Several South Carolina marinas and municipalities recently received sizable Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG), including the Charleston City Marina, HarbourTown Yacht Basin in Hilton Head, Bohicket Marina, the City of Beaufort, and Port Royal Landing Marina. The Charleston City Marina will upgrade its electrical facilities and add fuel hoses to transient slips with $34,698. HarbourTown Yacht Basin will upgrade its water infrastructure with $29,232. Bohicket Marina on Johns Island will use $833,120 to accommodate larger vessels with added dockage and high-speed in-slip fueling. It will also upgrade amenities and add a welcome center for transients. With $168,000, the City of Beaufort will build a floating transient day dock with ADA-compliant gangways. Port Royal Landing Marina will upgrade and widen its floating concrete pontoon docks, replace and update fuel dispensers, add ADA-compliant transient dock gangways, and provide in-slip pump-outs with $324,109. The BIG Program is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund. The “user-pay” system uses excise and import duties charged on fishing paraphernalia, motorboat fuel and recreational boats. It provides for the infrastructure for transient, non-trailerable recreational boats 26 feet and longer.
South Carolina also recently won $2.4 million from the federal government for dredging its Intracoastal Waterways. The ICW in other states will get help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well. The Florida ICW from Jacksonville to Miami received $600,000.
The North Carolina State Ports Authority put Southport Marina on the market and plans to sell 11 more properties in order to concentrate on deep-water port operations in Wilmington and Morehead City. Southport Marina is a 42-acre property with a 15-acre boat basin, a marine services building, outside storage racks, a dry-rack storage building, wet slips, and extensive related amenities. Improvements and substantial local tax revenues are expected with privatization of Southport Marina.
New landmarks may soon guide mariners to Skidaway Island near Savannah, Georgia. Up to four 10kW turbines and one meteorological tower may appear at the coastal site of the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography if Georgia Power’s project meets the university system’s approval. Each turbine can power a typical home. After July, turbines may collect data for one year and remain for two years, however, their noise and effect on birds and bats concern islanders.
The Coast Guard reminds cruisers to not climb onto, tie off of, or anchor onto rickety historical reef lights in the Florida Keys. New safer structures with more reliable lighting equipment are currently replacing the old reef lights without their removal.
While in Florida, keep your eyes out for the largest solar-powered concrete boat Archimedes, a 50′ 20-ton displacement converted sailboat with a diesel engine that uses the sun as fuel. Captain Carter Quillen and First Mate Diane Eggers have racked up thousands of miles along Florida’s ICW in their totally sustainable boat. shipofimagination.com.com
By Nancy E. Spraker, Southern Boating June 2015