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The Industry responds to Covid-19 challenge - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 2 Apr 14:00 PDT
Cruising yachts on their moorings © Mark Jardine

The Covid-19 virus continues to cause unparalleled disruption to all facets of life in Australia. Every industry, employer and employee is affected and there is no time line on when life gets back to normal.

However, the expression 'necessity is the mother of invention' never applied so much as it does today. While many of us are restricted to working at home, people are finding new ways to communicate and to keep the wheels (or propellers) turning, so that business can continue to happen despite the limitations. Digital platforms such as ours are already managed from decentralised locations so we are able to keep the lines of communication open between buyers and sellers.

An example of the way articles are able to reach the targeted audience is reflected in a story that ran on the weekly Sail-World newsletter last week entitled Newest Farr 30 by Farr, written by resident editor John Curnow, which created 14 leads for Farr Yachts representative in Australia Bret Perry.

Video webinars and seminars are also a tested way of creating a virtual class rooms using the Zoom software technology. Last Saturday I was invited to join the Pacific Sailing School's "RYA Day Skipper Course" which was conducted by one of PSS's qualified instructors, Ivan. After joining the course which included people appearing in their living rooms and a couple who were in the saloon aboard their yacht, the class were taken through the course subjects before being emailed a PDF with the assessment attached. They then complete the assessment for submission. Successful graduates of the RYA Day Skipper practical course qualify for the International Certificate of Competence (required to hire or skipper yachts worldwide.) A further course will take place over the 10th-14th April and interested parties should inquire here.

We will continue to bring you details of further initiatives adapted by industry members to ensure ongoing transactions. Members of the Boating Industry of Australian and Marine Industries Association are continuing to update their members regarding developments. Their latest notifications contain the following. "Recent updates and guidelines from State Governments and agencies to limit the spread of COVID-19 have left our members and boaters unsure of what level of boating is permissible; and others frustrated that the regulations are inconsistent across States. We are working within government parameters of Stay at Home unless you are:

  • going to work or education (if you are unable to do so at home)
  • shopping for essential supplies such as groceries or other services and return home without delay
  • going out for personal exercise in the neighbourhood, on your own or with one other
  • attending medical appointments or compassionate visits

"As a responsible and professional industry, we must always measure our request for an allowance for any level of boating activity within the above stated permissible reasons for leaving home and the primary objective of limiting the spread of the virus."

The BIA of Australia also states that they are currently directly engaged with state transport and police agencies and relevant ministers' offices to seek clarity on a wide range of issues related to boating activities and will be advising members of the outcome as soon as possible. Their principal position is to support industry and their customers while being cognisant of the health emergency over-arching objectives of limiting the spread of the virus in the community.

Meanwhile longstanding Australian fiberglass boat builder, Whittley Boats, are set to release their new CR 2600 OB (Outboard) online instead of at this year's Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, a sign of the current times. The Group's new CR 2600 OB is a purpose built, legally trailerable outboard powered sports cruiser that's designed for the unique Australian boating lifestyle. The CR 2600 OB was created with the Queensland boater in mind. The outboard motor enables beach and shallow water access from the rear with ease. More storage at the rear of the boat is made available where the sterndrive once went without compromising large areas of the swim platform space. The leg and prop can also be tilted up out of the water, lowering maintenance during mooring.

And in Queensland Norman R. Wright & Sons are delighted to have been selected by the Queensland Department of Environment & Science to build their new custom 17 metre Aluminium Patrol Vessel. Wrights were chosen after extensive evaluation following a competitive Invitation to Offer process including review of their construction of the recently launched 19 metre aluminium landing barge for the Queensland Police Service, the Stewart Kerlin II.

Also in Queensland the group behind the successful Whitehaven and Integrity Motor Yachts brands have expanded in brokerage with Spectrum Marine. Spectrum Marine will act as sales agents for any motivated owner seeking to sell their boat and, in direct response to the boat ownership path, will tend to the brokerage and service needs of Whitehaven and Integrity Motor Yachts' clients.

On the product front Raymarine Element users are already ahead of the competition. Element delivers the sharpest view of the underwater world with seven sonar channels from a single transducer, including HyperVision™ 1.2-megahertz super high-resolution sonar technology. Element also features an onboard quad-core processor for instantaneous chart redraw, fast response, and smooth RealVision 3D imaging, while its intuitive and easy-to-use LightHouse Sport operating system lets anglers focus on the fish, not the instruction manual.

If you need to give your business some extra exposure during these troubled times, and without the support of the Boat Show circuit this year, we are happy to submit proposals that include branding banner advertising and content inclusions to either our Sail-World, PowerBoat-World or MarineBusinessWorld readers. Exposure that enables readers to click through to your website from the comfort of their homes. We respond to all inquiries at the email address below.

Stay safe and we look forward to hearing from you,
Peter Rendle

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