Atlantic Yacht Basin, Inc. is a full service yacht repair and storage facility strategically located on the A&C Canal of the Intracoastal Waterway in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Atlantic Yacht Basin

What's Your Favorite Season for Boating?  We love Fall at AYB.

Courtesy of Flickr

Labor Day has come and gone.  Kids are back in school and the weekday crowds have thinned out on the water.   While the weather right now has been very warm and rainy (courtesy of  typical September hurricane season instability), we're gearing up for another great Fall at AYB.  

As we wait for the dangers of storm season to pass (and the East Coast is not out of the woods yet), things start to get really exciting otherwise around the Yard.  

There is the annual migration of boats coming up from Florida and the islands, as well as boats coming down to us from the NE, from the local area and all around the US and the world for off-season service and storage.  For those in the local area or those elsewhere who haven't started thinking about what they are going to do with their boat in the off-season, it's time to enjoy the next few months of boating weather as well as to be considering what they will do with their boat when the time comes to put it away for winter.

Most of all, the Tidewater area is particularly beautiful in the Fall - with great scenery and temperate weather lasting often well into November and sometimes beyond.  So whether you are on the Waterway or out on the Chesapeake, the Atlantic or the many scenic rivers that feed into them, this is a great time of year to visit us at AYB.  

There are a lot of reasons to come in to AYB.  This time of year people come to us with a lot of different things on their mind.  From fuel ups and dockage, supplies and repairs to longer stays and bigger overhauls, Fall is when we see a lot of great new and old friends coming through.  

And remember, through September 30, we are still running our great haul out special.  Book your job for between now and September 30, 2012 and you'll get $5 a foot haul out pricing along with $30 a foot power wash, sanding and 1 coat of paint -- a limited-time, deep discount from the regular price that we're holding over due to popular demand. 

If you're not ready to come off the water for the rest of the season, then you'll be able to get in and get back out on the water in a timely way knowing that your boat is squared away on some key maintenance issues at a great price.

If you are ready to come off the water, then you can combine this special with other necessary work on your boat list and even store your boat with us too - knowing that she'll get the special care and attention for which AYB is known. 

Excessive barnacles or damaged exteriors may be subject to additional costs.  Offer applies to travel lift haul outs only. Other custom treatments are also available upon request.

Please give us a call toll-free at (800) 992-2489 or local at  (757) 482-2141 or drop us a line at to take advantage of this special, get a free quote on other work or find out more about our comprehensive range of marine services and storage options. 

If you are outside of the area, we can also help arrange transport to our facility or recommend a licensed captain to bring the boat in for you via the Waterway.

We also invite you to find out more on our website at or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for interesting updates, tips, and specials going on at the Yard.

No matter what the reason, we can't wait to see you at AYB during this favored of seasons!

Your Friends At AYB

Tips from AYB

Redundancy - having more than one back up - is the key to staying safe on the water and avoiding damage and costly repairs and even potentially deadly accidents on your boat.   No matter what, you can never be too prepared.  

One of our favorite stories that illustrates this quarter's tip comes from one of our visiting skippers.  She and her co-captain husband are now following the example of another professional captain they ran across right after a major storm.  This captain, knowing that she was heading into a frequently stormy area, decided to keep a second back up of radio, satellite phone, and portable navigation system stashed in the galley's microwave - a redundancy for all of the equipment should a lightning strike knock out the rest.  Sure enough, said strike happened, and the microwave was the only place on the boat that did not sustain crippling damage to the on-board electronics and even back up systems.  Not only was she able to use that stashed equipment to get to safety, but she was also able to do the same for the expensive boat that had been entrusted to her care. 

Here are some steps to help you think about situations that you might face and be ready for them.  

 1. Figure Out Your Contingency Plan
Do you have a contingency plan every time you head out on the water?   Do you have a back up for that back up?  Whether you're a weekend warrior or you live aboard, it is easy to get complacent about the possible dangers or tough situations that every boater might face when they head out.  Many people prepare for rough weather or other incidents like fires, taking on water or guests overboard, but they never think about the other contingency plans they need to have in place or what to do when their first round of back ups fail.  From communications equipment and engines to access to your money, insurance policies, medical information and other vital things, you need to have a way to tap into them should you or your boat run into unexpected trouble.  

2. Nail The Basics and Then Go Beyond 
Do you have a ditch bag?  The right safety equipment that isn't expired in the right places on your boat?  A back up for your basic boat systems like engine, navigation and communications?  A place, person and means of contact for when things go wrong?   Have you even asked yourself these basic questions?  You can't create needed redundancies and contingency plans if you don't even have the basics covered.  Make sure to go over all of key elements of staying safe on the water and address those first.  Then create the back up plans for all of them.  We have seen experienced people with the most equipped boats be felled by the simplest of omissions to their plans and preparation.  

3. Know Where You Are At All Times and Let Others Know Too
Do you have the right equipment and background knowledge of your surroundings to know where you are at all times when out on your boat?   Is someone on land aware of your plans and able to get you assistance if you fail to show up when expected?    Many people get so caught up in enjoying themselves on their boats that they forget to take stock of where they might put in in an emergency or even who to hail or where to go when they get into trouble.   Whether you are just going out for a short day trip or are piloting your vessel for a more serious stretch (or a lifetime for that matter), it's important that you have a good sense of where you are at all times and to let others know as well.   These simple moves can mean the difference between an easy resolution to a problem and a devastating loss of life, limb or property.  

4. Know What Is Going On With Your Boat
Have you done your seasonal checks and maintenance on your boat?  Are you checking to make sure everything is top-notch when the season is underway?  Do you protect your boat and service it in the off-season?  Not only is it key to have updated safety and communications equipment on your boat, you need to know what is going on with your boat in general at all times. Keeping your boat well maintained and understanding its limitations or your own as a captain can be the difference between getting out of a sticky situation in one piece or not.   Don't put off the minor repairs until they become major headaches - especially when those small fixes can literally save your life when the unexpected happens.   

5.  Plan for Fun as Well As Emergencies
Have you got extra safety and recreational equipment to accommodate guests?  What about towels, bathing suits and sunscreen?  The right party supplies or a place to get them all on the fly?   Every captain has a different idea of what they consider fun, but having other people join you, especially at the last minute, is universal.   And those trips and outings are much more enjoyable for your guests when you have given some advance thought to the experience.  So whether it's remembering to bring along your favorite music or a deck of card or something much more involved, being prepared to entertain and enjoy yourself on board always pays off.  After all, isn't that one of the main reasons you have a boat in the first place?

Meet Our Crew

Every e-newsletter, we highlight one of the interesting and highly experienced people who make Atlantic Yacht Basin so unique.  This time it's Russell Cuffee, our Supervisor of the Railway and Hauling Crew, who is incidentally the second-longest serving employee at AYB.

Where are you from?
I am a Chesapeake native like a number of the other long time employees at AYB.  I feel so lucky to be working in a place that I love that I can also truly call home.  I went to Crestwood High and I love rooting for local teams.

When did you first start working at Atlantic Yacht Basin?  Why and where did you start?  
I started in 1969 - I will have been at AYB for 43 years come October 2012.   I had just gotten married and had a baby on the way.  I had a friend who worked at AYB and talked about it all the time, so I came to work here and loved it so much that I have never left.  I started working in hauling and transport right away and it became my specialty.  Some people call me the "Yoda" of the Railway and Hauling crew.

After so many years, what keeps you going strong at AYB?  
I love being outdoors and always having something interesting going on every day.  Each boat that comes in to the Yard is a new challenge and has to be handled just so -- with the right equipment and the right team.  We have a really experienced and fun group of guys working on the crew.  Luby and Sonny have been here for about 30 years each and Roy and Ricky for around 11 years too.  Even our "new guy", Mike, has nearly a decade of experience under his belt.  So whether we are using one of the railways or the travel lift, hauling a boat out or commissioning it from storage for the season, it is a different experience every time.  It never gets old.

What has changed over the time you have been at AYB? 
When I first started, the vast majority of boats were wooden and topped out at around  40-60'.  Now we routinely handle boats up to 110'.  While we still see a lot of classics here at AYB, we are trusted to deal with the most modern and complex vessels too.  I have also been here to see the leadership of the company change with time. The founder, Mr. Atkinson, was still here when I started and then Mr. Hull came over from the dredging company (since sold) and then finally the current management team, headed up by Jack Stumborg, stepped up to run the business.  What is exciting is that we have been able to keep up with the times while also maintaining the best traditions of quality, craftsmanship and a personal touch.

What's the trickiest thing about moving boats on the Yard?  
I think most people would be surprised to discover that hauling a boat out is sometimes less dangerous than moving a larger vessel on the water can be.  Moving boats on the railway also requires more precision than most people realize.  Our crew works really hard to communicate clearly and keep an eye out for the details that are the difference between a safe and successful move and not.  All of our guys have specialized skills and experience that make it easier for us to handle whatever kind of boat comes our way.

What are the most memorable boats you have handled?  If you could have any boat what would it be?  
Like many of us on the Yard, I have particularly liked working with the Presidential yacht,
U.S.S. SEQUOIA.  I am also a fan of the many other classic and historic boats that have come through - they really are like works of art.  I really enjoy the challenge of working with larger boats or boats that are more complicated to move too.  But if I could have any boat for my own though, it would be a Grand Banks.  I love their lines, the fact they are so comfortable for the skipper as well as guests who come aboard and the ease with which you can move around - especially with the decks and high rails.

What do you do in your off time?  
Family is really important to me.  Our 2 children and 4 grandchildren are all local and we love to spend time together. I'm a big sports fan too - especially football.  And within our family we have a healthy rivalry going about our favorite teams.  

What's your favorite team?  
The NFL season gets underway this week and that is always an exciting time around our house.  One of my kids is an Eagles fan and another is a 'Skins fan, but I am a die hard Cowboys fan.  It makes for a fun time when game day rolls around - we get outside in the backyard with the TV going and we trash talk each other in a good natured way.   I've also gotten tickets to the big Redskins-Cowboys game a few times as a birthday present so we like to go to the games live too.  My all-time favorite Cowboy is Tony Dorsett.

Calendar of Events

Boating/Nautical Events

Waterways Heritage Festival
Saturday and Sunday, October 13 & 14, 2012
  • Times: Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM & Sunday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Location: Great Bridge Lock Park
  • Address: 100 Lock Road, Chesapeake, VA
Enjoy two days of cultural heritage, fine arts, and music in Great Bridge Lock Park, located on the Intracoastal Waterway.  Visit the many guilds and learn firsthand how things are made! 
Exhibitors and vendors from throughout the Commonwealth will display and sell their unique crafts ranging from: weaving, woodworking, basket-making, pottery, quilters, gardening, photography, silversmith jewelry artistry, glass blowing, sheep-shearing, and more.   Local musicians will be featured throughout the weekend, and a variety of food vendors will be present. 

Haunted Ship: Three Decades of Darkness (Battleship Wisconsin)
Nauticus - Downtown Norfolk 
Selected Nights in October 

  • Dates - Tours run October 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 & 28.
  • Times - Thursdays 6:30 PM - 10 PM; and Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 6:30 PM - 11 PM.
Since the ship's arrival in 2000, staffers and visitors have often wondered about the nature of certain mysterious sounds and sightings aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. This is your chance to help discover if the ship is haunted as you trek
 through tight creepy spaces on three dark decks. This year the ghost hunt extends down to levels never before explored by the public.
Participants must have the physical ability to climb steep ladder steps and navigate tight sub-deck spaces. This experience is not suitable for children under 12 (no exceptions), the claustrophobic or the faint of heart. Doors will open at 6 p.m, with tours beginning at 6:30. Tickets are $15 and $10 for Nauticus members. Tours tend to sell out, so come early to avoid disappointment. Prepare for the unexpected and don't miss the Haunted Ship: Three Decks of Darkness.

Other Local Events

Chesapeake Farmer's Market
Wednesdays & Saturdays Continuing through November 21, 2012
  • Time - 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Location - Battlefield Park South  
  • Address - 120 Reservation Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322
  • Phone - (757) 382-6348
7th Annual Mid Autumn Moon Festival 
Sunday, September 16, 2012

  • Time - Noon - 4:00 PM
  • Location - Downtown Norfolk Waterfront - Town Point Park
The 7th Annual Moon Festival celebrates a tradition dating back thousands of years in many Asian countries honoring a good harvest, youth, families, and community!  The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is often compared to America's Thanksgiving tradition and is a time-honored  Asian holiday that marks the end of the summer harvest.  This festival incorporates a wide range of entertainment and programs that include storytelling, authentic Asian Ceremonial fashion shows, ribbon, and dragon dancing, martial arts demonstrations, children's activities, musical and dance performances, children's lantern parade, and special appearances by the Moon Goddess.

AT&T Town Point Ribfest
Saturday, September 22, 2012
  • Time -  12:00 - 8:00 PM 
  • Location - Town Point Park - Downtown Norfolk Waterfront   
Guests will be in hog heaven as the festival boasts finger-lickin', lip-smackin' good BBQ along with great live music, competitions and great family fun. AT&T Town Point Ribfest is free and open to the public and promises to be a Grade A good time!  Come n' get it as pork is the main attraction of the Town Point Ribfest. BBQ restaurants from all over the Hampton Roads region will roll out the smokers and cook up mouth watering BBQ creations for festival guests to enjoy. Top restaurants will include Belmont House of Smoke; located in Ghent, Smoke From Above; located in Virginia Beach, Bruiser's BBQ, Hickory Prime BBQ & many more. Festival goers will be able to sample the succulent flavors of delectable ribs & zesty pulled pork. Savor all the traditional side dishes that will be ripe for the pickin' and wash it all down with an adult frosty beverage that is sure to get the taste buds tingling in delight. Ready... Set... Chow Down! Guests will go toe to toe, or is it lip to lip, in a food eating completion. Then the tables turn as the restaurants compete against each other for the $500 top prize to see who has the best ribs in the Hampton Roads area. The Ribfest cookoff puts the best of the best against each other to see who really is the King (or Queen) of the Smoker. A panel of local celebrities will comprise the Hog Heaven judging.

Great American Food Fest
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
  • Times: 3:00 PM - 7:15 PM
  • Location: Chesapeake City Park
  • Address: 900 Greenbrier Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23322
  • Call (757) 664-1000 for more information. Volunteers needed: call 664-1043

Bark In The Park
Sunday, October 7, 2012
  • Times: 5k Doggy Dash - 10:30 AM; Fun Fest - 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Location: Chesapeake City Park
  • Address: 900 Greenbrier Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23320
Norfolk Freedom Marathon
November 9,10, and 11, 2012 
The Norfolk Freedom Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k and Freedom Mile is a weekend of events for the whole family. The weekend begins Friday with the Freedom Health & Fitness Expo. Saturday starts off with the Freedom Mile - Kids' Warrior Trot (kids 12 years old and under - age on race day). Also on Saturday are the Wounded Warrior & Family Fun Run/Walk 5k, and The Freedom Health & Fitness Expo. Sunday wraps up the weekend with the Norfolk Freedom Marathon & Half Marathon, Norfolk Freedom Marathon & Half Marathon Wheelchair Race, Norfolk Freedom Marathon Four-Person Relay, Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon Two-Person Relay, Norfolk Freedom Marathon & Half Marathon Cup Challenge (Team Race) followed by the Post Race Celebration and Freedom Awards Ceremony.

Detailed Schedule of Events | Race Registration Fees

Grand Illumination & Parade
Saturday, November 17, 2012

The festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. with the illumination of downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth sklylines followed by the Grand Illumination Parade.  Festive floats, marching bands, giant balloons, dancers and Santa himself with delight spectators as they parade through downtown Norfolk.  This exciting night kicks of six weeks of magical festivities, saluting the holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve. 

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