Archive for » March 12th, 2015«

Denison Yacht Sales expands to US Virgin Islands

Denison Yacht Sales of Fort Lauderdale has opened its second office in the Caribbean, a sign of the rebound underway in the boating industry.

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The company launched a locale on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands at American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook, on the island’s east end. The new office is led by Wiley Sharp, an experienced charter captain.

The expansion taps a popular market for catamarans in the U.S. Virgin Islands, an area long known for yachting because of its clear waters, white sand beaches and abundant cays.

The St. Thomas locale also complements Denison Yacht’s recently opened office in the nearby U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, said Bob Denison, president of the fast-growing company, which now employs 85 people in sales and service in 13 offices worldwide.

Boat sales are rebounding, thanks in part to U.S. economic recovery and more aggressive marketing online and globally by yacht sales companies, according to industry reports.

In the U.S., the National Marine Manufacturers Association forecasts 5 percent growth in new powerboat sales for 2015, the third straight year of sales growth coming out of the recession.

The Denison family began in Fort Lauderdale’s boating industry in 1948, launching Broward Marine first to repair boats and later to build them, too. The family now offers yachting services globally, from sales and charter to new construction and yacht management.

Denison Yacht Sales, which sells both new and pre-owned boats, has offices beyond its home base in Palm Beach Gardens, St. Petersburg and Naples in Florida; Montauk in New York; Marina del Rey, Newport Beach and San Diego in California; Holland in Michigan; Charleston in South Carolina; Seattle in Washington; Fajardo in Puerto Rico; and Antibes in France.

dhemlock@sunsentinel.com, 305-810-5009, @dhemlock on Twitter

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel


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Sailing: Tropical cyclone delays Ocean Race

AUCKLAND – A powerful cyclone in the Pacific forced organisers to delay the fifth leg of the worldwide Volvo Ocean Race because of safety fears on Thursday.

The six-strong fleet was due to leave Auckland for Itajai, Brazil on Sunday but will now not set sail until Monday at the earliest to avoid Tropical Cyclone Pam.

The storm was approaching the Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Thursday, with forecast winds in excess of 165 kilometres per hour (102 mph).

“We’re making this decision now because we don’t know the exact track of this tropical cyclone yet,” said Knut Frostad, CEO of the round-the-world race.

“It’s unusually big and essentially it’s blocking the road for our sailors, so it’s prudent seamanship from our side to leave them with options.”

Even if the system, which could strengthen as it heads south, misses New Zealand, big swells and rough seas would still cause real problems for the fleet.

“Our biggest concern is the sea state, rather than the wind,” said Frostad. “The boats can handle a lot of wind, but there will be very big waves along the New Zealand coast, with nowhere to hide.”

The fleet will now not leave before 2:00 pm (0100 GMT) on Monday on the 6,776 nautical mile (12,549 kilometres) leg through the treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean.

The nine-month race, which is staged over nine legs, covers 38,739nm in all, and is due to finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

It has already lost one boat, Team Vestas Wind, which ran into an Indian Ocean reef during the second leg and had to be retrieved for a rebuild and planned return to the race from early June.

Latest positions: 1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 8pts, 2. Dongfeng Race Team (China) 8, 3. Team Brunel 14, 4. Team Alvimedica (US/Turkey) 16, 5. MAPFRE (Spain) 16, 6. Team SCA (Sweden) 24, 7. Team Vestas Wind (Denmark) 28


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Lake group pushes bill requiring boat titles

Just last week, the Gainesville-based Lake Lanier Association sent an email blast with the subject line “Have you seen this houseboat?”

The email contains a couple of photos of a 43-foot 1970 Stardust, last seen at Sunrise Cove Marina around 2011.

“There is an issue with this houseboat, and the Lake Lanier Association would like to get in contact with the owner,” the organization states.

The association, which has worked to remove abandoned boats from the lake, is hoping passage of a House bill requiring boat titles will put muscle in the search for owners of such craft.

“Georgia is one of few states in the U.S. that doesn’t title vessels,” the organization says. “As a result, tracking ownership over the course of time, especially as a vessel changes owners, can be difficult.”

Under the current system, new boat owners pay a one-time sales tax at the time of purchase.

“In addition to that tax, I also pay annually an ad valorem tax on that personal property,” said Joanna Cloud, the association’s executive director. “It depends on the value of my boat and the county where the boat is located, but, for me, it works out to about $150 per year.”

Cloud said she pays a registration fee to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources once every three years to register her boat.

Under House Bill 356, new boat owners would pay a one-time 4 percent sales tax but no longer pay an annual ad valorem tax. Owners of existing boats would continue to pay ad valorem.

In both cases, boat owners would have to register their boat annually with their county tax commissioner’s office for the boat title — a $20 fee.

“This is not a new tax,” Cloud said “This is restructuring our current tax and our DNR registration system. The current DNR system is antiquated and not effective at tracking ownership.”

Also pushing the legislation is the Marine Trade Association of Metropolitan Atlanta.

Gainesville Marina’s Philip Burton, who has served as Marine Trade Association president, said he recently pulled a 16-foot boat from Lake Lanier without a current registration sticker, and DNR is trying to find the owner.

 “We need some kind of database to find owners or at least keep warm on their trail,” he said.

“This is a good bill,” Burton said. “It’s good for boat owners, lenders and dealers.”

Georgia ranks high in the nation in boat theft, partially “due to the nontitle issue,” according to the Lake Lanier Association.

The group further states: “Some lenders are less willing to finance boat sales in a nontitle state. That leaves fewer lenders willing to finance, which translates into less competition in this market and higher interest rates charged on boat loans to consumers.”

Hall County Tax Commissioner Darla Eden said she believes lawmakers want a “one-stop shop” for boat owners to register and title watercraft where they register and title motor vehicles — their county of residence.

“To accomplish this home convenience for the taxpayer, counties like Hall will lose traditional tax revenues to boat owners that live in other counties,” she said.

However, “we are working with the legislator/sponsors and related parties to help shape the bill into something that could be workable if we are handed the job of titling and registering boats,” Eden said.

State Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the bill may get pushed into the next legislative session.

“Usually a bill of that depth takes a second year to develop,” he said, adding, however, that he believes the Lake Lanier Association and others should be able to track down owners of abandoned craft.

“We tried to do that bill 10 years ago and there was a lot of opposition to it,” Rogers said.

Burton, for one, is hopeful legislation will still emerge in the 2015 General Assembly, “even if we have to tweak it in the next session.”

“This is not the first time a titling bill has come up, but it is one of the best that has come along,” he said.


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Sailing

Knut Frostad, CEO of the marathon round-the-world sailing event, told reporters on Thursday that he had no option but to delay the planned departure from Auckland to Itajaí.

The six-strong fleet was originally set to depart for the 6,776-nautical mile voyage through the treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean on Sunday.

“We’re making this decision now because we don’t know the exact track of this tropical cyclone yet,” Frostad said.

“It’s unusually big and essentially it’s blocking the road for our sailors, so it’s prudent seamanship from our side to leave them with options.”

Forecasts suggest that the tropical cyclone could strengthen further as it heads south and even if the system missed New Zealand, big swells and rough seas could still cause real problems for the fleet.

“Our biggest concern is the sea state, rather than the wind,” Frostad added. “The boats can handle a lot of wind, but there will be very big waves along the New Zealand coast, with nowhere to hide.

“We are not going to have the boats leaving Auckland before 1400 local time (0100 GMT) on Monday but it could also be later. It depends completely on the movement of this tropical cyclone.”

The nine-month race is staged over nine legs and is due to finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden.


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Weekend for sailing, fishing and hiking

— As the East Coast digs out from its thick winter blanket of snow, we’ll be sailing the bay and ocean, crowning a champion bass club fisherman, scouting for wild turkeys and fishing for yellowtail, rockfish or calico bass this weekend in San Diego.

Pick an outside diversion this weekend because Southern California is going to be wrapped in sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s and 90s – or 20 to 25 degrees above normal for this time of year. And to think spring doesn’t officially start until March 20.

Starting Friday, the San Diego Yacht Club and Coronado Yacht Club will host the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the U.S. as the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta series makes a stop in San Diego. This is the second of the five-race series. There will be an estimated 700 sailors competing on San Diego Bay and nearshore ocean waters for the event’s top prize – a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Championship Regatta aboard a Sunsail 44-footer.

The three-day event has sailors racing in various classes to earn points. An overall winner will be chosen Sunday based on a mathematical formula to select the strongest finisher in the most competitive class.

It’s a spectator-friendly event, and the races can be seen aboard private boats in South Bay and on the Ocean courses. Race start times depend on wind and weather, but they’re scheduled to go at approximately 11:30 a.m. each day. North Sails, the premier sponsor of the event, will present daily awards to recognize exceptional individual performances in each boat class. The final awards will be on Sunday when the overall winner is crowned. That sailor will join Grant Dumas of St. Petersburg, Fla., and the crew of the Tripp 38 “Warrior,” along with other victors, in the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship.

For more information on the 2015 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta series visit: http://www.sailingworld.com/nood-regattas.

On Saturday and Sunday at El Capitan, 14 bass clubs from the San Diego Council of Bass Clubs will send their club champion to compete in the annual Tournament of Champions. Saturday’s weigh-in is set for 3 p.m., and Sunday it moves up to 1 p.m. Michael McLernon of the North County Bassmasters won the event last year with 10 bass totaling 28.57. He edged Andy Morita (28.50 pounds) of the Southern California Bassmasters.

This year’s list of champions includes: defending champion McLernon of the North County Bass Club; Morita of the Southern California Bassmasters; Jesse Hinkley of Double Limit Bass Club; Scott Wingo, Hookers Bass Club; Rick Fallon, Hidden Valley Bassmasters; Greg Gardner, San Diego Bassmasters; Mike Davis, East County Bassmasters; Allen Tatum, Bass Company; Matt Abeyta, Bass Club of San Diego; Glen Morey, San Diego Strokers; tom Kinder, Ramona Bass Club; Kevin Norling, First Strike Bass Club; Keith Slater, Roadrangers Bass Club; Chris Patek of Southland Bass Club.

On the ocean fishing front, yellowtail and barracuda continue to bite at the Coronado Islands and local boats are targeting rockfish and calico bass. Farther south, boats are hitting Punta Colnett off Northern Baja for some excellent yellowtail fishing.


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