Archive for » February 18th, 2014«

A preview of Miami’s boat shows, which begin today – Sun

The boat show is at the Miami Beach Convention Center and has boats in the water at Sea Isle Marina Yachting Center in Miami. Sailboats and sailing accessories are at Strictly Sail Miami at Miamarina at Bayside.

The YB Show has more than 500 new and used boats in the Indian Creek Waterway along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The show opens at 10 a.m. each day and admission is free.

Most of the boats at the YB Show are bigger than what you’ll find at the MIBS. For example, there’s the newest version of the Sanlorenzo 104, which is joined by a 122 and a 72 at the show.

Sanlorenzo boats are “made to measure,” which means that the customer selects the layout and features, and also works with a designer on the interior.

“We don’t build two the same,” Sanlorenzo Fort Lauderdale president George Jousma said.   

One feature of the 104 that will likely be requested for other Sanlorenzo models is the master cabin on the main deck. Four VIP cabins, which could pass for master cabins on some other superyachts, are below. There are three quarters for the five-person crew.

Also new is a side terrace that is an ideal spot to sit and have a drink after arriving at your destination. You press a button and the side of the boat folds out to create the terrace. Push the button again and it folds back up.

The ship is powered by twin MTU 2400s. It can reach a top speed of about 29 knots and cruises at 24. Jousma said the price is under $15 million.

Also at the YB Show are two environmentally friendly Greenline Hybrid boats, a 33-footer and a 40-footer. Mike Kiely, who is the brand manager for Greenline for Denison Yacht Sales in Fort Lauderdale, said the boat can run under diesel or electric propulsion with the flip of a switch.

“We’re the Prius of boats,” he said, referring to the hybrid car made by Toyota.

Greenline boats, which are available in 57-, 70- and 88-foot models, feature an infused fiberglass super displacement hull that makes them as stable as a catamaran, but also allows them to be efficiently powered by an electric battery that is charged when the diesel engines are running as well as by solar panels on the roof of the boats and when you plug into electric power at the dock.

The 33 has one Volkswagen TDI marine engine and one lithium polymer battery, which is made to take a heavier load and rated to last 10 years; the 40 has two and two.


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Foreign boat buyers get matched with US manufacturers at the upcoming Miami …

Recreational fishing boats HydroSports and SeaHunter can maneuver the waves off Dubai or Japan just as well as they can the waters of Biscayne Bay.

So the Islamorada-based factory-direct sales office for the crafts is targeting overseas sales, hoping a government-sponsored program will link it to international buyers during the upcoming Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, which runs Thursday through Monday.

HydroSports and SeaHunter are participating for the first time in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program, which connects U.S. companies with foreign businesses to boost export sales.

This is the second year the Miami Boat Show is partnering in the program, offering its exhibitors an added link to the foreign market. Exhibitors must have pre-registered by last week. There is no fee, but the exhibitor must be a National Marine Manufacturers Association member or an exhibitor that sells a U.S.-manufactured product.

“What I like about this program is it gives new-to-export companies an opportunity to get their feet wet, so to speak, in the international arena. So they don’t have to make the huge investment required to travel overseas, because the buyers are coming to them,” said Julie Balzano, export development director for NMMA, the trade association for the recreational boating industry. The association produces 23 boat shows annually, including the Miami show, one of the world’s largest.

All the international buyers are recruited by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s network of commercial specialists around the world, said Gary Rand, director of the International Buyer’s Program. Once recruited, the NMMA can link them to suppliers from its list of prequalified vendors, including boat builders and equipment manufacturers, to schedule appointments.

Overall, the International Buyer Program participates in more than 35 major industry trade shows every year, including the Consumer Electronics Show, the Graphics of the Americas show and the Fancy Food Show, said Rand, who is based in Washington, D.C.

Across all industries, the International Buyer Program has helped generate $1.7 billion in export sales from 2011 to 2013, Rand said. More than 46 percent of the sales were exports by a firm to a new market.

Already, 200 buying representatives from 102 companies in 22 countries have signed up for appointments through the program for the Miami International Boat Show, Rand said. The show takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina.

“The Miami Boat Show is one of the biggest boat shows in the world. Everybody comes from all over the world, so we see nothing but positives working with a program like this,” said Terri Nuechterlein, director of marketing at the factory-direct sales center for SeaHunter and HydroSports, which will have a booth at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The boats will be available to try out at Sea Isle Marina. SeaHunters, manufactured in South Miami-Dade, range in price from $89,900 for a 24-foot bay boat, to $549,900 for a 45-foot center console boat, with outriggers, rod holders, bolster seating and other options. HydroSports, made in Stuart and Tennessee, cost $79,900 for a 23-foot boat to more than 600,000 for 42-foot with luxury options like teak flooring, teak tables and a tower.

During the past year, both brands have enjoyed overseas sales to Dubai, Spain, Japan, the Bahamas and other Caribbean nations, Nuechterlein said.

So far, through the International Buyer Program, two more potential buyers from Dubai have signed up to meet at the Miami Boat Show, she said. “Our boats handle the big water that is there.”

Accmar Equipment Co., a Kendall-based manufacturer of dock equipment, is also registered in the international program. The company manufactures such items as power pedestals for docks and marinas, fire safety equipment, boat fenders, dock ladders and other items, said Accmar President Juan Pizarro, who founded the company in 2007.

During the recession, Accmar focused on the international market, selling to buyers from Dubai, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia. Pizarro said 40 percent of the company’s sales are international.

Last year, Accmar’s participation in the International Buyer Program led to sales in Panama and South Korea.

“I believe this is a great tool the Miami Boat Show is providing for their customers, because it gives us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the buyers, and the industry right now is about relationships,” said Pizarro, who will be exhibiting on the main floor of the show at the convention center.

“You can’t fly to all these countries,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that we will get a positive lead that might turn into a sale from the program.”


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Patients inspire cancer nurse in worldwide sailing bid

In the early hours, when she’s cold, wet, sleepless and sore from days of hauling heavy sails — those are the moments Fiona Garforth-Bles knows she’ll wonder why she isn’t tucked in at her Bragg Creek home.

Then there’s the feeling the landlocked Albertan will have when she sails out from San Francisco under the Golden Gate Bridge and embarks on her three-month yacht race this April.

When she’s gone weeks with no texts or phone calls, and has lost all sense of time.

When there’s nothing ahead but a lonesome sea and an empty sky melting together faraway on the horizon.

“I’m looking forward to that sense of, you have to live in the moment, you lose track of what day it is, you’ve got no technology, no emails, no bombardment,� she said.

“You’ve just got the sea, the sky, the wildlife, the boat, the wind. That’s why I love being on the ocean.�

This spring, the mother of two is taking part in a yachting race around the world, teaming up with a skipper and a crew of 19 to sail against 11 other boats.

For Garforth-Bles, 54, it’s a chance for her to hone the sailing skills she’s developed despite living in Alberta for most of her adult life.

It’s also an opportunity for Garforth-Bles, an oncology nurse at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, to raise money for clinical trials research at the Calgary centre.

In her job giving chemotherapy treatments, she’s seen cancer patients survive remarkable odds. She’s also said goodbye to the ones who didn’t make it.

During her 25 years as a cancer nurse, Garforth-Bles has witnessed huge advancements come through clinical trials and the difference the treatments can make for patients and families whose lives have been changed by cancer.

“I see a lot of very brave and courageous people.�

Those patients will stick with her on her sailing journey, she says.

Garforth-Bles’ goal is humble: to raise $8,800 for the Tom Baker, or at least one dollar for every nautical mile she’ll sail.

Born in Kent, in southeast England, Garforth-Bles first took up sailing in Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir.

She took to her first lessons and has been heading to the west coast every chance to get more time on the water.

She first learned of the Clipper Round the World competition from a friend, who did the race more than a decade ago.

The race pits teams of amateur sailors, headed by a seasoned skipper, every two years.

After hemming and hawing, Garforth-Bles decided the chance to fulfil her dream of sailing across the ocean was irresistible.

First came three weeks of training last summer in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.

The tough training “weeds out a few people�, she says. The race’s organizers say sailors will be learning a skill that is “more like riding a bucking bronco — in a washing machine�.

The training includes learning the ropes of the boat, cooking and cleaning and “how to live at a 45-degree angle for prolonged periods�, while mastering the four hour watch shifts as the teams sail through the night.

“It was really tough. I have to say I thought ‘What am I doing’.


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