both remain under the jurisdiction and at the discretion of the Harbormaster of the City of Boston.

For more information e-mail

EarthNC Version 2 charts for Google

One year after the release of EarthNC electronic marine charts comes

Version 2.0 of the free EarthNC Online ( and retail EarthNC Plus ( nc-plus) electronic marine charts for Google Earth.

New features for EarthNC Online and Plus include new layer organization for faster load times, additional chart notes and information, more than 500 integrated “Waterview” bridge pictures for inland waterways and new “Submit Information” links with photo upload capability and a corresponding EarthNC User Layer with user-submitted photos and notes.

EarthNC Plus, EarthNC’s flagship product for Google Earth charting, additionally gains a new seamless chart loading option, new layer view options for land features, non-navigable areas and deep depths, a shaded depth area overlay option and an integrated beta of EarthNC Premium Ocean Weather with 5-day wind, wave, temperature and current forecast maps.

For information and screen shots of version 2.0 enhancements, go to

New England dealer adds Bavaria sailboats

Bavaria Yachts USA has named New England-based Eastern Yacht Sales as a new dealer representing Bavaria’s complete line of cruising and performance-cruiser sailboats.

Bavaria has expanded its line of cruising boats with the new Vision series, a deck salon-style boat available in 40-, 44- and 50-foot models, and has upgraded its Cruiser line with new 31, 34, 38 and 40 models to complement the 42, 46 and 50.

Eastern Yacht Sales is one of the largest dealers in the United States with 24 years experience and three separate locations: a Marblehead, Mass., dealership serving the Northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine territories; a Hingham, Mass., dealership serving the Southern Massachusetts territory; and Portsmouth, R.I., dealership serving the Rhode Island and Connecticut territories. Eastern Yacht Sales is opening its Marblehead office to support the Bavaria product line.

This article originally appeared in the March 2009 issue.