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  10 May 2012
 



When skinny fittings aren't worth a brass razoo

I remember reading, following the Space Shuttle Columbia crash, that the finger of blame could be PowerPointed at a slick 'sales pitch' which took precedence over earnest engineering evaluation.

Vital diagnostic information was glossed over in PowerPoint and a briefcase-sized piece of foam struck the wing, compromising the thermal tile protection ... and it was all over, Red Rover, for the crew.

Similarly, it took only a failed O-ring to turn the ill-fated Shuttle Challenger into a cumulus cloud.

Space Shuttle Challenger - all for an O ring  


The field of engineering is littered with such tales of the $2 part causing catastrophic failure to a machine worth many thousands, and ultimately costing lives. Race car drivers have been let down by parting nuts, boat races have been lost with the breaking of a shackle.

The difference is, these failures were accidental. What if a someone knowingly used an inferior part that caused a vehicle to crash or a boat to sink? What if they did it just to save a few dollars, or euros??

Queensland-based naval architect Peter Brady claims that it's happening in Europe with the use of inferior skin fittings and seacocks in production boats.

Apparently the CE Standard was rewritten in 1998 to require that fittings need only be corrosion resistant for five years. Some boatbuilders quickly began using common brass instead of DZR brass, silicon bronze, stainless steel or composites for skin fittings and valves.

Common brass is much cheaper.

'We are not talking about a few budget price boats here, some of Europe's largest and best-known builders have been named,' Brady said.

'In the UK they have found total failure in fittings as little as four years old, which could have led to the boat sinking.'
Shipwrights here have confirmed they are replacing underwater fittings on some European-built boats as little as two years old, and it takes little stretch of the imagination to see a fatality in the wind.

How it should be done - quality fittings in an Aussie-built production boat  Mark Rothfield


I'd rather see profits sink before this happens. If you're in the market for a European boat, insist on the best possible quality for all thru-hulls.

In case you did not know Brass razoo is an Australian phrase that was it seems first recorded in soldiers' slang in World War I.

It is now defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'a non-existent coin of trivial value'. It is commonly used in the expression I haven't got a brass razoo, meaning the speaker is out of money.

As money is often called Brass in Australia as in 'I am out of Brass' and the smallest French coin is a 'sou' Perhaps the term was 'coined' from that combination.


Mark Rothfield



Sanctuary Cove preview on Seven's 'Creek to Coast'
Jeni Bone,
Channel Seven's 'Creek to Coast' will feauture all the innovations and new releases in the line-up at this year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 24-27 May, on Queensland's Gold Coast, screening Saturday 12 May at 5pm in Queensland and nationally on SevenTwo, Sunday morning.... [more]
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British RYA Circuit Powerboat Championships Round 1 at Oulton Board
Emma Slater,
The British RYA Circuit Powerboat Championships 2012 first round was held over the Bank Holiday weekend, 6th and 7th May, in Oulton Board. GT15 reigning World Champion Ben Jelf (11, Maidstone) off to a flying start. Recent testing sessions had not been going to plan for the youngster but Ben and the rest of the Jelf Racing team were determined to put the pre-season gremlins behind them.... [more]
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Key International Buyers registered for ASMEX
AIMEX/Superyacht Australia,
A focus of ASMEX (the Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Conference) is to attract key international delegates who are interested in doing business with Australian companies. AIMEX as the organisers of ASMEX have delivered on this promise.... [more]
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Disabled boat saved from cliffs by Marine Rescue Shoalhaven
Ken McManus,
Two men, at risk of being swept on to rocky cliffs south of Beecroft Head, were rescued from a disabled vessel yesterday by Marine Rescue Shoalhaven's Steber vessel SA 30, proving its worth again. The unit's base at Crookhaven Heads, the Pilot Station, was notified about 4.15pm of a disabled 17 foot half-cabin vessel broken down off Beecroft Head at Currarong with two men aboard.... [more]
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Exclusive use of Lake Albert, Wagga Wagga this weekend
Penny Robins,
An exclusive use aquatic licence has been granted by Roads and Maritime Services for the safe staging of water ski races on Lake Albert, Wagga Wagga, this weekend. Maritime Regional Manager Murray/ Inland Scott Kidd said boaters should keep clear of the whole of the navigable waters of Lake Albert between 7am and 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday for the safe staging of the event.... [more]
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Weed-eating fish beneficial to jobs, livelihoods and ecotourism?
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
Having a diverse supply of weed-eating fish on the world's coral reefs can be beneficial to jobs, livelihoods, and the ecotourism industries, marine researchers say. Despite their small size, relative to the sharks, whales, and turtles that often get more attention, herbivorous fish play a vital role in maintaining the health of coral reefs, which support the livelihoods of 500 million people... [more]
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RYA Youth RIB Championship - Clinching decisive victories
RYA,
In the 2012 Honda RYA Youth RIB Championships, 20 boys and girls aged between 10 and 16 and from sailing clubs throughout the SW region spent a thrilling day racing powerboats in the first regional final. The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, sponsored by Honda and Ribcraft, is a National Championship in which 8-16 year old RIB drivers can demonstrate their boat handling skills... [more]
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New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Series final round preview
NZOPA,
New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Championship eighth and final round is being hosted by Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club on Saturday 12th May 2012. The final is always exciting as the teams know they can push themselves and their boats to the limit with plenty of time for rest and recovery over the winter months.... [more]
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Exclusive use area on Murray River this weekend
Penny Robins,
Roads and Maritime Services has granted an exclusive use aquatic licence for the safe staging of a power boat event on the Murray River between Mildura and Gol Gol from Friday to Sunday this weekend. Maritime Regional Manager Murray/ Inland Scott Kidd said boaters should keep clear of the area of the Murray from 500m downstream of the Mildura Ski Club... [more]
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Water Police Vessel, Brett T Handran on show at Sanctuary Cove
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,
The Queensland Water Police vessel, the PV Brett T Handran will again be on display at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 24-27 May.... [more]
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Lots of life left for 2 strokes: OEDA
OEDA,
Australian boat owners shouldn't hesitate to buy a 2-stroke engine if it suits their needs, according to the Outboard Engine Distributors Association (OEDA).... [more]
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New GME products on display at Sanctuary Cove 2012
Matthew Heap,
With their new range of small boat AIS solutions, Australia's GME has certainly raised the bar when it comes to performance, ease of installation and affordability with their soon to be released Automatic Identification Systems. Debuting at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, the GME product line consists of a Class B transceiver, Receiver and Antenna Splitter.... [more]
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Transport options for 2012 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,
This year, visitors to Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will be able to park and ride from Warner Bros. Movie World, with a FREE Park 'n' Ride service just a short 10 minute luxury coach ride to the show.... [more]
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Codi-K II latest addition to Marine Rescue NSW fleet
Ken McManus,
Codi-K II, a $260,000 8.5 metre Gemini Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, is the latest addition to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet. The formal commissioning ceremony for the Codi-K II will take place at Port Stephens today, Monday 7th May. Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the Codi-K II would be a valuable addition to marine search and rescue capability in the Hunter region... [more]
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Australian Hovercraft promises silent travel over reefs and high seas
Jeni Bone,
Wing in ground effect, or WIG as it's known in the realm of hovercrafts, is something Michael Fane from Australian Hovercraft is proficient in and something he says is the future of transport.... [more]
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Flying Hovercraft sails into the market
Jeni Bone,
Not for the faint-hearted, this latest incarnation of the hovercraft glides over land and water yet also soars in the air up to 70 mph with the aid of integrated wings - and it can be yours for just US$190,000.... [more]
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P750 Powerboat National Championships Round 1 at Limerick Riverfest
ISA,
P750 (Thundercat) Powerboat National Championships 2012 first round kicks off on Sunday 6th May right in the heart of Limerick City. While the cats have been seen in the city before, this will be the first time a round of the Powerboat National Championships will have taken place here.... [more]
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Recfishwest remains focused on management strategies & science
Recfishwest,
A healthy marine environment is something we all desire, especially the many Australians who enjoy fishing recreationally.... [more]
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Haines Group confirms ties with Greg Haines, despite move to Maritimo
The Haines Group,
The Haines Group confirms the ongoing association with Greg Haines despite his new appointment as marketing manager at Maritimo.... [more]
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Use this simple secret for anchor holding power!
John Jamieson,
The other day, a reader sent in a query as to why I recommend a 7: 1 scope on anchor rode as opposed to 3:1. After all, less rode means less hassle with having all that line messed up by gooey mud, slimy bottom crud, and other unknowns beneath the sea.... [more]
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New Gold Coast Mayor pledges to build cruise ship terminal - fast!
Jeni Bone,
Hoping to cash in on cruise industry annual growth of 34%, newly minted Mayor of the Gold Coast, Tom Tate says he will ignore years of political sabotage and delays with an audacious bid to build a $30 million cruise ship terminal at The Spit in his first term.... [more]
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New Earthrace vessel launched at Westhaven Marina + Video
Earthrace Conservation,
On Friday the 20th April, Pete Bethune launched the new Earthrace vessel at Westhaven Marina in New Zealand. Bethune and his crew have their sights set on tackling illegal fishing off the African coast, beginning this summer. The new craft, which can travel on both land and sea, is named ‘Sealegs' after the New Zealand-based company of the same name that has developed the vessel for Earthrace.... [more]
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Sail-World.com - Contributors Guidelines
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com,
Whether its information about yachts, catamarans or dinghies, or tales of your adventures on the water, there is always a story waiting to be told. Sail-World is happy to receive your articles - be it profiles of people and boats, techniques, safety or seamanship. Read on for the guidelines for submitting an article, including commercial articles - if the information is of value to our readers... [more]
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Full face marine night vision camera from FLIR
Drew Valentine,
FLIR Systems, world leaders in maritime night vision safety, has released a range of full-face bi-ocular night vision cameras now available alongside the monocular HM-Series. It is also easier to hold bi-oculars steady when looking at an object. An advantage if you are looking at small things, which are far away.... [more]
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Warm ocean currents cause majority of ice loss from Antarctica
British Antarctic Survey (BAS),
An international team of scientists led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has established that warm ocean currents are the dominant cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica.New techniques have been used to differentiate, for the first time, between the two known causes of melting ice shelves.... [more]
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World-first AIS/GPS personal device approved for sale
David Pilvelait/Sail-World,
With the approval this week of the Safelink R10 SRS (Survivor Recovery System) by the USA's FCC (Federal Communications Commission), a new level of survivor recovery technology is reached. The small device, which combines GPS and AIS technology in a personal locator beacon, was the Overall Winner of the Pittman Innovation Awards, but had to wait approval before going on sale.... [more]
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