Boat U.S. sells retail operations

West Marine, the world’s largest boating supplier, has acquired the retail operations of Boat U.S. for $72 million in cash and $9.7 million in certain non-interest bearing liabilities. The deal includes all 62 Boat U.S. retail locations, as well as catalog and wholesale operations.
According to Richard Schwartz, founder and chairman of Boat U.S., the agreement, along with West Marine’s promotion of the organization at their retail stores, “will accelerate Boat U.S. membership growth and will allow Boat U.S. to concentrate its resources on marine insurance, Boat U.S. Magazine, government representation, consumer advocacy, towing, boat financing, and working to make the waterways safer and cleaner for recreational boaters throughout the United States.”
Powell Rule Favors PWC Access
Park managers have completed the required environmental assessment for Lake Powell, and released a Draft PWC Rule on Jan. 17 which supports continued PWC access. The 60-day comment period is now open, allowing interested parties to comment before the final rule is shaped.
The Draft Rule allows for permanent access for PWC at Lake Powell, with only minor “off-limits” areas, which comprise a small fraction of the lake. The American Watercraft Association is supporting the current Draft Rule, and encourages comment from PWC enthusiasts.
Gulf Islands Allows Comment
Meanwhile, following years of criticism over his self-imposed ban on PWC from Gulf Islands National Seashore, Superintendent Jerry Eubanks has finally agreed to allow public input. Two hearings — scheduled for January 28th and 30th — allowed interested parties to comment on the ban. Gulf Islands National Seashore extends from Louisiana into Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, and is considered one of the prime riding locations in the country.
Coast Guard Transferred To Department Of Homeland Security
The U.S. Coast Guard, a branch of the Transportation Department since 1967, will be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), effective March 1, 2003. The DHS will combine 22 agencies into four operational directorates, plus two agencies that will report directly to the Secretary. Those two agencies are the Coast Guard and Secret Service.
The Coast Guard will continue all existing missions, meaning that search and rescue operations will still be the number one concern, along with environmental protection, recreational boating safety, and stewardship of the ocean’s resources.
As part of the newly-formed DHS, however, those missions will now include the primary missions of that department, including preventing terrorist attacks against the United States; reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism; and minimizing the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.
To handle the greater responsibilities, the Coast Guard will increase in size and budget, and will rely even more on the Auxiliary, which numbers 37,000. Interested volunteers should contact their local Coast Guard Station, or log on to the Auxiliary’s Web site at www.cgaux.org.

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