FYI: December 2003

FYI — December 2003
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Tilting at Windmills, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With.., and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

Tilting at Windmills
Where’s a nautical Don Quixote when you need him?

If you think it’s a pain to navigate through a network of lobster traps, try giant offshore windmills. Boaters in New Jersey may soon encounter such an obstacle course.

In October the state took a step closer to its goal of installing dozens of wind-powered turbines about three miles offshore between Monmouth and Cape May. After two years of preliminary planning, the state’s Board of Public Utilities awarded a $300,000 grant to Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation, based in Richmond, Virginia, to research the viability of offshore wind energy systems.

The company’s proposal includes 35-story windmills costing about $1.5 million apiece with blades that would swoop 325 feet in the air. The state hopes that a wind farm of 25 turbines will produce up to 20 percent of its power by 2020.

Finding themselves unlikely allies, however, many recreational boaters, commercial fishermen, and environmentalists have voiced strong opposition to the project. “This idea is nothing short of abominable. Boaters hate it, and they won’t let it happen,” says Ernest Utsch III, owner of Utsch’s Marina in Cape May. “This state’s track record on marine issues is horrible. At this rate, you’re going to see a recall election on this side of the country real soon.”

Conservation groups that have come out against the plan include the New Jersey Audubon Society, which has pointed to the damage that the windmills could wreak on fish and sea bird populations. “On top of the environmental concerns, these structures would take up an enormous amount of water space used by recreational boaters and commercial fishermen,” explains Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group based in Sandy Hook. “I’m a boater myself, and the idea that we’ll be able to navigate through these windmills is simply not a reality. The whole area would have be closed off.”

Though the state will continue to research the feasibility of wind as a renewable energy source, soon residents will be able to voice their concerns at a series of public forums.

Number of U.S. states in which wake-jumping with a PWC is illegal.

Things We Like
Though not exactly meant for smashing over the bow, a chic champagne bottle hand-engraved just for you is a great way to christen your next cruiser. Artist David Sugar has engraved fancy bottles for famous tugboats, cruise ships, and America’s Cup racers, and we like his style.

If you’d like to get your boat on a bottle, call him and send in a picture of your boat’s profile, and you’ll have a champagne showpiece that you’ll never uncork.

David Sugar Phone: (914) 954-4170.

December Calendar
6-15. The Paris International Boat Show in France. (33) 141-90-4710.
Dec. 27-Jan. 4. The New York National Boat Show in New York City. (212) 984-7000.

Next page > A Word With..., and more > Page 1, 2

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

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