Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lining Up for Dealer Certification

Although social networking is a popular reason to log on to the Web, the Marine Dealership Certification Program—hoping the industry uses the Web to its advantage—is now offering a series of online Launch Workshops. The idea beyond the virtual workshops is to make it more convenient for dealerships to earn the Marine Industry Certified designation, at a reduced cost.

Signing on for a Launch Workshop is the first step in the certification process—which explains the program requirements and provides the tools need to complete the process. "The new Web-based workshops provide exactly what the dealers themselves told us they wanted: A quality program with an eye toward keeping the dealers' program costs as low as possible," explained Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America and vice president of Marine Certification Inc.

With the new format, more dealership employees can participate without having to travel to attend classes because they can log on from their office computer. The workshops with take place over the course of two consecutive days. The Web-based Launch Workshops will be offered January 20-21, February 24-25, March 17-18, April 7-8, April 21-22, and May 12-13.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rule Change

Just in time for the winter boat show season, boatbuilders and dealers are getting some relief from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. NMMA's executive committee voted today to temporarily relax the non-current show policy for the 2009 winter boat show season. The association's show committee originally made the recommendation.

Under existing rules, exhibitors are only allowed to display 20 percent of their previous model year products at any 2009 NMMA winter boat show. However, in a move to help dealers sell their existing stock, that limit has been raised to 50 percent, according to a release from the NMMA.

"The NMMA show committee, executive committee and staff understand the economic realities currently facing the boating industry and believe this one-time policy change will give dealers a prime opportunity to sell more product at boat shows over the next few months," explains NMMA executive vice president Ben Wold.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Equity Boost

Riviera, a luxury boatbuilder based in Australia, is taking steps to weather the global economic storm, and those steps include getting a financial shot in the arm.

After a strategic and operation review of the current economic climate, and its resulting slowdown in demand, the builder received an injection of new equity from its institutional investors which include Ironbridge and Greshman Private Equity, according to a Riviera statement. The financing arrangement, which includes a new three-year debt facility, provides the management team with greater flexibility as it responds to the challenges in today's global market, CEO John Anderson said. Riviera did not release the amount of the new equity.

Anderson noted Riviera's "encouraging" sales performance at international trade shows in the latter part of 2008; however, he expects the market in general to continue to slow as a result of the overall economic situation.

"We believe our new banking arrangements provide the business with greater operational flexibility and a more stable platform from which to build the business over the medium term and that the support of our bankers and institutional investors clearly reflects the underlying strength of the Riviera business," he added.

In addition, the builder is making changes to its executive team, appointing Ly-Eng to chief financial officer and Les Galbraith to managing director of the company's Australian retail organization R Marine. Former managing director Tim Sayer is moving up to new position of director of global sales and marketing. Also, Michael Burke climbs the ladder to director of operations.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long-Range Goals

Ocean Explorer 125

Platinum Marine Services is not just dipping its toe into the long-range exploration pool; it is jumping in feet first. The full-service shipyard in Vancouver, British Columbia is teaming up with Bray Yacht Design for the new 125-foot Ocean Explorer series.

Ocean Explorer 125 will be the workhorse of the two new designs, featuring a large open aft that has the ability to carry a helicopter, submarine, or large fishing tenders. The Explorer Yacht, the second in the series, favors a larger interior living space. Both vessels feature the master suite on the main deck and for guest staterooms on the lower level. Both can also accommodate up to six crewmembers.

According to Platinum Marine, the semi-displacement hull with a seven-foot draft was model-tested at the Ocean Engineering Centre in Vancouver for power selection and sea keeping. The bulbous bow and dynamic hull shape continues naval architect Patrick Bray's work with super fuel-efficient technology. Both the Ocean Explorer 125 and the Explorer Yacht have a range of 6,500 miles at a 12-knot cruise speed and a top speed of 20 knots.

Pat Logue takes WBS Grand Championship

Pat Logue took the World Billfish Series Grand Championship last week, winning himself a bronze Grander Marlin trophy by marine artist Geoffrey Smith, a custom gold champion’s ring, the keys to a new 2009 Mercedes C-300 automobile, and the title of WBS World Champion of Billfishing.

Logue, from Cape Coral, Florida, was fishing out of Costa Rica aboard his 74-foot Viking Convertible First Strike. The top angler managed 1,000 points with two blue marlin and two sailfish releases.

In second place was Napa, California, angler Larry Drivon, fishing aboard the 42-foot Maverick, Dragin’ Fly. Drivon released six sailfish on the final day to score 600 points, taking home a custom crystal trophy and a custom Joseph Henry timepiece.

Finding third place was Costa Rica’s native son and the 2007 WBS World Champion, Mainor Oporto.

Tax Relief on the Horizon?

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which represents the United States' recreational boating industry, has announced its plans to lead a 71-member coalition in petitioning Congress for the extension of the net operating loss (NOL) carryback period from two to five years. The hope, the association argues, is that in doing so, Congress will "help businesses suffering from tough economic times."

An NOL is a period of time during which a company's expenses exceed its revenues, thus resulting in a negative taxable income. According to a press release from the NMMA, a company can currently opt to use its NOL to offset the taxes it owes on profits from the previous two years. It would like to see that period extended by three years. The rationale behind providing such a carryback period is simple: Businesses are required to pay taxes when they earn money, therefore, they are also are deserving of some form of tax relief if they begin to lose it.

"Congress has used NOL carryback relief in the past to help manufacturers, retailers, and companies across all sectors," NMMA president Thom Dammrich has explained. "We encourage legislators to use this tool again to enable these companies to retain jobs and avoid going out of business."

To that end, the association states that in the coming weeks, it (and its coalition partners) will meet with leaders in Congress and members of President-elect Obama's transition team to press for the extension. An extension aimed, as the NMMA puts it, at "ensur[ing] that the appropriate tax relief is enacted in a timely manner."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Newport Yachts 71

Here is the Newport Yachts' 71SS4 going through sea trials this week in Taiwan. The planing-hull-designed 71 is equipped with Quad Volvo IPS engines/drives. According to the builder, the quad engines burned 40 gph at 31 knots (35.65 mph). At 20 knots (23 mph), the fuel burn was reported to be 17 gph. Top speed was just under 32 knots (36.8 mph) and there's still some prop tweaking to take place,which could add another knot or two to the top end of this big cruiser.

This solid-fiberglass-bottomed boat is built to meet ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) specifications and to ISO9001 standards to assure a consistent level of quality control.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


There’s been a limited recall on ACR GlobalFixlM iPRO EPIRBs. Here’s the notice:

Posted December 5, 2008

ACR has discovered that a small percentage of GlobalFix™ iPRO™ EPIRBs may not activate manually and has decided to issue a limited recall notice. The condition could exist in a maximum of 400 units built within serial number range of 1000 to 1688. If you own or have a GlobalFix™ iPRO™ that falls within this serial number range you should contact ACR's Customer Service department immediately at +1-854-862-2110 or at

ACR discovered that some of the witness seal tabs require the application of excessive force to put the switch into the correct position when manually activating the EPIRB. The water activation feature works separately and is not affected by the manual switch. The manual switch assembly needs to be reworked on a maximum of 400 units to insure that the switch and witness seal will activate as designed and intended. The 400 units potentially affected by this problem fall into the serial number range of 1000 -1688. If your GloblaFix™ iPRO™ serial number falls outside this range, then your GlobalFix™ iPRO™ is not affected by this notice. The 400 units could be of either the PIN 2846 Category I (automatic deploy) or PIN 2848 Category II (manual deploy) model.

This condition does not occur in any other ACR EPIRB model. This recall is limited to only the GlobalFix™ iPRO™ units falling within the serial number range of 1000 to 1688.

For more information or to obtain a Return Authorization contact:
ACR Customer Service
Telephone: +1-854-862-2110 (in the USA: 1-800-432-0227, ext. 2110)

Tragic Accident off Montauk

An ordinary father-son fishing trip turned deadly last weekend 12 miles off Montauk Point, New York. The son, Cody McMillan watched helplessly as his father Marty was pulled into the cold water by the anchor line. Mr. McMillan was not wearing a life jacket when he tossed the anchor overboard. The line got tangled around his leg and he was dragged over.

The son fired a flare into the sky and called the Coast Guard. The Mayday call was heard by the USCG at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Fishing boat Capt. John DeMaio was about a hundred yards away when he heard the call. He rushed over and helped pull the father’s body from the choppy waters.

DeMaio had begun cardiopulmonary resuscitation when the Coast Guard arrived. Marty McMillan was taken back to shore, where he died at Southampton Hospital.

For more on the story click here.

Boat Blaze on the Hudson

A vessel caught fire this morning Lincoln Harbor Marina in Weehawken, New Jersey, says news station NBC New York. Emergency crews arrived around 7:30 a.m., and although early reports noted one body aboard, subsequent interviews with deputy police chief Jeffrey Fulcher stated no one was injured (the latter is correct). Black smoke billowed over the Hudson River and could be seen for miles. Traffic slowed in the nearby Lincoln Tunnel as drivers watched the flames.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. More information to come.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Charity Cruise for the Holidays

Yacht owners in Tacoma, Washington, got into the spirit of the holiday season with a Christmas Cruise for charity. According to an article in Tacoma’s News Tribune, dozens of boat owners from two local yacht clubs, as well as the U.S. Army, donated sea time to people with disabilities. Some 200 guests boarded the flotilla in Gig Harbor for a few hours of sightseeing. The largest vessel in the fleet was the Army’s 174-foot Malvern Hill, a landing ship.

The endeavor, which is in its 25th year, cost about $4000; the funds were pooled together by volunteers. For more on the story, click here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whale Collisions Mean Speed Restrictions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a new regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales. Starting December 9, 2008, all vessels 65 feet (19.8m) or greater (subject to the jurisdiction of the United States) will be subject to a 10-knot speed restriction during certain times and locations, also known as Seasonal Management Areas (SMAs).

Right whales can collide with vessels which potentially results in serious injuries or death. On average, two of these mammals per year suffer from collision-related injuries. The current right whale population only ranges from 300 to 400. Additionally, vessels can be damaged or passengers may lose their footing or even be thrown from a boat during a collision.

All instances of significant vessel damage were reported from vessels traveling faster than 10 knots. Studies suggest that severe injuries to a whale can be decreased when vessel speed is 10 knots or less.

If it is necessary to deviate from the 10-knot speed restriction, the reason, speed, latitude and longitude of the area, and time and duration of the deviation, must be entered into the vessel’s logbook, which must be signed and dated by the vessel’s master.

Nautical charts, a compliance guide, and additional information is available at

Monday, December 1, 2008


Nordhavn’s 56-foot Motorsailer (see “The Return of the Motorsailer?” July 2008) splashed this week at the company’s headquarters in Dana Point, California. The boat was unloaded in San Diego Harbor after being shipped from it’s construction in Taiwan. The sailing rig will be added later.

According to Jim Leashman, Pacific Asian Enterprise’s chief of design, ““She’s more slippery and sleeker than what we’re used to. With the sailboat underbody she effortlessly and quietly motors along at nine to ten knots.”

The vessel will be make it’s debut at the San Diego Boat Show in February. For more information, visit Nordhavn’s Web site here.