Archive for » February 22nd, 2014«

Spectacular pile-up in Extreme Sailing raises safety questions

“The wind was coming in so fast and there was this bottleneck with nowhere for
the boats to go. When the gusts hit, you lose control and there is nothing
you can do. We were extremely concerned and were waiting to hear that
everyone was safe.

“Ideally we would be in slightly less risky conditions,” he added.

“There have been plenty of close moments when things could have gone horribly
wrong and there has to be some consideration for the safety of the crews and
make sure the organisers are not forcing us into dangerous situations.”

Rob Greenhalgh, skipper of Oman Air, said the conditions were on the limit but

“If people had been hurt, they would be asking different questions but the
gusts go from 5 knots to 20 knots and there are a lot of boats in confined
spaces so there are always going to be accidents. Everyone knows this racing
is close to the edge and no one is raising serious safety issues.”

Phil Lawrence, Extreme Sailing Series Race Director assured the 12 Extreme
crews that he had no doubts over safety in the conditions and all their
safety protocols had worked.

“If there had been any doubts about whether it was safe to race, we would
have stopped racing,” he said.

“We have a whole safety protocol here and review it before each race. We
decided not to put guest sailors on board today because of the gusts and
after Race 21, our team who monitor wind strength at all times reported that
the gusts had reached their pre-designated limits so we stopped racing.

“It was an unfortunate incident and we are very happy no one was hurt,” he

With one day of racing in Singapore remaining, Morgan Larsen and Alinghi are
well placed at the top of the leaderboard with two times Extreme champion
McMillan in second place on The Wave Muscat, having risen from 10th place on
Thursday. Ainslie and his crew on JP Morgan BAR is in 5th place at his first
Extreme event as skipper.

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Caught On Video: Rollover crash knocks out security camera at boat dealership

A man has a long road to recovery after his pickup truck tore through a boat dealer lot and rolled over.

Last Friday, the truck veered off of Federal Highway at high speed and took out a fence, a mailbox, two boat trailers and a business sign with a security camera that recorded the whole thing.

ALSO: World’s Largest Car Pileups

The driver has not been identified and the accident is still under investigation, but witnesses said the man appeared to have suffered a medical condition behind the wheel.

The crash happened at around 10 a.m in the 5000 block of U.S 1 in Stuart outside Gaston’s Seagate Marine Sales on Feb. 14.


Chris Wilson, an employee at the boat dealership, said he was talking to his boss inside when he heard a loud noise.

“Me and a couple of co-workers ran over to the truck,” Wilson said. “I grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran over to the truck and they started ripping the windshield off to see if the passenger was OK.”

The owner of the boat dealer said one of his employees went to visit the driver in the hospital, and said the man has a long road to recovery with broken bones and an injured back, but he’s thankful to be alive and thankful for the kindness of strangers who rushed to his aid.

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Boat sales show small gains in January

Posted on February 21st, 2014
Written by Jack Atzinger

Winter’s icy fingers reached into the Deep South in January, but they appeared to be a minor factor as sales in the recreational boat industry rose slightly during what is traditionally a slow month.

Sales in the main powerboat segments rose just 1.2 percent, or 37 boats, to 3,243, compared with January of 2013, and industrywide sales were only 1.5 percent higher, or 71 boats, at 4,775, in 33 early reporting states that represent about 70 percent of the national market, Statistical Surveys reported today.

Results in two popular categories of aluminum boats were mixed. Sales of pontoon boats rose 9 percent, or 36, to 437, but fishing-boat sales fell 6.7 percent, or 70, to 976.

“I’m sure the weather was a factor, but I would say it was a small factor,” said Ryan Kloppe, Statistical Surveys’ national marine sales manager.

“January is typically a very slow month” and any gain is a welcome sign, he added. “The top three states did more this January than last January, so that’s promising, and there are still some good gains within the data.”

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Sales of 11- to 40-foot fiberglass outboard boats rose 3.9 percent, or 56, to 1,477. Sales of 14- to 30-foot inboard and sterndrive boats — a category that has struggled — climbed by six boats, to 224.

Sales of ski boats rose by 25, to 127, and personal watercraft sales climbed by 68, to 563.

Among other categories, sales of jetboats rose by five, to 65. Sailboat sales fell by 23, to 97.

Florida was the January sales leader among the early reporting states at 1,355 boats, followed by Texas (740), California (312), Louisiana (222) and Georgia (216). A year earlier, 1,268 boats were sold in Florida, 688 in Texas and 221 in California.

Rounding out the top 10 in January this year were Arizona (212), North Carolina (189), South Carolina (151), and Delaware and Tennessee, both with 136.

Sales in bigger-boat categories were mixed during the month. In the 31- to 40-foot cruiser category, sales fell by 11, to 63, but sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts rose by 19, to 52, and sales of custom and semicustom yachts from 63 to 99 feet rose by one, to 14.

Kloppe was in South Florida last week for the Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, and he sensed strong optimism among the builders that exhibited there.

“The industry is looking for a growth year,” he said, and builders are expecting a sales increase of 5 to 10 percent. Manufacturers that are producing new lines were upbeat about those models, he said, and exhibitors told him they had a lot of strong leads and follow-ups from the show.

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