Boat Show organisers British Marine have announced an updated layout for this year's boat show
The organisers of the Southampton International Boat Show have revealed a bold new layout ‘making the show bigger than ever before’. This will see the show spreading further northwards towards the city centre with, however, the loss of two of the usual outdoor exhibition areas. Following the Prime Minister’s recent roadmap announcement, British Marine, organisers of the Southampton International Boat Show, say that the show will return safely for its 52nd edition this September. The 10-day show is due to be held on the 10th-19th September and is set to have a new entrance and festival area outside Southampton’s Westquay shopping centre pictured. A new show area, described as a ‘Community Day and Festival Area’, will extend south past the old city walls and over into the main ‘centre piece’ Mayflower Park site with its purpose built marina, bypassing the previous entrance section north of West Quay Road and the previous Holiday Inn section. British Marine said ‘Once inside the show, visitors will be immersed in the world of boating and watersports through new zones that cater for specific interests to give a tailored show experience. The first zone will be for paddleboards, kite surfers, kayaks and windsurfers, accompanied by a stage, street food, music and a lively vibe to showcase the watersports lifestyle and simplicity of getting afloat. There will be a Dinghy Zone geared towards the interest of dinghy sailors and high-performance sailing. This will flow into a Classic Boat & Day Boat Zone aimed at celebrating the boats and craftsmanship that stands the test of time. Moving into Mayflower Park there will be hundreds of power and sail boats, equipment and services on show.’ Located usually in the previous shopping-orientated Holiday Inn section, Motorboat Owner and several clothing and marine-equipment-selling exhibitors will be moving, so regular visitors to the show will need to look out for updates and new stand numbers. Visit www.southamptonboatshow.com for information.
HM Treasury has confirm recreational boaters’ continued entitlement to red diesel
In the Spring Budget, HM Treasury announced its decision to maintain recreational boaters' entitlement to use red diesel in Great Britain beyond April 2022.
Last year, the government engaged in a red diesel consultation with a view of phasing out red diesel for white diesel from April 2022 for the leisure boat sector, but for it to remain available for fishing and farming. Various marine associations submitted their response and engaged in discussions with the HMRC, maintaining that the simplest means of maintaining supply for all recreational boaters on the coast and on inland waterways is the use of duty-paid red diesel. Among the many issues flagged were the costs of installing a second pump for white diesel in many harbours and ports.
In the budget, the Government stated that it had evaluated the proposed regulations and would not be changing the treatment of private pleasure craft in Great Britain. This means boaters will continue to be able to use/access red diesel where it is available and pay their fuel supplier the difference between the red diesel rate and the white diesel rate on the proportion they intend to use for propulsion. For heating purposes, a vessel with a separate tank will still be able to use red diesel at the lower duty rate. The percentage relief scheme for heating use for a craft with one tank is to be announced by HMRC.
Anticipating ‘another busy staycation summer’ in the UK Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine hailed the announcement as a “big success story for the leisure marine industry,….. giving the leisure marine sector the certainty needed at this unprecedented time.”
In Northern Ireland however, recreational boaters will no longer be able to use red diesel for propulsion. This is to ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement. It will also align with fuel used by leisure boats in the Republic of Ireland, which the government believes will make it simpler for private pleasure craft users to access the fuel they need if they cruise between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and vice versa). The change to white diesel is expected to be in force by June of this year.
For further information on the red diesel consultation and summary, please click here.
Slovenian builder, Alfastreet has revamped its ingenious 23 Cabin
Following the launch of its new flagship model, the 28 Cabin, in 2020, Slovenian builder, Alfastreet Marine has unveiled a freshly modified version of its 23 Cabin.
The new 23 Cabin Evolution is still the two-berth dayboat/weekender it was, available in inboard sterndrive or electric configurations and a hydraulic hard top. However, it has adopted some of its 28 sister’s features, such as stylish hull windows and an updated cockpit with a walkaround, extending aft sunpad. The UK dealer is Boat Showrooms and the new model is priced from £79,995.
Introducing the latest Scandinavian bowrider from Silver Boats
Finnish boat builder, Silver Boats is adding a second bowrider model to its fibreglass boat range. The new and compact Silver Puma BRz is the smallest of the Z-series and joins the larger Tiger bowrider model in the range. Designed for summer days, picnics and watersports, the 19 foot Puma can accommodate up to seven adults, with separate bucket seats for the helmsman and co-driver which turn around to face an aft dinette seating area. Its aft settee bench also offers storage for wakeboards, water skis and towable toys. There are dedicated fender boxes in the back corners and an easy-to-erect canopy should the weather turn. In the bow are wraparound storage lockers with two raised seat-cum-lockers ahead of the windscreen. Its protective, wraparound windscreen has an integral sturdy grabrail running along its top edge for safety, while aft are two bathing platforms, with a swimming ladder fitted as standard. Additional extras include a fridge and the boat can be equipped with a single outboard engine from 80 to 115 horsepower.
Major German boat show postponed to April, now cancelled due to COVID
The organisers of the huge German indoor boat show, Boot Düsseldorf, have announced the cancellation of the 2021 event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the associated worldwide lockdown measures. The show is historically held each January at venue, Messe Düsseldorf, and it had been postponed until April 2021 due to the pandemic. However, organisers said these new dates then appeared ‘increasingly unrealistic’, due to ‘the continuing high level of infection and the fact that the end of the lockdown is not foreseeable’. Regarded as an important main, start of season show for the marine industry, Boot normally sees many British and worldwide marine brands and boat builders assemble in all 17 halls of the impressive exhibition centre, such as Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline. Next years nine-day show will open its doors from 22nd to 30th January 2022. Elsewhere the trend of virtual boat shows continues, with UK broker, Ancasta, hosting a virtual show during January.
Motorboat Owner has contacted Calor GB in response to cylinder shape change rumour
In late November, Motorboat Owner was alerted to a rumour that Calor could be changing the shape/dimensions of its 4.5kg butane cylinders. It was said that these would be taller and narrower (with a wider base), which would cause problems for many existing gas locker designs. The existing cylinder (pictured) is (H 340mm x W240mm) and is currently out of stock. Through communications with Calor GB, the company said “Regulations concerning valve protection have changed and therefore there will be a change to the dimensions of the 4.5kg and 3.9kg cylinders. Calor GB have not purchased any of these new cylinders and do not currently have plans to do so.” Calor added “When these new cylinders are purchased, the majority of the cylinders will still be in the old dimensions and we will continue to have plenty of these available for years to come.” A source in Ireland added “In Ireland they (Calor) seem to be far along the process of introducing the new larger cylinders. It is almost impossible to get the traditional smaller ones now.”
UK Prestige and Beneteau dealer will be running a virtual boat show this January
With the Boot Düsseldorf boat show postponed until April, the UK boat broker, Ancasta, will be offering boaters a chance to get onboard its power brands this January at the Ancasta Virtual Boat Show Dusseldorf. Opening on Boot Düsseldorf’s original dates, 23-31 January 2021, Ancasta’s virtual show will include the whole line up that would have been on display in Germany. Ancasta say that potential buyers will be able to view, compare and contrast the different models from the Beneteau, Lagoon, Prestige, McConaghy Yachts, Sanlorenzo and Bluegame ranges. For more information and to book an appointment, visit ancasta.com/dusseldorf
British Marine releases a statement to the marine market for lockdown 2 after seeking clarification for the marine leisure sector
As confusion builds amongst boaters as to whether they can visit, or indeed use their boats, and whether marinas can keep their doors open during ‘lockdown 2’ in England, marine association, British Marine, has released the following statement:
“As England starts a 4 week lockdown, British Marine has been seeking clarity from the UK Government on how the new restrictions will impact our members and the leisure marine sector.
During a meeting with DEFRA officials on Monday 2 November, British Marine was informed that no sector specific guidance would be produced and instead, individual businesses should interpret and comply with high level government guidance published on the Gov.uk website.
Where British Marine has been able to gather some specific clarity from Government, DEFRA officials have stated they do not consider private individuals visiting their boats for maintenance or winterisation purposes as an essential activity for leaving their primary place of residence.
DEFRA has confirmed that under PART 4 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, a member of the public can pay a business to maintain their boat on their behalf during the lockdown.
DCMS has now confirmed that recreational boating can be part of an outdoor exercise regime either alone, with 1 other person, or within your household or bubble. Guidance states; “There is no restriction on the type of activity you can do when exercising, provided that you are within the permitted gathering limits.” Furthermore, it confirms; “All forms of water sports practised on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed provided that the guidance on social distancing is observed”. However, British Marine would advise to check with local marinas, navigation authorities and clubs beforehand.
British Marine understands that members seek clear unambiguous guidance and that is why we will continue to press the UK government for further, sector specific guidance. However, until that is forthcoming, current interpretation of the regulations is as follows:
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, “Whilst the current lockdown has seen many more businesses continue to stay open, there are still many who need further information over the exemptions and of course the continued financial support packages provided by Government. We will continue to support and represent the best interests of these businesses throughout the pandemic. The British Marine Coronavirus hub, which is accessible to all, will be updated with the very latest advice, together with business support tools and further guidance.”
To keep up to date with all the latest COVID-19 advice and guidance from British Marine, please visit www.britishmarine.co.uk/coronavirus”
British Marine (the trading name of British Marine Federation Limited) is the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. It has over 1,500 members drawn from both seagoing and inland sectors and represents an industry which employs more than 38,700 people in the UK. British Marine also owns and operates the Southampton International Boat Show (10 – 19 September 2021).
Plans will be reshaping a Devonshire boatyard. Designs detail a new slipway, and multi-storey residential and commercial properties
Teignmouth Maritime Properties Ltd has unveiled plans for a multi-million-pound regeneration of the Riverside Boatyard in Teignmouth, Devon. Plans see the existing estuary-side boatyard, which lies on the edge of the town, in Bishopsteignton Road, converted into a ‘mixed-use development’ combining housing, holiday accommodation, industrial units and offices, while improving the existing boat storage and repair facilities. Unveiling the first 3D animation and artistic impressions by MJS Design and Planning, Peter Stenner, CEO of Teignmouth Maritime Properties, said “This is an opportunity to comprehensively redevelop a prominent waterside site into a high-quality maritime facility, which I firmly believe Teignmouth deserves.” With features such as beach huts and workshops, developers are also hoping to attract greater numbers of new boat and water-based leisure users to the area, generating economic benefits for the town. Mr Stenner, who is also founder of Teignmouth Maritime Services Ltd, added “For many years I have been an existing user of the boatyard which now is in desperate need for development. I am both delighted and proud to be able to share these plans to transform this area of Teignmouth into something special, which I hope many others will benefit from for years to come. These plans will be a great asset to the town for locals, visitors and businesses alike.” MJS Design and Planning’s MD, Matt Slader, said that the project “should provide water users with substantial improvement for easy, enhanced and safer facilities for the launching and recovery of vessels in a range of tidal and weather conditions, with two slipways available to locals and visitors enabling a range of water based activities.” There is also a proposal for a new cycle path linking Teignmouth Docks to the Riverside Boatyard site.
Southampton City Council has pulled the plug on two 10-day outdoor boat shows on the eve of opening
At 6.34pm on Thursday 10th September, on the eve of opening day, the Southampton boat show organiser, British Marine received the ‘devastating news’ from Southampton City Council that its replacement smaller scale, outdoor boat show, BOATS2020 could no longer go ahead, due to the rising risk of COVID-19 and growing Government fears. The decision came in the eleventh hour before opening and has left 188 exhibitors, who had set up or were in the process of it, very disappointed.
The 10-day show, due to take place from 11-20 September 2020, was set to open on Friday (11th) and had seen British Marine collaborating closely with Southampton City Council to ensure that the existing Public Health England COVID-19 secure requirements were met. A purpose built marina with 5-metre wide pontoons and shoreside show areas of Mayflower Park had been engineered to allow for social distancing, and ticket holders were being reassured just hours before of the measures in place.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said; “We are desperately disappointed that BOATS2020 will no longer be taking place, especially receiving the news at the eleventh hour before opening. A tremendous amount of work has been put in and it was heartening to see committed exhibitors on-site today getting geared up for opening. British Marine has remained committed to staging this not-for-profit boat show to support the leisure marine industry and our host city of Southampton, and I am deeply saddened that it will now no longer be taking place. Alongside our exhibitors, we were ready to open a show that exceeded all safety requirements. We are truly perplexed as to why we are unable to run the show at least until Monday in line with the government restrictions imposed yesterday. The global pandemic and unprecedented times mean that the latest circumstances are beyond our control. Public health and safety come first and naturally, as the show organiser, British Marine must comply with all guidance.”
Neville Williams of IdealBoat.com said upon hearing the news “We were ready to go, but at the eleventh hour Southampton City Council have cancelled the permission for BOATS2020. To say we are disappointed with this double standards decision is an understatement. The council had plenty of time to cancel the event at an earlier stage.” Much efforts had been made to ensure motorboat models and equipment was delivered and in position by manufacturers, and in Neville’s case this meant trailing countless boats down from North Wales over the last two weeks.
Running over the same 10 days, the nearby Ocean Village Boat Show, hosted by MDL Marinas, has also been cancelled by the council. Sales and Marketing Director, Tim Mayer, released the following statement on social media “This is very disappointing for the industry, for both Ocean Village Boat Show and BOATS2020 who we understand are in the same position. We don’t agree with the decision but do understand that the council is worried about an influx of visitors, however, both shows have been very careful with the arrangements and for controlling visitor numbers. As you may know, we have from the outset strived to develop a show that offers visitors an appointment-only, controlled and safe show, specifically designed for serious buyers, so we are devastated by this last minute decision. As we have done over many weeks, we are working with Southampton City Council’s saftey advisory group to establish if we can open the show later in the week. But we wanted to let you know that the show will not open tomorrow, and we ask our booked customers not to come to Ocean Village. We are naturally very disappointed for all of our exhibitors, and visitors, who have all made significant investments into the show, whether to bring wonderful power and sail boats, or to travel to the city to look at a boat. We will keep you all updated.”
Southampton City Council released a statement on social media saying 'anyone who was planning to make the journey to one of the boat shows in Southampton should not now make that journey'. Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council, said: “Due to the increased spread of COVID-19 nationally, and the need for stronger control measures to reduce transmission both in Southampton and across the country, we unfortunately cannot allow the Ocean Village Boat Show 2020 and Boats 2020 presented by Southampton International Boat Show Limited to take place this month. We have therefore issued a Direction under Regulation 5(1) of the Health Protection Regulations 2020 prohibiting these events from taking place. In Southampton and the South East, we have seen a lower rate of COVID-19 transmissions since lockdown ended. However, the national picture shows a concerning rise in cases, and with these events set to attract around 20,000 people from different parts of the UK over a 10-day period, it’s important we act now to reduce the risk of infection.
“The people of Southampton have been doing a fantastic job of supporting their city through social distancing, regular handwashing and isolating if they start showing coronavirus symptoms. The event organisers have also worked incredibly hard to risk assess their activities and implement a range of safety measures. So, I’m very sorry to disappoint them and everyone who was looking forward to attending these events. The decision, while regrettable, has been made after detailed analysis of the public health risks and discussions with our colleagues in the city, including the police. COVID-19 is still very much with us and we all need to stay alert, particularly at this sensitive time. Anyone who was planning to make the journey to one of the boat shows in Southampton should not now make that journey. Officers from Southampton City Council and Hampshire Constabulary will be visible in the area to engage with the public and help explain the Direction that has been issued.”
For those with still planning to be in Southampton for the boat show period, as far as Motorboat Owner is aware there are several used boat shows going ahead at Swanwick, including the WhyBoats Used Boat Show at Deacons Marina and a display at Solent Motoryachts. Many exhibitors are also bringing their boats back to the Hamble River, Swanwick and thereabouts, including Fjord/Inspiration Marine, Sealine/TBS Boats, Princess Yachts, Ancasta/Beneteau/Prestige Yachts and Clipper Marine/Bavaria.
PHOTO: Image taken by Neville Williams of IdealBoat.com shows the purpose-built marina occupied and ready for visitors on the eve of opening, Thursday 10th September
Smaller scale Southampton show readies to set sail amidst COVID-19 pandemic with 133 exhibitors
In the wake of this year’s cancelled Southampton International Boat Show, its organisers, British Marine, are getting ready to host a replacement, smaller scale event at Mayflower Park in Southampton over the same 10 proposed days in September, 11th-20th. BOATS2020 will be an outdoor and on the water event showcasing boats and equipment, and British Marine say safety and meeting COVID-19 secure requirements has been its ‘number one priority’. The 10-day event is set to showcase over 90 boats on a purpose-built marina and 60 exhibitors on shore. A ‘carefully designed show layout’ sees a main entrance at the eastern end of the park, close to the Red Funnel ferry terminal, and, following the COVID-19 guidelines, British Marine state that there will be ‘no crowd gathering attractions’, making ‘BOATS2020 the perfect event for serious boaters and buyers’. Tickets have staggered entry times of 10am, 11am and 12pm and are now available online priced at £12.50 per person (note, concessionary rates and free tickets for children are not available).
At the time of writing the event has 133 exhibitors listed, including the British motorboat brands, Princess Yachts, Fairline and Sunseeker International, as well as international brands such as XO Boats, Parker, Saxdor, Bavaria, Sealine and Cranchi. There will be the UK debut of the Fairline F//Line 33 and Sunseeker is set to exhibit its largest model at Southampton to date, the 95 Yacht. Other UK debuts include a new Fjord 41XL, XO DSCVR and Parker 920 Explorer Max. Latest visitor guidance and precautions that British Marine is making are detailed here. For tickets and more information about the show visit sister website, www.southamptonboatshow.com
Marina group to organise event at Southampton marina over postponed boat show dates
In the wake of the postponement of the 52nd Southampton Boat Show, the marina operator, MDL Marinas, unveiled plans to host a boat show over the same dates at its flagship Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. The Ocean Village Boat Show will be held between the 11th-20th September and is set to host up to 80 new boats afloat in the marina from the sail and power markets. Tickets for the show will be available online from the 3rd August via the MDL Marinas website. Entry will be free, but only those pre-registered for tickets will be able to gain access to the show. There will also be special Coronavirus safety precautions in place for visitors and exhibitors. MDL’s Sales and Marketing Director, Tim Mayer, explains “To manage the health and safety we’re allocating three-hour time slots to visitors when they register online and the number of individuals in each time slot will be restricted. A one way system will be in place and the pontoons will be double width to ensure safe passing. Branded face masks will also be made available to all attendees.” Confirmed exhibitors include Jeanneau dealers, Sea Ventures, and Prestige Yachts and Beneteau broker, Ancasta. Other motorboat brands due to exhibit include Bayliner, Galeon Yachts, Azimut and Axopar.
Image: Event area at Ocean Village Marina, Southampton
Show organiser, British Marine has 'postponed' the event due to Covid-19
Following the Covid-19 guidelines regarding large scale gatherings, the marine trade association and boat show organiser, British Marine, has 'postponed' the 52nd edition of the Southampton International Boat Show until September 2021.
The annual 10-day show was due to take place at Southampton’s waterfront Mayflower Park from the 11th of September. Last year saw over 600 marine brands showcased both on the water, on a purpose-built marina, and onshore. Widely thought to be the biggest in the UK and a popular ‘boating extravaganza’ for many, the annual event sees British Marine working closely with Southampton City Council in staging the event with many months of planning and building.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine said, “The world is in an unprecedented situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and public health is everyone’s priority. Annually, Southampton International Boat Show attracts an attendance of over 100,000, with over 430 exhibitors. An event of this size and format is simply not possible this year and as such, we have made the decision to postpone it until September 2021.”
Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, Southampton City Council, commented “Southampton is known for its jam-packed events calendar and the boat show is one of our biggest and most popular features, attracting tens of thousands of people into our city and putting Southampton on the map. We are keen to revive Southampton’s thriving events offer while working within public health advice and government guidelines. We look forward to welcoming back the boat show and celebrating everything our great city has to offer, when it is safe to do so.”
British Marine has added, with the government announcement July 3rd, that it will be continuing to explore the options to run an alternative, smaller scale outdoor event and a timetable for events will be revealed next week. Lesley Robinson continues; “As government guidance on Covid-19 evolves, British Marine will continue to work with both exhibitors and key event stakeholders to explore all other opportunities, including an alternative, smaller-scale outdoor event to support the leisure marine industry and its members. British Marine are encouraged by today’s government announcement that they will be setting out a timetable for getting events as Covid-19 secure as possible next week.”
Lesley said, “we’re naturally very disappointed that we cannot run the event this year in its usual magnitude and format, but the Southampton International Boat Show is a key international event, which will be back stronger than ever in 2021. We will ensure that we make the 52nd edition one to remember.”
British Marine is a trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. It has 1,500 members drawn from both seagoing and inland sectors and represents an industry which employs more than 38,700 people in the UK. The Southampton International Boat Show will be held 10-19 September 2021.
Marinas making steps to reopen and the RYA urge boaters to opt a considerate and cautious approach as they return to the water during the Coronavirus pandemic. MBO brings you the latest on what is being described as a 'return to boating' from this Wednesday
In the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Sunday 10th May, he stated that from Wednesday 13th May, the Government wants to encourage people in England to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise. The Prime Minister also indicated that people would be permitted to travel to other destinations in order to exercise. "We want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise. You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household." Boris said
Shortly after the announcement, the marina operator, MDL Marinas, released a statement on social media by Managing Director, Michael Glanville saying that it was making the necessary arrangements to reopen its sites and to welcome boaters back to its marinas whilst adhering to the updated guidelines. It added that boating and boat movements were still subject to guidance from local authorities. The company which operates 18 inland and coastal marinas, also issued a video detailing its planned ‘one in, one out system’ for its offices and facilities, plus guidance for movement in car parks and on pontoons.
The Broads Authority has stated 'We understand that the Prime Minister's statement yesterday evening was not entirely clear regarding access to the Broads and nearby areas for boating and recreational purposes." Adding that it hopes to bring boaters on the Broads clarity with a further update by 2pm today (Monday 11th).
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has welcomed ‘a return to the water’ saying it understands outdoor exercise ‘will include all forms of boating’. It stressed that 'any activity will still need to be alone or with members of a single household, and social distancing must be followed at all times. The RYA calls on all recreational boaters not only to comply with the regulations, but to act responsibly and to use their common sense by complying with the Government’s guidance to help fight the spread of the virus.' In the press release and 'RYA welcomes return to boating' news story aired on the 11th May, the RYA state “In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the return to boating has not yet been confirmed” saying it we be working with its Home Country colleagues to monitor the situation and to ‘lobby for a responsible and safe return for boaters in all parts of the UK’.
Full Government guidance, with more details of its three step plan, is due to be published on Monday, 11 May. With this, the RYA hope to provide further guidance for its members, recreational boaters in the UK and abroad, its affiliated clubs and training centres before Wednesday, 13 May, and added where there is ‘uncertainly within the guidelines’ it will seek urgent clarification.
As asformentioned, boating remains restricted in most areas and subject to local authority guidance, with bodies such as the Crouch Harbour Authority and Cowes Harbour Authority still indicating restrictions, and Motorboat Owner is awaiting on more information and updates from these, what with the release of new guidelines today (11th May). Updates, when available will also be posted and shared via the MBO social media channels, Facebook and Twitter. There are also renewed calls for boaters not to put marine rescue bodies, such as the RNLI and the coastguard, at risk and under strain during the coronavirus pandemic.
UPDATE: Close of play 11th May
The Government has made the 50-page document on the latest guidance accessible online and has made a link to latest advice for England (FAQs). However, clarity is still needed for the boating sector. Motorboat Owner noted that outdoor activities, such as golfing and angling are permitted. The document also states that staying at a second/holiday home is not permitted.
Norfolk builder of Hardy range is seeking a buyer due to the coronavirus outbreak
Windboats Marine Limited, based in North Walsham, Norfolk, has entered administration due to a general downturn in orders and the untimely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Windboats Marine operates as a boatyard and boat-builder with ‘a highly skilled workforce’ building the Gunfleet cruising yachts and the Hardy range of motorboats. 2020 marked the centenary year for the UK boat builder, the company was established in 1920 by Graham Bunn, a master craftsman and boat designer, and the yard went on to produce what is described as ‘one of the finest fleets of hire boats on the Norfolk Broads’’, which later became known as the ‘Windboats’. After producing a series of vessels for World War II, in 1945 the yard was the purchased by Donald Hagenbach, who diversified the business into building aluminium boats in 1957 and ferro cement construction. The business changed hands for a third time in 1974, purchased by Windboats’ own Production Director and Naval Architect, Trevor James. The company then moved into GRP yacht production in 1983, and a 30-year relationship with prestigious Oyster Marine was established. In 2013, when Oyster moved its production in-house, Windboats acquired the Norfolk motorboat builder, Hardy Marine, with its 32-62ft range of models. Trevor’s son Oliver James joined the company in 1999 and became Managing Director in 2010. Four years later his father sadly passed away and today Oliver continues to head up the company, with a partnership created with British yacht brand, Gunfleet Marine. In the 46th year of James family ownership, the company had planned to roll out a range of hybrid options for the Hardy model range, unveiling plans for a new Hardy 36AD (aft deck) model powered by hybrid diesel electric engine.
Mark Upton and David Scrivener of Ensors Chartered Accountants were appointed Joint Administrators on Monday 27 April 2020 and are actively looking for a buyer for the business.
Joint Administrator Mark Upton commented that “Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption caused by that, together with a downturn in orders and cash flow difficulties has meant that Windboats Marine Limited has had to enter Administration. The Company has a well-respected name in the market and builds a fantastic British product with a highly skilled workforce and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a buyer for the business.”
Ensors is welcoming enquiries regarding a potential purchase and interested parties are being asked to contact Mark Upton email@example.com or Ben Croston firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this opportunity in more detail.
PHOTO: The latest Hardy 42
Marina boat show hosts cancel June event due to Coronavirus
The south coast marina operator, Premier Marinas, has announced the cancellation of its June Chichester Marina Boat Show as a result of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation and ‘its unpredictability going forward’. The weekend event was originally due to be held during April but had been deferred to the 20th- 21st June.
Paul Cook, Chichester’s Marina Manager, said: “The show was coming into its third year, having been incredibly popular with both customers and exhibitors over the past two years; so this was a difficult decision to make. But all being well, the team and I are looking forward to bringing it back with gusto in 2021.”
US builder 'discontinues' three of its sportsboat, sportscruiser and fishing boat brands
The US parent company and boat builder, Polaris Inc, has announced it will discontinue production of its three brands, Rinker, Striper and Larson FX this June. In a website statement Polaris said that it ‘has made the strategic decision to focus its marine investments and growth efforts on its flagship boating brands’. As a result, Polaris will stop producing the three boat brands at its Syracuse, Indiana plant in June.
The boat brand Rinker is 90 years old, founded in the 1930s, while its stable mate Larson dates back to 1913. Polaris purchased the Larson FX and Striper brands in 2019 and the Rinker brand as a part of its Boat Holdings acquisition in 2018. Polaris will continue to produce its Bennington, Godfrey, and Hurricane boat brands in its two bases in Elkhart, Indiana.
“This decision was made after extensive consideration of every available alternative,” said Bob Mack, president of Global Adjacent Markets and Boats, and senior vice president of Corporate Development & Strategy, Polaris. "We were fully prepared to expand these brands and our presence within their respective segments of the marine industry. But today, considering market dynamics and the continued uncertainty around the sustained impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided not to move forward with investing the necessary resources to maintain and grow Rinker, Striper and Larson FX, and will discontinue production of those brands.”
The action entails closing the Syracuse facility which will result in the elimination of 120 jobs. Some of the employees impacted by the decision will have opportunities at Polaris Boats’ Elkhart campuses.
“We deeply regret the impact this will have on our employees, boat dealers, sales representatives, suppliers and, of course, our Rinker, Striper and Larson FX customers,” Mack continued. “However, today’s decision will allow us to concentrate our investments on driving growth and innovation within Bennington, Godfrey and Hurricane and strengthening our leadership in those segments.”
Polaris will continue to provide customer service and parts support for Rinker, Larson FX and Striper boats and will honor the warranties of boats purchased from Polaris.
Message from Motorboat Owner Editor, Neale Byart, 31st March
“Well what a strange month that has been. We started out with some concerns about a new virus that we were only just beginning to learn about and ended up confined to our home, unable to see friends and family. Many marinas have been locked up and, for some, access to our boats prohibited. No sooner has the season begun than we have had it torn away from us, understandably so given what is going on, but that doesn’t diminish the disappointment that I’m sure we are all experiencing.
At MBO we travel quite a bit every month to produce each issue and, suddenly, all of this ‘non-essential’ travel is forbidden. Luckily, this month we managed to do most of it before the lockdown, but our ongoing schedule has been decimated. I am sure that you are all also aware that we rely on support from the fantastic industry that we represent, an industry that, like many others, will be suffering the ramifications of this shutdown.
We have thought long and hard about our next move and have decided, reluctantly, to suspend publication of Motorboat Owner while this crisis passes. We will be back with renewed vigour, hopefully sooner rather than later, and trust that you will stick with us through this unplanned hiatus.
We will remain active on our Twitter and Facebook pages and, for those that haven’t already discovered it, you will still have access to our back issues section that now contains over 80 issues to download and read. We will also keep you updated about the magazine on our website, so please check in regularly.
We are keeping our fingers crossed that this passes quickly so that we are all able to benefit from however much of the season is left when it is finally over, and we wish to offer our heartfelt best wishes to all of our readers, and all of those in the marine industry.”
If you are finding yourself with a little more time on your hands we would love to hear from you.
Please send us a letter, a question, a favourite boating story or photo to include in the magazine or share on Facebook. Do you have a boating project or project boat that you are working on right now at home? Message us or email email@example.com
British boat builder, Sunseeker International has donated PPE to local Poole Hospital during Covid-19 virus pandemic
In support of the NHS during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sunseeker International has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The PPE equipment consists of 400 face masks and 4000 gloves which will today be delivered to Poole Hospital, local to Sunseeker International’s headquarters.
Michael Straughan, Chief Operating Officer, commented: “We all need to do our bit in these exceptional circumstances. We wanted to support our hardworking NHS workers as they continue their exceptional frontline work against the Coronavirus. As we had PPE equipment available, we felt it was important to donate these to Poole Hospital to help however we can.”
Mark Mould, Chief Operating Officer at Poole Hospital, responded: “It has been so heartening to see the business community rallying around our hospitals during this current crisis. We are so grateful to Sunseeker International for this offer of support and their equipment will further improve our resilience during this challenging period for the NHS.”
A new Finnish 'water scooter' brand is unleashed
With the tag line, a ‘new era of affordable boating’, a new Finnish brand, Saxdor Yachts, has been unveiled in Helsinki, Finland today, March 5th. The Saxdor brand brings what is thought to be a completely new boat category, the water scooter, to the market. It is a personal watercraft that has been designed for fishing and watersports and combines ‘the convenience and ease of use of a jet ski with the safety and comfort of a compact boat’.
The man behind Saxdor, is Sakari Mattila, the ‘chief designer and founder’ of boat brands Axopar, Paragon, Aquador and XO. The debut model, the Saxdor 200 Sport, is a 20ft outboard powered personal watercraft. With a starting price of €20,000 ex VAT with 100hp Mercury engine, its manufacturers say ‘affordable boating doesn´t mean compromising quality, seakeeping, versatility performance or sexy styling’. Fitted with a 100hp engine, the 200 Sport is capable of 34 knots, while the largest 175hp outboard motor is set to offer a top speed of over 45 knots. Saxdor Yachts has employed the vast experience of J&J Design to create the design and tooling in a bid to make an entry-level craft that is light (approximately 700kg), easy to trail, cheap to run and fun and easy to drive. A twin-stepped, sharp entry hull promises to be efficient, smooth riding and quick to accelerate no matter which engine option selected. The standard boat comes with a triple jockey seat and an open deck, but customers can customise the design to their requirements. Other options available include a T-top and an alternative seating arrangement including side-by-side jockey seats with a twin bench aft. A canvas, attaching to the opening bow hatch, is also available for overnighting.
The company is investigating the option of a jet drive for improved maneuverability and a shallower draught. The Scooter will be on sale from the beginning of March with the official launch taking place at the 2020 Cannes Yachting Festival this September. Sakari Mattila, founder of Saxdor Yachts said “The concept behind Saxdor Yachts is to make the next generation of affordable boats. These are premium craft with modern styling and an affordable price that are fitted with the latest technology. “The 20ft Scooter revolutionises small personal watercraft by being a multipurpose boat that refuses to compromise with sexy design language and strong performance at a sensible price.” Saxdor Yachts is a brand with ambition that has plans within the next two years to extend the range up to 50ft.