Archive for » February 11th, 2012«

A boatload of boats at this show

It’s a credit to Joe O’Neal, manager of the 2012 New England Boat Show, that he doesn’t flinch when you bring up the old adage: “A boat is a hole in the water that you pour your money into.”

“I think some people still think that,” says the Charlestown resident and owner of a 34-foot Saber power boat, speaking on the phone from his Quincy office. “That was really true for people who owned older boats that you constantly had to fix and update. But today’s boats are so reliable that there are very few mechanical issues.”

If fact, when people attend this year’s boat show, sponsored by Progressive Insurance and running Feb. 11-19 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, first-time visitors might be struck by a surprising little phenomenon: affordability.

Sure, at the show, the top boat (fit for Thurston Howell III and Lovey, no doubt) will top out at about $1 million, but O’Neal says visitors will also find 8-foot sailboats starting at about $3,000, and aluminum skiffs for around $4,000. And the financial blow can be further blunted by financing programs that allow buyers to walk away with a boat, motor and trailer for as little as $150 a month.

Those numbers sound good, especially in this economy. Asked if boats are a tough sell these days, O’Neal says, “Clearly the economy has impacted boat sales, but the core group of boaters has continued to boat and purchase boats. And [the boat market] has been coming back recently. It’s a slow process, but we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Maybe that’s why this year’s boat show has grown by 100,000 square feet — a 40 percent boost in exhibit space that makes room for more than 700 boats of all shapes and sizes, including wave-runners.

But the growth of this show also has lots to do with the region. New Englanders love to hit the water.

“Boating in New England is extremely popular,” says O’Neal. “There’s all that coastline from Rhode Island to the tip of Maine. And then you have all the interior lakes. The popularity of this show is just a reflection of the popularity of boating.”

The event is also increasingly family-friendly.

“It used to be that the boats were enough to draw in the crowd,” says O’Neal, describing the boat show business. “But that’s changed. That’s not enough anymore. People are looking for more entertainment.”

And he thinks they’ll find it at this boat show, where a 20-foot indoor pool provides the opportunity for people to compete in a remote-controlled powerboat docking challenge and a remote-controlled sailing contest. Teenage sailing adventurer Abby Sunderland will also be on hand to talk about her harrowing attempt to be, at the age of 16, the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe.

When you hear how that story ended, you might want to look into the cost of insuring your boat. But O’Neal says buyers will be surprised by the low price: often about $150 year.

O’Neal knows that many of the people who visit the exhibit will be diehards, old-timers, salty veterans, perhaps looking for a new boat, or just out to get a GPS or a new sail. But he’s really excited about the prospect of attracting new faces.

“Surveys show that at every show, we get new people,” he says. “Those are the people we want. We want new boat people.”



2012 New England Boat Show

WHEN: Feb. 11-19

WHERE: Boston Convention Exhibition Center

ADMISSION: $14 adults (16 and older); kids free



Boat Show tips

Haggle: It’s like buying a new car. “All dealers negotiate,” says Joe O’Neal, manager of the 2012 New England Boat Show. “And be aware that many manufacturers have incentives that are good only during the show.”

Mull: Gather up information on the cost of everything, and go home and think about it. Then return – that’s why the exhibit runs for nine days.

Browse: “Take the time to walk through the show and see everything,” says O’Neal. “You might think you want one type of boat, but maybe you’ll realize that it doesn’t fit your lifestyle.”

Take a spin: “Some people want to take a test drive,” says O’Neal. “It’s possible a manufacturer will give you a sea trial, right after the show.”


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5 Things to Do Before the Summer Kayak Season

Late winter, early fall is a good time to clean up, refurbish and do maintenance chores on paddling and fishing equipment. I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where I can paddle year round but I still slow down a bit in the winter. Here are five things you can do before spring and summer paddling picks up.

Clean up

I know some people religiously spray down their kayak, dry and store it after each use. Well—I don’t. When I come in from a paddling trip I’ve usually done 20 to 40 miles. I’m tired, it’s probably dark, the boat’s wet, and there’s any number of reasons why I just unload, open the hatches, and go take a shower. Before the next trip I rub off dried mud and sweep the boat out. I’m ready to go.

Kayaks and canoes should go through a major refurbish at least once a year. I remove all rigging. Regardless of boat material the first step is to scrub it down inside and out with your favorite detergent. I pay strict attention to hatch compartments and any mold or mildew. Then rinse.

The boat

Inspect the boat. Repair any damage. Varnish or otherwise apply protective coatings. Pretty simple.

Plastic boats are inexpensive, very durable, but relatively hard to repair. Shave down scrapes and scratches if possible. A judiciously applied blowtorch does wonders for small scratches. Don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing! Practice! Cracks and holes can be repaired following manufacturers recommendations or plastic welding.

Composite boats can be sanded and refinished as needed.

Replace and install any rigging as needed.

The paddles

Smooth and trim blade edges. Rebuild the edge if necessary. Apply a protective coating. Since there are so many materials used in paddles you’ll have to determine which coating to use. My paddles are all carbon fiber or wood composite. I use epoxy and UV protected varnish.

Clean the socket on two piece paddles so they assemble easily without sticking. I use a very fine sandpaper. Some people have good luck with dry spray lubricant. I don’t.

Fishing equipment

Ask 10 different people how to care for fishing equipment and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some people paddle only to catch fish. I catch fish only because I paddle. There’s a big difference. Fishing is not that important to me. I clean all the equipment. Throw out rusty hooks. Sharpen trot line hooks. Replenish my lure assortment. I replace fishing line when needed. Then I’m ready to paddle.

Do what makes you happy.


A lot of people think that paddling is done primarily with arms, but this is far from true. When I first start paddling the muscles on the outside of my shoulder, the deltoids, tend to tire, but this is because I’m not paddling right. It takes me a few miles to get in the groove and utilize my entire body. Once I’m in the groove I’m ok. I’m a marathon paddler so sprint is a relative term, but for sprints or shorter races my lats (latismus dorsi), or lower back muscles tend to fatigue. For longer marathons like the 100 mile CR100, which I will do for at least two more years, my inner thighs tire and cramp. A good indication that I need to pay more attention to that area.

The point of all this is that paddling is a full body activity. You need to exercise every part of your body starting with your core body then arms and legs. Never try to make one part of your body stronger than any other part. Imbalances in strength cause injury. As individuals we are all unique, so this means exercise regimes need to be unique. Tailor your exercise program to fit your personality and requirements. The greatest exercise program in the world won’t work if you don’t do it.

So there you go with a list of things to do before the summer paddling season. Take away or add to it as you need. Have fun. I’ll see you on the river.

Gerald is an avid outdoor sportsman who travels by land or water over mountain forest, rocky foothills, or rolling sand dunes. In his spare time he designs and builds wood composite kayaks and canoes and still competes in select marathon races.

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

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Three Boat Jumbles Start in March

#BOAT JUMBLE – Three Irish boat jumble sales including a new venue in Cork kick the 2012 boating season off in March and April.

The jumbles commence on Sunday March 25th at the Carlisle Pier in Dun Laoghaire. They continue at the Port of Cork Boat Jumble on Sunday April 15th and it is followed by the Carrickfergus Boat Jumble on Sunday 22nd April on Belfast lough.

The Dun Laoghaire Boat Jumble at the Carlisle Pier

The boat jumbles are open air markets for boating and water sports related gear and equipment old and new and are a great source of boating bargains, value and the unusual.

The Boat Jumble format has proven appeal for trade and “car boot” participants as a low cost way to reaching high number of people with an interest in marine products and services. The essence of the Boat Jumble for water sports enthusiasts is to recycle surplus gear and present value for the buyer.

A range of boating, sailing and water sports equipment and accessories, new and used will be on offer on trade pitches in addition to second hand boats/dinghies, sails, engines and nautical “car boot” items. Friends team up and pool their surplus gear and share the selling task with the one car, many might bring a deck chair and flask ! Some people get together to use the jumble as a means of raising funds for their club, class, and the lifeboat.

Pre booking is essential on the booking form which are available on or from the host venue information desk or web site. The cost for a car selling pitch is €30 to include the occupants.

The Boat Jumble format presents an opportunity for the boat owner to reduce ownership costs by converting surplus gear to cash. There is always the opportunity for the boat owner to take stock of the contents of the lazaret, store, shed and sell to keen buyers. Someone else wants that item of gear you no longer use so avail of the recycling opportunity.

The RNLI experts participate by providing a check on personal flotation devices. This important aspect of personal kit is often overlooked so individuals can bring along their PFD and have it check by the experts. This is an important service to the boating public as the season commences.

On site catering and light entertainment make for a pleasant day.The Boat Jumble is a great day for the boating public to find a bargain or that unusual kit suitable for your boat. Admission €5.

To sell at the Boat Jumble (trade pitch or “car boot”) pre booking is essential and restricted to marine related products and services.


25th March Dun Laoghaire

15th April Port of Cork

22nd April Carrickfergus

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Fishing good as it gets on west coast

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mike Anderson, right, with “Reel Animals” partner Billy Nobles.

Is west coast fishing as good as ever? It sure would seem that way, at least according to local guides.

Captains Ozzie Fisher in Charlotte Harbor, Shawn Crawford in Sarasota, William Tony in Homosassa and Danny Allen in Crystal River all are reporting incredible February fishing.

Redfish and trout numbers are maybe as good as we’ve seen in some time. Mild winter temperatures have kept a lot of bait around and, with our fish not feeling the effects of cold water, they are chewing the bottoms out of our boats on most days.

Live sardines, live shrimp and plastics are all working well, as is cut bait for the larger reds. The flats of Cockroach Bay, Tierra Verde, Weedon Island and Joe’s Island are all producing on good moving water. Seems like the only tough days we have are the slower-tide days. Other than that, the bite is on fire.

Offshore, grouper season is closed, but there are still plenty of species to target. Big amberjack are thick on the springs, and mangrove snapper and porgies are fairly easy to catch off the wrecks and near-shore reefs. Live baits are key to your success, so load the live wells up before you make that long run.

Remember, offshore fishing is a numbers game. It might take a couple of stops to find them, but when you do it will pay off.

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Boat and RV retailers are hoping for a better 2012


Potential customers drop a few dollars to come in and take a look around at the Coliseum Boat and RV show. Once inside, dealers are hoping they will spend a lot more. The past few years have been anything but smooth sailing.

When people buy boats, they also need equipment.  That’s what Mark Oehmichen is hoping for. The signs look good so far. 

“Well, I think it should improve. Sales, and I think fishing. Hopefully, we won’t get any hurricane or oil spills,” Oehmichen said.  “Other than that, I’ll think we’ll do alright.”

Even when they buy, customers are still looking to save money anyway they can. Emile Petro sells fuel efficient boats.  

“The price of fuel, the way it keeps going up and down, I think a lot of people are looking at how much it costs them to entertain themselves, whether it’s boating or whatever their hobby is,” Petro said. 

Since 2008, nobody really has spent anything on big ticket items and that may be starting to change. People may be starting to loosen up the purse strings a bit. And that has boat and RV dealers are feeling optimistic about 2012. 

Drew Wilson is another boat retailer.  

“I think it’s just a pent-up demand. We’ve been in a recession since 2008,” Wilson said.  “People have wanted to make a change in the boat they owned, they just were not comfortable in doing so. A lot of time has passed. I think our customers are much more confident about the current economy.” 

Hitting the road in an RV is an acquired habit. People who sell them, like Adam Thompson, hope more join in.  

“The people that do this, they’re not going to change their lifestyle. It’s the people that haven’t quite yet,” Thompson said. “And more and more people are coming and inquiring more, trying to see what a number would be so they can enjoy themselves. Life doesn’t stop.” 

What also doesn’t stop is the hope that 2012 will be a turnaround year in this highs stakes industry.

The boat and RV show runs through the weekend at the Coast Coliseum Convention Center in Biloxi.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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TN Dept. of Revenue speaks out on boat controversy

A state representative thought it was a joke when he heard that a father and his young son had been labeled as “boat dealers” because of a small, wood boat they built in their garage.  

The family has been getting letters from the Tennessee Department of Revenue threatening them with court actions, fines and liens if they didn’t pay $539 in taxes on their fishing boat.

Johnathan King and his 7-year-old son Carter spent three weeks assembling the 14-foot boat according to plans they ordered over the Internet. After registering the boat, they started getting correspondence from the revenue department referring to them as “boat manufacturers and dealers.”

State representative Joe Carr didn’t believe it when he first heard about it.

“I initially thought it was a joke, because it was so absurd,” Carr says.

“No reasonable person would believe that Mr. King is in the manufacturing business for boats,” he says.

“Initially, I thought it was an error,” King says. After he told the state this was just a small fishing boat the two had built at home, he expected the revenue department would relent, but they did not.

“To put it politely, I thought it was quite silly,” King says.

Carr says either revenue is misinterpreting the law and taking it to an extreme, or the law needs to be fixed. He meets with revenue officials Monday.

If their theory holds true, he says, it’s a slippery slope.

“If, as an individual, I go to Home Depot or Lowe’s or some lumber yard, and I decide I’m going to build a picnic table for my patio, does that make me a furniture manufacturer?” Carr says.

Since Channel 4 first reported the story Wednesday, the topic has been widely discussed on blogs across the country.

“Seems ludicrous,” someone from the northeast wrote on “Can’t be a manufacturer or dealer if you’re not making the product for sale.”

The Department of Revenue issued a statement after we asked them for three days to explain their position.

“It is not the Department’s position that an individual who builds a boat from a kit or component parts is in the business of selling boats,” write communications manager Billy Trout.

The statement says the term”dealer,” which is used in the tax statutes, also refers to a purchaser. They regret if information from the department was confusing.

The revenue department’s statement explains that state statutes protect taxpayer privacy, and therefore, they cannot discuss tax matters involving particular taxpayers.

“We would like to provide some general information about use tax and boats,” the statement says.  

“Generally, sales tax is collected by the seller when an item, such as a boat, a boat kit, or component parts, are purchased. Sometimes, such as when the item is purchased outside the state, the tax is not collected by the seller. In those cases, the purchaser must pay, under state law, a “use tax” on the item. Use tax is equal to the sales tax that normally would have been collected by the seller. The purpose of use tax is to ensure that all purchases are taxed alike, whether bought from a seller in Tennessee or outside the state.

“When a boat is registered, the boat owner is required by law to document that sales or use tax was paid on the price of the boat. If the boat was built from a kit or other component parts, the owner must show that sales or use tax was paid on the kit or parts. Receipts or invoices are acceptable proof, as are records that show the taxpayer paid use tax directly to the Department of Revenue. When no information is provided, the Department must determine whether tax is due.”

King says he’s pulling together invoices and receipts for all the building materials used in the boat, but it’s difficult, since some materials were purchased as much as three years ago.

He says he’s absolutely not a boat dealer, and would never sell the boat, which he considers an heirloom to be passed on to his son’s children some day.

“It ought to last 30 or 40 years,” King says.

“We must now defend ourselves as dealers. I’m still trying to get my mind around the docket, ‘Tennessee Department of Revenue vs. Carter King, 7 years old,'”  King says.

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Sailing champ cleared for Olympics

Reigning Olympic champion Ben Ainslie is set to compete at the 2012 Games after escaping a fresh punishment for his boarding of a media boat during the World Championships in Australia in December.

Triple Olympic gold medallist Ainslie, one of Britain’s best hopes for Games glory on home water in Weymouth, south-west England, later this year, felt impeded by the media boat during the ninth race of the World Championships in Perth.

The five-times world champion was so incensed by what had happened, he swam to the media boat and pulled himself on board to remonstrate with the crew.

As a result, officials disqualified him from races nine and 10, scuppering his hopes of a podium finish.

Had they wanted to, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) could have imposed a further punishment upon Ainslie which might have endangered his participation in a fifth Games — the 34-year-old won silver on his Olympic debut in Atlanta in 1996.

But a statement issued by sailing’s governing body on Friday insisted no further action was necessary.

‘The tribunal agreed with the decision of the International Jury that the behaviour of Mr Ben Ainslie amounted to a gross breach of good manners and conduct that brought the sport into disrepute,’ the statement said.

‘Having considered all the evidence put before it, the tribunal was satisfied that it would not be appropriate for the tribunal to impose a penalty over and above that imposed by the International Jury at the event.

‘In reaching its decision the tribunal acknowledged that the effect of the penalty imposed by the International Jury was to deny Mr Ainslie the possibility of taking part in the medal race for the event.’

Ainslie said: ‘I welcome the RYA tribunal’s decision and am looking forward to fully focusing on my Olympic preparations.

‘I deeply regret the incident, but would like to thank all the governing bodies involved for their thorough investigation.’

The RYA statement also called for better management of media boats.

‘The tribunal also recognised that there was an apparent lack of active management of media boats at this and previous events leading to repeated infringements of the provisions of the event media boat guidelines.

‘In addition, formal rights of redress against official boats were not available to competitors.’

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The Art Market: Sales, resales and no sales

A 1980s lithograph by David Hockney

Vintage: A 1980s lithograph by David Hockney in his California years

It was a roller-coaster ride in this week’s Impressionist and Modern auctions in London. Christie’s kicked off on Tuesday with a hefty 88-lot sale that included three sure-fire winners from the Elizabeth Taylor estate and nine cracking works from a foundation willed by the German entrepreneur and philanthropist Hubertus Wald. The tally was impressive, racking up just shy of £135m with 86 per cent of the lots sold, beating the pre-sale target of £86.2m-£127.1m.

There was lively activity in the saleroom from private buyers but the top lot went to the Cologne-based dealer Alex Lachmann, who often buys for Russian clients. He bagged a stunning Henry Moore sculpture, “Reclining Figure: Festival” (1951, est £3.5m-£5.5m), but with at least six other bidders in pursuit of the piece, was forced to pay £19.1m – a new record for Moore. Miró also achieved a new auction high with the 1925 “Painting Poem”, which sparked a tense battle, finally going to a telephone bidder for £16.8m, way over its £6m-£9m estimate.

Sotheby’s Wednesday night sale was a more lacklustre affair. With a weaker catalogue of 53 lots that dealers pronounced “dull”, the sale raised £78.9m, just under the low pre-sale estimate of £77.3m (estimates do not include premium; results do). One of the top lots, an early symbolist landscape by Klimt, failed at £3.8m, well under its £6m-£8m estimate, but it then sold before the auction was over for £5.6m – a figure that was not included in the sale result. “A strong offer was accepted by the seller,” said Sotheby’s senior specialist Philip Hook afterwards. There were other failures, notably the lot with the heftiest estimate, Miró’s “Peinture” (1933, est £7m-£10m), and bidding was thin on many of the sold lots. The top lot was a crisp Monet snowscape from 1885, which made £8.2m (est £4.5m-£6.5m).

. . .

The February sales are the first main test of Artists’ Resale Right (ARR), the levy on the resale of art that, on January 1 this year, was extended in Britain to include art by recently deceased artists. We shall have to wait for the end of the contemporary art auctions to judge its impact, but meanwhile one case has already been settled in California, the only US state to have the levy. Called “resale royalty” there, its application was widely flouted until recently, when a number of artists initiated a class action against resellers of their work. Last week collector Dean Valentine agreed to pay the hip painter Mark Grotjahn 5 per cent of what he had made reselling Grotjahn’s work, so settling a case that was about to come to court. But the issue is not going away – many other big-name artists are lobbying for a country-wide imposition of the levy.

. . .

British artists Lucian Freud and David Hockney are in the frame this week in London. Freud, who died last year, is particularly celebrated, with the just-opened show at the National Portrait Gallery, and now Blain|Southern and New York’s Acquavella Galleries have organised an extraordinary show of Freud drawings, borrowed from museums and private collections and curated by the art critic Bill Feaver. In contrast to the brutal expressionism of his portraits, Freud’s early drawings were meticulously observed and delicately drawn, but they are for looking at only: this is another fine muscle-flexing, non-selling show organised by dealers.

However, the auctions do offer some examples of both artists’ work: Christie’s next Tuesday features Freud’s “Boat, Connemara” (1948, est £200,000-£300,000), while there are six works from a private collection at Sotheby’s next Wednesday, including a “Cacti and Stuffed Bird” (1943, est £400,000-£500,000). At Christie’s South Kensington, works on paper and prints by David Hockney include some Californian swimming pool images: a lithograph from 1980 is estimated at £25,000-£35,000. And Christie’s also offers 44 Freud etchings on Wednesday, from £6,000 to £70,000.

. . .

“Arp is an artist who influences art itself rather than individual artists.” The quote comes from Sir Herbert Read’s monograph on Jean Arp, the French-German artist currently being shown in a “petit salon” by Luxembourg Dayan. The New York and London dealers, established last year in Savile Row, have selected 29 works: one a poster by Kurt Schwitters advertising a Dada evening, all the rest by Arp. Seven drawings were illustrations for a 1923 Tristan Tzara book, and are accompanied by his poems; there are also embroideries and two “string” paintings from the 1920s and 1930s, as well as a wall of reliefs from the 1930s. About a third of the show is for sale, with prices ranging from $200,000 to $1m.

. . .

Now it’s personal. Following the major bust-up between the co-organisers of the New York Pavilion of Art and Design (PAD), Patrick Perrin and Sandford Smith, Perrin attacks Smith in an interview in the French Journal des Arts. Perrin accuses Smith of “not even knowing who Damien Hirst or Anish Kapoor are” and having “a problem of ego”. Oh, and the autumn New York PAD has been cancelled – not surprisingly, since Smith bagged the space and dates for his new fair.

. . .

Investment in art is increasing, and so is the demand for reliable indices. Now Artnet, the online art data provider, has launched a new analytical tool that enables users to compare the performance of individual artists with each other, with their collecting category (contemporary art, Latin-American art and so on) and with other indices such as the FTSE 100. At the moment it is in beta phase, and only has the contemporary art category, but others will be rolled out as the year progresses. The reports are based on Artnet’s databank of 7m prices from 700 auction houses across the world. What makes this a better mousetrap, says its director of analytics Thomas Galbraith, is the way an artist’s work is turned into comparable sets. To take, for example, Richard Prince, a report can compare how his Nurse paintings are faring or have fared compared with the Joke series, as well as with the rest of the art market or the stock exchange.

Georgina Adam is editor-at-large of The Art Newspaper

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Model boat NeNe picked up by Fish and Game

The model trimaran NeNe, launched by a Regional Occupational Program class, was picked up by a California Department of Fish and Game boat that took it off a commercial fishing vessel near San Clemente Island, the department said Friday.

No details were immediately available, though the Fish and Game crew was expected to hand over the NeNe to ROP instructor Malcolm Wilson upon its return to Dana Point.

Article Tab: This screen shot from the GPS tracking website shows the NeNe's location as of 7:10 a.m. Friday, on the southwest end of San Clemente Island. The blue path shows its route since being launched Feb. 2 from Capistrano Beach.

The 6-foot-long sailboat’s onboard GPS indicated at 7:10 a.m. Friday that it was at the southwest end of San Clemente Island, apparently moving slowly westward.

Early Wednesday, the GPS indicated the boat had run aground on the northeast part of the island, some 60 miles from where it began its voyage from Capistrano Beach on Feb. 2. That location was a few miles north of where it went aground early Monday but broke free.

It wasn’t clear how long the NeNe had been aboard the commercial fishing boat. But since Monday, the model craft had been on an erratic path, first traveling north, then south, then into open water to the east, back west toward the island and then south again.

The NeNe is one of two boats built and launched by a Capistrano-Laguna Beach ROP 3-D model-making class at San Clemente High School. They originally set sail Jan. 26, but the NeNe washed ashore in San Clemente and needed repairs before being relaunched last week.

The other boat, the 6-foot-long monohull WikiWiki, has been stranded at the southeast end of San Clemente Island since running aground there Jan. 29.

Wilson canceled a planned boat trip to the island last Saturday to try to retrieve the WikiWiki after the Navy, which owns the island and uses it for training, said it would look for it. The Navy said late this week that it had been unable to find it.



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