Archive for » May 15th, 2014«

Strictly Boaters Boat Show caters to dedicated mariners

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There are no water skiing squirrels, rib eating contests or models dressed as mermaids. Since 2009, serious boat buyers have been heading to Cape May for the Strictly Boaters Boat Show at South Jersey Marina. The three-day show will take place this Friday through Sunday, May 2, 3 and 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m each day.

As the name implies, Strictly Boaters features regional boat manufacturers, dealers and companies that furnish products and services used by New Jersey’s legion of dedicated boaters. Since its inception, dozens of dealers have exhibited at the show.

South Jersey launched the boat show, in the midst of one of the nation’s worst recessions, specifically to people who are serious about boating.

“Everyone was looking to sell some boats at the time, so we invited the competition to join us,” said Mark Allen, show manager. Unlike conventional, boat shows, Strictly Boaters does not try to draw the browsing, non-boating public. Rather, it aims to attract people who love boats, water and fishing.

“This is not your typical boat show, this is the unboat show,” said Allen, who has been there from the beginning.

Most people, Allen said, judge a boat show by attendance, but that is not the benchmark organizers of the Strictly Boaters show go by. “We go by the number of boats sold,” he said.

Most of the exhibitors at the show return year after year, he said, because they sell boats. “The show attracts knowledgeable buyers who ask good questions,” said Allen

Allen is especially excited about this year’s show.

“Marine Max and Comstock Yachts have become involved in a big way.” he said. “It’s going to be a great show.”

Marine Max, one of the nation’s largest marine retailers, will be displaying Sailfish and Scout models. Comstock Yachts, of Brick will be bringing the latest additions to its line of boats, SeaHunter and HydraSports Custom, to the show.

Until very recently, both models were available only through factory direct sales, but Comstock has become a factory direct outlet and test center for SeaHunter and HyrdaSports Custom.


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Views on Wendella Boat Tours 'can't be beat'

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) –
Rain or shine, the tour boats will be sailing this summer on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Many commuters use the water taxis on a daily basis. But now tourists also have the opportunity to see Chicago from a unique point of view.

The boats have been transporting and entertaining passengers since 1935 – they are a Chicago-owned classic.

The Wendella Boat Tours season typically kicks off on St Patrick’s Day. But this year, boats were not able to get out of the South Side harbor until late March. The season is now underway and runs through November.

On the tours, guides give details about Chicago’s changing architecture, telling how Chicago went from a trading post city to a major crossroads. Organizers told FOX 32’s Joanie Lum even they have their favorite sights along the river.

“Our heart here is always with the Wrigley Building. It has been our home and it is one of the most beautiful buildings here. A lot of people like 333 because you get the reflections of the branches and the Merchandise Mart. And of course when you go through the lock, you get out to the skyline. You cannot beat that anywhere in the world,” one tour guide said.

Students who have been on the boat for field trips describe the experience as “cool.”

“I like how the boat looked and I liked seeing all the building I never saw before,” one student said.

The Water Taxis run every 15 minutes between Michigan Avenue and Union Station. Taxis also go to Chinatown and the north branch of the river. Passengers can purchase all all-day pass for the water taxi for just $8.


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Last vessel removed from Toms River boat graveyard


And then there were none.

A scrap yard crew on Wednesday tore apart a nameless, abandoned 41-foot yacht that had run aground on the banks of the Toms River, marking the last of 115 boats to be removed from that parcel of land since 2012.

“We’re closing this chapter on a high note,” South Toms River Mayor Joseph Champagne Jr said Tuesday at Mathis Plaza near the work site.

Officials said the wooden yacht is the only one of those disposed boats from the Miller Yacht Sales properties at the intersection of Route 166 and Crabbe Road to cost the borough any money.

Lance Chambeau is the owner and captain of the River Lady, a paddle-wheel riverboat that takes passengers up and down the Toms River and Barnegat Bay on lunch and dinner cruises. The riverboat docks on the other side of Mathis Plaza from the derelict marina.

“Certainly, we’ve noticed a big difference,” Chambeau said of the cleanup. “We’ll end up cruising closer to their shorelines, where we used to avoid that area in the past.”

The yacht’s owner was neither in a legal position to be held “personally accountable” nor did the owner have any assets to come after, according to Robert Tarver, a local lawyer who has represented the township in their negotiations with the marina’s late owner, Donald Miller, and his surviving family. He declined to elaborate further.

A phone number for Miller Yacht Sales was disconnected and other attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful. The Miller family did not own that particular yacht, Tarver confirmed.

The Miller properties had fallen into “significant disrepair and decay,” Tarver said, including people living in their boats on the property, despite it not being zoned as residential and inadequate sanitary facilities. The state Department of Environmental Protection got involved for that very reason, said Bob Considine, a DEP spokesman. There were also boats at the marina that were leaking oil and gas into the river, he added.

The borough started to pressure the owners to clean it up in 2012 and eventually an agreement was reached where the boats, excluding the two that were disposed of this week, were removed from the property at no cost to the borough, according to Tarver. About 70 of the boats were resting on land, he said.

The yacht and a steel tugboat, which had been at the marina north of Crabbe Road since the 1980s, were destroyed by Allied Recycling of Mount Holly. The total cost was expected to be $11,750, according to Borough administrator Joseph Kostecki, who added the contractor has agreed to take a pay cut in exchange for the scrap metal. The DEP said it’s paying for 75 percent of the costs, and Kostecki said the final bill for the borough will be about $1,700.

Russ Zimmer: 732-557-5748; razimmer@gannett.com


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Last vessel removed from boat graveyard on Toms River

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SOUTH TOMS RIVER — And then there were none.

A scrap yard crew on Wednesday tore apart a nameless, abandoned 41-foot yacht that had run aground on the banks of the Toms River, marking the last of 115 boats to be removed from that parcel of land since 2012.

“We’re closing this chapter on a high note,” South Toms River Mayor Joseph Champagne Jr. said Tuesday at Mathis Plaza near the work site.

Officials said the wooden yacht is the only one of those disposed boats from the Miller Yacht Sales properties at the intersection of Route 166 and Crabbe Road to cost the borough any money.

Lance Chambeau is the owner and captain of the River Lady, a paddle-wheel riverboat that takes passengers up and down the Toms River and Barnegat Bay on lunch and dinner cruises. The riverboat docks on the other side of Mathis Plaza from the derelict marina.

“Certainly, we’ve noticed a big difference,” Chambeau said of the cleanup. “We’ll end up cruising closer to their shorelines, where we used to avoid that area in the past.”

The yacht’s owner was neither in a legal position to be held “personally accountable” nor did the owner have any assets to come after, according to Robert Tarver, a local lawyer who has represented the township in their negotiations with the marina’s late owner, Donald Miller, and his surviving family. He declined to elaborate further.

A phone number for Miller Yacht Sales was disconnected, and other attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful. The Miller family did not own that particular yacht, Tarver confirmed.

The Miller properties had fallen into “significant disrepair and decay,” Tarver said, including people living in their boats on the property despite it not being zoned as residential and having inadequate sanitary facilities. The state Department of Environmental Protection got involved for that very reason, said Bob Considine, a DEP spokesman. There were also boats at the marina that were leaking oil and gas into the river, he added.

The borough started to pressure the owners to clean it up in 2012, and eventually an agreement was reached where the boats, excluding the two that were disposed of this week, were removed from the property at no cost to the borough, according to Tarver. About 70 of the boats were resting on land, he said.

The yacht and a steel tugboat, which had been at the marina north of Crabbe Road since the 1980s, were destroyed by Allied Recycling of Mount Holly. The total cost was expected to be $11,750, according to Borough Administrator Joseph Kostecki, who added the contractor has agreed to take a pay cut in exchange for the scrap metal. The DEP said it’s paying for 75 percent of the costs, and Kostecki said the final bill for the borough will be about $1,700.


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