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Australia's marine industry proving resilient - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 11 Mar 14:00 PST
Noosa 7 in production © DuFlex

In Queensland at Noosa Marine, the expert team of boat builders is crafting a sleek Noosa 7, a 7-metre motor yacht designed by Director Julian Griffiths and only the second unit ever built, constructed using the lightweight and strong DuraKore and DuFlex panel systems from ATL Composites.

Renowned for his expertise in building multihulls of the calibre of the Schionning G Force 2000 Special, KATO, a seriously fast cruising cat, as well as power cats from the pen of Roger Hill, including the 14-metre AYANA and 19.5-metre BAJACA, Julian is now focused on promoting his own designs under the Noosa brand. Ten years ago, Julian built the first Noosa 7 as his own boat to a design he developed as he went along. It's the kind of boat you'd see in Monaco and the Riviera, as luxury tenders to superyachts and day boats.

In NSW, Steber International's latest build for the Federal Government will greatly assist the development of Australia's future uninhabited surface and sub-surface vehicles. The Steber 40 (40ft) will be the 21st vessel built by Steber's for the Australian Department of Defence. Following last week's launch, the vessel will spend three weeks on the Manning River undertaking testing and commissioning of systems before being delivered to Garden Island, Sydney. The Department of Defence's Science and Technology Group (DSTG) conducts research in a number of areas including support for the RAN's mine countermeasures programs.

Without marinas we would have a major parking problem! The Marina Industry Association does a great job of vetting and monitoring their progress. Five Gold Anchors have been awarded to the stunning, boutique Koolewong Marina located in the Brisbane Water on the NSW Central Coast. This Global accreditation bestowed by the Marina Industries Association (MIA) is one of the highest accolades that the industry awards and is reserved for marinas which offer their customers consistently high standards of service and facilities. Less than three years old, Koolewong Marina's bespoke design features complement the National Park setting and as an accredited Level 3 International Clean Marina, demonstrates its commitment to environmental care and improvement.

Electric power continues to make headlines and ePropulsion has revealed a 60% growth in sales revenue in 2020 with further forecasted growth of 100% in 2021. The results have been driven by recreational boating in Western Europe and North America which are the company's two top markets, with a large proportion of sales coming from the freshwater fishing segment and the sailing community. The company's forecasted continued growth in 2021 will be propelled by the brand's recently launched, entirely new product line, including the all-new Spirit 1.0 Evo, Navy 3.0 Evo and Navy 6.0 Evo models; an evolution of its established Spirit and Navy product lines, with hydrogenation capabilities. Offering new features across the brand, ePropulsion has also created a brand-new 9.9HP Pod Drive model.

Software technology plays an important role in boating these days and Vesper Marine announced today new features for existing and new Cortex owners with the upcoming release of an automatic software update - version 1.5. Designed to be future-proof, Cortex is built on a feature-rich and extremely powerful platform that will grow with new capabilities. Software updates are installed via the Cortex Onboard app and the latest version includes Directional Voice Alerts, Boat Network, Auto Orientation and an easy-to-use Setup Walkthrough. "When we created Cortex, we didn't hold back," said Brady Cox, CEO, Vesper Marine. "It was designed and built with the future in mind. We not only made Cortex as advanced as possible, but we also ensured it could learn and has the hardware required for new features. Cortex is years ahead of other marine VHFs and will only get cleverer."

Staying with technology, C-MAP, a leader in digital marine cartography and cloud-based mapping, has today launched a re-designed, simplified charting portfolio for Lowrance®, Simrad® and B&G® chart plotter with the introduction of C-MAP Discover and Reveal. Replacing the MAX-N+ range, C-MAP Reveal charts display the very best of C-MAP. It boasts stunning seafloor and inland Shaded Relief along with all the core features of C-MAP DISCOVER, including full-featured Vector Charts. "This is a really important evolution for C-MAP," explains Max Cecchini, EVP C-MAP. "We have heard our customers telling us that C-MAP's range was too complicated and we've adapted - with a simple, two-tier product range which brings the strongest data to all products, including the 'Entry Level+' Discover."

People new this week includes Jasmine Willoughby who is riding a wave of success in the thriving superyacht sector, setting an example this International Women's Day for other young women considering a career in the marine industry. As Australia's first female Marine Apprentice of the year, Jasmine wants to encourage other women to learn a marine trade ahead of a forecast boom in superyacht visitation to Australia. Jasmine is a currently a second-year fabrication trade (boiler making/welding) apprentice at the Aus Ships Group within the Rivergate marine precinct, giving her the opportunity to work on some of the world's most luxurious vessels when they visit the shipyard on the Brisbane River.

And in the innovative clothing industry the fast-growing Australian Sailing Gear brand Vaikobi, has added another key signing to their Vaikobi Commercial team with Bart Milczarczyk joining Vaikobi as Head of Design and Production. Bart joins Vaikobi after a three-year stint with High Tech Military Provider Frontline Safety Australia. Prior to Frontline, Bart was Head of Design and Production at Zhik for 14 years where he was instrumental in the development of their technical sailing range having worked intimately with Olympic, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race / Offshore Sailors.

Keep safe,
Peter Rendle

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