THE MEGAYACHTS ARE COMING
OBSERVERS SAY THAT THE WEST COAST, long avoided by the big boats, is seeing an influx of megayacht activ- ity and preparing the infrastructure development that helps boaters large and small. The West Coast’s challenge to attracting megayacht
traffic has always been that it is not the Caribbean. Long distances
between destinations mean more fuel, time, and wear on the vessels,
and the weather can be a challenge as it ranges from tropical to frigid. Additionally, there have been few facilities to support megayachts
and little incentive to build them, since many in the U.S. believed the
“left coast” was just not the kind of place megayachts liked to go.
“Twenty percent of the owners of these yachts have prop-
erty along the West Coast but their boats aren’t here,” says Kate
Pearson, president of the San Diego Superyacht Association
(SDSA) and dockmaster at the Shelter Island Marina in San Diego.
“But that’s changing as the value of what comes with these boats
According to the U.S. Superyacht Association, there are 4,400
megayachts (vessels over 80 feet long) worldwide, and 21 percent
of them were built in the U.S. The 2012 Global Impact Study by The
Superyacht Group estimates these big boats are a $56-billion-dollar
industry worldwide because with megayachts comes boating infra-
structure. Like most boats, they need dockage, fuel, repair services,
provisioning opportunities, and experienced crew. The build-out
translates to more than just enormous Travelifts. The benefits mega-
yachts leave in their wake can help cruisers on much smaller boats
Everyone Loves A Lobster
Dinner, Even Lobsters!
IN THE LOBSTER’S southern habitats, like Long Island Sound, the delicacy is in such short supply that lobstermen have been forced to abandon their trade. Scientists have been pointing the finger at
warming water temperatures, and supporting that claim, the crustaceans are thriving in the colder waters farther north, so much so that
there may be too many, for the lobstermen
and for the lobsters. Lobsters were so prevalent in Maine last year, some boats stopped
going out because prices dropped so low.
On the other hand, fish known to prey on
lobster — cod, mainly — are in short supply
in those waters. That led University of Maine
scientists to see if any other predators might
be munching on the state’s best-known delicacy. There were, just not what they expected. With cameras underwater and using tethered 1- to 2-year-old lobster as bait, they found that
crabs were the culprits during the day. But at night, big lobsters scarfed
down the little lobsters every time. In one case, a larger lobster was
chased off by an even bigger one — and then dined on the youngster.
While lobster cannibalism has been documented in tanks and traps,
this was the first proof that wild lobsters eat their own.
— CHRIS LANDERS
DESPITE SANDY, THREE STATES
OPEN FOR BOATERS’ BUSINESS
SUPERSTORM SANDY devastated the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions in October, and no place felt its wrath more than the New York City tristate area. Buried under heart-wrenching news
reports and staggering damage estimates is the injury done to recreational boaters and the boating industry.
In New Jersey, marinas, boatyards, and marine-service businesses
suffered in excess of $100 million in damages according to early esti-
mates. Of 109 recreational boating businesses that responded to a
Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTANJ) survey, three-quar-
ters reported some degree of damage to equipment like gas pumps and
pump-out stations, and a similar number reported damage to docks and
pilings. “It’s been devastating, but most of the marinas we’re talking to
are working hard to rebuild docks and service facilities,” reports Melissa
Danko, MTANJ executive director. “In more instances than not, marinas
will be open in time for the boating season.”
“I was fortunate; we didn’t get much damage,” says Lou
Steinbrecher of Seaborn Marina in Bayshore, New York. He says other
marinas in his area suffered significant losses, and are working to
rebuild before spring. “Everybody’s trying to reopen,” he said.
Meanwhile the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had undertaken sur-
veys of the inlets on Long Island’s south shore in anticipation of funding
for emergency dredging that Congress was expected to make available.
In New Jersey, the state’s major navigational channels appear to have
fared better than feared, according to Monica Chasten, Corps project
manager for the New Jersey ICW and the state’s four ocean inlets:
APRIL | MAY 2013