Archive for » October 19th, 2012«

OneBeacon Sells Runoff, Collector Car and Boat Businesses


One Beacon says it expects an after-tax charge of $101 million in the third quarter related to a deal to send its runoff business to an affiliate of Armour Group Holdings.

“The sale of our runoff business is the final step in our transformation to a pure specialty company,” says Mike Miller, OneBeacon’s chief executive officer, in a statement. He says the sale will free up more than $100 million of capital.

Under the terms of the agreement with Armour—a Bermuda-based company that focuses on runoffs and other opportunities in the insurance and reinsurance industries—OneBeacon will transfer to Armour certain legal entities within the OneBeacon Group, which will contain assets, liabilities and capital supporting the runoff business.

The deal includes some staff and office space, OneBeacon says.

In addition to the $101 million third-quarter charge related to the transaction, the Minnetonnka, Minn.-based insurer says it expects to record about $107 million in losses related to its runoff business, which includes non-specialty commercial lines and other business.

Selling Essentia Insurance to Markel

OneBeacon says it has also entered an agreement to sell its Essentia Insurance subsidiary to Markel Corp.  

Essentia provides collector car and boat insurance through Hagerty Insurance Agency.

OneBeacon is terminating its 5-year exclusive underwriting arrangement with Hagerty, the company says. OneBeacon and Hagerty were “unable to reach mutually acceptable terms to extend the relationship,” Miller explains. “We believe the economics associated with the termination of the Hagerty agreement and the related sale of Essentia fairly compensate OneBeacon, marking the end to what has been a profitable venture.”

OneBeacon says it expects to book a $23 million pretax gain on the sale of Essentia after the close of the deal, which is expected during the first quarter 2013. The loss reserves and unearned premium reserves prior to the sale of Essentia will stay with OneBeacon to be runoff, the company says.


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Boat Trader debuts dealer data index

Boat Trader debuts dealer data index


Posted on 18 October 2012


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Boat Trader announced today the release of its Dealer Market Index, the first in a series.

Boat Trader said the index, drawn from company data, provides deeper insight into what prospects are doing on the website from the top of the purchase funnel to the conversion point.

The data provide national and regional market information for boat dealers and include detailed information about consumer searches by boat length; top 25 searches by manufacturer; sales from leads generated by boat length; regional inventory by length; and regional inventory by price. Boat Trader, a Dominion Marine Media business, said it offers the widest selection of boats for sale in the country.

“We have mined a wealth of data about consumer visits to Boat Trader,” Dominion Marine Media editorial director John Burnham said. “Now we’ve compiled that data into an index that gives dealers deeper access to that information and the chance to see how it’s changing over time. Our hope is that it provides them with the data they need to make tough business decisions.”

The first copies of the index will be made available Oct. 21-22 to boat dealers attending the Boating Trades Association of Texas Marine Retail University at the Omni La Mansion Del Rio in San Antonio.

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ON THE WATER: Show Evolves Into Strictly Sailing


Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 2:00 am


ON THE WATER: Show Evolves Into Strictly Sailing

By Chris Ericksen

Gazettes.com – Gazette Newspapers Long Beach California

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I remember well going to the Long Beach Sailboat Show back in the 1970s and ’80s. Held in the Long Beach Arena, it featured sailboats — big ones, small ones, cruising boats, racing boats — and sails and accessories and seminars.


That show evolved into an in-the-water show in the 1990s and powerboats came in. Now, don’t get me wrong — I am a lifelong powerboater as well as a sailboater — but it did change the flavor of the event.

But now, the brand-new Strictly Sail Long Beach is coming to town this week. It features some of what the old show had — new and used boats shown in the water for sail and charter, as well as displays of and about sailing gear, rigging and accessories as well as sailing charters, travel and related services.

But new to the Strictly Sail event are educational and informational exhibits and opportunities. If you want to attend a seminar on sailing or cruising, you can at Strictly Sail. If you want to try out kayaks or stand-up paddleboards or small sailboats on the water, you can at Strictly Sail. There also will be dry-land simulators of various sailing craft.

Strictly Sail Long Beach opens today, Thursday, Oct. 18, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 21. Thursday and Friday, the show opens at noon and runs until 7 p.m. On Saturday, it opens at 10 in the morning and runs until 7. And on Sunday they’ll open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

Strictly Sail Long Beach is presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California. Tickets are available on site or over the Internet on E-Ticket. For all the information you need, go to the Strictly Sail Long Beach website, www.strictlysaillongbeach.com.

Women’s Regatta

It’s time again for Long Beach Yacht Club to host the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge. Named in honor of Linda Elias, a former member of LBYC who died of ovarian cancer in 2003 at age 52, the regatta pits all-women teams from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Santa Barbara to compete in the fleet of evenly-matched Catalina 37 sloops owned by the Long Beach Yacht Club Sailing Foundation and used by LBYC for the prestigious Congressional Cup Regatta and pother events.

The schedule calls for practice sailing on Friday, Oct. 19, with the actual racing on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20 and 21. There will be a gala dinner and silent auction at LBYC on Saturday night and a trophy presentation on Sunday.

The regatta is sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Womens’ Sailing Association. Details on the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge can be found on the event website, www.lemwod.com. Or call 598-9401.

Navy Day

Another annual event on tap for the weekend is the Navy Day Regatta, hosted by Navy Yacht Club Long Beach, a yacht club for the military community that includes veterans of all U.S. military forces. While Navy Day falls on Oct. 27, the event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The regatta is sailed among boats that compete under the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) handicap rule; one-design boats are also invited. 

The race will start in the Long Beach Outer Harbor off the Peninsula and finish inside Alamitos Bay. A dinner and trophy presentation at the NYCLB facility near Basin One will end the day.

For more information about the event, go to the Navy Yacht Club Long Beach website, www.nyclb.com. On that site, you can find information on the event on the Racing link.

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Friday, October 19, 2012 2:00 am.


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Recession May Take Wind Out of San Francisco's Economic Hopes for America's Cup

JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: The world’s fastest sailboats and best sailors will compete for the America’s Cup trophy a year from now. But the host city of San Francisco is already gearing up.

NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels has our story.

SPENCER MICHELS: Ever since 1851, sailors and well-heeled skippers have raced through the water in ever more expensive, ever more high-tech sailboats, in pursuit of the coveted America’s Cup. To the victor go the spoils, and in 2010, Larry Ellison, founder of software giant Oracle, won the Cup for America.

Ellison’s prize, besides bragging rights, was to get to choose where the race would be held next. His choice was to bring the contest to his home waters, San FranciscoBay.

Ellison concocted a series of regattas all around the world for competing teams from 11 countries designed to build enthusiasm and excitement for the main event, America’s Cup 2013, where 72-foot boats will plow through the bay.

These preliminary races featured boats that measured about 45-feet long, with carbon fiber hulls and wing sails, as described by racing announcer Andy Green.

ANDY GREEN, America’s Cup announcer: They’re the same sailors, they’re the same teams. The boats are just a little smaller. So, essentially, it’s their practice race. This is just to get everyone excited and passionate about the sailing.

SPENCER MICHELS: The prelims going on now, with the showdown next year, are the first time spectators can easily view the races from the land. Usually, these events were far enough out to sea that watching them was much easier from a boat, and that limited who could attend.

Announcer Green’s job is to clue the audience into what is going on.

ANDY GREEN: The format of the America’s Cup has been tweaked considerably over the last few years. Basically, very simple now. You can see the boats racing. You can see them right in front of the shore, and it is very clear who is winning and who is losing.

SPENCER MICHELS: And to help Green and TV viewers, Cup officials are employing a graphic system to make the televised regatta races understandable, somewhat like the virtual first down line for television broadcast of football games.

Adam Fisher wrote about the system for “Wired” magazine.

ADAM FISHER, “Wired”: The TV coverage is crystal clear. You know who is winning. A lot of people looking at the coverage seem to think there is actually dye in the water, it is so lifelike. But it is all digital.

SPENCER MICHELS: The design of the 72-foot boats is continuously being tweaked, but nobody is talking much about details as the work goes on in secure locations, like this old San Francisco pier.

But the beauty of the boats, big or small, is only part of the story.

As spectacular and graceful as these boats are, the process of arranging these races in San Francisco was clumsy and contentious.

SPENCER MICHELS: To get the races, San Francisco had to agree to Ellison’s demands that he get development rights to some old piers along the bay in return to renovating those piers for the city. The city was eager to go along because, as America’s Cup CEO Steven Barclay said, the rewards in jobs and money would be substantial.

STEVEN BARCLAY, America’s Cup: The America’s Cup coming to a city is all about the economics. And San Francisco did its own numbers, and they said it was going to bring $1.4 billion worth of economic benefit here and 9,000 jobs.

SPENCER MICHELS: But a disappointed San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced that the agreement and the promises of many of those jobs was going by the board after Cup organizers decided that developing the pier would cost too much.

Still, the city and Oracle went ahead with race plans. Others were relieved. They saw the arrangement with Ellison as a giveaway of city property. And still others feared environmental consequences of too many visitors and non-recreational uses of waterfront land.

And then there was the matter of boats. Originally, organizers thought up to 15 72-foot boats could compete, but they cost millions. And in the midst of a worldwide recession, only four of them, plus Ellison’s, decided to take part. Nobody is suggesting the race will be a bust, but the prospects for the city and the Cup itself are not as bright as they had been.

ADAM FISHER: The event is going to be bigger and better than it’s been in a generation. However, in other cities in the past where the America’s Cup has taken place, there has been a huge amount of property development along the waterfront, kind of like say an Olympics. That is not going to happen in San Francisco.

SPENCER MICHELS: Still, for sailing fans, and some who are not, the prospects of international competition and just the chance to watch the big boats glide through the fog and into the wind is reason enough to support the race.

WOMAN: I like to see them keel up.

SPENCER MICHELS: Why?

WOMAN: It is exciting.

SPENCER MICHELS: So, it is kind of graceful, I think, the whole thing, huh?

WOMAN: Yes. Majestic.

WOMAN: Yes.

SPENCER MICHELS: Majestic?

WOMAN: Mm-hmm.

SPENCER MICHELS: But some people say, well, with a lot of money, you can make it majestic. This is a rich man’s sport.

WOMAN: That’s OK. I look watching rich men sail.

WOMAN: It is, admittedly, yes.

SPENCER MICHELS: What were going to say?

WOMAN: Is. It is a rich man’s sport.

SPENCER MICHELS: The practice races in 45-foot catamarans continue on and off through May of next year, followed by the finals in the America’s Cup in September of 2013, the time of year when the fog usually lifts in San FranciscoBay.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And an update to Spencer’s story. Yesterday, Oracle’s 72-foot catamaran capsized in a practice run on San FranciscoBay and was swept out to sea. No one was hurt in the accident, but the mast and 131-foot wing sail on the multimillion-dollar boat was destroyed.

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