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2023 shaping to be a year of innovation - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 6 Jan 15:00 PST
New Year at Constitution Dock - 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race © Carlo Borlenghi

Happy New Year to all the readers of MarineBusinessWorld. While the weather in Sydney is not exactly conducive to boating at the moment, the New Year looks to be one of the most innovative in the history of the industry. As governments world-wide seek ways of reducing carbon emissions, the boating industry is subscribing to that mission and our news this week reflects that sentiment.

Brunswick Corporation unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a powerful brand update reflecting the Company's unwavering dedication to architecting the future of the marine industry through technology-driven solutions across its portfolio of category-leading brands. Anchored in its new tagline, "Next Never Rests™," the brand refresh reflects a sustained commitment to innovation embodied in the most comprehensive and integrated product, service and technology strategy in Brunswick's history.

"Brunswick's success has always been rooted in our deep understanding of what the next generation consumer wants - holistic and ecosystem solutions that are grounded in human experiences. Now, we're excited to launch a contemporary brand that fully reflects our culture of challenging convention, our relentless pursuit of excellence, and our commitment to advancing innovation at the edge," said Lauren Beckstedt, Chief Marketing Officer, Brunswick Corporation. "Our tagline pays homage to a future we will define, and underpins the Company's enduring relevance as a leader in technology and sustainable innovation."

Reinforcing that commitment, and during CES, Brunswick will launch the first commercial model in Mercury Marine's Avator 48V electric outboard series, as well as highlighting Navico Group's newly launched Fathom e-power system: a lithium-ion power management system that replaces the role of combustion engine generators in supplying power for onboard systems in marine and RV applications.

Additionally, Brunswick will unveil its newest boat brand designed to accommodate Mercury's Avator electric propulsion. And, rounding out its ACES strategy (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified, Shared), Brunswick will demonstrate its latest connectivity solutions and bring to life the possibilities for marine autonomy through an interactive 140-degree helm experience in the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

"We are very excited to once again be exhibiting in person at CES 2023 and to demonstrate the rapid development of our ACES strategy on a global stage," said Dave Foulkes, Brunswick Corporation Chief Executive Officer. "CES is a platform that stretches well beyond our industry, and we will take full advantage of the opportunity to showcase to the global audience our unique capabilities as we continue to develop the most advanced technologies in the marine industry."

Others are following suit. Zodiac, the largest manufacturer of RIBs has teamed up with Torqeedo, the global leader in electric boat motors in the eOPEN range of electric boats. Zodiac's first complete range with 100 percent-electric engines after its eJET launched in 2017, the eOPEN range, marks a new era for Torqeedo and Zodiac.

In 2020, Zodiac Nautic won the inaugural Gustave Trouvé Awards for Excellence in Electric Boats (Under 8m category) for the eJET 450, designed specifically as a tender for large motor yachts. Building on that success and replacing the eJET, the eOPEN line demonstrates Zodiac's commitment to electric propulsion and its aim to extend its application to a wider market.

While electric propulsion is at the forefront of developments, efficiency of conventual propulsion has not been ignored. This is applicable to the new "Tank" built by Noosa Marine. A compact coastal cruiser and a fast, efficient charter vessel, TANK is the custom-built boat of her owners' dreams. After 11 months in construction at Noosa Marine, the Roger Hill-designed 13.9-metre (46-feet) monohull motor yacht blitzed her sea trials and has been delivered to her ecstatic owners.

Looking imposing as she left the shed on the first day of summer, coincidentally the coldest start to the season ever, TANK was trucked to Lawrie's Boat Services marina at Mooloolaba to be lifted into the water. TANK is powered by twin Mercury V12 Verado engines, with 600hp each, which are hailed as "game changing" for their extraordinary range and performance, as well as the outboard segment's first steerable gearcase and industry-first two-speed transmission.

From Beneteau and firmly focused on family leisure, the Antares 7 boasts new features to improve comfort and extend trips on the water. The Antares 7 has been upgraded with new fittings and equipment that make it very versatile, and it offers passengers safe, easy-going and enjoyable living and sailing aboard. The winds of change on the Beneteau Antares line continues with the new Antares 7.

This new model follows in the footsteps of the Antares 8. Comfortable and pleasant, the Antares 7 is now more versatile than ever. Innovations and clever ideas, such as the side boarding door, large starboard walkway, integrated equipment in the hard top, separate heads, spacious berths and storage, combine to make it the ideal boat for family time on the water, weekend cruises, or fishing trips with friends.

And innovation is also being applied to the admin side of business. 2022 was a successful year for Camper & Nicholsons, across all departments, with 5.5 km of yachts managed in both charter and yacht management; 700 charters booked, making 5,416 charter days. The forecast for 2023 is very positive and they are already up 20% compared to last year.

In 2022 Camper & Nicholsons announced its expansion in the Middle East with the opening of a new office in Dubai. C&N has big plans for 2023. Casani comments on the expansion and reasons behind, "The opening of a new office in Singapore will improve our reach and presence in the Southeast Asia. Our Hong Kong office opened its doors four years ago, and we seek to improve our presence in Asia."

Four years ago, following the leadership of the CEO and the long-term vision of its shareholders, C&N became the first company in the yachting industry to invest in its digital and technical transformation. The objective was to modernise, optimise and consolidate processes and procedures on a group level, by designing and engineering products and software for each stakeholder. This allowed the group to become a tech and data-driven organisation within the service industry, by delivering added value services to its clients and partners.

During 2023 we will continue to update industry members with innovation and technology developments globally. 2023 will not be without its challenges, but the industry is resilient and ready to adapt to the imminent winds of change.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle -

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