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Caribbean News – Apr 08

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Caribbean Organizations Eligible for new Interlux Grant Competition

Great opportunity to raise funds for your junior sailing group, yacht club, scout troop: Interlux has announced that it will award eight grants (from $5,000 to $25,000 each totaling $60,000 in all) at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2009. The money will go to organizations to create sustainable waterfront environmental improvements in their communities.  Apply by November 5, 2008. Contact Douglas Bernon, PhD, at The Waterfront Challenge. Phone: (401) 855-2351.

Caribbean Marine Surveyors granted MECAL authority

Tortola’s Caribbean Marine Surveyors Ltd reports that the Professional Standards Committee of MECAL (Marine Engineering Certifying Authority, Ltd.) has granted them authority to carry out MCA Code of Practice as examiners for Small Commercial Vessels and Workboats. “This will make it easier for charter boats to achieve MCA Certification in order to comply with BVI laws,” said a company representative.  For information, Tel: 1284-494-2091

Visiting Prime Ministers

St. Lucia’s Honourable Prime Minister Stephenson King visited the Marina at Marigot Bay in February for a firsthand look.  While there, he was welcomed on board a visiting 208 ft motor yacht, Polar Star, for a tour by Captain Charles DuGas-Standish. It was a first visit to St. Lucia for the megayacht—which can be chartered at US $450,000 per week plus expenses.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende visited Curacao in February toured the Renaissance hotel project; while there, he discussed with officials the future of the Curacao harbor, regulations for visiting yachts, and the marinas that should be built there.

Mercury MerCruiser Introduces Axius

Mercury MerCruiser officially introduced Axius this winter, a control and navigation system for twin sterndrive application with independently articulating MerCruiser® Bravo Three® sterndrives. The system allows 360 degrees of movement and is controlled by a joystick that responds to both the direction and pressure applied for proportional control from idle to speeds up to 7 knots. A small movement of the joystick equals a small increase in thrust, providing much more control than systems which have only two speeds, low and high. “This product overcomes the greatest challenge for every boater – close-quarter maneuvering,” said Kevin Grodzki, president of Mercury MerCruiser.

Port Antonio, Jamaica Hosting Round the World Racers

Dale Westin sent us word that the Errol Flynn Marina will be buzzing May 19 when the 10 participants in the Clipper ‘Round the World Race start rolling in for R & R after their leg here from Panama and prior to heading for New York—the only stopover in the Caribbean. Ten 68-foot yachts are entered, including a Jamaica entry.  For complete details on the progress of the race see www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Old Port Cove Marina Renovations on Schedule,

Heading north for the summer?  Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach, Florida completed $7 million in renovations to its North Marina in November of 2007 and will begin work on the South basin on May 1, 2008.  The renovations will result in a marina two-and-a-half times larger than the North Marina and will accommodate vessels from 45’ to 190’ in length.  This re-construction includes replacement of all docks, piers and pilings with a new state-of-the-art hard wood decked floating dock system.

Northern Lights acquires Rich Beers Marine, Inc.

Northern Lights, a major manufacturer of marine generator sets and propulsion engines, announced in February the acquisition of Ft. Lauderdale-based Rich Beers Marine, Inc. Rich Beers Marine has manufactured the Technicold brand of air conditioning and refrigeration systems since 1981. Northern Lights, which was founded in Alaska and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, distributes to over 40 countries.

Bahamas the Latest to Ratify Treaty:  TBT Ban is Effective September 2008

Interlux updated All at Sea with news that, with the Bahamas now on board, twenty-seven countries have ratified the international treaty to ban the presence of Tributyltin (TBT) in paint on boat hulls as of September 17, 2008. The US and Canada are expected to follow in the near future.  The International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Treaty), was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in October 2001 with the provision it would go into effect one year after ratification by 25 member countries with 25% of the world’s tonnage. On September 17, 2007, that number was reached when Panama ratified the treaty. For more on alternative antifouling coatings: www.yachtpaint.com.

IGY to Operate Eco-marina for New Turks & Caicos Yacht Club

Opening this spring, a 110-slip megayacht marina is part of the new Nikki Beach Resort & Spa on the northeast tip of the island of Providenciales. Island Global Yachting, which owns a number of Caribbean marinas, will operate the new property.  It will accommodate vessels up to 200 feet and be one of the world’s first eco-marinas.  In addition to exceeding all 22 Guidance Notes to the Blue Flag Marina Criteria (www.blueflag.org/Criteria/Marinas), an eco-marina must be designed, built, maintained and operated to be protective of the ecology beneath its waters.

Fitness Challenge Underway at GMT

Global Marine Travel is a company that works with airlines to pare costs of one way fares for maritime clients.  Now employees are attempting to pare down personal bulk, too, with a voluntary company “16-week Fitness Challenge” netting cash prizes for the top three winners.  To make the competition more interesting, Andrew Cosgreave of Merrill Stevens join in with his own Fitness Challenge with 15 of his colleagues.  Competition has been fierce, with each company tempting the other with high fat food deliveries.  The winning company will be taken to lunch at the restaurant of their choice.


Brisk winds and boatloads of competition set the scene at the 15th annual St. Croix International Regatta, the kick-off event for the 2008 Cape Air Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (C.O.R.T.) Series. “We had about 15 boats sign up for C.O.R.T. in St. Croix,” says Angel Ayala, C.O.R.T. organizer.  “Up to another five boats will be signing aboard in Culebra. Enthusiasm is running strong.” Leaders in each class after the first leg were:  Racing Spinnaker 2, Devil 3, Chris Stanton, St. Croix, USVI; Racer Cruiser, Lazy Dog, Sergio Sagramoso, Puerto Rico; Jib & Main, Mary Ellen, Howard Silverman, St. Croix, USVI; IC-24 Orion, Fraito Lugo, Puerto Rico. The 2008 Cape Air C.O.R.T. Series continued with the Culebra Heineken International Regatta in March, and will conclude with the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival April 4 to 6.

Save the date:  Marsh Harbour Classic, April 11 – 14, 2008

The second leg of the Redbone @ Large Bahamas Celebrity Bonefish Series is the Marsh Harbour Classic at Abaco, Bahamas this month. Other events in the Series include the Deep Water Cay Spring Bonefish Classic held Feb. 8-11 on Grand Bahama Island; the Exuma Classic, May 16-19 at Great Exuma; and the Deep Water Cay Fall Bonefish Classic, Nov. 21-24 at Grand Bahama Island.  Approximately 30 Redbone Celebrity tournaments are held each year, with all proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). Redbone events raised $1,568,000 in 2007 alone, and have raised more than $11 million in 20 years.

Save the Date:  Bitter End Yacht Club announces Bucket Regatta April 25 – 27, 2008

BEYC on Virgin Gorda, BVI will host its 4th Annual Bucket Regatta this month in conjunction with the Bye Bye BVI Rendezvous Regatta open to sailing yachts 65 feet and up. Past participants have included Mike Slade’s Leopard and Swan 110 Song of the Seas, as well as numerous Farr 65s, Farr 80s, and previous Whitbread and Volvo Round the World race boats.  This year the event is sponsored by Dockwise Yacht Transport and Meridian Yacht Charters.    www.beyc.com

Save the Date: 45th Annual Port Antonio Marlin Tournament October 4 to 11, 2008

More than 40 yachts are expected to participate in the 45th Annual Port Antonio (Jamaica) International Marlin Tournament according to a recent announcement by the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association Ltd., event organizer. The number of participating yachts has been steadily growing since 2001 when only 17 boats joined the tournament. Forty fishing yachts attended in 2007.  Full details:  email [email protected] or [email protected]

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