Sailing News

Wisconsin Marina Association Formally Created

Logo of Wisconsin Marina Association

For the past several years Wisconsin marina operators have been exploring the creation of a Wisconsin Marina Association. Since 2007, a polling of interested marina operators brought together over 20 interested marinas early on in the process. Financial assistance in 2008 from the Wisconsin Department of Administration's Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association (WHTA) has allowed this Association to become a reality in February 2009 with the election of the Board of Directors.

The Wisconsin Marina Association (WMA) will bring together like-minded owners and operators of marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs and public and private moorage basins. The Association will promote the ethical, educational, communicative and promotional advancement of the recreational boating industry in Wisconsin. Additionally, the Wisconsin Clean Marina Program, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, will be launched in summer 2009, as a voluntary program promoting environmentally sensitive facility management and boating practices.

Boating has a large economic impact in the Great Lakes region. A report by the Great Lakes Commission estimates that the 4.3 million recreational boats registered in the eight Great Lakes states generate nearly $16 billion in spending on boats and boating activities in a single year. That spending directly supports 107,000 jobs, a figure that grows to nearly a quarter million jobs when secondary impacts are taken into consideration. "This Association will be the beginning of great networking opportunities for marina operators in Wisconsin. The industry stands only to gain by sharing ideas and successes", says Jon Kukuk, owner and operator of Nestegg Marine of Marinette and the new Chair of the WMA.

The WMA will be the voice of its members in working with government agencies, affiliated national and local organizations and national or local issues affecting recreational boating. U.S. Representative Steve Kagen, representing northeastern Wisconsin,believes, "the Wisconsin Marina Association will help our state live up to the meaning of its Ojibwe name, 'gathering of waters."' In doing so, it will help to improve our environment and our economy. I congratulate their new association and look forward to working with them to help restore and conserve our state's waterways."

This Association is a collaborative effort with University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and WI Harbor Towns Association (WHTA). The WHTA will be releasing a new Wisconsin Harbor Town Travel Guide and BoatUS sponsored, Simple Solutions to Great Lakes Health Guide in April 2009 for tourists and boaters in an effort to strengthen these initiatives.

Wisconsin marina operators and other related industry professionals are encouraged to join the Wisconsin Marina Association. Visit for more information.

Marine Surveyor Phil Peterson is back in Bayfield, WI

Marine Surveyor Phil Peterson is back in Bayfield, WI

Marine Surveyor Phil Peterson is back in Bayfield, WI, after spending the winter running crew boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Peterson signed on as second captain, working for Candy Fleet out of Morgan City, LA. Candy Fleet operates 18 crew boats and supply boats, servicing oil rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The crew boat that Peterson was on was a 145 ft. crew boat, working out of ports from Port Fourchon, LA to Galveston, Texas. These boat are quad engine, with four wheels.

"It is amazing what you can do with them while holding them up to a rig. With the quad wheel arrangement, it is possible to walk the boat from side to side," Peterson said.

"The Gulf of Mexico is pretty amazing. Running at night is like driving through farm land in Minnesota or Wisconsin. The platforms in the gulf are lit up just like all the farms with yard lights in the country," Peterson said.

Phil Peterson is a Certified Member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors, Inc., and works out of Bayfield, WI, on Lake Superior. He holds a USCG 100 ton license near coastal, and is available for marine survey work and yacht deliveries. He has been sailing offshore since 1972, and has over 90,000 miles offshore experience. He can be reached at 715.779.0254, or

White Bear Boat Works Moves into New White Bear Lake Location

White Bear Boat Works Moves into New White Bear Lake Location

After 113 years on White Bear Lake, the historic White Bear Boat Works has moved. Now located at 4120 Hoffman Road in White Bear Lake (just mile south of the former site), the new facility allows for more expanded and efficient sales and service, while maintaining the helpful one-on-one customer service that has been a hallmark of the business. As a dealer for Catalina and Hunter, White Bear Boat Works continues to specialize in sailboats 25' and under, Ocean Kayaks, and extensive fiberglass and rigging repair. A larger, more open boat yard allows for a better display of new and used boats, and the new location allows for convenient small boat demos on Little Goose Lake. The expanded fiberglass and rigging repair building enables White Bear Boat Works to complete repairs on a larger size and variety of boats, and support the growing trend in refurbishing and upgrading older boats. The new ships' store is bigger and brighter, with room to carry more of the parts and accessories both sailors and general boaters are looking for. White Bear Boat Works will continue to manage the marina on White Bear Lake, as well.

Owner Jason Brown is enthusiastic about operating from this new location. "It's great to see that people are refusing to give in to the "doom and gloom" out there. We love to help people who are excited to get out on the water and have fun. This new facility will allow us to do just that - only better!" For more information, check out their website at

Gougeon Brothers: 40 Years at the Forefront of Epoxy Technology

Since 1969, WEST SYSTEM Brand Epoxy manufacturer Gougeon Brothers, Inc has been known for its consistent, high-quality epoxy products and unparalleled technical support. This year, the company celebrates its 40th year in business.

Company founders Meade and Jan Gougeon started out building production iceboats at their Bay City, Michigan shop, using epoxy for these these lightweight, sail-powered vessels. With the help of a few friends, the brothers formulated an epoxy system suited ideally to their boatbuilding needs. Many people who saw the iceboats were interested in using the epoxy for their own projects.

By 1971, they'd named their epoxy formulation WEST SYSTEM and were dispensing it, along with a lot of how-to advice, for customers who dropped by the shop.

Through years of sailboat racing, boatbuilding, constructing wind turbine blades and conducting materials testing and research, the company earned wide recognition as an authority on epoxy.

Much of the early success of WEST SYSTEM epoxy was based on its compatibility with wood. However, its superior strength and moisture resistance along with its ability to bond with reinforcing fabrics, glass and metal makes it an excellent choice for an array of projects. This versatility, along with reliable customer support, is why WEST SYSTEM remains popular for use in building modern composites and repairing fiberglass boats.

WEST SYSTEM products are now distributed worldwide and sold through full-service retailers, but the company maintains close contact with its customers via a toll-free support line, their bi-annual publication Epoxyworks, and web site. Their experienced six-person technical staff fields more than 10,000 client phone inquiries a year. Most of the extensive research and development completed in the Gougeon lab is driven by the needs of WEST SYSTEM customers. Contact West System, PO Box 665, Bay City, MI 48707. 866-937- 8797; Fax: 989-684-1287.,