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Slowly we move towards the norm - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 7 May 14:00 PDT
Tasmanian International Optimist Green Fleet Regatta © Jane Austin

As we move towards unlocking the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 virus, news bulletins advise us all of the latest developments.

The National Cabinet has today endorsed measures for the resumption of sport and recreation activities across Australia. A set of National Principles, along with the Australian Institute of Sport's Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment, will be used to guide the staged return of activity as efforts to stop the spread of the virus continue. Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, said the announcement signalled an important step as Australia, slowly and resolutely, emerges from the pandemic.

Meantime marine businesses continue to find ways to maintain their market presence. Multihull Solutions has taken another step to keep cruising enthusiasts afloat during COVID-19 lockdowns with the launch of an innovative webinar series. The series, accessible for free to all users on the Multihull Solutions website, presents weekly and fortnightly information sessions on a vast range of topics to interest buyers and sellers of new and pre-owned power and sail multihulls. The first webinar session, "Buying the Right Catamaran for You: An Introduction to Catamarans" is now available for viewing and is hosted by multihull expert, Phil Day.

During the COVID-19 crisis Australian clubs and commercial marinas and boatyards have had to think quickly to deal with the sudden drop in demand for boating and related services. Innovation in the re-deployment of staff has also been necessary. Victoria and North QLD have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 according to Marina Industries Association (MIA) CEO Colin Bransgrove. "Victoria has the most restrictive of State government directives while in North QLD the decimation of the tourism sector is equally impacting our members across the region. Innovative thinking has been critical where there is some demand for services. Strategy adjustments in line with the changing circumstances is going to remain essential during what may be a long recovery phase."

Meantime other news includes this marine notice that informs vessel owners, operators and masters of the shutdown of AMSA's radio beacon differential global positioning system (DGPS) service from 1 July 2020. AMSA established its radio beacon DGPS service in the 1990s, to improve the accuracy and integrity of global positioning system (GPS) information for ships navigating off the coast of Australia. At the time, the publicly available GPS signal was intentionally degraded, resulting in large position errors of up to 200 metres. Augmentation was necessary to correct for these errors and meet minimum requirements for maritime positioning and navigation.

Lowrance announced recently that CMAP Contour+ charts will be preloaded on all Lowrance HDS LIVE displays shipping in June. The new high-resolution mapping features performance improvements, more detail and greater lake coverage than the popular C-MAP US Enhanced map previously included with HDS LIVE. Current HDS LIVE owners will have option to purchase an HDS LIVE C-MAP Contour+ chart card for a nominal fee. Additionally, customers who purchase an HDS LIVE display between April 1, 2020 and August are eligible to receive a free C-MAP Contour+ map card via online rebate.

On the collaboration scene another illustrious name ends up in FPT Industrial's references: Yanmar Marine. On the one hand, FPT is strengthening its portfolio as a supplier to the market for medium power yachts and light commercial applications such as water taxis, pilot boats and small tugs. On the other hand, it is active in the broadening the list of four-handed deals: Caterpillar, Mercury and now Yanmar.

Keep safe,
Peter Rendle

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