Archive for » June 5th, 2013«

SAILING: Families can try sailing for free at club’s open day

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    Mega yacht sales turning the corner – Sun

    Sales of mega yachts are turning the corner in the improving economy, according to some South Florida-based yacht sellers and builders.

    So far this year, there’s been a notable upswing in interest for new custom-built yachts of 80 feet or more in length and less price slashing on pre-owned boats of this caliber, industry specialists say.

    “We’ve reached the bottom of the [mega yacht] market,” said Mark Elliott, yacht consultant and charter agent at International Yacht Collection in Fort Lauderdale, noting that in recent years it’s been a buyer’s market due to the recession and a pullback in luxury spending. “Right now we’re seeing yacht sales starting to increase and our inventory shrinking.”

    At IYC, sales of yachts 60 to 100 feet have been “very strong,” and the firm is starting to see “some life” with yachts priced $15 million or more, Elliott added.

    Over at Horizon Yacht USA in North Palm Beach, sales activity year-to-date has been “steadily busy” compared with the same period in 2012, said Elise Moffitt, a sales and marketing agent.

    “The signs are encouraging,” said Moffitt, who’s seeing keen interest for custom-built yachts 80 to 100 feet in length. “The boat shows have been packed, and our boat show traffic is up.”

    Taiwan yacht builder Horizon, which exhibited at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in March, specializes in new boats that range from 46 feet to 120 feet in length, according to its website.

    Moffitt said the company recently signed an order for a yacht more than 100 feet in length and is getting ready to deliver a 110-foot yacht before year-end.

    Tuesday, IYC’s Elliott invited several of the area’s top yacht brokers to view and tour the 170-foot mega yacht DREAM, which is docked at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66.

    “We want to get her exposed to the marketplace for sale or charter to foreign clients,” said Elliott, who noted that due to tax regulations, DREAM is not available for sale or charter to U.S. residents while it’s in U.S. waters

    The 2003 vessel, built by Dutch yacht maker Feadship, is listed for sale for $34.9 million and is also available for charter in the Mediterranean this summer.

    The yacht has seven staterooms, a sundeck with two lounges, a Jacuzzi and two Sea-Doos, among other amenities.

    “DREAM’s like new and ready to go,” said Elliott.

    The yacht recently got a complete paint job and a new 10-year Lloyd’s Register survey done at Dania Beach-based Derecktor Shipyards.

    “It’s the most comprehensive type of inspections for a yacht,” said Elliott of the survey. “The yacht has the ability to go around the world a few times before needing anything serious done.”, 954-356-4209 or Twitter @TheSatchreport

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    Report says certified dealers do better in CSI index

    Report says certified dealers do better in CSI index

    Posted on 04 June 2013


    Marine Five Star Dealer Certification unveiled new research results that show certified dealers outperformed non-certified dealers in every category of the Customer Satisfaction Index survey.

    Boat buyers were asked in a 2012 survey to rank their dealer’s performance in a variety of sales and service areas, including overall satisfaction, sales performance, sales personnel, sales reputation and the dealer’s ability to properly demonstrate the boat, equipment and features. In every category, customers were more satisfied with their experience with certified dealers, compared with their non-certified counterparts.

    “Given today’s competitive market for leisure and recreational products, boat buyers deserve the highest level of sales and service possible,” Marine Five Star Dealer Certification director Terry Leitz said. “These latest findings show dealers who invest in Marine Five Star Dealer Certification are poised to deliver a higher level of performance than their non-certified peers, as well as enjoy the positive results of increased customer and employee satisfaction.”

    Launched in 2006 as one of the core strategic programs of Grow Boating, Marine Five Star Dealer Certification has more than 300 leading boat dealers throughout North America who are currently certified. Marine Five Star Dealer Certification is built on a stringent set of standards to enhance the retail sales and service experience for customers, with the goal of ultimately promoting and spurring industry growth.

    Information about Marine Five Star Dealer Certification and the CSI survey are available by visiting or calling Wanda Kenton Smith of Kenton Smith Marketing at (407) 697-8055 or emailing her at
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    Sailing around Papua on board of Rainbow Warrior III

    The Rainbow Warrior, a ship belonging to environmental campaigner Greenpeace, is currently in Indonesia for a tour and I climbed on board last month to join several legs of the organization’s trip in Papua.

    The ship is scheduled to be in the archipelago until June 9 for its tour and its campaign titled “100% Indonesia: Together, We Protect Our Ocean and Forest”, but I only joined them from May 10th to May 17th to explore the island’s coastal areas, dubbed “the bird’s head” due to its shape.

    The Rainbow Warrior ship is actually a third version, after the first one was bombed in 1985 and the second retired in 2011. It is claimed to be the most eco-friendly of its type and this is its first visit to Indonesia.

    “Indonesia is a home to some of the most important biodiversity on our planet,” ship captain Pete Willcox said.

    However, he added, deforestation and destruction of the ocean have threatened its sustainability.

    After leaving the provincial capital Jayapura for Manokwari, it was almost three days before we arrived at dive sites called “Tridachna”.

    The name is taken from a certain genus of saltwater clam – particularly fitting since the site houses many different types of clams.

    We did two dives in two different dive sites named “Tridachna” and “Tridachna Atol”. Whilethe coral reef was pretty impressive, we only came across a few small coral fishes and no pelagic fish, nor predators, such as sharks, likely implying that the sea is in a critical condition.

    “This is the reason why Rainbow Warrior came to Indonesia – to witness the beauty of the oceans and forests, to understand what is at stake for fisheries as well as the big threats,” Mark Dia, the Regional Ocean Campaign Manager with Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said.

    The next day, we arrived in Kwatisore, in the area of Cendrawasih Bay National Park.

    There we were divided into two groups: “The Forest Campaigner” and “The Ocean Campaigner”. The “Forest” group’s agenda was to visit “Kwatisore” village and talk to the community to get a better understanding of how they protect the forest, while the “Ocean” group’s agenda was to swim with whale sharks.

    As a scuba diver, I joined the “Ocean” group. At 7.30 a.m., we went to the designated spot on a speedboat and asked the first fishermen we saw whether they had seen whale sharks that morning.

    “Yes, there were three of them this morning at around 6 a.m., but they left already”, one said.

    Luck shone on us afterwards as the next boat was actually feeding four whale sharks with small fish. It was a sort of ritual for fishermen in the area to feed the whale shark with ikan puri (small fish) as they believed it would bring them luck.

    The local name for whale sharks in Papua is Gurano Bintang; Gurano means sharks, while Bintang means stars, attributed to the fact that the grey body of this shark is dotted with a lot of white spots .

    Syafruddin, a fisherman from Makassar, who has been living in Papua for the past 15 years and fishing in Kwatisore’s waters for the past seven years, said that he constantly sees whale sharks in the area.

    But Riyanni Djangkaru, an avid scuba-diver, who was also the host of a famous local travel television program Jejak Petualang, said the condition in Kwatisore’s waters is different nowadays compared to when she came there for the first time in 2010.

    “The first time I came here I was surrounded by 19 whale sharks. There was only one fishing boat at that time, but now there are several of them [fishing boats], so the whale sharks spread out among these fishing boats”, he said.

    I snorkeled with those four whale sharks from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Time surely flies when having a good time. Surrounded by fish with a size of over ten meters that swam very close to me, sometimes even face-to-face, was such a mind-blowing experience.

    My heart beat went several gears up when one of them came towards me with its mouth wide open. I thought it would harm me, but apparently these sharks were smart. They would swim deeper to evade us.

    At other times, however, it was my turn to swim away to keep myself from coming into contact with these creatures, when they were only a few inches away from me.

    The best part was when I tried free diving, holding my breath and following the whale shark to swim deeper in the deep blue sea. Being only a few inches away from the top of its body made me feel so small and it was quite exhilarating.

    “This is one of the most amazing experiences that I’ve had in the past few years with Rainbow Warrior,” Adrian, a Rainbow Warrior crew member from Panama said before we left Cendrawasih Bay,

    The Rainbow Warrior III and its crew are witnessing the beauty of Indonesia while trying to raise awareness to protect that beauty.

    A Rainbow Warrior Open Tour was opened for those who in Bali on May 31st and June 1st, free of charge.

    Meanwhile for those who in Jakarta, the tour, which is part of Greenpeace’s “Southeast Asia Ocean Defender Tour 2013” will also be held on June 8 and 9 in city, free of charge.


    How to get to Cendrawasih Bay

    Travelers can fly to Nabire, then take a speedboat to Ahe Island. Another way is to charter a dive boat from Manokwari. This way, one can also dive in several dive sites before getting to the whale sharks.


    Read also:

    Raja Ampat, Papua’s underwater paradise

    Smooth going in and around Irian Jaya

    A different beast: Conservation in Papua (Part 1)

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    Boat, R.V. business good as recreation season approaches

    MISSOULA, Mont. –

    With warmer weather come weekend outings and summer vacations, so we wondered about RV and boat sales amid news that Americans are spending again.

    NBC Montana went right to the source for answers and headed to Gull Boats RV Tuesday afternoon, where owners report more and more customers are considering big item purchases.

    “I think the American public is — for lack of a better way to say it — I think there’s some pent up buying frustration,” said Gull owner Michael Anderson. 

    Anderson has sold boats and RVs for more than 40 years, so we asked him how this year compares to others.  He tells NBC Montana sales go up and down but right now business is booming. 

    “The whole business is up all the way across the board,” he said.  “From parts and service to sales and everything.”

    We wanted to know why sales are up — Anderson attributes the increase to lower interest rates.

    “That trickles down not only to the home loans but to our industry as well,” said Anderson. 

    Missoula boat and RV dealers aren’t the only ones seeing better sales numbers.  We talked to Missoula car dealers who tell us their numbers are up for car and truck sales too.

    “We’re about 15 percent year-to-date over the previous year and we’re just doing fantastic out here,” said Hal Woods, sales manager for Bitterroot Motors.  “The economy kind of went in the tank.  We’re coming back and now business has been very strong.”

    For Anderson better sales are a sign of an improving economy.

    “We’ve seen ups and downs in the economy but like I said, you can’t dampen the spirit of people who want to go outside and play, you can’t do it,” said Anderson. 

    Dealers tell NBC Montana while sales are up it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be taking on new staff.  However they agree that could change if things continue to improve.

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