Friday, December 19, 2008

Beneteau 34-Cruising World Boat of the Year Winner

Cruising World Magazine announced their Boat of the Year Winners (BOTY) today. The New Beneteau 34 was the receipient of the Best Value Category. We are very exited for this boat on Lake Michigan as she competes in a size range that has been strongly represented by Beneteau models on Lake Michigan.

Another Beneteau the 43.3 which is Moorings version of the Beneteau 43 also won the award of "Best Special Purpose Cruiser".

To read the Full Review see the text below

To view the Cruising World write-ups on the Beneteau 34 click on the following Links:

Beneteau 34- Best Value 2009

Beneteau 34- Mini-Review


For Immediate Release:

Cruising World Announces ’09 BOTY Winners

Newport, R.I. – Cruising World magazine announced today the winners of its 16th annual Boat of the Year awards. Topping this year’s list of winners for the most anticipated awards in the sailboat-building industry were the Island Packet 460 and the Malö 37 Classic. The IP 460 took home the Domestic Boat of the Year award, while the Malö was named Import Boat of the Year.
The Island Packet 460, the Malö 37 Classic, and six other boats won awards from an independent panel of experts who inspected and tested 21 nominated boats during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis earlier this year. Decisions were based on extensive inspections and sea trials of the boats. All of the winners, along with the rest of the ’09 BOTY nominees and several other boats reviewed by the magazine’s editors, will be featured in the January issue of Cruising World.
Following their deliberations, the judges decided this year to add an award for Best Value. Taking home this honor was the Beneteau 34. “The Beneteau 34 was the least expensive and one of the smallest of the cruising boats we looked at, yet under sail was a pure delight and handled well in the rather boisterous conditions we encountered,” said Pillsbury.
In addition to claiming the Domestic Boat of the Year award, the Island Packet 460 was also named Best Long-Distance Cruiser.
“The judges felt the IP 460 was a boat well designed and executed for a cruising couple,” said Cruising World senior editor Mark Pillsbury. “The builder took care with construction, stuck to the design brief, and provided the sort of storage room and amenities needed by a voyaging couple. Under sail, the boat performed quite well.”
The Scandinavian-built Malö 37 Classic was named Import Boat of the Year for its performance on the water and luxurious attention to detail throughout.
“The Malö is a semicustom sailboat that’s built to exacting standards and is ready to sail any ocean,” said Pillsbury. “The boat is elegant below and purposeful on deck. Under sail, performance was top-notch.”
Other noteworthy categories and their winners in the 2009 BOTY competition: Best All-Purpose Cruiser, 30 to 40 Feet: Catalina 375; Best Midsize Cruiser: Dufour 40 Performance+; Best Full-Size Cruiser: Dufour 525; Best Racer/Cruiser: X-34; Best Special-Purpose Cruiser: Moorings 43.3.
For more information on the winners and other nominees, please visit Cruising World’s website (
Cruising World, published monthly by Bonnier Corp., is considered the bible for bluewater sailors. Cruising World nurtures cruising sailors’ dreams with practical how-to information and stirring real-life adventure articles.
Best Special-Purpose Cruiser: Moorings 43.3 - BUILT BY BENETEAU
Best Value: Beneteau 34
Domestic Boat of the Year: Island Packet 460
Import Boat of the Year: Malö 37
ClassicBest All-Purpose Cruiser, 30 to 40 Feet: Catalina 375
Best Midsize Cruiser: Dufour 40 Performance
Best Full-Size Cruiser: Dufour 525
Best Racer/Cruiser: X-34
Best Long-Distance Cruiser: Island Packet 460
Mike Weiss Associate Director, Event PR
460 N. Orlando Ave. Suite 200
Winter Park, FL 32789
Office: (407) 571-4874 Cell: (407) 453-0222

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Bucket List

We are quickly approaching the end of yet another year in our lives. As is typical at this point in the year, people start to reflect upon what 2008 gave them and set what we colloquially refer to as 'resolutions'. You know the type- "I will lose 20 pounds" , " I will exercise". So often these 'lists' get shuffled in a drawer some place and by Valentine's day, all is forgotten. At the end of it all, the health clubs sell memberships and we get no closer to self improvement.
Wouldn't it be great if 2009 was different? Wouldn't it be great if you set a list of things to do that actually meant something? To you and to those around you? After all, we have a limited amount of time on this great planet of ours and we never know when our ticket will get punched. It's funny but many don't have this realization until they are faced with a terminal illness or perhaps when their world is turned upside down through the loss of a loved one. Why does it have to take such pain or finality for us to value what we have and live our lives fully?
In 2002, I remember having conversations with clients regarding this very subject. For some, it was the post-9/11 period which had many question what their lives meant then and whether or not it was heading in the direction they had planned. For me it was at an earlier age, It was the summer after high school when I first informally touched the subject of 'a bucket list'. My crudely generated 'things to do before I die' set forth my bucket list (more on this later). I was on the verge of having my life unfold at the age of eighteen so I couldn't think of a more . The way I saw it- I had my whole life ahead of me- what did I want it to be? I've since refined my bucket list from its very simple beginning. I've modified it to define what type of father I want to be to my children. What type of husband. I've used it as the backdrop for my 'December thoughts' which is what I refer to at this time of year. I will look at my list , see if I've gotten closer and chart a path for the upcoming year.
In my corporate life, we called this the 'goal setting'. It doesn't have to be as formal as it sounds. Nor does it have to be final. It just has to be. I had the opportunity to watch the 2007 movie "Bucket List" with Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. They play two terminally ill men who meet and strike up a most unusual relationship (a great movie BTW). Nicholson's character, Edward Cole has the most memorable line of the movie: "We live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round". That line says alot about how some live their lives- full of regrets. Day-to-day. Why not change that?
So I pose this question to you. Will 2009 come and go and the wheels will go round and round or will you make it mean something? It shouldn't take a bad health report from a doctor's visit or any other tragic moment to have us realize what our lives mean to us and those around us. So what is on your bucket list?
Post your comments or email them to me. Would love to hear from you.
My circa 1983 "Things to Do Before I die List" in it's original form:
  • Sail across the Atlantic
  • Sail across the Pacific-done
  • Dive every major ocean (3 of 5)
  • Climb at least two major peaks 1-down 1 to go
  • Visit every major continent at least once (4 of 7)
    North America*
    South America*
  • Sail in a major yacht race- done a few times in different races
  • Be my own boss- done
  • Jump out of an airplane-done
As I stated, I've modified it since this original list. So every year I challenge myself.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Top 10 Holiday Movies

  • I have always loved the holiday season. For 15 years I worked in the music/entertainment industry, and Thanksgiving to New Year's was the busiest, most profitable time for everyone involved in that business. Usually that period accounted for about 25% of the year's profits, so spreading Holiday Cheer was secondary to profits, but I still found a way to always do both.

    The key for me was the fact that these movies and CD's were always playing around me, from 8am until 9pm, so it was easy to get in the holiday spirit. Over the years I compiled quite a collection of holiday movie and music favorites to watch/listen to over and over again. I would like to share them here.

    Top 10 Holiday Movies
    1. It's A Wonderful Life
    2. Holiday Inn
    3. Christmas In Connecticut
    4. A Christmas Story
    5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
    6. Home Alone (I am even an extra in this film)
    7. Charlie Brown Christmas (not a movie, but still great)
    8. Miracle on 34th Street (the old one)
    9. The Bishop's Wife (again, the old one)
    10. A Christmas Carol (the 1951 version)

    I am sure everyone has their own favorites and for their own reasons, but these are mine and I will probably try to watch most of these during December.

    Holiday Music

    My favorites, although not in any order, as they change pretty frequently:

  • Frank Sinatra - The Sinatra Christmas Album
  • Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • George Winston - December
  • Nat King Cole - The Christmas Album
  • A very Special Christmas - the First, original one
  • The Three Tenors Christmas
  • Michael Doucet - A Cajun Christmas (a very good album)
  • The Hampton String Quartet - What if Mozart Wrote...Christmas albums (two excellent Christmas music CD's, all done by a String Quartet)
  • Hardrock, Cocoa, & Joe (if you grew up in the Chicago area, you probably know what I mean)
  • Andy Williams - The Christmas Album

I do have an affinity for the older stuff, but I also enjoy and embrace the new movies and music as well. During December, there's really nothing better than sitting in front of the fire with a Baileys and coffee, and one of these movies on the TV or one of these CD's on the stereo.

Jack Buoscio

Thursday, December 4, 2008

View from the Marina- Boating: For a Brighter View of Life

Note: I came across this article through a subscription RSS feed. It caught my attention because it speaks of the essence of boating. As sailors we are very familiar with these concepts, but it is easy to become seperated from them during the winter months when it seems like ages until we sail on Lake Michigan. Our latest trend of media negativity further deepens the gap between the world we presently live in and the passion we all share.

This essay is being presented here with the permission of the author Barb Hanson. Thank You Barb for sharing your words with us.

I hope it brightens your day and puts some perspective on things.
Boating: For a Brighter View of Life
By Barb Hansen
November 2008
You know something is not right when you say "Good morning" and the other person dourly answers, "I wish."
Why the negativity, I wonder. Well, if somebody has lost a job or a family member, I get it, but this person hasn't lost his job. He hasn't lost a family member. He has just bought into the malady that is sweeping the nation – gloom and doomitis.
Yes, the news of late has been rather depressing. The business slowdown, the rising cost of living, the loss of jobs… When you do the math it’s not a pretty picture. I don’t think there is any sector of our economy that has not been down except, perhaps, sales of antidepressants and alcoholic beverages.
I was recently reminded of the story of two young boys who were each put into a room where doctors could observe what made them happy. Billy was put in a room full of toys, games and candy while Jimmy was put into a room filled with horse manure. It wasn’t long before Billy had played with all the toys and games and had eaten all the candy. He started crying for more. Meanwhile, Jimmy was playing with the manure, making it into balls and tossing it all around the room. The doctors were astonished. Finally, they asked Billy why he was so happy in this room by himself. He said it was because he knew with that much manure in the room there had to be a pony around there somewhere!
Right now it’s hard to think about anything positive when we are surrounded by so much that is negative. When everything we read is bad news and everything we watch is bad news, it’s easy to just feel bad.
When I tell people that I’m in the yacht charter and yacht school business, the response is often wide-eyed like, "Wow," or "How cool!" And it is, even when I'm dutifully at my desk and computer. But just about every week I try to get on the water on the boat. Even a short ride across the harbor in the sunshine and fresh air is good medicine for me.
I am not a real doctor but I sometimes play one in this column and this is my considered medical advice for our nation’s malaise. Go down to the water's edge and catch some sunshine. And if you really need a stronger dose, then my prescription is to get in a boat and push away from all of that land-based negativity.
Oh, sorry, I just can't, says Mr. Busy. There's no time, says Mrs. Hurry. I have things to do, places to go and people to see. There’s no time left for me.
Stop that.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Take this long weekend of opportunity to find the fair winds and calm seas of your mind amidst an ocean of worries and woes. Get out on the water if you can.
Perhaps a Thanksgiving weekend charter boat cruise? We often get calls from people who want to spend time on the water with family and friends for a special occasion such as an anniversary
or a milestone birthday. There’s something celebratory about boating. Even in a season of doom and gloom, we have much to celebrate.
Marinas, I have observed, are like Billy and Jimmy’s play rooms. Some people need a big expensive yacht to make them happy and some boaters are happy with just a kayak or canoe. It’s not the vessel that determines their happiness; it’s what they experience with it that gives them pleasure.
My husband has always said, "If your head is on right, a tin cup can be a silver chalice. It’s all about how you look at life."
Boating keeps our heads on right and lets us see the brighter side of our awesome world.

Barb Hansen is proprietor of yacht-charterer Southwest Florida Yachts and Florida Sailing & Cruising School in North Fort Myers, Fla. Contact her at, phone 1-800-262-7939 or visit

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Changing Face of Sailing.

A recent editorial by Wanda Kenton-Smith in Trade Only titled "At last, they’re beginning to get it: it’s not just a white male market" broached the subject of diversity in the 'boating industry'. It's a topic near and dear to my heart for obvious reasons and on several fronts.

Beyond Gender:
As a father of two small girls- I think about it alot. While solo circumnavigator Ellen MacArthur broke the proverbial 'glass ceiling' in 2005, there have been many women that my daughters can look up to. Among them Yngling sailor and Rolex Yachtswoman of the year for 2007 Sally Barkow or more recently 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner-Lasers Anna Tunnicliff. These women are part of the new generation of sailors that are benchmarking the sport for those to follow in their footsteps. Having started in the sport at very young ages- they serve as an inspiration for many in older generations as well that gender inclusiveness is possible.

I see this at times in selling boats to couples. I'll hear- "Oh that's ok- he drives, I crew" or "It's his toy". I often challenge the status quo and ask- "OK what happens if he can't sail you both back in to the harbor?" I usually get blank looks. To which I respond- "I have a book I need you to read. It's called: It's Your Boat Too by Suzanne Giesmann. " Read it and let me know what you think.

A few year's back we had Suzanne out to Strictly Sail to speak to our Beneteau owners about her book. There were many who stood behind, looking for a second to share Thank You's with Suzanne about her topic. At the conclusion, it seemed generational but It appeared that progress had been made. I hope it continues. One hurdle down- a few more to go.

Beyond Race:
Bill Pinkney is one of a handful of sailors who have transcended the racial lines in the world of sailing. . The African-American sailor with origins in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago was first exposed to sailing in the Naval Reserves. He has gone on to inspire many young black sailors to take up the sport. Bill still is one of a handful who have done so. If you look through the archives of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, you'll be hard pressed to find other minorities that have set benchmarks in the sport.

We are at the forefront of a shift in the sport, while those of us in our third, fourth or fifth decade of life might say that it's still an oddity. All one has to do is look at the ranks of the small boat sailors and you find individuals like Augie Diaz, the cuban born Snipe sailor or Olympic windsurfer Nancy Rios to see the changing face of sailing. Small sailing vessel classes such as the Hobie 16 are proving to be incubators for hispanic sailors as well. As one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups, I can only hope that this trend continues. Our sport needs to continue to grow.

What's best for the sport is inclusiveness at the gender and ethnic level. It will require strong junior sailing programs at the yacht club level. Feeder programs such as the Sea Scouts that provide exposure to the sport for inner city children. Programs such as Rickover Academy (an innovative program in the Chicago Public School network) that exposes Chicago teens to the maritime arts. It takes hard work by all of us. It requires all of us to invite and continue to invite people new to the sport. Who knows when it will make a difference in someone's life and set off a chain of events that leads to their growth in sailing.

At the recent Mac awards dinner, Karma Sailing Group had the honor of sponsoring a cadet from the Rickover Academy at our table. Our cadet was a sophmore at the Academy. When I asked if she had been sailing yet, she replied "No, but I plan to next season". She struck up a rapport with my wife Sonia. We shared that we had two young daughters that we hoped would grow up in the sport. "It's important" our cadet echoed. "It helps with so many things in life to be exposed early to things." Profound words from one so young in age.

I look forward to the day when I can go to a regatta or walk down the docks and ALL types of people. Our sport needs this. That is when I'll know sailing has hit the mainstream. That's when I'll know that the hard work in promoting the sport has paid off.

I invite you to share your thoughts on this subject. E-mail me your comments or post them on the blog.