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News Notes – New England

Gloucester Schooner Festival returns

The 22nd annual Gloucester Schooner Festival will take place on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3. Participating vessels vary in length and age and come from ports along the Eastern Seaboard.

The schooner Bluenose II — a replica of the winner of the International Fishermen’s Trophy races from 1921 through 1938 — will join in the festivities as part of her visit to Gloucester, Sept. 1-6.

The Mayor’s Race will take place Sept. 3, with more than a dozen large schooners expected to compete for the Esperanto Cup.

Festival highlights include a lighted boat parade and a fireworks display over Gloucester Harbor.

Wind farm drama takes another turn

Congressional leaders in June said they have agreed to give the commandant of the Coast Guard authority to order changes to the controversial Cape Wind proposal on Nantucket Sound if he finds it would interfere with navigation.

A proposed amendment to the Coast Guard’s appropriations bill would have given Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, as well as the Coast Guard commandant, veto power over the offshore energy project. Senate Energy and Natural Resources chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and ranking member Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., reached an agreement with Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, to drop any reference to the Massachusetts governor.

Kennedy, according to news reports, wanted to give Romney — like Kennedy an opponent of the project — veto power to set a precedent in which offshore energy projects would require a state’s consent before moving forward. Democratic State Rep. William D. Delahunt, whose district includes Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, says in a Boston Globe news report that he is pleased with the new agreement. “The real priority here was navigational safety,” he says.

The Cape Wind project calls for 130 turbine towers, each 417 feet tall, to be installed near Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound over about 24 square miles. Cape Wind developers estimate the turbines would generate roughly three-quarters of the power needs for the Cape and Islands.

— Jason Fell

Apprentices graduate, launch their projects

The 2006 spring building season came to a close as two small boats built at The Apprenticeshop of Rockland, Maine were launched June 17 — a 13-foot Vinalhaven Hawkins Peapod Replica and a 16-foot John Gardner Sailing Whitehall.

The Peapod was built by apprentices Lisa Zygowski of Caledonia, Ontario, and Michael Norgang of Damariscotta, Maine. The Whitehall was built by apprentices Phineas Ramsey of Sacramento, Calif.; Martin Feracci of France; and David Parham of the Woodlands, Texas.

The completion of both small boats was met with cheers from a large crowd of family, friends, Atlantic Challenge volunteers, staff and trustees. At a graduation ceremony, the school said farewell to seven second-year apprentices. Leaving the two-year boatbuilding program are: David Parham, Lisa Zygowski, Phineas Ramsey and Martin Feracci, as well as Todd Kosakowski of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Rick Ramenda of Newington, Conn.; and Sara Forristall of Newburyport, Mass.

The Apprenticeshop, one of the oldest traditional wooden boatbuilding schools in the country, has been teaching boatbuilding, seamanship, and traditional skills since 1971.

Marblehead dealer adds Bavaria line

Bavaria USA has designated Wells Yachts of Marblehead, Mass., to represent Bavaria’s complete line of cruising and performance-cruiser sailboats.

“The Bavaria product line is a great fit for our company, providing an unbeatable combination of sailability, comfort and affordability,” says Mike Conway, manager of Wells Yachts. “New England sailors have high standards, and we are very impressed with the boats’ excellent designs and rugged construction. We are proud to be able to present them to our customers.”

Wells Yachts is a full-service marina that includes inside and outside storage, trained and certified technicians and a full retail store. Wells also offers professional sailing instruction from certified American Sailing Association instructors.

Bavaria has upgraded its entire line of cruising sailboats over the last two years, and offers a range of models from 30 to 50 feet and a 35-foot performance cruiser for the racing segment. Bavaria Yachtbau is one of the largest sailboat builders in Europe, with a factory in Giebelstadt, Germany.

Lowell’sBoat Shop crafts mahogany dory

Lowell’s Boat Shop of Amesbury, Mass., owned and operated by the Newburyport Maritime Society, designed and built a Banks dory to commemorate the Long Beach (Calif.) Lifeguard Association’s 100 years of service.

The hand-made mahogany dory was a centerpiece of the association’s centennial gala this summer. Over the years, the Long Beach Lifeguard Association has owned as many as 50 Lowell dories, many of which are still in service today.

“It is a true testament to the craftsmanship and generations of skilled boatbuilders at Lowell’s to be commissioned by the same organization that it first worked with nearly 70 years ago,” said Pamela Bates, executive director of Lowell’s.

Established in 1793, Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in America. Visitors can view boatbuilders at work, schedule a guided tour, arrange a rowing trip or view wooden boat exhibits.

Junior safety series kicks off in Newport

Twenty-five junior sailors participated in the Storm Trysail Club’s Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar held in Newport, R.I., June 28.

The series was created to “arm juniors with the skills and confidence needed for an on-the-water emergency and instill in them the importance of safety on the water,” the club says.

Guest speakers included Volvo Ocean Race sailors Ken Read of Ericsson Racing Team and Jerry Kirby of Pirates of the Caribbean, who shared first-hand stories of offshore racing and safety preparation. Both are from Newport.

“Our goal was to attract a group of kids ages 13-18 with advanced racing skills to the program and then give them the safety skills needed for big boat sailing or really anytime they go out on the water,” says Latimer Spinney of STC’s Newport Station, organizer of the program.

Brock Callen told the story of personally trying to save a fellow crew member, Jamie Boeckel, who had been knocked off a boat they were racing four years ago. The Jamie Boeckel Memorial Fund was established in 2002, shortly after that sudden yacht racing accident. The fund donated 10 life jackets to the afternoon raffle.

Sabre Yachts marks a safety milestone

South Casco, Maine-based Sabre Yachts celebrated a major safety milestone in July — six years and two million hours of labor without a lost-time accident.

“It takes an extraordinary group of people to make this happen and we congratulate each and every member of the Sabre team,” says Sabre president Christopher Evans.

A commitment to open communication and training are keys to theachievement, Evans said.

The company marked the milestone with a celebration and awards ceremony.

Sabre Yachts has been building high-end sailboats and motoryachts since 1971.

Safe/Sea launches new 35-foot RIB

Almost 11 years ago, Safe/Sea of Wickford, R.I., contacted Almar of Tacoma, Wash., to discuss building a diesel-powered, water jet-driven, aluminum-hulled RIB. In the spring of 1995, the original Safe/Sea Newport was delivered and became a familiar sight on and around Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.

The idea that resulted in the first 28-foot Safe/Sea RIB has grown into the 35-foot Safe/Sea RIB of today.

The new Almar has a similar design to last year’s highly successful 35-footer. The new vessel is powered by two Yanmar after-cooled, turbo charged diesel engines producing over 700 hp. These engines are coupled to Borg Warner model 72, 1:1 marine gears modified for commercial use by Johnson Boatworks in Cranston, R.I., and Hamilton model 274 jet drives.

After extensive sea trials around the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, the Salvor arrived in Rhode Island on May 17, and was immediately put into service the following day, assisting with the demolition of the old Jamestown Bridge in Narragansett Bay.

Learning the ropes on donated boats

The Coast Guard Academy has received Glory, a J/44, through the Coast Guard Foundation’s boat donation program. The J/44 is a popular training platform because it performs well as both a racer and cruiser.

The Coast Guard Foundation is seeking boats for use in the academy’s sail training programs. Racers and cruisers in good condition and generally in the 35-foot to 45-foot range are needed.

The Coast Guard Academy uses sailing as a means of preparing cadets for service in the Coast Guard. All academy cadets learn to sail and navigate in a variety of sailing vessels.

In the last few years the academy has received donations of a Wauquiez Centurion 42, Swan 37, Nelson Marek 43 and the J/44.

For information about the boat donation program, call Jill Nosach at the Coast Guard Foundation at (860) 535-0786 or visit .

R.I., Coast Guard form security partnership

Rear Adm. David Pekoske, commander of the1st Coast Guard District, and Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri formalized a maritime security partnership May 19. They say the memorandum of agreement allows Coast Guard law enforcement crews and Rhode Island law enforcement officers to better work together. Under terms of the agreement, Rhode Island law enforcement officers, working with the Coast Guard, will have the authority to stop and board vessels, and take enforcement action against people violating federal safety and security zones created by the Coast Guard.

The agreement is designed to enhance a long-standing relationship between the Coast Guard and the state, and allow for more effective use of enforcement resources in Rhode Island. It incorporates recent changes to federal laws specifically strengthening the ability of state enforcement officers to assist the Coast Guard.