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


Above. Craftsmen hard at work on the L'Hermione at the historic French shipyard where the original was built. Below. L'Hermione with full sails en route to the United States - Copyright 2015 - L'Hermione Project 2015.  

The Independence and Bastille Day holidays have just passed and we're noticing that this is already one of the wettest and warmest summers in recent memory here at AYB. Inour July 4th email, we mentioned how much we love the history behind boats like L'Hermione and the storied tradition behind building them. Bringing the Marquis de Lafayette's famed 1780 frigate back to life took two decades and countless craftsmen in the famed shipyard in Rochefort, France that dates back to the 1600's.  

We are proud that AYB's tradition of craftsmanship also comes from that kind of heritage.  While we didn't build the amazing boats that pass through our Yard each year, we do have the unique honor of working on so many of them.  Historic and modern, power and sail, new and old, the wide array of vessels that come to AYB make this a boat watcher's paradise.  All of us here feel so lucky to be entrusted with them and to work with their owners, like you, every day too.  

We've also been thinking about another kind of history -- your boat's -- and how having people who know that history (and what to do with it) helps keep your vessel in the best working condition possible.  We view your boat's care as a partnership and the more information you can give us about it, the maintenance record, what you plan to use it for, and the rest, the better.  Staying on top of all that doesn't have to be hard though. Check out our Tips from AYB below to get some great tools to help you keep that information and share it with others with the minimum of hassle.  As always, we're also here for anything else you need, so don't hesitate to get in touch or stop by

Hope You Are Staying Cool & Having Fun This Summer, 

Your Friends at AYB


AYB continues this popular  feature -- an interview with the interesting people and their great boats that visit us.   This time we caught up with Donald and Natalie Hannon, professional captains and AYB regulars of many years, while they were in Annapolis for the season with their boss' boat, a 93' Hargrave built in 2007.  With more than 225 days averaged away from their Fort Lauderdale home base on the water every year, this married duo works together doing something that they both really love. 

Natalie and Donald Hannon working as captains on a previous owner's classic Trumpy - Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon. 

Where are you from and when did you get involved with boats?
Donald- I grew up in Northern New Jersey, but spent a lot of time out on the water when we went to our place "down the Shore."  I fell in love with boats then and ended up becoming a professional captain in my 20's -- it's something I have been doing for over 30 years now.

Natalie- I literally grew up on a boat, spending half of my year down in Florida with my parents aboard their 57' Chris Craft Constellation after an annual pilgrimage from our place on an island in the St. Lawrence River to Pier 66 every winter. I would start school in New York for the first part of the year and then we would make the trek down, where would finish the rest of the school year in Florida. I boarded for high school, though, to see what being in one place felt like. 

How did you two meet?  
Donald- We met 10 years ago volunteering at the same charity event taking kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases out for a special day on the water.  My friend was in the same Captain's licensing course that Natalie was taking so she got involved too.  It has been a theme for us ever since. 

Shown here zip lining in their off time, Donald and Natalie have the incredible luxury of doing something they love together,whether at work or at play. - Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon. 

What does a typical year look like for you two?  What is it like working and living together on the water?  
Donald- When we first got together, we worked doing a lot of deliveries, boat show moves ins and outs for builders and other shorter-term gigs around South Florida. Owners and companies typically like working with us, since we come as a convenient 2-for-1 package. Our current bosses still have businesses and sit on boards in the DC area, so we spend part of the year based out of Annapolis and then head back down south with them for the winter.  

Natalie- When in Florida, we stay in the Fort Lauderdale area and spend nights at home, if we are not hitting places like the Bahamas or the BVIs instead. We love our bosses and the boat -- plus they allow us to maintain her impeccably inside and out, which is an ideal situation for any captain to have. Our quarters are big enough for two, but I still like getting home to our place, especially because there is more room for my shoes!   

Enjoying a night out at the Concourse d'Elegance - the Hannons clean up nicely! - Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon. 

How long have you been coming to AYB? 
Natalie- I am a "second-generation" AYB customer.  My mom could tell you just how little the place has changed (in some really good ways) since my parents first started coming here years ago.  They had several boats -- Hatterases and Chris Crafts mostly - and a stop at AYB was always part of the mix on our trips up and down the ICW. Russell, for example. has been a fixture in our lives ever since!  Since Donald has been working on the East Coast for so long, AYB had been on his radar screen forever, too.  We accompany the boat for the work being done here and then like to throw a barbecue to thank everyone at the end. It's a special kind of yard in that way and we certainly visit enough others in our travels to know.

Bringing an owner's boat into AYB (the current one is pictured on the railway) is a classic part of the Hannon's professional routine- Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon. 

Do you have any kids or pets?  
Natalie- Because we're away from home for such long stretches, we are incredibly lucky to keep a house plant going.  We don't have kids or pets like some other captains do, but we do have a unique companion named Tigger.  I got Tigger when we first started dating on a trip to Disney (which we both love since we are essentially big kids in a lot of ways). Tigger generally travels with us everywhere we go and we have all kinds of outfits and gear for him too.  He has gotten very popular with other people -- even famous ones like celebrities, athletes, Fortune 500 execs, etc.--  in every port we visit.  Our friends also all know and love Tigger to the point that they will ask about him first!

Tigger is an indispensable part of the Hannon's life on the water and off - Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon.

Given all the incredible boats you see and that you have captained, what boat would you most like to own?
Donald- I like for my bosses to keep their boats and I will just work on them!  Just kidding, but it is sometimes better for all the financial headaches to be someone else's ... I do like all the modern Taiwan-built power yachts, but I also love those antique Chris Craft runabouts  The two kinds of boats are totally different experiences and they offer the best of both worlds really .  

Natalie- We really like things that have some kind of history to them.  Antiques are always a conversation starter. Of course, we have our own older boat which we have spent thousands of dollars and over three years restoring and that we have used for about 12 total hours since!  Donald also loves older cars, so we always have one of those in the repertoire too.

Breakfast on the balcony at home at Harbor Beach,near Port Everglades, Florida  - Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon.

You have been to a lot of great ports, where would most like to go next?
Natalie- Both of us would love to get to Bora Bora -- because it is beautiful and because the name is just cool.  We get paid to go to some of the most amazing places, but probably the only one we would call home other than Florida is Water Island off of St. Thomas. People always ask us where we would like to go or be and we always tell them "home" and mean it.  Being there for an unbroken stretch is a real luxury for us.  That said, we're going on a cruise to Alaska with my mom in August and went whale-watching in California for another recent vacation -- so we're never far from the water by choice! 

Honeymoon Beach on Water Island off of St. Thomas -the only other place they want to call "home." - Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon. 

Donald- I have taken owners' boats all over the world and there are still a lot of great spots to see.  It's probably the blend of things we get in our life that makes it all work though.  I even enjoy being on those mega-yacht carriers that take multiple boats across the ocean at the same time to Europe for the summer season.  And we are certainly popular with all the deckhands on board since our boats always have great WiFi!

Donald waves goodbye as the Dockside mega-yacht carrier heads out at the start of its trip across the Atlantic. Copyright 2015 - Natalie and Donald Hannon. 


Meet Our Crew

Every e-newsletter, we highlight the interesting and highly experienced people who make Atlantic Yacht Basin the unique place that it is.  This time we're talking to Faye Hannah,  Receptionist/Administrative Assistant at AYB.  She's the friendly face (and voice) that so many of you encounter first thing and is an indispensable part of the way things work at the Yard.  

Faye (in the pink shirt above) and her trusty sidekick,Kobi,enjoy a week at the beach with a close group of friends every year.  Copyright 2015 - Faye Hannah. 

Where are you from and how did you get interested in boats? 
I was born in Richmond, VA and have lived in the state my entire life.  For most of that time, I have lived in the Tidewater area.  My interest in boats came when I met my late husband, Paul.  He bought his first small boat when he was just a teenager and still in high school.  We had smaller boats (25' or less) starting from the time we got married.  We were married for over 23 years, but, unfortunately, I lost him to melanoma 6 years ago.  

Pictured here with her family in this classic pigtailed shot, Faye is a lifelong Virginian.  Copyright 2015 - Faye Hannah. 

Where do you live?  What brought you to AYB? 
I live in a condo complex here in Chesapeake.  I had always known AYB was here, but I didn't really know any details.  My close friend recommended me to Spencer and Jack when they were rehiring for this position a couple of years ago. We all seemed to hit it off right away and I started a couple of weeks later in August of 2013.  It's been a wonderful experience ever since!

What's it like working at AYB? 
I love this job!  It's a strong family business to work for, first of all.  But I think what I enjoy most are all the diverse and interesting customers that I meet every day.  I am the first face, both by phone and in person, that our customers meet when they contact AYB.  I take that responsibility very seriously and always try to make our customers feel welcome.  My job includes a lot of additional duties, but that is my first priority. 

Self-professed "quilting junkie" Faye stands with one of her prize-winning creations at a show -  Copyright 2015 - Faye Hannah. 

What are your interests outside of work?  Any kids? Hobbies?  Pets?  
I am an avid quilter and fully addicted. I have been quilting for more than 25 years and love it as much today as when I bought my first sewing machine.  I enjoy making quilts for family and friends as well as a few consignments and they can be found throughout my home.  My quilting buddies are also a huge part of my life and we have a great time working together on our various projects. 

My 6 year old Maltese, Kobi, is also the third love of my life (my husband was my first, our dog Sassy was my second and he is the third).  Paul had a daughter and then a grandson from his first marriage, but we never had children together. We did have several dogs,  but Sassy was our princess. She worshiped Paul and they were especially close -- I miss them both enormously. 

Given all the great boats that pass through here, what would be your dream boat if you could have one? 
That is a really difficult question to answer ... I see so many beautiful boats outside my office window traveling down the ICW and stopping here at AYB that it would be hard to pick any specific one.  That said, I lean toward the traditional ones, classic boats like Kadey Krogens are a particular favorite. 

Clean lines and versatility make a Kadey Krogen Faye's ideal boat -  Copyright 2015 - Yacht World. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
Actually, I am much more of a homebody than anything else. But a trip that my husband and I always talked about was an Alaskan cruise.  It didn't happen before Paul died, but it is still on my bucket list.  

Despite her love of home, Faye still dreams of a trip through incomparable Alaska on the water -  Copyright 2015 -Alaskan Cruise Experts. 


Tips From AYB

Knowing that keeping and sharing your boat's history is important is one thing - but finding practical, low-hassle ways to do that is another.  Here are some suggestions to help make keeping track of things easier.   Remember, the more information you can give us, the more we can help you!
  • KEEP A LIST - A checklist is a great way to make sure you follow through on all of the items that need daily, monthly, seasonal attention, and long-term items that are critical to the short and long-term maintenance of your vessel.  To help you out, we've created the AYB Checklist.  Keeping your past checklists is also a great idea for understanding what is happening with your boat over the long haul.
  • MAINTAIN A LOG BOOK - Log books are a great way to monitor the history of your boat. Whether it is maintaining a cruising log or a maintenance log, detailed record keeping is an excellent way to track the performance of your vessel underway.  For instance, you think your fuel mileage is dropping? You would know it if you keep a log of your mileage and your fuel fill-ups.  Do you suspect you are using more oil than you have in the past?  Detailed record keeping will confirm or allay your suspicions. And when it is time for us to look at an issue that you are having with your vessel, a log book will help us to help you.  If you can tell us when the problem began—the date, how many engine hours have elapsed since you first noticed something, what you have done to accommodate the issue till you got to us—all these points make a difference in diagnosing and fixing the problem, while often saving a lot of money and time in the bargain.
  • WHERE POSSIBLE, GO DIGITAL - Sound like too much of a hassle? The good news is that logbooks have now gone digital too. While we don’t endorse any particular record keeping product, we did find a nifty app called:“Boating Suite: Complete Boating Log Book” at  This is a very cool iOS app that works great with an iPad. Just about every detail you can think of can be tracked.  Obviously, with this app, your logbook travels easily with you when you are not on your boat…so even when you are away from your boat and thinking about items or issues you might want us to investigate, just pull up your records on your device  And it's a great way to relive your travels too!
  • KEEP YOUR RECORDS & RECEIPTS - Finally, it is just as important to keep copy of all your work receipts and purchases.  Remember, you can back up those receipts digitally by taking a picture of them with your phone or other device. Of course, you should still keep a hard copy for your files. Really, there is no such thing as having too much information when it comes to record keeping for your vessel. 

Calendar of Events

This is just a sampling of all the great events going on this season in the Tidewater area. Click through and you might also find something else that interests you too when you do.  In the meantime, we hope you have a great time!

The Artist's Garden - American Impressionism & The Garden Movement, 1887-1920
Through September 6, 2015
Chrysler Museum of Art 
Norfolk, VA 

This exhibition of American Impressionist masterworks showcases more than 70 works by renowned painters like Child Hassam, William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, Theodore Robinson, Gari Melcher and Cecilia Beaux.  Follow these painters on a colorful journey from their backyards to the great gardens of the world.  Expect warm sunlight, rustling branches, and the exquisite colors of flower petals captured in brilliant strokes.  There's even a group of paintings that focus on the beauty of winter gardens.  

The Mariners' Gallery Crawl 
September 19, 2015 
6:30 -10:00 p.m. 
The Mariner's Museum & Park 
Newport News, VA 

Sip, Savor & Explore!  Did you know that only 25 of the The Mariners' Museum collections are on display?  For one night only, you can get up close and personal with multiple artifacts that have rarely, or possibly never, been on public display!  Experience the stories behind these incredible artifacts with interactive interpreters, conversations with curators and conservationists, and talks with collections experts. Your Gallery Crawl Passport will guide you through the permanent galleries while you sip and savor on foods and beverages related to the gallery.  Don't miss your chance to learn the secrets of the Museum!  Tickets are $55 in advance and $60 on the day of the event.  


33rd Annual Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival
July 17 and 18, 2015
5:00-11:00 p.m. (ticketed both nights) 
Town Point Park
Norfolk, VA

This ticketed event at the Norfolk Waterfront's Town Point Park runs from 5-11 pm  both nights and features an all-star lineup including Musiq Soulchild, Earl Klugh, Richard Elliott, Pamela Williams and Generation Next.For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. 

Trapeze School 
July 18-19, 2015 
Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Virginia Beach, VA 

If you've ever dreamed of flying around the air just like a circus trapeze artist, now's your chance!  This high-flying adventure is sponsored by Cirque de Soleil's Kooza, playing under the big top at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, July 16-August 16, 2015.  For two days, BeachStreetUSA is presenting "Trapeze School" with three workshops scheduled per day July 18 and July 19 on the beach at 17th Street.  Workshops are free and open to the public, Participants must be 6 years of age or older.  There is a weight limit of 250 pounds.  Click here for more details including workshop times. 

2015 AAU Junior Olympic Games 
Various Locations (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach) 
July 25-August 8, 2015 

Hampton Roads is thrilled to be hosting the AAU Junior Olympic Games again, July 29-August 8, 2015.  The Games are known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States.  Approximately 15,000 athletes, ages 7-17, from across the country will compete in over 19 sporting events throughout the Junior Olympic Games.  Click here for more information on all events and venues. 

East Coast Surfing Championships (ECSC) 
August 16-23, 2015 
Virginia Beach Oceanfront between 2nd and 9th Streets
Virginia Beach, VA 

The 53rd Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship is the world's second longest consecutive-running surfing competition.  The ECSC is a major professional and amateur event for the United States Surfing Federation.  Each year, several hundred surfers from menehunes to masters compete for East Coast surfing titles, prizes, history and the sheer love of surfing.  Other beach-oriented sports and recreation include skim boarding, volleyball, a boardwalk 5k run, street skate and ramp contests, swimsuit contests, food and drink concessions and live music on the beach.  All events are free and open to the public!  For more information, click here. 

State Farm FunkFest Featuring Africana Virginia Beach 
August 28-30, 2015
Virginia Beach Oceanfront at 24th Street
Virginia Beach, VA 

The State Farm FunkFest is the heart and soul of this weekend event, featuring music generated over the years by influential legends such as James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, George Clinton, and The Ohio Players.  Funk is an American musical style style that originated in the mid-to-late 1960s when African-American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music.  It has been a major influence on the development of disco, and even impacted house and hip-hop. This will take place on stage at 24th Street with food, merchandise, and dance contests all contributing to the festive, "funky" vibe.  Click here for more information. 

Food Truck Hump Days on the Great Bridge Waterways
Through 10/21/2015
First and Third Wednesdays of the Month
Battlefield Park (directly across the ICW from AYB)
Chesapeake, VA 

Join Eat the Streets 757 at Battlefield Park on the first and third Wednesday of the month through October 21.  A huge variety of food truck gourmet dishes will be offered along with children's activities and live entertainment by the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation, the City of Chesapeake, and friends!  10% of all sales benefit the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation. 
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