Fountain receiver’s Chapter 11 petitions dismissed

Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions filed by a receiver on behalf of Fountain and related entities have been dismissed by Judge Erik Kimball in the bankruptcy court of the Southern District of Florida.

The order was in response to a motion by Joseph Wortley to dismiss the cases. Wortley is at least a partial owner of Fountain and other related entities. A U.S. trustee had also filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case or, in the alternative, appoint a Chapter 11 trustee, but that motion was denied as moot due to this ruling.

At issue was whether the receiver, Ronald Glass, had the authority to file the bankruptcy petitions. The filing was made Jan. 18 and marked the second time in less than three years that Fountain had filed for bankruptcy protection. At the time of the January filing the company listed more than $53 million in liabilities and less than $50,000 in assets, according to court documents.

In his order, dated March 23, Kimball wrote, “… the court finds that Ronald Glass was not duly authorized to file the petitions commencing these cases.”

Glass told Trade Only Today that he had no comment on the judge’s order.

Entities involved in the dismissal include: American Marine Holdings LLC; Donzi Marine Inc.; AMH Government Services Inc.; Baja Marine Inc.; Fountain Dealers’ Factory Super Store Inc.; Fountain
Powerboat Industries Inc.; Fountain Powerboats Inc.; Fountain Powerboats LLC; Palmetto Park Financial LLC; and Pro-Line Boats LLC.

Following this order, an attorney for Fountain Powerboats Inc. and Baja Marine Inc. filed a motion in North Carolina to dissolve the temporary receivership.

A North Carolina Business Court judge appointed Glass a temporary receiver last October in First Capital’s case against Fountain Powerboats and other defendants. First Capital is seeking $61.04 million in damages from Fountain Powerboats and other entities for the “borrower defendants’ ” breach of loan agreements, according to documents filed in the North Carolina court.

Attorney Randolph James noted in his recent motion that Glass said in depositions that he filed the Chapter 11 petitions because “FCC informed Glass verbally that they (FCC) would not continue to fund the entities unless they were in Chapter 11. Ronald Glass further testified he knew at the time he filed bankruptcy petitions that all of the parties were waiting for Judge Gale to rule on a number of issues.

“When asked if Ronald Glass knew the filing of the petitions would prevent a written decision by Judge Gale, Ronald Glass stated, ‘I didn’t know that, but I’m not surprised by it.’,” James continued.

“Undersigned counsel has consistently maintained before this court that Ronald Glass has an inherent conflict of interest in acting as a receiver for the manufacturing, parts and service companies which occupy the building owned by the movant Fountain Powerboats Inc. and financed by an FCC mortgage,” he added. “Ronald Glass, while acknowledging his fiduciary duties, has failed to discharge those duties fairly, evenly and uniformly.”

The motion adds that Fountain Powerboats Inc. is prepared to immediately resume building Baja boats and employ 25 to 30 people in Washington, N.C., through its parts and service division as soon as the court discharges Glass as the temporary receiver for Fountain Powerboats and Baja Marine.

James also said FCC “intended to liquidate the defendants since the begining of this action” despite its statements in prior hearings that it intended to start production and take finished boats to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

“The intention to liquidate these companies was confirmed by Ronald Glass in his deposition testimony,” James said in his motion.

The entities asking for the dissolution of the receiver’s authority include: Fountain Powerboat Industries Inc.; Fountain Powerboats Inc.; Fountain Dealers’ Factory Super Store Inc.; and Baja Marine Inc.

No mention was made of Donzi or Pro-Line, and James did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to previous bankruptcy court filings, the ownership of Fountain, and its related entities, breaks down like this:

• Debtor American Marine Holdings LLC is the parent corporation, owning 100 percent of Donzi Marine LLC; AMH Government Services LLC; Pro-Line Boats LLC; and Fountain Powerboats LLC. AMH is owned by 50509 Marine LLC. The Wortley American Marine Trust is a 20 percent owner and 50509 Marine Corp. is an 80 percent owner of 50509 Marine LLC. In turn, The Wortley 50509 Marine Corp. Trust owns all of the interests of 50509 Marine Corp.

• Liberty Acquisitions FPB LLC, a non-debtor entity, is the parent company, owning 100 percent of the following debtor entities: Fountain Powerboat Industries Inc.; Fountain Powerboats Inc.; Fountain Dealers Factory Super Store Inc.; and Baja By Fountain Inc. Liberty Associates LC owns all of the interests of Liberty Acquisitions FPB LLC. Joseph Wortley owns 99 percent and Bill Gates owns 1 percent of Liberty Associates LC.

• Wortley owns 100 percent of Palmetto Park Financial LLC.

– Beth Rosenberg

Fishermen’s rally set for today in D.C

Thousands of coastal recreational fishermen, business owners, commercial fishermen, charterboat and party boat owners and others are expected to descend today on Washington, D.C., for a rally calling for efforts to “Keep Fishermen Fishing.”

 

Set for noon at Upper Senate Park, not far from the U.S. Capitol, “the unified efforts of America’s fishermen will hopefully set the stage for bipartisan accord in protecting coastal jobs and maintaining access to healthy public resources,” according to Bob Healey Jr., a board member of theRecreational Fishing Alliance, one of the rally’s organizers.

As many as two dozen members of Congress are expected to address rally participants. The first fishing rally in 2010 brought together about 5,000 fishermen.

“Those fishermen planning to attend should remember that the rally has been coordinated in an effort to reform Magnuson. At precisely 12 noon the rally will start with presentations by key senators and congressmen who are supporting our efforts in the fishing community to add common sense to the federal fisheries law, primarily through passage of key pieces of legislation now being reviewed in the House Natural Resources Committee, most notably HR3061, the Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act,” according to the RFA.

This bill would extend rebuilding timelines in certain situations; suspend ACLs and “accountability measures” for fish stocks where science and data are insufficient to meet the national standards; call for socioeconomic impact reporting when certain management decisions are made; and require the National Research Council to perform another comprehensive review of the NOAA recreational data collection programs and the improvements made since the 2006 reauthorization.

“The RFA firmly believes that these pragmatic amendments to the federal fisheries law would help keep fishermen fishing on healthy and sustainable fish stocks, which is something supported by both the recreational and commercial fishing communities,” the group said.

Rally organizers and supporters include the Southeastern Fisheries Association, Viking Village, Lund’s Fisheries, Fishermen’s Dock, North Carolina Watermen United, Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, Southern Off Shore Fishing Association, Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association, the National Association of Charterboat Operators, Montauk Inlet Seafood, Hull’s Seafood, New York Fishing Tackle Trades Association, Panama City Boatmen’s Association, Alliance of Communities For Sustainable Fisheries, Westport Charterboat Association, Garibaldi Charters, Monkfish Defense Fund, California Wetfish Producers, Rivercenter Marine, Garden State Seafood Association, Big Game Fishing Journal, , New York Sportfishing Federation, United Boatmen, Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, Atlantic Capes Seafood, West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Lower Columbia Alliance for Sustainable Fisheries, Ocean Isle Fishing Center, Tailwalker Marine, Fishing United, Raffields Fisheries, Patriot Sportfishing, the American Albacore Fishing Association, Montauk Boatmen’s & Captains Association, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey and Viking Yachts.

See Thursday’s Trade Only Today newsletter for full coverage of the rally.

 

http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/519282-fishermens-rally-set-for-today-in-dc#

Pods Are Driving Change In The Marine Industry!

Over the last five or six years, Pod Drive Propulsion Systems have evolved from novel engineering concepts to marine industry game changers.

Though pod drives have long been used for cruise ships, ferries and tugboats, their evolution and recent impact has occurred in the pleasure boat industry. They’ve quickly replaced traditional shaft drive systems as the standard option on many small and mid-size cruising boats.

Now they are finding applications in larger sport fishing boats and larger production boats in the 50′ to 80+’ range. It won’t be too long before advancements in horsepower allow for pods to be used in motoryachts in the 80′ to 150′ range; they’re already found on many larger catamarans.

Maneuverability alone makes them a worthwhile consideration for many owners and builders. But Pod drive systems offer many other benefits including fuel efficiency, less space requirements within the engine room, tracking, turning control and better cruising range. Note that some of those benefits are dependent on boat design, use and associated engineering.

To get a real sense of the pros and cons of maintenance, usability and maneuverability with pod drive systems on mid-size motoryachts, read Beyond The Hype from Yachting Magazine or Pushing The Limits Of Joysticks and Pod-Drives.

One thing that has really driven change over the last few years is the market. Owners who have enjoyed the benefits of pod drives on smaller vessels are pushing to have pods installed on other boats, specifically the larger sport fishing boats and semi-custom production yachts.

In North Carolina, many of the old school sport fishing boat builders who initially shied away from the pods due to the perceived negative impact on fishing, have started incorporating pods into their designs. Their customers want the ease of use and performance of the pods and are willing to overlook some of the downsides of pod systems. Spencer Yachts is one  example of the change within the industry. Their 70′ Penta Gone shows just how valuable the new drive systems are and how the pods can be incorporated into boat designs. You can now find pod drive systems available on many other top-of-the-line sport fishing models from builders including Freedom Boatworks, Jarret Bay and Viking Yachts.

If pods can be adapted into the design of a 70′ fishing yacht or used on tugs and cruise ships, it won’t be too long before larger luxury yachts incorporate them as well. Eventually advancements in engineering will provide the horsepower needed. Some builders, like Lazzara Yachts, have had pods on the radar for quite some time (read Pod Systems Are The Future by Lazzara Yachts).

To learn more about Pod Drive Systems, visit the websites of the industry’s top manufacturers:
volvo ips pod drive for yachts
Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS)
ZF Marine
Caterpillar Zeus Pod Drive System

For more information about pod drives and how to incorporate them within your vessel design, please contact Nick Boksa at www.boksamarinedesign.com

Plan calls for smaller hike in Maryland boater fees

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will propose amendments to House Bill 1307 to substantially reduce the proposed cost of registering a boat in Maryland, the department announced. The department introduced the legislation to address the state’s boating infrastructure needs. The original proposal would have replaced the flat $24 boat registration fee paid every two years with fees ranging from $50 to $700, depending on the size of the boat. Under the proposed changes, it would cost $25 every two years to register boats under 16 feet in Maryland. It would cost $50 every two years to register boats of 16 to less than 21 feet; $75 every two years to register boats of 21 to less than 32 feet; $100 every two years to register boats of 32 to less than 45 feet; $200 every two years to register boats of 45 to 65 feet; and $300 every two years to register boats of more than 65 feet. The bill also includes a voluntary non-motorized decal for boats such as kayaks and canoes for $12 every two years. The proposal eliminates the second tier of phased-in registration increases, which means the new costs would start in 2013. In addition, amendments would increase the one-time boat title price to $35, as well as some other costs to boat dealers. “We appreciate the department taking into consideration the concerns of the Maryland boating industry by significantly reducing the proposed boat registration costs to a level that is acceptable to our boat dealers and marinas,” Marine Trades Association of Maryland executive director Susan Zellers said in a statement.

 

http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/519195-plan-calls-for-reduced-boater-fees-in-maryland

36′ Custom Carolina Hors Catégorie An All Business Fishing Platform

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Unique-Custom-Carolina-Center-Console.html?soid=1103899746856&aid=5qyqcbb4z4Q

 

 

Brokerage sales show increase in February

U.S. brokerage sales increased again in February as 1,908 boats sold for an aggregate of $231 million. According to YachtWorld.com member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database, Soldboats.com, the volume of sales rose 13 percent, compared with February 2011, and the total value of the boats was up 25 percent.

 

 

For the year to date, 3,452 boats have been sold for an aggregate price of $425 million. Those represent 8 percent and 17 percent increases, respectively, from sales volume and valuation in January and February of 2011.

Sales of big boats and superyachts have dominated the headlines for much of the last year, but boats under 26 feet sold well in February; 639 changed hands, a 16 percent increase from 2011.

Sales of boats 36 to 45 feet increased 11 percent, to 370 boats. Even the 26- to 35-foot category, which lagged in January, saw improved year-over-year sales in February — a 10 percent increase, to 714 boats. Collectively, 1,723 boats under 45 feet changed hands, a 12 percent increase, and they sold for $102 million, an 11 percent gain.

Not to be outdone, brokers selling boats over 55 feet closed 147 deals in February, a 32 percent increase from the same month in 2011. The boats involved sold for 43 percent more, totaling $177 million in sales. Sales of 16 superyachts (boats over 80 feet) accounted for $56 million of the total, which was more than double the total price paid for the nine superyachts that were sold a year earlier.

A detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the April issue of Soundings Trade Only.

Why Gas Prices Aren’t Likely to Hit $5 This Summer

A spike to $5 a gallon for the national average by the summer would mean that the rise in gas prices over the next few months would have to exceed the 8 percent climb we’ve seen over the past four weeks.

Is it possible? Perhaps. Inevitable? Not really.

“There’s nothing inevitable about it,” says IHS chief economist Nariman Behravesh, speaking on the sidelines of the CERAWeek Energy Conference in Houston. “To a large extent it depends on what happens in the Middle East.”

http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/46638757/1