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Stranded boats and crew scattered around the globe - Australian MarineBusinessWorld newsletter

by Peter Rendle 20 Aug 22:00 UTC
Yachts on anchor in Fiji © Down Under Rally

Repercussions caused by the current pandemic continue to come to light. One affecting the boating community involves around 300 cruising yachts stranded in various locations around the globe.

Currently there are well over 300 vessels carrying over 600 crewmembers in the South Pacific region that are displaced and facing very uncertain futures. Whilst they may be "stuck in paradise" travel restrictions related to Covid19 mean these vessels and as such the crewmembers aboard the vessels themselves are fast running out of options. Why? For the safety of both the vessels themselves and the crewmembers aboard, the majority of these vessels need to transit from their current locations to arrive in a destination such as Australia or New Zealand for the purpose of being located outside of the area known to be affected by the South Pacific Cyclone Season, which officially commences on 1 November 2020. Vessel insurance conditions also make this a requirement.

Meanwhile the results of pandemic contingency measures are being analysed including the results of a recent online seminar run by the Marina Industries Association. In April the Marina Industries Association (MIA) announced a commitment to fast track online learning initiatives in-light of Covid-19. Since then MIA has conducted many online regional meetings and webinars and converted two face to face courses for online delivery. 35 participated in the online Club Marine Emergency Preparedness course and 17 participated in the online Intermediate Marina Management (IMM) course. The IMM course is delivered across the globe. This was the first time it has been conducted online and it attracted participants from the UAE, China, Thailand and Australia.

The MIA was further buoyed by the extension of sponsorship from an industry member. The Association is very pleased to announce that Butchart Marine Services has increased its support for the MIA by moving from bronze level to silver sponsorship. Butchart Marine Services distribute Roodberg boat handling machinery, Brownell Boat Stands, Capria Dry Stacking machinery, Multi-Mover electric tugs and Alto Service self-propelled boat transporters. Greg Butchart said he was pleased to increase his investment in the MIA. "The MIA do a great job in contributing to the growth of our industry in Australia and beyond. area. With travel now so limited the MIA has an increasingly valuable role in keeping the industry connected.

Another Australian company, more associated with manufacturing quality boat clothing, have created a protective mask, ideal for using when on the water. Zhik have introduced a new Face Mask that is weatherproof, washable and comfortable. It is not just another facemask; Zhik's industrial design team has thought this through, like so many of the other ingenious products Zhik prides itself with. Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased in many countries, and it is safe to go back on the water again, it has proven to be a great product. Piet Poelmann, CEO of Zhik has tested it himself. "When it gets wet with the spray of the bow, it still feels very comfortable. It is quick drying on the downwind stretch. Best of all, at the end of the day, just hand wash it; and you are ready for another great day on the water."

Another victim of the current situation is the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. The Festival planned for February 2021 will not be proceeding, the festival's General Manager Mr Paul Stephanus announced today. Mr Stephanus said that considerable planning had already gone into next year's festival and it is disappointing that it cannot proceed as planned. "Being such a large festival with an enviable international reputation and appeal, the planning for each festival commences as the previous festival wraps up," Mr Stephanus said.

From Europe, a traditional yacht building company have entered the power boat market. With more than 40 years of experience in high performance sailing boats, X-Yachts is now introducing a whole and extraordinary initiative, based on some of the deep experience they have. A 33 feet open powerboat for quality-conscious boaters, with exactly the same overall strategy. Fast and safe on the water, superior pleasure with ownership, innovative development and design. The powerboat is planned for launch in January 2021, and the important milestones are reached by close supervision of designers, boat builders, engineers and technicians.

Also, from Europe, Barton Marine has partnered with DeckHardware Marine Solutions Australasia to distribute its extensive range of deck gear across the Australasia region. Barton's popular, durable and innovative blocks and traveller car systems and accessories alongside the wider range of deck equipment will be available for chandleries, OEMs and riggers to order in September.

Keep your news coming. We pride ourselves on being the fastest media platform to publish the latest marine industry updates and welcome your latest developments to include on

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle

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