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Sunseeker 74 “Arrested” in Legal Dispute After FLIBS

Here’s a story about a real mess, one that surfaced when U.S. marshals boarded a 74-foot Sunseeker at the Sunseeker International exhibit at the Bahia Mar on Sunday night, just after the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show ended, and placed it under arrest. The boat is at the center of a $4 million legal dispute between the buyer, Sunseeker in England, and Rick Obey & Associates, the Fort Lauderdale broker. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the buyer says that Sunseeker is not crediting him the $4 million he paid to Obey to have the boat built. But the legal dispute…

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FLIBS Opens with a Wave of New Cruising Boats

It wasn’t even noon yet on the second day of the massive Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but there were lots of new cruising boats and lots of smiling people everywhere. No one was happier than Mark Richards, the president and CEO of Grand Banks and Palm Beach Motor Yachts. Richards had good reason to be pleased. He told me he had taken his gorgeous new Palm Beach 70 out for two sea trials in the past two days. “Two sea trials, two deposits,” he said. The price for a Palm Beach 70: about $4.5 million. The show runs for…

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New Mayflower: Lots of AI and No People on Board

The original Mayflower, the famous one, left Plymouth, England, on Sept. 16, 1620, and made landfall in the New World, near where Provincetown is today on Cape Cod, 66 days later. It was about 90 feet long, weighed 180 tons, and carried a crew of about 30 and 102 Pilgrims as passengers (including five who died along the way). Next September, on the 400th anniversary of the original voyage, another Mayflower will leave Plymouth and retrace the 3,220-mile trip. It will be about 164 feet long, weigh 5 tons, and it won’t have any crew or passengers on board at…

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Largest Ever Fort Lauderdale Show Opens Oct. 30

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show just keeps getting bigger and better every year. This year is the show’s 60th anniversary, and it will have 1,500 boats in the water on six miles of floating docks, 1,200 exhibitors and an expected 110,000 visitors (including 1,000 who will arrive on their private planes). The organizers say it is the largest in-the-water boat show in the world, and it runs from Wednesday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, Nov. 3. Large, indeed, and a far cry from the first Lauderdale show, which featured 13 boats, and which opened in the in the Eisenhower Administration.…

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Liveaboard Owner Saves His Two Bulldogs from Burning Boat

Mike Babbitt, a retired police detective, saved his two bulldogs after his motoryacht caught fire when he was moving it to the fuel dock at the Bremerton (Washington) Yacht Club. His fast thinking saved the dogs, Pearl, who weighs 60 pounds, and Hootie, who weighs 70; it also saved other boats from becoming involved in the fire themselves. About 3 on a recent calm afternoon, Babbitt, who lived aboard his yacht Doctor’s Orders with his wife Jamie, took it out of its slip to get some fuel. Then he saw flames coming from the engine room. Babbitt maneuvered the boat away…

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Boaters Provide Lifeline to Hard-Hit Bahamas

In a truly inspiring display of caring for their fellow human beings, friends and strangers alike, hundreds of boat owners have rallied to provide aid to people in the Bahamas whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Dorian a month ago. The storm’s historic winds, with sustained speeds of 185 mph, destroyed entire towns and villages in the Abacos, leaving 15,000 people homeless. Marsh Harbour was particularly hard hit. “It was pure hell,” one survivor said. Others said they survived by tying themselves to trees. As of this week, 600 people are still missing and 56 have died. Hubert Minnis, the…

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Fabio Buzzi Dies in 80-Knot Crash in Venice

We usually write about powerboat cruising, not powerboat racing, but we want to note the tragic death of Fabio Buzzi, a legend in the performance boating world, because of a very personal connection. I drove a Fountain 47 catamaran with Buzzi almost 20 years ago in North Carolina to a speed of 162 mph, the fastest in the world at the time. Buzzi, 76 and a ten-time world powerboat champion, died this week when he was trying to beat his own record racing from Monaco to Venice. At the very end of the race, at night, he hit an artificial…

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Bahamas Fisherman Loses Everything in Dorian – Even His Wife

As Hurricane Dorian regains strength and heads up the North Carolina coast, possibly making landfall off Cape Hatteras, it’s easy to lose track of the human suffering that the historic storm has already inflicted in the Bahamas, where 20 people were killed and 70,000 face a humanitarian disaster with shortages of fresh water, food and medical supplies. But here’s a heart-wrenching story from CNN that brings the real cost home. It’s about a Bahamian fisherman who lost everything in the storm – including his wife: CNN) – A Hurricane Dorian survivor is giving a dramatic account of what happened after…

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Newport Show Starts Sept. 12 with 340 New Boats

The Newport International Boat Show, the first show of the season in the Northeast, opens on Thursday, Sept. 12, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 15. This show has always been one of my favorites, because almost all of the new boats are there, and then, well, it’s in Newport, one of the most historic and iconic boating destinations in the United States. The show this year, the 49th annual, will have 340 new sail and power boats from 15 to 90 feet, centered around the Newport Yachting Center in the middle of town, plus tents and land displays for engines, electronics…

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Coast Guard Ending Massive Search for Two Missing Firefighters

The Coast Guard is ending a massive search for two firefighters who have been missing since they left Cape Canaveral last Friday morning for a short fishing trip. The two men were last seen launching their 24-foot Robalo center console on a boat ramp near Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral on Friday morning (see the surveillance photo above). Their families alerted the Coast Guard about 8 p.m. Friday when the men had not returned or responded to cell phone calls. The search started in Northern Florida and during the week expanded all the way up to the Outer Banks of…

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