Archive for » December 12th, 2014«

Boat sales show steady growth in 3Q

Posted on December 12th, 2014
Written by Jack Atzinger


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The U.S. recreational boat industry ended the third quarter with the kind of moderate, steady growth that positions it to end 2014 with single-digit sales gains.

Sales in the main powerboat segments rose 4.6 percent to 35,870 for the July-September quarter and sales industrywide climbed by 6 percent to 61,872 in 45 states that comprise 93 percent of the market, Statistical Surveys reported today.

Statistical Surveys national marine sales manager Ryan Kloppe said the industry probably will end the year with a sales gain of 5 to 6 percent in the main segments and 8 percent industrywide, results that would be in line with forecasts at the start of the year.

The third-quarter sales increase was broad-based and led by aluminum fishing boats and pontoon boats and fiberglass outboards. Sales of jetboats, ski boats and personal watercraft also posted solid gains.

“It’s a continuation of what we’ve been seeing in the monthly reports from the early-reporting states,” Kloppe said. “We’re having another year of positive, steady growth and we’re hoping to continue that growth through the upcoming winter boat show season.”

Sales of fiberglass outboards rose 11.8 percent for the quarter to 11,194, sales of aluminum fishing boats rose 5.1 percent to 9,466 and pontoon sales rose 4.8 percent to 10,979.

Sales of jetboats climbed 20.8 percent to 1,044, sales of ski boats climbed 13.2 percent to 2,075 and PWC sales increased by 8.7 percent to 16,372.

Sales of cruisers and large yachts gained, but the 14- to 30-foot sterndrive segment continued to lag as sales fell by 13.6 percent to 3.617.

Through the third quarter, 191,067 boats had been sold industrywide in the 45 states covered by the report, positioning the industry to exceed its 2014 sales total of 207,277 and top the 200,000 mark for the third year in a row as it recovers from the Great Recession.

The only states not covered in the quarterly report are Georgia, lllinois and Oregon, where the registration numbers were delayed, and Maine and Hawaii, which only report annually.

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Sailors show off their skills at World Cup round in Sandringham

On-water matters: Iain Jensen and Nathan Outteridge (in background) competing off Sandringham this week. Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library

As a sailor, Mark Turnbull will never forget the feeling of winning a gold medal in front of his family and friends at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Yet for all Turnbull and fellow Victorian Tom King’s victory in the 470 class did for Australian sailing, Turnbull’s job as event director for the annual International Sailing Federation’s World Cup round at Sandringham Yacht Club may prove much more important.

Australia had not won a sailing gold medal for 28 years before Sydney, where both the men and women’s teams won in the 470 class, but the nation now ranks among the best at Olympic level and Melbourne’s yearly event has played a major role in this.

Sail Melbourne in 1999 was the first “all-in” Olympic sailing regatta and from it grew the six-race World Cup series.

More than 200 Olympic aspirants from 34 nations have competed at Sandringham since last Sunday with the finals for the 10 Olympic classes for males and females this Saturday and Sunday.

A youth team from China and an entry from Papua New Guinea have added new blood to the usual entries from Europe, New Zealand and other countries.

Where the Melbourne leg differs from others on the World Cup circuit is it also allows about 350 Australian juniors and Paralympics competitors to participate at the same event.

“It’s pretty unique in Olympic sports, you are not going to get to dive into an Olympic pool alongside Ian Thorpe or play tennis against Pat Rafter,” Turnbull said.

“But you can come and hose your boat down and sail the same course as a Nathan Outteridge [Australia’s London Olympic gold medallist in the 49er class].

“They can either race on same course as your Olympic heroes or just be in the same boat park and race on a smaller, slower circuit for junior sailors.”

Turnbull and other officials and volunteers work all year planning the event that Melbourne has hosted in its current format since 2009 and in different formats since 1999.

State government funding has been crucial and Turnbull said the field had grown 100 per cent in the past two years and was 30-40 per cent bigger than last year as athletes prepare for Rio Olympic trials in the coming year.

“You do step back and watch the movement of 500 boats in and out of the water,” Turnbull said.

“It seems to happen smoothly from a distance, but when you go down there on the boat ramp when all the boats are coming in you just have to step out of the way.”

But despite the sport’s growth exposure and media coverage remains a major struggle even with repeated gold medals and the likes of celebrated America’s Cup winning skipper John Bertrand working as an ambassador.

Yachting Victoria, the state government and Turnbull are in talks with the ISAF to extend the current hosting rights beyond next year when their contract expires.

“We are pretty close to securing the event for the next three years and there will be some big changes because the sport needs to modernise, develop and get taken to the public,” Turnbull said.

“I’m confident we can do it and secure it for Australia but there is competition from other countries to secure this Oceania leg although Melbourne definitely has the inside running.

“So with the right support I’m sure we can retain it for not just three years but beyond that as well.”

Melbourne is favoured over Sydney because of Sydney Harbour’s congested waters compared to the challenging conditions and wider expanses off Sandringham.

Turnbull said the 10 Olympic classes attempted to cover all the bases of “off-beach” sailing from wind-surfers to single boats, double-handed boats and catamarans.

Finding ways to bring more money into the sport is now the most important goal, with Turnbull firmly believing more needs to be provided to the world’s best Olympic sailors.

“Probably the top 40 sailors in each Olympic class would be professional in every way except for making a living out of it,” Turnbull said.

“From an Australian point of view, our best sailors spend seven months overseas, mainly based in Europe where they can compete and train in the regattas because that is where the competition is.

“It is a full-time job, six days a week but there isn’t money in it.

“Beyond the Olympics, there is the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, so there is an opportunity to make a career in sailing but at Olympic level, for that honour and glory, it’s a very personal thing and the people who aspire to do it have a burning passion.”

Turnbull praised the funding provided to Australia’s Olympic aspirants by the national federation, the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Olympic Committee.

“They go and look for personal sponsors to help them along the way but they do rely on government support, which is a great help,” Turnbull said.

“As long as the Australian team keep performing, then funding is made available to keep that up.”

The results from this weekend’s finals will also push along those athletes looking to secure their berth at the Rio Olympics and, watching on, Turnbull has a few flashbacks to his moment of glory on Sydney Harbour.

“The lead-up to Sydney was fantastic, you can prepare for four years but you get to the Games and it just blows you out of the water,” Turnbull said.

“The Games themselves are just so much bigger and brighter than you can imagine. To walk away winning a gold medal in front of our friends and family – it was an amazing time. I watch these guys now and part of me wishes I was still doing it but I’m well past it.

“Right now Australia is the top sailing country in the world at Olympic level, but back in 2000 we hadn’t won a gold medal in 28 years so it has come a long way in a short time where we are now pretty dominant.

“I spend more time now watching others sail than doing much of it myself which I don’t mind because I effectively crammed a lifetime of sailing into a very short period leading up to the Games.

“My next stage will be introducing my kids to the sport and hopefully they will love it too.”

Admission to the ISAF World Cup event is free and this weekend’s finals will be well within view of spectators at Sandringham Yacht Club with racing from 10am until late in the afternoon each day.

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Israeli Naval Forces Escalate Attacks against Palestinians

Israeli Naval Forces Escalate Attacks against
Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza Sea; 12 Fishermen Arrested, 5
Fishing Boats Confiscated and Fishing Equipment

Israeli gunboats stationed in the Gaza
Sea chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the
limit allowed for fishing and opened fire at them. They
arrested 12 fishermen, confiscated 5 boats off al-Waha shore
in Beit Lahia town in the Northern Gaza Strip and damaged
fishing equipment. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
(PCHR) condemns the continued Israeli attacks against
Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and is concerned
over the continued targeting of fishermen and their
livelihoods. Economic and social rights of fishermen have
been violated by the illegal naval blockade imposed by
Israeli authorities on the Gaza Sea.

According to
investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:30 on
Saturday, 06 December 2014, Israeli gunboats stationed off
northwest of al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia town in
the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing
boats sailing within 2-3 miles and then surrounded 5 fishing
boats boarded by 12 Palestinian fishermen. Israeli forces
arrested all fishermen and took them to an unknown
destination. They also confiscated the five boats and
fishing nets. The fishermen, who are so far under arrest,
were identified as:

• Safwat ‘Abdel Malek Hasan
al-Sultan (30) and Sa’ed Ziyad Mahmoud Zayed (32); both from
al-Salatin neighborhood, who were on a boat belonging to
Fahmi Mahmoud Mohammed Zayed. Israeli forces confiscated
their boat and fishing nets.

• Mahmoud Mohammed
Mohammed Zayed (29) and his brother Ahmed (30), from
al-Salatin neighborhood, who were both on a boat belonging
to their father. The boat was confiscated and fishing nets
were cut and confiscated.

• Mohammed Amin Rushdi
Abu Wardeh (22) and his brother Yousif (19); from al-Salatin
neighborhood, who were both on the board of a boat belonging
to their father. The boat was confiscated and fishing nets
were cut and confiscated.

• Belal Abu ‘Odah
(23), Mahmoud Naser Mahfouz (23), Sofian Mahfouz (25), Yaser
‘Othman Meqdad (26), his brother Adham (27), and Bahaa’
al-Deen al-Najjar (22); all of them from al-Shati’ refugee
camo, west of Gaza City. They were on the board of two
boats that were confiscated with fishing nets.

condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian
fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and:

1. Calls for
immediately stopping the policy of chasing and arresting
Palestinian fishermen, and allowing them to sail and fish

2. Calls upon Israeli forces to release the
detained fishermen and compensate them for the material
damage that might have incurred to them; and

3. Calls
upon the international community, including the High
Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949
Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of
War, to immediately intervene to stop the Israeli violations
against the Palestinian fishermen and allow them to sail and
fish freely in the Gaza


© Scoop Media

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