Archive for » January 18th, 2018«

No more dumping ground? Hilton Head should see a ‘big difference’ in Broad Creek soon

Removing derelict boats from South Carolina waterways is no simple task. Just ask Hilton Head Island resident Russell Patterson, who has been at it for about three months.

After watching people use Broad Creek as a dumping ground for their abandoned boats — and realizing that state and local agencies didn’t have the funding to remove them — Patterson took matters into his own hands.

As a part of the task, Russell and a group of friends have tried on four separate occasions to raise Nanna, a 30-feet boat that sunk in Broad Creek more than two years ago, to no avail. Now, they’ll have to wait two more months for a professional diving crew to take a stab at it.

Still, Patterson remains optimistic.

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“We feel confident that we’re on the right path,” he said. “… Hopefully, people — as they’re driving over the bridge or riding down the Broad Creek — will be able to see a big different in the next four, five, six months.”

Officials agree that South Carolina has an ongoing problem with derelict boats. The state is among 19 of the 30 U.S. coastal states without a funding mechanism for the removal of abandoned or derelict boats, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And Beaufort County — which is 50 percent water and wetlands — is stuck directly in the middle of it.

In early October, officers at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources began investigating boats anchored in waterways across Beaufort County, including 30 boats in the Broad Creek.

As of Wednesday, eight boats in the creek were officially deemed abandoned, according to DNR investigator Michael Brock. Officials at DNR spent 90 days searching for their owners, but were unable to locate them.

Now, due to a lack of state and local funding, it’s up to Patterson and his friends to actually remove the boats from the waterway.

“Unfortunately, they have to clean up the mess of their fellow citizens who left their boats for other people to deal with,” Brock said. “But it’s impressive to see a group of private citizens step up and care enough about the waterways to do this.”

Patterson has raised $14,500 in private donations so far for the removal and demolition of the boats, but does not expect that to cover it all.

The cost of removing an abandoned boat from a waterway can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the size of the boat and where it’s located.

Throughout the coming months, he plans to acquire titles for all the abandoned vessels, demolish those in bad shape and try to sell those that can be salvaged.

Patterson is not sure how many of the boats are worth selling, but any money collected from boat sales would go back to the cleanup effort, he said.

“We’re not trying to make any money. We’re just trying to get them out of the creek and into the hands of responsible owners,” Russell said.

‘There is no ugly boat law’

The Town of Hilton Head Island may have the best chance at preventing the problem from getting any worse in the future.

John Gobel, supervisor of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office environmental crimes unit, said he constantly gets complaints from citizens about “unsightly” boats in county waterways.

“Naturally, if you’re a homeowner — especially if you’re a homeowner on a waterfront lot — it has to be aggravating for someone to be able to basically park a very unsightly vessel in front of your home and there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.

As Gobel sees it, the real issue is not the boats actually deemed abandoned but those parked in the waterways that are not.

“Right now there is no law to address the real problem, which is not abandoned derelict boats, it’s the boats that are owned by people who just park them wherever the want and leave them there,” he said. “Even though it may not run, it may not have a motor and it may not even have a sail, it’s lighted and properly registered, so it’s legal.

“… Because there is no ugly boat law.”

One option to address these “unsightly” boats is for a municipality or county to create an anchoring ordinance, in which boat owners would have to acquire a permit and possibly pay a fee before anchoring in a waterway under it’s jurisdiction, according to Gobel.

Therefore, the town would have more ability to regulate boats before they became a hazard to navigation and the environment.

Although the Town of Hilton Head Island doesn’t have jurisdiction over most waterways, it could impose an ordinance in the Broad Creek because Hilton Head lies on both sides of the creek, Gobel said.

Town leaders, however, have never discussed the prospect.

In the meantime, Patterson and his group of friends are making strides little by little. If all goes well, the first two boats will be removed from the Broad Creek on Saturday.

Want to help clean up the Broad Creek?

Donations can made to the Hilton Head Reef Foundation through The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry or by mailing a check to the Hilton Head Reef foundation, c/o Russell P Patterson, P.O. Box 8047, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

If you have any questions, you can contact Russell Patterson at russell@russellpattersonlaw.com


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Boat show big business for Lake Lanier companies

Local dock builders, marinas, boat dealers, organizations and educational institutions are playing a large role in the event and make up a significant portion of the vendors in Atlanta.

As a result, the show is not only a showcase of extremely expensive boats or fishing equipment and expertise in the Southeast, it’s a forum for innovation and news around Lake Lanier.

This year, Lanier Technical College will reveal its plans to establish a marine technology degree program that for now will focus on engine maintenance and repair but could eventually encompass a wide range of disciplines.

Lanier Tech President Ray Perren will discuss plans to launch the program in 2019. The move is intended to offer students a path to employment in a growing field in Georgia, which ranks ninth in the nation in sales of boats and equipment — adding up to $550 million in sales in the state, according to the organizers of the Atlanta Boat Show.

Perren will discuss the program at the show beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at the World Congress Center.

Meanwhile, Hoschton’s Windsong Sailing Academy is ringing in its 20th year at the show.

“It’s one of the largest events for the sailing community, and it’s been a hugely successful event for us in the past years,” said David Crumbley, owner and operator of the academy.

Crumbley and his American Sailing Academy-certified instructors offer a wide variety of classes and training on everything from introductory sailing to survival at sea.

Windsong Sailing will offer seminars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday focusing on introductory sailing, celestial navigation and chartering tips and tricks.

“Coastal navigation is what you do near land when you can see coastal features,” Crumbley said. “Celestial navigation is what you do in the middle of the ocean.”

Chartering tips and tricks will focus on how to rent a sailboat while traveling. The academy’s general instruction includes about 200 classes, but the academy also offers just-for-fun programs for both singles and couples.

The Atlanta Boat Show is going to be a critical event for Matt Thompson and his son, Tyler, this year. They’re launching their smart-dock startup: Dock IQ.

Thompson talked to The Times in June about his business, which was then called Watch My Dock — a combination of hardware and app that would allow dock owners to keep tabs on their equipment while they were away.

But since then, the idea has grown into a full-fledged smart dock business that mirrors what Amazon’s Alexa has brought to the home.

“It’s really evolved. It started out just being a dock monitoring service, but it really ended up being more of a security system, a video camera — and not just monitoring the dock depth — but partnering with the dock dealers,” Thompson said. “We’re adding GPS tracking, even to the dock so if you’re dock breaks loose (you can find it).”

The business is based on a piece of cellular-capable hardware installed to the dock that includes a security camera. It connects to two apps, one provided to the customer and another provided to dock dealers.

Customers are able to connect to their security camera, monitor dock depth, check the GPS devices attached to their boats and other vessels, and — if they’ve hired a dock service company — to even request their dock be moved with the changing lake level.

The business was borne out of Thompson’s own frustration. Living in Atlanta but owning a home on Lake Lanier, he found he was always worried about the condition of his dock and boat.

“My focus was taking care of that dock that I spent $40,000 on, taking care of my boat lift that I spent another $10,000 on. I’ve got a Sea Ray sitting on top for another $30,000, and I’ve got two Wave Runners sitting over there. If you add all that up, you’re looking at $100,000,” Thompson said in June. “That’s what I was worried about: how to protect that.”

But now, he’s created an Uber-style app for dock service. His app will allow lake dwellers to simply tap their screen and notify their dock servicer that they need their dock moved.

Thompson’s hope is to save money for both dock companies — who spend huge amounts of cash on gas, equipment and people to boat around the lake checking docks that don’t actually need to be moved — and customers who pay potentially hefty annual subscriptions for dock service.

Look for the Thompsons and Dock IQ at the Marine Specialties booth at the boat show.


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Arrival of region’s biggest shipment of private yachts in Thailand

Boat Lagoon Yachting Co., Ltd., Thailand’s largest importer and distributor of luxury yachts with more than 23 years of experience, has made history in the region’s yachting industry with the importation to the region of the largest single shipment of luxury yachts, worth over Bht 1,400 million.  The shipment comprises nine luxury yachts manufactured in the United Kingdom by one of the world’s leading luxury yacht builders, Princess Yachts, with sizes ranging from 62 feet to a superyacht of over 100 feet.

Mr. Vrit Yongsakul, Managing Director of Boat Lagoon Yachting Co., Ltd., said, “This very large shipment helps further solidify Boat Lagoon Yachting’s position as Thailand’s leading importer of luxury yachts and one of the largest in the region.  It adds to the 200 boats we already have in the water throughout the region, giving us the economy of scale to further invest in the most comprehensive after-sales and maintenance facilities.”

He said, “We are seeing surging interest in the yachting lifestyle, especially in Thailand.  It’s largely being driven by the appeal of the absolute privacy that luxury yachts provide an owner together with giving the owner an ability to reach beautiful and uncrowded beaches, and at any time at the owner’s pleasure.  Because of the level of comfort and luxury of modern yachts, it’s like taking your own condominium with you, complete with living room, kitchen and bedrooms.”

Mr. Yongsakul said that yachting was also a very social sport where friends and family take several yachts out together to go cruising to islands in the way that owners of luxury sports cars or motorcycles will go out in groups during weekends, helping to cement long-lasting friendships.

According to Mr. Yongsakul, global experience shows that the yachting lifestyle increases in popularity as a country’s per capita GDP approaches US$10,000, and with Thailand’s per capita GDP now at around US$ 6,000, the sport is seeing rising interest.

The fleet of new arrivals includes a Princess 62, Princess 64, two Princess S65s, a Princess 68, two 80-foot Princess 75 Motor Yachts, an 88-foot Princess 88 Motor Yacht, and a 100-foot Princess 30M superyacht with prices ranging from around Bht 80 million to Bht 450 million, each.

“The Princess 62 is the newest addition to the Princess line of luxury yachts and incorporates the latest ship-building technology to make the yacht lighter, stronger and more fuel-efficient and with an interior design that is bright and airy,” Mr. Yongsakul added.

Boat Lagoon Yachting offers a comprehensive range of yachting products and services to suit every need and every occasion, including new and pre-owned yacht sales from world-class brands such as Princess, Jeanneau, Prestige and Wider, yacht rentals, yacht management and after-sales services.

Boat Lagoon has made substantial investment in its own maintenance infrastructure that includes its own Bht 1,200 million, 80-rai service and maintenance facility.  It has more than 80 staff, with many experienced staff including expatriate engineers.

Boat Lagoon Yachting has nine offices in five countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Maldives, as well as five branches in Thailand in Bangkok, Pattaya, Krabi, Koh Samui and Phuket.

 


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Boat show big business for Lake Lanier companies – Gainesville …

Local dock builders, marinas, boat dealers, organizations and educational institutions are playing a large role in the event and make up a significant portion of the vendors in Atlanta.

As a result, the show is not only a showcase of extremely expensive boats or fishing equipment and expertise in the Southeast, it’s a forum for innovation and news around Lake Lanier.

This year, Lanier Technical College will reveal its plans to establish a marine technology degree program that for now will focus on engine maintenance and repair but could eventually encompass a wide range of disciplines.

Lanier Tech President Ray Perren will discuss plans to launch the program in 2019. The move is intended to offer students a path to employment in a growing field in Georgia, which ranks ninth in the nation in sales of boats and equipment — adding up to $550 million in sales in the state, according to the organizers of the Atlanta Boat Show.

Perren will discuss the program at the show beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at the World Congress Center.

Meanwhile, Hoschton’s Windsong Sailing Academy is ringing in its 20th year at the show.

“It’s one of the largest events for the sailing community, and it’s been a hugely successful event for us in the past years,” said David Crumbley, owner and operator of the academy.

Crumbley and his American Sailing Academy-certified instructors offer a wide variety of classes and training on everything from introductory sailing to survival at sea.

Windsong Sailing will offer seminars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday focusing on introductory sailing, celestial navigation and chartering tips and tricks.

“Coastal navigation is what you do near land when you can see coastal features,” Crumbley said. “Celestial navigation is what you do in the middle of the ocean.”

Chartering tips and tricks will focus on how to rent a sailboat while traveling. The academy’s general instruction includes about 200 classes, but the academy also offers just-for-fun programs for both singles and couples.

The Atlanta Boat Show is going to be a critical event for Matt Thompson and his son, Tyler, this year. They’re launching their smart-dock startup: Dock IQ.

Thompson talked to The Times in June about his business, which was then called Watch My Dock — a combination of hardware and app that would allow dock owners to keep tabs on their equipment while they were away.

But since then, the idea has grown into a full-fledged smart dock business that mirrors what Amazon’s Alexa has brought to the home.

“It’s really evolved. It started out just being a dock monitoring service, but it really ended up being more of a security system, a video camera — and not just monitoring the dock depth — but partnering with the dock dealers,” Thompson said. “We’re adding GPS tracking, even to the dock so if you’re dock breaks loose (you can find it).”

The business is based on a piece of cellular-capable hardware installed to the dock that includes a security camera. It connects to two apps, one provided to the customer and another provided to dock dealers.

Customers are able to connect to their security camera, monitor dock depth, check the GPS devices attached to their boats and other vessels, and — if they’ve hired a dock service company — to even request their dock be moved with the changing lake level.

The business was borne out of Thompson’s own frustration. Living in Atlanta but owning a home on Lake Lanier, he found he was always worried about the condition of his dock and boat.

“My focus was taking care of that dock that I spent $40,000 on, taking care of my boat lift that I spent another $10,000 on. I’ve got a Sea Ray sitting on top for another $30,000, and I’ve got two Wave Runners sitting over there. If you add all that up, you’re looking at $100,000,” Thompson said in June. “That’s what I was worried about: how to protect that.”

But now, he’s created an Uber-style app for dock service. His app will allow lake dwellers to simply tap their screen and notify their dock servicer that they need their dock moved.

Thompson’s hope is to save money for both dock companies — who spend huge amounts of cash on gas, equipment and people to boat around the lake checking docks that don’t actually need to be moved — and customers who pay potentially hefty annual subscriptions for dock service.

Look for the Thompsons and Dock IQ at the Marine Specialties booth at the boat show.


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