News notes - New England

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Nordic Tugs dealers host ‘tug fest’ debut

Nordic Tugs dealers are hosting the first National Nordic Tug Fest July 12-13 at dealer locations nationwide. The event will feature tug tours, sea trials (by appointment), a barbecue and door prizes.

“This is the first time Nordic Tugs and our dealers have partnered to organize a national sales event,” says David Goehring, executive vice president of Nordic Tugs, adding the event “will provide a fun venue for prospective customers to learn more about Nordic Tugs.”

The dealer for the Northeast region is Wilde Yacht Sales at 39 Pratt Street, Essex, Conn. Phone: (860) 767-2540 or e-mail ben@wildeyachts.com .

The Nordic Tugs owners’ associations throughout the United States have announced their 2008 rendezvous dates. East Coast gatherings include one atEssex Island Marina, Essex, Conn., July 23-26.

For rendezvous information or to register to attend, click on the owners’ link on the Nordic Tugs Web site at www.nordictugs.com.

In other news, the Seattle office of the U.S. Department of Commerce recently gave Nordic Tugs an Export Achievement Award in recognition of the company’s successful move into foreign markets.

With economic indicators pointing to a potential slowdown in the domestic boating market, Nordic Tugs’ executive staff made the decision in 2006 to research international export opportunities. Working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the company looked first to the European market, in part because of the strength of the euro.

Search ended for missing lobsterman

The Coast Guard ended its search May 12 for a lobsterman whose vessel capsized near the Isle of Shoals off the coast of Portsmouth, N.H., the previous day.

“Ending a search is one of the hardest decisions to make,” says Capt. James Rendon, commanding officer of Sector Northern New England. “We thoroughly covered the area with air and surface assets in hopes of finding Mr. [Christopher] Tobey. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends and the entire fishing community.”

Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor received a call around 10 a.m. May 12 from the daughter of Tobey, 46, of Kittery, Maine, the owner of the 40-foot lobster boat Save-a-buck, reporting that Tobey, his teenage son and a third crewmember had not returned from their fishing trip.

The trio left around 10 a.m. May 11, and was due back at 5 p.m. that day.

Two 47-foot boat crews from Station Portsmouth Harbor; a boat crew from Station Merrimack River, the Jefferson Island, a 110-foot patrol boat based out of Portland, Maine; a Jayhawk helicopter crew and Falcon jet crew, both from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., conducted 13 searches, covering approximately 270 square miles to find Tobey.

Tobey’s son, Chris, 16, and another crew member, Robert Blackburn, 21, were found on Duck Island earlier May 12 by the crew of Amanda T, a local fishing vessel. The crew of the vessel J.B. Heiser rescued the pair from the island, then transported them to a Station Portsmouth Harbor boat crew, who took them back to the station where they were met by ambulances.

A large wave capsized their boat around 3 p.m. May 11 about 200 feet from Duck Island, according to the Portland Press Herald. None were wearing life jackets, but the two younger crew were able to swim to shore, the newspaper reported.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

New Morris 48 launched, bound for Europe

Bass Harbor, Maine-based Morris Yachts launched this spring Barra, a 48-foot Ocean Series Yacht.

The owner of Barra and his family plan to cruise and participate in offshore racing. The first event is the Newport Bermuda Race. From there, the boat will sail to Scotland then travel down to the Canary Islands for the 2008 ARC race to the Caribbean.

The mast is 9 feet taller than the standard and the keel is 8 feet instead of 6.5 feet. The deck of the 48 was customized for racing, while the interior is done in the Herreshoff style of cherry-and-white bulkheads. The three-cabin layout: v-berth forward, portside aft guest cabin and starboard crew cabin quarterberth will accommodate the family for weeks at sea. www.morrisyachts.com

Historic steam yacht to visit Mystic Seaport

A large and extremely rare 1901 steam yacht will be exhibited to the public later this year on the waterfront at Mystic Seaport.

Built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Edwardian tradition of the late 1800s, the yacht Cangarda was a toy of the rich. Built in Wilmington, Del., Cangarda is the last surviving American-built steam yacht in the country and one of only three of its type left in the world.

Never in its lifetime has Cangarda been exhibited to the public. But thanks to its current owner and restorer, the antique yacht will be accessible for public viewing at Mystic Seaport for many months of each year.

“We are pleased to have this, one of the last grand American yachts, home-ported at Mystic Seaport,” says Jeff Rutherford, who directed the restoration of Cangarda. “From the beginning of this project, we have always been dedicated to the concept that it should be available for the public to enjoy. Mystic Seaport is a great venue for this, and we look forward to developing this partnership with the museum.”

Cangarda was named after its original owners, Charles Canfield and his wife, Belle Gardner. They later sold the yacht to George Fulford, a prominent Canadian, whose business sold “Pink Pills for Pale People.” Home-ported for much of its life in the Thousand Islands stretch of the St. Lawrence River, the yacht hosted a dinner in 1927 attended by the Prince of Wales, Duke of Kent and the English and Canadian prime ministers.

Cangarda served the Royal Canadian Navy as a training vessel during World War II, but in her post-war years she slowly fell into disrepair. A restoration effort got under way in the 1980s under Richard Readly, who fully dismantled the vessel, sent its seven steam engines to England for restoration and preserved and stored its elaborate wooden components. Readly, however, became ill and was forced to abandon the project. The hull actually sank at a Boston pier in 1999.

Cangarda was restored to her current form from 2004-2008. Under the agreement, the yacht will spend the majority of its time at Mystic Seaport. The vessel is expected to arrive at the museum in July for a short stay, followed by another brief visit in August. It will return in September for the remainder of the year.

Irish yachts discussed at Classic Yacht Symposium

The Herreshoff Marine Museum’s third Classic Yacht Symposium, held April 11-13 in Bristol, R.I., featured Irish yachting historian Hal Sisk, owner of Peggy Bawn, a restored 1896 Irish-built cutter.

Sisk’s talk revealed that Irish sailors built the first one-design boats in 1821 and had a major influence on one-design racing. They also started the first yacht club — the Water Club of Cork — in the early 1800s. It is all allegedly true, although Sisk was later heard to remark, “Never let a fact get in the way of a good story.”

Sisk’s often uproarious talk was the highlight of a weekend of papers and presentations about the restoration of classic yachts. The Classic Yacht Symposium is held every two years (on opposite years to the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium), and this year’s program brought 175 delegates who gathered at Roger Williams Law School for the three-day event.

The program included tours of three boatyards in Connecticut — Stonington Boat Works; McClave, Philbrick and Giblin of Mystic; and Taylor & Snediker in Pawcatuck. At these yards, delegates were able to see various yachts undergoing restoration, including the Herreshoff-designed NY50 Spartan.

Maritime Marine debuts new 25 fishing series

Joining Maritime’s current line of 14- to 25-foot fiberglass family fishing boats is the new 25 Series, available in five different models: the Defiant; the Patriot; the Voyager; the Classic and the Challenger.

Based on Maritime’s dry riding, seaworthy, fuel-efficient 23-foot hull design, these new 25-foot models incorporate a full transom, full-width stern platform, a transom fishbox/storage locker, lockable storage compartments and a foldaway rear bench seat. The design changes add expansive interior cockpit space along with all the features of Maritime’s 23 product line, according to the builder.

Each Maritime 25 features a 50-degree deadrise forward, flared and round bow, wide chines, lifting strakes and relatively shallow 14-degree deadrise aft. www.maritimeboats.com

One-stop shop for free Canadian digital charts

GPS software manufacturer Northport Systems, of Toronto, recently announced upgrades to its online map resource, Fugawi Touratel. An interactive mapping Web site targeting outdoor enthusiasts, Fugawi Touratel allows users to view and print Canadian and U.S. topographic maps from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Fugawi is the first and only company to provide both Canadian and U.S. topographic maps in one place. In addition to its new comprehensive collection of Canadian topographic data, www.touratel.com now supports faster zoom and enhanced print capabilities including grid lines and large format printing.

The www.touratel.com site is a free service, enabling users to view and print copies of high-quality maps. The site contains NRCan maps in 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scales for all Canadian provinces and USGS topographic maps for the U.S. states, including Hawaii and Alaska, at all available scales, including 1:24,000, 1:100,000 and 1:250,000.

For information, contact (416) 920-9300, or visit www.touratel.com .

Survival equipment company celebrates

Life Raft & Survival Equipment has now been selling and servicing major brands of life rafts and inflatable boats and safety equipment for 25 years.

LRSE was founded in Providence, R.I., in March 1983 by its president, James O’Connor, who is a past president of the U.S. Marine Safety Association (USMSA).

To help mark the anniversary, LRSE has introduced a new brand identity for the company and has also commissioned a 25th anniversary logo to be created. In addition, the company has introduced a new comprehensive equipment rental program including life rafts, flare kits, EPIRBs and immersion suits.

LRSE’s staff members are experts in marine safety outfitting. Their factory-trained and certified service technicians operate LRSE’s Coast Guard-approved servicing facility, one of the largest in the country. LRSE also sells and services Avon and Zodiac inflatable boats. www.lrse.com

Yamaha reformulates marine four-stroke oil

The Yamaha Marine Group recently announced it has a new four-stroke marine engine oil formulation, which the company claims reduces wear and provides cleaner operation.

Yamalube 4M engine oils, both 10W-30 and 20W-40, have a new low-phosphorus formulation fortified with molybdenum compounds, which reduce wear caused by the sudden changes in engine speed common to four-stroke marine engines.

Independent testing shows the new oil provides added wear protection — an 85-percent reduction in wear over the prior formulation, according to Yamaha. They have properties and additives automotive oils don’t. In addition, they continue to contain a proprietary mixture of detergents that help clean internally lubricated parts and dispersants, which help to carry trapped dirt away from the engine to the oil filter. The end result is cleaner oil.

In other news, Yamaha has put its marine care products under the trusted Yamalube brand. Products affected include fuel additives, adhesives and lubricants, which will now bear the name Yamalube.

www.yamahaoutboards.com