Save The Dates

NRG Conference 2017 St. Petersburg, Florida
Thursday, October 26  —  Saturday, October 28

The 2017 Nautical Research Guild Conference will be held in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. We have arranged a special room rate of $145.00 per night. This room rate is extended to two days prior to the Conference and for two days after the close of the Conference. This hotel is across the street from the Salvador Dali Museum and is adjacent to the thriving downtown district. There are plenty of restaurants within just a few blocks of the hotel.

We have just confirmed with the hotel that NRG members flying in for the 2017 Conference can get a special shuttle rate to the host hotel through Super Shuttle. You MUST book your shuttle reservation in advance on Super Shuttle’s website and use the code: EP8N3 to get your discount. Rates start as low as $30 with the code.

The hotel is also served by the free St. Petersburg Looper Trolley which makes continuous loops of the most popular areas of downtown St. Petersburg. Additionally, the trolley services other routes within the downtown area for which the fare is only 50 cents. There are plenty of activities during the days of the Conference for all of your travel companions.

Use this link to get the special NRG 2017 room rate: Hilton Bayfront Hotel Reservations

Important: if you reserve room days before or after the official conference dates of Wednesday, October 25 through Saturday, October 28 nights, you should book your entire stay by telephone at the number provided in the link above. The national reservations number cannot do this for you (if the hotel line is busy and bounces to the national reservations call back at a time when the hotel desk clerks are not busy with checkouts). Booking online through the link will not provide you with the special rate before or after the conference.

Thursday Tour Information

The United States Coast Guard, Sector St. Petersburg has graciously committed to a tour opportunity for NRG members on this date. While the USCG cannot, for security and other reasons, commit to an exact description of which vessels will be available, it is anticipated that various working craft like buoy tenders and the smaller cutters that routinely work out of the Sector will be available for our inspection and review. This is in addition to any of the shore facilities our group will find of interest. There are also two large ocean-going cutters home ported at St. Petersburg that are controlled by Homeland Security. If either of these vessels is in port while we are there we may be able to tour one of them as well. The USCG Liaison Office has offered these tours to us during the morning hours only as they have other commitments to meet.

In addition to the USCG facilities, the the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) is located in the same Bayboro area. They have committed to us that at least one of their research vessels will be available for us to see. And if that is not enough, the Tampa Bay Pilot’s Association has promised to make their newest pilot boat available for our inspection at the same dockside facility as the USCG and FIO.

Between the USCG and FIO we should have quite a day of viewing modern-day ocean-going vessels.

We have made plans for a local trolley to provide our transportation to and from the Bayboro facilities. We will likely divide into groups with separate departure times from the hotel in the morning depending on when the USCG wants us to begin. We cannot determine these exact times now as we are too far removed from the tour date but we will have this worked out with the USCG. In order to be manageable to the USCG folks and to fit into our trolleys we will likely divide into groups, with something on the order of one group of 20 leaving the hotel at 8:30 am, a second group at 9:00 am, etc. The tour facilities are less than a mile from the hotel and the trolleys will function as our personal trams rotating each group to each segment or point of interest of the tour.

It is anticipated that each group will circulate through the various tour sites during the day with a break for lunch. It is anticipated that we will be able to lunch in the Coast Guard Galley, but they are unable to guarantee staffing levels at this time.

If that doesn’t pan out then we will lunch (on our own) in the food court on the campus of the University of South Florida (USF). This is very close to our tour activities and our trolleys will take us there. USF is also the home of the FIO.

The tour should conclude by 2 or 3 pm which will afford you some time to take in some of the other attractions nearby. These include the Salvador Dali Museum, the Chihuly Collection & Glass Studio at the Morean Arts Center, or the Museum of Fine Art, among others, all of which are within a few blocks of our hotel.

Conference Speaker Updates

The speaker line-up for our 2017 conference is coming together with an interesting group committed as of now. We lead off with some names you will recognize as being outstanding and respected members of the Guild. These include Dr. Clay Feldman who will talk about his research into yet another Fair American (the Hawaiian one), Gus Agustin on Techniques of a Miniaturist, Bill Maxwell on Construction of a Brodie Stove and David Antscherl will talk about the Research Process. Also included in our lineup are some interesting local presenters with some fascinating stories to tell. They will include Dr. William Murray whose talk will be about Underwater Archeology of an Ancient Roman Warship and Thomas Procopio who will talk on the American Victory. Gus, Bill and David are a part of Friday’s program while Clay, William and Thomas are set for Saturday’s agenda. There will be more to tell you about in the near future as we finalize commitments from a few more folks. Stay tuned…we will let you know.

We are also planning to expand the Roundtable feature this year with more subjects, more presenters and an expanded schedule. Our plan is to have up to eight different subjects presented over the course of the afternoon which will allow you to pick and choose which topics are of most interest to you in a five session time frame. The presenters so far include Charles Gravallese on Solid Hull Modeling, Irwin Schuster on Sail Making, David Antscherl on Frieze Painting (Part 2), Paul Wharen on Making Copper Plates, Gus Agustin on his famous Flag Making technique, Bill Maxwell showing his Brodie Stove techniques and Chuck Passaro demonstrating his Carving techniques as recently seen on MSW. We are looking into adding one or two other topics to round out Friday afternoon.

Friday Speakers

  1. Bill Maxwell will discuss construction of the Brodie Stove.
  2. Gus Agustin will discuss techniques of a miniaturist. Gus has also committed to bringing at least 20 of his models to St. Petersburg. This will give many of us an opportunity to see more of his work than what has been presented at prior Conferences. Gus has also agreed to conduct a round table session.
  3. David Antscherl will make a presentation on the research process. David has also agreed to conduct a round table session.
  4. Friday afternoon will be round table sessions. Currently, we will have a choice of eight to choose from. The membership meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday Speakers

  1. Dr. William Murray from the University of South Florida will make a presentation regarding very large ancient Roman Warships.
  2. Thomas Procopio will make a presentation of American Victory, a type VC2-S-AP2 Victory Ship, which is currently home ported in Tampa.
  3. Clay Feldman will make a presentation regarding his discovery of the Hawaiian Fair American.

We still have a few time slots to fill, but we hope to do so in the very near future.

Saturday Evening Dinner

The Saturday evening banquet meal choices are described below to save room on the registration form.

If you have special dietary restrictions please detail them when registering with the office so we can do our best to accommodate your needs as all food is required to be ordered well before our arrival in FL.

Chicken En-Croute

  • Chicken Filled with Spinach, Boursin Cheese and Exotic Mushrooms wrapped in Phyllo
  • Seasonal Vegetables, Lemon Thyme Beurre Blanc

Fire-grilled Beef tenderloin

  • Yukon mashed potatoes, pearl onions, crimini, truffle jus

Herb-crusted Salmon

  • Potato-Leek Compote

Dinners include Salad, Chef Selection of Vegetables, Rolls and Butter, Water, Iced Tea, Freshly Brewed Starbucks Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, A Selection of Herbal Teas, and Dessert