Northern Michigan

Bay Harbor Boat Show Countdown! by admin

Today we had the pleasure of being out on the water moving a customer's boat from Charlevoix to Bay Harbor. Due to the Bay Harbor Boat Show ( coming up our customer has been bumped from their usual slip in order to make room for all the boats at the show.  We are looking forward to the show, and have a few pieces of news we look forward to sharing with the boating community starting on Friday!

Marina dredging closes Petoskey boat launch ramp by Ryan


For all of you boaters looking to launch for the upcoming weekend in Petoskey, please be aware of the planned dredging at the Petoskey boat launch ramp. From

The launch ramp at Petoskey’s city marina is unavailable for boaters as crews tend to a dredging project in the recreational harbor. City parks and recreation director Al Hansen said the ramp was closed down Friday for the two- to three-week project.

“We’re trying to do it as rapidly and quickly as possible,” he added.

The dredging work, which costs about $71,000 and is being paid for using marina reserve funds, was arranged in response to a decrease in water levels along with a buildup of sediment that makes navigation difficult in portions of the harbor. R.B. Lyons of Charlevoix is handling the dredging, with support from trucking firm Poquette Leasing of Petoskey. During the project, the launch ramp is needed for storage and truck loading of spoils removed from the harbor bottom, Hansen said. The slope of the ramp helps in draining water from the spoils, and Hansen said using that location also helps avoid encroaching on marina parking areas. City officials had hoped to have the dredging work taken care of earlier in the spring, but Hansen noted that they encountered delays in obtaining state permits needed for the work. The parks and recreation director added that contractors are aware of the need to move quickly on the project. Given the pace with which the project has moved in its first several days, Hansen said it may take less than three weeks to wrap up.

“We want to get it done before our main season hits us in late June,” he noted.

Slips remain available during the project for boaters traveling to and from the marina by water, although Hansen said some boaters are having to be temporarily relocated from one portion of the harbor to another. Spoils removed from the harbor bottom will be taken to an Onaway-area landfill for disposal, Hansen said.

Big Brother Watches Boat Washers... by Trevor

To supplement the Bay Harbor Lake Marina webcam, it looks like the Yacht Club is catching up. These webcams are a great way to keep an eye on your boat, particularly in regards to the weather. You can decide if it is a good day to take the boat out, or be able to tell how hard the boat is bouncing in a storm (not in protected Bay Harbor, mind you!).

Yet another great use of these cameras? Watching us clean your boat. WOW.

The camera pans around to cover the entire bay, and zooms in to check on BHLM in the distance. If only you could control it to zoom in on individual boats!


Walstrom Open House! by admin

When we tell people about northern Michigan, we often tell them how perfect it is up here during the summer.  Today turned out to be a bit on the cool and cloudy side, but Walstrom's new sales showroom is the nicest showroom I have ever seen.  A big thanks to Walstrom's for hosting the event and being kind enough to extend an invitation to us!  The guest list included a lot of our customers and other influential members of the boating community.  Check out the pictures to see if you can spot any of them!

Walstrom Marine - Out with the Old, In with the New! by admin

The weather in northern Michigan has changed, and so are the sales offices of Walstrom Marine in Harbor Springs. We will be attending their grand opening BBQ next weekend (and you should too!).

With the opening of the new building, the old building next door is in the process of being torn down / renovated to suit the needs of Walstrom's customers in the Basin. I hope they save the "Walstrom Marine" from the front of the old building!

Kicking off at Yacht Club Costa Smerelda by Trevor

Everyone Smile

It is time for Dave Johnson's newest project, the YCCS to get going full swing. This development in the British Virgin Islands is certainly not the cheapest spot for a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th home, but it sure looks to be beautifully situated.

FMYC is constantly impressed with Bay Harbor for a few reasons:

1. Started from scratch. Bay Harbor used to be a desolate gravel quarry. not exactly picturesque. The idea of turning this into an amazing resort community was so far off, nobody would listen to Mr. Johnson's vision -- particularly investors! But, he pulled the money together and did it. I believe he stayed debt free throughout. 2.Residents. All Bay Harbor residents we know are extremely friendly, down to earth people. We can be washing a boat, and the owner will come outside to talk boats, and then invite us in to have a beer and see his home theater, or antique car collection. It is easy to respect people who respect you, and we are always excited to pick up a new customer, not just because it is a new boat, but because it is a new 'story', someone else to get to know.

3.Community. Though not entirely self-sufficient, Bay Harbor proper has plenty to do, and enough amenities that you don't need to stray far if you don't want to. Restaurants, markets, cafes, and resort shopping is all downtown, and that is just downtown! Not including the amazing Yacht Club, Golf Club, Equestrian Center, Hotel...

4.Staff. The only people friendlier than the residents are the staff! FMYC has been helped so much by the friendly staff at Bay Harbor. Sometimes, at a public marina, or poorly run docks it can be hard to get things done. You'll hear things like "Oh I don't know if you can do that" and "I'll have to ask my manager" when trying to do the simplest things. Not so at Bay Harbor. If something needs to get done, it getting done! The staff is capable and empowered. We would like to thank John Russell, the BHLM Harbormaster in particular, for making BHLM a dream to work at, help us at Bay Harbor events, and often being a liason to new customers. This mentality is shown in a favorite story of Lewis and myself, of Mr. Johnson driving around in a GEM car during some event, a I believe a '08 boat show. He was pulled up at where the Oil Nut Bay (same site as YCCS) promotional center was, and one of his employees was explaining to him some problem, of a customer/resident/investor who wanted something done, and wasn't sure of how to proceed. Mr. Johnson's reply was 'Do it!'; "just say yes! just say YES". With a man like Mr. Johnson with the reigns, you know the development will exceed all expectations.

In any case, try as we may, we will NOT be covering the Superyacht regatta live. But you can see some of our pictures of the announcement ceremony on Mr. Johnson's 130 Westport RESOLUTE that we were in attendance for. We have a video of his speech (quite funny, I recommend you watch all the way through!) we will post.

Looking at the Superyacht Regatta schedule, don't you want to go?

Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous

March 16 - 20, 2011

Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, March 16

Registration will take place at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), Virgin Gorda as well as customs clearance for yachts and crews from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Practice for sailing yachts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Experience BVI” guest experiences upon request

Trip to The Baths, snorkeling adventures or scuba diving. Private or group guides available will be for each adventure from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Skippers’ Briefing: Sailing yacht captains – 4:00 p.m.

Skippers’ Briefing: Motor yacht captains – 4:30 p.m.

YCCS, Virgin Gorda Founding Ceremony

Sundowners and welcome cocktail reception will be held on YCCS lawn from 5:30 to 6: 00 p.m.

Caribbean buffet, reggae band and local entertainment on YCCS lawn 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Thursday March 17

Sailing Yachts: Race Day 1 11:00 a.m.

Motor yacht Program: Cruise in Company following the yacht racing, followed by lunch and swimming at quiet anchorage VIP Host yacht Resolute to lead the fleet 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Crew Party 7:00 p.m.

Friday March 18

Sailing Yachts: Race Day 2 11:00 a.m.

Motor yacht Program: Tender Treasure Hunt.

Pirate inspired treasure hunt in yacht tenders around North Sound, YCCS, Leverick, Prickly Pear, Saba Rock, finishing at Oil Nut Bay from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m

Beer and ‘signature’ rum cocktails for all crew on YCCS lawn after sailing races

Party at YCCS Marina

Cocktail and Canapé Competitions; each yacht will create a cocktail with a prize for best Caribbean-themed cocktails and canapés from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday March 19

Sailing Yachts: Race Day 3 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Motor yacht Program: Cruise in company to Jos Van Dyke or Peter Island. Cruise to take in the finish line at the end of the race from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sundowners and Prize-giving on YCCS lawn – 4:00 p.m.

Sunday March 20

Farewell Bloody Marys and brunch at Biras Beach – 11:00 a.m. For further information, please contact Alice C. I’Anson Widdows, +44 (0) 7591 006250;

State Record Muskie at Short's Brewery by Trevor

image image

Kyle Anderson's state record Muskier, which he affectionately named "Queenie", is on display at Short's.

Kyle will be talking about the catch today and tomorrow, at 2pm and 5pm. It looks like he will be hanging out and drinking all day as well, probably wouldn't be too hard to pry some tips from him any time of day!

Also, $1 of your first pint when you show a valid fishing liscense!

Mark Your Calendars - Walstrom BBQ! by admin

Didn't make it to the Newport, Norwalk, Annapolis, Ft. Lauderdale, or Chicago Boat shows?  Just dreaming of warmer weather and firing up the grill?  Well now you have a date this spring to break out the ink for!  On May 28th Walstrom's Harbor Springs will be hosting a BBQ at the NEW Walstrom Marine Showroom.  Event starts at 11:30 and goes until 2:00!  We're planning on being there!

Lazzara Yachts Partners with The Crest Group by admin

Lazzara in Bay Harbor

Yesterday Rich Lazzara teased us over twitter and on the Lazzara blog -  something big was in the works.  This morning it was announced Lazzara Yachts has entered into a partnership with The Crest Group LLC.

TAMPA, Florida, Jan. 24, 2011 – Lazzara Yacht Corporation, a legendary family name in yachting, announced it has received a capital investment from The Crest Group LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lazzara Yachts, a privately held company, is the worldwide leader in semi-custom pleasure yachts from 50’-130’.  Built in Tampa, FL, Lazzara has continued to be on the leading edge of design and innovation in the yachting world.

Enrico Scarda, Managing Partner of The Crest Group LLC. said, “We couldn’t be happier to be able to join the Lazzara team.  It is very obvious that the Lazzara family is dedicated to the continued innovation and development of exceptional yachts and we are glad to be able to be a part of it.  We expect the newly structured company to continue the success that Lazzara Yachts has enjoyed in the past.”

Never heard of The Crest Group?  Before this morning, we did not know who they were either.  The Crest Group is a New York based LLC focused on commercial and residential real estate development.  Mr. Scarda is a New York based lawyer (picked up his JD in 2000) with a bit of a financial education in his background (a BS in Finance in 1989).  We are sure this move by the Crest Group has been looked at from every direction.  We would also venture a guess, based on the coat of arms with what appears to be the initials "ES" , Mr. Scarda is the primary/sole partner of The Crest Group.

If innovation in the yachting industry is what helps differentiate Lazzara in a crowded and tough market, keeping the same vision with a new partner will likely be a determining factor in how successful this partnership is.  From The Crest Group LLC website, it sounds like the Lazzara family has found a forward thinking partner.

In our residential division our philosophy is to develop communities that are "state of the art" in all respects. In th past year we have built beautiful customs homes and condominiums in premiere locations with exceptional results. Our residents boast about our product and we are proud of our achievements.

To be honest, we are not quite sure what to make of the partnership.  At the 2009 Fort Lauderdale Show the Lazzara booth was one of the few manufacturers which was blowing the horn (indicating a sale).  Our impression of their 2010 booth was positive (we were working on a good looking 84' "Double Trouble"), as there was a lot of foot traffic and we heard there were more than a few qualified buyers on the sales barge.  However in the last 24 months, lots of boatyards and manufacturers have been put in a tough spot financially.  So it is not clear if this is fully a move to spread the Lazzara name worldwide, or simply a way to reassure former/current/future owners Lazzara will be around for years to come.

If we take Lazzara and the Crest Group at their word (and we have no reason not to!), we think they should do well pushing their brand into new markets.  The technology and innovation they pride themselves on is likely to be just as successful (if not more so) in markets which tend to lean towards the edgier and clean looks Lazzara has come to be known for.  When compared to a company, like Hatteras, Lazzara certainly attracts a different type of customer.  We are certainly looking forward to the seeing the 5(!) new models (Mr. Lazzara, we'd love a factory tour before they launch!) they plan to launch over the next two years.

Ice Festival Kickoff! by Trevor

There are chain saws whirring in downtown Bay Harbor! We only got a few pictures of the sponsor wall and some of the smaller works, but the pro-carvers were stacking their blocks and getting ready to cut in on some of the larger works. The fish pictured is a medium sized work,  and we are told it will be surrounded by some other aquatic life. There is also a massive indian head, and something that look like a spread winged creature, or the spirit of ecstasy.

But what is that good looking larger brick on the North side of the sponsor wall? Could it be...

Also, the Cava "Chill Lounge" is set up, but don't worry, they have the fireplace going round the clock. If you are around, be sure to stop by the Inn at Bay Harbor to try our (soon to be world famous) chili!

10th Annual Bay Harbor Ice and Snow Festival! by admin

There may not be a boat show in Bay Harbor this weekend, but there certainly is the Bay Harbor Ice & Snow Festival!  We would love to see any/all of our clients there along with our industry friends.  If anyone needs a chili cook-off ticket be sure to shoot us an email!  Here is a quick recap of the events which are planned (for more specific times go here):

Friday, January 21

Professional ice carving competition begins, Cava and The Knot Ice Bar will open.

Saturday, January 22

More professional ice carving, aerial snowboarders performance, live music at Cava, sled dog rides, chili cook off, and amateur ice carving.

Sunday January, 23

Ice sculptures and great wall of sponsors on display for all to enjoy!

Editorial: Mackinac Island Ferry Fiasco by admin

How do you know you are really getting to the northern tip of the "mitt"?  For me it is when I start to see a ton of billboards for Mackinac ferry service, of which there are three (Arnold, Shepler's, and Star Lines).  To get filled in on the full story to date I would suggest starting with this Mlive article.  The short of it is the city counsel is considering purchasing docks currently owned by Arnold Transit, which would effectively put the city in the drivers seat when negotiating with the ferry companies. The "positive" effects trumpeted by the city flexing their muscle with the purchase of the docks would be to lower ticket prices.  The three companies were asked, in public, to get together to try and figure out a way to lower ticket prices (something they refused to do!).  Imagine if the order of events were reversed.  All three companies did meet in private to discuss ticket prices, and then were asked in public about these meetings.  Public sentiment certainly would not be on their side.

Another point worth making, what is a "low" enough ticket price?  Is lower $.01? or $20 lower?  If the city counsel believes it can control ferry ticket pricing, then perhaps they are wasting their time.  They should really be focusing on controlling the prices of milk, bread, gas, and housing.  Ferry rides should be the least of their concerns.

If all of this seems absurd, that is because it is.  Humility is the answer here.  It takes about 10 seconds of humility to realize there is little hope of a few local government officials fully understanding how the ferry business operates.  Do they know the annual cost of operations, insurance costs, fuel costs, advertising costs, crew costs, peak travel times, how many ferry companies there should be, and how much tickets should be? No, and rightly so, why should they.

When thousands of people travel to Mackinac Island every year, they almost magically can get a ferry ride.  They do not have to wait in long lines, buy tickets weeks in advance, look hopelessly for parking near the ferry, worry about the safety of the boat they are on, or worry about getting back.  With the swipe of a credit card they can "magically" be on their way towards a vacation destination.

Here is a copy of our letter to the mayor and city counsel.  If you enjoy any of these ferry operators, we hope you will show your support to them as well.