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NEWS: Amelia Island Yacht Basin Marine Store Opens

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Amelia Island Yacht Basin at channel marker 13 on the ICW in Fernandina Beach, Fla., held a grand re-opening celebration in early November for their marine store and service center.

Responding to the needs of local boaters and anglers, this newly re-designed store caters to all recreational boaters. With the support of West Marine, it will carry marine products including oil, head deodorizer, environmentally friendly cleaning products, charts, fishing tackle, marine fasteners, polarized sunglasses, marine apparel and more.

“The new store at Amelia Island Yacht Basin will be a key stopping point along the intercoastal waterway for those looking to re-provision their boats as they head south to warmer waters,” said Marina General Manager Tom Moore. “Our goal is to take care of our customers from the moment they walk in that door. If we don’t have what they need on the shelf, we’ll get it delivered here the next day.”

That customer service is what boaters have come to expect from the full-service marina, which recently upgraded its Service Center with a new 50-ton travelift. The 50T BFM II will allow Moore and his crew to transport heavier boats and is configured to haul sailboats and fishing boats without having to rearrange rigging.

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Amelia Island Yacht Basin, a Suntex Marinas property, features 135 wet slips and more than 200 dry storage slips on a resort island.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission spent a week monitoring coastal rivers to determine the extent of damage the massive storm may have wreaked on fish populations. As it turns out, Hurricane Sandy, unlike the past four hurricanes to pass through, left North Carolina’s coastal fisheries relatively unscathed.

Because Hurricane Sandy only brushed North Carolina’s coast, flooding was minimal. Hurricanes like Isabel and, more recently, Irene caused extensive flooding of coastal rivers, which, in turn, resulted in dissolved oxygen crashes and extensive fish kills.

Effects from Hurricane Sandy were actually opposite those of Hurricane Irene, according to Jeremy McCargo, a NCWRC fisheries biologist who works in the Elizabeth City area. “The strong north and easterly winds from Sandy blew water out of the coastal rivers and swamps, dropping the water as much as four feet in some places,” McCargo said. “Water levels quickly rebounded with little to no flooding.”

No fish kills and normal dissolved oxygen levels have been reported in tributaries of the Albemarle Sound, the lower Roanoke, Tar, Neuse and Cape Fear rivers during and after the storm.

“Our coastal freshwater fisheries appeared to fare well during Hurricane Sandy,” McCargo said. “We have seen fish populations begin to recover from fish kills after Hurricane Irene, so another round of fish kills could have been devastating. We were very fortunate this time around.”

By Lisa Overing

The new owners of iconic Broward Shipyard in Dania Beach, Fla., are building two new steel yachts, their first in years. The keels were laid on Aug. 31 for these 135-foot explorers designed by Vripack. The six-stateroom vessels run about $20 million each.

The twin explorers, dubbed M/Y Challenger and Voyager, are intended to be mini-cruise ship yachts chartered by the cabin through World Sea Yachting.

The ships are being built in steel package kits, with steel and aluminum bought in Holland and cut and shaped in Europe, according to spokesperson Philippe Brandligt. Then the plates and components are shipped to the Florida yard for assembly.

“This is the way everyone in Europe builds,” says Brandligt. “The construction is cheaper there – in Europe, and assembly and installation is more economical in Fort Lauderdale.”

Broward will have independent subcontractors and suppliers for assembly. Launch is expected after November 2014. The shipyard also completes refit work on about 100 vessels each year and is deepening their channel in Dania Cut to 18 feet to accommodate larger vessels.

A new floating building houses the LYS spinoff Texas Power Yachts office.
A new floating building houses the LYS spinoff Texas Power Yachts office.


Little Yacht Sales, based in the Clear Lake area of Texas for more than 28 years, has recently spun off Texas Power Yachts to showcase its powerboat listings including the new line of Cutwater Boats downeast style inboard power cruisers.

The new powerboat division is housed in a floating office on Pier 3 at Waterford Harbor Marina, just down the docks from the LYS office located on Piers 6/7. A grand opening party was held in early November. The Texas Power Yachts office is headed by veteran broker Dan Hughes, who recently joined LYS. Hughes brings more than 29 years of experience as a broker and top salesman for Carver Yachts.

LYS, a brokerage for used yachts and a dealer for new Catalina Yachts sailing vessels, was founded by Kent Little. The company’s staff includes his father-in-law, Jerry Webb, based in Port Aransas, Texas, who specializes in sport fishing boats, and a broker north of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a Florida brokers license.


Trinity Yachts Gulfport, Miss., yard in September launched Lady Sura, its newest 164-foot tri-deck custom built superyacht with aluminum hull and superstructure.

Features include a full beam two-level master suite on the main deck, four guest staterooms located below, and one VIP guest stateroom on the first deck. The interior, designed by Patrick Knowles, is rich in Anigre, mahogany and varied burl finishes. The sky lounge is panoramic and the flybridge features a hot tub. A large tender garage aft provides ample storage for the tender, jet skis and water toys.

Lady Sura has a top speed of over 19 knots with a 4,000-nautical mile range at displacement speeds for extended cruising. Her draft of 7’8” enables access to shallow water harbors and ports.

The company was named a finalist in the 2012 International Design Awards presented by the International Superyacht Society. The peer-reviewed awards have celebrated the finest naval architecture, design, interiors, engineering and builds in the large yacht industry. The company was nominated in the Best Refit category for Cocktails (previously named Chevy Toy), a 2004 157-foot Trinity Yachts vessel that was refit at the company’s yard in Louisiana.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers changed the operating hours at locks on Florida’s Okeechobee Waterway as part of a national strategy to standardize lock operations. The five locks along the waterway now operate daily 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

“These changes are part of a civil works transformation process that will allow the Corps to deliver the best possible products and services to the nation,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander.

Canaveral Lock near Port Canaveral is not impacted by these changes. It will continue to operate 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily.


While many waterfront boating developments remain on hold during the prolonged recovery from the recession, a project on Galveston Bay in Texas is moving forward. David Weekley Homes held a grand opening in October for the Grand Cay Harbour community in Texas City. The event included a display of boats, kite surfing demos, fishing guides, giveaways and tours of the property.

With building permits in hand, work is finally underway in this 574-home subdivision on 250 acres where the Texas City Dike meets the tide gate at Moses Lake. Planned for nearly a decade, the project had stalled out when developer Grand Cay Harbour Ltd. filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010. Now owned by Galveston Peninsula Partners, the development features canal homesites with docks and plans to include a marina accommodating boats up to 50 feet.


Old Port Cove Marina expects to introduce a new slate of amenities by the end of this year.
Old Port Cove Marina expects to introduce a new slate of amenities by the end of this year.


Visitors to Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach, Fla., at ICW channel marker 27 will find a slate of new amenities including full restaurant and bar service; an express café with pizza, sandwiches, wings and more; vessel provisioning with complimentary delivery to the boat; a facility for meetings, banquets and wedding receptions; a new marina office; and a boater’s building featuring a fitness center, lounge with TV, business center, new laundry facilities and restrooms with showers and private dressing areas. Marina personnel hope to have the new facilities open by the middle of December.

The designated Clean Marina has been open since 1973 and can accommodate 200 vessels from 20’ to 200’ on floating hardwood docks.


State law now requires all Texas boaters born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, and operating personal watercraft, motor vessels with 15 hp or more, or wind-powered vessels longer than 14 feet, to have mandatory boater safety education. The BoatUS Foundation offers Lone Star State boaters a no-cost online boating safety course approved by Texas Parks and Wildlife and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

Boaters who pass the online course can print their own Certificate of Completion and then the state will automatically send the official Boater Education Card to their homes. This card must be kept within a boater’s possession when boating along with photo identification. While all boaters born before Sept. 1, 1993, are exempt from required certification, passing the course could earn a discount on a boat’s insurance policy.

“The course is loaded with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. “It includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent and extinguish fires aboard your boat, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out.”

To take the course, go to www.BoatUS.org.


Former All At Sea Southeast editor Andy Schell has launched a podcast on iTunes in which he and his friend Ryan Briggs interview “people who love their lives and live their dreams.” Subjects of the weekly hour-long episodes include sailors, adventurers, restauranteurs, athletes, authors and anyone else making a living by pursuing their passion. Andy and Ryan produce the podcast themselves talking to people who inspire them.

“We’ve got three hours of content with solo sailor Matt Rutherford, recently famous for his Solo the Americas voyage, and have interviews scheduled with ex-Volvo Ocean Race sailors Magnus Olsson (ex-Ericsson 3) and Andreas Hanakamp (ex-Team Russia), plus many more to come,” Schell said.

New episodes can be downloaded free to an iPod or iPhone.


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