FYI: March 2001 Page 2

FYI — March 2001
FYI — March 2001
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Garden State of Mind
• Part 2: Cat Burglar, MerCruiser, and more.
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• News/FYI Index
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• MerCruiser

Cat Burglar
Ernest Hemingway loved cats about as much as he loved short sentences and long days of drinking.

So when a ceramic statue of a feline—believed to be a gift from Picasso—was stolen from the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West last November, the museum announced a $10,000 reward for its return. It worked.

In December Robert Naughton, 31, was arrested on his boat in Stuart, Florida, for felony grand theft, according to Naughton, who admitted to swiping the cat, had called the museum to say he would return it for the reward. The museum refused.

Using an alias, Naughton complained several times to The Miami Herald about the museum’s decision. Finally, the feds tracked him down and arrested him at a marina, where locals said Naughton had been trying to sell the hot cat from his 35-foot boat.

At press time, Naughton was being held on $90,000 bond, according to APB The statue was returned to Key West.

Apparently, Pablo gave Papa the porcelain piece in the 1920s, when the two artists met in Paris. Museum officials say it’s not known whether Picasso sculpted the statue or simply gave it to Hemingway.

2.5 Million Engines Served
In December Mercury’s MerCruiser celebrated a major milestone in its 25-year history: The company produced its 2,500,000th MerCruiser engine.

The 1,000 employees of the Stillwater, Oklahoma-based company gathered weeks before Christmas to welcome the noteworthy engine into the marine world. “This is a monumental day in Oklahoma and MerCruiser history,” says Barry Eller, company president. Mercury MerCruiser is a division of Mercury Marine, based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

The engine was a 496 MAG stern drive, one of the newest models. It features Mercury’s PCM-555 processor, which connects to a proprietary data management system.

A Finish to Finning
In the final months of a presidency often hounded by legal sharks, Bill Clinton made a move to protect saltwater ones.

In December he signed a bill to ban the practice of cutting off shark fins and then leaving the fish to die in the ocean. Shark fins are not only a culinary delicacy in Asia, they are considered by many Asians to be an aphrodisiac. Little wonder shark fin soup sells for as much as $100 a bowl in some Asian countries, according to the Associated Press.

Aimed mainly at Pacific Ocean fishermen who hunt sharks for their highly lucrative fins, the bill follows in the steps of similar 1993 legislation that banned shark “finning” in Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico waters.

The new law makes it illegal for a fishing boat to enter an American port or operate in the 200-mile U.S. federal water territories if she carries shark fins without the carcass. Shark finning is often a side business to swordfish and tuna fishing, and small fishing vessels usually have no room to carry shark carcasses, which are of little market value, according to the AP.

Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., who first introduced the legislation two years ago, says sharks are among the most biologically vulnerable species in the ocean because of their slow growth, late maturity, and small number of offspring.

According to the Ocean Wildlife Campaign, tens of thousands of sharks, often blue sharks, are killed for their fins in the U.S. areas of the Pacific Ocean annually, and in 1998 alone the number of sharks finned in the waters surrounding Hawaii topped 60,000.

News Clips

Although Ford denies a deal has been made, Yamaha says it formed a joint venture with the company to manufacture stern drives in North America. Toyota has indicated it may invest in the operation. This follows the announcement in December by Outboard Marine Corporation that it filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and will liquidate some or all of its assets. Both Yamaha and Toyota have been rumored to be possible buyers. ...Northstar Technologies has won a major order from the U.K.’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The volunteer organization purchased Northstar 952XD DGPS Navigators for its fleet of 100 RIB lifeboats.

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

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