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Caribbean News – Apr 07

Mercury unveils two new Verados

Mercury Marine introduced two new production supercharged Verado outboards (a 200 hp four-cylinder and 300 hp six-cylinder) at the Miami International Boat Show in February.  Other than the engine blocks, the base engines of both are the same, with dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and the bedplate-and-long bolt design seen in Formula 1 race cars. Mercury says the state-of-the-art concept yields “maximum rigidity and durability in a compact package.”  This feature sounds especially good: with “SmartStart”, all you have to do is turn the key and release, and the engine will automatically start itself.  www.mercurymarine.com.

Is there room for my boat?

The 600,000 square-foot Atlantis Reef Project, an artificial reef slated to be installed 3.25 miles east of Key Biscayne, Florida and fifty feet under water, now plans to include a Memorial Reef where, developers say, “those who want to be surrounded by marine life after their time on earth is over can have their cremated remains placed inside the structures of the city.”  You can also place other stuff.  “The Atlantis Memorial Reef is not limited to the dearly departed. Items representing your fond memories…may also be placed into the reef to be reflected upon forever.”  www.atlantisreefproject.com

Budget Marine honors St. Maarten employees

Budget Marine chandlery bestowed awards on long-serving employees at their annual staff dinner at the 12-Metre Restaurant, Bobby’s Marina, St. Maarten, in January.   Errol Haynes and Rosemarie Bernard were honored for over 15 years’ service while Michelle Cornelius, Etienne Preus, Charles Simon, Paulien Vuyst, Carla ten Berge, Derek and Marilyn Hodge, and Judith Henry were all recognized for over 10 years’ service.  Budget Marine St. Maarten employs 43 full time staff in addition to Group Services which employs 8 staff who oversee other Budget Marine locations.

Mark your calendar:  CMA Meeting, 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Manager Sharon McIntosh has sent notice of an Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Marine Association to be held at Antigua Yacht Club,
English Harbour.  Any member wishing to raise a topic for discussion at the meeting must notify the Manager in writing at least one week in advance of the meeting.  Let Sharon know if you’ll be there: info@caribbeanmarineassociation.com

Save the date:  Bonaire’s International Regatta:  October 7-13, 2007

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the International Sailing Regatta of Bonaire, featuring races around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire with participants in sail and surf competitions. Look for a festival featuring international bands every night for a week.  www.bonaireregatta.org.

Don’t miss:  The Golden Rock Regatta, November 10-16, 2007

Press Secretary Bea Hootsman reminds us that this smashing event will take place in November 2007 again with plenty of local sailors and at least two boats bringing members of the Manhattan Sailing Club.  The fun starts with the welcome party at Captain Oliver’s Yacht Club on Saturday the 10th.  Action all week starts with the St. Barths Pursuit on Monday followed by St. Barths to Statia, Statia to St. Kitts, St. Kitts to Statia, and the Statia Day Pursuit on Friday, after which the fleet returns to St. Maarten for prize giving.  www.goldenrockregatta.com

Crown Bay Marina can handle your ‘regulated garbage’

According to Carole Dudley, director of operations, Crown Bay Marina is now the only marina facility on St. Thomas (an official port of entry for the U.S. Virgin Islands) that has been certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) officials to handle, store and incinerate ‘regulated garbage.’

U.S. Federal law requires that vessels entering U.S. waters, including the USVI and Puerto Rico, that have visited a foreign port within a given period, must properly dispose of certain onboard waste, defined as USDA/APHIS ‘regulated garbage’ upon arrival.  Dudley says while it “isn’t the most glamorous new amenity Crown Bay Marina could think to offer, it is the only service to simultaneously help ease a vessel’s port entry, avoid substantial penalties for noncompliance, and reduce the risks of being boarded while in port, or questioned at subsequent ports.”  Lots of handy details are found at www.crownbay.com.  Now if we can just figure out what to do with our unregulated garbage…

A Solar Transatlantic crossing

In December a crew of five set sail on the first transatlantic crossing made by a vessel powered solely with electricity generated from the solar panel on its rooftop.  Sun21, nominated by TIME Magazine as 2006 invention of the year, is a Swiss engineered catamaran that plans to travel 7,000 miles without using a drop of oil.  Following Christopher Columbus’s historic route to the Americas, sun21 has been in our waters all winter. To follow the rest of its progress visit www.transatlantic21.org.

Electric Leopards for The Moorings

In other environmental boating news, the new, electric E-Leopard 43 sailing catamaran has been tested during the past year by the Moorings charter fleet in the BVI.  With clean diesel-electric propulsion and climate control technology, the new boat is proving to be a winner with environmentally-conscious chartering sailors.  Lex Raas, CEO of The Moorings, says, “I am very pleased with the results so far.  I foresee a time when electric power grows to become the dominant power technology in our fleet.”  A 25K variable speed DC generator drives the dual 20 HP DC electric propulsion motors and provides power for DC air conditioning units.  No additional battery bank is needed for propulsion.  The Moorings expects to place an order of electric Leopards to its Tortola fleet in 2008.

USVI Open gets the scouts in the swim

Jimmy Loveland, tournament director for the annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament held each summer to benefit the Boy Scouts program, reports that a dozen St. Thomas Scouting kids turned out recently for the first of $10,000 worth of free swim lessons—a much-needed project since many Virgin Islanders do not learn to swim and consequently drown each year.  Liz, the pool’s manager, and Georgiana, an instructor, helped the youngsters overcome their fears and work on techniques.  “By the end of the hour, advanced ones were treading water without splashing (sinking) and the non-swimmers were no longer afraid of the water,” Loveland says.

New CSA Measurement Fee Structure

Chief Measurer Jeffrey Chen let us know that the Fee Structure for the 2007 season changed as of February 1:  “The $25 stamp/validation fee shall be replaced with a $1/ft charge that shall be applied to measured and updated boats.” Chen says the per-foot fee is being implemented in order to increase CSA revenue with the ultimate goal of re-investing money into the Rule to enable the subsidy of Caribbean MNA’s to ISAF and Olympic meetings and secure better funding for youth sailing in the Caribbean…and to more equitably distribute charges over the range of boats racing in our area.

Brisk entries for HIHO

Entries are rolling in for the 2007 edition of the Highland Spring HIHO event coming up July 1-8. A record 40 racers have registered in the Techno 2 one-design class.  Teams & racers have registered from Martinique, California, the Cayman Islands, South Africa, the UK, Canada & France.  An additional 15-20 racers are expected in the new Kona one-design class including racers from France and Florida.  Racing starts off The Bitter End on Monday, July 2.  www.go-hiho.com

“How to’s” for crossings:  2007 Symposium Schedule

Considering an offshore passage at the end of this year? Steve Black, President and Founder of the Cruising Rally Association says sailors are invited to participate in CRA’s Offshore Sailing Symposium this summer. Attend one of the interactive workshops in Camden, ME on July 28-29 or Hampton, VA on August 11-12.  CRA is best known for its flagship event each November, the Caribbean 1500, a racing/cruising event, in its 18th year, from Hampton VA to Tortola.  www.carib1500.com.

Cleaning up in Grenada

Port Louis Marina Developer Peter de Savary has embarked on a massive clean up campaign in Grenada at the lagoon site and estimates that over 3 million U.S. dollars has already been spent to remove a large of amount junk including metal scrap, sunken and abandoned boats and the remains of the old Grenada Yacht Services dock. "I have listened to many persons in Grenada who have told me stories of the former beauty of this place, we want to restore this beauty and then enhance it with our project, said de Savary.

T&T fishing team headed for Mexico Rolex in 2008

The Trinidad and Tobago team that just won the Grenada Spice Isle Billfishing Tournament will be going to Mexico to take part in the 2008 Rolex International Game Fishing Association’s "Champion Of Champions".  Team members  are Captain Alan Fitzwilliam and crew members Richard De Verteuil, Steven Valdez and Charles Ross, plus new crew member Danny Dasent. They claimed the top spot aboard Houdini, beating out thirty-seven of the best Caribbean teams in the process.

We want Olympic news

Headed for Beijing?  All at Sea invites the Caribbean’s Olympic hopefuls and Olympic Committee members to contact us for an upcoming series of articles this year and next.  Please send your contact information and news (photos are always welcome) to Editorial Director Chris Goodier at stcroixchris@gmail.com.

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