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Welcome to Powerboat-World

by John Curnow, Editor, 29 Jan 2019 16:00 PST
Effortlessly disposing of nautical miles in grand style - Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht © John Curnow

Hello! And welcome to the first ever newsletter from We love boats. If you are familiar with the site, or our sister publications as part of the and group, then you'll already know that. You'll also know that we are a global entity, and operate in different time zones, 24/7.

That means we'll have the latest possible information for you, just about as soon as we get it. We also pride ourselves on getting into things, and finding out why they are the way they are. If you are in the marine business, then all of that could well be as distinct and invigorating as the sound that only large displacement, two-stroke diesels can make.

So enough of the pitch, then. To get us rolling in this first edition, we are very pleased to offer you a sneak peek at Maritimo's new X50 in build, ahead of it's global launch at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in May 2019. Many thanks to Maritimo for working with us on this, and you can see it, and their very much increased factory space, in this short video.

Like you, we get inspired by a lot of craft. 10 to 25m is probably our sweet spot, but tell us who doesn't love a superyacht, or a gigayacht for that matter? In the last little while the market has had a changing face, and it is not just in the aesthetics, either. Build processes have also undergone a major shift towards speed and efficiency, as well as being as environmentally friendly as possible.

Equally, the types of boats we are buying has changed. Outboards are no longer the realm of day boats and tinnies (aluminium tenders). No longer is 300hp a massive donk on the transom, either. 400 to 677 is, and in multiples too! The HCB Estrella 65 is just awesome, and now even Ocean Alexander is making an outboard-powered centre console in the 40 foot zone. This is one exciting segment to keep watching.

RIBs too have had to adapt and develop to continue to attract. Being chase boats to 50 knot sailing craft in the America's Cup certainly saw to that, but the innovation has also seen interior volume in cabins accessed off the console become a large factor, as too have suspension seats. As wide, flat, low ride height utility vessels, they work really well, with photography being just one of their strong suits.

Then there's foiling. Going back to the 70s, and these were they high-speed passenger ferries in places like Hong Kong, Sydney, and Capri. Today, they are retractable, adaptive, and when coupled with innovative and somewhat futuristic designs, say as per Sunreef and Princess, then it has just offered up an entirely new sector. Low level flying just got more approachable than ever.

More and more craft are looking to go green, and the electric/hybrid sector changes almost daily. When we saw the X Shore Eelex 6500/Eelex 8000, and learned that they were capable of 40 knots; well, we had to look into that. Their founder, Konrad Bergström, not only has many runs on the board, he can point to some very specials brands too, like Marshall speakers. He offered some ideas as to the whole equation, and kindly shared them with us. "We all come from and belong to the sea. I've always respected my relationship to water, after all, it is a major part of my body, and without water there would be no life."

"For my entire life I have taken notes, and learned from the sea. I have experienced the many things it has to offer. What it can give, and what it can take away. I have taken this passion for the ocean and transformed it into X Shore. The letter 'X' means cross, as in 'cross shore', and specifically to go from one point to another. For me personally, it also takes on an additional meaning. It represents my journey from one business to another the eager explorer ready to anchor on a new shore."

"In 1996 I trademarked X Shore globally, however it would be sometime before its development began. Several entrepreneurial adventures were to come first, including founding Zound Industries, which introduced me to the burgeoning technology scene, and opened up new thoughts. It wasn't until 2012 that I began to work with the idea of creating an electric craft, and so X Shore began to take shape. In 2016 we built the first working prototype, and in 2018 X Shore launched the eElectric Smögen 8000 Edition."

"The future is bright for our Earth, if we want it to be. We look forward to working with our partners in order to make this so. X Shore is ready to drive this."

Super-cool, and even über-cool are not limited to new technologies, or modern re-incarnations of old ideas. Look anywhere on the ocean and you will see that powercats have made their mark. Explorer vessels may well have been obscure, but once the mega-wealthy started building them as tenders to their large yachts, it was not going to be long before all of the concepts and ideas found their way into owner/skipper craft. Those new Arksen boats are just brilliant.

Still innovation was not done. When we saw the Sea Blade X, well it not only seemed like a brilliant concept, it quickly became one of our highlight images. These are akin to the old magazine cover, only we have five running at any one time, and we get to have snappy headlines and interesting tags to go with them. If all of that was not enough, then every now and then we'll run some material on a bespoke sportsfisherman, just because they are just so drop dead gorgeous, powered by brutal engines, and the huge flare of their bows extends to everything about them.

Got you interested? Well you can see what we've been up to in the last little while, in terms of boat reviews, right here in 'A big year for Powerboat-World'. We also added a couple more in the meantime, like the one on the Beneteau Swift Trawler 35.

And remember, the vast majority require combustion engines to make it all happen, whether it is slow speed diesels in a displacement hull, or petrol V8s atop an outboard leg. Don't forget turbines, either. We'll be watching all the developments in this space, too.

You know it deserves more than just a paragraph, but the tech world has also undergone marked change and development, especially in the last three years. Expect it all to change as the electronics companies produce docking systems like FLIR's DockSense with Prestige. You also have car-like dashboards, so it is no wonder that Beneteau and Peugeot won a design award for their collaboration on the command centre of the not-so-distant future. Never has there been a more interesting time. Gone are cables for clutches, throttles and steering, as fly-by-wire is here, and how! The cables are now the myriad of systems to run and integrate all of the goings on from navigation to ship's engineering, and entertainment. It is more than an interesting time; it is quite revolutionary.

OK then. As we draw towards the close of this newsletter, we'll talk briefly about a special subject, and one that is going to become even more important as many a GRP craft from the 60s and 70s comes to the end of its life. Decrepit boats are an eyesore, and a distinct maritime hassle, let alone a total eco disaster.

Naturally, buying a quality boat in the first place extends its life, and reduces your footprint on the planet. This is not a problem located in just one zone. From the US to Europe, UK to Australia, the boats are there, time marches on inexorably, and UV just keeps on doing what it does best. There is no one fix as yet, and landfill is utilised as the solution. Various pilot programmes are under way, but often administrative issues, and the various legalities of the lands hamper the whole cause.

Some FRP can be recycled into new products. It can also be used in the making of cement, and the BoatUS Foundation has awarded some monies towards these sorts of things. However, given that GRP boats took off, well more precisely the manufacturing of them did, in the 70s, and these are the very boats now coming to the end of service, then scalability is the key factor here.

"The chemicals in the fibreglass closely mimic many of the raw materials used in cement, such as silica and calcium, and can be used to create cement clinker," said project manager Evan Ridley. "We want to see if this approach could provide a way of dealing with a growing number of end-of-life boats."

The project was inspired by a German program that repurposes fibreglass wind turbine blades by similarly shredding them for use in concrete production.

Encouraged by small-scale test results conducted over the past few years, the Rhode Island project will move ahead this spring with a larger scale assessment involving approximately 20 tonnes of recovered fibreglass materials, which will be processed in a specialised cement kiln.

So you can expect that this is a subject we are going to be watching closely, with a keen eye on the globalisation of any working, and feasible programme. Whilst it all may seem costly, and given we have so much plastic in the oceans already that are the subject of their own clean up regimes, perhaps now would be a really good time to draw the proverbial line in the sand, and really make a stand for conscious sustainability. After all, many of the car companies have over the last decade or so.

Today you will find that we have information below for you about the Ocean Cleanup, cleats, the first new Wally under Ferretti ownership, Arksen Explorer Yachts, Azimut Grande S10, Mercury propane outboard, Vice 67 in build, the VIK electric boat, Hunton Yachts H55, Sagaris foiler, fire suppression, Palm Beach take the lid off the GT50, the Great Loop, as well as much more.

As you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon. Time to go boating now...

John Curnow

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