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Pirates, shipwrecks and battles: New guidebook of stories from NY-Pa. Great Lakes Seaway Trail

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SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. — A new guidebook published by an upstate New York-based tourism promotion organization details some of the stories about pirates, sailors, daredevils, battles, shipwrecks, lighthouses and other attractions to be found along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

The guidebook, titled “Sailors, Keepers, Shipwrecks, and The Maid,” is published by Seaway Trail, Inc., based in Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario’s eastern shore.  more...



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Chicago In-Water Boat Show

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When Chicago didn’t land the 2016 Olympics, residents got a nice perk: a needed recreational-boating harbor. Plans for a South Side site were part of the 2016 bid, and when the city lost out on the Games, Chicago Park District forged ahead, completing the 31st Street Harbor in early May. According to the Park District, the $103 million project was funded entirely by boater fees.

The new addition made a dent in the harbor system’s lengthy waiting list, situating 300 boats with room for more. According to Sarah Ryser, National Marine Manufacturers Association’s assistant director of communications, another item on the city’s wish list was an in-water boat show. Now that there’s an ideal place for it—with a large launch ramp and spare slips—the first Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show casts off on Thursday 7.  more...



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On-The-Water Boat Towing Company in Port Huron, Michigan, Has New Owner

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"Auto Club" for Boaters Offers Towing Plans for Just $58 Annually

PORT HURON, Mich., June 6, 2012 - There's a new captain at the helm of TowBoatUS Port Huron, Michigan, the on-the-water towing service that gives boaters and anglers a reliable way to call for assistance when their boats break down on the water, run out of gas or run aground. Capt. Chad Noetzel, the towing port's hired captain for the last five years, purchased the business from Capt. Brian Williams, who remains owner of TowBoatUS Detroit downriver. To see the location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/porthuron. more

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Boaters, Anglers: Gear Up for Summer Boating Season With BoatUS Towing App

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Boaters, Anglers: Gear Up for Summer Boating Season
With BoatUS Towing App

Easily Get On-the-Water Assistance From the Largest Towing Fleet in the World

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 5, 2012 - The summer boating season is heating up, but are you ready to handle a boat engine breakdown, grounding or dead battery far from the launch ramp or marina? Just in case, download the free BoatUS Towing App to your smart phone now at BoatUS.com/towing/app. If you do have a problem on the water, you'll be able to summon assistance from the largest on-the-water towing fleet in the world.  more

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New TowBoatUS Ports Open on New York's Lake Ontario

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140-mile Stretch of Lake Ontario

ROCHESTER, NY, June 5, 2012 - Capt. Jake VanReenen, who has been operating TowBoatUS Rochester, an on-the-water boat towing and assistance company since 2010, has expanded his business to two new Lake Ontario ports: TowBoatUS Oak Orchard in Kent, NY, and TowBoatUS Sodus Bay at Sodus Point opened this spring. more

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BoatUS Gives Thanks to Boaters Who Spoke Up: "Save My GPS"

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 30, 2012 – Nearly a year ago, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) began asking recreational boaters, anglers and the marine industry to speak out about the potential loss of reliable GPS – the country’s sole electronic navigation system. A private venture, LightSquared, backed by billions of dollars in funding, had plans to build a nationwide 4G broadband cellular telephone network but unfortunately, tests had shown this plan would interfere with GPS signals creating grave safety concerns. The company recently announced that it has filed for bankruptcy after the build-out of the network was halted by the FCC.  more...


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Feds leave small harbors dredging for cash

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It’s taking plenty of $100 checks and some larger amounts, fundraisers and perseverance.

But with a big slice of their economic future at stake, members of the small waterfront community of Pentwater are banding together to pay for something Washington, D.C., no longer does: Dredging of the sandbar that annually accumulates and chokes off the mouth of a channel between Pentwater Lake and Lake Michigan.

Meanwhile, a federal fund that collects taxes paid by shippers to cover operation and maintenance of navigation channels continues to grow.  more...


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Winter ship work at Muskegon's Mart Dock

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BradMcKeeTug.jpgMUSKEGON, MI – Work by Muskegon-area contractors this winter on the Mart Dock refurbishing the Sand Products’ tugboat, the Bradshaw McKee, could lead to a new commercial ship repair business.

Sand Products Corp. officials were so pleased at the West Michigan vendors’ work on the Bradshaw McKee in conjunction with its own crew that future winter ship work is being considered for next year, according to Ed Hogan, vice president of Port City Marine Services and Port City Steamship Services.

Both are companies of Sand Products, the McKee family firm that owns and operates the West Michigan Dock and Market Corp. facilities on Muskegon Lake in downtown Muskegon.  more...




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With DeLorme inReach, "Calling" for a BoatUS Tow is Easy Even When Cell Phone and VHF Let You Down

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YARMOUTH, Maine, May 23, 2012 - DeLorme, the innovation leader in personal satellite tracking, messaging and navigation technology, and Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) today announced an agreement to offer BoatUS members easier access to the new inReach two-way personal satellite tracking, locating, messaging and SOS alerting devices. This means when members can't use their cell phone or VHF radio to call for a tow, they can rely on the satellite-based inReach to quickly summon on-the-water assistance. more

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Macomb sees its future as waterfront playground

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What's a good way to grow commerce, recreation and tourism in Macomb County?

Just add water. More specifically, Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.

County Executive Mark Hackel wants to revitalize the county economy by redeveloping and promoting its two major waterways.

He envisions a waterfront entertainment district that might have hotels, restaurants, a casino and a walkable pier while people are swimming, kayaking and paddle-boarding nearby.

Trying to shake southeastern Michigan's image as an aging industrial center, Hackel wants its economy to shift from one type of blue to another, from blue-collar to the deep blue waters.  more...



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Great Lakes lake levels still below average

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Over the 20 years East Jordan residents Jim and Helen Truchan have lived on the northern side of the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix, they've watched their water line slowly recede.

"I've gone from 65 feet of rolling dock to now 165 feet of dock ... for me, (lower lake levels) is an economic problem," said Jim Truchan, laughing.

The retiree needs the extra 100 feet of dock to get his 25-foot boat out to four feet of water — the three his boat needs, plus the extra foot the hoist needs.  more...



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Grand Haven Pier deteriorating

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -  The pier along Lake Michigan in Grand Haven is deteriorating and the US Army Corps of Engineers is urging people to be extra cautious.  The problem stems from a lack of funding and is expected to get worse.

The entrance to the pier has warning signs and a memorial with the faces of two young men, Dan Reiss and Andy Fox.

"I just went through Mothers Day yesterday without my son.  It has been 8 years, but it still hurts.  I don't want anyone else to lose a loved one unnecessarily," says Vicki Cech, Andy's mother.  more...



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Tours teach lake history, research

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PUT-IN-BAY --Tourists at Put-in-Bay can learn about Ohio history and the important Lake Erie research conducted at The Ohio State's Stone Laboratory by taking a tour of Gibraltar Island this summer.

Science and History Tours of the 6.5-acre island in Put-in-Bay harbor are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays from June 20 through Aug. 15.

Groups will take guided tours of the island, including Perry's Lookout, the glacial grooves, Stone Lab buildings and the outside of Cooke Castle. The second part of the tour will focus on the Lake Erie research currently underway at Stone Lab.  more...



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Lake St. Clair fest teaches students importance of preserving natural resources

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Clinton Township — The butterscotch-colored corn snake patiently allowed students to stroke its back as the presenter held it coiled around her arm.

Some students snapped pictures of "Zeus," while others giggled nervously.

"It's really cool and kind of gross at the same time," said Elizabeth Foster, 11, a fifth-grader at Westwood Elementary School in the Warren Woods Public School District.

Elizabeth was one of about 1,600 Macomb County fourth- and fifth-grade students who gathered Tuesday at Macomb Community College to explore concepts of water conservation, preservation and safety at the fifth annual Lake St. Clair Water Festival. The event's goal was to instill an understanding of stewardship of the earth's water and its impact on all living creatures.  more...



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10 Tips for Choosing Marine Stereos

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Chooseand install wisely, or your new marine stereo probably won't last long.

Marine stereos fail regularly, have poor sound quality, and rarely live up to expectations—know these 10 tips, however, and you’ll be able to choose and install your next stereo wisely.

Take these 10 tips for choosing marine stereos to heart, or there’s a good chance that the expensive sound system you install on your boat will soon be croaking instead of crooning.

1. Never buy anything that says “marinized.” This is code for saying it’s an automotive system with a spray-coated circuit-board, which is being marketed to boaters. Chances are it won’t last long in the marine environment.

2. Mount the head unit belowdecks whenever possible. Then put a waterproof remote at the dash. That will extend the life of the stereo significantly, even though the remote may need replacement every season or two.  more...



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