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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

AYB Winter 2014/15 Newsletter -  Making the Most of the Season Plus "A Bolt Out of the Blue" for Boats


A winter boat parade helps make the most of the start to the holiday season. Copyright 2014-Atlantic Yacht Basin.

Winter and the holiday season make for a really interesting time at AYB.  Although we are still a couple of weeks away from the start of meteorological winter, traffic on the ICW is much slower these days. Everything else at AYB is still buzzing though. People have been bringing their boats in steadilty for off-season work and storage or hauling out when they stop through.  Of course, we are also looking at 2015 coming just around the corner too and a little time off with our families and friends to celebrate.

The storage sheds are still filling up with the most interesting array of vessels, many of which will also have our crew working on them some time before the spring weather rolls around again.  
Our winter customers typically take advantage of the thousands of feet of covered, in-water storage or our climate-controlled work shed(s) or both.  

No matter what, they know they can trust us to handle their boat with AYB's signature style any day of the year.  
They also know that every vessel, classic or modern, that passes through our shops gets AYB's renowned combination of skill and care.  Our talented crew can deliver on any repair, restoration or refit job from routine maintenance to complex custom work.

So whether you are spending a chunk of the winter here with us or just moving through, the ease and convenience of life on the Yard, plus our lightning fast new WiFi make AYB the place to be - during this or any season of the year.  

As always, to find out more about our facility or comprehensive range of marine service and 
storage options or to get a free quote on work you need to get done, please call AYB toll-free at (800) 992-2489 or local at  (757) 482-2141 or drop us a line at info@atlanticyachtbasin.com .   Check us out also at our website at www.atlanticyachtbasin.com or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for interesting updates, tips, and specials going on at the Yard.

Staying Warm & Busy this Holiday Season, 

Your Friends at AYB
 

"A Bolt Out of the Blue" for Boats - Meet Clyde Lee and Diane Willis 

AYB continues this popular  feature -- an interview with the interesting people and their great boats that visit us.   This time we caught up with Clyde Lee who is spending time at AYB with his wife, Diane Willis, on their 42' Grand Banks, FRIENDSHIP, as they have since they purchased her here in 2008.  Based much of the time in Indianapolis, they prove you can have a life on the water no matter when or where you start. 


Clyde and Diane clearly enjoy their increasing time away on the water. Copyright 2014-Clyde Lee & Diane Willis.

Clyde, you spend much of the year in Indianapolis -- how did you find FRIENDSHIP and how did you end up coming to AYB?  

Our original thought was to go for a sailboat.  But experienced sailing friends we met suggested we might prefer a trawler and invited us to try out their Grand Banks on a visit up to NJ.  After the first night, it was apparent that this was the right kind of boat for both of us.  So my friend Jim helped me by traveling up and down the East Coast looking for a Grand Banks.  We found FRIENDSHIP stored at AYB and being sold via Virginia Yacht Brokers in 2008.  AYB came with such a great reputation so it made a lot of sense to stick around to get things started on her renovation. Now AYB is like a second home for us -- it's a place where we know we can get quality work done and be with people who have become our friends as well -- something that is so rare in yards and marinas these days.

What kind of shape was FRIENDSHIP in when you and Diane bought her?  

She needed a lot of work when we bought her in 2008 . We put together a good remediation plan and with the help of the great people here at AYB, have done a lot of work on her to get her to the great shape she is in today.  Her original name was GRAVEL ROAD, which sort of suited the condition she was in at the beginning, but her new name fits a lot better now.  

The renovated FRIENDSHIP in her customary berth at Atlantic Yacht Basin.  
Copyright 2014 - Clyde Lee & Diane Willis.
 
What do you do when you are not here and how did you and Diane meet?  Diane and I have been married for 15 years and have a blended family of grown kids between us.  We spend a lot of the year in Indianapolis, where we still have a PR/Communications practice (www.leewilliscommunications.com) that we founded after retiring from anchoring TV news together for a number of years.  That is how we met.  We worked together as a team on air before we got married.  We had both worked as reporters and anchors in different markets around the country before that too.  It has been a really fun ride for both of us so far. 

Having met "on air", Clyde and Diane anchor their last broadcast together at WRTV. Copyright 2001 - WRTV, Inc.

You describe your discovery of boating as a "bolt out of the blue" -- tell us about how that happened and what led you to choosing a part-time life on the water at this stage in your lives. 

Indianapolis is not the boating capitol of the U.S. as you can imagine.  I am an experienced pilot and had my own plane for over a decade, but had never really been interested in boats.  But we had a condo in Ft. Myers, Florida in a great development that came with its own marina.  At one point, we had friends coming to stay with us before setting out on their round-the-world voyage on their custom-built boat.  I stepped on to that boat one evening and  it suddenly hit me.  It has been a passion ever since.  I threw myself into it and took sailing lessons as well as started crewing on boat deliveries from the Caribbean to the East Coast to get as much experience as possible.  Diane had worked in Boston earlier in her career and always enjoyed time on boats. We've discovered that life on the water is so much more interesting than just experiencing places on land.  I mean, there are only so many rounds of golf you can play and walks on the beach you can take before you start looking for more, right? 

What translates between being a pilot and a boat captain?  
Obviously the vehicles and the environments are radically different, but there are a lot of similarities between the two as well.  Both are large (this boat weighs 36,000 pounds for example), expensive vehicles which require a lot of responsible handling in challenging environments - environments that can become dangerous very suddenly   You are responsible not only for yourself, but for any passengers and any other craft you may encounter or people nearby as well. In my mind, basically for both flying and boating, it boils down to having a command of the same 3 things -- systems, navigation and weather.  
  • Systems - You have to know what is going on with the instruments and vessel all the time.  If something isn't working, you have to know whether it is serious enough to stop or something you can get by with until you come back.
  • Weather - You have to know what is expected ahead to make smart decisions and be ready for sudden changes too.   Weather often makes or breaks a flight and certainly does the same for being out on a boat, particularly on open ocean.
  • Navigation - Knowing where you have been, where you are currently and where you plan to go are fundamentals to both flying and boating.  Having the right tools and handling them the right way while you are piloting either type of craft can be the difference between a great ride or not, or even a matter of life and death.  


 
 









 


FRIENDSHIP's clean lines and practical beauty on open water show why Grand Banks trawlers are so popular with boaters.   Copyright 2014 - Clyde Lee & Diane Willis.

So when you are on the boat, what do you do? 
We have taken FRIENDSHIP down to Florida for the winter season within the past couple of years and enjoyed that a lot   Frankly, though, we enjoy hanging out here, messing around and working on her just as much. Diane has become a really strong captain too and we do love getting out and about. We get to spend about 2 months out of the year total on the boat at this point.  We aren't quite retired yet, but the amount of time we spend out here has increased each year and will continue to go up as we gradually move from working life to this life.  But really, I am a gear head and always have been -- restoring old cars, antique motorcycles - etc.  -- so my true passion is having a wrench in my hand and fixing something.  And with a boat, there is always something you can be doing or a project to pursue.  Exactly what drives most boat owners crazy is probably what I love the most.   

What's next for you in your travels?  Where would you most like to go?  
We love exploring the East Coast in particular. There's still so much we haven't seen yet and a lot of favorite places to come back to as well. It is another reason why we keep the boat based here at AYB.  It's still within striking distance of our Indianapolis life and tremendously convenient for puttering around the Bay, hitting the open water up and down the Coast, or cruising down to Florida and the Tropics. Part of why we chose a trawler, though, is that we could also take off at any time for even bigger adventures.  When we're away, it's nice to know FRIENDSHIP is always waiting for us here at AYB. where we know she is in-water, but safe and under cover. Hanging out here is the most fun for us though and a nice change of pace. 
 


Meet Our Crew & Tips From AYB

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 Marty Smith , Customer Service/Quality Assurance Representative.  A Virginia Beach native, Marty is brand new to AYB, but he has been in the boat business in one way or the other since he took his first summer job over twenty years ago.  Here he tells us his story and shares some tips for making the process of working with AYB (or any boat yard) that much easier.  


Reid, Kim and Marty Smith in the yard of their house on Lake Smith - Copyright 2014 - Marty Smith.     

Where are you from and what got you into boating?  
I am a local boy and I have been around boats for most of my life.  My wife, Kim, and I live on Lake Smith in Virginia Beach with our 18-month old son, Reid and our somewhat possessed Jack Russell terrier, Mickey.  This is kind of a big, full-circle thing for my family.  I lived on Lake Smith until I was 6 years old in a house with the same number as the house we have today, but on a different street not far away.  Before that we lived down at Chick's Beach, which was a lot of fun.  But it's not as much of a family game down there, so we came back to the old neighborhood eight years ago.  My wife and I have been together since high school (Princess Anne High School)  We even went to prom together (see picture at right).   One thing we both agree on is that we would rather have five kids than two Jack Russell terriers at the same time. Seriously though, one kid and one dog are just right for us!

Mickey and Reid have been fast friends since the start and keep life interesting for the Smiths all the time. Copyright 2014 - Marty Smith.    

What's your history with the boat business?  
My sister was working as a Dockmaster at Tidewater Yacht and gave me my first summer job when I was still in high school.  That job turned into 16 years of working there and learning every aspect of the service, repair and storage aspects of boating inside and out.  I fell in love with boats and working with all kinds of people there -- something that really carries through to working here at AYB too.  Eventually I became an experienced varnish and wood worker and then a delivery captain and ultimately worked running all the boats and properties of a family here in Virginia Beach for the better part of the last decade. 


How did you come to AYB and what's your key role here?  
Jack and the management team were looking for someone who could take a little off of everyone's plate and step right into the role without a lot of learning curve.  As the customer service rep, I am there to handle the relationship at any point from start to finish I also make sure that everyone is getting what they need, both in terms of service and substance of the job.  With so many projects going on here at once, it helps to have someone who can work directly with customers to handle complaints, questions, compliments and everything in between.  
It also came at a really great time for me. When our son was born, I spent about 8 months at home with him since my wife is an English teacher.  After years of 24/7 on-call work, I was just looking for the next move that fit our family life when Jack called me on the recommendation of another friend in the business.  I was familiar with AYB and its reputation before. Being here, though, it is even clearer to me why they have been operating for over eight decades and so many of the crew members have been here for so long too.  It's a really unusual yard in that way.


Reid gets an early start on beach life while on vacation with his parents at Topsail Beach.  Copyright 2014 - Marty Smith..   

What tips would give boat owners to make the process of working with AYB (or any yard) smoother and more efficient?  
Owning a boat is one of the greatest and most insane things anybody can do.  It can be an inherently frustrating process as well as an intensely rewarding one.  It's a lot like parenthood or a long-term relationship with someone.  You will never have as much fun in your life, nor will you have as much responsibility or hassle.  

The smartest way to approach it kind of boils down to these three things: 
  • Knowledge - Know your boat's history and know what you are doing or work with people who do.  Be aware of what is happening with your boat currently (systems checks and maintenance) as well as what it will need in the future.  Maintain that boat checklist
  • (you can download AYB's complimentary one here) and know what can be delayed and what cannot when you find something amiss. 
  •  
  • Preparedness  - Everyone understands preparedness when they hit the water.  But what about when you are storing your boat or getting ready to have work done it?  Maintain a plan and stay on top of the boat's upkeep for safer, often less expensive boat ownership and use down the road.  Be ready whether you are doing the work yourself or having someone else do the work, for you.  Also make sure you prioritize the projects and do them in the right order too. 
  • Expecting the Unexpected -  Plan for the unplanned. Things are going to crop up out of the blue too.  It's the nature of the beast.  Most jobs end up taking a little longer and costing a little more too.  Be both financially and emotionally prepared for that possibility. Usually it means money and hassle saved on bigger issues later on.  AYB works with you to minimize that possibility, but you have to be ready for it too.
What do you do when you aren't at work? 
I have a bass boat that never gets used.  I love fishing and golfing, but with such a young kid in the house, we only get out a couple of times a month these days.  Of course, I am not a scratch golfer like Jack is.  I'd have to take off a chunk of time and devote myself to it to even come close to catching up with him!  My wife and I are really beach people and we are betting that our son will be as well.  It's kind of a family tradition in this part of the world for a lot of people.  It's part of why we never moved away!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  
That is an easy answer -- to one of those incredible places in Fiji where the cabanas are suspended over the water with little private docks and the water and surroundings are so insanely beautiful (see picture at left).  Plus it is something that everyone in our crew would enjoy.  We'd have to leave the dog at home though -- he would get into too much trouble out there.  


And if you could have any boat in the world, what would it be?  
I love the early to mid 90's Hatteras sport fishing boats.  Of course, along with the boat would have to come the time to use it   Another aspect of my dream boat is that it would never break. Clearly this is a fantasy though, because there is no such thing.  Boats are great, but they are also destined to drive you crazy until you accept that fact and just go along for the ride. Spending my time sport fishing out on the open water sounds like a pretty great ride though.


Marty looks forward to the time in his life when sportfishing on a boat like this 1995 Hatteras Express is in the cards. Copyright 2014 - Hatteras Yachts,Inc. 
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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!

MARITIME/HISTORY/ART EVENTS 

Worn to Be Wild: The Art of the Leather Jacket
Through January 4, 2015
Chrysler Museum of Art
Norfolk, VA 

From military aviators to motorcycle enthusiasts, from movie and music stars to famous fashionistas, the black leather jacket has been a siren of cool for decades. And now it gets the serious treatment it has long deserved—a full-blown exhibition at an art museum.In a nod to the connection between the black leather jacket and motorcycles, the exhibition includes two classic Harley-Davidsons, a vintage 1920 Model J, and a 1956 Model K owned by Elvis Presley. Jackets include a metal-studded jacket worn by Sid Vicious of the Sex PistolsArnold Schwarzenegger's jacket from Terminator 2Rooney Mara's Gothic geek look from The Girl with the Dragon TattooHarry Shearer's jacket from the mock rockumentary This is Spinal Tap and more.  Worn to be Wild is on loan from the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, in conjunction with the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle.

Stewards of the Sea 
Nauticus
One Waterside Drive
Norfolk, VA 

In partnership with the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and Nauticus, U.S. Fleet Forces Command has created Stewards of the Sea:  Defending Freedom, Protecting the Environment.  This 1,000 square-foot, highly-interactive exhibit explores how the Navy protects marine life while fulfilling its mission.  

HOLIDAY & OTHER EVENTS

Winter Carnival & Ice Park 
Through January 19, 2015
MacArthur Center
Norfolk, VA

Enjoy our outdoor Winter Carnival featuring nine family-friendly rides.  Located outside next to MacArthur on Ice, the Winter Carnival will be open Thursday through Sunday until kids are out of school, at which time it will be open for seven days. For more information about this event and the Ice Rink, please click here. 

McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach 
Nightly through January 3, 2015
Virginia Beach Oceanfront - Boardwalk between 2nd and 34th Streets
Virginia Beach, VA

The lights are on at McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach, presented by Liberty Tax Service, bringing joy and wonder to Hampton Roads this holiday season.  From late November to January 3, take a shiny journey in to nautical, holiday an adventure lands -- all along the Boardwalk in Virginia Beach.  For more information on prices and hours, click here. 

Dominion Garden of Lights
Nightly through December 31, 2015
Norfolk Botanical Gardens 
6700 Azalea Garden Road
Norfolk, VA

Don't miss Hampton Roads' favorite holiday tradition.  Bring your family and friends to our 19th annual light show extravaganza for a magical holiday experience.  During this event, our garden is transformed into a winter wonderland where you can enjoy a 2-mile drive through a million sparkling lights bringing the fours seasons to lie.  Come see what all the excitement is about!  For more information on prices and hours, click here. 
 

Virginia Beach - Last Night on the Town 2014
December 31, 2014 to January 1, 2015
2:00 p.m to 1:00 a.m. 
Town Center, Virginia Beach, VA 

This will be the biggest Virginia Beach New Year's Even 2015 celebration featuring a variety of activities for the whole family including New Year's Eve fireworks at midnight with the Virginia Beach Ball Drop at Countdown Square.  

Oceanfront Ice Park at Rudee Loop
Now through February 2, 2015
3rd Street & Atlantic Avenue 
Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, VA 

Located at Rudee Loop, the Ice Park complex has been set up right at the entrance to the Boardwalk  Thousands of sparkling lets set the stage for festive cheer that will last throughout the holiday season and beyond. The 7200 square foot ice skating surface is the perfect choice for a family outing or memorable night out as the beach comes alive with holiday fun and entertainment.  Click here for more information including prices and hours. 

2nd Annual Chesapeake Health & Fitness Expo
Saturday, January 24 
11 am to 2 pm 

All walks of life come together under one roof for a fun filled day of Fitness demos, games, prizes and priceless information from the top Fitness gurus in Hampton Roads.  Raffle prizes, fun demos and key tips to jumpstart your health and fitness can all be found at this event at the WIngate by Wyndham in Greenbrier. 

Polar Plunge Winter Festival
February 6-7, 2015
Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Virginia Beach, VA

Come chill and help support Special Olympics with the Polar Plunge Winter Fest, Feb 6-7 in Virginia Beach.  This year, in addition to two days of cool events and a fantastic list of prizes, they're offering custom bow ties, too!  With your help, Special Olympics can provide FREE programming to more children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  So tie one on and join today!  To sponsor someone or 
sign up yourself, click here. 


Yuengling Shamrock Marathon & Other Races Weekend 
March 20-22, 2015
Virginia Beach, VA

Click here for more information on this legendary race weekend.  Registration is now open so make sure to get your entry in because it will close at least 30 days before the date of each of the race events.  

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