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Governments begin to wind down restrictions - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 30 Apr 14:00 PDT
Joy of sailing © NMMA

The Boating Industry Association (BIA) today welcomed moves by Queensland and Western Australia to loosen the COVID-19 restrictions on recreational boating following encouraging signs of containment.

Darren Vaux, BIA President, said yesterday's announcements by the two States were good news for the boating public, businesses and jobs while maintaining a conservative approach to the protection of public health and safety.

"Recreational boating out in the fresh air and sunshine is good for mental and physical health and is a low-risk activity that a family can easily do whilst adhering to social distancing and hygiene rules. Governments recognise that getting out on the water is a way of life for many Australians and it is estimated more than 20 per cent of all Australians engage in some form of boating activity annually."

And the Marina Industries Association (MIA) has ramped up its online learning for the marina industries since the onset of COVID-19. In 2019 MIA delivered two different types of educational online programs: a course and webinars. Now the MIA's offering has increased to six types of online programs. This year MIA expects to deliver a minimum of 17 online educational activities. MIA President Andrew Chapman said momentum for online learning was already growing pre COVID-19. "12 months ago, we launched the Club Marina Extreme Weather Preparedness Course online. While initial take-up was slow there has been a 60% increase in course enrolments from nine countries this year."

David Sampson of Vicsail in NSW gives an update on the industry stats: "As Australia and the rest of the world navigate this lonely and strange new way of living with this Coronavirus, we are seeing 'everything' affected. The world of sailing, like all other sports, has been turned on its head. From the local dinghy club on a regional lake to the America's Cup, every sailor has been impacted and, for the time being, we cannot do what we love: going racing!! Not just racing has been affected, many areas of the marine industry are feeling the squeeze... Major regattas and events such as boat shows have been cancelled or postponed which has put a large dent in the turnover of this multi-billion-dollar industry."

Here are some boating industry figures which will amaze you:

  • In 2018, US$2.9 Billion was spent on Superyacht Sales (yachts over 100 ft in length)
  • There are over 12 million registered vessels in the USA
  • There are over 1 million registered vessels in Australia
  • Australia's Boating industry turns over approx. $8 billion per annum and
  • employs more than 25,000 people.

So, what can we do during this period? Read more here.

New yacht launchings include Aventura Catamarans who were going to unveil their new Aventura 37 at International Multihull Show to celebrate their 20th anniversary with dignity. The pandemic decided otherwise. Therefore Aventura decided to release details of this new sailing catamaran now! The 37' craft will be like the current design range, all completed by LASTA Design Studio for naval architecture, interior and exterior design.

The latest model in the Ocean Alexander Revolution series, the ground-breaking 26R has arrived at Australian shores. The 26R was unveiled to great acclaim at the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. The Ocean Alexander 26R is a spacious, family-friendly motor yacht from designer Evan K. Marshall. Featuring sleek lines and chiselled moulding details, the new 26R bridges the gap between the successful 70E and the larger 90R motoryachts.

Meanwhile New Zealanders Brian and Cath Carran, who took delivery of their Maritimo S70 motoryacht in 2017, have been living the dream on their boat, Waka Tete, and would not swap it 'for anything in the world'. They have just returned from a six-week sojourn to the Barrier, 40 nautical miles from their home port of Gulf Harbour, just north of Auckland. The year before their summer expedition saw them travel to the Marlborough Sounds, at the top of New Zealand's South Island, then up over the North Island and down the west coast in December before travelling back up the east coast in late March.

Opening up exciting new potential for the use of advanced diesel outboard power on larger sailing catamarans, the innovative installation of two Dtorque 111 turbo diesel outboards has successfully repowered a 52-foot Hitchhiker multihull, SV X-IT. The breakthrough refit project to mount new twin 50 hp Dtorque engines in an inside mid-hull position upon hydraulic plates within sea-breaking pods has achieved impressive results in sea trials, with enhanced performance reported under both power and sail.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle

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