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Southeast News: NC Christens New Outer Banks Ferry

North Carolina adds another ferry to the Outer Banks run. Photo by Barbara Nazaruk
North Carolina adds another ferry to the Outer Banks run. Photo by Barbara Nazaruk

North Carolina Christens New Outer Banks Ferry
By Kathy Bohanan Enzerink
Sea Level, a new 220-foot long Sound Class outer banks ferry was named and christened at a ceremony held May 11 at the state shipyard in Manns Harbor, joining sister ship Swan Quarter, placed into service last November. Both motor vessels can carry 50 vehicles and 300 passengers, and will run from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island to Ocracoke on the Outer Banks, according to the State Department of Transportation.

“This new (outer banks) ferry is an impressive addition to the Ferry Division’s fleet and will be an ambassador for the great state of North Carolina,” said State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti.

Built by the Orange Shipbuilding Company in Orange, Texas, the new ferries feature 13-passenger elevators, move 25 percent faster than the existing five Sound Class ferries in the fleet and meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for diesel emissions.

Ferry transportation began in the mid-1920s and today the NC Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division includes seven routes, 21 ferries and employs more than 400 workers. Each year, North Carolina ferries transport more than one million vehicles and 2.5 million passengers across five separate bodies of water – the Currituck and Pamlico sounds and the Cape Fear, Neuse and Pamlico rivers.

Bertram Yacht Relocates to Merritt Island, Florida
Bertram Yacht and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast announced in May that the luxury sport-fishing boat manufacturer will begin relocating this summer from Miami to Merritt Island. The new manufacturing and marina facility is on a 37-acre site 45 miles from the Orlando airport and close to the ocean, a location well-suited for product testing, distribution and deliveries throughout Florida and the Eastern Seaboard.

While Bertram will relocate key management and production employees to the new facility, the plant also will bring more than 220 jobs to the region, good news for a laid-off skilled labor force once employed in the dwindling aerospace industry.

“We at Bertram Yacht deeply value our 50 years of history and culture in the state of Florida and are enthusiastic to remain in the state,” said Alton Herndon, President of Bertram Yacht, a Ferretti Group brand. The company will complete the current models in production through the summer and begin relocating key models and production to the new facility this fall in preparation to launch the first Merritt Island-built models in early 2013.

Superyacht Industry Lures Business from Abroad
By Rob Lucey
The U.S. Superyacht Association, a group of shipyards and service providers promoting the superyacht industry in the United States, has launched a campaign to invite more of the opulent vessels to visit American shores. The group’s “Come Sea U.S. with Your Superyacht” advertisement first appeared in the 2012 French Med Yacht Insider’s Guide.

The ad features post card views of the Golden Gate Bridge, a Maine lighthouse and shiny shipyards alongside text that says, “The U.S. is proud to have some of the best superyacht builders in the world and is home to world-class refit and repair facilities with some of the industry’s most talented craftsmen standing by to assist you. Your extended cruising options are virtually unlimited and offer breathtaking scenery and safe harbors that promise fun and adventure … making the United States the ultimate superyacht destination.”

Some 5,000 copies of the guide are distributed through major marinas, shipyards and yacht clubs and during boat shows and racing events in the French Mediterranean region. Charlie Petosa, association board member and marketing chair, said the ad is the first step in a larger campaign to include more ads and a website.

ZRD Offers Enhanced Showroom and Seminar Series
ZRD, LLC has expanded and now offers a dedicated showroom in Titusville, FL that enables a hands-on, detailed discussion for customers to review possible solutions, enabling correctly done upgrades or problem solving.

The company conducts free, bi-annual Detailed Electrical Seminars, usually held in January and July, in a convenient location.  The seminar series, developed to educate the average boater on a boat’s electrical system design, covers how to design (or redesign as needed) and implement a vessel’s electrical and related systems. John Zeitlin, President of ZRD, has over 47 years of sailing and aviation experience.

Pre-registration is required for the free seminar. Boaters desiring a one-on-one solution discussion can email ([email protected]) to arrange an appointment time. www.zrd.com.

Superyacht Society Seeks 2012 Award Nominations
The non-profit International Superyacht Society (ISS) has announced that 2012 nominations from the yachting industry and yachting public for its annual Awards of Distinction are now open. Awards are made for leadership, excellence in innovation and stewardship of marine ecosystems, for distinguished crew and for the business person of the year. All will be presented during a gala held on October 25, 2012 on the opening night of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. A nomination form is available on the ISS website: www.superyachtsociety.org.

Amelia Island Yacht Basin Buys a Dredge
General Manager Tom Moore sent us a photo of the new IMS 4010 Hydraulic Dredge Amelia Island Yacht Basin has purchased. The Florida marina’s plan is to maintain its waterway depth on an annual basis, clear of shoaling that Moore points out is so common in the Intracoastal waters of South Georgia and North Florida.

“We anticipate this immediate project will be concentrated on the entrance channel and should take a couple of months to complete; then our attention will move and focus on the entire marina, and dredge it to a depth of six feet at MLW,” Moore said. “Our final goal is to have dredged the entire marina and the entrance channel to a depth of six feet at MLW.” www.aiyb.net

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