Archive for August, 2009

Killer Whale Yacht Costs $95 Million

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The new killer whale yacht introduced by Schopfer Yachts has been attracting a lot of attention, both for its appearance and cost. The yacht’s design will reflect the mouth and face of such whales. Read on to learn more about the killer whale yacht, its amenities, and the vessel’s designer…

killer whale yachtAs reported by CNN, the ship is named “Oculus” and will be priced at $95,000,000 dollars. It has yet to be built, and the complete specifications have not been released. The killer whale yacht will be 250 feet long and feature a twelve foot tall ceiling.

Based upon the company’s current estimates, it will hold 58 thousand gallons of marine fuel and travel at a maximum speed of 21 knots (perhaps faster). It is designed for up to fourteen passengers. Sparkman & Stevens will act as the ship’s naval architect.

The killer whale yacht has generated a lot of publicity on the Internet, partially thanks to the computer-rendered images of it that people have distributed. Some bloggers and forum posters praised its unique design, while others called it “madness” or “ridiculous”.

Schopfer Yachts was established last year as a yachting design company. Schopfer is based in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It also recently introduced the larger sixteen passenger, 300-foot “Infinitas” design, which features a pool and helicopter pad.

1.   CNN
2.   Schopfer Yachts


Farr 7500 Trailer Yacht is popular with New Zealand Sailors

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The Farr 7500 is the largest of a series of trailer yachts designed by Bruce Farr starting with the Farr 6000 in 1977. The Farr 7500 model was designed in 1978 and production started in 1979. Follow on boats were the Farr 5000 and  the Farr 740sp. Trailer yachts are small sailboats that meet the definition of a yacht in regards to ballast distribution that can be moved or stored on a trailer. Trailer yachts can be used for yacht racing or cruising. The different models of Farr trailer yacht are popular in Australia and New Zealand. There are several clubs that promote the ownership of these boats.

farr 7500 trailer yachtThe Farr 7500 was built by Sea Nymph Boats of Auckland, New Zealand and Binks Yachts located in Adelaide, Australia. The construction is solid GRP (glass reinforced plastic). The Farr 7500 had an overall length of 7.5 meters (thus the name), a beam of 1.5 meters, keel down draft of 1.8 meters and a displacement of 1,150 kilograms. In 1979 a new, fully equipped Farr 7500 sold for about $20,000 (New Zealand dollars I think) not including a trailer. Seaspray magazine had a nice review of the sailboat. The last Farr 7500 was built in 2005. In it’s day the Farr 7500 was considered to be a pricey, but especially well built and designed, sailboat.

Native New Zealander,  Bruce Farr started designing sailboats in the early 1970′s. During that decade is designs won several world championships in the International Offshore Rules (IOR) classes of sailboat racing. Bruce followed his racing designs with sailboats designed for cruising, including the line of trailer yacht models. These boat designs broadened his popularity among sailing enthusiasts. In 1981, Bruce co-founded what is now Farr Yacht Design located in Annapolis, Maryland. The firm’s designs have won over 40 world championships.

The Farr 7500 remains popular with sailors in New Zealand and Australia with used boats selling in the neighborhood of AU$40,000. An Internet search will find numerous clubs dedicated to to ownership of the different models of Farr trailer yachts in both countries. I did some searching, but was unable to find any report of these popular sailboats reaching America.


Tortola Motor Yacht Charters is the best way to see the BVIs

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Tortola is the largest island and capital of the British Virgin Islands. The BVIs are located east of Puerto Rico and have four main islands and 50 smaller islands and cays. Tortula is the hub of the British Virgin Islands for motor yacht charters. The islands are considered one of the world’s great boating destinations. Charter boating to visit the less populated islands is very popular.

Although sailboat charters were the standard for the islands, power boat charters are becoming more and more popular. Power boats offer the speed to visit more locals and shallower drafts to go into waters sailboats couldn’t approach. Motor yachts available for charter range from under 50 ft. in length to super-luxury vessels over 100 ft. long. Motor yachts of all sizes offer spacious, luxurious accommodations, well designed galleys and modern conveniences and electronics. Charter option include bareboat, skippered or luxury crewed. The larger luxury yachts will definitely come with a crew to handle the vessel. Charter rates range from $3,000 to $5,000 per week for bareboat motor yachts in the 30 ft. to 40 ft. range to over $400,000 per week for a fully crewed, 200 ft. super yacht. Rates will vary based on the season of the year.

tortula-motor-yachtCharterworld provides charter yachts worldwide including Tortola. Some companies that are British Virgin Island based are Bareboats BVI and Virgin Island Sailing. An Internet search will show several other international yacht charter companies offering charters out of Tortuga.

Not far from Puerto Rico, Tortula has an air of being far away from it all. To get there are no direct flights from the United States to Tortola. American Eagle airline is the main carrier to the island and offers daily flights from San Juan Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. U.S. Airways provides service to Tortuga through St. Martin. Also available are charter flights and ferries from St. Thomas.



Boston Harbor Marina, Boston, MA

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Located between Logan Airport and historic downtown Boston, the Boston Harbor Marina offers 180 deep water slips that can accommodate vessels of almost any size.

This full service marina provides 24-hour security, dock attendants with both first aid and fire training, on-call pump out, and a generous 120’ fuel dock featuring ValvTect Marine Fuels.

From the Boston Harbor Marina, you can enjoy the views of the Boston city skyline or better yet, hop onboard the on-site water taxi and enjoy all the city has to offer.  Explore museums, art galleries, shopping, and restaurants like Neptune Oyster, to your heart’s content.  If you decide to stay in downtown Boston, consider the nearby Boston Harbor Hotel or the Boston Marriott Long Wharf.

The Boston Harbor Marina on-site maintenance facilities include a 50-ton travel lift, boat towing, boat repair by Active Marine Services, along with services to get your boat hull cleaned & waxed or their newest feature, bottom painting.

Eric’s Bait & Tackle shop is located within the Boston Harbor Marina, as is Drop-a-Line Charters and Reel Pursuit Charters for that deep sea fishing experience.  Boston Boat Works is also on hand featuring examples of their new construction vessels.

Additional features of the Boston Harbor Marina include free parking, wireless internet, fitness center, restrooms, laundry facilities, picnic area, and boaters lounge.  There’s also an on-site restaurant, Scups in the Harbor, well known for its delicious and abundant Sunday brunch.

The Boston Harbor Marina offers a .10 cent per gallon discount to members of Seatow and Boat U.S. and complimentary Logan airport shuttle.  The Boston Harbor Marina advises that Boston Harbor tide charts are available from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association.

Guest dockage reservations for the Boston Harbor Marina can be made by email or telephone.


Cape Wind: Energy for Life

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

The Cape Wind project will construct 130 large turbines off the coast of Massachusetts, in what will become the first U.S. offshore wind farm. The project is expected to power much of Cape Cod and the surrounding islands.

cape windCape Wind will offer many benefits to the state of Massachusetts by creating a renewable, pollution-free source of electrical power. Using such power improves air quality while decreasing dependence upon distant and sometimes costly energy sources.

The Cape Wind farm project will also generate numerous jobs in the area. It will temporarily employ as many as 1,000 people during installation, and provide ongoing employment for about 150 people. Such projects often benefit other local businesses as well.

Cape Wind’s location and design avoid many of the problems commonly associated with wind farm facilities. The offshore position will make them less visible (and audible) to people on land, while ensuring a steady supply of adequate winds for power generation.

The turbines will be spaced far enough apart so that mariners can safely navigate many types of boats between them. Fishing and other vessels which typically travel through the turbine area should not expect to experience any serious navigational difficulties.

The project even inspired a journalist and editor to co-author a 352 page book about efforts to prevent its construction. It was published in 2007.

The parent company is Energy Management Inc., which is headquartered in Massachusetts and was founded in 1975. It has conducted numerous projects in various energy-related fields, with a focus upon efficiency and environmental protection.

For more information about the Cape Cod wind project, visit the Cape Wind Associates, LLC web site.



Top 5 Boat Shows & Which Boat Show to Attend

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Top 5 Boat Shows

The top 5 boat shows have something for everyone. When you visit the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, you can expect to experience over 3 million square feet of product and servcie exhibitors, yachts of just about every make, model and size, meeting spaces, food, bars, music and more.  Considered by many to be the best boat show in the world and appealing to buyers from around the globe, the diversity of visitor traffic solidifies the true “international” element of the exceptional boat show.

Read on for more information about other terrific top boat shows…

The Newport International Boat Show has multiple locations along America’s Cup Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island.  The boat show runs September 16-19 in 2010, and September 15-18 in 2011.  Each year over 850 exhibitors and more than 700 new sailboats and power boats are on display for boat shoppers.  Attendees of this top 5 boat show can also expect to see exhibits for thousands of marine products and services.  Check the Newport Boat Show website for more details.

The Annapolis Boat Show actually consists of two shows: the United States Sailboat Show running October 7-11, 2010 and the United States Power boat show which runs the following week from October 14-17.  In their 40th and 38the year, respectively, both boat shows are the oldest of their kind and the largest in-water boat shows in the United States.  Attendees can climb on board boats docked within the City Dock of downtown Annapolis – just steps away from downtown bars and shops.  Information on this top 5 boat show can be found at the U.S. Yacht Shows website.

The Seattle Boat Show – Indoors & Afloat – is the largest boat show on the northwestern coast of the United States.  The boat show will be held at the Qwest Field Event Center, and on the water at South Lake Union near downtown Seattle from January 21-30, 2011.  Boaters can also check out special promotions offered by many Seattle marinas during this top 5 boat show.  Details and directions can be found at the Seattle Boat Show website.

The Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail will be held February 17-21, 2011.  The venue is split between the Miami Beach Convention Center and the Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center, which offers easy access for demo rides.  Produced by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, the Miami boat show claims to have  “The Greatest Boat Show in the World” with over over 300 sportfishing boats, cruisers, high-performance boats and yachts.  Details of this top 5 boat show are available at the Miami International Boat Show website.

The Palm Beach International Boat Show will be held March 24-27, 2011 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The show is located along the inter-coastal waterway and the bordering Flagler Drive. Details are available at the Palm Beach Boat Show site.  The Palm Beach boat show is hosted by Show Management which puts on several boat shows around Florida, including Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show and Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach.


Sea Tow is there when you need them!

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
SeaTow Sea Tow

SeaTow Can Save The Day

Just as there are roadside assistance programs for car owners, equivalent marine services exist for boaters. Sea Tow is one such service; it assists fishermen and recreational boat operators in both lakes and oceans. Members also receive Sea Tow discounts at various marine and travel related businesses.

Sea Tow Membership Benefits
One of the main benefits of Sea Tow membership is the unlimited towing service, which pulls vessels back to land when they become disabled. Sea Tow Members can also request jump starts, fuel deliveries, and other on-site assistance. Sea Tow may be contacted via marine VHF radio or telephone.

SeaTow can't save money at the pump, but we can.Extra services available to SeaTow members include discounted boat loans, marine insurance, and boat trailer roadside assistance. The company operates a sophisticated VHF radio telephone and vessel tracking service as well; Sea Tow members pay $60/year less than everyone else.

The third-party discounts offered to Sea Tow members include savings on Avis rental cars, Holiday Inn stays, Club Jeppesen memberships, Trailer Gator coupler locks, Float-On Trailers parts, and other products. Members also receive valuable coupons for Bull Frog sunblock and Star Brite products.

Additional SeaTow Membership Benefits
Additional features of Sea Tow membership include help with boat navigation, reduced cost visits to boat shows, and a subscription to the company’s “Lifelines” magazine. Members also receive a $25 dollar subscription fee credit when they successfully refer other boaters to the service.

Overall, boat owners can make their boating trips easier and less hazardous by joining Sea Tow. Most boaters pay $119-149/year for membership – an especially good value when the included coupons and discounts are considered. Other boat towing services usually charge more than this for a single tow.

Source:  SeaTow


Antigua and Barbuda: Know Before You Go

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Antigua and Barbuda are two small Caribbean islands located to the east of Puerto Rico. Their capitol is Saint John’s, in Antigua. Both islands have numerous beaches, and those on Barbuda are particularly desirable. English is the country’s official language.

Quick Tips: In the Know
Stores are open Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an hour lunch break at noon

If not identified, be sure to ask if the price is EC or USD

Fast Facts about Antigua & Barbuda
Camouflage clothing is prohibited and will be confiscated.
Most hotels have 110 and 220 volt electricity available.

Population:  68,000 & 1,500 on Barbuda
Physical Size: 108 & 68 square miles, respectively
Weather: average year round temperature of 75°F
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time
Currency: Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar
Entry Documents: Passport

Find Marinas in Antigua and Barbuda,  click here  
Both Falmouth Harbour Marina and Antigua Yacht Club (on southern Antigua) provide dockage for boats drawing up to 18’ with banks, restaurants, and shops nearby. The Jolly Harbour Marina on the west coast is a full-service facility that can accommodate vessels up to 260’ complete with on-site repair and maintenance.

Getting Around
With rates of about $50 USD per day, it’s easy to rent a car from any major U.S. rental car company located on the island. For a more informative trip, hire a taxi to take you where you want to go or better yet, hire them for a sightseeing day trip. If you just want to day hop, renting a scooter is another great option.

Where to Stay
Antigua and Barbuda offer a wide variety of accommodation to suit every budget. Perfect for couples, Siboney Beach Club is nestled amongst the palms while the Reef View Apartments offer outstanding views with full amenities. Favorite hotels amongst visitors include Curtain Bluff Resort and the wonderfully secluded North Beach Cottages on Barbuda. Popular all-inclusive options include the private resorts of Jumby Bay and Hawksbill.

Where to Dine
The Beach House at Long Bay Hotel in Antigua offers up wonderful lunches, dinners, and a beach BBQ buffet every Thursday with a live steel band. Or for a little romance, enjoy authentic French food at Le Bistro. Try the red snapper and amazing views at OJ’s Bar & Restaurant or the authentic Barbudan food at the Palm Tree Restaurant in Barbuda, both local favorites.

Must Do and See!
Vendors Mall in Saint John’s is the place to haggle for local handicrafts and souvenirs while Heritage Quay Shopping Center is a duty free haven. Original artwork can be purchased at numerous galleries including the Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery in Antigua’s tropical rainforest. Best buys on the island include perfume, jewelry, alcohol, and cigars. Must buys include the kicky Susie’s Hot Sauce and the smooth English Harbour rum.

Where to Play in the Day
With 365 beaches to choose from on Antigua, you can enjoy the gorgeous white sand beaches wherever you’d like. Popular playgrounds include Dickenson Bay, Runaway Bay, Fort James, Galley Bay (for surfing), and the nude beach at Hawksbill. On Barbuda, striking pink sand beaches stretching for miles are perfect for beachcombing. Not to be missed attractions include Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, the view from Shirley Heights, Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation, and Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. If you’re driving, take scenic Fig Tree Drive to view coconut groves and sugar mill ruins plus be sure to visit Bethesda Tamarind Tree and Devil’s Bridge. Barbuda offers a number of caves for exploration, spectacular wreck diving, and the Frigate Bird Sanctuary.

Where to Play at Night
Get into the party spirit at the Mad Mongoose or let loose at the Coast Nightclub, hailed as ‘the #1 party location in Antigua.’ On Sunday, the place to party is Shirley Heights Lookout Restaurant and Bar where the green flash of the sunset is frequently seen. Bumpkins is a favorite local hangout as is the Admiral’s Inn in Nelson’s Dockyard while slots and table games are ever popular at Kings Casino in downtown Saint John’s.


1.     Antigua & Barbuda Tourism

2.     High Commission for Antigua & Barbuda

3.     Antigua & Barbuda Marine Guide

4.     Antigua


Virgin Islands – St. Thomas

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

By Connie Motz, Destination Expert
August 2009

Located in the Leeward Islands, the United States territory known as the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is comprised of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas.   

Fast Facts about St. Thomas
Population:                 51,181
Capital City:                Charlotte Amalie
Physical Size:              32 square miles
Weather:                    78-88°F with tropical showers during the fall season
Time Zone:                  Atlantic Standard Time
Currency:                    USD with all major credit cards accepted
Language:                  English
Entry Documents:       Passports are not required for U.S. citizens

Quick Tips: In the Know
1) Waterfront Royal Dane Mall offers free beer samples at the V.I. Brewing Company
2) Check out out the Gallery St. Thomas on Garden Street for artwork under $20
3) Avoid shopping on cruise ship arrival days, as there can be 3-4,000 people in town!
4) Most store hours: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closing 1:00 pm on Sunday.

Known for their customer service, the fully equipped Crown Bay Marina is located near the airport and can accommodate vessels up to 200’.  The modern IGY American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook (on the east end) offers 128 fixed slips and eight on-site restaurants.  Popular with sport fishing boats, Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina has 67 slips which come with full use of resort amenities.

Getting Around
While driving on the left side of the road can be challenging, renting a car is the most convenient way to travel around the island.  However, if you’d prefer the care of a chauffer, fixed-rate taxis are abundant and readily available.

Where to Stay
St. Thomas offers a wide array of accommodation from hotels and private homes to bed & breakfasts.  One of the most popular hotels on the island is Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort overlooking Charlotte Amalie.  Having recently visited this facility,’s internal researchers strongly advise choosing an alternate lodging option if you wish to step outside the typical hotel setting.   Secret Harbor Beach Resort and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort continue to be favorites amongst island visitors, while yet another great option is the four-room Bellavista Bed & Breakfast.

Where to Dine
For authentic flavor and delicious rum cake, visit Cuzzin’s Caribbean Restaurant & Bar on Back Street or for more gourmet desires, visit Hervé Restaurant & Wine Bar on Government Hill.  Sip a Baileys Bushwacker while enjoying the food and views from high atop Paradise Point at the St. Thomas Skyride, or see the stunning Caribbean sunset while enjoying a dinner cruise onboard a sailboat or catamaran.  Every Friday is Lobster Mania at The Greenhouse on Veteran’s Drive.

Must Do and See!
St. Thomas is a Mecca for duty-free shopping, and best buys include liquor, jewelry, linens, fragrances, and designer clothing.  Cameras & electronics are also great buys, but only if you’ve done your mainland pricing homework and can recognize a steal when you see it .  Market Square, a former slave trading site in downtown Charlotte Amalie, is the perfect place to practice your bargaining skills.  From there, continue onto Main Street where the rows of shops seem endless!  Havensight Mall is the debarkation point for cruise ship passengers and offers a good variety of “touristy” wares with stores like A.H. Riise, Little Switzerland, Boolchands, and Cardow Jewelers.                   

Where to Play in the Day
Must see attractions include Coral World Ocean Park, Magens Bay Beach, and the St. Thomas Skyride for views of the harbor and Charlotte Amalie.  Historians will delight in visiting Bluebeard’s Castle, Blackbeard’s Castle, Frenchtown, Government House, 99 Steps, Seven Arches Museum, and Fort Christian, a National Historic Landmark.  Water sports on St. Thomas are abundant with scuba diving and snorkeling at Coki Beach, or even a ‘snuba’ experience for the tentative first timer.  Other activities include kayaking and sailing on a sailboat or catamaran, or golfing at Mahogany Run.  Great beaches to visit include Lindquist Beach, Brewer’s Bay, and Hull Bay (for surfing).

Where to Play at Night
St. Thomas offers a diverse nightlife with everything from karaoke to live dinner theater at Tillet Gardens.  Most resorts offer nightly entertainment and music, like Bolongo Beach or Wyndham Sugar Bay, and many waterfront bars like the Hard Rock Cafe in Charlotte Amalie rock into the wees hours of the night.  Visit Martini’s Bar or Betsy’s Bar in Frenchtown or go bar hopping or wine bar tasting in Red Hook, if you’re up for some night time adventuring! 

Consistently, you can find Steel Pan music at:
Blue Moon Café at Secret Harbor, Fridays from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Agave Terrace at Colony Point Pleasant Resort, Tuesday & Thursdays 7:00-10:00 p.m.

1. Frommer’s Virgin Islands, 2007
2. U.S. Virgin Islands Tourism


Boat US Has Something For Everyone!

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Click here to join BoatUS
Membership dues are only $24 a year!

Find BoatUS Discounts Here

For over four decades BoatUS, the Boat Owners Association of The United States, has focused exclusively on providing the highest quality boating services, significant savings and a strong voice fighting to protect boaters from unfair taxes and burdensome regulations that take the fun out of boating. BoatUS has over 500,000 Members and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia with offices in Annapolis, Maryland, Jacksonville, Florida and Costa Mesa, California.

BoatUS Members receive access to low cost boat insurance, discounts at West Marine stores, on-the-water and on-the-road towing service, discounts at over 900 marinas nationwide, boat financing, representation on Capitol Hill and much more. 

The boating association publishes four different magazines: BoatU.S. Magazine, Trailering Magazine, BoatU.S. Angler Magazine and Seaworthy.  BoatUS Members can also subscribe to a variety of e-newsletters.

Members of BoatU.S. also receive discounts on premium membershipshotel and car rentals, boat show tickets, yacht charters, cruises, Star Clippers cruises, long-term care insurance, boat graphics and Sprint cell phone service.      Click here for a full list of benefits and services.

boatus boat us

The BoatU.S. Foundation is a national 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting safe and environmentally sensitive boating. It operates many programs that help fulfill its mission such as the Life Jacket Loaner Program, EPRIB rentals, online boating safety course, and boating safety grants.   BoatUS guide to Solar Panels:  here

Click here to join BoatU.S.  Membership dues are only $24 a year! is a proud partner of BoatUS!  Ensuring boaters can quickly and easily locate marinas and fuel docks offering BoatUS discounts is just one way you can save time and money as a FREE (Basic) Member.  Please register with this site to locate BoatUS discounts on fuel, marina slips and more!


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