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08 May 2008                                       To respond to this email CLICK HERE

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What a week! If you believed everything you read in the newspapers, you'd be packing up and changing industries altogether . . . or making a start in the luxury footwear industry! According to The Australian, boating is done for, while ladies who lunch (on credit of course, Black Amex) are still buying Jimmy Choos at $1600 a pop and wrapping themselves in Hermes scarves (a mere $875).

Early in April I spoke with an analyst from Westpac who said we are nowhere near a recession and, according to recent manufacturing figures and economic data, the upper end of the consumer market, which is impervious to interest rates, fuel prices and rising housing prices, is as eager as ever to buy boats, all their accessories and take to the water.

The real tragedy was the fatal collision between a work boat and a fishing boat on Sydney Harbour in the early hours of Thursday 1 May. The CEO of NMSC, Maurene Horder, says the incident highlights the need to improve boating safety. According to the NMSC's National Marine Incident Database, 47 people died in Australian waters in 2007, with human factors representing 51% of all contributing factors in these fatalities.

Error of judgment made up the largest category, with 16% of all contributing factors, followed by wind/sea state (14%), other human factor (10%) and inexperience (7%).

On the Gold Coast, also the scene of many a boating incident, mostly relating to prop and hull damage from shoaling, a dredging solution is no closer. According to stakeholders involved in the latest meeting of the 'Gold Coast Waterways Access Needs Study', the region needs to find $18m for immediate remediation of its waterways, or risk losing $220m in tourism and recreational boating revenue, as well as falling property values over the next 20 years.

There are a few options for raising revenue, but the Qld government has not offered to contribute.

We also have a look at a first (and real endorsement) for Asian boat building as the VOR Green Team celebrated the completion of their new Volvo Open 70 by an Australian-led team at McConaghy Boats International in Zhuhai, China, plus a profile on Sealegs and its recent sales success in the Middle East and Asia.

Read the detail of these stories as well as a round up of the week's news, new products and profile pieces on some of the industry's leading brands, updated daily as news breaks at

Thanks for your feedback, positive and otherwise. It's all taken onboard and considered by the publisher to help make MarineBusinessNews a valuable resource for the industry. Keep it coming!

Jeni Bone, Editor

Gold Coast Waterways in Crisis
Jeni Bone,
A dredging solution is no closer for the Gold Coast, which needs to come up with $18m for immediate remediation of its waterways, or risk losing $220m in tourism and recreational boating revenue, as well as falling property values in the next 20 years.... [more]

Dredging work begins at Mooloolaba
Media Services,
Queensland Transport Minister John Mickel says 'The dredge will remove 5,000 cubic metres of sand from the entrance channel and should take about one week to complete depending on weather and tides,' Mr Mickel said. 'The work will significantly improve safety and access for boaties.'... [more]

Don't panic, it's not a recession
Jeni Bone,
Despite media coverage outlining the slump in the boating industry, there are significant signs that show growth potential in the upper and top ends of the market.... [more]

FLIR hot navigation tool turns night into day
Tracey Johnstone,
FLIR's new breed of cameras, designed specifically for the maritime market, use the simplicity of thermal imaging combined with versatile high-tech cameras to achieve exceptional results. FLIR's Navigator and Voyager cameras are becoming the product of choice for Australia's marine industry. Viewing distance, image clarity, intense zoom and wide view options are turning the jobs of maritime na... [more]

First Volvo racer built in Asia
Green Team / Guy Nowell,Marine Business News,
Another first for Asian boat building as VOR Green Team celebrated the completion of their new Volvo Open 70 with a ‘Thank you, China' event at McConaghy Boats in Zhuhai, China. Construction started in October 2007 in a facility located about 60 miles northwest of Hong Kong and has been completed on schedule, with the boat due to leave on a ship bound for the UK on 8 May... [more]

Sealegs Orders Sum $10 Million
Media Services,
Sealegs Corporation (NZX: SLG) has announced it has forward orders from customers for 102 boats, worth in excess of $9.9 million in future revenue.... [more]

Austal launches high speed vehicle-passenger ferry
Austal media services,
>'Hormuz' - the second of two 65 metre high speed vehicle-passenger ferries built for the Sultanate of Oman - was launched at Austal's Henderson shipyard. Sister vessel 'Shinas' achieved a record service speed of 52 knots and a maximum speed of 55.9 knots (103.5 km/h) during sea trials last November, showcasing the world-class ability of the Austal design and construction team.... [more]

One up-Mainship
Media Services,
Investing new meaning in the concept of Trawler, Mainship has been creating recreational boats since the 1900s over three generations. Now it is celebrating the launch of new models based on traditional classics, exhibiting at Sanctuary Cove.... [more]

Lewmar Centralizes Steering Division
Julie Turner,
Lewmar, the world's leading leisure marine equipment supplier, has relocated its Steering division within the UK from Luton to its manufacturing headquarters in Havant.... [more]

Sydney Boat Accident Highlights Safety Issues
Ursula Bishop,
According to the National Marine Safety Committee CEO, the tragic incident involving a work boat and a fishing boat on Sydney Harbour in the early hours of Thursday morning (1 May), highlights the need to improve boating safety.... [more]

Classic Trumpy Refitted to Showcase New Products
BW Media,
Showcasing new marine products by using them in the refit of a classic boat is innovative, and one way of preserving classic boats - and seven US marine companies have combined to do just that. They are currently refitting a classic Trumpy motoryacht, and will sail the resultant boat from one boat show to another. It's a model that could do well being copied in other parts of the world... [more]

RNZYS seeks Sailing Manager
Craig Peploe,
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) is New Zealand's senior yacht club. We seek to appoint a Sailing Manager who will be responsible for proactively managing the day to day operations of our busy sailing office making sure that all sailing and boating activities are meeting agreed objectives.... [more]

Fountaine Pajot to Launch four new models at 2008
Kate Elkington,
Fountaine Pajot has announced it will unveil not just one, but four brand new catamarans in an unprecedented Asia Pacific launch at the 2008 Sanctuary Cove Boat Show.... [more]

HK$1 billion of luxury boats at Gold Coast show
Event Media,
Running for its 11th consecutive year, this major boat show has attracted 40 boat builders from Italy, UK, USA, Australia and Taiwan, plus local manufacturers. They will present prestigious brands such as Azimut, Sunseeker, Princess, Beneteau, Ferretti, Fairline, Chris Craft and more. The 80-odd boats offer visitors a remarkable opportunity to see HK$1 billion dollars worth of boats all at once.... [more]

Nexus Marine AB appoints new financial manager
Peta Stuart-Hunt,
The Swedish-based marine electronics manufacturer Nexus Marine AB has appointed a new finance manager, Ulf Hallius. He will be working at the company's headquarters in Sollentuna outside Stockholm.... [more]

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