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Southeast News and Views for May 2012


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – There are signs at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, which took place in March along the waterfront on scenic Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach, that the much anticipated turnaround of the yachting industry has begun. Compared to 2011, attendance was up 12 percent cumulatively the first two days of the four-day show. Show Management, the company that produces the boat show, reported more boats on display in several categories this year, including a 35 percent increase in yachts over 100 feet and 29 percent more yachts in the 80 to 100 foot range.

Another criterion, exhibitor revenue, is up 5 percent, according to Show Management. This year’s show added 40 mega-yacht slips at Palm Harbor Marina at the show’s north end to accommodate growing interest in larger yachts. After two days, many exhibitors are reporting news of sales and the overall observation that confident and qualified buyers have returned in greater numbers than the past several years.

The yachting company with the largest display is HMY Yachts, which brought 59 boats to the Palm Beach show, the largest number of boats by one exhibitor in Show Management’s history of producing boat shows. Ranging in size from 31 to 162 feet, the boats in HMY’s display are priced from $150,000 to $36.9 million.

HMY Yachts, founded 33 years ago, does business globally from 10 strategically located waterfront facilities covering the southeastern seaboard from the Florida Keys to South Carolina.

“HMY’s presence in the show with 59 boats is a significant vote of confidence in the resurgence of the market and in the Palm Beach International Boat Show,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management. “I see it as an encouraging sign for the industry’s future.”



WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Six scenes from renowned artist Dr. Guy Harvey now grace the $2 Florida Lottery Scratch-off ticket. Unveiled during a ceremony March 22 at the Palm Beach Boat Show, the tickets feature popular fish species and a turtle from the Harvey Collector’s Series Artwork. Flanking Harvey are Secretary of the Florida Lottery, Cynthia O’Connell and Chuck Collins, Regional Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Winning tickets offer up to $30,000 cash plus there is a Second Chance Promotion for fishing trips, gift certificates and Guy Harvey merchandise. “This is a unique product to help Florida schools as well as the state’s precious natural resources.”


STUART, FL – Martin County Commissioners voted to dredge and remove 450,000 cubic yards of sand from the St. Lucie Inlet, a 50-percent increase from the original contract of 300,000 cubic yards. The $8.9 million dollar project is expected to keep the channel and impoundment basin navigable to mariners for up to three years. Norfolk Dredging of Chesapeake, Virginia, must complete the work, remove all its equipment and smooth the sand along the beach before the turtle nesting season begins on May 1.


SAVANNAH, GA — Savannah Tall Ships Challenge®, hosted by Savannah Riverfront and Visit Savannah, is recruiting volunteers for the five-day festival scheduled May 3-7. Guaranteed to be one of the most colorful and spectacular ticketed festivals our city has ever seen, the Savannah Tall Ships Challenge® will feature 14 domestic and international tall ships as well as performances, reenactments, pirates and more.

To help make this event both successful and a positive experience for all attendees, Savannah Tall Ships Challenge® is soliciting hundreds of volunteers. We invite you to donate your time and skills with us on this special occasion in Savannah’s maritime history.

Specialty volunteer opportunities include Docents, who will assist with ship tours and Ship Liaisons, who will work directly with the captain or first mate all five days of the festival, advising him/her of the day’s activities or helping crew members with personal emergencies. Savannah Tall Ships Challenge® also needs general volunteers for ticketing, crowd control, Kid’s Cove Adventure Area and more.

Click on the “Volunteers” link at SavannahTallShipsChallenge.com and download a volunteer form. You may scan the form and e-mail it to [email protected], or fax it to the Savannah Riverfront office at 912-234-4904. For more info, contact Kenda Williams at 429-409-8946 or e-mail her at [email protected]


The Flying Scot Midwinter Regatta was held Tuesday-Friday, March 20-23, at Southern Yacht Club, Lake Ponchartrain, New Orleans. However, the wind gods did not get the memo, so Tuesday and Wednesday were blown out, with winds gusting to 36 miles an hour, and Thursday brought the wrath of Thor (or Zeus) with almost continual thunder and lightning. Finally, by Friday, the fleet must have been punished enough. Moderate conditions enabled the crack race committee to run four great races. The regatta was won by half a boat length.

Between eating, drinking, gambling and sight seeing in the French Quarter, the sailors managed to enjoy themselves before the weather settled in. They finally had themselves a regatta.


The Florida Legislature has designated the schooner Western Union as the state’s official flagship. The schooner was built in 1939 and served for 35 years as a cable-laying vessel for the Western Union Telegraph Company, repairing and maintaining undersea telegraph cable throughout Key West, Cuba and the Caribbean. The 130′ long schooner is now a sailing museum, operating out of Key West, offering both dockside and sailing tours. Visit schoonerwesternunion.org for information.


FT. LAUDERDALE, FL.The highly acclaimed “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” Fishing University series for women (LLGF) announces a partnership with Fishhound.com, the world’s largest online fishing community and leading provider of real-time fishing reports.

LLGF, held in conjunction with support from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other partners, offers four weekend fishing universities per women in the following cities for 2012. More than 6,000 graduates have attended from 44 states, to learn and experience fishing for Florida’s inshore and offshore saltwater species. LLGF is preparing to launch an expansion of its local chapter program and will encourage its fans to participate with Fishhound.com.

“We’re excited to partner with one of the most rapidly growing online communities in the fishing industry,” commented LLGF Founder, Betty Bauman. “This will be an excellent combination of internet-based networking and face-to-face fishing training.”

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