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AFLOAT: Topper Winter Regatta proves big success

AFLOAT: Topper Winter Regatta proves big success

By Emma Stevenson, Afloat

TOP SHOW: Alex Macfarlane on the waves

THE Topper Winter Regatta took place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy last weekend.

Sunny skies and a brisk wind of 17 knots gave competitors a great sailing experience.

The strong winds presented problems for many of the fleet and the safety boats had a busy time carrying out rescues.

Four races took place in total and the overall winner was Callum Rosie from Helensburgh Sailing Club.

In second place was Jack Butters from Parkstone, while the first female was Lucy Mearns from Rutland Sailing Club, who finished fifth overall.

Around 150 Toppers, from what is one of the largest junior fleets, were entered.

There was a very competitive but friendly atmosphere throughout the two day event.

One local sailor who participated at the event was Alex Macfarlane, pictured above.

He said: “It was great to see so many Topper sailors out on the water again after a hard winter’s training.

“I was happy with my results and am aiming to get into the national squad later this year.”

Macfarlane performed well to finish mid-fleet.

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Depicting Cape Ann

Some spotlight Gloucester’s iconic Man at the Wheel at the Fishermen’s Memorial.

Others depict fishing boats, sailing boats, old-time schooners or all of the above.

Some show fish, lobsters and/or breaching whales, while at least one includes small scenes touching on all four of Cape Ann’s communities.

All of those elements and many more are showcased on the backdrop of a license plate — a potential Cape Ann license plate proposed by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser boosting chamber programs while also providing education and other grants for local communities.

The chamber, in fact, received more than 85 potential plate designs, says chamber CEO Ken Riehl, with the top five of them due to be showcased for the public at a free and open reception set for Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on the lower level of Cruiseport Gloucester.

The artists who have submitted potential designs for the proposed Cape Ann license plate are not only doing so to display their own Cape Ann pride. The artist whose design is ultimately chosen for the plate will win a $1,000 prize, once the plate is complete, with two runner-up prizes of $250 each being offered as well. The winning design will be chosen with input from those who attend Thursday night’s reception, said Riehl, who said the event will also include an update regarding the project around 5 p.m.

“The response has been great — especially recently,” Riehl said. “We’ve received more than 50 designs in the last month. This has been just the kind of impetus and momentum we’ve been hoping for.”

Chamber officials have been whittling down the entries to the handful of finalists that will be on display Thursday night, with Realtor Ruth Pino, a former chamber president, serving as project leader and the chamber’s committees taking part in narrowing down the field.

After Thursday’s event, Riehl said, the chamber hopes to quickly decide on the winning design, which must be submitted to — and approved by — the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. The RMV would then commission its contractor — 3M — to create the plates, once the chamber can show that it has presold 1,500 of the plates. The license plates run for $40 apiece, on top of the Registry’s annual registration fee and a $20 RMV transfer fee.

Riehl said he hopes that the chamber can launch its presale with the approved design by sometime in May.

“We’re already receiving requests for the plates,” said Riehl, who noted that the chamber has launched a sign-up list that will also be available Thursday night. “Once the registry approves (the design), then we’ll start our presale — and then we keep going forward.”

The project, which will generate money for a chamber-led foundation created specifically for the license plate revenues‚ is aimed not only as a benefit for the chamber, but primarily for the communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester. The money, based on a similar program that has raised well over $1 million for communities on Cape Cod, would be extended through grants for marketing, for school programs or for other services.

“The bottom line is that isn’t just a chamber project, it’s a community project,” Riehl said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Anyone wishing to attend the event or express interest in purchasing a Cape Ann license plate may obtain more information by visiting www.capeannchamber.com or by calling the chamber at 978-283-1601.

Times Editor Ray Lamont can be reached at 978-675-2705.

If you go

What: Special community reception for the unveiling of the top 3-5 designs for the Cape Ann license plate.

When: Thursday, April 3, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: Lower level of Cruiseport Gloucester, 6 Rowe Square.

How much: Free to the public, with free snacks and a cash bar available.


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Moving history forward

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Moving history forward

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Moving history forward


Posted on 31 March 2014


Written by Jim Flannery

Harold Burnham’s passion for wooden boats keeps a tradition alive

The craft and culture of building and sailing traditional wooden boats is embedded in the life and work of master shipwright and charter captain Harold Burnham, and in his passion for what is a dying way of life in his hometown of Essex, Mass.

“The culture here is maritime-based — based on trade and fishing,” says Burnham, 46, an 11th-generation boatbuilder and winner of a 2012 National Heritage Fellowship for his work to preserve Essex’s boatbuilding tradition. “Today that maritime culture is disappearing quickly. Any way we can hold on to it is important.”

You wouldn’t have suspected that culture was endangered on July 9, 2011, when the schooner Ardelle slipped down the ways of the H.A. Burnham yard to the cheers of 2,000 spectators — many of them friends who had helped Burnham build the boat. They pitched in not for a paycheck but for the sheer joy of helping a friend, learning something about wooden boatbuilding and seeing a traditional Essex schooner splash in the Essex River again.

 

“Harold is an amazing, amazing teacher,” says Zachary Teal, who at age 15 was the youngest volunteer to sign up to build Ardelle. “He is very patient.” And very passionate about building boats the way they used to be built in Essex.

Now a freshman at the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Teal became one of Burnham’s most dedicated apprentices and workers, and he helps crew aboard Ardelle in the summer when she carries passengers on day cruises out of Gloucester, Mass. The year Teal spent building Ardelle has left an indelible mark on the young man.

“I know now that if you really want to do something, you’ve got to work hard and bust your ass to get stuff done,” he says. “Harold really showed me that.”

Teal’s career goal is to be a tug captain, but there’s absolutely no doubt in his mind that he’ll build more boats. He says no one works with Burnham without his passion for boatbuilding rubbing off. And no one who worked on Ardelle will soon forget the spirit of “pulling together to make this happen” that kept the project in overdrive. Now when he takes Ardelle’s helm, he says, “knowing that your blood, sweat and tears went into it is a really cool thing. It’s been a pretty special experience.”

Two decades ago, there may have been two or three people who knew how to build an Essex schooner. Burnham picked their brains, opened his yard and started building schooners with the help of friends and like-minded folk who wanted to keep the Essex tradition alive. “Now that he’s built all these boats, hundreds of people know about how these heavy-construction Essex schooners are built,” Teal says.

It’s Burnham’s way of preserving his heritage: getting as many people as he can engaged in designing, building, launching and sailing traditional wooden schooners. Burnham has built six wooden boats over 23 years:

 

• Kim, a 22-foot sloop launched in 1990 that he built for himself to take passengers on lobster charters

• Tom Ellis’ Thomas E. Lannon, a twin-masted 65-foot Fredonia-style fishing schooner launched in 1997 for charter out of Gloucester

• the Lewis H. Story, a 30-foot, two-masted Chebacco fishing schooner launched in 1998 as the flagship of the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum

• Fame of Salem, a 50-foot Chebacco fishing schooner launched in 2003 as a replica of a fishboat converted for use as a privateer in the War of 1812, now chartering out of Salem, Mass.

• Isabella, a representation of a mid-1800s 38-foot two-masted fishing schooner launched in 2006 for owner William Green, who cruises on it

• Ardelle, Burnham’s 49-passenger, two-masted 58-foot Pinky fishing schooner, launched in 2011 and also chartering out of Gloucester

 

Ardelle’s launch has breathed new life into Burnham’s vision of making a living while preserving and passing on to younger generations the knowledge and skills that belong not just to him, but also to the town of 3,500 that his family helped settle in the 1600s. Six boats built in 23 years does not support a family or send kids to college. Ardelle, which sails out of the Gloucester Maritime Center, helps pay the bills now.


A graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Burnham spent six years in the merchant marine on tankers and freighters, and built traditional boats in his spare time when he was home. After marrying and starting a family — son Alden and daughter Perry — Burnham gave up seafaring to build boats full time, his passion. It was never very profitable, so he skippered charterboats to make ends meet.

Conceived, as Burnham tells it, out of economic necessity, Ardelle came down the ways at the Burnham yard after a six-year dry spell of no schooner orders at Essex’s only surviving full-time shipyard. He had been gathering timber and building supplies for his next order, which never came, so he built his own boat. Burnham doesn’t blame this state of affairs on the economy; there’s just not a lot of demand for wooden schooners.

“How long can we hold out?” he asked in an article he wrote for WoodenBoat magazine last spring. Burnham figures that chartering Ardelle will help him keep going.

“The shipbuilding business, though rewarding in many, many, many ways, was never going to be sustainable,” he says. “By running the shipbuilding and charter businesses together, one hand feeds the other. It’s working out pretty well.”

Ardelle is a hands-on advertisement for his boatbuilding business. “The idea is to get people out on the water and involved with these indigenous craft, and enjoying them,” he says. “You grow the demand for sailing on them. As demand for use of the vessels increases, demand for the vessels themselves will increase.”

The types of boats he likes to build are representations of the small fishing schooners that once worked New England waters and that capture the imagination of those who see them under sail. Burnham can’t imagine not building these boats. “It’s something I enjoy doing,” he says. “I’m good at it. I love building boats, but I like to get paid doing it, too.”

Besides improving cash flow, Ardelle immerses its passengers in the history of a region whose way of life has been rooted for centuries in building and working wooden boats.

A Burnham reputedly built Essex’s first boat, in the mid-1600s, on an acre of land that the town fathers set aside along the Essex River for boatbuilding. Essex became a hub for building, its yards turning out a boat a week in the mid-19th century — one of every seven sailboats built in America at the time. Its craftsmen produced 4,000 boats over 400 years, supplying Gloucester with schooners to fuel its growth as a major fishing port.

“Essex and Gloucester have always been tied together,” Burnham says. “Gloucester has an absolutely beautiful harbor. Essex had access to great timber.”

Essex lies along a marshy tidal river that is navigable maybe three or four hours a day. “The river made it too difficult for Essex to maintain its status as a fishing port, so it went into building boats, which employed an enormous part of the work force of the time,” he says. After World War II, steel and then fiberglass replaced wood as the hull material of choice, and as fishing declined, wooden boatbuilding in Essex fell on hard times.

By the time Burnham came along, boatbuilding was virtually extinct in Essex, but he was determined to learn all he could about it. He hung around the town’s surviving boatyards, read books written by old-timers such as Dana Story (“Growing Up in a Shipyard”), and studied historic paintings, photographs and drawings to learn about the design and construction of Essex’s traditional boats. Even today, Burnham says, he never steps aboard a wooden boat without inspecting it carefully to see how it was built.

The Storys were Burnham’s mentors — links to Essex’s past who shared their knowledge and passion for wooden boats. Dana Story, whose family had built schooners in Essex since 1870, closed his shipyard in 1948 to open a yacht service yard; his son Brad continued to build, but he turned his considerable talent to building yachts, skiffs and lobster boats of wood and composites — 52 in all. He is now an accomplished sculptor, in wood and fiberglass.

“I was always walking through Brad’s yard as a kid,” Burnham says. “Growing up in his shipyard helped get me started in boatbuilding.”

He also watched his father, Charles — a physicist who helped develop nuclear medicine imagers — build small wooden boats in their backyard. As a child, Burnham teamed with siblings to build dories and rowboats under their father’s watchful eye and sold the boats to bankroll their next project. By high school he was handcrafting small wooden sailboats and selling them — and setting his sights on bigger builds.

Today Burnham designs the schooners he builds, mills the wood (usually white oak and locust) in his own sawmill, carves the half-model, lofts the boat from the half-model, builds the boat using traditional tools (or modern ones where it makes sense), builds the mast, makes the sails, rigs the boat and installs the engine. “I’ve been very fortunate to have lived a life that has allowed me to experience many, many aspects of boat construction,” he says.

Burnham’s particular passion is for the sturdy “heavy-construction” Essex schooner or the “Pinky,” a double-ended two-master whose deck extends aft over the rudder. Its frames aren’t bent but double-sawn — that is, cut to the shape of the boat with two or more pieces butted together and paired with a second frame similarly cut, but with the joints at different places to reinforce and strengthen the other. The planks are fastened with wooden nails called trunnels that Burnham makes. The hull will rot before the fastenings do.

“Wooden fastenings will last indefinitely,” he says. “There are only a couple of people left who use trunnels. Since I started building boats, hundreds of people have witnessed [how to drive a trunnel], and many have done it firsthand. The skills must be kept alive. If they disappear, that will be the end of them.”

 

The Burnham children, Alden and Perry, grew up in a house on the Essex River next door to the barn, with its weathered wood-planked and shake-shingled siding, that serves as Burnham’s shop. Both of them helped to build Ardelle. Alden crews on her in the summer. Perry has crewed, too, but works now more in marketing in the business office.

“We lived in the boatyard,” says Alden, a history major at Boston University who attributes his own interest in history to his father’s immersion in the history of Essex. He wants to become a teacher.

“Once a day I’d have to come out in the yard to see what he was doing,” Alden says. “I’d do it grudgingly, but I’m very grateful for it.”

It was Burnham’s way of introducing the Essex boatbuilding tradition to his children.

“My dad is an incredible historian,” Alden says. “He knows so much about the period.” Some people read about history in a textbook, Alden says. His father lives history, recites history and preserves history. Burnham is an honorary board member of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and a frequent lecturer there and at boatbuilding shops.

Alden says his father has been a good friend to many in and around Essex, the barn-raisings of old, when it came to building Ardelle, as with one good turn deserved another.

“It’s better to have friends than money,” he says. “My dad does have a lot of friends that came down to help him build this boat.” He gives much of the credit for Ardelle to them.

“When I started it, I was slowly going broke,” Burnham says. All of his funds were tied up in supplies for the order that never came in. “I put out the word that I could use some help. This was a community effort.”

Burnham made sure everyone who worked ate hearty and well. That was their pay. Perry, who helped caulk Isabella for $10 an hour when she was 9 years old, says working on Ardelle was great fun. She caulked, set screws, greased the way, cooked big lunches and dinners for the work crews.

“You get close to all these people who come to the yard and work on the boat,” she says. “I was really sad and cried when we launched Ardelle. I’ve missed them.”

Perry plans to go on to college, get a business degree and help grow the family business. It’s in her blood.

Like Teal, she and Alden say their father’s passion for building traditional wooden boats and his perseverance in keeping the culture and craft of Essex boatbuilding alive are infectious. Burnham always has advised his children to follow their passion.

They say they are. “He’s still following his,” Alden says.

Dan Tobyne photos


More information is available at www.schoonerardelle.com

More on the H.A. Burnham yard and its services can ve found at www.burnhamboatbuilding.com

See related article:

- A magical boatyard

April 2014 issue

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Help removing derelict boats is in the works

Bills that give marine law enforcement officers more control of the regulation of live-aboard and moored boats in nearshore waters are sailing through the state Legislature.

The bills are designed to combat the problem of people abandoning old boats and sticking local governments with the tab for their removal, which has become a serious problem in the Florida Keys.

State House Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, has sponsored H.B. 1363 that would grant Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and “certain” law enforcement officers the power “to relocate or remove vessels that constitute a navigation hazard or interfere with another vessel.”

H.B. 1363 leaves open the possibility that sheriff’s deputies and other local law enforcement officers could order the removal of abandon boats. And it exempts the FWC and other law enforcement agencies from liability for damages to a derelict vessel caused by the relocation or removal of such a vessel.

Derelict vessels are ones that are left, stored or abandoned and in a wrecked, junked or substantially dismantled condition. The officers can call for the vessels’ removal if they are left docked, grounded or beached upon the property of another without the consent of the owner of the property.

The bill states “no person shall be moored or anchored, except in case of emergency, in a manner that shall unreasonably or unnecessarily constitute a navigational hazard or interfere with another vessel. Anchoring under bridges or adjacent to heavily traveled channels shall constitute an interference.”

FWC or the local agencies can bill the vessel owner for the cost of relocation and removal, according to the bill.

Neither Van Zant nor his staff could be reached for comment about the bill on Friday.

H.B. 1363 has been passed unanimously by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. It is currently in the State Affairs committee. It has a companion bill in the state Senate, S.B. 1594, which is in the Criminal Justice Committee.

The bills still needed to be voted on by the full House and Senate.

Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent supports the bills, calling the derelict and abandon vessel “a statewide issued that has to be dealt with.”

“This legislation could really help us,” he said.

Neugent has pushed for programs that would remove vessels from mooring fields before the boats become derelict. During the past three years, the county has spent more than $500,000 to remove derelict vessels — money the commissioner said could have been used for managed mooring fields, boat ramps and channel markers.

The county could be on the hook for the removal of an old tugboat named Tilly and a sailboat that are currently sunk roughly two miles off Key West. The cost to remove both vessels is estimated to be more than $500,000.

Monroe County is one of five local governments across the state that has partnered with the FWC on a pilot mooring field program. The program is designed to help local governments deal with live-aboard boaters on issues such as sewage pump out and the removal of boats that are about to become abandoned.

The program is scheduled to sunset in 2014, but there are two bills, H.B. 955 and S.B. 1126, that would extend the program by another three years.

On Tuesday, H.B. 955 was unanimously passed by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Committee. Earlier this month, the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee unanimously passed S.B. 1126.

The bills still needed to be voted on by the full House and Senate.

The Legislature, at the FWC’s request, established the mooring field program in 2009, but most areas, including Monroe County, did not implement the program until 2012.

The program sets up a series of test rules designed to encourage boaters to pump out sewage and maintain their vessels so they won’t deteriorate to a point where the FWC and local government agencies have to pay to have the vessels removed.

The test rules are in place for the mooring fields in Key West Harbor, Cow Key Channel off Stock Island, Boca Chica Basin between Stock Island and Boca Chica Key, Boot Key Harbor in Marathon and Sunset Cove in Key Largo.

The pilot rules include requiring pump-out of sewage and citing vessel owners if their boats become derelict.

At the same time, Monroe County government expanded its pump-out services and made them free to the public.

tohara@keysnews.com


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Sail away: Regatta to hit the waters off Naples coast with special guest attending

Sailboats with colorful sails take part in last year's regatta. This year's race, the Gulf Coast Sailing Club's 38th Porsche of Naples Cup Regatta, will be held Friday through Sunday in Naples. Races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in the vicinity of the Naples Pier.    Vic Farmer/Special to the Citizen

Sailboats with colorful sails take part in last year’s regatta. This year’s race, the Gulf Coast Sailing Club’s 38th Porsche of Naples Cup Regatta, will be held Friday through Sunday in Naples. Races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in the vicinity of the Naples Pier.

Vic Farmer/Special to the Citizen


Nearly two dozen boats — with such names as Air Supply, Barefoot Contessa and Still Crazy — will fill the Gulf waters near the Naples Pier for the Gulf Coast Sailing Club’s 38th Porsche of Naples Cup Regatta on Saturday and Sunday.

The local sailors will be joined in the competition by Brian MacInnes, one of the “comeback kids” from the Oracle Team USA crew that staged a dramatic rally to win the America’s Cup last fall in San Francisco.

MacInnes is scheduled to be aboard Mike Rainen’s Blown Away in the True Cruising class and Martin Wasmer’s FINN in the Spinnaker A class.

Fred Hall, a Gulf Coast Sailing Club volunteer on the 15-member race committee, said MacInnes’s visit is an ideal fit for the event.

“Especially after the comeback. It blends right in with the whole regatta,” said Hall, a longtime sailor in Michigan waters.

Before the races, MacInnes was the featured speaker at a pre-race dinner on Friday at the Naples Yacht Club.

Naples resident Peter Schutz, a former CEO of Porsche and sailing enthusiast, will be the guest speaker on Saturday at the Naples Sailing Yacht Club at 896 River Point Drive.

The races will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Twenty-two boats from Naples’ clubs as well as clubs from Marco Island and Fort Myers will vie for the first place blue flags, also known as brag flags, in five classes: True Cruising, Spinnaker A, Spinnaker B, Non-spinnaker and Multihull. The average crew per boat is six people.

Hall said spectators on land will be able to see the boats lined up at the start/finish line near the pier. Boaters are also welcomed to watch the races along the course. Hall said the Coast Guard will be on hand to help make sure the course remains clear for the participants.

In addition to the competition on the water, the regatta serves as a benefit. Portions of the proceeds will help youth sailing programs at the Naples Community Sailing Center, and Freedom Waters, a sailing organization for the disabled and others with special needs.

The Gulf Coast Sailing Club has been a key contributor to local high school sailing programs. Last year, the club provided three scholarships to Naples High School student sailors.

Gulf Coast Sailing Club Commodore Elizabeth Bloch said Naples High is the only public school in Collier County that has a sailing program. She hopes more schools come aboard.

“We’d like to have other schools involved and we’d love to support them,” she said.

Naples High’s Taylor Hinote will compete in the regatta aboard Vic Farmer’s Vee Jay in the Spinniker B class.

“The kids hone their skills at the Naples Community Sailing Center,” said Bloch, who grew up sailing on Long Island Sound. “From this regatta, we’ll donate a large portion to (the center) and a portion to Freedom Waters.”

Bloch said a goal of the club is to help expand sailing’s reach.

“The last couple years the big push has been to make sailing more accessible to the community,” Bloch said. “We’re very inclusive. We want people to participate with us and that includes the kids.”


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Baby boomers savor retirement living on boats in Mexico

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LA PAZ, Mexico — They’re nomads, sailing freely, crossing international waters, guided by one principle: Just float.

“Good thing is, we don’t have a schedule,” said Allyson van Os of Dallas. “We just do the things we like to do, when we want to do them. That’s our schedule.”

Van Os, 62, is one of millions of baby boomers living part of their lives on boats, inspired by a lifestyle that she acknowledges is harder than it seems.

She and her husband, Ed, and two dogs, Dexter and Pequena, dock their 65-foot boat, the Virginia Reel, in the waters of La Paz in the Baja Peninsula, the same place where Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes first docked his boat in 1535. They are joined there by more than 100 other boat owners, part of a growing nautical tourism business in Mexico that isn’t without legal hassles, including tax agents, but that is a dream many boat owners say is worth pursuing.

With an estimated 80 million baby boomers retiring in the coming years, Mexico looms large as an alternative place to live not just on land, but on sea. Recreational boating industry experts predict that the number of boomer boat owners will grow, although finding exact figures — anywhere from 10 million to 17 million, by some estimates — is difficult in part because of their nomadic existence.

Many of these retirees are living seasonally or year-round on boats, lured by the simplicity of life and lower cost of living. They are also searching for tranquility, a place away from the fast pace and hectic life increasingly dominated, they say, by time pressures in an age of social media.

“You come here to check out on a life that’s not yours anymore,” said Leanne Lawrence, 61, originally from Texas and now commuting between La Paz and Oregon with her husband, Jack Jandreau. “You come here to reconnect with yourself and the nature around you, the sunsets, sunrises and the welcoming people of Mexico.”

Hence La Paz, “The Peace,” a seaside town known for sports fishing, whales, seafood and, increasingly, Americans seeking to reinvent themselves, much the way author John Steinbeck did when he stayed here and was inspired to pen some of his classic books, including “The Pearl” and “Sea of Cortez.”

“The community is just right, feels right,” said Jandreau, 64, who with his wife has been sailing to La Paz for more than 20 years.

But the boat lifestyle is not for everyone, and challenges are many, cautioned Mark Nicholas, author of “The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat.”

“The live-aboard lifestyle is easily sold as a romantic dream,” Nicholas said. “While that can be true, boats require work and experience.”

In November, Mexican tax agents disrupted the tranquil life for many, temporarily impounding more than 300 foreign-owned sailboats and yachts across Mexican marinas. Most of the boats have since been released. The tax agents seemed to be going after tax cheats without fully understanding international laws, said Lawrence, who added that boat owners are not required to pay tax or duty if they have a 10-year temporary import permit, which costs about $50.

“There was a lot of confusion, but that’s been resolved,” she said. “Life is back to normal.”

Mexico’s Tax Service Administration, equivalent to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, declined a request for an interview, but an official said most of the vessels seized have been freed.

Still, Morey Glazer, a Dallas-based international tax consultant, said the incident serves as a warning for Americans.

“Mexican authorities can take and sell your assets, or just take your boat, your condo,” he said. “As more Americans move south of the border, they have to be on top of the tax laws because they can be confusing and sometimes messy.”

Nicholas has other practical advice. “Take time to understand a bit about the lifestyle, and if you haven’t already, spend time aboard a boat getting used to the sights, sounds, motion and smells. There are lots of pros, but also lots of cons, including limited space, moisture and so forth.”

Even so, for boat owners like van Os and her friends, sailing, living on a boat, sleeping on gentle ocean waves and building a community on a marina never gets old.

Van Os lives in La Paz between October and June and wishes her three granddaughters in Dallas would visit. She insists that Americans are too consumed with concerns about security.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued its annual travel warning recently: “Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we urge individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”

“I don’t even give that a thought,” said van Os. “Security has never been an issue for me. This has always been personal, about finding an inner peace.”

She was just 5 years old when she first visited La Paz with her brother and parents. She has a photo of the four of them that day, one she still keeps aboard the Virginia Reel. She said her late brother would always point to that photo and say, “That was the happiest day of my life.”

“I knew then I would want one day to live here, and La Paz always somehow finds a way to give something back to me, that moment in life that’s always there.”

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Pawar `sailing in two boats', alleges Abu Azmi

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Jalgaon (Maha), Mar 24 (PTI) Targeting the Union
Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi
Party leader Abu Azmi today accused him of “sailing in two
boats simultaneously”.

He also said that minority communities should keep it in
mind that voting for NCP was tantamount to voting for the
BJP-NDA.


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Baby boomers buy boats for smooth sailing in retirement

LA PAZ, Mexico — They’re nomads, sailing freely, crossing international waters, guided by one principle: Just float.

“Good thing is, we don’t have a schedule,” said Allyson van Os, of Dallas. “We just do the things we like to do, when we want to do them. That’s our schedule.”

Van Os, 62, is one of millions of baby boomers living part of their lives on boats, inspired by a lifestyle that she acknowledges is harder than it seems.

She and her husband, Ed, and two dogs, Dexter and Pequena, dock their 65-foot boat, the Virginia Reel, in the waters of La Paz in the Baja Peninsula, the same place where Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés first docked his boat in 1535. They are joined there by more than 100 other boat owners, part of a growing nautical tourism business in Mexico that isn’t without legal hassles, including tax agents, but that is a dream many boat owners say is worth pursuing.

With an estimated 80 million baby boomers retiring in the coming years, Mexico looms large as an alternative place to live not just on land but on sea. Recreational boating industry experts predict that the number of boomer boat owners will grow, although finding exact figures — anywhere from 10 million to 17 million, by some estimates — is difficult in part because of their nomadic existence.

Many of these retirees are living seasonally or year-round on boats, lured by the simplicity of life and lower cost of living. They also are searching for tranquillity, a place away from the fast pace and hectic life increasingly dominated, they say, by time pressures in an age of social media.

“You come here to check out on a life that’s not yours anymore,” said Leanne Lawrence, 61, originally from Texas and now commuting between La Paz and Oregon with her husband, Jack Jandreau. “You come here to reconnect with yourself and the nature around you, the sunsets, sunrises and the welcoming people of Mexico.”

Hence La Paz, “The Peace,” a seaside town known for sports fishing, whales, seafood and, increasingly, Americans seeking to reinvent themselves, much the way author John Steinbeck did when he stayed here and was inspired to pen some of his classic books, including “The Pearl” and “Sea of Cortez.”

“The community is just right, feels right,” said Jandreau, 64, who with his wife has been sailing to La Paz for more than 20 years.

In the shadow of Cabo San Lucas, just an hour or so down a new highway, La Paz is booming into something not quite defined yet but with some certainty that it won’t become another tourist trap like Cabo or Cancun. Instead, La Paz retains its Mexican aura of familial ties, even with a makeover that includes bike lanes, pricey condos with stunning ocean views, an 18-hole Gary Player golf course and a list of hotels. That list is headed by CostaBaja Resort, which includes a marina for more high-end clients, including Hollywood actors who dock and quietly mingle on their own.

“We have all types of clients,” said Maria del Mar Bueno Riestra, the CostaBaja public relations event manager. “Whether on sea or on ground, all are looking for security, tranquillity, and this is what we offer — peace.”

But the boat lifestyle is not for everyone, and challenges are many, cautioned Mark Nicholas, author of “The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat.”

“The live-aboard lifestyle is easily sold as a romantic dream,” Nicholas said. “While that can be true, boats require work and experience.”

In November, Mexican tax agents disrupted the tranquil life for many, temporarily impounding more than 300 foreign-owned sailboats and yachts across Mexican marinas. Most of the boats have since been released. The tax agents seemed to be going after tax cheats without fully understanding international laws, said Lawrence, who added that boat owners are not required to pay tax or duty if they have a 10-year temporary import permit, which costs about $50.

“There was a lot of confusion, but that’s been resolved,” she said. “Life is back to normal.”

Mexico’s Tax Service Administration, equivalent to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, declined a request for an interview, but an official said most of the vessels seized have been freed.

Still, Morey Glazer, a Dallas-based international tax consultant, said the incident serves as a warning for Americans.

“Mexican authorities can take and sell your assets, or just take your boat, your condo,” he said. “As more Americans move south of the border, they have to be on top of the tax laws because they can be confusing and sometimes messy.”

Nicholas has other practical advice. “Take time to understand a bit about the lifestyle, and if you haven’t already, spend time aboard a boat getting used to the sights, sounds, motion and smells. There are lots of pros but also lots of cons, including limited space, moisture and so forth.”

Even so, for boat owners like van Os and her friends, sailing, living on a boat, sleeping on gentle ocean waves and building a community on a marina never gets old.

Van Os lives in La Paz between October and June and wishes her three granddaughters in Dallas would visit. She insists that Americans are too consumed with concerns about security.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued its annual travel warning recently: “Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we urge individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”

“I don’t even give that a thought,” said van Os. “Security has never been an issue for me. This has always been personal, about finding an inner peace.”

She was just 5 years old when she first visited La Paz with her brother and parents. She has a photo of the four of them that day, one she still keeps aboard the Virginia Reel. She said her late brother always would point to that photo and say, “That was the happiest day of my life.”

“I knew then I would want one day to live here, and La Paz always somehow finds a way to give something back to me, that moment in life that’s always there.”


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Boomers on boats, floating through golden years

LA PAZ, Mexico — They’re nomads, sailing freely, crossing international waters, guided by one principle: Just float.

“Good thing is, we don’t have a schedule,â€� said Allyson van Os of Dallas. “We just do the things we like to do, when we want to do them. That’s our schedule.â€�

Van Os, 62, is one of millions of baby boomers living part of their lives on boats, inspired by a lifestyle that she acknowledges is harder than it seems.

She and her husband, Ed, and two dogs, Dexter and Pequena, dock their 65-foot boat, the Virginia Reel, in the waters of La Paz in the Baja Peninsula, the same place where Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes docked his boat in 1535. They are joined there by more than 100 other boat owners, part of a growing nautical tourism business in Mexico that isn’t without legal hassles, including tax agents, but that is a dream many boat owners say is worth pursuing.

With an estimated 80 million baby boomers retiring in the coming years, Mexico looms large as an alternative place to live — not just on land, but on sea. Recreational boating industry experts predict that the number of boomer boat owners will grow, although finding exact figures — anywhere from 10 million to 17 million, by some estimates — is difficult in part because of their nomadic existence.

Many of these retirees are living seasonally or year-round on boats, lured by the simplicity of life and lower cost of living. They are searching for tranquility, a place away from the fast pace and hectic life increasingly dominated, they say, by time pressures in an age of social media.

“You come here to check out on a life that’s not yours anymore,â€� said Leanne Lawrence, 61, originally from Texas and now commuting between La Paz and Oregon with her husband, Jack Jandreau. “You come here to reconnect with yourself and the nature around you, the sunsets, sunrises and the welcoming people of Mexico.â€�

Hence La Paz, “The Peace,� a seaside town known for sports fishing, whales, seafood and, increasingly, Americans seeking to reinvent themselves, much the way author John Steinbeck did when he stayed here and was inspired to pen some of his classic books, including “The Pearl� and “Sea of Cortez.�

“The community is just right, feels right,� said Jandreau, 64, who with his wife has been sailing to La Paz for more than 20 years.

In the shadow of Cabo San Lucas, just an hour or so down a new highway, La Paz is booming into something not quite defined, but with some certainty that it won’t become another tourist trap like Cabo or Cancun.

Instead, La Paz retains its Mexican aura of familial ties, even with a makeover that includes bike lanes, pricey condos with stunning ocean views, an 18-hole Gary Player golf course and a list of hotels. That list is headed by CostaBaja Resort, which includes a marina for more high-end clients, including Hollywood actors who dock and quietly mingle.

“We have all types of clients,� said Maria del Mar Bueno Riestra, the CostaBaja public relations event manager. “Whether on sea or on ground, all are looking for security, tranquility, and this is what we offer, peace.�

In November, Mexican tax agents disrupted the tranquil life for many, temporarily impounding more than 300 foreign-owned sailboats and yachts across Mexican marinas. Most of the boats have since been released. The tax agents seemed to be going after tax cheats without fully understanding international laws, said Lawrence, who added that boat owners are not required to pay tax or duty if they have a 10-year temporary import permit, which costs $50.

“There was a lot of confusion, but that’s been resolved,â€� she said. “Life is back to normal.â€�

Mexico’s Tax Service Administration, equivalent to the Internal Revenue Service, declined a request for an interview, but an official said most of the vessels seized have been freed.

Still, Morey Glazer, a Dallas-based international tax consultant, said the incident serves as a warning.

“Mexican authorities can take and sell your assets, or just take your boat, your condo,� he said. “As more Americans move south of the border, they have to be on top of the tax laws because they can be confusing and sometimes messy.�

Even so, for boat owners like van Os and her friends, sailing, living on a boat, sleeping on gentle ocean waves and building a community on a marina never gets old.

Van Os lives in La Paz between October and June and wishes her three granddaughters in Dallas would visit. She insists that Americans are too consumed with concerns about security.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued its annual travel warning recently: “Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we urge individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.�

“I don’t even give that a thought,â€� said van Os. “Security has never been an issue for me. This has always been personal, about finding an inner peace.â€�

She was 5 when she first visited La Paz with her brother and parents. She has a photo of the four of them that day, one she keeps aboard the Virginia Reel. She said her late brother would always point to that photo and say, “That was the happiest day of my life.�

“I knew then I would want one day to live here, and La Paz always somehow finds a way to give something back to me, that moment in life that’s always there.â€�


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Sailing: Team NZ finish second overall

Emirates Team New Zealand has finished the Extreme Sailing Series Muscat regatta in second place overall.

Two race wins and a third place in the double-points final race was enough for them to claim second, bettering their fourth place finish from Act 1, Singapore.

Skipper Dean said: “We wanted to improve on Singapore; we wanted to sail well and get on the podium. We’ve achieved that.

“There’s still a lot of room to improve but, in saying that, every team struggled with the conditions here. Our crew stayed very positive throughout, even when it didn’t feel like things were going our way.”

The breeze was up today; a steady 20 knots across the race course with gusts up to 26. It was a sharp contrast to the drifting conditions of the first three days. Eight races were held.

In really tough racing, Dean Barker and his crew managed to stay well in touch. Results were mixed but the same was true for all of the top four teams. With only a handful of points separating them – leaderboard positions changed race by race.

Heading into the final race, four teams were in the running to win the regatta – The Wave, Muscat, Emirates Team New Zealand, Alinghi and SAP Extreme Sailing Team. With only four points between them and 20 points for the win it was all on.

Dean Barker nailed one of the better starts and managed to get around the top mark in second place, but was surrounded by the other three boats in the running for the three podium spots.

The crew – Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas and Edwin Delaat – held their composure around the track and managed a third place, narrowly ahead of Alinghi.

That gave Barker his podium finish – eight points behind the winner The Wave and one point ahead of Alinghi, third. After two regattas of the 2014 season, Emirates Team New Zealand is third overall.

The next regatta is in Quingdao, China, from May 1-4. Peter Burling will take the helm for this regatta and Blair Tuke will trim.

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 2

Muscat standings after Day 4, 29 races

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 188 points.

2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 180 points.

3rd Alinghi (SUI) 179 points.

4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 176 points.

5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 158 points.

6th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 153 points.

7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 145 points.

8th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 144 points.

9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 137 points.

10th Oman Air (OMA 123 points.

11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 94 points.

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 19 points.

2nd Alinghi (SUI) 18 points.

3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 16 points.

4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 13 points.

5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 9 points.

6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 9 points.

7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 9 points.

8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 8 points.

9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 6 points.

10th Oman Air (OMA) 3 points.

11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 2 points.


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