Archive for » October 15th, 2012«

Amphibious vehicle to go on sale soon in US


Associated Press business staff

By

Associated Press business staff

The Plain Dealer

on October 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM, updated October 15, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Brought to you by



Amphibious Vehicle
The Quadski, a one-person motor boat that also drives on land, is tested in in Oxford Mich. The vehicle is being billed as the first commercially available, high-speed amphibious vehicle by its makers, Michigan-based Gibbs Technologies. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000.


DETROIT  — Amphibious vehicles could soon be zooming out of James Bond’s garage — or pond — and into yours.

The
Quadski — a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal
watercraft — is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed,
commercially available amphibious vehicle. It’s scheduled to go on sale
in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000. Michigan-based
Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by
2014.

With its all-terrain tires and four-cylinder, BMW-supplied
engine, the Quadski can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land. To take
it into the water, the driver presses a button. In five seconds, the
four wheels fold up and tuck into the sides. The Quadski can go a brisk
45 miles per hour in the water before a press of the button brings the
wheels out again.

“You just drive straight into the water, quite
fast, and keep on going. It’s sort of magic,” the founder of Gibbs
Sports Amphibians, Alan Gibbs, told The Associated Press in a recent
interview.

History is littered with attempts to make fast,
long-lasting amphibious cars, from the campy German Amphicar of the
early 1960s to current companies that rework sports cars by hand for
$200,000 or more. But Gibbs, a former diplomat and entrepreneur from New
Zealand, says the Quadski is the first land vehicle for sale that can
go more than 10 mph in water. A lightweight, fiberglass hull and front
wheels that rise mechanically when the vehicle hits the water are among
the tricks the Quadski uses.

Gibbs, who has made everything from
bras to television sets over a long career in New Zealand and the U.K.,
launched Gibbs Sports Amphibians 16 years ago after building his own
amphibious car and wondering if he could make it on a larger scale.
Since then, the company has spent $200 million, built nine prototypes
and amassed more than 300 patents.

“It seems so simple, but it’s really difficult,” Gibbs said.

The
Quadski isn’t the Gibbs’ first vehicle. That honor belongs to the
three-seat Aquada, which debuted in 2003 and goes 100 mph on land and 30
mph in the water. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson used an Aquada in
2004 when he set an amphibious vehicle speed record crossing the English
Channel.

But the Aquada never went on sale. First its engine
supplier, Rover, went out of business. Then U.S. safety regulators
wouldn’t approve it for street use because of several safety issues. The
government insisted on air bags, for example, even though Gibbs argued
that they might deploy every time the Aquada hit a large wave.

Gibbs
Sports Amphibians hopes to turn things around with the Quadski, which
has fewer safety requirements because it’s an ATV. The company’s target
customers are outdoor sportsmen as well as first responders. The Quadski
will come in five colors and will be available at power sports dealers,
concentrated in Florida, Texas, the New York to Boston corridor and the
Great Lakes region.

Ryan Brown, a salesman at Carter Powersports
in Las Vegas, has never heard of another vehicle like the Quadski and
thinks it’s a great concept. But he’s not sure customers will pay
$40,000 for one when a standard ATV costs between $4,400 and $10,000.

“These
are toys people don’t have a lot of extra money for right now,” he
said. “People are having a hard enough time getting financed on a $5,000
motorcycle.”

The Quadski will be made at the company’s Auburn
Hills, Mich., factory, a former Daewoo Group parts plant. Gibbs Chairman
and CEO Neil Jenkins said the company now has 100 employees at the
plant. It plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when
the plant is in full operation. The company expects to sell around 1,000
Quadskis in the first year, but Gibbs says he won’t be disappointed if
the company doesn’t meet its sales targets.

“We’ll respond to how
the market develops,” he said. “We wouldn’t be doing it without being
very confident people will love them.”

Gibbs said the company may
return to the Aquada someday and try to make it street legal for U.S.
buyers. In the meantime it’s planning eight personal sports vehicles
based on the Quadski, including some with more seating and SUV-like
proportions.

The company is also preparing to introduce the
Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot,
3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first
responders, Gibbs said. The company is looking for partners to produce
those vehicles.


Similar news:

Amphibious vehicle to go on sale soon in US


Associated Press business staff

By

Associated Press business staff

The Plain Dealer

on October 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM, updated October 15, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Brought to you by



Amphibious Vehicle
The Quadski, a one-person motor boat that also drives on land, is tested in in Oxford Mich. The vehicle is being billed as the first commercially available, high-speed amphibious vehicle by its makers, Michigan-based Gibbs Technologies. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000.


DETROIT  — Amphibious vehicles could soon be zooming out of James Bond’s garage — or pond — and into yours.

The
Quadski — a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal
watercraft — is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed,
commercially available amphibious vehicle. It’s scheduled to go on sale
in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000. Michigan-based
Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by
2014.

With its all-terrain tires and four-cylinder, BMW-supplied
engine, the Quadski can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land. To take
it into the water, the driver presses a button. In five seconds, the
four wheels fold up and tuck into the sides. The Quadski can go a brisk
45 miles per hour in the water before a press of the button brings the
wheels out again.

“You just drive straight into the water, quite
fast, and keep on going. It’s sort of magic,” the founder of Gibbs
Sports Amphibians, Alan Gibbs, told The Associated Press in a recent
interview.

History is littered with attempts to make fast,
long-lasting amphibious cars, from the campy German Amphicar of the
early 1960s to current companies that rework sports cars by hand for
$200,000 or more. But Gibbs, a former diplomat and entrepreneur from New
Zealand, says the Quadski is the first land vehicle for sale that can
go more than 10 mph in water. A lightweight, fiberglass hull and front
wheels that rise mechanically when the vehicle hits the water are among
the tricks the Quadski uses.

Gibbs, who has made everything from
bras to television sets over a long career in New Zealand and the U.K.,
launched Gibbs Sports Amphibians 16 years ago after building his own
amphibious car and wondering if he could make it on a larger scale.
Since then, the company has spent $200 million, built nine prototypes
and amassed more than 300 patents.

“It seems so simple, but it’s really difficult,” Gibbs said.

The
Quadski isn’t the Gibbs’ first vehicle. That honor belongs to the
three-seat Aquada, which debuted in 2003 and goes 100 mph on land and 30
mph in the water. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson used an Aquada in
2004 when he set an amphibious vehicle speed record crossing the English
Channel.

But the Aquada never went on sale. First its engine
supplier, Rover, went out of business. Then U.S. safety regulators
wouldn’t approve it for street use because of several safety issues. The
government insisted on air bags, for example, even though Gibbs argued
that they might deploy every time the Aquada hit a large wave.

Gibbs
Sports Amphibians hopes to turn things around with the Quadski, which
has fewer safety requirements because it’s an ATV. The company’s target
customers are outdoor sportsmen as well as first responders. The Quadski
will come in five colors and will be available at power sports dealers,
concentrated in Florida, Texas, the New York to Boston corridor and the
Great Lakes region.

Ryan Brown, a salesman at Carter Powersports
in Las Vegas, has never heard of another vehicle like the Quadski and
thinks it’s a great concept. But he’s not sure customers will pay
$40,000 for one when a standard ATV costs between $4,400 and $10,000.

“These
are toys people don’t have a lot of extra money for right now,” he
said. “People are having a hard enough time getting financed on a $5,000
motorcycle.”

The Quadski will be made at the company’s Auburn
Hills, Mich., factory, a former Daewoo Group parts plant. Gibbs Chairman
and CEO Neil Jenkins said the company now has 100 employees at the
plant. It plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when
the plant is in full operation. The company expects to sell around 1,000
Quadskis in the first year, but Gibbs says he won’t be disappointed if
the company doesn’t meet its sales targets.

“We’ll respond to how
the market develops,” he said. “We wouldn’t be doing it without being
very confident people will love them.”

Gibbs said the company may
return to the Aquada someday and try to make it street legal for U.S.
buyers. In the meantime it’s planning eight personal sports vehicles
based on the Quadski, including some with more seating and SUV-like
proportions.

The company is also preparing to introduce the
Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot,
3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first
responders, Gibbs said. The company is looking for partners to produce
those vehicles.


Similar news:

Amphibious vehicle to go on sale soon in US


Associated Press business staff

By

Associated Press business staff

The Plain Dealer

on October 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM, updated October 15, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Brought to you by



Amphibious Vehicle
The Quadski, a one-person motor boat that also drives on land, is tested in in Oxford Mich. The vehicle is being billed as the first commercially available, high-speed amphibious vehicle by its makers, Michigan-based Gibbs Technologies. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000.


DETROIT  — Amphibious vehicles could soon be zooming out of James Bond’s garage — or pond — and into yours.

The
Quadski — a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal
watercraft — is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed,
commercially available amphibious vehicle. It’s scheduled to go on sale
in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000. Michigan-based
Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by
2014.

With its all-terrain tires and four-cylinder, BMW-supplied
engine, the Quadski can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land. To take
it into the water, the driver presses a button. In five seconds, the
four wheels fold up and tuck into the sides. The Quadski can go a brisk
45 miles per hour in the water before a press of the button brings the
wheels out again.

“You just drive straight into the water, quite
fast, and keep on going. It’s sort of magic,” the founder of Gibbs
Sports Amphibians, Alan Gibbs, told The Associated Press in a recent
interview.

History is littered with attempts to make fast,
long-lasting amphibious cars, from the campy German Amphicar of the
early 1960s to current companies that rework sports cars by hand for
$200,000 or more. But Gibbs, a former diplomat and entrepreneur from New
Zealand, says the Quadski is the first land vehicle for sale that can
go more than 10 mph in water. A lightweight, fiberglass hull and front
wheels that rise mechanically when the vehicle hits the water are among
the tricks the Quadski uses.

Gibbs, who has made everything from
bras to television sets over a long career in New Zealand and the U.K.,
launched Gibbs Sports Amphibians 16 years ago after building his own
amphibious car and wondering if he could make it on a larger scale.
Since then, the company has spent $200 million, built nine prototypes
and amassed more than 300 patents.

“It seems so simple, but it’s really difficult,” Gibbs said.

The
Quadski isn’t the Gibbs’ first vehicle. That honor belongs to the
three-seat Aquada, which debuted in 2003 and goes 100 mph on land and 30
mph in the water. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson used an Aquada in
2004 when he set an amphibious vehicle speed record crossing the English
Channel.

But the Aquada never went on sale. First its engine
supplier, Rover, went out of business. Then U.S. safety regulators
wouldn’t approve it for street use because of several safety issues. The
government insisted on air bags, for example, even though Gibbs argued
that they might deploy every time the Aquada hit a large wave.

Gibbs
Sports Amphibians hopes to turn things around with the Quadski, which
has fewer safety requirements because it’s an ATV. The company’s target
customers are outdoor sportsmen as well as first responders. The Quadski
will come in five colors and will be available at power sports dealers,
concentrated in Florida, Texas, the New York to Boston corridor and the
Great Lakes region.

Ryan Brown, a salesman at Carter Powersports
in Las Vegas, has never heard of another vehicle like the Quadski and
thinks it’s a great concept. But he’s not sure customers will pay
$40,000 for one when a standard ATV costs between $4,400 and $10,000.

“These
are toys people don’t have a lot of extra money for right now,” he
said. “People are having a hard enough time getting financed on a $5,000
motorcycle.”

The Quadski will be made at the company’s Auburn
Hills, Mich., factory, a former Daewoo Group parts plant. Gibbs Chairman
and CEO Neil Jenkins said the company now has 100 employees at the
plant. It plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when
the plant is in full operation. The company expects to sell around 1,000
Quadskis in the first year, but Gibbs says he won’t be disappointed if
the company doesn’t meet its sales targets.

“We’ll respond to how
the market develops,” he said. “We wouldn’t be doing it without being
very confident people will love them.”

Gibbs said the company may
return to the Aquada someday and try to make it street legal for U.S.
buyers. In the meantime it’s planning eight personal sports vehicles
based on the Quadski, including some with more seating and SUV-like
proportions.

The company is also preparing to introduce the
Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot,
3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first
responders, Gibbs said. The company is looking for partners to produce
those vehicles.


Similar news:

Bayliner to focus cruiser sales, production in South America

Bayliner to focus cruiser sales, production in South America


Posted on 09 October 2012


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Brunswick Boat Group announced Tuesday that it will stop building and selling Bayliner cruisers in the United States so the brand can focus on its core bowrider and deckboat models, as well as new categories, such as the jetboat segment.

As a result, Brunswick said it will stop production at its plant near Knoxville, Tenn., where 225 full-time workers are employed, by the end of 2012 and make its Brazil operations the center for its Bayliner cruiser business. It will suspend the brand’s cruiser sales and production outside of South America.

Bayliner produces a line of six cruiser models from 24 to 33 feet.

“We will continue to maintain our leadership position in the North American cruiser segment with our Sea Ray brand,” Andrew E. Graves, president of Brunswick Boat Group, said in a statement.

Over the next several months, Bayliner will introduce a new line of bowriders, a new series of deckboats and will launch “Element,” the company’s break into “affordable boating,” Graves said.

Bayliner will also enter the jetboat segment in 2013 with a new series.

“We believe this effort will solidify our position in the market and offer dealers and boaters a wide variety of choices and models,” Graves said.

The world’s largest boatbuilder cited changing global trends and fluctuating needs of boat buyers for the move.

“Our current plan reflects a change in focus for Bayliner’s global product portfolio to emphasize and expand its leadership across a broader set of recreational dayboat craft types,” Graves explained.

“Additionally, Bayliner will make its Brazil operations the center for its cruiser business but will suspend the brand’s cruiser sales and production outside of South America,” he said.

“This strategic repositioning of Bayliner further reduces the need to maintain the Brunswick Boat Group’s current cruiser production capacity in the U.S., particularly in view of current market weakness for cruisers. As a result, we will consolidate our U.S. cruiser production for Sea Ray into our Palm Coast, Fla., and Vonore, Tenn., facilities while producing Bayliner cruisers in Brazil. This will be more efficient and still allow us to retain capacity equal to three times our current worldwide cruiser demand, enabling us to adequately increase production when the market improves,” Graves said.

The company estimates that these actions will save $10 million to $12 million a year once implemented.

“The complexion of the global marine marketplace continues to evolve and so does Brunswick,” said chairman and CEO Dustan E. McCoy in a statement. “Our continuing challenge is to adapt our brands, models and technologies to best appeal to today’s boating consumers, as well as the shifting global marine marketplace.

“Though the U.S. marine marketplace has improved recently, the recovery has been uneven across the various market segments,” he added. “While sales of smaller boats, such as popular fishing boats and pontoons, have improved, demand for cruisers and larger boats remains weak. We believe this is due to a number of factors, including continuing economic uncertainty, as well as a cautious and evolving consumer. The actions announced today are a necessary step in enabling us to reach our near-term operational and financial objectives while positioning the company to exploit future market growth in the fiberglass boat segment.”

Separately, Brunswick also concluded that a portion of its long-lived assets pertaining to certain boat brands, including Hatteras, Cabo and its European and Asia-Pacific boat brands, have been impaired and that impairment charges related to these brands will be recognized in the third quarter.

Brunswick’s estimate of total restructuring and impairment charges in the third quarter will be in the range of $25 million to $32 million, pretax. These charges primarily include non-cash asset write-downs but also include charges for severance, facility closing and other costs. Further, the company anticipates that additional charges pertaining to these actions will be recognized in future periods.

— Reagan Haynes


I find it amusing that people still bash the quality of Bayliners. These would be the same people that would pony up double the cash for a Sea Ray, built with the same fiberglass, gelcoat and in many cases built in the same plants.

I giggle even more at the people that sell other brands and bash the line as well. Bayliner put more first time boaters on the water than any other boat company in history. So as you sit back and attempt to sell your “high end” boats, wondering …. “Where are all the buyers looking to trade up into these expensive boats” you can look back at Bayliner and say “Thank you”. If it wasn’t for them putting hundreds of thousands of first time boat buyers on the water since the 80’s, you wouldn’t have a job today.

And if Bayliner goes away completely someday and no body starts chasing that first time “cheap” buyer again, this industry in the US is DOOMED!

“Bayliner will introduce a new line of bowriders, a new series of deckboats and will launch “Element,” the company’s break into “affordable boating,” Graves said.”

Wasn’t Bayliner built on the premise of “affordable boating”??? They have been an entry level boat brand since they introduced the Capri line back in the early 80’s.

As far as their cruiser line goes, they didn’t have much of one lately anyway, so no great loss… Except for the many U.S. jobs!!!

Do they still build the 175 in Mexico?

Bayliner- A “global” company… :(

My wife and I were about to buy a Cruiser. When I read this story this AM and told my wife about it, we both agreed to shop around for an American made boat.

We make our money in the USA and we will keep it here!

This will be more efficient and still allow us to retain capacity equal to three times our current worldwide cruiser demand, enabling us to adequately increase production when the market improves,” Graves said.

Does Brunswick really need production capacity @ 3 times the current worldwide cruiser demand? Do they realistically expect demand to increase 300%? Sounds like bad planning to me. In a bad economy they are sacrificing their entry level cruiser line in North America? Guess they are counting on the upper end consumer at the expense of the lower end of the market. Only time will tell if they’re right.

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Similar news:

Amphibious vehicle to go on sale soon in US

— Amphibious vehicles could soon be zooming out of James Bond’s garage – or pond – and into yours.

The Quadski – a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal watercraft – is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed, commercially available amphibious vehicle. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000. Michigan-based Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by 2014.

With its all-terrain tires and four-cylinder, BMW-supplied engine, the Quadski can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land. To take it into the water, the driver presses a button. In five seconds, the four wheels fold up and tuck into the sides. The Quadski can go a brisk 45 miles per hour in the water before a press of the button brings the wheels out again.

“You just drive straight into the water, quite fast, and keep on going. It’s sort of magic,” the founder of Gibbs Sports Amphibians, Alan Gibbs, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

History is littered with attempts to make fast, long-lasting amphibious cars, from the campy German Amphicar of the early 1960s to current companies that rework sports cars by hand for $200,000 or more. But Gibbs, a former diplomat and entrepreneur from New Zealand, says the Quadski is the first land vehicle for sale that can go more than 10 mph in water. A lightweight, fiberglass hull and front wheels that rise mechanically when the vehicle hits the water are among the tricks the Quadski uses.

Gibbs, who has made everything from bras to television sets over a long career in New Zealand and the U.K., launched Gibbs Sports Amphibians 16 years ago after building his own amphibious car and wondering if he could make it on a larger scale. Since then, the company has spent $200 million, built nine prototypes and amassed more than 300 patents.

“It seems so simple, but it’s really difficult,” Gibbs said.

The Quadski isn’t the Gibbs’ first vehicle. That honor belongs to the three-seat Aquada, which debuted in 2003 and goes 100 mph on land and 30 mph in the water. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson used an Aquada in 2004 when he set an amphibious vehicle speed record crossing the English Channel.

But the Aquada never went on sale. First its engine supplier, Rover, went out of business. Then U.S. safety regulators wouldn’t approve it for street use because of several safety issues. The government insisted on air bags, for example, even though Gibbs argued that they might deploy every time the Aquada hit a large wave.

Gibbs Sports Amphibians hopes to turn things around with the Quadski, which has fewer safety requirements because it’s an ATV. The company’s target customers are outdoor sportsmen as well as first responders. The Quadski will come in five colors and will be available at power sports dealers, concentrated in Florida, Texas, the New York to Boston corridor and the Great Lakes region.

Ryan Brown, a salesman at Carter Powersports in Las Vegas, has never heard of another vehicle like the Quadski and thinks it’s a great concept. But he’s not sure customers will pay $40,000 for one when a standard ATV costs between $4,400 and $10,000.

“These are toys people don’t have a lot of extra money for right now,” he said. “People are having a hard enough time getting financed on a $5,000 motorcycle.”

The Quadski will be made at the company’s Auburn Hills, Mich., factory, a former Daewoo Group parts plant. Gibbs Chairman and CEO Neil Jenkins said the company now has 100 employees at the plant. It plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when the plant is in full operation. The company expects to sell around 1,000 Quadskis in the first year, but Gibbs says he won’t be disappointed if the company doesn’t meet its sales targets.

“We’ll respond to how the market develops,” he said. “We wouldn’t be doing it without being very confident people will love them.”

Gibbs said the company may return to the Aquada someday and try to make it street legal for U.S. buyers. In the meantime it’s planning eight personal sports vehicles based on the Quadski, including some with more seating and SUV-like proportions.

The company is also preparing to introduce the Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot, 3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first responders, Gibbs said. The company is looking for partners to produce those vehicles.


Similar news:

Sailing in Marin: World's largest sailboat owner has passion for finding leukemia and lymphoma cure

Click photo to enlarge

TOM PERKINS JOKES that in a 100 years, he’ll be best known for the 289-foot sailboat he built rather than his success as one of the most renowned venture capitalists in the country.

In 2000, Perkins set out to revolutionize yachting, to have the biggest sailboat with the most sail area of any boat in the world, sailed by only one person pushing some buttons. He did it, and the result was the famous Maltese Falcon.

Perkins of Belvedere is also known, however, for his philanthropic interests and in sailing circles specifically his role as honorary chairman of the Leukemia Cup Regatta, which combines his passion for sailing and finding a cure for leukemia and lymphoma, both forms of blood cancer.

Perkins lost his wife, Gerd, in 1994 to nonHodgkins lymphoma after 35 years of marriage, so the cause was already dear to his heart when he first heard about the Leukemia Cup Regatta, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club. In 2007, Perkins was the event VIP guest dinner speaker, and in 2008, he brought his Maltese Falcon — the world’s largest sailboat — to the bay to raise money for the Leukemia Cup.

The Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s vision is to create a world without blood cancer, and with 78 percent of funds it raises annually going to research, patient services and advocacy, LLS is on track. When LLS was founded in 1949, a blood cancer diagnosis was almost always fatal. LLS-funded

research has helped double, triple and in some cases even quadruple survival rates.

Under Perkin’s leadership, the LLS’ Leukemia Cup Regatta organized by the SFYC has raised more money than any other sailing benefit nationally, last year grossing more than $1 million.

Perkins has been a sailor since he was in high school. As he describes it, he was born into very modest circumstances and his parents didn’t have a boat, or college degrees or “anything like that.” He first sailed with a friend whose parents had a Lightning, a 19-foot dinghy, which they raced on Long Island Sound. While studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he sailed Tech Dinghies, a little wooden Herreshoff design with a centerboard.

The first boat he owned was long after he graduated from Harvard Business School and started working in the Bay Area. He bought a Teak Lady, a 17-foot wooden sloop built for the 1937 World Expo.

“They were beautiful boats, not very fast, but that was all I could afford,” Perkins said. “I raced it and became very good in class,”

He moved on to an International One Design, the hot boat of the day in the late 50s on the Bay and around the world.

“It was such a jump from being the champion in the Teak Lady to joining the most competitive class in the bay. I never hired anybody to teach me — I just learned from my mistakes and ended up being pretty equal with Jake Wasser who dominated the fleet.”

As he became more successful in business, Perkins also bought Copperhead, a rare classic, 47-foot yawl designed by Philip Rhodes, which will race in the new Classic Yacht Class in the Leukemia Cup Regatta this weekend.

Copperhead proved very competitive and Perkins raced her mainly offshore until his wife who crewed with him had enough of the wet and cold. She suggested he buy a bigger boat so they could entertain their friends onboard.

That invitation from his wife — which took a nano second for Perkins to act on — set him on a course that introduced him to Fabio Perini, the world’s biggest builder of superyachts, and to another lifetime that involved owning some of the largest and fastest superyachts anywhere.

Perini first built Andromeda (138 feet) for Perkins, followed by Andromeda La Dea (154 feet), which Perkins and his wife owned for many years sailing around the world and also racing her. When his wife passed away, Perkins needed a distraction so he bought Mariette, a classic and very famous Hereshoff designed schooner that needed a lot of work, much of which Perkins did himself. He successfully raced Mariette, always doing the strategy and tactics himself.

“I have never used a professional,” Perkins said. “It doesn’t mean I didn’t have good crew — I didn’t pay them but I did wine and dine them.”

Perkins eventually became bored with the racing scene, particularly because he was the only owner who raced his own boat while most others hired pros. He turned his energies to developing the Maltese Falcon, a boat he was crazy about more for the technology that it encompassed than for its “hotel rooms,” and why wouldn’t he? He’s a physicist, an inventor who loves numbers and making things go fast.

“We won regattas with nobody on deck, just me inside the wheelhouse turning a few knobs, doing the strategy and tactics in my head and controlling the boat at the same time,” Perkins said, “It was a total break through that I have to say has worked beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.”

Now 80 years old, Perkins is satisfied with the competitive sailing he’s accomplished and gets most pleasure out of being under the water either scuba diving or in his custom built submarine. Occasionally, though, he still loves to take his 14-foot catamaran for a spin — but only if the water’s warm and clear.

Marin resident Michelle Slade is a sailing journalist. Contact her about results, upcoming competitions and story ideas at www.sladecommunications.com. Read her blog at www.sailblast.blogspot.com

Leukemia Cup

What: Seventh annual San Francisco Bay Area Leukemia Cup Regatta
When: Oct. 21, Leukemia Cup Regatta and postregatta awards party hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club
Information: www.leukemia cup.org/sf

at a glance

• San Francisco Yacht Club is the recipient of the Jobson Trophy as the top fundraising regatta in the country for five consecutive years. Since 2006, the San Francisco Leukemia Cup has raised a total of $3.5 million for the cause.
• Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services.
• Skippers register their boats ($100 one-day regatta fee) and recruit their friends and colleagues to help crew for the San Francisco Bay Area Leukemia Cup Regatta and together, solicit donations to sponsor their boat.


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High-speed amphib vehicle to go on sale in US

DETROIT (AP) – Amphibious vehicles could soon be zooming out of James Bond’s garage – or pond – and into yours.

The Quadski – a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal watercraft – is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed, commercially available amphibious vehicle. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000. Michigan-based Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by 2014.

With its all-terrain tires and four-cylinder, BMW-supplied engine, the Quadski can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land. To take it into the water, the driver presses a button. In five seconds, the four wheels fold up and tuck into the sides. The Quadski can go a brisk 45 miles per hour in the water before a press of the button brings the wheels out again.

“You just drive straight into the water, quite fast, and keep on going. It’s sort of magic,” the founder of Gibbs Sports Amphibians, Alan Gibbs, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

History is littered with attempts to make fast, long-lasting amphibious cars, from the campy German Amphicar of the early 1960s to current companies that rework sports cars by hand for $200,000 or more. But Gibbs, a former diplomat and entrepreneur from New Zealand, says the Quadski is the first land vehicle for sale that can go more than 10 mph in water. A lightweight, fiberglass hull and front wheels that rise mechanically when the vehicle hits the water are among the tricks the Quadski uses.

Gibbs, who has made everything from bras to television sets over a long career in New Zealand and the U.K., launched Gibbs Sports Amphibians 16 years ago after building his own amphibious car and wondering if he could make it on a larger scale. Since then, the company has spent $200 million, built nine prototypes and amassed more than 300 patents.

“It seems so simple, but it’s really difficult,” Gibbs said.

The Quadski isn’t the Gibbs’ first vehicle. That honor belongs to the three-seat Aquada, which debuted in 2003 and goes 100 mph on land and 30 mph in the water. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson used an Aquada in 2004 when he set an amphibious vehicle speed record crossing the English Channel.

But the Aquada never went on sale. First its engine supplier, Rover, went out of business. Then U.S. safety regulators wouldn’t approve it for street use because of several safety issues. The government insisted on air bags, for example, even though Gibbs argued that they might deploy every time the Aquada hit a large wave.

Gibbs Sports Amphibians hopes to turn things around with the Quadski, which has fewer safety requirements because it’s an ATV. The company’s target customers are outdoor sportsmen as well as first responders. The Quadski will come in five colors and will be available at power sports dealers, concentrated in Florida, Texas, the New York to Boston corridor and the Great Lakes region.

Ryan Brown, a salesman at Carter Powersports in Las Vegas, has never heard of another vehicle like the Quadski and thinks it’s a great concept. But he’s not sure customers will pay $40,000 for one when a standard ATV costs between $4,400 and $10,000.

“These are toys people don’t have a lot of extra money for right now,” he said. “People are having a hard enough time getting financed on a $5,000 motorcycle.”

The Quadski will be made at the company’s Auburn Hills, Mich., factory, a former Daewoo Group parts plant. Gibbs Chairman and CEO Neil Jenkins said the company now has 100 employees at the plant. It plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when the plant is in full operation. The company expects to sell around 1,000 Quadskis in the first year, but Gibbs says he won’t be disappointed if the company doesn’t meet its sales targets.

“We’ll respond to how the market develops,” he said. “We wouldn’t be doing it without being very confident people will love them.”

Gibbs said the company may return to the Aquada someday and try to make it street legal for U.S. buyers. In the meantime it’s planning eight personal sports vehicles based on the Quadski, including some with more seating and SUV-like proportions.

The company is also preparing to introduce the Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot, 3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first responders, Gibbs said. The company is looking for partners to produce those vehicles.


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Sailing contest near Ventura Pier raises money to help seniors


  • A windsurfer waves to spectators as he passes by the Ventura Pier on Sunday.

  • Artist David Schwartz paints the scene as participants in the Sailathon pass by the Ventura Pier on Sunday. According to Schwartz, the painting was going to be raffled off at the awards ceremony for the event.

  • Spectators watch as participants in the 11th annual Sailathon pass by the Ventura Pier on Sunday.

  • Participants in the Sailathon pass close by the end of the Ventura Pier on Sunday.

  • Participants in the Sailathon wave to spectators as they pass by the Ventura Pier on Sunday.


About 40 stalwart sailors took to choppy seas by the Ventura Pier on Sunday in the Sailathon, a benefit for Caregivers, which helps Ventura County seniors.

The nonprofit provides “neighborly, nonmedical help,” such as a phone call, visit or ride to the doctor, said Executive Director Tammy Glenn as she stood on the windswept pier clutching the event mascot, the Ugly Fish.

Glenn said the stuffed fish has made its way through Ventura County, with photos of the odd-looking creature at a variety of locations, to bring attention to the Sailathon year-round.

In addition to the watercraft, which included powerboats, kayaks, catamarans and sailboats, The Bill of Rights tall ship sailed farther out at sea in honor of veterans. Twenty percent of the senior community that Caregivers serves are veterans, Glenn said.

Bob Knudson, Caregivers’ board chairman, said the Sailathon helps raise awareness of the group.

“This event is one of our two very public fundraising events,” Knudson said. “We also hold a St. Patrick’s Day wearing of the green event at the Buenaventura Golf Course in March,” he said.

Participants from yacht clubs at the Channel Islands and Ventura harbors met early Sunday at the Pierpont Bay Yacht Club, where event founder Andy Killion of Anchors Way Marine explained the rules and gave a weather report for the day, when the seas started off calm, but got choppy as the wind picked up.

Veteran sailor Jennifer Lewis, of Oxnard, said her 17-year-old son, Taylor Lewis, was on a small boat with another teen.

“Choppy water is no fun. It’s like hitting the brakes every time a wave hits, and the water come over. At least the wind is warm,” Lewis said.

Helping with the event were students from CSU Channel Islands, who were distributing gift bags to visitors on the pier. Riley Polek-Davis, a sophomore, said she was helping Caregivers as part of a class assignment.

“This group needed a lot of help. We helped to line up raffle prizes,” Polek-Davis said. “A lot of people forget about seniors. They don’t get enough credit or respect.”

The event was open to all watercraft. The boats sailed in laps for two hours around three buoys, spaced about one-quarter of a mile apart. The crews of each boat raised money through pledges, with people or businesses sponsoring the laps or giving flat monetary donations.

After the boats finished their allotted laps, they headed back to their home harbor. Participants then gathered at 4 p.m. at the Anacapa Yacht Club in Channel Islands Harbor for a dinner and awards ceremony.

The top award went to the boat that raised the most money. Other awards went to the boats completing the most laps in the monohull or multihull sailboats, human-powered boats and powerboats. The Marina Award went to the marina that had the most boats participating, and the Yacht Club challenge, with the Ugly Fish award, went to the club that had the most boats in the event.

Glenn said Caregivers is serving a growing senior population, including those 85 and older. The group has about 300 volunteers serving 500 seniors in six cities in Ventura County.

For information about Caregivers, call 658-8530 or visit http://www.vccaregivers.org.


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