America's Got Talent

“A James Bond style boat chase in New York Harbor” is what an America’s Got Talentproducer wanted to film as a way to introduce one of their contestants. Damone Rippyfrom Texas was to compete with his flyboard in front of judges Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howard Stern, and Howie Mandel.

We set up three boats for the TV show — A ‘good guy’ boat for Damone and a bunch of bikini-clad girls, a ‘bad guy’ boat for the villain chasing them, and a camera boat for the crew.

The three-hour shoot was edited into a 10-second high-action intro.

Check out Captain Ken ducking out of the shot while operating the throttle, Damone and the girls rehearsing scenes at the dock, and the cameraman framing up a shot:

Aground off Weehawken

We were talking logistics with the Solar Impulseteam at Surf City late Friday night when Bjoern received a Facebook message from friends at Liberty Landing Marina: “Ran aground. Can you tow a sailboat?”

We apologized to Jean and his cameraman and wished them luck with their 24-hour job ahead. (Solar Impulse took off from Washington D.C. at 5 am to complete the final leg of its record-breaking, solar-powered flight across the U.S.. which began in May in San Francisco. They were allowed a 2 am time slot to land at JFK airport – some 21 hours later. You can catch their NYC flyby between 9:30 and 11 pm tonight, and the entire voyage is being webcast live on the Google homepage.)

The sailboat had run aground in a deceptively shallow spot off of Weehawken – an area thatLiberty Landing Dockmaster Michelle Purinton knew well. She’d freed many boats in that area during her tenure as an instructor at Offshore Sailing School. Even though it was 11 pm, Michelle hopped aboard NY Media Boat to lend a hand and technical expertise – as did Pier 25 Dockmaster George Bennett.

Within 20 minutes, our crew arrived on the scene, just as the NYPD and FDNY boats were pulling up.  The ungrounding plan had been formed en route: hook our tow line to the sailboat’s main halyard so we could heel it over, freeing its keel from the Hudson muck and allowing the vessel to push forward.

The boat was stuck in about three feet of water and the outgoing tide was quickly streaming downriver, so the FDNY boat transferred our tow line across the shallows. They also took the sailboat’s bowline to give some extra forward momentum. The NYPD’s intense searchlight lit up the scene, making the whole procedure vastly easier.

Once the tow line was raised to the top of the boat’s 63-foot mast and her passengers were all perched on her port side, Bjoern put NY Media Boat in reverse and pulled the vessel into a steep heel.

You can see the outcome in the quick video below:

IDEC & Atlantic Cup in New York

Lots of great boats in New York Harbor this week! Leopard3 (ICAP) visited North Cove Marina for some corporate sailing before heading over to the UK. She’s a 100ft super maxi yacht designed by Farr Yacht Design and powered with Doyle Stratis sails. Two hydraulic cylinders operating the 61 ton canting keel keep her vertical and the VIP guest safe. Talking about Farr boats… check out Halcyon Sailing, NYC — they just launched 4 Farr30’s in the harbor for corporate sailing and racing leagues.


Francis Joyon arrived Sunday on the 97ft maxi-trimaran IDEC 2 to stage for his next trans-atlantic record attempt, which will most likely take place sometime in June. He hopes to break Thomas Coville’s 2008 record of 5d, 19h, 29 min. Check out these photos of IDEC from yesterday’s shoot in New York Harbor!

Tuesday night the Atlantic Cup boats arrived after sailing 642 nm non-stop from Charleston — finishing Leg 1 of the double handed race. New York Media Boat met the lead class 40 boat ‘Bodacious Dream’ (USA 118) crewed by skipper Matt Scharl and owner Dave Rearick as they sailed under the Verrazano Bridge and towards the finish line at North Cove Marina. Check out the photos here!

Check out our short & exclusive video and come to North Cove Marina to meet the skippers.

Fabio Buzzi Races New York to Bermuda

Fabio Buzzi talks about his record attempt just minutes before he departed Liberty Landing Marina at 16:00ET on September 27, 2012. He set a new record of 17 hours and 6 minutes running his FB41 — a 40-foot boat originally designed and built by him for military use, and powered by twin 650HP diesel inboards — from New York to Bermuda. Leaving the marina, his waterline sat 3 inches below as he was laden with 900 gallons of fuel. His crew of five included Roberto Rizzo (pilot and responsible for on-board electronics), Antonio Binda (engineer and chief mechanic of FB Design, he physically built this boat!), Emilio Riganti (pilot), and Maurizio Bulleri (Italian TV/magazine journalist, and former offshore pilot). The photo above shows Buzzi passing Ellis Island as he left New York Harbor.