Ji by Elaine Lembo
island's two biggest boatyards—Spice Island Marine and Grenada Marine—expanded haulout and storage facilities. Cruisers started talking about taking their boats to Grenada for haulout and refit instead of sailing the extra miles to Trinidad. Chandleries and canvas businesses started up.
Behind the development frenzy were facts. Recommendations in a 2001 report of the U.N.-sponsored Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean included statistics revealing that the cruising community con-
Against a backdrop of blue tarps, the workboat fleet races in the Grenada Sailing Festival 2005.
tributed nearly half of the country's annual gross tourism receipts, about three times more than the amount from cruise-ship visits. To address Grenada's increasing popularity, the Board of Tourism created the position of development officer
for yachting and cruise ships. It also invited Laura Fletcher, president of the Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada (MAYAG), to join the board. Fletcher became not just a liaison for the private sector and sailors but also an ambassador for the country in its efforts to distinguish itself from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and attract forms of tourism with longterm benefits to residents.
When Ivan came, it brought widespread destruction totaling nearly US$900 million, according to the Grena-dian government. Direct damage to 400 of the 800 sailboats on the island at the time was estimated at US$40.5 million. But no less stunning is the speed with which the recovery's begun. Substantial help came from Caribbean and North American governments, international agencies including USAID, humanitarian groups, and the Cuban government. Par
ticularly instrumental is the Agency for Reconstruction and Development, set up by the Grenadian government to coordinate domestic reconstruction activity.
The marine industry has worked hard to ensure that a decade of growth isn't compromised. Acknowledging that their home is indeed susceptible to hurricanes, the marine sector has redoubled its safety and maintenance procedures. The scene is lively again, crews have returned, and begun registering boats in the popular La-Source Grenada Sailing Festival, which takes place January 27 to 31, 2006, off the island's southwest coast.
For Horizon Yacht Charters, the island's sole bareboat company, bookings are up. "We've come a very long way," said James Pascall, director. "There's been a lot of growth in the marine sector of Grenada's economy, and it's continuing." Pascall is working with MAYAG to simplify customs procedures for bareboaters as well as for cruising sailors.
At both Grenada Marine and the harder-hit Spice Island Marine, the pace is starting to feel familiar again. According to Justin Evans, general manager at Spice Island, when Ivan hit, the boatyard, in its 21st year of business, had just put the finishing touches on a major expansion and relocation across Prickly Bay. "The timing of Ivan was unbelievable," said Evans. "The weekend before, we were sitting around saying that it's the first time a bunch of Grenadians are making money. Obviously, business is off this year, but next year we should be right back where it was."
Despite the massive destruction to its physical plant as well as to the 170 boats on its premises, the yard has repaired every-
BEFORE AND AFTER: Ivan's calling card is deposited at Spice Island Marine (above, left); a year later and with the same hillside as backdrop, the yard and staff (above) make a comeback.
thing, improved facilities, and expanded services. Catamarans and monohulls are stored separately, as are boats with and without rigs; all hauled boats are tied down to anchorage points on the ground. Grenada Marine, at St. David's, experienced much less storm damage, but it too turned adversity into an opportunity, according to Laura Fletcher, who runs the business with her husband, Jason, when she's not acting on behalf of MAYAG.
Among other changes, the yard has installed a ground anchoring system for hauled boats, a new cradle system, and mast racks; it's also rebuilt three buildings on its premises, resurfaced ground covering, and constructed a new dinghy dock.
So maybe Ivan really did do Grenada a favor. Evans of Spice Island Marine is certainly convinced.
"I think people will be absolutely shocked when they see Grenada," he said. "The trees have their leaves. Every restaurant that was open before Ivan is now open again. The island is continuing to move forward."
Cruisers interested in MAYAG or information about sailing to Grenada this winter may e-mail Fletcher ([email protected] caribsurf.com). Find general information about Grenada by e-mailing Danny Donelan at the Board of Tourism ([email protected]) or by visiting the board's website (www. grenadagrenadines.com).
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Fresh out of college and spending the summer of 1997 in Newport, Rhode Island, as deckhand aboard Shamrock V, Chris Pastore experienced a memorable afternoon when the grace and power of Sir Thomas Lipton's famous green-hulled J-class yacht became apparent.
Returning from a day on the water, the midafternoon sea breeze built as the boat rounded Fort Adams and the skipper decided on a full-canvas harbor burn.
With the rail in the water and her 155-foot rig rakishly sweeping past moored boats, Shamrock Vwas making close to 12 knots as she completed her tour. Pastore recalls that the crew dropped sail and the boat glided to the mooring—only to be met there by the harbormaster, who issued them a speeding ticket.
Little did he know at the time that his summer spent on Shamrock V, further derailing his plans to pursue a career as a biologist, would lead instead to his transformation into a maritime writer and, with the appearance of Temple to the Wind (The Lyons Press, $23), a published author and historian.
Temple to the Wind is the carefully researched story of the Nathanael Her-reshoff-designed Reliance and her successful 1903 defense of the America's Cup against Lipton's earlier yacht, Shamrock III.
But it's more than a book about two boats in one Cup series. Temple to the Wind recounts the remarkable career of Captain Nat, which began when, as a 9-year-old, he was pressed into service to help his blind older brother, John Brown Herreshoff, build a small sailing skiff at their home in Bristol, Rhode Island. It tells how the Herreshoff yard came to dominate Cup racing and boatbuilding in an era when the Wright brothers were learning to fly and the nation was emerging as an economic and military power.
Temple is also a tale of wealthy sportsmen, of national pride, and legendary excesses that would lead to the building of Reliance, a boat then considered to be, in Pastore's words, "the most sophisticated
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The exploits of wealthy sportsmen in an era of emergent national pride spice the tale of the America's Cup defender Reliance.
piece of naval and aeronautical engineering in the world" but one considered by some as too dangerous to sail and, by critics in the British press, as "a mongrel" crossbreed consisting of bad designs.
The book opens with Captain Nat sitting at his desk and contemplating a letter from New York Yacht Club member Charles Iselin asking him to design and build a fifth America's Cup defender. Fresh in his mind was his previous design of Constitution, a boat that was swept aside by the club two years earlier in favor of his 1899 defender, Columbia. With his yard overwhelmed with work and his wife ill, the 54-year-old Herreshoff decided that he'd lost his touch and responded with a letter turning down the work.
Luckily, Iselin prevailed. Herreshoff agreed to build a boat so bold and so radical that Lipton's third challenge for the Cup would be his last, thus saving the New York Yacht Club and its members the expense of continually defending their long-held trophy— or so they thought.
Pastore moved to Prague last year with his wife, Susan. Before that, he spent the better part of two years in a self-directed crash course in yacht design, 19th-century history, and the details surrounding a cast of characters hailing from both sides of the Atlantic. He pored through Captain Nat's letters and other documents and through the detailed records kept by the New York Yacht Club. He traveled to Northern Ireland to visit the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, from which Lip-ton issued his challenge to the Americans.
Temple to the Wind
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He visited Fairlie, Scotland, where Shamrock III's designer, William Fife Jr., and the Fife yard turned out its beautiful boats, and from there he visited the famed Denny Flow Tank, where Fife and longtime rival George Watson (designer of Shamrock II and retained by Lipton as co-designer and consultant for Shamrock III) tested their hull design.
Pastore said the access he was given, especially to Herreshoff's papers, was invaluable. Others, for instance, had written of Herreshoff's disappointment that Constitution had been passed over in the 1901 challenge. But in reviewing never-before-released correspondence, Pastore discovered that Herre-shoff felt strongly that while Columbia had been helmed by the very experienced Charlie Barr (who later drove Reliance to victory), Constitution had been skippered by an amateur and that his design and the yacht, as a result, had never were given a fair chance. When Constitution soundly defeated Columbia in the 1903 trials, Herreshoff clearly felt vindicated.
Pastore brought boxes of his research to Prague. Teaching an online writing course part-time for The New School, the university based in New York City, most of his effort went into bringing Temple to the Wind to life.
"It's conducive to writing," he said of the landlocked and gray Prague, admitting he became stir-crazy being so far from the ocean. So for a guy who grew up on the bay in Barrington, Rhode Island, there was just one thing to do last spring after he completed the manuscript: He and his wife headed off to Vassiliki, Greece, for two weeks of nearly constant windsurfing.
"We're leaving the gray," he told his wife. "We're going to go get on the water and do what we're supposed to do.
"The reason I wrote the book was because I love boats."
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