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Navico founding director starts a new company

Ocean Signal, a just-launched marine company, will specialize in the design and development of advanced communications and safety products.

Managing director Alan Wrigley entered the marine industry in the 1970s with Racal Marine and later became a director of Sharp Autopilots, where he stayed for four years. He was a founding director of the original Navico, where he led the development of Axis VHF radios.

Following Kongsberg Maritime's acquisition of Navico, Wrigley became managing director of Simrad Ltd. from 2000 through 2008.

At Ocean Signal, he is joined by technical director Simon Nolan, an authority on radar target enhancing, and a team of designers and engineers based in Kent, U.K.

Ocean Signal will launch its initial range in September at the SMM commercial shipping exhibition in Hamburg, Germany. The company continues to develop a distribution network in Europe and the United States.

Global Satellite USA has new headquarters

Fort Lauderdale-based Global Satellite USA purchased a new, 5,000-square-foot office that includes a showroom divided into manufacturer sections and broken down by product family.

With the new space, the company says it will now be able to hold training programs on a regular basis.

"We have been considering moving offices for a while now and waited until the right opportunity came along," says CEO Martin Fierstone, in a statement. "With the economy in South Florida still struggling, we must be doing something right if we are expanding."

New magazine promotes Boston Whaler lifestyle

Boston Whaler, based in Edgewater, Fla., announced the premiere issue of Whaler, its new lifestyle magazine.

Set to be published twice a year, Whaler is a resource for owners and prospective customers to learn about the company's boat line and boating heritage, while promoting the "Whaler" lifestyle with editorial content and high-quality photography.

"Our history, our employees and most of all our customers demonstrate that Boston Whaler is more than just a boat," says Ben Cast, vice president of sales, marketing and customer service, in a statement. "It's truly a lifestyle. Whaler carries an amazingly rich legacy and some incredible stories - things that you can't properly share in a promotional piece or a catalog. A magazine platform allows us to tell the brand story to anybody, anywhere."

Neighboring Md. marinas under new management

Aqua Marine Partners, owner/operator of eight marinas on the Eastern Seaboard, signed an agreement to operate two Maryland marinas recently sold to CNL Lifestyle Properties by Covenant Cove Marine.

The marinas are Bohemia Vista Yacht Basin and Hack's Point Marina, which are less than two miles apart by water. Both marinas are in Cecil County, Md., in the northern Chesapeake area and collectively offer 228 wet slips.


Kurt Sarac, founder and CEO of Covenant Cove Marine, which will stay on as exclusive sales and service provider to the facilities, says the transaction is the beginning of a long-term strategic relationship between his company and Aqua Marine Partners.

"As the world is seeing quantum changes in consumers' patterns and the way customers view their choices, we were searching for partners that share our values, including, most importantly, our customer-centric approach to the business," he says.

N.C. engine builder opens its new plant

Ilmor Marine, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ilmor Engineering Inc., started production in June at its new headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.

The 50,000-square-foot engine assembly and test facility is capable of producing up to 15,000 engines a year. The first engines off the production line are already on their way to OEM customer MasterCraft Boat Co., Ilmor says.

Ilmor worked closely with the state of North Carolina and Iredell County to hire skilled workers from the area.

Grant helps Westlawn expand its tuition aid

The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology announced in June the most substantial grant and scholarship program in its 80-year history.

Westlawn director Dave Gerr says the Kathy and Jerry Wood Scholarship Fund could reduce tuition rates for qualifying students "to levels not seen since the early 1980s."

This program has been made possible through the support of the Kathy and Jerry Wood Foundation, which has awarded Westlawn a tuition assistance grant of $90,000 - $30,000 a year over a three-year period.

Scholarships will be awarded until the grant funds are expended for each of the three years.

Former NMMA officer honored by ICOMIA

Ron Stone, former NMMA director of government affairs, was given honorary membership in the International Council of Marine Industry Associations for his contributions to the marine business.

Stone was presented the honor at the recent ICOMIA/IFSO Congress in Chicago.

Stone opened the NMMA's Washington, D.C., office in the late 1980s, and retired from the marine industry last year. He served as secretary of the ICOMIA Boating Facilities Committee when it was formed in 1991 and became chairman in 1997.

He currently lives in Hawaii.

Brunswick, Chaparral hand out scholarships

Eighty scholarships were awarded by Brunswick Corp. to sons and daughters of its employees. Each will receive a single-year award of $2,500.

The winners span 30 Brunswick locations worldwide, and represent the company's corporate staff, as well as all Brunswick business units.

"The Brunswick Foundation has an abiding belief in the value of education, as well as a deep commitment to helping the sons and daughters achieve their goals," says B. Russell Lockridge, Brunswick Corp. vice president and chief human resources officer.

The foundation has awarded scholarships since 1957.

Meanwhile, Chaparral Boats and Robalo Boats awarded $24,000 in scholarships to four children of employees. Each of the four gets $6,000.

"We are proud to assist our employees as they manage the process of sending their children to college," says Jim Lane, president of Chaparral Boats and Robalo Boats, in a statement. "We take great pride in advanced education and want to support our employees and their families as they develop their unique individual career paths."

Since 1997, Chaparral and Robalo have awarded more than $108,000 in scholarships to the children of employees.

Boat shows returning in New Orleans, Boston

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is partnering with BK Productions to produce the 2011 New Orleans Boat & Sportshow.

The 41st annual show will take place Jan. 27-30 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The 2012 show will run Jan. 26-29.

This year's show, which had been scheduled for January, was cancelled.

After a one-year hiatus, the Boston Fall Boat Show will return Oct. 1-3 to the Seaport World Trade Center, organizers announced.

The show is owned and operated by Boat Shows Inc., a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association.

For the first time, this year's show will feature late-model used and brokerage boats. Included will be a collection of fully serviced, cleaned and detailed used boats in the 15- to 35-foot range.

All used boats will be less than 10 years old.

Maine cuts its sales tax for non-resident boaters

Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci has signed into law a provision that ensures non-resident boaters will pay less in sales tax on boat purchases in the state.

The law takes effect Aug. 1, and significantly reduces the sales tax for non-residents who buy and keep a boat in Maine, the Maine Marine Trades Association reports.

Previously, non-residents who bought a boat in Maine were required to pay the prevailing sales tax (currently 5 percent) if they wanted to use the boat in the state for more than 30 days. In addition, non-resident boaters who used their boats in Maine during their first year of ownership might be subject to the use tax if no sales tax had been paid in another jurisdiction.

The new law allows for an exemption that effectively brings the tax rate down to 2 percent.

"This is a huge step in the right direction for our industry," MMTA president Ron Defoe says in a statement. "Lowering the sales tax helps make our boatbuilders and dealers more competitive."

This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue.



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