In Brief: Nautique, Tigé Boats, Bill Bird Marina, Geowake, American Custom Yachts, Tennessee Watercraft

Last Saturday, a group of Nautique employees traveled to Fort Pierce, Fla. to donate goods and spend the day assisting Missionary Flights International on the Haitian relief effort, according to the boat builder. Since the Haiti earthquake, Nautique employees have been donating items for the Haitian people but also wanted to volunteer their time. Nautique teamed up with Missionary Flights International and spent the day unloading trucks, sorting donations, cleaning bathrooms and much more. Missionary Flights International (MFI) is a private non-profit mission aviation service to Christian missions serving in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

Lynnwood Motoplex has joined the worldwide network of authorized Tigé dealerships, the boat builder reported in a recent statement. Located in Lynnwood, Wash., Lynnwood Motoplex serves the western part of the state of Washington and will carry the full line of Tigé inboard watersports boats and provide authorized service and support to local Tigé owners.

Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park in Miami, Fla., is the recipient of this year’s National Marina Day (NMD) Marina of the Year award. The award was announced on Friday at the International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Tampa, Fla. National Marina Day is managed by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI). “Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park best exemplified the intent of National Marina Day as a time to celebrate the value of marinas as gateways to our nation’s waters, and to recognize the role that marina managers play as stewards of the environment,” the association stated. Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park celebrated NMD by dedicating the completion of the 10-year marina expansion project, which took the marina from 39 slips to 150. The marina hosted an all day event that included tours of their facility, fishing demos, canoe and kayak rides, dragon boat rides and races, safety vessel tours and many other activities highlighting the marina and the waterfront environment. Besides receiving a plaque and recognition for their efforts, the marina will also be the site of the kick-off event for National Marina Day 2010, to be held Saturday June 12.

Through a relationship with Geowake, a nautical mapping solutions provider, BoatUS has launched a new online tool called the Services Locator. Located at, the tool uses Google Maps to show locations of marinas that offer money-saving discounts on fuel and transient slips. A new trip-planning enhancement is the addition of NOAA nautical charts that overlay onto the Locator’s Google Map, allowing boaters to see bottom depths, hazards and navigational aids all on one screen. The BoatUS Services Locator also shows locations of TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist on-the-water towing ports with contact information, West Marine retail store locations, and places where boaters can borrow a child’s life jacket at no cost through the BoatUS Foundation’s Kids Life Jacket Loaner Program.

American Custom Yachts, a boat builder based in Martin County, Fla., is creating 40 new jobs after winning two big contracts, one for a 90-foot custom sport fishing yacht and one for a 158-foot aluminum expedition yacht, according to a recent report on Mark Woodard, the company’s general manager, told the newspaper that business is picking up, largely due to other marine businesses going under. In addition, Woodard said his international business has begun to show life. Woodard is looking to hire people with marine experience, including carpenters, cabinet makers, welders, fabricators, pipefitters, electricians, mechanics, and fiberglass and paint technicians, according to the newspaper. He told the media outlet that wages will be competitive, and benefits will include 401(k), medical coverage and paid time off.

Tennessee Watercraft, Inc. (TWI) has saved time and money by using NVision’s laser scanning service to speed the process of robot programming, according to a statement from the service provider. NVision’s scanning service cut an estimated $150,000 off the cost of robot programming at Tennessee Watercraft, a reduction of plus or minus 60 percent. In addition, it used to typically cost Tennessee Watercraft, Inc. an estimated $250,000 to manually program a robot to drill holes in a hull deck, including measuring the location of each hole by hand, the service provider reported. By having NVision Inc. use a laser scanner to digitally capture new designs and then convert the data into computer aided design (CAD) models, the programming task can now be automated. This reduces the cost to an estimated $100,000, including both laser scanning and programming. The new process is also much faster, requiring one month instead of several. “We have tried other scanning processes but NVision’s is the only one that provides the level of accuracy we need,” said Jerry Denham, a design engineer at TWI.

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