Archive for » September 12th, 2013«

Marine Sales welcomes Kentuckiana Yacht Sales to its family

Marine Sales is proud to announce that it has acquired a new 10,000 square-foot showroom dealership in western Kentucky.

The dealership, Kentuckiana Yacht Sales, is located at 5888 Hwy 641 North in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, 3 miles south of Kentucky Lake Dam.

“We are excited to be expanding our sales operations into the Kentucky Lake area,” says Ron Martin, Marine Sales of Pickwick General Manager.” With this new location, we have the opportunity to utilize our skills to create a premier boat sales facility servicing the Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley Communities.”

Marine Sales projects huge improvements once its two locations combine its inventory, management, marine technicians, marketing, and infrastructure.  Marine Sales management team will also be strengthened with the addition Ken Toby who will run the operations in Kentucky.

“The Western Kentucky Lake Region for years has been a target area of expansion for our company.” stated Mike Tutor, Dealer Principal of Marine Sales, LLC. “The Land Between the Lakes community represents an area that has a deep appreciation for lake recreation and boating. We believe this acquisition, along with its great team and loyal customer following, combined with the integration of our other product offerings, will help us expand and improve upon our ability to deliver the highest caliber of service Marine Sales is known for in this great boating community.”

An official grand opening for Marine Sales Kentucky location will be held in the spring 2014, after the dealership completes its full training and certification processes.

“Like at the Pickwick location, we want the Kentucky location to be dedicated to creating lasting family memories that start with an honest enjoyable sales experience.” says Ken Toby, newly assigned General Manager of Kentucky. “As we transition into the new ownership, our main focus will be to learn and live by best practices and standards set by Marine Sales of Pickwick. We will hold ourselves accountable to promote extra-ordinary customer service and integrity, as well as work hard to match customers with the best products to suit their boating lifestyle.”

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Sailing-Oracle taps British sailing royalty to save America's Cup campaign

By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO, September 12 (Reuters) – British sailing superstar Ben Ainslie, knighted for his racing success on the water, will try to rescue Oracle Team USA’s floundering America’s Cup campaign on Thursday, taking over as the top decision-maker on its high-speed yacht in two planned matches against Emirates Team New Zealand.

The most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Ainslie will sail as the tactician aboard the 72-foot catamaran in place of American John Kostecki. Earlier this week a tactical blunder by Kostecki cost Oracle a lead, allowed the Kiwis to cruise into a commanding fourth victory, and prompted the American team to call for an unusual time-out.

“It’s clear we need to improve performance, and with that comes changes,” Kostecki, 49, said. “I’ll fill whatever role is best to help us win.”

Government-backed Team New Zealand needs to win five more races to take the 162-year-old trophy back to its sailing-crazed island nation, while software mogul Larry Ellison’s Oracle team still needs to win 10 races to hold onto the Cup. Oracle started the regatta two points behind because of an unprecedented jury-imposed punishment for illegally modifying the team’s smaller, prototype boats sailed in warm-up races.

“I’m happy to step up and do what’s best for the team,” Ainslie said in a prepared statement. The 36-year-old sailor has been at the helm of Oracle’s second yacht during training matches.

Though Oracle flies the American flag, substituting Ainslie for Kostecki leaves only one U.S. sailor on the team, trimmer Rome Kirby. All but two of the Kiwi sailors hail from New Zealand.

Oracle’s devastating loss on Tuesday prompted the team to play its so-called postponement card and cancel a second race of the day so it could regroup. The only crew change was the promotion of Ainslie – a record five-time Olympic medalist knighted by the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace in March.

A supreme tactician, Ainslie is known for bouncing back from bad races. His work as a sparring partner for Team New Zealand’s skipper Dean Barker in Valencia, Spain, in 2007 could help him in the races for the America’s Cup trophy. Ainslie has set winning the “Auld Mug,” as the Cup is called, as his primary goal.

“I think this Cup is still winnable for Oracle,” he said in an interview earlier this week with British broadcaster Sky Sports. “We’re obviously in a very difficult situation.

“If we can change the momentum of this series, then anything’s possible.”

Ainslie made his mark in his 1996 Olympic debut earning a silver in the Laser dinghy class. That made him, at 19, the Britain’s youngest Olympic sailing medalist.

Four years later, in Sydney, he won gold, and did so again in Athens in 2004. He took his fourth gold and fifth Olympic medal in London last year.

Oracle was winning the race against powerhouse New Zealand on Tuesday when it tried to do something that has never before been done — to lift its foils out of the water while tacking. The team bungled the maneuver, almost stopped dead and gave up an eight-second lead.

The international jury that punished Oracle in the biggest cheating scandal in Cup history also expelled Kostecki’s brother-in-law, first-choice Oracle wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder for making illegal boat alterations.

Kostecki grew up sailing on San Francisco Bay and was hired as Oracle’s tactician at least in part for his insider knowledge.

Ellison won the world’s oldest sporting trophy in Valencia in 2010 and with it the right to choose his home San Francisco Bay waters as the venue and the fragile and hard-to-handle twin-hulled yachts with 13-story rigid wing sails as the vessels.

Sailors have criticized the Oracle chief executive’s decisions, particularly after British Olympic gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson was killed when the AC72 of Sweden’s Artemis Racing capsized during a May practice exercise.

Ainslie grew up sailing with and against Simpson in British youth squads. Losing Simpson was crushing for Ainslie. He delivered a tribute at his friend’s funeral.

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Sales Associates Wanted at Pride Marine Group


Sales Associates Wanted at Pride Marine Group


Sales Associates Wanted at Pride Marine Group

Posted on 12 September 2013


Position: Sales Associate, Pride Marine Group

Locations: Bracebridge, Gravenhurst / Bala, Innisfil/Barrie, Rosseau, Balsam Lake, Muskoka, Lake of Bays, Orillia and Georgian Bay- Ontario, Canada

Description and scope of work: Pride Marine Group is currently seeking the right candidates to fill several Sales Associate Positions at all of our locations.

At Pride Marine Group, our Mission is to deliver a personalized boating lifestyle experience by offering products and services that provide the highest customer satisfaction.

Pride with has a history of success managing marinas across Ontario.  We understand the boating lifestyle and we have built our reputation through understanding and catering to the needs of today’s boaters.  Our track record in the marine industry illustrates our ability to anticipate the changing wants of our customers and deliver unique solutions customized to each marketplace we serve.

Boat Brands:  At Pride Marine Group we represent the following brands; Chaparral, Nautique, Robalo, Edgewater, Chris-Craft, Sea Ray, South Bay, Hatteras, Meridian and Crownline.

Experience in selling these brands is an asset.

Career progression: You will be encouraged to improve your skills through in-house and manufacturer training. Work for the #1 multi-location boat dealer in Canada. Positive work environment, with a great team atmosphere.

Requirements: The ideal candidate will have sales experience in the marine industry with a proven track record. However we are also willing to train those new to the industry or profession.

Someone who is goal oriented, outgoing and thrives on customer interactions.

The individual must be an effective communicator with the ability to interact with our customers using the telephone, internet and face to face.

A self-motivated person with a desire to go further, embrace new challenges and grow within Pride.

You must be comfortable working weekends through the boating months and with travel to shows and manufacturers in the U.S.

Compensation: You will work in one of the nicest environments in the world. You will be financially compensated for success with a very attractive commission structure with an earning potential in the 6 figures.

Contact:  If you are looking for a rewarding career as opposed to a job, please forward your covering letter and resume to Andreas Koch
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We thank you for your interest and only those selected for interview will be contacted.


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Sailing mad New Zealand on edge for America's Cup

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — From boat builders to occasional sailing fans, New Zealanders are on edge about the prospects of wresting the America’s Cup from software billionaire Larry Ellison‘s Team USA.

And if Emirates Team New Zealand does go on to win sailing’s oldest and most highly prized trophy, there are likely to be some changes to the next regatta — including cheaper race boats and some strong challengers from Asia.

While sailing remains a niche sport in much of the world and the current event in San Francisco has underperformed expectations due to a lack of initial challengers, all that has hardly mattered Down Under.

Broadcaster Television New Zealand said some 540,000 Kiwis — from a population of 4.5 million — tuned in Sunday morning local time to watch Team New Zealand win the first two races from Ellison’s Oracle Team USA, the defending champions.

By Wednesday, Team New Zealand led by 4 to minus-1 and needed five more wins to claim the Auld Mug, which it previously held from 1995 to 2003. Underscoring how important sailing is to this South Pacific nation, the New Zealand team managed to secure tens of millions of dollars in government funding to back its challenge.

“Sailing is in our DNA,” said Brett O’Riley, the chief executive of the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development agency. He said Team New Zealand’s futuristic 72-foot catamaran is like a bookend to the country’s history, after the first indigenous Maori likely arrived some 800 years ago in primitive catamarans.

O’Riley predicted New Zealand would hold a regatta that would lower the costs of the boats in order to attract more competitors, saying there’s already been strong interest from Asian countries including South Korea and China.

China had intended to mount a challenge in San Francisco but pulled out. O’Riley said Eileen Xiao, who helped start the China Cup International Regatta, has been visiting San Francisco on a scouting mission.

If the Cup does return to New Zealand, a defense will almost certainly be held in Auckland.

John Dalzell, the chief executive of Waterfront Auckland, said it has identified six possible sites to house competitors. It won’t be possible to use the previous site from the 2003 defense, he added, because the bases used by the challengers have since been developed into apartments and a hotel.

Dalzell said the cost of building the infrastructure for an Auckland regatta could be around $81 million, although much would depend on the number of challengers and the size of the boats.

He said multihulls are an emerging trend in global sailing and could remain part of the America’s Cup, because they provide breathtaking speed and excitement. But, he added, that the configuration would likely change.

For its part, Emirates Team New Zealand says it is too premature to talk about what a possible defense of the cup might entail, or what changes it would make.

“We would rather not speculate. We leave that to others,” team spokesman Warren Douglas said in an email. “No doubt we will have something to say should there be a happy tale to tell.”

If the Cup does return to New Zealand, it’s likely to provide a boon for boat builders, who have become one of New Zealand’s largest and most important manufacturers. The Marine Industry Association says it employs 8,000 people and has annual revenues of $1.3 billion, equivalent to nearly 1 percent of the country’s entire economy.

Peter Busfield, the association’s executive director, said New Zealand has developed a reputation for excellent design and craftsmanship, and it’s no coincidence that much of the work done not only on the New Zealand boat but also on the Oracle and Italian boats was completed in New Zealand.

“We’re a seafaring nation. Most of our grandparents arrived in ships,” Busfield said. “We’ve got a small population and a large coastline, and the climate allows you to go boating all year round.”

It may be a perfect time for sailing now, but all those boats are likely to stay moored over the next few days as New Zealanders tune in to watch the final stages play out in the 34th defense of the America’s Cup.

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America's Cup: Huge egos, fast boats


America’s Cup: An Op-Ed Tuesday about the sailing race said Team USA’s score after four races in the final series was 1. In fact, it was -1.

In 2010, Ellison’s Oracle Team USA won the America’s Cup, the 162-year-old yacht race that pits big personalities and big pocketbooks against wind, currents and radical boat design. The victory gave him the right to set the rules for where and how the next cup would unfold. He chose San Francisco Bay as the location, and set specs for the boats: They would be seven-ton catamarans, 72 feet long, with 13-story carbon-fiber fixed “wingsails.” When these so-called AC 72s get going — their top speed is upward of 40 knots, or 50 mph — they jump out of the water like planes lifting off. They fly.

Ellison isn’t humble. He says he wants his version of the cup to jerk yacht racing into the 21st century, with risky sailing, extreme speeds and high-tech coverage (Ellison has bankrolled TV time and an impressive digital tracking system to help the uninitiated follow the action). He wants you, me and the guy who gets seasick on the ferry to Catalina to care about the America’s Cup.

But things haven’t been going all that well for the race, which headed into its final round Saturday, as Oracle Team USA began its defense of the trophy against the top challenger, New Zealand.

The bad news started well before the first races this summer. In October, Oracle’s boat “pitchpoled,” capsizing spectacularly on a trial run in high winds. As the soggy crew watched from chase boats, the current swept $8 million to $10 million worth of AC 72 out the Golden Gate (parts of it were towed back to San Francisco’s Embarcadero to be rebuilt). A few months later, tragically, Artemis Racing, the Swedish challenging team, lost control of its AC 72, and this time one of the world’s best sailors, British Olympic gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson, was trapped in the wreckage and drowned.

The backlash was as swift as the boats: This was a race of egos, not yachts. AC 72s were too fast, too fragile, too hard to control. Ellison’s arrogance was going to kill the cup.

Everyone agreed the boats were way too pricey. Exactly how much it costs to get a crew and an AC 72 (or two) up and running isn’t posted anywhere obvious on the cup website, but estimates put the price tag at $50 million to $120 million. That’s a lot of money for a small chance at bragging rights to a silver urn. Fifteen syndicates were supposed to vie for the right to challenge Oracle in the finals; all but three looked at the cost and said no.

One of those three — Emirates Team New Zealand (Kiwi-sponsored, with Emirates Airlines funding) — dominated in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the challengers’ elimination races in July in San Francisco. New Zealand has mastered and tweaked its AC 72s. (In fact, the New Zealanders were the first to discover that a boat built to Ellison’s specs could fly, or “foil” — short for “hydrofoil” — under the right circumstances.) The team’s skill (and its fast boat) along with a sorry lack of competition made the Vuitton Cup a ho-hum affair. If New Zealand crossed the finished line, New Zealand won.

Ho-hum wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain, not for Ellison or San Francisco, which handed over a chunk of prime waterfront to the cup organization amid gamesmanship, lawsuits and general NIMBY outrage. The city had visions of 2.7 million visitors, 9,000 jobs and a $1.4-billion payday. It has now scaled back those hopes by about a third, and some doubt that the money it fronted the cup organizers will be repaid in full.

And those aren’t the only lowered expectations. Starting in 2011, the organizing committee sponsored an America’s Cup World Series — races at ports around the world featuring potential cup contenders. For these races, teams used 45-foot versions of the AC 72s. As it turns out, the Oracle team cheated in the series, adding weight to its AC 45s. When the funny business was uncovered in August, Team USA apologized and gave back its trophies. But the International Sailing Federation jury wasn’t mollified. Days before the final races began, the jury fined the team two points in the final round and sidelined four of its crew. Oracle had to begin the best-of-17 finals in the hole and with an ugly little asterisk next to its name.

Epic failure, right? It’s easy, even satisfying, to boo Ellison and his grandiose America’s Cup vision. Yes, he ordered up the outrageous, expensive AC 72s. Yes, he craved risk and speed, and Simpson died. And yes, his team “mistakenly” attached extra baggies of resin and lead weights to their AC 45s. But Ellison hasn’t killed the cup, at least not yet.

Truth is, it may be impossible for overreach, ego or even tragedy to kill the America’s Cup. Its long history is replete with danger, plutocrats, weasel moves, finger-pointing and controversy. And when it comes to cup craziness, as one longtime sailor told the San Francisco Chronicle, there have been “personalities that make Ellison look like a piker.”

Over the weekend, Ellison’s team got soaked. It lost three of four weekend races; then, in the last go-round Sunday, it grabbed a fragile lead and held it. The score is Kiwis 3, USA 1, and the next races are Tuesday. So far, the 2013 America’s Cup has been one ugly regatta, but when its monster boats cross with a foot to spare, accelerating into thin air, it’s also been one nifty leap in the never-ending quest to get somewhere fast, and win a trophy doing it.

Susan Brenneman, deputy Op-Ed editor, served as ballast in several minor sailing races on San Francisco Bay.

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Brokerage sales continue gains in August

Brokerage sales continue gains in August

Posted on 11 September 2013


U.S. brokerage sales topped 3,000 boats for the fifth month in a row in August, finishing 9 percent ahead of the same month a year earlier.

Aggregate totals from YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in, their proprietary database, were 3,066 boats sold — 256 more than in August 2012 — and $312.5 million changing hands, an increase of $65.9 million.

The power and sailboat sides of the market showed growth with power up 9 percent at 2,510 boats sold and sail gaining 11 percent to 556. The increase in aggregate price came largely from powerboat sales, which rose 31 percent to $272.6 million. The price paid for sailboats increased 4 percent to $39.9 million.

Brokers for boats between 46 and 79 feet did much stronger business this August than they did a year earlier. The 46- to 55-foot segment grew by 16 percent with 168 boats sold and the total value of sales increased from $36.2 million to $50.2 million, a gain of 39 percent.

In the 56- to 79-foot range, sales were up 26 percent, from 54 boats sold to 68, and the total value increased in step, rising 25 percent to $34.5 million. Superyacht sales rose from 10 to 16 boats and they sold for $59.9 million, a hefty 139 percent increase.

Sales of boats under 26 feet rose 13 percent with 957 boats sold and the total value increased from August 2012 by 29 percent to $22.2 million. The smallest gains were made in the next size segment, boats 26 to 35 feet, which is also the highest volume part of the market. Sales of this size boat were up 3 percent to 1,183 and the total value of the sales was 2 percent lower at $60.2 million.

For 2013 through eight months, U.S. brokerage sales were 4 percent higher with 23,488 boats sold. The aggregate price paid, year to date was $2.82 billion, up 25 percent from 2012 for the same period.

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

— John Burnham editorial director

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Sailing-Ben Ainslie could replace Oracle tactician in America's Cup

By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO, September 11 (Reuters) – A blunder on Tuesday that led to a commanding victory for Emirates Team Zealand and prompted Oracle Team USA to call an unusual time-out in the 34th America’s Cup regatta might have cost sailor John Kostecki his job.

The 49-year-old American was nowhere to be seen when software magnate Larry Ellison‘s team got back on its 72-foot catamaran for a practice run on Wednesday after Tuesday’s devastating loss. Acclaimed British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, who has been at the helm of Oracle’s second yacht during training matches, took his place.

Oracle representatives did not immediately respond to calls and emails asking for confirmation that Ainslie would replace Kostecki as the tactician when Oracle again faces Team New Zealand for two races on Thursday.

The government-backed Kiwis have won four of the nine races they need to take the Auld Mug, as they call the silver trophy, back to their tiny, sailing-crazed island nation. Because of a jury-imposed penalty, Oracle must finish first in 11 races – two more than New Zealand.

Ainslie, 36, has won four Olympic gold medals and is considered one of the most decorated sailors of all time. Though Oracle flies the American flag, the loss of Kostecki would leave only one U.S. sailor on the team, trimmer Rome Kirby.

All but two of the Kiwi sailors hail from New Zealand.

Oracle was winning the race on Tuesday when it tried to do something that has never before been done – to lift its foils out of the water while tacking. But the team bungled the maneuver, almost stopped dead and gave up an eight-second lead.

Criticism was also heaped on Oracle for heading to the right side of the upwind leg near Alcatraz Island to escape current, allowing the Kiwis to use better wind in the center of the course to get ahead.

The team used a so-called postponement card to skip the second race of the day. Skipper Jimmy Spithill said Oracle would return to the water to figure out how to make the hard-to-handle twin-hulled yacht move faster before two races scheduled for Thursday.

Asked at a post-race press conference if Kostecki would be fired, Spithill said, “I can’t guarantee anything. I can’t guarantee I’ll be there.”

An international jury expelled Kostecki’s brother-in-law, first-choice wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder, after finding he and other team members illegally modified smaller, prototype boats used in warm-up regattas.

Kostecki grew up sailing on San Francisco Bay and is said to have been hired as Oracle’s tactician because of his insider knowledge. Asked at a press conference on Sunday if his local knowledge had given him a leg up on the Kiwis, he replied, “I think these guys know the Bay pretty well.”

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