Archive for » September 21st, 2013«

WATTS: Boating & Outdoor Festival brings the outdoors inside



Looking to buy boat for next season at a good price? Or need a place to store a boat this winter? Or need accessories for your favorite water sport? Try the 4th annual Boating Outdoor Festival that runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at Lake St. Clair Metropark.

The festival has everything a family would want when it comes to having fun on Lake St. Clair and area inland lakes and rivers.

Boat shows are the greatest marketing tool we have, said Nicki Polan of Michigan Boating Industries Association the sponsor of the festival, who noted the South Marina is filled with hundreds of boats on both land and water. There are floating docks in the South Marina this year because of the demand for boat slips.

Looking for a marina to dock your boat on dryland or in a boat slip? Among the exhibitors you can ask questions include Beacon Cove Marina, Belle Maer Harbor, Blue Lagoon Marina, Compass Self Storage, Detroit Yacht Club, Emerald City Harbor, Grand Pointe Marina, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Jefferson Beach Marina, Keans Detroit Yacht Harbor, MacRay harbor, Markley Marina, Port Sanilac Marina, South River Marina, Toledo Beach Marina, among others.

Want to inquire about buying a sailboat or a pleasure cruiser? Brokers and sales folks in attendance include Colony Marine Sales, Freeman Eckley, Galati Yacht Sales, Great Lakes Yacht Sales, Gregory Boat Company, Hideaway Yacht Sales, Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales, Lands End Yacht Sales, McMachen Boating Center, Orion Marine Center, Platinum Yacht Sales, St. Clair Sailboat Center, St. Clair Yacht Sales, Temptation Yacht Sales, Wilson Marine Corp., among others.

All these boats are beautiful, said John Palmer of New Baltimore, who was joined by his wife, Paulette, for Thursdays opening day. A lot of them are more than I can afford, but we are looking. You get an idea of what you want and the prices in the fall are good. If you like boats this is the place to be.

Looking for products and accessories for the boating lifestyle? Retailers include Aquarius Recreational Products, Avon Sailboats, Decks Docks, Dockside Canvas, Everdry Waterproofing, KBE Hoist, Kleer-Vu All Retail Services, LM Marine, Lake Shore Boat Top, Nautical Mile Merchants Association, Sail Michigan, Sun Sport Marine, Thirty-One Gifts, and Lake St. Clairs Tourism Initiative – Circle the Lake Tour, to name a few.

And if youre looking for everything in between food (Luigis, Crews Inn, Terrys Terrace); the Cruising Outpost Bar beer tent; and folks like the Department of Natural Resources, Boaters Association of Michigan, Great Lakes Kiteboarding, Macomb County Sheriff Marine Division, Macomb Power Sports, Michigan Sea Grant, Save Our South Channel Lights, and U.S. Power Squadrons.

Even the more obscure is at the festival, like Bob and Judy Bitchin colorful sailing personalities from California who travels around the world and publish a lifestyle magazine.

Weve sailed the world and people are nicer on the water, said Bob Bitchin, 69, who pointed out Macomb County has the third largest number of registered boaters in the U.S.

And there are family amenities like a Kids Zone; live music (Two Dudes in Flips Flops); and finally, the Queen of the Show the largest and most expensive boat at the Boating Outdoors Festival. This year its a 62-foot Azimut from St. Clair Yacht Sales in Detroit with a price tag of $1.395 million.

For more information, visit www.boatingandoutdoorsfest.com.

Operation Freedom Outdoors gets veterans outdoors

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is joining forces with several partners to create, in Jackson and Washtenaw counties, Michigans premier outdoor recreation experience for veterans and other citizens with health challenges.

Contributing organizations and groups include Camp Liberty Inc., Zero Day, Passing Along the Heritage Foundation, Eisenhower Center, Safari Club International Foundation, the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, and Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

Rich DeLisle of the Southeast Michigan Bowhunters Chapter Safari Club International said its about getting veterans in the outdoors.

Its about getting them back into civilization when they return from serving our country, DeLisle said. We are all on board with this. Its a great thing; Im so excited, so pumped.

Operation Freedom Outdoors will connect Camp Liberty a recreation center for veterans with disabilities that will be able to house veterans and their families as they participate in recreation activities and learn about various support programs and rehabilitation opportunities with outdoor opportunities on the adjacent Sharonville State Game Area.

The idea for the initiative is to create a critical mass of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hunting, fishing, target shooting, bird watching and other wildlife-related activities for veterans and others with health challenges.

Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief, said Michigan ranks 53rd in the nation in per capita spending on veterans, and that this partnership aims to be part of Gov. Rick Snyders efforts to change that ranking.

Today the public will have an opportunity to tour Camp Liberty, located at 13400 Austin Road in Brooklyn, during a free open house from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.camp-liberty.org.

Over $1 Million for Michigans public lands

Michigan will receive more than $1 million for conservation and outdoor recreation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the Interior Department, U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced this week.

Over $40 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund will be distributed to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Michigans Department of Natural Resources will receive $1,082,691, which it can use to provide matching grants for recreation planning, acquisition of lands and waters, and facility development for state and local projects to enable more people to enjoy the outdoors. Levin and Stabenow are cosponsors of the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013, which would permanently authorize the fund, establish full and permanent funding at $900 million, and set aside a minimum of 1.5 percent of funding for projects that improve access to federal public land for hunting, fishing and other recreational purposes.

Revenues for the Land and Water Conservation Fund come primarily from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. In addition to grants to state and local governments, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is used by the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management to acquire and conserve land, and for other programs that support outdoor recreation and conservation.

Just a reminder

Early antlerless deer season opens today. The South Macomb Whitetails Unlimited Banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 at Basillian Manor. Call (586) 268-0937. The Southeastern Michigan Indians Banquet is 6 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township. Call (810) 459-0669. The Algonac Historical Encampment is Sept. 28-29 at Algonac State Park. Call (810) 650-8161. Trout season ends Sept. 30. Archery deer season opens Oct. 1. Pheasant season opens in zone 1 on Oct. 10. Multi-Lakes Conservation Association in Commerce Township meets every third Wednesday of the month. Call (248) 363-9109. Detroit Area Steelheaders meets the last Tuesday of the month at Polish/American Hall. Call (586) 524-8887. The Lake St. Clair Walleye Association meets Oct. 16 at Lakeland Banquet and Event Centre. Visit www.lscwa.net.

Tom Watts writes a weekly outdoors column for 21st Century Media. Contact him at tomwattsoutdoors@gmail.com.


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Canelli: Sailing through New England

More than 25 years ago, dear friends became intrigued by sailing, and within a few years they acquired their first 34-foot Catalina. In those earliest years of their maritime discoveries, I was lucky enough to sail a few times off the North Shore where they have moored their boat at Hawthorne Cove in Salem, just steps from the House of Seven Gables.

I observed them maneuver around the decks working the lines, I bobbed my head when they altered course with the main sail and loafed on the bow in awe of the sea and wind.

It had been well over a decade since I’d sailed with them on their boat, but Gerry and I were lucky enough to spend a delightful September Saturday on the water. The mild day started out overcast and still. Sometime after lunch in their roomy cockpit, we dodged the clouds by motoring past the Miseries and Cat Island. We reached sunshine and a pleasant wind somewhere off Marblehead Light and turned off the engines, relying only on both sails.

Our hosts were gracious enough to give Gerry his first chance at the helm of a ‘real’ sailboat, and we achieved up to 6 knots all the way across Salem Harbor following the breeze only practiced sailors know how to do.

It’s always been obvious to me that someone can’t fall in love with the notion of sailing and simply buy a boat. Unlike a new car, a lawn tractor, or even a travel trailer, one can’t become the owner of a large sailboat and simply sail it off the dock. Lessons are an important step, and they are available anywhere there are harbors and coastlines.

Very early on, my friends had joined the Boston Harbor Sailing Club where they became certified sailors and attempted sailing larger and larger boats as they learned.

Of course, an essential component of learning to sail is reading about it. You might begin with “The Coast of Summer: Sailing New England Waters from Shelter Island to Cape Cod” by New Yorker Magazine writer, Anthony Bailey. The book was published first in hardback and then again in paperback in 1999.

British born, Bailey and his wife divided their time between England and New England, raised their family of daughters, and spent their summers sailing Lochinvar, a 27-foot vessel mainly off the east coast of the U.S. In the summer of Hurricane Bob (1991) they set sail from Connecticut and explored all of our favorite islands and Cape Cod. (Spoiler: their boat is safely tied down during the hurricane.)

In “The Next Port” by Heyward Coleman, the author and sailor of a 42-foot Skimmer, pairs up with his wife to sail the world. It is a narrative of the tests and loves they had for each other and for the oceans. It’s a tale of storms, failures, successes and world travel that can only be experienced on water and in a sailboat. You’ll either catch the sailing bug or you’ll become much more pragmatic after reading Coleman’s travel memoir.

“Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat” might be just the remedy for any warnings from the naysayers. Author Chris Stewart had never sailed before when he accepted an offer to captain (no, not just crew!) a sailboat in the Greek Islands. At least it ended favorably enough that Stewart was given another opportunity – this time to crew on different ship, one that followed the course of Leif Eriksson from Norway to Greenland.

It’s a witty memoir and full of comedy. If seven people spending time battling freezing nights and water for five months helps you to catch the sailing bug, then you’ve won half the battle!

Of course, there are many, many practical sailing guides in the Minuteman libraries. The 2009 edition of “The International Marine Book of Sailing” by Robby Robinson is a fascinating book full of illustrations and photographs. Everything you need to know about becoming a beginning sailor or maturing into a better one is introduced in an instructional format.

Knots, pressure systems, wave terminology and Coast Guard regulations are a several of them. It’s the kind of book that will open your eyes to everything you’ll need to learn. Another title is “Sailing Fundamentals: The Official Learn-to-Sail Manual of the American Sailing Association and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary” by Gary Jobson.

When you’ve decided you’re serious, the first books to read are “Learning to Sail: A No-Nonsense Guide for Beginners of All Ages” by Basil Mosenthal and “The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing” by David Seidman.

Both books discuss tides and winds and the art of finding your way around both the boat and water. Another is a pocket-sized book, “Sailing Essentials” by Steven Sleight. Don’t forget to check out some of the older classics, “Practical Sailing” by Timothy Jeffery and “Sailing for Beginners” by Moulton H. Farnham that we have in our library’s collection.

If you want to delve into the mechanics and science of sailing, read “The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing” by Kelly Mulford or “Float Your Boat!: The Evolution and Science of Sailing” by Mark Denny.

Maybe you’ve sailed before and have all these tips and techniques down, and you are ready to find a boat. Daniel Spurr has written “Your First Sailboat: How to Find and Sail the Right Boat for You” and included the differences between daysailers and raceboats and information about how you will care for it after you can proudly call yourself an owner.

Supposedly some wise man once said a smooth sea never makes a skillful sailor. It’s certainly in knowing how to navigate the winds, the waters, and the boat that start you on the successful journey.

My husband, Gerry knows that if something sparks his interest that I’ll keep his nightstand piled high with books. (That’s how he became a successful beekeeper.) I think I’ll start him on “Sailing Language: the Words Sailors Use, Arranged So They Can Find the Worlds They Want for the Particular Use They Want to Make of Them” by Elliot Dunlap Smith. Call or visit the library to request or check out these books on sailing and sailboats.

Charlotte Canelli is the director of Morrill Memorial Library.


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Sailing

After a week that saw multiple race cancellations for excessive wind, Friday’s first race featured exceptionally light air, and Emirates Team New Zealand appeared to be on the brink of taking the Cup as it opened up a huge lead over Oracle Team USA.

But the race was abandoned when New Zealand failed to make it across the finish line within the 40-minute time limit set for the race. It was a cruel blow for the Kiwis, who have been one win away from taking the series since Wednesday.

A second race was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Oracle, backed by billionaire Larry Ellison, stayed alive in the regatta on Thursday, winning one race before a second scheduled match was called off due to a strong winds and outgoing tide on San Francisco Bay.

Friday’s weather was vastly different than what has been seen throughout the summer or racing. The skies were overcast, fog drifted in through the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay was almost glassy as the race got underway.

Oracle won the start as the two boats appeared to drift to the first mark, but New Zealand made a better maneuver to capture what wind there was and quickly opened up a huge lead.

But is was all for naught as the time limit wound down, and the race was called with New Zealand still far from the finish line.

The wind limit rule had led to five race cancellations since the America’s Cup finals began two weeks ago, and the two teams bickered about raising the limit after Thursday’s postponement.

A fatal training accident earlier this year prompted the teams to agree to a series of changes including a substantial decrease in the wind limits, but the boats have since proven resilient and many observers now believe they are too low.

The Kiwis dominated matches between the two teams in early races in the America’s Cup best-of-17 finals and now holds an eight to two lead.

But Thursday’s race suggested the momentum could be shifting once again as Oracle showed the speed, tactics and boat handling it needs to match the polished Kiwi team.

Ellison’s team won the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain in 2010 and with it the right to set the rules for this year’s competition, including choosing to race on the AC72s and to hold the regatta on windy San Francisco Bay.

The Kiwis first won the America’s Cup in 1995 and successfully defended it in 2000 before losing the trophy three years later to Swiss biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi in a disastrous campaign that left the team in shambles.


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Sailing

Friday’s competition featured drastically different conditions than previous matches, with very light winds and fog wafting in through the Golden Gate.

In the first race, Oracle won the start as the two boats appeared to drift to the first mark, but New Zealand made a better manoeuvre to capture what little wind there was and quickly opened up a huge lead. But it was all for naught as the time limit wound down, and the race was called with New Zealand just a few hundred yards from the finish line.

New Zealand had the jump in the second race, winning a thrilling start that saw the two boats manoeuvre within feet of one another.

Oracle overtook them on the downwind leg, taking better advantage of the erratic wind conditions. New Zealand was penalized for forcing Oracle to alter its course as the two boats converged at high speed and the US team then capitalized on a Kiwi tactical error as the boats turned upwind.

“It was a frustrating day. It was a really solid first race,” said New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “It’s disappointing to be that close but so far away.”

New Zealand now leads the best-of-17 series 8-3, with two more races scheduled for Saturday.

Until Friday the regatta had been dogged by winds that often exceeded the limits set by the organizers, which were lowered for safety reasons after a fatal training accident in May. The wind limit rule had led to five race cancellations since the America’s Cup finals began two weeks ago, and the two teams bickered about raising the limit after Thursday’s postponement.

Friday’s light air created a different set of problems as the Kiwis failed to reach the finish line within the allotted 40 minutes.

At the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington, the crowd collapsed into a collective groan when time was called.

Fans spent much of the race glancing down at their watches while watching the race on video screens, having realized early on that New Zealand was racing more against the clock than Oracle.

The Kiwis dominated the early matches of the finals series and appeared poised to easily reclaim the Cup they lost in 2003.

But Oracle has succeeded in shifting the momentum with boat changes and improved tacking, and the two teams now appear remarkably even.

Ellison’s team won the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain in 2010 and with it the right to set the rules for this year’s competition, including choosing to race on the AC72s and to hold the regatta on windy San Francisco Bay.

The Kiwis first won the America’s Cup in 1995 and successfully defended it in 2000 before losing the trophy three years later to Swiss biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi in a disastrous campaign that left the team in shambles.


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Texas dealer expands with new sales office

Texas dealer expands with new sales office


Posted on 20 September 2013


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Little Yacht Sales owner and principal Kent Little announced the grand reopening of its powerboat division, Texas Power Yachts, at a new marina in League City, Texas.

“The move to South Shore Harbour of our Power Boat Division is part of our continuing efforts to present our new and used inventory in the best environment for our sellers and is also the best for our buyers,” Little said in a statement. “South Shore is predominately powerboats, whereby Waterford Harbor, where our Little Yacht Sales office is, is predominately sail. We are taking the same hands-on extreme approach to marketing our power listings as we are sail.”

The company said the new Texas Power Yachts office is currently staffed by senior broker Dan Hughes and Norm Fisher; experienced local yacht broker David Hunt has been added.

The company also announced the addition of Earnest “Rusty” Hightower to the Little Yacht Sales office at pier 6/7 at Waterford Harbour. Hightower has more than 20 years of experience in yacht sales. He and his wife, Leilani, are Texas natives.

The new Texas Power Yachts office is at pier 13 at South Shore Harbour Marina on South Shore Marina Boulevard in League City.

Click here for the full release.

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Sailing-A win and a gift keep Oracle alive in America's Cup

By Jonathan Weber and Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Oracle Team USA again staved off elimination in the America’s Cup on Friday, catching a huge break when the day’s first race was abandoned for exceeding the time limit with Emirates Team New Zealand far ahead, and then coming back to win a second race in stronger breezes.

Friday’s competition featured drastically different conditions than previous matches, with very light winds and fog wafting in through the Golden Gate.

In the first race, Oracle won the start as the two boats appeared to drift to the first mark, but New Zealand made a better maneuver to capture what little wind there was and quickly opened up a huge lead. But it was all for naught as the time limit wound down, and the race was called with New Zealand just a few hundred yards from the finish line.

New Zealand had the jump in the second race, winning a thrilling start that saw the two boats maneuver within feet of one another.

Oracle overtook them on the downwind leg, taking better advantage of the erratic wind conditions. New Zealand was penalized for forcing Oracle to alter its course as the two boats converged at high speed and the U.S. team then capitalized on a Kiwi tactical error as the boats turned upwind.

“It was a frustrating day. It was a really solid first race,” said New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “It’s disappointing to be that close but so far away.”

New Zealand now leads the best-of-17 series 8-3, with two more races scheduled for Saturday.

Until Friday the regatta had been dogged by winds that often exceeded the limits set by the organizers, which were lowered for safety reasons after a fatal training accident in May. The wind limit rule had led to five race cancellations since the America’s Cup finals began two weeks ago, and the two teams bickered about raising the limit after Thursday’s postponement.

Friday’s light air created a different set of problems as the Kiwis failed to reach the finish line within the allotted 40 minutes.

At the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington, the crowd collapsed into a collective groan when time was called. Fans spent much of the race glancing down at their watches while watching the race on video screens, having realized early on that New Zealand was racing more against the clock than Oracle.

The Kiwis dominated the early matches of the finals series and appeared poised to easily reclaim the Cup they lost in 2003. But Oracle has succeeded in shifting the momentum with boat changes and improved tacking, and the two teams now appear remarkably even.

Ellison’s team won the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain in 2010 and with it the right to set the rules for this year’s competition, including choosing to race on the AC72s and to hold the regatta on windy San Francisco Bay.

The Kiwis first won the America’s Cup in 1995 and successfully defended it in 2000 before losing the trophy three years later to Swiss biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi in a disastrous campaign that left the team in shambles.


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