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Elissa is welcomed back from the shipyard by a bagpiper. Photo by Jamie White, Director of the Texas Seaport Museum
Elissa is welcomed back from the shipyard by a bagpiper. Photo by Jamie White, Director of the Texas Seaport Museum

NEWS – Tall Ship Elissa Back in Berth

Tall Ship Elissa Back in Berth
Marking the end of more than four months in dry dock at Texas City’s Bollinger Shipyard, the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa returned to her berth at the Galveston Historical Foundation’s Texas Seaport Museum on Jan. 26. The yard repaired electrolytic corrosion to the iron hull stemming from Hurricane Ike in 2008.

“This is an important day in the history of Elissa,” said GHF Executive Director Dwayne Jones. “She returns to her berth in Galveston with a restored hull and protective coatings to prevent another occurrence of corrosion. … While one phase of her work is completed, we have more to do in the coming months while in her berth.”

Ongoing work will include replacing the fir decking and a new suit of sails on the three-masted, square-rigged barque.

GHF purchased the ship from a scrap yard in Piraeus Harbor, Greece, and brought it to Galveston to begin restoration work in 1978. By 1982, GHF staff and volunteers completed restoration and transformed this rare, historic vessel into a floating museum. Today, Elissa is one of only three ships of her kind in the world to still actively sail and welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually. She also serves as the Official Tall Ship of Texas, a National Historic Landmark and a symbol of the Gulf Coast’s historic beginnings as a seaport and active waterfront.

In-Water Boat Show Re-Launched in S.C.

The South Carolina Marine Association is reviving the SC In-Water Boat Show. The new show will be held April 12-14 on Daniel Island. It will be showcasing a variety of watercraft and outdoor activities related to the waterways and recreational boating industry of South Carolina.

The event is intended to celebrate the boating lifestyle in addition to offering education on marine safety, the environment, and the economic development of boating in South Carolina. The SC In-Water Boat show supports the SC Marine Association, the trade association representing the recreational boaters and marine businesses in the state. (scinwaterboatshow.com)

This month, boat shows begin with the 11th annual Savannah Boat and Outdoor Show March 1-3 in the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Appearing this year will be alligator hunters R.J. Milinere and his son Jay Paul from Louisiana. (savannahboatandoutdoorshow.com)

Up the coast, hunting enthusiasts will turn out for the Winyah Bay Heritage Festival in Georgetown, S.C., March 2-3. (winyahbayfestival.org)

With the Superbowl out of the way, the boats can move into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the New Orleans Boat Show March 7-10.

The Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, Fla., will host the 24th annual Fort Myers Spring Boat Show March 7-10, organized by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. (fortmyersboatshow.com)

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum will be the setting for the Biloxi Boat & RV Show March 8-10. (gulfcoastshows.com)

For in-water action, the Panama City Yacht & Boat Show will fill up the downtown Panama City Marina March 15-17. Promoters sold out of boat and brokerage space in October. (pcboatshow.com)

The fifth annual South West International Boat Show returns to South Shore Harbour Marina in Houston March 21-24 with more than 400 boats making it the largest in-water show in Texas. The show features hourly seminars and demo rides with Yamaha pro angler Capt. George Mitchell aboard a 36-foot Yellowfin. (southwestinternationalboatshow.com)

At the same time, more in-water spectacles can be found at the 28th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show, featuring more than $350 million worth of boats from eight-foot inflatables to 150-foot superyachts. (showmanagement.com)

Dawson Named Florida Broker of the Year

Camper & Nicholsons charter broker Barbara Dawson was voted Broker of the Year by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.

Dawson has been a charter broker for more than two decades, having joined Camper & Nicholsons almost 19 years ago from her own successful company, New Horizon Charters. She was raised in Virginia where she developed a love for everything to do with the sea. Sailing became more than a passing interest, and it was a natural progression for her to join the yachting industry.

Dawson has been on the board of the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association for the past three years, and chairs its Charter Committee. She also sits on the board of the American Yacht Charter Association, and is an associate member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association. She has travelled extensively, exploring the best yachting destinations, supplying her with top insider tips to relay back to her clients.

Hatteras, Cabo Brands on Market

Brunswick Corporation has announced that it is seeking a buyer for its Hatteras and Cabo brands of motoryachts and sportfishing boats based out of New Bern, N.C. “This action reflects our decision to exit the sportfishing convertible category and to concentrate our resources in the yacht segment on our remaining brands, Sea Ray and Meridian Yachts,” said Dustan E. McCoy, chairman and CEO of the Illinois-based Brunswick. “When completed, this action will also contribute to our goal of a break-even or better boat segment in 2013, even if the larger sterndrive/inboard fiberglass markets do not improve.”

McCoy said the company will attempt to complete the sale “in an expeditious manner” while maintaining ongoing operations. Brunswick purchased Hatteras Yachts in 2001 and Cabo in 2006.

Since announcing the sales effort, more than 100 workers have been laid off in New Bern, bringing the workforce below 400 – down from a peak of 1,400.

Everglades Challenge Draws Hard Core

The toughest of small boat enthusiasts will compete in the annual Everglades Challenge starting on March 2. Participants in six classes have eight days to sail or paddle their way through the roughly 300-nautical-mile expedition course from Fort Desote in Tampa Bay, through the shallow waters of Everglades National Park, and down to Key Largo. The event is organized by a group of boating adventurers who call themselves WaterTribe. Visit watertribe.org for details of that race and other events including the 100-mile North Carolina Challenge.

Traffic pauses during construction work on the Gilmerton Bridge over the Elizabeth River segment of the ICW in Virginia. Photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation
Traffic pauses during construction work on the Gilmerton Bridge over the Elizabeth River segment of the ICW in Virginia. Photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation

ICW Bridge Projects Continue

The Virginia Department of Transportation announced completion of the new Gilmerton Bridge at Mile 5.8 of the Intracoastal Waterway outside of Chesapeake, Va., in mid-January. The new lift bridge has a vertical clearance of up to 135 feet when raised and 35 feet when down.

In February, McLean Contracting Company was to begin work on a three-year project to replace Steel Bridge, a lift bridge across the southern branch of the Elizabeth River at ICW mile 8.8. Tugboats working on the project will monitor VHF channel 13.

Squadrons Receive Service Awards

At the US Power Squadrons annual meeting held in Jacksonville, Fla., in January, five squadrons and one district were honored with Civic Service Awards. Sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the awards are given in recognition of exceptional service and public boating safety education and service to the boating community.

“Power Squadron members are keen boaters with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share,” said BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner, who presented the awards. “These volunteers spend their own time in the evenings to teach boating safety classes and give up their weekends to offer free vessel safety checks that keep us all safe on the water.”

The Squadrons that earned Civic Awards in 2012 are: Colonial Sail & Power Squadron, District 5, Virginia; Vero Beach Power Squadron, District 8, Florida; St. Petersburg Sail & Power Squadron, District 22, Florida; Ocean City Power Squadron, District 5, Maryland; and Northern Neck Power Squadron, District 5, Virginia.

The Top District Award, which recognizes the collective efforts of all of the squadrons within a region, went to District 8. It serves the recreational boaters in South Florida from Sebastian Inlet to Key West.

What’s That Smell?

The South Carolina Maritime Museum, 729 Front St. in Georgetown, S.C., will hold its second annual “Burning of the Socks” on March 24. The coastal tradition, began in an Annapolis, Md., boatyard in the 1980s when the yard manager lit up his winter socks after the season stiffened them with caulk, sawdust, varnish, fiberglass and other yard byproducts. Boaters, of course, do not need socks after the spring equinox.

It caught on, becoming a rite of spring for the drinking town with a boating problem. The annual practice hopscotched down to several Florida boating towns in subsequent years, even being reported as far away as Seattle on the left coast, and now has a firm toehold in the mid-Atlantic.

The Georgetown event serves as a “fun”draiser for the museum and includes roasted oysters (what’s that odd seasoning?), chili, corn muffins, libations, music and door prizes. Call 843-520-0111 for details.

The museum holds its first annual membership meeting March 7. It’s current exhibit “1905: Georgetown’s Golden Year” continues through April.

Do you have a news item that would be of interest to boaters in the Southeast? Send it to [email protected].


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