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Southeast Boating News for November

The Riviera Sport Yacht Series II offers plenty of elegant comfort. Courtesy of Riviera
The Riviera Sport Yacht Series II offers plenty of elegant comfort. Courtesy of Riviera

Riviera, Australia’s largest luxury boat builder, expanded its American dealer network with the appointment of Sovereign Marine Group in Florida.

“My own personal experiences in running and using the Riviera boats that I have owned and sold over the years attracted me to the brand, and I am pleased to be part of the Riviera family,” said Sovereign President Greg Terraglio, who recently visited Riviera’s 14-hectare, state-of-the-art Coomera, Queensland facility. “The American people will be amazed with the new products and new technologies of all Riviera product…The new models should take the United States to a new level of yachting. Their sleek design and the comforts they provide are above what I have currently seen and I look forward to representing Riviera in Pompano Beach and Jacksonville.”

Sovereign, founded in 2001, recently expanded to a full-service marine center with yacht brokerage, storage for up to 40 vessels, certified marine mechanics, insurance, warranty, financing, canopy shop and electronics at its two locations on Monterey Road and Flagler Avenue in Stuart, Fla.

Fort Myers, Fla.-based Diversified Yacht Services Inc. took delivery of a new 150-ton CII mobile boat hoist and a TM 60 transporter in May. The two machines were critical elements of a major business shift for the nearly 20-year-old yacht service business. Until recently, DYS was strictly a mobile business. Technicians traveled throughout the region by boat to provide dockside service to clients.

“Our partners did the haulout, and we did the service,” said DYS Chief Operating Officer Ryan Levi, who purchased the business in 2007. “We were a maintenance company without a home. Our offices were landlocked.”

Levi and his team realized they needed a permanent home with water access.

The company acquired its property at 751 Fisherman’s Wharf in Fort Myers Beach. The $25 million development became fully operational this summer. While the business’ 11 service trucks still provide dockside services, DYS is now able to do service work at its waterfront location.

“We have a 50,000-square-foot air-conditioned hangar, which is hurricane-resistant up to 150 miles per hour,” Levi said.

Marine Travelift’s North American sales manager Jason Johnson and his team worked with DYS to identify and meet the company’s needs. He said the 150 CII’s all-wheel electronic steering allows the eight-wheeled machine to “crab walk” sideways in the yard, and in carousel mode, the machine can rotate on its own axis. “It allows DYS to place different-sized boats in formerly restricted space throughout their yard,” Johnson said.

Clean waterways are essential to safe and fun boating. Each year thousands of individuals help by participating in waterway cleanups around the world, collecting millions of pounds of trash and debris. Boaters and marine-based businesses are especially well equipped to get to locations that can otherwise be difficult to reach. Organizing a cleanup has become just become easier.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water’s new “Guide to Waterway Cleanups” covers everything you should do before, during and after your cleanup event, including information on recruiting volunteers, promoting your event, getting donations and educational materials on the hazards of marine debris. Visit BoatUS.com/ Foundation/Cleanup to download the guide.

To learn about existing events in your area, contact the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup at signuptocleanup.org.

Ron Hoover Marine expanded onto Galveston Island recently with the opening of its seventh location. The family-owned company celebrated with a grand opening in early October.

Ron Hoover has been selling boats since 1986 and currently offers a large selection of bay boats, pontoon boats, runabouts, sport boats and offshore vessels, as well as recreational vehicles at several locations. In addition to a full sales staff, the island location includes a service bay and marine store.


The Sarasota Yacht & Ship team gathers aboard a Vicem 57. Courtesy of Sarastota Yacht & Ship
The Sarasota Yacht & Ship team gathers aboard a Vicem 57. Courtesy of Sarastota Yacht & Ship

Vicem Yachts, Turkish builders of luxury classic motor yachts and mega yachts, has named Sarasota Yacht & Ship the official distributor for the Americas. “We are very excited about the opportunities presented by this appointment and expanding our role with Vicem Yachts,” said Gary Smith, senior partner at the brokerage. “The quality, fit, and finish work of a Vicem Yacht is second to none as the yachts are head-turners in every marina. We have come to learn that Vicem offers the newest technologies integrated and combined with old-world craftsmanship to produce outstanding yachts.”

The 26-year-old brokerage has offices in three locations in Sarasota, Fla.


A Top Gun Unlimited participates in the Cigarette Boat run during the rendezvous. Photo by Craig Spindel
A Top Gun Unlimited participates in the Cigarette Boat run during the rendezvous. Photo by Craig Spindel

Cigarette Racing Team chose Destin, Fla., for its first-ever Cigarette Rendezvous in September. The company, which has built performance boats in South Florida since 1969, treated guests to cocktail parties, dinners, lunch at Legendary Marine’s Yacht Club and breakfasts at the Emerald Grand Hotel. Several Cigarette clients with homes in the area assisted in party locations, water taxi services, docking and even in creating GPS chips showing the routes for area attractions and the best boating waters.

Approximately 20 boats joined in the fun and traveled from as far as California to explore the Emerald Coast. The camaraderie was contagious, as was much boat envy as Cigarettes ranged from vintage 38 Top Guns to the newest 50-foot Marauder and 42-foot Huntress performance center console. Several 39 Top Fish center consoles, Cigarette’s first foray into the outboard market, made the trip. A new 42X with twin 1350 Mercury Racing engines created a buzz among the lucky fans who jumped on for a ride. The assortment of boats and people and the casual elegance of the event created a special bond for the Cigarette clients.

The Monroe County Tourist Development Council has provided funding to support the Key West World Championships Super Boat Racing through 2013. The weeklong powerboat race held in Key West, Fla., every November is recognized as the marquee event for speedboat offshore racing, attracting racers, celebrities, media and fans from around the world.

The Key West World Championships is always a sell-out event and hotel room vacancies are nowhere to be found in Key West and the lower keys. This year’s even kicks off Nov. 4-6 with the opening of a display of boats in Race Village and racer registration.  Three races per day will be held Nov. 7, 9 and 11. Visit superboat.com for a complete schedule.


An artist’s rendering of the new Dauntless boat. Courtesy of Dauntless Yachts
An artist’s rendering of the new Dauntless boat. Courtesy of Dauntless Yachts

Dauntless Yachts, based in Panama City, Fla., expects to launch the company’s first hull this month. Naval architect Jon Overing designed the 75-foot explorer yacht for fuel economy. Built of infused vinylester resin in Istanbul, Turkey, the vessel is expected to have a cruising range of more than 4,000 miles when its 4,000-gallon tanks are topped up. The three decks include four staterooms, a separate crew quarters, laundry facilities, deep-freeze units, extensive dry goods storage, and plenty of space for auxiliary machinery and spare parts, enabling the vessel to cruise for months in remote locales without re-provisioning.

In addition to the 75-foot model, the company also offers an 85-foot version. Both displacement hull models have an operating draft under six feet for a bluewater vessel that can also cruise shoal areas like the Bahamas.

The company compares the Dauntless to a small ship outfitted with the luxuries of a megayacht. The first hull has been sold.



Boaters making lengthy journeys may find themselves targets of cash-hungry states if they stay too long, making them subject to various taxes. The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) has online state tax information at www.BoatUS.com/gov/states to help keep boaters on the right side of the law and out of hot water with the taxman.

Normally, a recreational boat must be registered in the state where it is principally used, and any sales and use taxes are paid to that state. A problem arises when the boat leaves this principal-use state and enters a new one for a prolonged visit, extended cruise or lengthy repairs. This could include “snowbirds” cruising south each winter in search of warmer waters.

Boaters may be subject to state taxes when they remain in one location for a consecutive number of days, or over-stay their visit for a certain number of aggregate days per year. This “grace period” is generally 60 to 90 days. In the past, BoatUS has heard of tax authorities walking the docks, inspecting marina records and aggressively enforcing tax codes.

“Boaters should keep records such as log entries, marina and fuel receipts or repair contracts while traveling. These documents are critical for boaters to keep, and are often the only way to fight an unjust tax bill,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich.

The grace periods are 90 days in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Texas, but just 60 days in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

According to BoatUS, sales and use tax rates in the Southeast are: 2 percent with a $2,000 maximum in Virginia, 2 percent in Georgia, 3 percent with a $1,500 maximum in North Carolina, 4 percent in Georgia and Louisiana, 5 percent with a $300 maximum in South Carolina, 6 percent with an $18,000 cap in Florida (with an exemption for boats brought to the state for repairs), 6.25 percent in Texas, and a whopping 7 percent in Mississippi.

Some might look at the $300 maximum South Carolina tax as a cruising fee akin to what boaters are required to pay when entering the Bahamas.

When initiated, the Bahamas fee was $150 for a boat up to 35 feet and $300 for boats 35 feet and longer. This year, the $300 fee applies to boats 30 feet and larger. It is good for 12 months and covers fishing permits.

As thousands of snowbirds of the recreational boating variety migrate south via the Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk, Va., to Miami, many will find areas of severe shoaling. Following the course isn’t easy, with groundings and delays getting more common each year.

Plotting a course to ensure the future of this historic waterway is the focus of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association’s 13th annual conference Nov. 13-14 at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, S.C. “Keep America’s Promise: Restore the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway” is this year’s theme.

More information and conference registration is available at www.atlanticintracoastal.org/2012-annual-conference.

The Seven Seas Cruising Association will hold their 37th Annual Melbourne Gam Dec. 7-9 at the Eau Gallie Civic Center along the Intracoastal Waterway. The event includes cocktail parties, seminars, a nautical flea market and the SSCA Annual Meeting. Jimmy Cornell, joined by his daughter Doina Cornell, will be the guest speaker. Other presenters are Lee Chesneau, Chris Parker, Pam Wall and Kathy Parsons.

A gam is a social visit or friendly interchange, especially between sailors or seafarers. The Melbourne Gam attracts many cruisers making their way south for the season.

Register at www.ssca.org by Nov. 28 for a discount. There is plenty of space to anchor with a free dinghy dock.  If you prefer dockage, Waterline Marina has a special rate of $1 per foot per night. For land cruisers, SSCA has secured a special rate at the Crowne Plaza Beachfront for the weekend.


One comment

  1. Hi Kevin, I decided to try finding you, and voila!  There you are.  you are married and have a baby daughter!  Congratulations.  I’m sure you remember your old cook Leslie?  lol.  How is your mom?  Hope you see this.  Would love to visit and talk old times.

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