Archive for » October 25th, 2012«

Sailing Billboards Introduces New Outdoor Advertising Medium to Toronto

TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2012 /CNW/ – Sailing Billboards Canada is excited to announce that it is beginning operations in Toronto during
the summer of 2013.

“Our Toronto-based Reliance 12Metre boat is one of the most striking
sailing vessels in the harbour and it offers a tremendous amount of
sail area for advertising,” says owner, Brett Rathbone.

Sailing Billboards brings a new focus to sail-based advertising. Sail
advertising has traditionally been associated with racing boats, but
races typically take place in open water far from shore. As a result,
the ads are seen only by other racers or in race photos.

Sailing Billboards is focused on the needs of advertisers rather than
those of racing teams. The boat is on the water according to a defined
schedule and sails exclusively in Toronto’s inner-harbour and vicinity,
maximizing exposure.

“The opportunity for advertisers is huge,” says Mr. Rathbone. “Toronto’s
inner-harbour is one of the busiest pieces of water in the country,
with multiple yacht clubs, Toronto Island ferries running continually,
Porter Air flying overhead, and tens of thousands of commuters, condo
dwellers and visitors on shore.”

Sailing Billboards is part of Toronto-based Creative Monopoly, a
full-service advertising and communications firm. Its founder, Brett
, is a long-established marketing professional.

For more information, visit or call 416-606-9863.

SOURCE: Sailing Billboards Canada

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It’s curtain time for boat show – Sun

It’s curtain time for the 53rd Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and exhibitors are praying the stormy weather stays at bay so they can reel in big business during its five-day run.

While organizers are taking precautions, the show will open for business Thursday and is expected to be one of the best in recent years, said the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the event’s owner.

That’s good news for the more than 1,200 exhibitors of boats, yachts and marine products and accessories who have a lot riding on the show that runs through Monday at six city sites.

It’s been a mixed sales bag for South Florida boat sellers this year.

Some say business is up from 2011, while others contend it’s flat or lagging in the uncertain economy.

Some argue the election year has made some buyers reluctant to make big ticket purchases, while others say serious buyers are starting to return.

Nationwide, retail sales of new powerboats are expected to increase 10 percent in 2012, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The types of boats leading this growth trend include pontoons, ski boats and jet boats, the association said.

Open fisherman boats with multiple outboards, which are generally used for fishing and diving, are among top selling boats in South Florida this year, industry specialists say.

Data shows new boat sales have rebounded in South Florida year over year, according to Info-Link Technologies Inc., a Miami-based marine industry tracker.

For the 12 months ending in September, new boat sales in the region climbed 5.5 percent to 3,854 units compared with 3,653 in 2011. And from July through September, new boat sales rose 10 percent to 989 units compared with 899 in the prior-year quarter.

Hargrave Custom Yachts will have 11 motor yachts on display this year, its biggest ever at the event, CEO Michael Joyce said recently.

The Hargrave boats have different hull shapes, exterior designs and equipment packages, which reflect the company’s diverse offerings, Joyce noted.

For fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, he’s anticipating record sales.

“We will have more new yachts for sale this [fiscal] year than at any time in our history, and what that means is we are now playing on a level field with competitors … who have always offered new models and immediate delivery,” Joyce said. “In times of uncertainly customers don’t want to wait for anything.”

Sales of pre-owned boats at Northrop Johnson are up about 10 percent this year, President and Partner Kevin Merrigan said Wednesday.

Northrop, which has a Fort Lauderdale office, will have 27 yachts at the show — the largest collection of brokerage yachts this year, Merrigan said.

He credits the business upswing to the quality of pre-owned boats for sale.

“People are reluctant to build new boats when there’s a great selection of pre-owned boats at attractive prices,” Merrigan said.

As for the bad weather threat, Merrigan sees an upside.

“As always, the good thing about bad weather is the really committed buyers come out.”

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Absent workers forcing ferries to cancel sailings

MUKILTEO — Two ferry sailings — one at 6 a.m. from Clinton, one at 6:30 a.m. from Mukilteo — on Wednesday were cancelled because of a crew shortage.

“It would be nice to know the entire story of why I personally have been late to work three times in the last couple of weeks because of late or not running boats,” Scott Anderson of Clinton said in an email to The Herald.

As a cost-saving measure, the ferry system in June cut back the number of staff on some boats to the minimum recommended for safety by the U.S. Coast Guard, ferry system chief David Moseley said.

Even though it amounts to a reduction of only one employee per boat — in most cases, from 11 to 10 — this has left no margin for error when even one worker doesn’t get to the boat for one reason or another and it’s too late to find an on-call replacement.

Altogether, 37 sailings were cancelled in the summer season because of crew shortages, compared to four during the summer of 2011, he said. Since the end of the summer season in September, the problem has forced 14 more cancellations, Moseley said.

Since June, the cancellations included six on the Mukilteo-Clinton route and six on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route, he said. None have occurred on Edmonds-Kingston route.

On Wednesday, an employee thought he was off for the day when in fact his vacation didn’t begin until today, Moseley said.

The absences have fallen into three categories, he said: those such as Wednesday’s, through errors of omission including oversleeping; employees calling in sick or reporting a family emergency; and mix-ups by dispatchers.

Ferry officials have discussed the problem with the ferry employees union, the Seattle chapter of the Inland Boatmen’s Union. They’re cooperating to encourage employees to provide as much warning as they can if they can’t make it to work to give the ferry system time to round up a replacement, officials said.

“We don’t want boats not to sail and passengers not to get where they want to go,” said Jay Ubelhart, business agent for the Inland Boatmen’s Union.

Moseley said in 2010, the ferry system enlisted a peer review panel of representatives of other ferry systems around the nation to provide input on how to cut costs. Representatives from some of the other ferry systems, such as in New York and Massachusetts, said they use the Coast Guard-mandated minimum number of employees and suggested Washington State Ferries do the same, Moseley said.

He said the reductions were made in three of the four ferry classes, with the jumbo class, which includes boats on the Edmonds-Kingston run, being the exception. Some employees were reduced from permanent status to on-call but none has been laid off, he said.

Moseley said the ferry system and union agreed to let the Coast Guard review the standards and that both sides would abide by the recommendation.

Ubelhart said the union agreed against its will, only after losing an appeal in arbitration.

“We fought it and lost. We are living with the consequences,” he said. “Now if one person doesn’t show up, the vessel can’t sail. On many of the vessels the margin of error has been taken away. We feel the employee levels (previously) in the contract added to the safety of the passengers and the crew and it certainly helped with on-time reliability.”

To be thorough, Moseley said the ferry system asked union officials if any of the employees had called in sick on purpose, to make a statement.

“We had a conversation and they say absolutely not and I take them at their word,” he said.

“There certainly is no job action,” Ubelhart said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439;

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Smoother sailing ahead for industry

After four years of dealer closures and static sales, WA’s boating industry is taking heart from signs of sales growth that the worst is over.

Boat sales have taken a battering since the global financial crisis of 2008 and the Boating Industry Association of WA believes about 30 per cent of dealers in the State have closed their doors.

But the number of inquiries after this month’s Mandurah Boat Show has lifted spirits.

“Although it is still a difficult market, what appears to be happening is that people have reached a stage where they again feel comfortable to spend on recreational items and activities,” association president Jim Rann said. “New boat registrations for 2012 show positive growth when compared with the same period in 2011.”

He said the Mandurah Boat Show attendance of 18,000 visitors was 2000 more than last year.

Evan Moore, dealer-principal in WA for the Fairline brand of British boats, agrees.

“There’s quite a bit of money around from the mining services sector,” he said. “And while it used to be that boats were mainly used for fishing, nowadays it’s more for cruising and leisure time.”

Alan Paterson, dealer-principal for the Princess brand, said his company was doing well. “Business is tough but still there to be had and we’re on the upper side of the ledger,” he said.

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