FY: June 2003 Page 2

FYI — June 2003
By Brad Dunn
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• Part 1: Manatee Zones, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With.., and more

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President of Hargrave Custom Yachts and head of the Colonial Yachts brokerage firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Michael Joyce has led a varied and victorious career across many facets of the boating industry over the last four decades. We caught up with him recently to discuss a few of the more unusual aspects of his life in boating.

Q: You used to publish your own editorial columns in your ads. What was your goal with those often politically charged articles?
A: When our country was founded, the government controlled the press. When citizens were unhappy, they printed up handbills and passed them out on the corner. I believe too many people assume the other guy will handle it, or it's not their problem. Richard Nixon correctly called them "The Silent Majority." I had hoped those higher up the food chain would see my columns and perhaps take it to a higher level with their own ad budgets in other industries.
Q: How did you feel about the mixed reactions those columns got from the marine industry?
A: It was both good and bad. Some people were really upset, others cheered me on.
Q: Any plans to write editorials in the future?
A: Finding time to sit and think about the issues that concern me is harder than it used to be.
Q: How about boating, do you still find time to get out on the water?
A: Yes. Actually I do almost all of my boating at night, which probably sounds a little strange. It goes back to habits developed when I was working seven days a week in the mid-1960's. Larry Balcom, an 80-year-old river rat and marine historian in the Thousand Islands [in New York], showed me how to find my way through that maze even when there was no moon or stars out. Today I notice that my guests get a bit nervous when we go between islands 30 feet apart on a pitch-black night.

If New Jersey gets its way, it's back to the blackboard for many boaters in the Garden State.

Reacting to a rise in boating accidents, the State Assembly recently proposed that all recreational powerboaters attend a mandatory safety course. (Sailors are thus far not affected.) The legislation calls for school to start in 2004 and requires boaters to carry certification that they passed the course.

The requirement will likely be phased in over four years, in the following manner. By June 2004 boaters under the age of 35 will be required to pass the course. The following June the requirement will extend to boaters under the age of 45, and the June after that, it will extend to those under 55. In June 2007 it will extend to all boaters in the state.

At presstime the measure was slated for a vote in early May.

More than 400 boaters in Florida gathered to sing the praises of their local marina, in the hope that they could save it from being demolished.

With South Florida facing a major crunch on boat slips, the North Bay Civic Association rallied support for their beloved marina and held a public meeting in March, where boaters signed petitions to protect what few docks they had left. The Army Corps of Engineers entertained the group's pleas that the Wiggins Tower Marina in North Naples not be torn down to make way for two luxury towers.

"Most residents in this area, who store their boats at the marina, want it to be saved," says Doug Fee, the association's president and founder.

Eco-Group, the Tampa-based developer, wants to raze the marina and construct two high-rise residential towers. Before that can happen, however, the area must be re-zoned as residential. Lawmakers in Collier County were expected to vote by May.

Previous page > Nixed Signals, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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