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Southeast News and Views from August 2012

Southeast News and Views



HOUSTON, TX: Organizers forecast increased crowds at the 25th annual Houston Summer Boat Show June 20-24 at Reliant Center. The event featured an impressive display of fishing boats, kayaks, ski and wakeboarding boats, RVs and the Bass Tub, where live fishing demonstrations took place. Houston Boat Show President Ken Lovell anticipated a rise in consumer confidence from last year when Texas was plagued by a severe drought.

“The boating industry has picked back up with a significant increase in sales compared to this time last year,” he said. “The vast majority of lakes and other waterways are back up at their normal levels. It’s really a dramatic turnaround, and we are seeing so much interest from both seasoned and first time boaters.”

Lovell noted that the Houston area boaters are fortunate to be close to bodies of water that were not as affected by the drought, like the Gulf, Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. “The Houston area boating industry was hit hard by the drought, but not as hard as areas farther away from the coast,” he said.



GALVESTON, TX: Boaters will have a great opportunity to explore the refurbished Galveston Yacht Basin (Galveston Yacht Basin Rises from the Ashes) Oct. 12-14 during the inaugural Texas Coast Boat and Outdoor Show. The event is billed as a festive celebration of the restoration of the island landmark. It will feature more than 100 boats in the water, with many ready to demo right from the dock, plus a huge onshore exhibition of some of today’s finest watercraft, motor homes, fishing tackle, marine accessories, gadgets and water toys alongside all things outdoor.

The event will also include the action packed National Tri-Hull Powerboat Championship, taking place in the Galveston ship channel in full view of attendees, plus a Mardi Gras style street parade on Saturday morning along the Seawall featuring some of the fastest offshore powerboats in the USA, most of which will be seen later in the day crossing a poker run finish line at the show. A redfish tournament weigh-in, live bands on stage, food and beverages will complete this three days of fun in the sun in the great City of Galveston.

The event organizers are also working with the Galveston Historical Society to create a black tie fund raising opportunity at the Galveston Yacht Club to assist with the repairs aboard the 1877 barque Elissa, the official Tall Ship of Texas.

GYB has contracted with Peter Bryant, organizer of the annual Southwest International In-Water Boat Show on Houston’s Clear Lake, to produce the event. The parties have an agreement to produce the new show for five years if all goes well.

Visit texascoastboatshow.com for details as the event approaches.



SEABROOK, TX: Lakewood Yacht Club Race Committee Chairman Gerhard Wittich has announced that the 2012 Bay Cup II will be held on Aug. 11. This is the second in a series where Bay Cup I was held last March. Wittich explained that there will be overall class winners for the Bay Cup Series which will be presented at the awards ceremony the night of the race in Lakewood Yacht Club’s lounge.

The race is open to the public with a $70 registration fee. Racers can register on line at Lakewood’s website at  lakewoodyachtclub.com under the “racing” button.

“Bay Cup II will feature long distance racing in Galveston and Trinity Bays,” related Wittich, “with multiple legs for a total of about 5-25 nautical miles, depending upon wind conditions.  This should be a navigational challenge for the racers as well.”

Classes include PHRF Spinnaker, PHRF Non-Spinnaker, Cruising Spinnaker, Classic Canvas, Multihull, SOS, and others.

There will be a Saturday night pool party with dinner and entertainment. The awards that night will be for the winners of Bay Cup II as well as the 2012 Bay Cup Series.

Wittich wanted to thank the sponsors of Bay Cup II, including Sea Lake Yacht Sales and Bay Access, Inc., which is a not-for-profit organization fostering amateur sailing.

Racers are encouraged to attend the Bay Cup II skippers meeting which will be held at Lakewood Yacht Club’s ballroom, 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, TX on Fri., Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.

For further information, please contact Marcy Fryday at 281-474-2511.




Story and photo by Kathy Bohanan Enzerink
PORTSMOUTH, VA: Jonathan Swift, born in 1667, is quoted as having said, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

In many states, oyster shells are collected and recycled back into the water as bases for new oyster beds. At Portsmouth Boating Center, just off the ICW at mile marker 00 on Scott’s Creek, oyster shells are put into service to purify the run-off water from pressure washing bottom paint.

While pressure washing a hull, the contaminated water is collected in a perimeter drain then sent to a bed of oyster shells where it cycles continually until it is clean enough to return to the creek.

According to the Boating Center dock master, it was hit or miss finding the right material to use as a filter until a local fisherman suggested using oyster shells. The catch basin and purification system is in its fourth year of successful operation.

Other bottom paint wash water recycling systems include collecting solids in a filter cloth or hay bales; or  using a ‘closed-loop’ system where the contaminated water is pumped into a settling tank, chemically treated to coagulate the residual solids, then filtered several times before being reused to wash more boats. Alternative disposal methods include transporting the waste water to an approved off-site facility and treating the water before discharging to a municipal sewer.

Eco-friendly bottom paints, now available from several manufacturers, use little or no copper in their formulation unlike the traditional hard and ablative anti-fouling bottom paints, which release toxic biocides to keep marine organisms, weeds and slime from attaching to the boat.

A truckload of oyster shells sits off to the side of the property, waiting to make their way to the filtering process.

“I think we have enough oyster shells to last us 10 years,” the dockmaster at Portsmouth said.


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