The National Maritime Historical Society

March Seminar: Tugboats Illustrated

The March Installment of the Saturday Seminar Series is

Tugboats Illustrated
The new book from architect Paul Farrell
Saturday, 25 March

At the Peekskill Presbyterian Church, 705 South St, Peekskill, NY 10566

Please join us in welcoming author, architect and tugboat enthusiast Paul Farrell, who will give us an introduction to  his new book. In Tugboats Illustrated, Paul Farrell traces the evolution, design, and role of tugboats, ranging from the first steam-powered tug to today’s hyper-specialized offshore workboats. Through extensive photographs, dynamic drawings, and enlightening diagrams, he explores the development of these hard-working boats, always shaped by the demands of their waterborne environment, by an ever-present element of danger, and by advancements in technology. Whether making impossible turns in small spaces, crashing through huge swells, pushing or pulling or prodding or coaxing or escorting, we come to understand not only what tugs do, but how physics and engineering allow them to do it.

From the deck layout of a nineteenth-century sidewheel tug to the mechanics of barge towing―whether by humans, mules, steam or diesel engines―to the advantages of various types and configurations of propulsion systems, to the operation of an oil rig anchor-handling tug/supply vessel, Tugboats Illustrated is a comprehensive tribute to these beloved workhorses of the sea and their intrepid crews.

Book signing to follow.

The public is invited to attend. Suggested Donation: $5 to $10.
Join us for a lunch with Paul Farrell after the presentation.
Cost: $25 prepaid and cash bar. Reservations are required.
E-mail or call 914-737-7878, ext. 0 to reserve your place.

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In the Pages of Sea History 158

Sea History
158 is in the mail and on the newsstands. Just look at what’s in this issue:

USCG photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

Storis’s Legacy: How a Decommissioned Ship Inspired a Movement, by K. Denise Rucker Krepp
The fate of the historic Coast Guard Cutter Storis, scrapped overseas despite a bid from a museum group to offer her a new home, serves as a cautionary tale for us and for our fellow advocates to ensure that future vessels are again recycled responsibly in the US, with the proceeds funding vital maritime heritage programs.

Restored! America’s Maritime Heritage Grant Program, by Timothy J. Runyan
With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act last December, full funding for the Maritime Heritage Grants program has been restored, after a seven-year battle. Dr. Tim Runyan, chair of the National Maritime Alliance, explains the process and who supported it.

Confederate Submarine H. L. Hunley: First in History to Sink an Enemy Ship in Wartime, by Mark K. Ragan
Designing and fabricating an underwater vessel for naval warfare in the mid 19th century presented a host of challenges, and lives were lost in its development. The historic Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, the result of this remarkable project led by three men of vision, was recovered in 2000, a technological marvel of its time.

The America’s Cup: Personalities, Passion, and Privilege, by Russ Kramer
Reaching back to 1851, the history of this most famous of sailing regattas is replete with larger-than-life personalities, big money, and fantastic yachts. Artist Russ Kramer recreates the scenes and faces of this history in this exciting curated collection.

Tidal Wave: The Greatest Ship Launch in History, by Donald G. Shomette
Tucked in a bay off the Potomac River is a ship graveyard like no other. More than half of the 200 ships abandoned there were products of the great shipbuilding effort of World War I. Today, the site has been nominated as a National Marine Sanctuary. Don Shomette brings the story of the mad-paced launch schedule in 1918 that created a “tidal wave of ships.”

National Maritime Awards Dinner, and the 2017 NMHS Annual Meeting
We hope you will join us for two exciting events: April’s annual National Maritime Awards Dinner in the nation’s capital and our Annual Meeting in May, in historic Charleston, SC.

Coastal Defenses—Strategies and Innovation in Peace and War, by Dr. Louis A. Norton
Coastal towns, cities, and countries have used a variety of means to protect themselves from hostile forces on the water, from utilizing a site’s natural physical geography to inventing clever—and deadly—fortifications and weaponry. Dr. Louis Norton traces some of the more successful and innovative of these defenses.

Plus, you’ll find the regular features you look forward to in every issue:

Deck Log
NMHS: A Cause in Motion
Marine Art News
Sea History for Kids
Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News
Maritime History on the Internet
Book Reviews

On our cover this issue: Onboard Puritan, 1885, by Russ Kramer, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

Click here to learn more about Sea History magazine.

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Fiddlers’ Green, Peter Stanford

January 16, 1927–March 24, 2016 …
The trustees and staff of the National Maritime Historical Society mourn the loss of Peter Stanford, NMHS president emeritus, longtime friend, and generous benefactor. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Norma, and to all the members of the Stanford family. We are truly thankful for his extraordinary contributions to preserve the maritime heritage of the United States. Peter Stanford was a national treasure—and will be greatly missed.
Fair winds, Peter.

NMHS PS_1Fiddlers Green…

Peter Stanford, President Emeritus, National Maritime Historical Society

Peter Stanford, the founding president of South Street Seaport Museum in New York, founding chair emeritus of the Working Harbor Committee, and the long-time president of the National Maritime Historical Society, passed away on Thursday, 24 March 2016, at the age of 89. Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1927, he served in the US Navy in World War II as a radioman third class. After the war, he earned a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard in 1949 and a master’s degree from King’s College, Cambridge, England, in 1951. He then worked for a year and a half at the Economists’ Book Shop in London, while pursuing naval research at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

On return to the United States in 1952, he went to work as a copy editor at the publishing firm of Alfred A. Knopf before moving to Alfred Politz Research in 1954. From there he went to McCann-Erickson Advertising, then to Ogilvy & Mather, Hicks & Geist and Compton Advertising. As a copy supervisor, he achieved notoriety with his advertising campaigns for Beefeater Gin and International Paper, including Beefeater’s “Grownups’ Hour” ads.

Photo: Us Navy, R. Koteff

Photo: Us Navy, R. Koteff

In autumn of 1966, Peter and his wife, Norma, established the Friends of the South Street Maritime Museum, a citizen committee to organize a maritime museum in Manhattan’s historic waterfront neighborhood. The little group was launched with a fee of just one dollar for new members; the now-famous dollar memberships made it easy to join, and encouraged a sense of having a stake in the cause. This drive to get people personally involved would be a recurring theme in Peter’s projects, motivating people to participate in letter-writing campaigns, to volunteer to work on historic vessels, to found organizations where, before, there had been none. Dedicated to recreating the “Street of Ships” that played such a key role in New York’s emergence as a business capital, in the spring of 1967 they founded the South Street Seaport Museum in a warehouse space on Fulton Street. The Stanfords guided the museum through its early years, and Peter remained president of the museum until the spring of 1976, when he resigned to take up full-time work with the National Maritime Historical Society, growing the Society’s nascent quarterly magazine, Sea History, and pursuing several important ship-saving efforts. He lent his considerable energy and voice to the efforts to save the schooner Ernestina (now Ernestina-Morrissey), the barque Elissa, the Liberty ship John W. Brown, the lightship Ambrose, the brigantine Black Pearl, the fishing schooner Lettie G. Howard, and the great sailing ship Wavertree. 1967.04.03.NSPS desk Retouched copyHe was also instrumental in the founding of the World Ship Trust, and he co-founded and organized Operation Sail 76, a national tall ship event that caught the country’s imagination as we marked our bicentennial, and the Statue of Liberty Parade of Sail in 1986.

NMHS PS_SHcoverPeter Stanford’s profound contributions to the maritime heritage community spanning more than fifty years have been recognized with awards from Mystic Seaport, American Merchant Mariners Museum, India House, Working Waterfront Alliance, the USS Constitution Museum, the National Park Service Foundation, the Municipal Art Society, the Parks Council and the Port Promotion Association; and he was awarded an honorary doctor of letters from the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler. He was the author of hundreds of magazine articles and a number of museum books; Peter and Norma Stanford published their last book, A Dream of Tall Ships—How New Yorkers came together to save the city’s sailing-ship waterfront, with Sea History Press in 2013.

He is survived by his wife, Norma, five children and their children. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the National Maritime Historical Society and South Street Seaport.

In lieu of flowers, Stanford family requests donations be made to the National Maritime Historical Society and the South Street Seaport Museum.

mystique copy 2



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South Street Receives $4.84 Million for Community Education Space

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the South Street Seaport Museum (SSSM) have announced $4.8 million in federal funds for the renovation of SSSM’s Water Street properties as an education and community space. The proposed allocation is made possible by a grant from LMDC, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are being obtained through a $50 million legal settlement reached with Lend Lease Construction LMB Inc. (formerly Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc.). LMDC formed a working group of state and city officials that conducted extensive reviews of the proposals, including site visits and interviews, and oversaw a public information session, during which dozens of community members presented and discussed various proposals.

Photo courtesy South Street Seaport Museum

Photo courtesy South Street Seaport Museum

“The South Street Seaport is where New York City began,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “These funds will be significant in ensuring the museum’s long-term vitality and ability to provide appropriate space for its extraordinary programming that documents that history.”

“We are thrilled that LMDC has once again moved to support the Seaport Museum,” said Captain Jonathan Boulware, the museum’s executive director. “This grant will support the renovation and activation of the Seaport Museum’s historic buildings in support of its education and community programs. Together with significant restorations of our ships, these new spaces will form the basis for outstanding programming.”

Notable recent achievements in the last year include revitalized education programming (with tripled attendance over last year), increased membership and public programs (more than doubled), installation of a new exhibit at 12 Fulton Street, and the reactivation of the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard as a sailing school vessel. In addition, the museum is nearing completion of a $13 million city-funded restoration of the 1885 ship Wavertree, which will return to the museum’s piers this summer.

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NOAA Announces Discovery of USS Conestoga

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Navy have announced the discovery of the wreck of USS Conestoga (AT-54), lost in 1921 en route to Pearl Harbor.

USS Conestoga at San Diego, California, January 1921. (Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 71299)

USS Conestoga at San Diego, California, January 1921. (Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 71299)

Launched in 1903 from Baltimore’s Sparrows Point shipyard, Conestoga towed coal barges for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co., until America’s entry into WWI; in 1917 the US Navy purchased the tug, commissioned as a minesweeper. After the war, she was eventually assigned to service in the Pacific. Conestoga departed San Francisco Bay bound for Pearl Harbor, to eventually go on to American Samoa. The tug never arrived at her destination, and the subsequent search provided no clues to her fate.

The wreck was discovered when NOAA researchers were mapping the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, off the California coast.

Read more about this story at the NOAA website.

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Charles Point Council Seminar: Lafayette!

Screening of the Play Lafayette, with Guest Speaker Marc Jensen

Saturday, 19 March 2016
Hendrick Hudson Library – 25 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548
Continental breakfast is at 10:30 AM. Presentation is at 11:00 AM.

Please join us for the screening of a play woven from the letters between Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette, “teen hero” of the American Revolution, and his young wife, Adrienne de Noailles from 1777 to 1780. Written by noted British dramatist Ian Curteis, Lafayette is the story of an eccentric young man who L1100177operated against family and class to become the first ally of the upstart American nation; turning the tide of the War of Independence by securing full French support from his reluctant king, Louis XVI. But it is also the story of a young couple, just out of their teens, struggling across an ocean with separation, love, abandonment, and child loss, reuniting in political brinksmanship to save the American Revolution. The play ends with the Marquis de Lafayette boarding his famous “freedom frigate,” Hermione, to America.

The film, a recording of the play’s 2015 world premiere performance at New York’s Florence Gould Hall, will be followed by commentary from Marc Jensen about the extensive project of building, outfitting, training crew and sailing  the replica frigate Hermione on a voyage commemorating the one that the Marquis de Lafayette undertook in 1780. Mr. Jensen is an experienced sailor who went to sea aboard Hermione and will recount the challenges of reconstructing an authentic reproduction with 15.5 miles of rigging, 44 tons of ironwork, and 23,680 sq. feet of linen sail cloth.

Marc Jensen

Marc Jensen

Marc Jensen has a love for teaching about the marine world. He created four webinars conducted during the voyage last summer; hundreds of schoolchildren in France and the US participated to learn about life aboard the ship, navigation, our environment and climate, and sail and power propulsion. He hopes to continue to build on these topics with new ships as they cross the world’s oceans. Marc is presently supporting the crossing of a 115-foot Viking ship that will visit New York in the fall of this year.

The public is invited. Please contact the National Maritime Historical Society at 914 737-7878, ext. 0, or email if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. If you would also like to join NMHS and the speaker for lunch following the presentation, it is $25 prepaid, with cash bar. Reservations required.

For more information on the complete lineup of seminars as it is finalized, please check back with the Charles Point Council page for ongoing updates.

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San Salvador Launch Postponed

_JGS4420-4Update: Citing technical and logistical difficulties, the Maritime Museum of San Diego has cancelled the April 19th launch. A new launch date has not been announced.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego has announced an April 19 launch date for San Salvador. The ship is a historically accurate replica of the ship which explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into what is now San Diego Bay on 28 September 1542, the first recorded European vessel to sail along Southern California, and survey its coastlines. The keel for the replica ship was laid in 2011; the museum has invited the public to observe its construction from the beginning, either in person at the site or via the museum’s website.


DSC_2893 smallSan Salvador will join the museum’s fleet of ships, including the sailing ships Star of India, Surprise, and Californian, as well as serving as a floating educational platform. For more information email the museum at Photos courtesy Jerry Soto

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Worldwide Ferry Safety Association Conference

2015 Ferry Safety and Technology Conference
16–17 April
Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, New York, New York

The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association is presenting its first conference for the promotion of global ferry safety. The theme: Ferry Safety and Technology: Design and Operations. Ferry owners and operators; naval architects and marine engineers; and new technology developers and providers will come together to improve efficiency and safety here and around the world.

Ferry conference bannerThe Worldwide Ferry Safety Association is a not-for-profit dedicated to bringing innovation in training methods, as well as use of technology to provide notification for sudden hazardous weather, curb overloading, and enhance marine rescue technology.

More information can be found on their website, or emailing

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USS Constellation is Back in the Inner Harbor

16086588257_a7fec18572_zUSS Constellation spent the winter in Baltimore’s Coast Guard Yard, so that a dedicated crew could replace rotted planking. The Living Classrooms Foundation, Constellation‘s steward, is also the parent organization for Project SERVE (Service- Empowerment- Revitalization- Volunteerism- Employment Training), a  job-training program for ex-offenders and disadvantaged youth; LCF saw the undertaking as an excellent opportunity to benefit both programs. Project SERVE participants got the opportunity to work on a one-of-a-kind vessel, and Constellation‘s shipwrights had the help of an enthusiastic crew.

16173409864_7e6676ec4c_zThe repairs concluded in February, but the return trip was postponed due to winter ice. By this week, however, the waterway had cleared. With the aid of McAllister Towing and Transportation, Constellation has made her way back to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, ready to greet visitors with renewed strength. (Photos courtesy Living Classrooms Foundation)



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Jim Moores to Publish Moores’ Log on NMHS Website

Jim Moores founded Moores Marine in South Florida in 1986 after building commercial fishing boats and dories in Lubec, Maine. One particularly cold winter, he came to Palm Beach County with a box full of tools and learned he could make a pretty decent living repairing and restoring wooden boats built by the old masters of American yacht building. Since then, the company has been designing restorations from the ground up of classic and antique boats—including the eighth presidential yacht, Honey Fitz, a 1930 93′ Defoe that served as the private yacht of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

A member of the Society of Naval Architects and Engineers, Trumpy Yacht Association and Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Society, Jim has established quite a following for his Moores’ Log, a regular newsletter read eagerly by maritime and history enthusiasts alike. Jim has agreed to publish his insightful, intelligent and quite amusing newsletter as part of a regular feature on our own website.  Here’s Jim’s first log in 2015:


 Dear Friends,

My last letter took you on a journey to the West Coast and back. Well, this month is no different. My wife, Margaret, had a lecture series in D.C., so when she asked me if I would like to join her I looked at my bags that were still packed from the Washington/Oregon trip and then added a few new things and we were out the door. I have a few friends up there that I really wanted to see.

The first was Paul Johnston. We met a few years back and have kept in contact ever since. Paul is a little older than me and at first glance you might think he is a boring middle-aged man, but he is far from that. His title is curator of the Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of American History. He loves diving and was involved in the “Cleopatra’s  Barge”, built in Salem, MA in 1816, the first American yacht on record that sunk on April 7, 1824 in Hanalei, Hawaii. This is such a great story I could not do it justice. Paul wrote an article about it called “Million Pounds of Sandalwood” that can be easily found on the web.  Paul gave me a behind-the-scenes look at one of our greatest treasures. From installing two early steam locomotives with cranes during the construction of the building to the “USS Philadelphia”, a Revolutionary War boat from 1775, one of the gun boats of the American Revolution which sunk in The Battle of Valcour Island. The water was so cold and deep I was amazed at how well she was preserved.

Paul told me that another one of these ships was found quite a while back and she has been left down while new preservation techniques are being perfected. I guess they have achieved success and she might see the light of day soon. We meandered into the blueprint archive room as he rattled off names of the designers. John Gardner stood out. We slid open a case and there were these amazing illustrations of the blue-nosed schooner, which were used for a book. Below that was one beautiful hand drawn original after another.  Then he showed how they digitalize them for preservation and printing. Now, this might sound a little boring, but it wasn’t.  I was amazed as to the great details taken to preserve American history. Paul is not your average curator; he rides a motorcycle year-round to work and then back home. I said “rain” he said “rain coat”. Ok, that was easy. “Cold” was replied to with “heated suit”. Then I thought I had him – “seeing out in rain and snow!” he smiled and said “Rain-X and an extra pair of shoes in my desk!”

Paul is still a very active diver as well as writing and running one of the greatest museums in the world. After lunch we headed down to the “Sequoia”, the Mathis Trumpy, 1925. We were met aboard by Capt. Matt Vilbas; young and enthusiastic, he has big shoes to fill. There are still things that are being resolved and the “S.S. Sequoia” has been in a holding pattern. She is charting on the Potomac and is still docked at Gangplank Marina. Paul has never been aboard, so this was my way of thanking him for such a great day. The yacht served from Herbert Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter before being sold. There are great photos of moments in time that shaped our history on board. There is a lot of her history online.

Margaret’s and my social schedule was full, staying with Margaret’s brother Chris Zehren and his wife, Andrea, my cousin Liz Moores, and then Maldwin Drummond, a yachting friend that spends his time between Florida, D.C., and Maine. Maldwin, who loves classic yachts, has owned many through the years and shares his passion of restoring and using them. We met at the Chevy Chase Country Club for lunch. Enjoying a great glass of Pinot Noir, our conversation revolved around what was coming.

Back in Florida we had launched “Aurora II” preparing for Ocean Reef’s Vintage Weekend. Last fall, in backing out of a slip, a log that was lodged under the boat came into the prop and shaft. It made such a noise that I thought the transmission had blown up. Then the massive log floated out. I knew then that the prop was mangled. Well, it bent the inside and outside shafts as well as the aft shaft strut. The “Aurora” was leaking a little, but I have run her on one motor and we were busy, so I held off on hauling her out until this past August. What a mess it was! Almost everything was bent. We straightened and replaced so much it was a major running gear refit. The good news, however, is that the “Aurora II” is running smoother than ever, kind of like sipping bourbon on the back deck on a hot day (personally I am not a bourbon man, but I have always liked that expression).

Ocean Reef’s Vintage Weekend. Each year I really look forward to that date: the first weekend of December. Coming right out of the shipyard to head to the show we wanted to take the ocean down to Key Largo, but the wind was blowing 20+ knots out of the North and there were white caps everywhere. Instead we traveled the ICW all the way to Biscayne Bay, “Aurora” making great time as the sun went down. We were nearing Angelfish Creek when thunderstorms and nightfall came upon us and we decided to anchor and go through the cut in the morning. We found a spot that looked good and dropped the hook. The wind was still blowing, so I decided to sleep in the main salon. Just as sleep filled my eyes I decided to take one last peak – much to my surprise when I sat up it looked like I was looking into someone’s living room. We weren’t aground, but just seconds away. Waking Capt. Sabin, we fired up the motors, hauled anchor, and headed to Pumpkin Key. In the morning the sky had cleared and bright daylight was all around. We pulled anchor and slid through the creek, cutting through the emerald waters with the bright sun reminded me of the Bahamas, it was a good day.

After tying up and starting to get “Aurora” cleaned, I saw this beautiful long, sleek, dark blue hull with a varnished cabin slide effortlessly through the water. The name on her was appropriate: “Stiletto”. The next day there would be a lecture on design by Halsey Hersoff about his grandfather’s yacht company. It was a very interesting slide show with interwoven movies. “Stiletto’s” predecessors were built of steel and steam powered originally designed for the Navy in the late 1800’s. You know a great speaker because when he’s done he leaves you wanting more instead of falling asleep. There were a total of three speakers and they spoke about such a wide variety of subjects throughout the weekend.

Steve White spoke of one of his restorations; then there was a lecture about “Glacier Girl”. She was a Lockheed plane that crashed on a glacier in Greenland and buried for more than 50 years under 260 feet of ice. It was 10 years from start on the ice to finish with the plane flying today; there is a great video on YouTube, “Saving Glacier Girl from World War II.”  Between that and all the other stuff it was a very full and fun weekend. On Sunday the seas calmed and I got some great photos of “Blue Mist” and “Shirean” just off Ocean Reef. Trying to get them to slow down was the hard part, but I finally got a few good ones of the two together.

The 1917 Consolidated (“Blue Mist”) shot off like a rocket; Owner and captain, Alan Zwickell was taking the waterway while Lou Jezdimir’s “Shirean” and my “Aurora II” would take the ocean. Lou headed to Ft. Lauderdale and Capt. Alan and I headed back to North Palm Beach. There were cruise ships headed out of Port Everglades as we passed. Lou’s “Shirean” was dwarfed like a small dingy as he passed the last one coming out. The sun was setting and the full moon was rising, the sky was clear, and as I laid on the couch in the main salon I had one thought: life is good. The sea cleanses our mind and soul, and with the calming sounds and rocking of the ocean I felt at peace.

Now that I am back we are finishing a caulking project down in Ft. Lauderdale. Rigging a Rhodes yawl and finishing a project for Mike Rybovich. In North Carolina Nate has a Huckins 58’ built in 1973 and named “B.F.B.” and a major refit on a New York Launch and Engine Company, 60’, built in 1914 named “Grace”.

Each year I try to give back to our community of classic yachts, this year is no different. I am proud to help start the Palm Beach Vintage Regatta Feb. 20-22. The idea is simple – bring classic yachting back to the Palm Beaches with the support and blessing of the city and local businesses. I am excited that it really is going to happen. We are even investigating the return of the Palm Beach Cup, which would be a vintage powerboat race. For this year we have the city docks with planned events from coffee and croissants at the Green Market to cocktail parties and dancing to the wee hours in the morning for the young at heart. Take a look at and come be a part of something great in the making.

I want to end this letter with thanks to all my close friends and family; to the people that believe in us and trust us with their beautiful boats. The biggest thanks are for all the wonderful people that work with us and make it all possible. My final thanks are to friends that read the Log and smile and think to themselves “that crazy guy.”

Till next time,
Jim Moores


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