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Pacific Sailboat Crew Rescued After Abandoning Ship Sunk by Whale Collision

News & Updates
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Pacific Sailboat Crew Rescued After Abandoning Ship Sunk by Whale Collision

On March 13th, a party of companions had already been sailing for 13 days from the Galápagos to French Polynesia on the Raindancer, a 44-foot sailboat. Suddenly, they heard a loud noise, and Rick Rodriguez, the owner of the boat, was in the middle of enjoying some pizza when he felt the stern of the boat lift up and shift to starboard. It became apparent that they had struck a whale. The crew quickly inflated their lifeaft, and loaded their dinghy with essential supplies such as food, water, and communication equipment, and within 15 minutes, the Raindancer sunk beneath the waves.

Raindancer Crossing The Panama on Feb. 3rd, 2023 by Rick Rodriguez

After the collision with the whale and the Raindancer began to sink, Rick Rodriguez promptly sent out a mayday distress signal on the VHF radio. He and his companions then proceeded to evacuate onto the lifeboat and dinghy, taking essential supplies with them. In a report by The Washington Post, Rodriguez recounted that he and his friends felt a sense of disbelief and shock that this was happening, but they remained calm and focused on gathering what they needed to prepare for abandoning the ship. Despite the surreal situation, they managed to act efficiently and without much emotional turmoil, as Rodriguez stated: "While we were getting things done, we all had that feeling, 'I can't believe this is happening,' but it didn't keep us from doing what we needed to do and prepare ourselves to abandon ship."

Following the evacuation, the crew of the Raindancer spent 10 hours adrift before being rescued by the civilian boat Rolling Stone. The rescue was described as seamless and efficient. The Raindancer was equipped with various communication devices and emergency equipment, and its crew was trained to handle worst-case scenarios. Despite these measures, collisions between whales and boats have been on the rise since 2007, with approximately 1,200 such incidents recorded to date. Alana Litz, one of the individuals on board the Raindancer, believes that the whale they struck was a Bryde's whale, and she and her companions observed the animal bleeding as it swam away.

Rodriguez expressed his gratitude for the swift rescue, stating: "I feel very lucky and grateful that we were rescued so quickly. We were in the right place at the right time to go down." Despite the unfortunate event, he and his companions were grateful to have made it out alive and credited their preparedness and training for helping them handle the situation as best they could.

For the full story visit The Washington Post.

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Recreational Boating Maintains Momentum Heading into 2023

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The start of a new year brings the beginning of boat show season for the $170 billion U.S. recreational boating industry and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which represents 85 percent of the country’s recreational boat, marine engine and accessory manufacturers. The recreational boating industry is preparing to welcome an estimated two million Americans to dozens of boat shows between January and March to shop the latest boats as they continue prioritizing outdoor recreation. Boat retailers and manufacturers have historically generated between 30-to-50 percent of their annual sales at boat shows.

An estimated 100 million Americans go boating each year as consumers continue to invest in the unique experiences that come from being on the water. (Photo: Business Wire)

Coming off a record year of extraordinary demand in 2021 led to the second highest ranked year in nearly two decades for recreational marine expenditures at $56.7 billion. New powerboat retail unit sales normalized in 2022, down an estimated 15-18 percent, to pre-pandemic growth years (2015-2019) with an estimated 250,000 new units sold, 25 percent above previous averages (2008-2014). Looking ahead to 2023, early indications point to continued healthy demand with new retail unit sales expected to remain on par with 2022.

This momentum comes as Americans demonstrate an ongoing prioritization of a life well-lived, spent enjoying outdoor experiences with family and friends and marine manufacturers continue strategically managing production and inventory pipelines following two years of supply chain bottlenecks. Segments driving growth in 2022 included entry-level boats such as personal watercraft, freshwater aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats, as well as pontoon boats that are less than 26 feet.

“Last year was a healthy year for recreational boating with momentum coming off of record sales in 2021 due to continued demand and the fact that supply chain shortages prevented our industry from overproducing like we saw happen in other sectors over the past two years,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “With boat shows fully returning following two years of limited events due to COVID, we’ve already seen encouraging sales reports within certain categories, coupled with consumers continuing to invest in the unique experiences that come from being on the water.”

New data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), released in November, shows the outdoor recreation economy has seen record-breaking years, sustaining remarkable growth despite navigating a post-pandemic environment. In 2021, outdoor recreation generated $862 billion in economic output, accounting for 1.9 percent of U.S. GDP, making it a larger contributor than agriculture, extraction of oil and gas, and mining. Outdoor recreation also supported 4.5 million American jobs. What’s more, recreational boating and fishing are the number one contributor to the near-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy, surpassing RVing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

With dozens of boat shows being held around the U.S., including Discover Boating®’s 10 show line-up this winter, manufacturers and dealers will unveil the latest product innovations and technologies, offer exclusive promotions and provide immersive boating activities to engage potential first-time boat buyers as well as millions of boaters look to come together during the off season.

“We’ve done extensive research to better understand boaters of today and tomorrow and local boat shows are a consistent favorite given the sense of community they create by bringing together boaters of all interests, access to all local dealers and new boat models in one place, the ability to board and buy boats, shop the newest gear, and be immersed in education and experiences—they take pop-up retail and social meet-ups to the next level,” said Ellen Bradley, senior vice president of marketing and communications for NMMA.

U.S. Recreational Boating by the Numbers

Unless otherwise noted, the following additional data are from the NMMA’s 2021 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract.

  • Annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services totaled $56.7 billion in 2021, up 12.7 percent from 2020.
  • It’s not just new boats seeing strong sales; an estimated 1.15 million pre-owned boats were sold in 2021, up 9.2 percent over 2020.
  • The recreational boating industry is an economic driver supporting more than 690,000 American jobs and 35,000 American businesses.
  • Outdoor recreation accounts for 1.9 percent of U.S. GDP, generating $862 billion in gross economic output, of which recreational boating and fishing is the single largest segment with an attributed $50.4 billion, supporting 4.5 million American jobs. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • Recreational boating is a uniquely American-made industry: Ninety-five percent of boats sold in the U.S. are made in America.
  • An estimated 100 million Americans go boating each year.
  • Recreational boating isn’t just for the one percent. Sixty-one percent of boat owners have an annual household income of $100,000 or less.
  • Ninety-five percent of boats on the water in the U.S. are less than 26 feet—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.
  • Leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories in 2021 were the following states:
  1. Florida: $5.4 billion, up 3.7 percent from 2020
  2. Texas: $2.4 billion, up 2.6 percent from 2020
  3. Michigan: $1.5 billion, up 16.3 percent from 2020
  4. North Carolina: $1.24 billion, up 2.8 percent from 2020
  5. Minnesota: $1.2 billion, up 13.8 percent from 2020
  6. New York: $1.16 billion, up 10.5 percent from 2020
  7. California: $1.1 billion, up 17 percent from 2020
  8. Wisconsin: $1 billion, up 17 percent from 2020
  9. Georgia: $924 million, up 1.9 percent from 2020
  10. Alabama: $898 million, up 7.4 percent from 2020

About NMMA: The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at and get engaged with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Underwater Museum Of Art Installation
Quantum Reef by Chris Chubb

Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and South Walton Artificial Reef Association reveal seven designs selected for fifth Underwater Museum of Art Installation.

SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL (January 30, 2023) – The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are proud to reveal the seven new sculpture designs, chosen by jury for permanent exhibition in the fifth installation of the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA).

The 2023 installation will include the following pieces of sculpture: Quantum Reef by Chris Chubb (Tallahassee, FL), Space Nest by Frank Henderson (Evanston, IL),  Welcome Home by Zachery Long (Oklahoma City, OK), Madam Nature by Andrew Luy (Huntsville, AL), Cetacean Remains by Pat Mclain (Stone Mountain, GA), One Tree by Ann Moeller Steverson (Huntsville, AL) Opus by Allison Wickey (Santa Rosa Beach, FL).

Named in 2018 by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is presented as part of CAA’s Art In Public Spaces Program and augments SWARA’s mission of creating marine habitat and expanding fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in Walton County.

UMA sculptures are deployed with SWARA’s existing USACOA and FDEP permitted artificial reef projects that includes nine nearshore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore in approximately 58 feet of water. The 2023 installation will join the 34 sculptures previously deployed on a one-acre permit patch of seabed off Grayton Beach State Park, further expanding the nation’s first permanent underwater museum.

Deployment of the 2023 UMA installation is slated for Summer. Visit for more information on timeline and events surrounding UMA’s launch. Project and sculpture sponsorships are available. Please contact Gabby Callaway at for sponsorship details.

2023 UMA Sculpture and Artist Details

QUANTUM REEF by Tallahassee, Florida architect Chris Chubb occupies 100 square feet of the 617,500 square MILE Gulf of Mexico. Relatively, this is similar to the infinitesimal size of a single atom compared to a dinner plate. The Quantum Reef invites the viewer to leave the human scale and enter the sub-atomic scale. Analogous to a dynamic atom, Quantum Reef is animated by schools of fish darting through the aluminum ‘shell’ and swirling about the limestone ‘nucleus’. The sculpture is intended to provide needed marine habitat, inspire multidisciplinary work and promote educational initiatives in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Space Nest by Frank Henderson

SPACE NEST designer Frank Henderson is based in Evanston, IL. The sculpture is inspired by the beautiful homes of Diatoms, which often use circle packing to generate an ornate organic geometry from silicate. The nest is created by circle-packing various sizes of circles into a dome shape. The resulting form is incredibly strong and resilient while using minimal materials to create maximum size and usable negative space. The title “Space Nest” refers to two things - the modern myth that diatoms are in-fact aliens using their silicate space ships to venture to new lands in the process of panspermia, and the sense of space and openness that this geometric form gives to the nest itself. Its use of negative space adds to a sense of mystery and opportunity that the replicated silicate form provides. Marine life can swim through and around it as part of the artificial reef, to build and grow their own homes in. It serves as a cage of protection from predatory marine life, while offering areas to move through and explore for other marine life and divers visiting the UMA.

WELCOME HOME by Illinois-based artist Zachery Long is a gesture we are all familiar with and can relate to. The sculpture has a two-fold meaning. Creating these three UMA letters is a thank you to the people making this new habitat a reality. “The Underwater Museum of Art is more important than we all know,” said Long. “It is a positive movement in the right direction leading by example to create net positives for our oceans.” Secondly, Welcome Home is a much needed greeting sign for fish looking to rehome from their previously barren sand flats. Nothing says home like giant barrel sponges, corals, and a welcoming UMA sculpture. Each concrete letter will be evenly spaced to provide passageways for water current and sea life. The concrete barrel sponges are various sizes to provide different types of shelter and living spaces to the differing species.

MADAM NATURE artist Andrew Luy has maintained multiple saltwater aquariums, bred seahorses and propagated corals through fragmentation, and has grown phytoplankton, among other ocean life maintenance. With this project he not only wants to create an aesthetically pleasing sculpture, but he also looks to create a sustainable habitat for sea life and corals. The top half will have crevices and holes similar to brain coral skeletons to allow for naturally occurring coral population and for coral plugs to be inserted to allow for any future propagation endeavors. The inner core of the globe will have a network of tunnels & holes, made of limestone and concrete to encourage invertebrates, fish, and other sea life to shelter. He designed the woman’s hair as an homage to the weedy sea dragon along with open areas to provide protective zones and to house long tip and other indigenous anemones to simulate flowing hair.

One Tree by Anne Moeller Steverson

Atlanta-based artist Pat Mclain’s hope for the CETACEAN REMAINS sculpture is for it to be an extremely interactive experience for the diver giving them the ability to swim through the piece like a tunnel. When he first heard of the museum his mind thought of something that would naturally be found on the ocean floor. Something that seemed prehistoric but was supposed to be there. Doing a simple segment of the body like the rib cage is a great stand alone piece but could also grow with additions to the skeleton frame over time.

ONE TREE is an  8' tall by 9' wide by 9' deep concrete sculpture depicting two trees grown together over time with their roots entwined from artist Ann Moeller Steverson. The fantastical branches of the trees feature four seasons, from blossoms to fruit, falling leaves, and the adornment of icicles. From the right angle, viewers would see the suggestion of a heart shape between the trunk and branches. The roots, in the style of a banyan tree, would have deep grooves that provide a perfect breeding ground/habitat for fish, algae, coral, and other marine life. The canopy of the trees would also provide an additional surface area, attraction, and shelter. The design of "One Tree" is an evolution of a painted commission that captured the hearts and imaginations of romantics worldwide and extends its story to the underwater world of Grayton Beach State Park. The painting was a gift from a husband to his wife, inspired by this expert from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

"Love is a temporary madness.
It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides, you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
And when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches
They find that they are one tree and not two.”

The piece offers a unique enchanting destination for couples who wish to have their underwater nuptials beside it or just meet up under its branches

OPUS by Allison Wickey

OPUS is the second sculpture to be installed at the UMA for Santa Rosa Beach, Florida-based artist Allison Wickey who is also a founding partner of the project. The octopus is the ultimate mystery, embodying all that the sea symbolizes in one creature. Not only are they intriguing, but they are also elegant and mesmerizing to watch. They are known to 'play' with other species, walk on two legs and befriend humans. Although they have been portrayed as scary or dangerous they are actually peacemakers in her opinion. They seem to have a silly sense of humor while also being highly intelligent and can change itself via color or shape to work its way out of bad situations. The combination of beauty, brilliance and resilience is an enviable trait and the octopus has it all. Allison thinks the octopus is a good symbol for the times, as we learn to work our way out of new and strange issues in current society while retaining a sense of humor.

About the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County

The mission of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, is to advance the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. The vision of the CAA is to make Walton County a creative place in which to live, work and visit. Membership information, grant and scholarship applications, and more can be found at

About South Walton Artificial Reef Association

The South Walton Artificial Reef Association is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to deploying and monitoring publicly permitted living reefs in Walton County's near shore coastal waters for the benefit, education, and enrichment of residents, visitors, and marine habitat for present and future generations. Learn more at

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Sailing Convention for Women Returns To Newport Beach April 1
Learning how to rig a spinnaker is just one of many learning topics at the Sailing Convention for Women. (credit: Sailing Convention for Women)

West Coast’s premier sailing event for women now in 33rd year

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif., Dec. 6, 2022 – After a Covid hiatus the Sailing Convention for Women is back with full sails and expanded learning opportunities and slated for Saturday, April 1, 2023. Held at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona Del Mar, California, the event marks the 33rd year offering beginning-to-experienced women sailors a chance to learn and enjoy camaraderie and fun through an all-day series of on-the-water instruction and shore-based workshops.

“The Convention gives women an opportunity to meet other women sailors, discuss options for cruising, racing and recreational sailing, and find out about women’s sailing organizations in their area, as well as instructional programs available,” described by founder and producer, Gail Hine. “We have something meaningful for everyone,” one attendee claimed, “The energy level and networking opportunity at this convention is amazing!”

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). has sponsored the event for nearly three decades.

Some of the workshop topics include Suddenly Singlehanded, Steer with the Sails, Intro to AIS, Avoid Mistakes & Mayhem, Prepare for Passage Making, Basic Navigation, and the ever-useful, Docking. Three levels of on-the-water sailing instruction are also offered.

The day begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m., starting with a generous breakfast to fuel the sessions of morning instruction and workshops. A buffet lunch will launch sailors into an afternoon of continued learning opportunities, followed by a spirited happy hour. The evening is capped with dinner and guest speaker Marie Rogers, who in 2019, became the first black woman to serve as commodore at the historic Los Angeles Yacht Club, and likely one of the first to helm a major U.S. yacht club.

Rogers, who will share stories of inspiration and passion for sailing, is the 2021 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award honoree and an avid racer. She completed the 50th Transpac and races today along the West Coast aboard Marie, a Nelson Marek 55, with her husband, Bill. Closer to home she’s at the helm of her J-29, Rush Street.

Those interested in attending should mark their calendars for February 1 when convention registration opens at A special early bird attendance for $250 will be available through February 28 and includes workshops, breakfast, lunch, dinner, souvenirs, raffle prize tickets and session handouts. Registration fees increase $20 each month through April 1. Prepaid registrations are required and for the best selection of classes women are urged to register early.

For more information on the convention, contact Gail Hine (

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Marinalife and SpeedyDock Partner to Enhance Boater and Marina Communication

Marinalife, a company that delivers tools and resources to fully allow the boating community to embrace life on the water, has partnered with SpeedyDock.

With digital communication taking the lead, the new generation of boaters are looking for the same convenient ways to communicate with marinas. SpeedyDock, developed in 2016, is software for dry-stack marinas and boat clubs that helps simplify marina operations. The mobile app allows boaters to request scheduled launches and request fuel, drinks, ship store items, and other services offered at their marina. 

SpeedyDock keeps track of the requested actions and makes the information available in real-time. Marina employees can work with customers and also keep other employees up to date on request statuses. SpeedyDock’s software is now integrated with Marinalife Manager, allowing their marinas to engage with their customers even more efficiently. 

Marinalife Manager is the latest product of Marinalife, Inc., and enables marina managers and owners to streamline their operations. With marina management software, marinas can seamlessly connect with their boaters, manage internal operations, get real-time analytics, and more. 

“Having SpeedyDock partner with Marinalife helps achieve our goal of connecting and empowering boaters and marinas,” says Jen Leroux, CEO Marinalife. “Reservations through SpeedyDock are now not just convenient for the boater, but also for marinas using Marinalife Manager.” 

Marinalife Managers’s integration with SpeedyDock keeps customers, boats, inventory, and more, in sync. Customer Accounts and inventory are reflected in both SpeedyDock and Marinalife Manager’s system, keeping the marina staff up-to-date. 

"When I created SpeedyDock, I was mindful of the boater's experience. I also saw an opportunity for marinas to simplify their customer relationship management," says Travis Wolfe, Founder of SpeedyDock.

To learn more about SpeedyDock visit

To learn more about Marinalife Manager visit or email

About Marinalife:  Founded by lifelong boaters, Marinalife delivers tools and resources that encourage the boating community to embrace life on the water. Marinalife joined with Snag-A-Slip in 2017 to create tech-enabled solutions that allow boaters and marinas to connect and transact easily. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, our crew is passionate about boating and delivering exceptional service to our customers. 

About SpeedyDock: Founded in 2016, SpeedyDock provides a cutting-edge software solution for drystack marina launch scheduling and boat club reservation scheduling. Our team in Ruskin, FL is committed to delivering exceptional service to boaters and marinas.

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Marinalife Raises Series A Funding Round Supporting Market Expansion and Product Development

Marinalife Provides Software Tools and Resources for Boaters and Marinas

Baltimore, Md. (Jan. 25, 2023) – Marinalife, Inc. ("Marinalife"), a Baltimore-based technology company delivering solutions to allow boaters and marinas to easily connect and transact, announced today that it has secured additional investment through a Series A round to execute on its vision to be the most innovative provider of marina technology solutions. The funding round is led by Claritas Capital, with participation from the Propel Baltimore Fund, Abell Foundation, TEDCO, and the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund (MMF).

"We are excited to be onboard with an incredible group of investors who are enthusiastic about the same goal,” said Jen Leroux, CEO of Marinalife. “Marinalife strives to grow the technology side of the marine industry, giving marinas and boaters the capability to do what they love with ease. Together, we look forward to scaling Marinalife and enhancing boaters and marinas' life on the water.”

Claritas Capital, a Nashville-based private equity firm is leading the investment in Marinalife.

"We are excited to support CEO Jen Leroux and the exceptional Marinalife team in their effort to become the leading tech-enabled platform for marina owners and boaters around the world," said Theresa Sexton, Partner at Claritas Capital.

The boating industry contributes over $2 billion annually to the state economy in Maryland, making it a national leader in boating and water sports. Marinalife’s software as a service (SaaS) platform connects boaters and marinas and offers marina operators tools such as dock space booking and reservation management. The funding round will allow the team to scale operations in Maryland and expand its offerings to the boating community.

"Marinalife is an exciting investment opportunity for MMF and the Maryland venture ecosystem. The team has built a very effective solution to solve a persistent problem for both boaters and marinas,” said Mike Ravenscroft, Managing Director of MMF. “We hope companies like Marinalife will encourage Maryland-based entrepreneurs to leverage the region’s economic strengths and grow their businesses within the state.”

Snag-A-Slip, a Marinalife company, was founded in 2015 by Dan Cowens, a 1995 undergraduate alumnus of Salisbury University and an alumnus from the University of Maryland, College Park Robert H. Smith School of Business. As a lifelong boater, Cowens undertook revolutionizing the marina industry as part of his capstone project in the Smith School’s executive MBA program and subsequently acquired Marinalife in 2018.

“Maryland has been and continues to be the perfect home for a company like Marinalife,” said founder Dan Cowens. “Maryland has a deep boating history and we’re proud to be leading the nation in modernizing marina operations and improving the boating experience.”

CEO Jennifer Leroux joined the team out of a shared love of boating, as well as the founder’s vision of the business opportunity.

“Prior to Marinalife, the only technology solution for marinas was on-premise software that was prohibitively expensive for the average marina owner,” said Leroux. “This caused owners to resort to paper, spreadsheets, and whiteboards to manage their marinas and led to frustration for the boater. Through our core product offerings, Snag-A-Slip and Marinalife Manager, we provide the tools and resources to allow the boating community to easily connect and transact while providing an unparalleled customer experience with a core value of delighting the customer every day.”

“Marinalife is vertically integrating the marina industry with modern software technology that streamlines the boating experience for boaters and marinas. The Propel Baltimore Fund is thrilled to partner with Marinalife to build an industry leading technology company in Baltimore,” said Christopher College, the Managing Partner of the Propel Baltimore Fund.  

For more information on Marinalife or to join their community of boating enthusiasts, please visit

About Marinalife

Founded by lifelong boaters, Marinalife delivers tools and resources to allow the boating community to fully embrace life on the water. Marinalife joined with Snag-A-Slip in 2017 and together, we create tech-enabled solutions, allowing boaters and marinas to easily connect and transact. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, our crew is passionate about two things: boating and delivering exceptional service to our customers.

About the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund

The Maryland Momentum Fund is an initiative of the University System of Maryland (USM) to provide late seed investment funding for promising technology ventures that come out of any of the 12 constituent USM institutions, its research parks, and its students, faculty, or graduates. With a $16M commitment from the USM, the Fund co-invests alongside venture capitalists, foundations, and angel investors.

The Maryland Momentum Fund was established by the USM Board of Regents to support promising commercial opportunities arising from advances in research and intellectual property at USM campuses. The Fund is designed to create returns and support USM’s most innovative ideas as they enter the marketplace. Learn more about the Fund and view the portfolio companies at

Media Contact

Jamie Bernier, VP Marketing

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719

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Marinalife Announces the Winners of the 13th Annual Best Marina Contest


Contact: Alexa Zizzi
Phone: 410-752-0505


(BALTIMORE, MD, November 4, 2022) Marinalife is pleased to announce the winners of its 13th Annual Best Marina Contest. Hundreds of boaters, marinas and members of the maritime industry in North America and the Caribbean cast their votes, and the results are as follows:


First Place:  Brunswick Landing Marina – Brunswick, GA
Second Place:  Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina – Hilton Head, SC
Third Place:  Spring Point Marina – South Portland, ME


First Place:  Chicks Marina – Kennebunkport, ME
Second Place:  Champlin’s Marina & Resort – Block Island, RI
Third Place: Jekyll Harbor Marina – Jekyll Island, GA

Winning first place in the Large Marina Category, Brunswick Landing Marina boasts state-of-the-art facilities and a top-notch, friendly marina staff. Located in historic downtown Brunswick, the property is ideal for all seasons, as it’s constructed in former U.S. Navy Hurricane Hole and protected by land on three sides. The spacious marina boasts 445+ dry and wet slips and marine services by highly skilled technicians. The boatyard offers year-round service including repairs, detailing, bottom paint, custom woodworking and more. Over the years, the marina has evolved into a party hub for cruisers with daily social activities plus free wine and beer three-times-a week, as well as complimentary propane grills on every dock.

“We are ecstatic and very grateful that Brunswick Landing Marina was selected as Best Large Marina in the country. With so many great marinas being recognized, the award truly validates that our decisions and hard work are leading us in a positive direction,” said Vibert Burin, dock manager. 

Marina Manager Michael Torres adds that the property is looking forward to future upgrades such as doubling the size of the dock office/ship store and adding 540’ of leasable dock space. 

“We are working on a new project that will include a mooring ball field with an anticipated 30 moorings. Running parallel to those projects is a much larger endeavor that is going to reshape our entire business, which will be called Brunswick Landing. Brunswick Landing is proposed to be a 26-acre mixed-use, town center-style development that will include a hotel, condominiums, townhomes, restaurants and retail space,” said Torres. 

Chicks Marina in Kennebunkport, ME, returns as the reigning first place champ in the 2022 Best Small Marina award. The 50-slip marina is tucked away in the idyllic southern coast of New England. Voted among the region’s cleanest marinas, the staff continuously upgrades facilities to ensure efficiency. The marina offers custom boat care services, 30/50/100 amp electrical, heated winter storage and 91 Octane gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. 

 “We are thrilled to win Best Small Marina for the third year in a row. It is such an honor when customers recognize your hard work and love Chicks Marina as much as we do,” said Amy Gaynor, operations manager of Chicks Marina. “Chicks Marina is a very well-maintained marina. It is central to downtown, restaurants and the coastline. Our staff is top notch and goes above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable,” Gaynor added.

Marinalife recognizes second and third place winners in each category.  Best Large Marina finalists are Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina in Hilton Head Island, SC, (second place) and Spring Point Marina in South Portland, ME, (third place). Champlin’s Marina & Resort in Block Island, RI, took second place in the Best Small Marina Category, and Jekyll Harbor Marina in Jekyll Island, GA, came in third.

As we celebrate more than 20 years of Marinalife, we send a special thanks to all the marinas and boaters nationwide for participating in this year’s contest.  Keep an eye out for announcements starting in Summer 2023 for Marinalife’s 14th Annual Best Marina Contest.


About Marinalife

Marinalife magazine, a quarterly travel and lifestyle publication, provides boaters with entertaining and useful articles about destinations, marinas, cruising stories, captain’s tips and more.  For information, visit, call 410-752-0505 or email

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2022 Photo Contest Winners

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE the winners of Marinalife’s 2022 Photo Contest. Choosing three finalists and five runners-up was no easy task after reviewing more than 300 images from around the globe. The top eight shots caught our eye, because they exemplify what we love about boating — the breathtaking beauty of aquatic creatures, the exhilarating challenges of boat races, the serenity of marinas at sunset and the majestic charm of coastal towns. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the contest by sending memorable pictures of life on the water. For the first time in the history of the contest, aerial drone shots and black and white images were submitted, bringing spectacular new perspectives to our maritime activities.


Whale Spotting on Long Island — by Joanna Steidle

A massive humpback whale had wandered about 20 feet offshore, gracefully dipping down to feed upon a school of menhaden fish swimming off Two Mile Hollow Beach in East Hampton, NY. Joanna’s hands slightly trembled with excitement, but she waited for her target to rise back up to the water’s surface. When the whale emerged from the waves, she quickly switched her drone from video to camera and started snapping shots. Holding steady to capture the right moment paid off for this Long Island native, who started racing drones in 2015 and was certified as a commercial remote pilot in 2017. Since then, she’s built an extensive collection of aerial photos of sharks, rays and other aquatic creatures in the region. For her, drones offer a different bird’s eye perspective and new dimensions to places you think you already know. “I like to make people think, stare and wonder.” With this stunning whale photo, she certainly succeeded. For more, go to

A Spectacular Sailboat Regatta by — Dieter Vollmer

Sometimes when you least expect it, the opportunity for a great shot presents itself, so it’s wise to keep your camera handy. That’s what Dieter Vollmer learned while vacationing on the Italian Riviera. He put sunbathing on pause when he heard that the Vele d’Epoca in Imperia, Italy, was taking place offshore. This annual regatta of vintage sailboats from around the Mediterranean sounded interesting to the vocational education teacher and amateur photographer from Cologne, Germany. He grabbed his camera and snagged a ticket for an escort boat that was taking spectators out to the regatta. When he arrived at the race, Dieter was awed by the gorgeous historic sailboats, but as the waves swelled and rocked his small escort boat, he hung on for dear life while shooting photos as quickly as possible. Back home, he decided to convert the sailboat photo to black and white to give it a dramatic effect and old-fashioned feel to match the vintage boats.

Night Lights in Ocean City — by Moses Cohen

During the pandemic, some people binge-watched TV shows or taught themselves how to bake bread. Moses Cohen used his COVID down-time to learn about drone photography. After building a career at a healthcare agency, he was ready to take on a new skill. He bought a few drones and got his license in 2020, then began shooting photos for real estate clients. His business began to blossom in the Delmarva area, and Moses attended the White Marlin Open, one of his favorite fishing tournaments along the Atlantic. The weather and wind were especially rough one day, so most of the boats remained at the Sunset Marina in Ocean City, MD. That evening, he sent up his drone and captured this striking image of the vessels lined up along the docks. The colorful lights make this a stand-out shot, but Moses used no filters on the picture. Those are the brilliant hues that the captains chose for their boats.


Marinalife also extends congratulations to the five runners up in the 2022 Photo Contest. Their images showcase the whimsical nature of sea creatures, the rugged beauty of seascapes, and the magical play of light on the sky and water.

Battle of the Buoy in Depoe Bay — by Lisa Smith

Returning from Alice Kelly Billfish Tournament — by Terri Chabot

A Magical Sunset in Florida — by Mark Krancer

Golden Hour at the Marina — by Nicholas Heinemann

Cruising around Los Cabos — by Eduardo Arteago (Image featured on homepage)

See pages 14-18 of Marinalife's winter 2023 issue to view the full winner photo spread.

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2022 Best Marina Contest Winners

Throughout the year, we look forward to Marinalife’s highly anticipated competition — the Best Marina Contest. We receive hundreds of votes for top-notch marinas with state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional customer service and hospitality. The winners are chosen by a survey of boaters in the United States, North America and the Caribbean. We are pleased to announce the winners of our 13th Annual Best Marina Contest. Thank you to all of the marina staff members and boaters who participated. Look for the 2023 Best Marina Contest announcement in our summer issue to cast this year’s vote!


1st Place: Brunswick Landing Marina — Brunswick, GA

Courtesy of Brunswick Landing Marina

In the heart of historic downtown Brunswick, this getaway offers first-class service and amenities in a charming southern destination. The spacious marina boasts 445+ dry and wet slips and marine services by highly skilled technicians. The property is ideal for all seasons as it’s constructed in former U.S. Navy Hurricane Hole with concrete floating docks protected from storms by land on three sides. The boatyard offers year-round service including repairs, detailing, bottom paint, custom woodworking and more. Over the years the marina has evolved into a party hub for cruisers with daily social activities plus free wine and beer three times a week.

2nd Place: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina — Hilton Head, SC

Courtesy of Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

As the largest deep-water marina on Hilton Head Island, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is a secluded paradise in the center of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The marina boasts 190 wet slips on floating docks accommodating boats ranging from 15 to 150’ and offers an overnight dock with fuel and pump out at the slip. Shelter Cove Marina promenade is packed with seven waterfront restaurants and jewelry, clothing and gift shops. The property also offers seasonal entertainment, as well as shuttle service to the neighboring Palmetto Dunes Resort amenities. On-site activities include fishing, eco- and dolphin tours, water sport charters, kayak rentals and more.

3rd Place: Spring Point Marina — South Portland, ME

Courtesy of Spring Point Marina

Overlooking Casco Bay from the tip of South Portland, this employeeowned full-service marina and dealership offers a 50-ton travel lift, 10-ton forklift and specializes in boat repair services. Boasting the largest selection of boats in Maine from 18 leading manufacturers and in-house brokerage services, the property also provides a boat club and rental programs that deliver to any destination in the state. Amenities include chandlery and tackle shop, access to transit hubs, a courtesy vehicle for provisioning, a sportfishing charter fleet and on-site restaurant, North 43 Bistro. The 2021 expansion of linear dockage by SF Marine now allows yachts up to 200’ with increased depth capabilities.


1st Place: Chicks Marina — Kennebunkport, ME

Photo by Heidi Kirn

Chicks is no stranger to Marinalife’s Best Marina Contest and retains the crown as reigning first place champ for the third year in a row! Tucked away in the idyllic southern coast of Maine, Chicks is known as one of New England’s cleanest marinas as it strives to continuously upgrade facilities to ensure safety and efficiency. The marina offers seasonal and transient dockage, custom boat care services and indoor, heated winter storage. The property has about 50 slips and is the only marina in Kennebunkport to offer 91 Octane gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

2nd Place: Champlin's Marina & Resort — Block Island, RI

Photo by Aram Boghosian

Situated on the Great Salt Pond, this resort offers a laid-back vibe along Block Island’s western shore. Even though it falls in our best small marina category, Champlin’s is one of New England’s largest marina resorts. Owned and operated by TPG Marinas, the facility offers 100 wet slips and floating docks and accommodates vessels up to 225’ with 15’ drafts. The charming hotel boasts 42 nautical-themed guest rooms with waterfront views and on-site eateries. In addition to last year’s full guest room renovation, Champlin’s plans to update its electric service and pool and offer new fuel pumps on the dock this year.

3rd Place: Jekyll Harbor Marina — Jekyll Island, GA

Courtesy of Jekyll Harbor Marina

In a secluded cut along Jekyll Island’s Golden Isles, this full-service marina offers 50 interior wet slips for annual storage, accommodating vessels up to 150’. Amenities include dry storage, fuel dock, marina store, a fish-cleaning station and complimentary bike and golf cart rentals. Dine at Zachary’s Restaurant & Bar on-site, relax in the pool and hot tub, or grill out at the picnic areas. Explore the island’s 10 miles of beaches and attractions such as golf courses, bike paths and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center a few miles from the marina.

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