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News notes New England November 2006

WoodenBoat show draws a crowd despite rain

A little rain in the forecast did not discourage attendees throughout the weekend at the WoodenBoat Show held in Newport, R.I., in late August.

As the predicted scattered showers turned into a torrential downpour the first afternoon, visitors moved into the tents to explore the goods displayed there and attend workshops and demonstrations presented by industry experts, exhibitors and authors.

A collection of various wooden boats was on display at the docks, across the land space and in the tents. The two Down East-style lobster boats, Nimble and Biscuit, restored and exhibited by Thomas Townsend Custom Marine Woodworking, exemplified a sensible aesthetic.

Classic sailing style was epitomized in the 57-foot Arrluuk, an example of L. Francis Herrshoff’s design. Brooklin Boat Yard Brokerage brought this brightly varnished crowd pleaser to the show. The 85-foot sardine carrier Bernadine traveled all the way from New Brunswick to tie up to the show dock.

Restored wooden sloop recovered from bottom

The Museum of Yachting announced Sept. 12 the recovery of its 1916 Herreshoff Fish Class Sloop, Anchovy.

The 90-year-old wooden boat broached and sank Sept. 2 in 50 feet of water southeast of Rose Island in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. The two crewmembers were quickly pulled from the water by regatta racers competing nearby.

As soon as weather conditions allowed, several volunteers and supporting organizations began searching for the vessel. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, a volunteer diver located her Sept. 11. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Oldport Marine headed by Matt Gineo and Ron Ackman and MoY volunteers, Anchovy was brought to the surface the next day.

“We are happy to report that she looks to be in fine condition, and after a bit of attention she is expected to again grace the museum’s boat basin next spring as part of our in-the-water collection,” says MoY director of operations Andy Segal.

Anchovy is one of the original Fish Class sloops commissioned by Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in 1916. She was donated to the Museum of Yachting in 1985 by Dr. Roy C. Gumpel.

Island ferries aid in research

Ferries that connect Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are taking on another role — that of research vessels.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biologist Scott Gallager and colleagues have installed a package of sensors on the 235-foot freight ferry Katama to measure water quality and photograph plankton as the ferry crisscrosses the western side of Nantucket Sound year-round, several times daily.

“Hitchhiking science on a ferry provides a terrific opportunity for us to better understand how water quality and ocean life change over time,” Gallager says.

The measurements for the Nantucket Sound Ferry Scientific Environmental Monitoring System began in May.

With the interest and cooperation of the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, which operates the ferry service between Cape Cod and the islands, Gallager and colleagues developed a sensor package to measure water temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll and water clarity, and take images of plankton living in the water column.

Real-time data from the sensors travel over a wireless connection to Gallager’s shore-based lab, where he and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution colleagues make them available to scientists and the public on the project Web site,

The WHOI team will be installing another instrument package on the Steamship Authority ferry Eagle, which runs between Hyannis and Nantucket on the eastern side of Nantucket Sound. Their objective is to build up a detailed, continuous portrait of changing water conditions and plankton communities in Nantucket Sound over long time scales.

Grants awarded for marine trades training

The Massachusetts Marine Trades Educational Trust has selected several state residents for William Armstrong Scholarship Awards, which help defray costs associated with marine trades studies.

A total of $3,000 was recently awarded to students from central Massachusetts and the South Shore.

The William Armstrong Scholarship Award is named in honor of Bill Armstrong, a boat dealer from the South Shore and an original member of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and its board of directors.

Smaller Sea Rays can now get satellite

For several years owners of Sea Ray boats 44 feet and bigger have had the satellite television option of KVH TracVision 4 and 4-HP satellite TV antennas.

Now Sea Ray offers small-boat owners digital satellite TV with the option of TracVision M3, which is now an option on Sea Rays 29 to 44 feet.

“The smaller boats make up a large segment of our business, and we’re thrilled to finally have the opportunity to offer mobile satellite TV to our customers,” says Rob Noyes, Sea Ray’s vice president of marketing.

Tugs builder repowers its 32-foot cruiser

Nordic Tugs has repowered the 32 Pilothouse Cruiser. Beginning with the 2007 model year boats, the Nordic Tugs 32’s standard power is the Volvo Penta D-6 280-hp electronic diesel engine.

This is the last model in the lineup to receive the EPA Tier II regulated engine. Early sea trial reports show the boat’s top speed at 18 knots. At 8 knots the fuel burn is recorded at 2.0-2.5 gph.

In addition to the new engine, several other changes have been made such as streamlined bow rails, additional storage, and a redesigned helm seat.

Headquartered in Burlington, Wash., Nordic Tugs, Inc. manufactures classic tug-style pilothouse cruisers from 32 to 52 feet.