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Brokerage sales drop on small-boat decline

Brokerage sales drop on small-boat decline


Posted on 05 October 2012


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Sales of brokerage boats in the United States declined in September as 1,962 vessels changed hands, 8 percent fewer than in September 2011.

The drop was attributable to fewer sales of small boats, according to reports by YachtWorld member brokerages in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.

Improved sales of larger yachts, however, raised the total value of boats sold during the month by 13 percent to $221 million. The aggregate sales figures represent a shift from the summer months, when small-boat brokerage sales generally were higher, compared with 2011, and large-boat sales generally were lower.

The drop in sales volume could be attributed largely to fewer sales of powerboats. Although sailboat sales were lower by 1 percent, with 406 boats sold, powerboat sales declined 10 percent, with 1,556 sold, down from 1,726 the previous September.

Among all boats sold under 35 feet, sales were down from 1,502 boats in 2011 to 1,304, a 13 percent decline. The total value of sales also was down 13 percent, from $56 million to $49 million.

By contrast, sales were up 11 percent among boats over 45 feet, and the total value of those transactions was up 37 percent, from $87 million to $119 million. The middle range of boats, 36 to 45 feet, was essentially flat in terms of boats sold (473 boats) and total value ($53 million).

A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— John Burnham

YachtWorld.com editorial director

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Sailing into history

October 5, 2012

Sailing into history

Fifth-graders study heritage on field trip


By Michael Springer Correspondent



Gloucester Daily Times
The Gloucester Daily Times


Fri Oct 05, 2012, 12:00 AM EDT

It’s become a tradition for fifth-graders attending Gloucester’s public schools.

Every fall, the city’s fifth-grade classes take a field trip to explore this seaport’s maritime heritage, visiting the Cape Ann Museum and taking a cruise aboard the schooner Thomas E. Lannon.

On a beautiful fall day, Sept. 27, pupils from Grace Scola’s class at Plum Cove Elementary School had their turn.

They started the day at the museum, where museum educator Liza Browning led them on a tour that started on the main floor with the historical painting collection and ended upstairs with a close-up look at some antique boats and old-fashioned fishing equipment.

Then the schoolchildren and their chaperones walked to the docks, where they enjoyed a picnic lunch before boarding the Lannon for a two-hour cruise. Built in 1997, the Lannon is modeled after the Gloucester swordfishing schooner Nokomis, which was built in Essex in 1903. The Lannon is named after owner and skipper Tommis Ellis’ maternal grandfather, who fished out of Gloucester in the early 20th century.

When the Lannon was out of the harbor, the Plum Cove fifth-graders helped hoist the sails. Crew member Michael O’Leary of Gloucester taught them how to tie knots and sing traditional sea shanties.

Perhaps the highlight of the trip for many was the moment when Ellis allowed each child to briefly take control of the wheel.







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Paddles Up St. Pete Festival is perfect time to dip into paddling

Many people move to Florida for the water. Local residents can take their pick of playgrounds: Tampa Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.

And while power boating and sailing are undoubtedly widely popular, paddling has become the recreational activity of choice for many water enthusiasts.

Twenty years ago, you might have seen the odd aluminum canoe out on the bay, but if you stroll along St. Petersburg’s waterfront today, you will see people paddling everything from sea kayaks to standup paddleboards.

And if you head to Bayboro Harbor on Saturday you’ll see a new addition to the city’s recreational fleet: the dragon boat. This type of watercraft is typically about 40 feet long and holds 20 paddlers, paired off sitting side by side.

More than a dozen teams are expected to compete in a series of dragon boat races along a 350-meter course as part of the Paddles Up St. Pete Festival. The event, which organizers hope will become an annual affair, will feature everything from paddleboards to kayaks at Poynter Park and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus.

Dragon boat racing is huge in Asia, where the sport can trace its history back several thousand years. According to an ancient Chinese legend, the patriot Qu Yuan, after hearing he had been exiled from his beloved land, threw himself into the Mi Lo River. The local fishermen, who plied the river’s waters in long, sleek craft, paddled out and banged on drums to keep the dragons from eating Qu Yuan’s body.

Today, dragon boat races in China and surrounding countries typically draw thousands of athletes and hundreds of boats. But this team sport also has caught on big in the United States.

Races typically are short, no more than 500 yards, and intense. The boats, which usually weigh about 800 pounds empty, hold paddlers, a drummer who sets the pace and coxswain who steers the boat with a 9-foot wooden paddle.

Unlike competitive outrigger canoes (45 feet long), which are powered by six paddlers who switch sides every eight to 10 strokes, dragon boat paddlers stroke on one side (port or starboard) for the entire race.

A top crew can cover the typical 500-meter course in about 2 minutes, 25 seconds. This may not seem that difficult to the uninitiated observer, but all you have to do is climb into the boat for a 10-minute training session to feel the burn.

The typical dragon boat crew is divided into three sections. The first six paddlers sit closest to the drummer and should have long strokes for the rest of the crew to follow. The middle eight paddlers, or the “engine room,” usually weigh the most and give the boat its power. The last six paddlers are usually the strongest and can give the boat a push near the finish line.

Between dragon boat races, festival attendees can test-paddle a variety of canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards. Paddleboards, also called SUPS, are the hottest selling watercraft today. They are light, easily transportable and user friendly. Most paddlers can stand up and get going after a 10-minute lesson. But if you plan to paddle, make sure you wear swimming attire. You never know when you might end up in the water.

While you are there, test-paddle a sea kayak. If you don’t know anything about these affordable watercraft, here is a quick primer:

Kayaks come in two varieties: enclosed and sit-on-top. Enclosed boats are usually made of fiberglass and are better suited for coastal touring and open-water adventures. Sit-on-tops don’t paddle as well over long distances, but they are better suited for fishing. The open-cockpit design allows an angler to get on and off, and wade the shallow areas.

The lighter the boat, the easier to paddle, but the longer the waterline (length), the faster the boat will go. A short boat (11 to 13 feet) handles better in tight spots; longer boats (13 to 17 feet) perform better over long distances and in big waves.

Sit-on-tops are the most popular watercraft on local waters, probably because they can be easily carried by one person. The boats have become popular as a form of cross training, especially with triathletes, because the rhythmic paddling offers good cardiovascular exercise and a pleasant alternative to running, cycling and swimming.

. Fast facts

Paddles Up St. Pete Festival

What: A free festival promoting all things paddling and to promote marine science, safety, preservation and education.

When/where: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday; Poynter Park (1000 3rd St. S) and the waterfront at USF St. Petersburg on Bayboro Harbor.

Highlights: Dragon boat races; kayak races; canoe, kayak and standup paddleboard test drives; and a marine science expo.

More information: paddlesup stpete.com.


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