North Carolina scientists testing immense power of the Gulf Stream off Hatteras

North Carolina scientists testing immense power of the Gulf Stream off Hatteras
By Jeff Hampton 

The Virginian-Pilot 17 hrs ago 

 Launch of current profiling device

Courtesy of Mike Mugila

Mike Muglia, left, boat mate Drex Harrington, center, and Harvey Seim, a marine science professor at the University of North Carolina, launch an acoustic Doppler current profiler into the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras


Scientists here are working on harnessing energy from the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras, where the ocean flows with more power than all of the world’s rivers combined.
Gulf Stream currents might have more potential than offshore wind. Ocean currents move more slowly than wind but are about 800 times more dense, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Water flowing at 12 mph exerts the same force as a 110 mph wind.
“We know there is a vast resource out there,” said Mike Muglia, a marine scientist with the Renewable Ocean Energy Program operated under the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese. “The key is to find the sweet spot.”
The Gulf Stream flows up the East Coast from the tip of Florida as winds push the ocean currents against the continental shelf, forcing them northward. Its currents run about 60 miles wide and 3,000 feet deep in places. The Gulf Stream passes about 15 miles offshore from Cape Hatteras, creating some of the best fishing conditions in the world.
The current off Hatteras runs about three times faster than it does off the Florida coast, Muglia said. The Gulf Stream transports nearly 4 billion cubic feet of water per second, more than all the world’s rivers put together, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
One day, those currents also could be a key producer of alternative power, Muglia said.
“There is enough energy in the flow to power all of North Carolina and more,” he said.

Producing power from Gulf Stream currents is at least 10 years away, he said. The question is whether it can be done in a cost-effective way. The cost of oil and the political will are also factors.
So far, no commercially connected turbines operate in the Gulf Stream, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. A few prototypes have been tested off the coast of Florida. Challenges include turbine maintenance in a harsh, salty environment and long distances to run cable connections.
Muglia and his team collect data using three methods, each with advantages and limitations.
One is a land-based radar system with units in Duck, Buxton and Core Banks that measure currents every hour. The data is constant and long-term, but the system gathers speeds down to only 6 feet below the surface.
Another device, called an acoustic Doppler current profiler, gets deployed about 760 feet below the surface in the Gulf Stream and, using sonar technology, records currents above it. The disadvantage is that the measurements come from only one spot.
Finally, a Doppler current profiler fixed on a boom takes readings from a boat to about 100 meters deep as the crew crosses over the Gulf Stream. The instrument provides a good cross-section of the stream, but trips off the coast are sporadic.
The Coastal Studies Institute is studying ocean energy potential from waves, tides and currents. The area that could have the most potential but would be toughest to conquer is the Gulf Stream.


Virginia bill calls for E0 at marinas

2/10/2016 12:00:00 AM | General Government RelationsThe Natural Resources Committee in Virginia unanimously supported a bill calling for an exemption from the EPA’s ethanol mandates to allow marinas to sell gasoline without ethanol, so called E-0. SB 557 now goes before the House Natural Resources Committee for its consideration. NMMA supports the bill. For more information, contact David Dickerson, Click here to see the bill.:

Jarrett Bay & Affiliates Win 2016 Refit of the Year Award 54′ Sportfish “Starflite” Recognized by Refit Show in Fort Lauderdale

54′ Sportfish “Starflite” Recognized by Refit Show in Fort Lauderdale
Jarrett Bay Boatworks
Robin Anderson
Marketing Manager

Jarrett Bay & Affiliates Win 2016 Refit of the Year Award

54′ Sportfish “Starflite” Recognized by Refit Show in Fort Lauderdale
Beaufort, NC (February 2, 2016) – Custom sportfish builder and yacht service professionals Jarrett Bay Boatworks were recognized for their accomplishments through the first annual Refit Excellence Awards presented January 28, 2016, at Refit International Exhibition & Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Jarrett Bay Boatworks received this prestigious award for their refit of custom hull 25, Starflite.

Winning a Refit Excellence Award involves a process of submissions and nominations that concludes with an independent panel of judges selecting the winners based on not only the finished yacht but on the teamwork, problem-solving and efficiency of everyone involved in the refit; including the boatyard, captain, owner, designer, surveyor and management. The awards ceremony was held during the Refit show at the Broward County Convention Center and was emceed by Kitty McGowan of the U.S. Superyacht Association.

Jarrett Bay President and Starflite owner, Randy Ramsey received his award with Alexseal Yacht Coatings representatives Jeff Holland and Alastair Smith.
Starflite is a 54-foot custom sportfisherman built in 1999. Owned by Jarrett Bay Boatworks’ company president, Randy Ramsey, and captained by Joey Johnson,Starflite underwent a two-year refit between April 2013 and May 2015. Jarrett Bay reconfigured Starflite‘s layout of the salon and galley and updated her kitchenette. The interior appointments were by Beth Reid with Crystal Coast Interiors and Atlantic Veneer helped with her new teak accents and soles within the interior. Custom Yacht Interiors and Design installed a new headliner throughout and IC Granite madeStarflite‘s new granite countertops in the salon and galley. Starflite has new bi-color Imtra bridge lights and Aqualuma underwater lights along her transom. To complete the package, she received Alexseal hull and topside coatings and a Sea Hawk bottom paint job from Royale Yacht Coatings. Additional industry partners who helped this restoration and refit become a reality include Airmar Transducers, Bluewater Supply, Endurance/CoPoxy, Offshore Marine, Capt. Shop and Wildcat Propellers.
In addition to the extensive renovations and upgrades throughout the interior and exterior, Starflite was also repowered to help boost her performance and efficiency on the water. Thanks to Jarrett Bay’s partners at Gregory Poole Caterpillar, she received the first pair of prototype twin-charged Cat C12.9 engines in North America. These inline six cylinder diesel engines have a relatively small footprint with a very impressive power rating of 1,000 hp each. The resulting size to weight ratio makes Starflite a leader out of the shoot with her impressive power density. Plus, her full GPLink Remote Monitoring and Tracking System keeps tabs on all vital systems on the engines and throughout the boat.
The Jarrett Bay team and owner Randy Ramsey are extremely honored to receive this award and international recognition as a top yacht refit facility. “Today’s complex yacht refits are multi-faceted and require a cohesive team to be successful. The Refit Excellence Awards give the industry the opportunity to honor those teams,” said Jim Miller, show manager of Refit International Exhibition & Conference and publisher of Professional BoatBuilder magazine. “Jarrett Bay Boatworks demonstrated both exceptional craftsmanship and outstanding team work!”
About Jarrett Bay Boatworks
Jarrett Bay Boatworks, founded in 1986, has delivered more than 95 custom and semi-production sportfishing boats and services more than one thousand boats per year through their 175-acre Jarrett Bay Marine Park in Beaufort, North Carolina. Recognized as an ABBRA Boatyard of the Year and named the 2015 NC Manufacturer of the Year, Jarrett Bay has more than 175 employees and 135,000 sq. ft. of building space – making it one of the East Coast’s largest and most respected all-inclusive boating facilities.
About Refit International Exhibition & Conference
Owned and managed by Professional BoatBuilder magazine, Refit International Exhibition & Conference is an annual technical and business seminar series and trade show that shares ideas and information to improve modern yacht refits. Refit International Exhibition & Conference draws all of the refit-process professionals into one forum where they can share their perspectives, discuss their challenges and cooperate to find streamlined solutions for the refit process. More information is available online at