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May 30, 2010

Sailboat Steering and Propulsion- Stuffing Box, Propellor, Cable, Rudderpost, Rudder

Filed under: Yachting — Tags: , , , , — Richard Jordan @ 7:54 am

The steering system on a sailboat is composed of sub-systems including pieces such as the cable, rudderpost, and rudder itself. The propulsion system includes parts such as the propellor and stuffing box. Continue reading “Sailboat Steering and Propulsion- Stuffing Box, Propellor, Cable, Rudderpost, Rudder” »

May 28, 2010

Gulfstar 54 Sailcruiser Review: Little Harbor-Hinckley Like Quality

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 8:29 am

Gulfstar 54 Sailcruiser PDF Flyer (Click to Download)

In 1970, Gulfstar Yachts started off a budget builder of beamy motorsailors. Their questionable build quality included missing backing plates, open deck cores, and formica interiors. But as the years progressed, the company’s quality began to rival that of Hinckley, Little Harbor, and other luxury yacht builders. In 1978, they switched to solid teak interiors and patented a process to camber the edges of their joinery work. Post-1980 Gulfstars are truely works of art in form and function. And maybe the epitome of this evolution is the Sailcruiser series. Inspecting one of the Sailcruisers, you can hardly believe the sometimes mistaken reputation of Gulfstar. Some sailors never realized the epic and 180 degree changes the company made. The interior is a symphony of stunning light teak joinery with Gulfstar’s legendary cambered corners, cabinetry, and cabin doors. They built 23 of the 54 Sailcruisers from 1985-1987 in Saint Petersburg, Florida. The company sold to Viking Yachts in 1990, and the Lazzara family moved onto building megayachts in the Tampa Bay area. Continue reading “Gulfstar 54 Sailcruiser Review: Little Harbor-Hinckley Like Quality” »

May 13, 2010

Projects to honor city’s 100th birthday

Filed under: Navigating — Richard Jordan @ 9:56 pm

This article was featured in the May issue of Waterfront News. Jennifer Heit co-wrote the content.

What does a railroad bridge and an alligator have in common? Both are local icons that have sparked an idea to transform Riverwalk’s Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad bridge into a bright green alligator in honor of the city’s 100th birthday next year. To simulate the gator, the bridge would be wrapped in a 3M product similar to advertising displayed on buses and airplanes. Orange traffic cones would represent the gator’s teeth. “It’s complicated and challenging but it will be worth it,” said JoAnn Medalie, a member of the city’s Centennial Celebration Committee, assigned to identify city landmarks to be decorated and raise private funds for the projects. “It will be fun. You need things in a city that will bring smiles to people.” Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners unanimously approved the conceptual plan in March. A cost estimate is expected by May. No funding is in place yet, with the committee still in the process of setting a budget and having plans drafted. RailAmerica, which runs Florida East Coast Railway, would then review the proposal. Medalie, a former city employee, came up with the idea after years of hearing former co-worker Susyn Stecchi, who ate lunch on Riverwalk every day, comment that “’when I look at that bridge, all I can think of is a gator — a big, green gator.’” Boaters traveling downtown encounter the bridge located just west of the Andrews Avenue bridge. It closes to river traffic to allow freight train access. If all goes according to plan, the gator design is targeted to be in place by next March, in time for the city’s birthday celebration taking place on Riverwalk March 27.

Riding into history
A moss green alligator would be quite a change for the traditional steel bridge gracing Riverwalk’s skyline. Jim Kovalsky, treasurer of the Florida East Coast Railway Society, e-mailed that he personally has his doubts about the project. “…I am concerned that this kind of a project will make the bridge even more of a target for vandals who want to “tag” it with graffiti. Anything that can increase the desire to trespass on railroad property will increase the risk of someone (likely a teenage male) being killed by a train.” The bridge has been renovated twice. It was originally built in 1895 with a single track. It was replaced with another single track span in 1925. The pivot point for the leaf moved from the south to the north bank of the river. During the 1930s and 1940s, FEC trains carried passengers and freight, according to FEC company historian Seth Bramson. “Southbound trains were mostly arrivals coming from Buffalo, Chicago, and other places up north,” Bramson said. “Northbound trains were departures. The passengers arriving would have to walk a long way southward to the station. The passengers departing would have to walk a long way towards the New River to get on their passenger car.” In 1978 the current two track bridge was installed. Today about 16 trains a day running 24 hours a day carry only loads of freight on the rails.

City birthday plans
Another proposal the committee is investigating calls for adding signature lighting beneath the 17th Causeway bridge in time for Winterfest in December. “The specific type of lighting has not been identified, but we are researching options that make sense from an environmental and economic perspective,” said city spokesperson Shannon Vezina in an e-mail. To see a video on the bridge proposal, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-0BXipCoZA.

May 11, 2010

Oyster 53 Review: New Zealand Built Cruiser

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — Richard Jordan @ 10:24 am

Oyster 53

Oyster Marine traces its roots to 1973 when Richard Matthews started the United Kingdom yard. The first yacht was a 34-footer by Holman and Pye. In 1979, they introduced maybe the first deck saloon cruiser, a style that has become their hallmark. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the yard introduced new designs every year or two by naval architects including Stephen Jones, Rob Humphries, and Holman & Pye. In 2000, the Oyster 53 was introduced as Rob Humphries’ second design for Oyster Marine along with a Holman and Pye interior and cockpit by the Department of Ergonomics at Loughborough University. She originally retailed for $1.75 million and was meant to be a smaller alternative to the Oyster 56. As of 2010, production is active in New Zealand by McDell Marine one of Aukland’s finest yards. The Oyster line ranges from 46 to 82 feet. The yard is planning 100, 125, and 125 Flybridge superyacht designs by Dubois Naval Architects. The Oyster Yacht Brokerage is a great resources for more information. Continue reading “Oyster 53 Review: New Zealand Built Cruiser” »

May 8, 2010

MacGregor 65 Review: Fast Racing Sled

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — Richard Jordan @ 11:38 am
MacGregor 65

MacGregor 65

You generally hear two opposite perspectives about the construction quality of MacGregor 65’s. A solid group of knowledgeable sailors derides them as flimsy suicide sleds. As one broker told me, “You know what a MacGregor 65 is like? It is worse than a Hunter 54.” But while you hear claims of oil-canning and thru-hulls popping out, stangely owners tentatively state they have never experienced these issues. You hear the same about her sailing ability. Doubters question her windward performance while owners shrug their shoulders.

MacGregor Yacht Corporation was a fruitling of a Standford MBA project of Roger MacGregor in the early 1964’s. As an economics student, he studied the dynamics of the highly competitive boat building business. In 1964 while working at Ford Aerospace, he starting building boats as a hobby. By 1967 Mr. MacGregor was making more money from his hobby than his real job and decided to build boats full time. The yard was across from Westsail and Islander in Costa Mesa, California. He built superfast, inexpensive trailerable fiberglass sailboats branded Venture. By 1977 he was building boats under the name MacGregor. In 1984 he launched the 65-foot racing sled and built 100 hulls until 1995. At this point, the demand for a 26-foot trailerable design was so great he decided to focus on it full time. Currently in production, the 26-footer features water ballast. A 70-foot extended version of 65 MacGregor is in the works with two preliminary hulls produced as of 2010. Continue reading “MacGregor 65 Review: Fast Racing Sled” »

May 4, 2010

Gulfstar Yachts Review: A Complicated History

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , — Richard Jordan @ 1:32 pm

Gulfstar Early Model Star Logo

Gulfstar Yachts was founded in 1970 by Vincent Lazzara in Tampa Bay, Florida. Mr. Lazzara was fresh off a two year forced absence from the power and sailboat building business. As part of selling his share in Columbia Yachts, he signed a non-compete clause and boded his time building houseboats. In 1970, Mr. Lazzara was already a legendary figure who had invented a snap-shackle variation, helped build one of the first fiberglass sailboats in the Rhodes designed Bounty II, and was involved with Columbia Yachts which was one of the leading early builders of fiberglass sailboats. But, his greatest legacy was to be Gulfstar Yachts. Continue reading “Gulfstar Yachts Review: A Complicated History” »

Corbin 39 Review: French Canadian Mystery

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 9:01 am

Corbin 39 PDF Brochure (Click to Download)

With Corbin 39’s you never know what you are going to get. First, the Quebec company made so many versions of the deck including cutter, ketch, pilot, aft cockpit, center cockpit, Mark I, and Mark II. Second of the 199 built 185 were shipped in varying states with unfinished interiors. You never know if you are going to see a walnut Formica interior or stunning solid teak joinery work. In 1977, Marius Corbin commissioned a design by Robert Dufour in Montreal. After seeing a one-off 39-foot Dufour design named Harmonie, Mr. Corbin asked Mr. Dufour to increase the freeboard and flush the deck. In 1979, the first Corbin 39 came out of the mold. They produced 129 Corbins until 1982. These had small cockpits, narrow side decks, a low profile cabin trunk, and weather helm issues. In 1982, a fire destroyed the deck molds providing the company an excellent opportunity to rectify these issues. Post-1982 Corbins have longer cockpits, a high pilothouse, and a mast stepped further forward to balance the helm. They produced the last hull number 199 in 1990. Continue reading “Corbin 39 Review: French Canadian Mystery” »

April 29, 2010

Passport 40 Review: Evolution of the Valiant 40

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Richard Jordan @ 11:36 am

Passport 40 PDF Specifications (Click to Download)

Robert Perry’s Passport 40 is the combination of his Valiant 40’s underbody and Freeport 36’s interior. Passport contacted Mr. Perry specifically because of the Freeport 36. He received a letter with the stationary marked, “Yacht Builders, Frozen Foods, and Eel Farms.” Perry decided to quickly flush out the ridiculous inquiry by sending back to the Taiwanese yard a promise to design a 40-footer for $10,000. To his surprise, the eel farm manufacturer sent back a check for $9,500 withholding $500 until the delivery of the design. Two American dreamers, Wendel Renkin and Peter Hoyt, were in behind the inquiry. Under the brand Passport Yachts, Mr. Renkin and Mr.Hoyt were building a Stan Huntingford 42-foot double ender in Taiwan. For the Perry 40-footer, they wanted the Freeport 36’s head forward and portside Pullman layout. From 1980 until 1991, they would build 148 of these Passport 40’s and then extend the design with a swim platform into a 41-footer and then again into the 43 Passport. They built the yachts in Tansui, Taiwan first at King Dragon and later also at Hai Yang. Today, Passport builds their line of sailboats in China. Wagner-Stevens is the importation agent and the best place for more information about these yachts. Continue reading “Passport 40 Review: Evolution of the Valiant 40” »

April 21, 2010

Summerfield Boat Works – New River, Fort Lauderdale

Filed under: Navigating — Tags: — Richard Jordan @ 1:32 pm

Summerfield Aerial Cerca 1998

Summerfield Boat Works was a boat yard across from Lauderdale Marine, Broward Marine, and Riverbend on the South Fork of the New River in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 1930 to 2006. The yard sold in early 2005 and closed down in 2006. I remember this sale well as our brokerage office was at Summerfields. We had just finished renovating the back office when the news came. The property sold during the boom years of the real estate market for $5 million and then again $10 million according to Broward County Property Records. In 2009 Regions bank foreclosed on the New Orleans developer. On September 14 2010, the bank unloaded the property for $1.25 million according to the same Broward Records.

But still the property lies dormant. Everyone I talk to expresses the disappointment with the sale and the current status of Summerfields. “It makes me sick,” says a former yard hand there. If it had turned out financially better for the purchasers, the closure might make more sense. But to tear the yard down and do nothing for five years really is not only heartbreaking but a waste of resources. Continue reading “Summerfield Boat Works – New River, Fort Lauderdale” »

April 13, 2010

Rehab project continues on 85-year-old swing bridge

Filed under: General — Richard Jordan @ 9:50 pm

This article appeared in the April issue of Waterfront News.

Swing Bridge

Driving along Davie or Broward Boulevards these days, you might notice signs announcing the Southwest 11th Ave bridge closure. After 85 years, city engineers are in the process of refitting the 1925 steel pony truss bridge. Plans call for the replacement of damaged structural steel, new railings, grating, mechanical and electrical systems, a new fender, control house and repaired bulkheads, according to Dane Esdelle, project manager for the City of Fort Lauderdale.

“The bridge has always been way too narrow, but I didn’t necessarily notice anything rickety about her,” said Charlie Read, an editor of the Riverside Park Residents’ Association newsletter. “But I trust that they know what they are doing.” The historical tender house will remain, with a second modern one constructed behind it. Both will be located on the north side of the bridge in the Sailboat Bend neighborhood. In July 2008, a deep draft boat finally prompted the city to rehabilitate the bridge. “A boat with excess draft caught the cable under the bridge and pulled the electrical control box off the bridge,” said Dave Marshall who lives in eastern Riverside near the bridge. Officials had allocated funds for the rehabilitation project in the early 2000s.

While the bridge may not be on your daily commute, for residents of the Riverside and Sailboat Bend areas, the closure affects traffic patterns. “It adds about two miles to my commute north,” Marshall said. At least three earlier structures spanned the North Fork of the New River. In the mid 20th century, local resident Sigurd Dillevig recalled sitting on a piling on Southwest Ninth Avenue that once supported a wooden bridge. “Dillevig used to sit on it and shoot alligators,” wrote reporter Wesley W. Stout in an article appearing in the Fort Lauderdale Daily News on Dec.15, 1954. Later the bridge moved downriver to Southwest 12th Avenue where local Bert Lasher operated an alligator wrestling and Seminole Indian tourist attraction. In 1916, the city replaced the Andrews Avenue bridge, and Riverside residents asked if they could use the old bridge. So they reinstalled the old Andrews swing bridge as the first 11th Avenue swing bridge. “The bridge was a single lane and its bed was most likely made of planking supported by girders,” said Bob Hathaway, a local historian. “She was only there for 10 years.” Due to old age, in 1924 the city decided to replace her with a brand new bridge. In 1925, Champion Bridge Co. finished the installation. Urban legend said the replacement was a used bridge from South America. “Subsequently I learned that wasn’t true,” Hathaway said. “It was a brand new bridge.”

The bridge underwent numerous improvements in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s while arguments ensued about replacing the structure. In 1989 the city gave it a historic designation under its historic preservation ordinance. Sonny Irons, a Riverside resident since the early 1980s, has been on the front lines of these debates. In 1994 he proposed to tear the bridge down to deter cut-through traffic. “It’s in need of being removed and sand blasted…someday it’s got to go,” he was quoted in a Sun-Sentinel story on Oct.15, 1994. In this current project, “removal was not considered but a temporary shutdown was necessary to accommodate restoration,” Esdelle says. The yearlong project started last August is projected to be completed in mid August of this year.

Up close:
• The Eleventh Avenue Bridge is the only bridge in Fort Lauderdale operated by the city.
• It’s considered the only operational swing bridge left in Southeast Florida.
• It opens on demand 24 hours a day.

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