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FYI: June 2004 Page 2

FYI — June 2004
By Brad Dunn
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Ditching the Ditch, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Paula Wikoff, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

A Word with... Paula Wikoff
Paula Wikoff and her husband, Terry, run the popular Lakefront Motel in Cooperstown, New York, just one block from the Baseball Hall of Fame on the southern end of gorgeous Otsego Lake. A few years ago, she decided to pursue a lifelong dream of running a tour boat from the marina outside her motel. She hired a boatbuilder, got her captain’s license, and launched the 50-foot Glimmerglass Queen in the spring of 2003. PMY recently talked to Paula about her first season on the water.

Q: Was it difficult to get your dreamboat built?
A: Well, I had a very specific vision of what she would look like, but I had never dealt with boatbuilders or naval architects. After shopping around all over the country and doing tons of research, I found the best builder for our project right here in New York: Scarano Boat Builders in Albany. They crafted exactly what I wanted: a flat-bottom, barge-type boat that carries 47 guests with a three-person crew.

Q: How your maiden voyage go?
A: Actually, it was pretty traumatic. After we went out and had returned to the dock, we saw two people flailing in the water and their abandoned boat going in circles at about 20 mph. As we were backing up to help them, we lost an engine due to electrical problems. When we finally reached them, I remembered my man-overboard drills: We pulled around, tossed them life rings, and got them out of the water. Fortunately, their boat ran out of gas before it hit anything on shore.

Q: Overall, how was your first season on the water?
A: It was incredible. We got far more customers than we imagined. We were lucky. Otsego Lake is such a gem; such a beautiful place to be out on the water. It’s really underused by the people who live here as well as people passing through. It’s a great way of showing people the beauty of the lake and surrounding area.

Q: Do you get a lot of baseball fans on their pilgrimages to Cooperstown?
A: Oh, yes. And after they go to the Hall of Fame, they usually realize that this town is a great place to visit by itself. Of course, we get all types of people.

Q: What’s it like to achieve a lifelong goal?
A: Well, people always say, “Find your bliss.” I used to wonder what that means. Now I know. I wake up every morning and look forward to the work I have to do that day. It’s truly a labor of love.

Paper Shredders
Yes, the U.S. Coast Guard saves lives. But now it’s also saving trees. The always environmentally responsible agency has done away with printing out its Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs) and has moved its entire navigational communiqués system to the Internet.

You may have noticed more space in your mailbox in April; that’s when the Coast Guard implemented its cost-cutting electronic initiative. The service, which provides up-to-the-minute safety information on all U.S. waters, has been free to any boater who subscribed. It’s still free, but now the agency e-mails a PDF directly to your account.

The Internet-only operation not only saves taxpayers’ money, it also speeds up the delivery of pertinent navigation data so all boaters are armed with the most accurate information when they set out for a cruise.

You can subscribe to the LNMs by logging on to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center at www.navcen.uscg.gov/lnm/default.htm.

Got an interesting boating story for this column? Write to FYI, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: eileen.mansfield@primedia.com. No phone calls please.

Previous page > Ditching the Ditch, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the May 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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