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NMMA projects continued increase in boat sales

Posted on May 21st, 2014

The recreational boating industry generated $36.7 billion in retail spending last year, a 3.2 percent increase from 2012, with performance and outboard boats leading the recovery.

For the first time since before the Great Recession, the ratio of used- to new-boat sales decreased.

An estimated 166,800 new powerboats and sailboats were sold in 2013, an increase of 2.2 percent on the heels of the industry’s 10.7 percent increase the previous year, according to new data released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The NMMA is anticipating continued momentum with an additional 5 to 7 percent increase in retail sales of new boats in 2014.

“As the nation’s economic recovery matures and boating businesses prepare for summer, a peak selling season for recreational boats, accessories and services, we expect to see continued stable growth in sales,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “Following a year of inclement weather throughout the U.S. driving pent-up demand and Americans taking to the water in record numbers, the industry is primed for a busy selling season.”

Ski and wakeboard boats, as well as fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats, led the industry’s growth in 2013. Ski and wakeboard boats continued to grow in popularity with an 11 percent increase in the number of new boats sold at retail with 6,100 units.

Outboard boats — pontoons, fishing boats and small family cruisers — were the most popular type of new powerboat sold, comprising about 84 percent of that market. Sales were up 5 percent to 134,800 units.

Additionally, the personal watercraft category increased 2 percent, compared with 2012, as 39,400 new PWC were sold at retail.

Inboard cruisers leaped 10 percent, compared with the previous year, with 2,200 new boats sold.

2013 marked the first time since 2009 that the ratio of used-boat sales to new-boat sales decreased, indicating a shift in consumer demand for new boats.

Of 241.9 million adults in the United States, 36.6 percent, or 88.5 million, participated in recreational boating at least once during the year — the second-highest percentage on record.

Early data from the NMMA’s U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract — due out June 1 — also listed the top 10 boating states for 2013, which were largely up in new-boat sales. The largest gains were realized in Florida and California, where the boating industry had been particularly hard hit by the housing crisis.

The states were ranked according to dollar amount in sales of new powerboats, motors, trailers and accessories:

1. Florida: $1,931,420,221, up 14 percent from 2012

2. Texas: $1,170,110,215, down 2.2 percent from 2012

3. Michigan: $651,972,329, up 1 percent from 2012

4. Delaware: $567,203,555, up 17.7 percent from 2012

5. Minnesota: $554,465,991, up 0.2 percent from 2012

6. New York: $547,940,162, up 1.8 percent from 2012

7. Wisconsin: $516,344,257, down 0.5 percent from 2012

8. North Carolina: $505,466,304, up 2.9 percent from 2012

9. Louisiana: $475,670,309, down 5 percent from 2012

10 California: $428,956,673, up 16.9 percent from 2012

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Search for 4 missing British sailors in Atlantic resumed by US coastguard after petition

  • American authorities caved to pressure to continue searching for missing crew on Tuesday
  • Comes after yachts from around the world vowed to search at the boat’s last known location
  • Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to thank the U.S. on Twitter
  • The private search was described as channelling the ‘Spirit of Dunkirk’
  • U.S. Coastguard previously called off their hunt for the men on Sunday
  • Nearly 200,000 people signed an online petition urging them to restart
  • The crew of the Cheeki Rafiki were returning from Antigua Sailing Week
  • They ran into difficulties on Thursday but lost contact with land on Friday
  • Missing are Andrew Bridge, Paul Goslin, Steve Warren and James Male
  • Mr Goslin’s wife said relatives had been on ‘emotional rollercoaster’, but that hopes were now ‘much higher’
  • The Royal Yachting Association tonight welcomed the decision to resume the search for the missing yachtsmen

Sam Marsden
and Daniel Martin
and Arthur Martin

07:20 EST, 20 May 2014


02:50 EST, 21 May 2014

A flotilla of small sailing boats yesterday joined the search for four British yachtsmen missing in a remote part of the Atlantic.

The move came as the US Coastguard bowed to mounting public and diplomatic pressure from the UK to resume efforts to find the crew of the 40ft Cheeki Rafiki.

Evoking the spirit of the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk by a fleet of ‘little ships’, about 40 private yachts are heading to the area where the stricken boat is thought to have drifted since it  capsized on Friday.

Scroll down for video

Rally: Family members of the missing sailors arrived at the Foreign and Commonwealth office on Tuesday to meet Hugh Robertson MP as the US Coastguard has confirmed it has restarted the search

Pictured left to right are Cressida Goslin, wife of Paul Goslin, Graham Male, father of James Male, Gloria Hamlet, girlfriend of Steve Warren and David Bridge, father of Andrew Bridge

The boats joining the search include a
group of eight yachts and a further 32 vessels from Antigua, many of
which have been competing in regattas across the Caribbean.

The skippers
of a further 35 yachts taking part in a rally organised by the World
Cruising Club have also been asked for help.

Austrian catamaran named Malisi yesterday reached the 130-square-mile
search zone and carried out sweeps for any sign of the missing sailors.

All smiles: The last picture of the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki shows the sailors enjoying an awards ceremony at the end of the Antigua Sailing Week 2014. Steve Warren is shown left, Paul Goslin, is second left, Andrew Bridge is seen second to right, and James Male is pictured right

Rafiki captain Andrew Bridge, 22, and crew members James Male, 23,
Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, were about 1,000 miles east of
Massachusetts when their yacht began taking on water on Thursday.

families are clinging to hopes that the men  managed to get into the
boat’s life-raft and are simply awaiting rescue.

Warren’s sister Kay Coombes, 46, from Wincanton, Somerset, said: ‘We
can only hold out hope they will find something.

Thanks: David Cameron was quick to applaud the Coastguard on Twitter

Andrew Bridge, who was skippering the Cheeki Rafiki

Missing sailor Paul Goslin

Andrew Bridge, left, who was skippering the Cheeki Rafiki. Also missing is 56-year-old Paul Goslin, right

Missing Steve Warren

Missing sailor James Male

Fellow crew members Steve Warren, 52, left, and 23-year-old James Male, right, were also on board the ship


There are extraordinary tales of survival in life-rafts. Chinese sailor Poon Lim lived for 133 days after his British merchant ship was torpedoed in 1942 – and yachtsman Dougal Robertson spent 38 days at sea in 1972.

But they were in warm waters near the equator – not the cold North Atlantic where the Cheeki Rafiki went missing.

The crew could only expect to last if they stay dry and have drinking water.

Otherwise it’s ‘hours rather than days’, said physiology professor Mike Tipton.

The RNLI said sailors suffer from cold-water shock – even if they are fit and good swimmers.

But Tony Bullimore, who spent five days in the upturned hull of his boat in the freezing Southern Ocean in 1997, said the  missing Britons could survive for months. 

‘Miracles happen at sea,’ he said.

‘They said they are
going to keep their eyes peeled for anything that may help us, so we are
clinging on to that at the moment.’

There are estimated to be 100 or more yachts sailing across the Atlantic to Europe after spending the winter in the Caribbean.

captains have been asked to consider switching course to pass through
the search zone – although some will be too far away, hampered by
weather or lack of fuel.

Wyatt, of the Isle of Wight-based World Cruising Club, said: ‘They are
looking for anything – debris, the life- raft. But with every hour that
passes, the zone gets bigger.’

He added: ‘The decision whether to divert course to assist is down to individual skippers. We can only make an appeal.’

US Coastguard came under fire for ending its search after only two
days, although it claimed that the crew could only have survived in the
atrocious weather conditions for 20 hours.

Relatives launched a campaign
to have the operation resumed, winning the support of celebrities, top
sailors, politicians and more than 200,000 people who signed an online

The American
authorities finally performed a U-turn yesterday in response to requests
from the British Government, and sent an aircraft back to the area
where the men vanished.

Mr Goslin’s wife Cressida, 51, from West Camel,
Somerset, said it has been a ‘complete emotional rollercoaster’ as
discussions swung back and forth between the Foreign Office and the US.

Bridge’s grandmother Valerie, 75, added: ‘We are delighted.

Help: James Male’s dad Graham Male, pictured, made a direct plea to Mr Cameron to keep looking for the missing men

‘We’re going through hell': Kay Coombes, sister of missing yachtsman Stephen Warren, has been told 40 private boats are to search for the boat, which lost contact with land on Friday

Hull sighting: On Saturday, a cargo vessel, the MV Maersk Kure, spotted and photographed an overturned hull, pictured, which matched the description of the Cheeki Rafiki but reported no signs of people on board

Treacherous: Search teams battled ‘treacherous’ conditions – including winds in excess of 50 knots and 15 to 20 ft waves – to search for the missing yacht, pictured

The Cheeki Rafiki, pictured during Antigua Sailing Week, before it ran into difficulties returning to the UK

‘All we
wanted was another search. It might not come to anything, but people
want them to do it and they are trying.

‘It seemed too quick, just two
days, and we were saying, “If only they could do it for a bit longer”.
You never know what could happen.’

‘intensive discussions’ between ministers and the US authorities, David
Cameron wrote on Twitter: ‘My thanks to the US Coastguard, which has
resumed its search for our missing yachtsmen.’

Comments (275)

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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Grumpy Expat,

Leiden NL,

3 hours ago

No mention of EPIRB signals being received. Perhaps that’s why the US coastguards gave up so soon.

Ex Pat USA,


7 hours ago

Where is the EUSSR coastguard? Still talking about it?

Grim Grimbarian,

Port Elizabeth, South Africa,

7 hours ago

They spent billions searching for a lost Malaysian jet but won’t search for British sailors that could be still alive! Thousands of British soldiers maimed or killed fighting America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! America is n’t much of a friend when they won’t send their coastguard to search!


Whitstable, United Kingdom,

10 hours ago

Nobody forced them to sail off to take part in some Caribbean regetta so why should tax payers of various countries be forced to pay huge sums of money on continuing to search for them. The initial search turned up nothing – so be it, when you are an adult you make your own life choices but have to stand by the consequences. Is there any bandwaggon that Cameron will not jump on?



11 hours ago

Has the overturned ship been searched? You often hear about people surviving in air pockets etc for days…


Cardiff, United Kingdom,

12 hours ago

why should they



12 hours ago

Life rafts also have an automatic distress beacon. If the laft raft was launched this would have gone off.


Little Oakley, United Kingdom,

12 hours ago

I’m going to leave any money left to the RNLI. My dad helped fish G-ALYP up off the med in 1953 and sent a letter home with drawings of the bar door, a woman’s shoe and other bits of wreckage. I’ve recently scanned them. It beggars belief that the US Coastguard can be so heartless, Thanks for getting back to the job.



12 hours ago

A liferaft is too often that nuisance item on board. It cost money, is supposed to be serviced frequently and yet there are many recorded incidents where it has simply sunk and not inflated. One must pray that theirs worked.



13 hours ago

Dont understand why tracking devices are not fitted into life rafts…..

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Gig Harbor sailing finishes its first season

The Gig Harbor Yacht Club junior sailing race team recently wrapped up its first season of competition. The team, which is mostly comprised of Gig Harbor High School students, is the brainchild of Rhonda Ashpole and Joan Storkman.

“It started loosely with myself, and a couple other parents took kids to regattas in 2013,” Ashpole said.

Ashpole and Storkman hosted an informational meeting in late winter to gauge interest within the community.

“Joan and I were thinking, no one is going to come; it’ll just be my two kids,” Ashpole said. “We’re thinking, ‘Oh, gosh.’”

Fortunately, their fears were unfounded. About 15 kids attended the informational meeting, and about 12 committed to the team this season. Like any other high school spring sport, sailing season runs from March to early May. The team participates in regattas in places like Bainbridge Island, Anacortes and Silverdale. The team practiced twice a week for about three hours at a time, launching their boats out of West Shore Marina.

The team is run through the Gig Harbor Yacht Club junior sailing program. The yacht club owns all the boats, but it doesn’t need them until summer, so the high school team gets to use them in the spring. The team uses Flying Junior boats, or “FJs,” one of two boat types typically used in high school competitive sailing.

Along with Storkman, Dennis Clark serves as coach. Both bring decades of sailing expertise to the table.

“Those two have been awesome,” Ashpole said of the coaches. “They’re seasoned sailors, more mature sailors who’ve been sailing locally for 30, 40 years. To have that kind of experience out there, just that enthusiasm and knowledge, is valuable.”

A third partner in the coaching circle is Gig Harbor High School 2013 graduate Hanne Weaver. Weaver, a competitive sailor, is taking a year off school and dedicating her time to train for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She is an important role model for the high school students.

“I really enjoyed that, just helping the kids,” Weaver said.

Weaver said for the club to grow, they need to continue to find ways to make sailing fun and exciting for the kids.

“Just getting more people out on the water. That’s the only way it’ll grow, making it seem more fun than just something they have to do,” Weaver said. “Kids want to do it when it’s more fun.”

For Weaver, nothing compares to being on the water.

“The world just stops, and it’s a relaxation,” Weaver said. “Nothing really matters when you’re on the water.”

The club joins the Gig Harbor Kayak and Canoe Team in the local waters. Both make sense for the Gig Harbor area, but before the club started, sailors had to drive up to places like Seattle to practice.

“We thought, this is crazy; we live in Gig Harbor,” Ashpole said. “We should be able to do some racing from our town and not have to drive far away. We have the water and lots of sailors that live here.”

One of Ashpole’s daughters, 15-year-old Kara, said she enjoys the bonds she has with other kids on the team.

“I think it’s fun being able to connect with other people and learn from other people’s experiences, and just be able to get out on the water and have fun,” she said.

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Elkhart River Queen up for sale, future presence in the St. Joseph River in doubt

ELKHART — For 16 seasons, John Cleveland plied the waters of the St. Joseph River from the pilot house of the Elkhart River Queen, offering the public Sunday afternoon rides up and down the waterway.

For more than 60 years, the craft — built in 1947 — has had a presence on the river, serving as a private party boat before Cleveland bought the vessel in 1997.

River Queen factoids: It goes 5 mph (and more)

  • The boat travels about 5 mph, taking about three hours to go to Six Span Bridge and back to its port, off Bowers Court, east of the Johnson Street dam.
  • Under John Cleveland’s ownership, the boat offered Sunday afternoon rides to the public during the regular season, from June to October. It was also available for private events, like high school reunions, wedding receptions and church gatherings.
  • Prior owners only rented out the boat for private events, according to Cleveland.
  • Cleveland bought the boat in 1997 with Dick Moore, now Elkhart’s mayor. Cleveland later bought out Moore’s share.
  • When built in 1947, the boat measured 30 feet long. With a 1965 addition, it grew to 65 feet.
  • The red and white craft is 20 feet wide and weighs 32 tons, which would make transfer out of the St. Joseph River difficult, though not impossible.
  • The necessary repairs, if Cleveland were to make them, would necessitate cutting out problematic sections of the River Queen’s hull and welding in new steel, Cleveland said.
  • Cleveland wouldn’t talk money — the possible cost of the repairs or a possible sales price. He’ll wait to discuss those details with potential buyers.

After the boat sprung leaks, Cleveland and his wife, Dianne, decided they wanted to slow down, and now, the future of the two-level craft — which hasn’t offered rides to the public since 2012 — is in doubt. Cleveland is looking for a buyer, someone, he hopes, who will keep the craft on the St. Joseph River.

But if push comes to shove and no buyer emerges within a year or so, he says he may sell the steel-hulled boat — fit with a decorative paddle to give it the appearance of a paddle boat — for scrap.

“I’m like everybody else, we’d hate to see it leave the river,” Cleveland said Tuesday, May 20, standing on shore as the boat bobbed nearby in the river. “But sometimes you got to do what you got to do.”

Late last spring, just as the 2013 River Queen season was to begin, Cleveland made the tough decision to forego operations after the surprise discovery of a leak. Before the unexpected turn, he had planned to sell after the 2013 season, which runs from June to October. The leak forced him to change plans, though, putting the boat up for sale earlier than expected.

He doesn’t want to put the time and money into fixing the boat, which is still seaworthy if repaired, “because we’re ready to retire,” said Cleveland, who is 71.

He didn’t widely publicize his intentions, but after posting a “for sale” sign earlier this month outside the entryway to the boat dock along busy Jackson Boulevard, the plans became apparent to observant motorists.

As the sale plans have filtered out, he’s gotten feedback from nostalgic customers who don’t want the boat to go away.

“I’ve lived on the river for 44 years now and I enjoy seeing it go up and down the river, even before we bought it,” he said. “It’s sort of a tradition for Elkhart.”

Nonetheless, that hasn’t yet translated into someone who wants to take over operations.

“We don’t know what the future is,” he said.

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Garbage mars future waters of Rio 2016 sailing, windsurfing events

We’re still more than two years out from the Olympics, but the Rio-isn’t-ready stories are flying faster Usain Bolt on a Red Bull latte. No, London won’t be getting the Games back, but short of that, everything else is apparently on the table to get these Olympics off the ground.

Now comes word that Guanabera Bay, future site of sailing and windsurfing events, is a trash-strewn nightmare, a dumpsite for 80 to 100 tons of Rio de Janeiro’s trash each day. Add to that the fact that only about 40 percent of sewage is treated, with the remainder going straight into the water system, and you’ve got the foundation for an epic public health/public relations/public image nightmare.

The local government has said it will clean up the bay, but to local residents, this is more of the same news. Brazil has spent more than a billion dollars in the past two decades trying to clean up the bay, with little if any progress to show for it. There are plenty of photos of the environmental devastation here, though fair warning: some include aerial shots of gag-inducing amounts of sewage floating in waterways.

The problem with sewage in the waterways is that it disproportionately affects those least able to fight it: the poor and impoverished. The Global Post notes that state authorities in April cut the water cleanup budget by 95 percent, from more than $1 billion to $51 million. Gone are sewage treatment centers, left are boats and fences to contain debris.

Plus, there are the corpses. Lars Grael, who won two sailing medals for Brazil, has observed at least four human bodies floating in the sewage-infested waters during his training. He termed the bay “dark, brown and stinking,” and indicated that Olympic organizers should move the water events to a resort hours away.

Rio officials have disregarded such ideas. They said the bay will be cleaned by the Games, a claim that leaves local environmental experts scoffing.

“The government could deploy aircraft carriers to collect the bay’s garbage and the problem would not be solved,” Mario Moscatelli, a Brazilian biologist, told the New York Times. “The bay is still a latrine. It’s an insult to Rio’s people to say it will be clean for the Olympics.”

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

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Sanlorenzo Americas Announces First Sales Of New 125′ Yacht Model

Sanlorenzo Americas is a division of the renowned Italian superyacht firm Sanlorenzo Spa. Their newest model is the SD126, which like every Sanlorenzo model made since 1958, originates from the genes of the iconic SD122 model. The first SD126 model was sold shortly after the Miami International Boat Show. The 38-meter semi-displacement motor yacht is made to measure according to the tastes and the style of its owner.

The new SD126 will be displayed again at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from October 30 to November 3, 2014. Working exclusively within the continent of the Americas, Sanlorenzo Americas stands apart in the luxury yacht industry by offering their clients personalized, highly tailored, luxury yachts. The SD126 new features include a salon terrace, a bow lounging area complete with Jacuzzi tub, a new enlarged flybridge layout containing a pool and hardtop, the additional length with an enlarged swim deck area, and many more.

The interiors will be designed by Marty Lowe, in cooperation with the yacht’s new owner. Matte lacquer, leather paneled trim bulkheads in the VIP rooms and reflective ceiling combinations are utilized throughout. The master bedroom comes complete with a spa shower system for two, including steam showers and a horizontal shower system from Dornbracht with three pre-programmed choreographies allowing the selection of balancing, energizing or de-stressing effects.

The Italian shipyard’s sophisticated and innovative designs has placed them at the peak of International yacht building. Over the past 50 years, Sanlorenzo’s yachts have become a synonym of excellence. Their unmistakable style, refinement and attention to detail has taken Sanlorenzo to the number two slot for in the rankings of builders over 24 meters.

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Land Sailing Championship Coming to Nevada

Odds are you know about sailing. But what about land sailing?

 It’s a sport that is gaining popularity across the world. In fact, the Silver State will host the Land Sailing World Championship July 12th-19th.

Mike Grimm, Nevada Ambassador of the North American Land Sailing Association says there are not a lot of differences between land sailing and water sailing except land yachts can go as fast as 60 m.p.h., under the right conditions.

The thrill of riding only six inches above the playa, at speeds near 60 m.p.h., the thrill can be addicting. “I love the thrill of it,” said Corey Owens, a pilot who has been sailing for 16 years. “I do.”

A group of local pilots gathers at a dried out lake bed weekly at Stagecoach in Lyon County. “Tuning boats up, some are practicing racing, a bit of strategizing and a bit of bench racing going on,” said Grimm.

The Land Sailing World Championship is usually held in European countries, making this year’s event even more special to Grimm.
“We have a lot of wind and a lot of dry lands,” said Grimm. “The fact that North American Land Sailing Association got the schedule for the U.S. and here in Nevada? It’s pretty special.”

Over 165 pilots from 15 countries will gather at the Smith Creek Dry Lake near Austin for the championship.

Written By Landon Miller 

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