Yachting magazine named New Bedford in top 50

NEW BEDFORD — The Whaling City has a new claim to maritime fame: Yachting magazine has named New Bedford one of the 50 Best Ports in North America.
“If there was ever a town born for the water, it may be New Bedford. Its history is steeped in the commercial fishing industry. … Sailing is not lost on this salty city …,” Yachting says in its current issue.
“For the last three years, we’ve focused on making our port very recreational boating-friendly. The result is a harbor that mixes work and play brilliantly,” said Ed Anthes-Washburn, acting executive director of the Port of New Bedford, in a news release. “People love it because it’s one of a few authentic, working seaports that actively invites and welcomes boaters to take advantage of our historic downtown.”
Later he added “This is a culmination of three years of hard marketing we have been doing.”
James Russell, president of the whaling museum, which is mentioned in the Yachting write-up, said that “for centuries, sea captains and their whaling ships sailed out of the great Port of New Bedford. … It’s so gratifying to see that the sailing community has rediscovered this seaport, which has always been a welcoming and safe harbor to mariners since the days of Moby Dick.”
Jeff E. J. Pontiff, owner of Whaling City Expeditions, which offers services including harbor tours and water taxis, said a lot of work has gone into getting New Bedford’s name out to a wider audience.
“We have been marketing this port probably for the last five years as a recreational boating destination. It caught on, but it has a way to go,” Pontiff said, adding he, the Harbor Development Commission and the Economic Development Council have reached out to various yachting clubs.
“Longstanding yacht clubs with great heritage are now coming into New Bedford and being well received,” Pontiff said.
Russell has hopes the award will bring the city wealth and future success.
“I think that this … shows the hard work and vision of many over the years is finally paying off,” he said. “And one would hope that as a result, more diverse uses of the port, including transient boaters, will lead to a boost in economic vitality downtown.”
Mayor Jon Mitchell, commenting in a news release, said “Yachting magazine has confirmed what experienced boaters and sailors have known for a long time: New Bedford is a very special port destination.”
Original Title: New Bedford named one of Yachting’s 50 Best Ports
June 29, 2012 12:00 AM
Source URL: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120629/NEWS/206290325

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