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Online communications set to continue post-Covid-19 - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 17 Sep 15:00 PDT
Pacific Sailing School's "RYA Day Skipper Course" via Zoom © Terry Wise

One of the spin-offs from the Covid pandemic is the take up by industry and businesses of digital communication. Organisations used to communicating via traditional means are now embracing the efficiency of multi-view media such as Zoom.

The Marine Industry is no exception. The Global Marina Institute (GMI) has endorsed delivery of the online Intermediate Marina Management Course (IMM) with timing most suited to participation from the Middle East, UK/Europe and Asia. The IMM is delivered under the GMI banner by both the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and British Marine (BM). The Chairman of GMI Tony Browne said this is an exciting development for the marina industry and part of GMI's plans to ensure quality marina training can still be delivered despite the barriers the pandemic presents. "The IMM is the foundation course of the GMI career pathway that leads through to certification either as a Certified Marina Operator, Manager or Professional (CMO, CMM or CMP). The MIA conducted the first ever online IMM earlier this year and GMI has carefully evaluated the feedback by delegates and the MIA. As a result of these findings including additional strategies to address the physical networking gap of online courses, the GMI is very pleased that a further online IMM will be conducted this year."

Further testament of the success the MIA is enjoying are the ties the association is creating in the USA. Last November the West Coast USA based Marine Recreation Association (MRA) and the Marina Industries Association (MIA) based in Australia entered into a collaborative agreement to launch the Global Gold Anchor program. Two West Coast marinas were accredited leading up to the agreement. Training of West Coast Assessors for the program has now commenced with marina assessments to follow in November despite set-backs due to Covid-19.

Virtual Boat Shows are now commonplace and pre-owned boat auctions are now becoming more frequent. While power boats have been the norm, sails are now featuring in the latest auction from Marine Auctions. Adrian Seiffert, Director of Marine Auctions Pty Ltd, said he believed the "Sail" Online Auction could be a first of its kind, as potential bidders can bid for the "sails" from any location in the world via the internet. Offered in the Online Auction are Sails to suit yachts from 40 to 100ft, which include Asymmetrical & Symmetrical Spinnakers, Mainsails, Headsails, Genoas & Roller Furling Genoas. Some of the Sails are ex-Comanche, which holds the monohull Transatlantic record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and also has the fastest time for the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Wild Oats XI, winner of nine Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races. TP52s, first 3 place getters in IRC in the 2019 Sydney Hobart were TP52s, plus various other yachts.

New products to be launched this week are all electrical. Garmin, International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the world's leading marine electronics manufacturer, have announced the GMR Fantom™ 254/256 open-array radars delivering 250W of pulse compression power, its highest-powered solid-state marine radar on the market. The new Fantom 254/256 series uses Garmin's signature MotionScope™ technology to detect and highlight moving targets in different colours, helping users avoid potential collisions, find flocks of birds and track weather.

Garmin also announced its new OnDeck System, a remote monitoring and management solution that gives boaters 24/7 access to critical and timely information about their vessel". When paired with the ActiveCaptain® app, OnDeck keeps users connected to their vessel by monitoring the boat's battery status, bilge activity, door/hatch sensors, GPS location and more. For extra peace of mind, configurable notifications can even let the user know of changes that may threaten the boat, including if it has moved into or outside of a custom geofenced area. In addition to the GTB 10 OnDeck Hub, the system includes a door sensor, temperature sensor, shore power sensor and relay switch.

Safety is always a priority at sea and any new safety innovation is always welcome, which is why Mercury has developed 1st Mate, the world's first engine-integrated "man overboard" and proximity-based theft deterrent system. Using wearable technology for up to eight people, 1st Mate turns the engine off or sounds an alarm during a "man overboard" event, and can also send notifications to emergency contacts. If the proximity of the fob is not in range, the system disables or puts the engine in guardian mode. 1st Mate is composed of an intelligent hub, a set of wearable devices, and a mobile app which integrates with a boat's propulsion systems.

The "Man overboard" monitoring and warning system protects a boat's captain and up to seven passengers. If the system detects that the captain has fallen overboard, the device sends alerts to the system's hub, its app and all the passengers' wearable devices. The system cuts the engines and sends specific instructions to the passengers' cell phones via the app.

The Boating Industry Association of Australia has now announced details of its innovative plans for National Boating Week due to take place over the week 25 September to 2 October. Members and friends of the BIA have received the details. The Boating Industry Association will commence a consumer campaign to inform and persuade the target audience about the benefits of recreational boating. The objective is to increase participation across the three target markets. They are described as:

  • Non-boaters - Our objective will be to provide information and inspiration for non-boaters to engage in the lifestyle.

  • Borderline boaters - Our objective will be to reengage those lost to boating to return to the lifestyle.

  • Existing boaters - Our objective will be to provide existing boaters with information to better their time on the water and inspire them to spend more time boating.
A spokesman for the BIA said, "The new campaign will provide structure and a targeted process with a fluidity that will allow us to address the message or need at the time."

We will bring you further news of this initiative as plans unfold.

Stay Safe
Peter Rendle

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