FYI: March 2003 Page 2

FYI - March 2003 continued
FYI — March 2003
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Re-Enactin', Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With.., and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

A Word With... Milt Baker
Retired Navy Commander Milt Baker and his wife, Judy, founded Bluewater Books & Charts in 1985 as a mom-and-pop shop in Fort Lauderdale. When they sold the company in 2000, it had 30 employees and was the largest seller of nautical books and charts in the United States. Today the Bakers cruise the East Coast year-round in their Grand Banks 42.

Q: What made you sell Bluewater and start cruising full time?

A: Running the company meant we couldn't go off cruising for more than a few weeks a year, and Judy and I really began to miss it. Plus, our biological clocks were ticking. As we approached 60, we decided cruising a few weeks a year just wasn't enough.

Q: Did selling the business do the trick?

A: Well, we've covered about 15,000 NM since then--from Key West to Downeast Maine and back three times, Nova Scotia and Canada's Saint John River, and we've spent a good bit of time gunkholing the Bahamas. Now we're looking at cruising in the Mediterranean and considering whether to buy an offshore powerboat like a Nordhavn. If not, we'll ship our Grand Banks over.

Q: What does your wife think of all this time on the water?

A: I'm blessed with a wife who loves cruising as much as I do. Judy taught me to sail when we were teenagers, and we've been cruising together ever since. At the moment she's working on the third renewal of her Coast Guard license. We've covered over 100,000 NM together. I'm a lucky man!

When Bush Comes to Shove
What did the marine industry do when environmentalists redoubled their efforts to restrict dock-building in southeast Florida? They found a well-connected ally ready to fight the measure: Governor Jeb Bush.

In December Bush strongly denounced a proposed federal plan that would protect manatees by limiting the number of new docks throughout the Fort Lauderdale and Miami coastline. The proposal aims to cutback dock-building on Florida's southeast coast because that's where manatee populations have suffered the most. But marine companies in the area said the rules would severely hurt their businesses and added that the coast is already facing major dock shortages.

Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding hearings on the measure--which environmentalists say would go far in protecting manatees from boating-related deaths--Bush went straight to the top and pleaded his case with U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton, asking her to find another way to protect the endangered sea cows, according to a report in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.

"With regard to marine-related activities alone, we estimate that the proposed rules would have an adverse economic impact of $87 million to $175 million over the next five years," Bush said in a statement.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to take comments from the public until it announces its decision in May.

Chilly in Philly
After its launch 66 years ago and its steadily waning popularity over the last decade, the Philadelphia Boat Show was finally scuttled in December.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) decided to sink the show and pour its resources into the Atlantic City International Power Boat Show. According to NMMA boat show manager Michael Duffy, the decision was all about numbers--Philadelphia pulled in 28,000 visitors last year to Atlantic City's 35,000. Competition between the shows, both of which occur in late January or early February, hurt attendance in both locations. In addition, Duffy said parking and scheduling issues made it more difficult to run the show in Philadelphia.

"We decided what better way to serve the region than out of the Atlantic City Convention Center, because it has room for expansion," Duffy said. "And it is well-received by that community."

Previous page > Re-Enactin', and more > Page 1, 2

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

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