Soundings writer speaks on Cuban cruising travels
Soundings contributing writer and Cuba expert Peter Swanson will speak June 11 at CubaCon 2010, a Cuban art and culture conference in Provincetown, Mass.
Swanson's presentation is called "Great Bahamas-Cuba Loop: A Post-Embargo Cruising Strategy." Other marine experts might join him for a session that begins at 2 p.m.
Swanson, a Massachusetts native now living in Florida, has written about Cuba for Soundings magazine and has a Web site, www.cubacruising. net, devoted to the possibilities for recreational boating on the Cuban coast if relations are normalized.
Swanson has recently lectured about Cuba for audiences at TrawlerFest in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Essex by the Sea series in Essex, Conn. His talk in Provincetown will focus on how cruisers will incorporate the north coast of Cuba and Havana into their traditional Bahamas cruising plans.
"I invite New England mariners to join me for the conference, which spans four days featuring many sessions on Cuban art and culture. There is also a Cuban music dance party, Cuban art auction and Cuba movie day," says Swanson.
For information, visit www.cubacon.com.
West Marine to open flagship store in R.I.
West Marine announced it signed a long-term lease on a new flagship store location in Middletown, R.I.
The new store will be 23,000 square feet, which is almost 300 percent larger than the current 8,000-square-foot West Marine store in the area. With a full-service rigging shop on site, the Newport flagship West Marine will be able to supply any form of running or standing rigging as well as installation.
In addition, a significantly increased inventory selection was designed to meet the needs of sailors and recreational boaters in the Newport market.
In addition to its retail store, the new site will be home to two other West Marine-owned operations, Port Supply and Professional Captain's Services. The combined operations of the three West Marine divisions will increase in-season employment from 20 to 60 associates.
Grand-opening events at the new location are scheduled for the weekend of June 12-13.
For information, visit www.westmarine.com.
Westlawn Institute lists design-contest winners
The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology named the winners of the 2009 Westlawn/PassageMaker design competition, sponsored by Imtra Marine Lighting with matching funds from ABYC.
The primary goal for this competition was to create an economical and affordable cruiser for the fictional couple Jane and Bob and their 65-pound black lab, Bart, to live aboard for two or three months while cruising such routes as the Great Circle or the Inside Passage to Southeast Alaska, as well as tropical cruising in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Twenty-four designers submitted an assortment of concepts. Entries ranged from basic sketches to bound books of design calculations and drawings from a naval architect with a doctorate. Boat sizes ranged from 31 to 78 feet and were both monohull and multihull. Construction materials ran the gamut from fiberglass to aluminum to wood/epoxy and steel.
Yves-Marie de Tanton's LST.32 hard-chine hull lobster yacht took top honors, its smaller size not only reducing cost, but an advantage when maneuvering in tight spots on inland waterways.
"The judges were impressed that the design met all the criteria in one of the smallest and thus least expensive packages," ABYC said in a statement. "Not only does the boat have good deck access (with stairs gentle enough to even be used by a large dog) and a large outside flybridge deck with helm station, but the interior arrangement has a generous forward master stateroom with enclosed head and a completely separate shower."
Other features of de Tanton's design include a compact galley in the pilothouse saloon with a comfortable dinette/settee berth that will seat four; an aft cabin with a washer drier; a single aft berth that extends to form a double
The judges felt the vessel was somewhat high in appearance relative to its length - requiring bow thrusters - but judges determined this was the "almost ... inevitable result of working so much into 32-foot LOA."
Mahogany Memories runs July 10
The 26th annual Mahogany Memories Show, hosted by the Southern New England Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society, will take place July 10 at the docks of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn. The Saturday show will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. View more than 40 antique and classic boats both on the land and in the water; the museum will be open and the schooner Mary E will be scheduling cruises.
For information, contact Dave or Lynn McFarlin at (860) 643-7900 or email@example.com, or Lee Heinzman at (203) 264-5823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BoatU.S. combines charts with Google Maps
BoatU.S. has added nautical charts to its online services locator. The tool, at www.boatus.com/servicelocator, uses Google Maps to show locations of marinas that offer money-saving discounts on fuel and transient slips.
With this update, NOAA nautical charts overlay onto the locator's Google Map, allowing boaters to see bottom depths, hazards and navigational aids all on one screen, according to BoatU.S. This new feature is provided by Geowake, a nautical mapping solutions provider.
The locator also shows locations of TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist on-the-water towing ports with contact information, West Marine retail store locations, and places where boaters can borrow a child's life jacket at no cost through the BoatU.S. Foundation Kid's Life Jacket Loaner program.
Mystic hosts WoodenBoat Show
The 19th annual WoodenBoat Show will take place June 25-27 at Mystic (Conn.) Seaport.
The show will feature wooden boats of all sizes, old and new, power, sail, oar and paddle, plus demonstrations and workshops, maritime art, antiques, tools, books and nautical gear.
Family Boatbuilding will return this year as well, with five designers and builders offering kits and instruction for families to build and launch their boats during the three-day show.
Iain Oughtred, the dinghy racer turned boatbuilder, will be honored Saturday evening at a tribute dinner. Tickets for the dinner must be purchased in advance.
Other events include the return of "I Built it Myself," an exhibit of reader-built boats, Concours d'Elegance, including "People's Choice," children's activities, expert skills demonstrations and all the Mystic Seaport exhibits. Tickets can be validated for a free second day.
The WoodenBoat Show is owned and produced by WoodenBoat Publications.
For information, visit www.thewoodenboatshow.com.
Homeland Security boating funds outlined
In the Dec. 18 Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security outlined spending on recreational boating safety projects, programs and activities.
These programs were funded under the Provisions of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. The law makes $5.5 million available for these programs.
Expenditures included $789,019 for the Recreational Boating Safety Outreach Program; $335,624 for the Boating Accident Report Database Web System; and $224,625 for a National Recreational Boating Survey.
Of the $5.5 million available for fiscal 2009, more than $3.5 million has been committed, obligated or expended, in addition to more than $1.5 million of prior fiscal-year funds that have been committed, obligated or expended.
Approximately $7.9 million has not been committed, obligated or expended from previous years and is being reserved for a multiyear national boating survey, according to the filing.
New industry alliance promotes nav. safety
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is sponsoring a new alliance of industry companies and organizations that will stress to recreational boaters the importance of up-to-date navigational information.
The Alliance for Safe Navigation comprises BoatU.S., Jeppesen, the United States Power Squadrons, OceanGrafix and the Sea Tow Foundation for Boating Safety and Education.
"We identified a widespread lack of awareness among boaters regarding the accuracy of their charts, whether electronic or paper," OceanGrafix president David DeGree said in a statement. "The truth is that inaccurate chart information can turn a safe and enjoyable cruise into a dangerous situation."
Unlike commercial mariners, who are required by law to carry up-to-date charts, recreational boaters are not held to the same standards and are not required to have any charts on board. For information, visit www.allianceforsafenavigation.org.
ZF Marine restructures East Coast service
ZF Marine, the North American subsidiary of ZF Marine Group in Padova, Italy has implemented some changes to its East Coast service network.
ZF Marine LLC will now schedule all field service activities out of its South Florida service center in Miramar, Fla., according to the company. Vessel owners requiring service support from ZF Marine can now call (877) 896-4040 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The company will consolidate its Warwick, R.I., Annapolis, Md., and Jarrett Bay, N.C., service centers to a soon-to-be-opened location in Chichester, Pa. There are also branch offices in Seattle and New Orleans.
This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters section of the July 2010 issue.