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Bush-fires rage but marine industry powers through - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 19 Dec 2019 13:00 PST
It was meant to be the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge. Smoke conditions on Sydney Harbour meant that plain old visual navigation was difficult enough - Nic Doig-Higgs in command of the Technohull Omega 45 © John Curnow

It's not every day that one wakes to the acrid smell of smouldering residual timber and grassland after fire has swept through the bush. But in Sydney we are becoming used to it, with temperatures hovering above 40c today and the air thick with a grey haze that has turned the sun into a glowing neon orange light.

But the show must go on and across the Sail-World, PowerBoat-World and Marine Business World digital platforms we remain open 24/7 through bush-fires, Christmas and the New Year celebrations.

While on the subject of the environment Marina Industries Association (MIA) is bringing its new Oil Spills Response Training to Marmong Point. Marinas have potential to impact on the marine environment because of their waterfront location and the nature of boating related activities carried out at marinas and boatyards. Prevention through protection can serve as the first line of defence against pollution. However, in an event of an oil spill in your marina or boatyard requires fast and efficient action to mitigate the risk. For that, marinas and boatyards must ensure that all involved in the response to an oil spill are adequately trained and prepared for their roles.

And the MIA were also involved in Dubai. The nine students at the recently completed Dubai Advanced Marina Management (AMM) course presented their group marina upgrade projects to a panel of esteemed UAE marina professionals on the last day of the course. The three projects involved upgrades to marinas and boat yards visited during the course. The first project proposed adaptive re-use of existing infrastructure at a super yacht marina to provide crew quarters. The second project involved a doubling the size of a boat yard to service more yachts and the third project put the case for reconfiguring a marina arm to cater for fewer, larger yachts.

I remember a number of years ago when a fresh-faced David Hayes approached me at the Sydney Boat Show and as the Ski Doo sled-ski importer, asked me my opinion on whether they should get involved with a new Ski Doo product, the Personal Watercraft. I had no opinion to offer. My knowledge of these weird looking machines that were neither motor bikes or boats was a mystery to me. Anyway, despite the fairly nondescript advice I gave David and his brother it did not deter them and they took the punt and as they say 'the rest is history'.

We are advised by the BIA of Australia that Personal watercraft (PWC) which include Jet Skis, WaveRunners and Sea-Doos continue to outstrip all other types of power craft in sales figures across Australia. This is due, in part, to the fact they are compact, easy to store, tow and launch, and can be great fun. Boating Industry Association President Darren Vaux said the trend in popularity looks set to continue this summer. "National sales of PWC last year totalled 6800, this is up from 4630 in 2009 and there are now more than 76,000 across Australia," Vaux said. "The boating industry supports safe, responsible and enjoyable boating, and the latest developments in personal watercraft can deliver all of these, while technology continues to deliver improved environmental outcomes."

Always good to hear of Australian companies winning awards and in November the Eyachts team travelled to Finland for the Axopar Dealers Days and the reveal of the Axopar 37. When the final Axoparty event came around, the dealer awards, the jet lagged team's eyes awoken at the sound of our name, Jan-Erik, CEO and co-founder of Axopar declared "Eyachts" as the "International Best Dealer of the Year".

This is what Jan-Erik, had to say... "Each year we show our appreciation for our dealers through the Axopar Dealer Awards, recognising dealers for their sales successes, loyalty and partnership strengths, as well as for brand and product engagement. In order to be considered the Best International Dealer of the Year, a dealership must "live and breathe" the Axopar brand, demonstrate commitment to the brand and exceed customer expectations.

Looking ahead to the New Year and the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show that takes place in May is now taking exhibitor bookings. Exhibitors can now secure their preferred space on water and within the vibrant Marine Village for the 2020 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) held from May 21-24.

Marine brands are invited to join the 32nd edition of the Southern Hemisphere's premier marine event, home to a stellar display of the latest products and innovations all in one spectacular location.

Plenty of other news happening in this diverse industry we work in. This time next week we will be hovering around the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start and following the fleet down the coast. We will also be posting our next e-newsletter on the same day. To all our subscribers have a very merry and pleasant Christmas Day.

Peter Rendle,

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