It's gold for Australia in the boatbuilding quality stakes

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  20 Aug 2012

It's gold for Australia in the boatbuilding quality stakes

And I reckon there's an opportunity for powerboating to capitalise on the fact, even though water skiing and fishing are unlikely to ever figure on the Olympic roster.

Teach a kid to sail, and before long he'll be looking with envy at his mates hooting and hollering while being towed in a tube. Then he'll start pestering his parents.

If you can't join them, beat them!

Family runabouts are cheap as chips at the moment and in this land girt by sea there's plenty of water for everyone. Spring has nearly sprung, bringing with it the promise of heady days by the beach.

Ah, but what to buy?

If new boat manufacturing was an Olympic sport, the gold medal for value would probably go to the Americans at the moment. With relatively cheap labour and exceptional buying power for parts, their boats have never been more affordable.

During the recent quiet period, SeaRay has been investing in technology to make their boats quieter as well, which will stand them in good stead over coming months. Their countrymen have also lifted their game.

China would have to take the silver, having vastly improved in terms of hull construction quality, while the likes of Beneteau and Jeanneau (Prestige) would probably earn France the bronze in a narrow verdict.

Great Britain, I hate to say, would win the glamour gold, for it's hard to go past the Princess and Fairline if you won Powerball.

As for Australia, we'd romp home without even competing in the medal race if boats were judged solely on build integrity. You won't necessarily appreciate this fact at a boat show, but in wild waters like those at Weymouth you'll be glad to be aboard something that doesn't shake, rattle or roll.

Dare I say, oi oi oi!

Mark Rothfield

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