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Covid-19 spike in Victoria delays return to normal - Australian MarineBusinessWorld newsletter

by Peter Rendle 16 Jul 15:00 PDT
Zhik face mask © Zhik

The discussion around Covid-19 has become a necessary encumbrance on everyone. The stop-start process is testing and requires the most stoic response. Now in the middle of winter the industry is hoping that the current spike is a short-term blip and that as we move into summer life can get back to some form of normality. Interestingly boat brokers are recording an increase in inquiry numbers, possibly a reflection of a need to get out on the water away from the constraints of city life.

The industry, never slow to innovate according to circumstances is epitomised by the release of a new product from Australian clothing manufacturer Zhik. In the light of the UK's new 24 July ruling about face coverings, Piet Poelmann, CEO of Zhik is proud to introduce a new face mask that is weatherproof, washable and comfortable. It is not just another face mask. Zhik's industrial design team has thought this through, like with so many of the other ingenious products Zhik prides itself with. Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased and it is safe to go back on the water again, it has proven to be a great product. Poelmann has tested it himself.

Much of our news this week originates overseas and in France, Beneteau have announced a global re-organisation. Called 'Let's Go Beyond! strategic plan for 2020-2025', the core essence is centralisation of planning, shorter and more efficient model development, and significant rationalisation of brands and models. The Groupé's 12 brands are to become just eight, and 183 models will become 128. Glastron, CNB, and Monte Carlo Yachts are some of the brands to be rehoused.

From Holland, International marine systems supplier VETUS and anchor and mooring specialist MAXWELL have announced the appointment of Thijs Boegheim as the new Sales Director EMEA and Global Marketing Director. Strengthening the company's sales and marketing commitment, Thijs joins the VETUS management team. Current Marketing Director Babette van Waes, who will focus on the digital marketing strategy and activities, will continue as a VETUS management team member.

Also, in Holland, METSTRADE and RAI Amsterdam are pleased to announce the opening of entries for the 30th edition of the DAME Design Award, exclusively for the exhibitors attending this year's METSTRADE Show. While many manufacturers have experienced a difficult first-half of 2020, there is evidence that research and development efforts have continued through the challenges of the pandemic. Hence the 30th anniversary edition of this unique and coveted competition is expected to be particularly special as it highlights the incredible design efforts of the industry around the globe. DAME is judged by a panel of leading boat, interior and industrial designers, as well as user experts. Appointed to the Chair this year is renowned naval architect, designer and yacht racer, Andre Hoek. He replaces Birgit Schnaase, who completed her term in 2019 after her eight much appreciated years of service on the DAME Jury.

OneOcean, a UK company, has unveiled its latest online voyage solutions for the shipping, cruise line, and superyacht industries. Currently unrivalled in the maritime industry, the restructured solutions have been developed to help fleet owners and managers solve multiple navigation and compliance issues whilst enabling their ship and shoreside teams to communicate much more effectively.

Again, from the UK, there has been a great deal of excitement at Cox headquarters these last few weeks. The production line has been in full flow with Cox's team of engineers working around the clock to meet their next big milestone. This week Cox watched the first ever production CXO300 diesel outboards come off the assembly line, ready to leave the factory to their global network of distributors. This was a defining moment for everyone at Cox, one which many of the team have been working towards over the past 13 years. Cox's distributors have been eagerly awaiting the delivery of their first CXO300 outboard engines so that they can begin their on-the-water customer demonstrations. Cox distributor Sime Darby, Singapore, will take delivery of the very first production outboards, with deliveries to Gulf Yachts, Qatar, and Diesel Power, Sweden following shortly after.

Back in Australia the Marine Industry Association has been busy overseas. Dubai Marina Yacht Club has recently been accredited as the first Fish Friendly accredited marina in the UAE by the Marina Industries Association (MIA). Dubai Marina Yacht Club has also been re-accredited under the International Clean Marina programme. The Fish Friendly accreditation is an addition to the Clean Marina accreditation, which assesses advanced elements of environmental planning and management, such as identifying opportunities to incorporate fish friendly structures into the marina to encourage marina life and the education of marina visitors on local fish species.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle peter.rendle@marinebusinessworld.com

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