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ON THE WATER: Duffy Boats Have Long History In Local Sailing Community

I dismissed Duffy electric boats as merely cocktail tables that floated. 

Recently, I’ve learned they are so much more. 

There are plenty of Duffy electric boat owners in Alamitos Bay, plus a there is a hefty inventory of rental boats. Our local waters are a haven for these party crafts. Many Duffy owners met on the Long Dock last Sunday for the Alamitos Bay Chargers Electric Boat Club annual holiday light tour, ugly Christmas sweater and dinner. The route was modified from previous years, with the Naples canal closed to traffic as a result of the rebuild project.

The designer of the Duffy boat is strongly connected to Long Beach’s sailing community in ways that might surprise you.

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield has spent a lifetime on the water, as an offshore sailboat racer, designer and builder, operator of large power boats and founder of the Duffy Electric Boat Company.

He has been building boats in California for more than 45 years and first converted a gas-to-electric boat in 1968. Since then, he has built more than 13,000 Duffys, which dominate the leisure electric boat market on every continent.

Duffield has raced in 12 Long Beach Congressional Cups as a jib trimmer with skippers Dennis Durgan, Tom Blackaller and Bill Ficker. He loves match racing and the caliber of sailors it attracts. 

In 1968, at age 16, Duffy invented his first electric boat. While still in high school and only 17 years old, Duffy began building racing Sabots, and his boats won every major West Coast youth-class sailing circuit event. 

Success at such a young age only fueled his dream of building world-class ocean racers. Duffy soon designed a breakthrough hull for the 1977 TransPac. The Native Son, a 50-foot sloop, reached speeds of more than 25 knots. Eight years later, he built another successful TransPac racer, the 65-foot Pandemonium.

While racing, there is little or no time for Duffield to eat, but when cruising in a Duffy, he prefers chardonnay and seafood appetizers, or as he calls it, “Chardo and Sushi.” 

So next time you see one of those floating cocktail tables, raise your glass to the Congressional Cup sailor and ocean-race yacht designer behind those boats.

Two Gates

The Two Gates Pursuit race hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club is Sunday, Jan. 4. A pursuit race is where boats of various sizes and speeds race each other using the equalizer of their Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) handicap rating, but in a reverse start. 

The slowest boat starts first and the fastest boat starts last. Each boat is assigned a specific starting time — arrive at the finish at about the same time.

The course starts in Long Beach Harbor, taking the fleet of boats up to Los Angeles Harbor and then back for the finish. It’s name comes from the fact that the race boats weave in and out of Queen’s Gate harbor entrance and Angel’s Gate harbor entrance.

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Denisons strategic Puerto Rican partnership – Superyacht News

26 Dec 2014

By | Other articles by this author

Denison Yacht Sales has announced its partnership with Puerto Rico-based Industrial Marine Service (IMS), establishing a strategic partnership in the Caribbean for the South Florida-based yacht sales company.

IMS has completed the integration of its yacht brokerage department into Denison’s network, positioning the company to benefit from Denison’s Super Yacht Division. Denison will be operating its yacht brokerage office out of IMS’ Villa Marina office in Fajardo.
“We can now offer all clients a boutique collection of services for brokerage and charter with a unified and centralised management structure,” said Stanley Castro, president of IMS in Puerto Rico.  “Our strong sales team and the management of Luis M. Ayala will be an asset to all of our clients.”
IMS has operated since 1975 as a new boat dealer and brokerage firm serving Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
“Our sales and marketing formula coupled with IMS’ local knowledge of the Puerto Rican and Caribbean boating marketplace is a partnership full of great synergies,” explained Bob Denison, president of Denison Yacht Sales. “Having a physical office at one of Puerto Rico’s great marinas, supported by Stanley’s awesome sales team will be an asset to all of our clients.  
“Puerto Rico has the tropical climate, beautiful waters, boating events, fishing tournaments, marinas and yacht clubs necessary for a thriving market,” Denison added. We’re thrilled to now be a part of the local Puerto Rican boating landscape.”

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Sydney to Hobart off to flying start

Sydney (AFP) – Newcomer Comanche was off to a blinding start in Australia’s 70th Sydney to Hobart yacht race Friday, blitzing all rivals including seven-times line honours winner Wild Oats XI in Sydney Harbour.

The 100-foot Comanche was ahead of Wild Oats, also a supermaxi, to the first mark as 117 yachts set off on the 628 nautical mile endurance race down Australia’s east coast in scorching summer conditions.

With the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as a backdrop and thousands of spectators on boats and harbourside vantage points, the yachts enjoyed a 15 to 18 knot southeasterly breeze which helped them off in what is thought to be a record start.

They have now turned south towards Hobart into a stiff southerly which is testing boats and sailors with uncomfortable seas, with four yachts retiring so far — including one with hull damage and another with a damaged rudder.

“It’s very rough, sailing upwind in 25-27 knots of wind and pounding hard into short steep waves,” said Peter Isler from onboard RIO 100, one of five supermaxis in the race — the biggest and fastest boats in the event.

“It’s like riding a bucking bronco. These are boat-breaking conditions, though we expect the wind to ease by midnight. Until then though we will hang on and keep pushing,” he said.

The lead yachts (from L) Ragamuffin, Perpetual Loyal,nbsp;hellip;

Among the retirements was the competitive Tina of Melbourne.

“We were trucking along nicely, just settling into the race. The sea was very confused though and we fell off a wave,” said skipper Andy Doolan.

As the boats turned south into the rough conditions, Comanche was part of a leading group which included fellow supermaxis Perpetual Loyal, Ragamuffin 100 and Wild Oats XI in choppy seas.

“We’re ready,” said Ken Read — skipper of the wide-bodied and cutting-edge Comanche which is owned by Netscape co-founder Jim Clark and his model wife Kristy — shortly before the start of the race.

“To me it looks like a nice sailboat racing day. A little breezy, a little lumpy, but if our boat can’t handle 25 knots and a little bit of bump then something’s wrong.”

Weather conditions are crucial for the Sydney to Hobart where boats can experience everything from towering waves and gale force winds to calm conditions in which they struggle to move at all.

“We hate the light stuff and certainly like the heavier stuff,” said Anthony Bell, skipper of Perpetual Loyal, before the race started at 0200 GMT.

The 70th Sydney to Hobart bluewater classic, which runs down the east coast and across the Bass Strait into Hobart, has drawn its biggest fleet since 1994 with 117 yachts, including 10 international entries.

The international contingent comes from New Zealand, the Cayman Islands, Britain, Poland, Germany and the United States.

Given the weather conditions, officials are not confident that the record for line honours, set by Wild Oats XI in 2012, of one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds will be broken in this year’s race.

“Going into a southerly on the first day is always a challenge, especially for the big boats,” Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards said earlier this week.

“We’re going twice the speed of the smaller boats in those conditions, so it’s a real challenge to keep the big boats in one piece.”

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2014 Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show sets a new benchmark in sales and …

Now in its third year, the organisers decision to expand the Show to a four-day format proved to be a wise one as the opening two days (Thursday and Friday) attracted almost half the total number of visitors with many being interested buyers.

A mixed visitor demographic of primarily Europeans and Thais was recorded through the gates with interest in the boat displays at an all time high. With the size of the Show, in terms of number of exhibitors and display area, up considerably this year, the quality and diversity of products and services from the marine and lifestyle sectors was also more than ever before.

The line-up of boats in-the-water at the 2014 Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show was the best ever.

Yacht dealers and brokers reported solid sales leads and hot prospects – all new buyers that came from the Show. Similarly, the automotive sector – including Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche and more – reported tangible sales leads as did the luxury real estate offerings at the Show.

The diverse range of marine accessories and marine products, a sector of the Show that continues to grow and something that sets OMPBS apart from other shows in the region, saw sales in the region of over USD50,000. Property developers reported strong interest, luxury products such as jewellery recorded large purchases and the Food and Beverage outlets in the Show reported record sales.

Visitors enjoyed the array of activities on offer: the free yacht cruises which departed every 30 minutes were full throughout the Show, and the display of water toys in action and the jetpack flying board demonstrations proved to be popular with all.

Introduced for the first time this year, the International Fishing Boat Competition, organised by the Thailand Fishing Tackle Trade and Manufacture Association in co-operation with Ocean Marina, was a big hit with lots of tough competition over the two days and talk of expanding it further next year, while the one day Boat Yacht Thailand 2014 Conference, held under the theme of ‘Green Boating’, took place to a packed meeting room of over 70 industry and guests.

Eco Explorer Raphael Domjan, who is also the CEO of Solar Stratos, was on hand at the boat show and in an interview with PMTV he talked about his passion to open new doors to do something nobody had done before.

“My dream was to be the first person to go around the world in a solar powered boat and that dream became a reality in 2010 to 2012 on board Planet Solar. The aim was to use the stopovers as a way to communicate to the trade about the advancements in solar energy. In January 2015 we will start construction of the world’s fist solar powered plane and in 2017 we aim to go into the age of space with the solar airplane.”

He also has a vision to address issues in our environment.

“Now our world is rich, but it is dirty; our goal is to use renewable energy to get us back to a clean environment, so by using solar energy we can still be a rich planet, but also a clean one.”

The array of water toys proved popular with visitors.

Raphael talked about Heliotrope, which was built at the Bakri Cono shipyard at Ocean Marina.

“The lighting, the cooking, and computers all are powered from the solar panels on top of the boat. It is the 1st Assist solar powered boat. The cost of utilizing solar power is all at the beginning. Yes there is a huge initial outlay, but after that your power is free for 20 years. For instance, on Solar Planet we got all our power for free. That’s a saving every day of 1000 litres of gasoline, which of course is far cleaner for the environment.”

At present one of the major challenges is that there is not enough marinas who can cater for solar powered boats, so there is something of a catch-22 situation.

“In order to move forward, we need the cooperation of governments to embrace this. It was the same with cars way back. For example, perhaps remove or reduce the tax for solar boats.”

Planning is already underway for the fourth annual Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show, which will take place at Ocean Marina 26th to 29th November 2015.

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After a hectic lead-in to the Sydney to Hobart start, Quikpoint Azzurro is ready to race

“It takes months to get aboat ready for this race”: Quickpoint Azzurro skipper Shane Kearns. Photo: Peter Rae

The past days have been really hectic on the 34-footer Quikpoint Azzurro – the former Shenandoah II that is one of the smallest boats in the Sydney to Hobart.

Thousands of hours and dollars have been spent in restoring her for Friday’s Boxing Day start on Sydney Harbour. She has new sails, a new engine, mast and rigging, and has also undergone a paint job, and had latest electronic navigation and weather aids fitted.

We have also had to finish many last-minute jobs like getting our final two MacDiarmid jibs delivered, and cooking meals, for which I thank my wife Lorraine.

The paperwork has been pretty overwhelming. It takes months to get a boat ready for this race. But on the plus side, every box is ticked.

Nothing has been left to chance or luck like the bad old days when they used to use a Shell road map to get to Tasmania.

Our first mission is to exit the Heads in one piece. That is much more difficult for the small boats as the spectator fleet powers off after the maxis and the harbour becomes a washing machine for us.  

The smaller boats should start first because the confused seas and flukey winds left by the big boats is quite a disadvantage.

We’ll go real hard until about 6pm and, depending on the weather, then settle into our watches, with three on deck and three down in bunks, sleeping on the high side to keep the boat sailing fast.

We will do three-hour watches at night and sometimes swap to four-hour “tricks” during the day to rotate the night watches if the weather is good.

Over four days and with only have six on board, you have to get as much sleep as you can before it gets really cold and rough. Any sail change means most hands on deck, so you don’t get more than a couple of hours’ sleep at a time.

It’s important to get the skills balanced on each watch, too. As all our crew are boat-owners, we are pretty good in steering, which can be rare in this race.

We have three top-class bowmen who could jump on any boat in the race and excel. While Felicity Nelson, in her 20th Hobart race, has done well over 60 Category one or two ocean races.

Unlike the big boats, we all have to steer, change sails, and do a bit of trimming and cooking.  

This is where the big boats have a real advantage. They have so many specialists, such as navigators, who can spend hours down below on their laptops working out tactics and weather routing. They can also afford to lose a few to seasickness, which we can’t.

The first afternoon and night looks like being pretty rough and windy, from the south, which suits us a bit.

The slower the race is over the first few days the more chance the little boats have, especially if the winds turn to the north after two days and we get a spinnaker to Tassie and the big boats are already in dock.

That’s the way the slower boats can win on handicap.

All in all, we are quietly confident … if we get the weather that suits.

Shane Kearns is the owner and skipper of Quikpoint Azzurro*

*Read Shane Kearns’ Sydney to Hobart race diary every day.

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Considerations for the boat slip sales re-emergence

The long dormant boat slip and storage unit sales market is re-emerging after years of dismal sales. Marinas such as Sunset Harbour Yacht Club in Miami Beach, which had long slip sell lists a few years ago, now have waiting lists to buy slips. TheSun-Sentinel recently reported on the re-emergence of the market for boat slip and boat storage sales in South Florida. The Sun-Sentinelnoted an uptick in sales at Soverel Harbour Marina in Palm Beach Gardens and The Bluffs Marina in Jupiter, as well as the grand opening of the Dania Beach Boat Club, south of Fort Lauderdale. (Hemlock, Doreen. “‘Dockominium’ Sales voaPick up Speed.” Sun Sentinel, Nov. 28, 2014, Money sec.)

Marina owners and boat storage facility developers will likely be considering new slip and storage unit offerings. Such owners and developers should consider the options for sales programs, and issues that impact the availability and desirability of the different options. Options for slip and boat storage sales programs include:

  • Deeded structures, including dockominiums or rackominiums, or subdivided land, or
  • Non-deeded structures, including equity or non-equity membership programs or long-term subleases.

In the case of boat slips, the deeded interest structures are not available for the slips when the submerged land is leased from the government, rather than owned by the marina owner. Additional considerations in determining a structure include:

  • The developer’s business plan to either operate the facility as a for-profit business or solely to sell the slips or units,
  • The extent to which the market would accept membership vs. deeded structures,
  • The positioning of the facility as a full service yacht club vs. solely as a boat slip or storage unit project,
  • The willingness of banks to finance sales under the different options,
  • The importance of maintaining slip and storage unit sales pricing levels on a long-term basis,
  • The desire to control operations on a long-term basis,
  • The cost of implementing the program, and
  • Income and sales tax considerations.

As a result of the major decline in the slip and boat storage sales market preceding the Great Recession, consumers are most concerned about the long term viability of a marina facility and the ability of the slips or units to maintain value. Success for the sales program depends on the degree to which the developer is able to address such concerns.

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Smaller boats to get weather boost in Hobart race

SYDNEY (AP) — Smaller boats appear favored for this year’s Sydney to Hobart race handicap honors due to forecast weather which makes a line honors race record seem unlikely.

Cruising Yacht Club officials in Sydney, where the race begins Friday, said Wednesday that the 117-boat fleet will be sailing into strong southerlies up to 30 knots (55kph/35mph) on the first night.

Skippers of the five 100-foot super maxis, including new American entry Comanche and defending champion Wild Oats XI, must judge how hard they can push their yachts and crews in the tough conditions.

Winds forecast for later in the race are expected to give the smaller, trailing boats a push up the fleet.

Wild Oats won line honors for the seventh time last year, finishing the 628-nautical-mile race in 2 days, 6 hours, 7 minutes. The yacht also holds the race record of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds set in 2012.

The race begins in Sydney Harbour, heads south along the coast of New South Wales state and across Bass Strait to the island state of Tasmania and its capital city Hobart.

“It’s certainly not a forecast for a record,” Wild Oats skipper Mark Richards said Wednesday. “The record will get smashed one year, but I don’t think this will be the year.”

Comanche skipper Ken Read says his recently-launched super maxi remains untested in the anticipated rough conditions.

“The weather report is what you expect when you come here to the Hobart race,” Read said. “It is no surprise and we will all work our hardest to keep our Christmas dinners down, one would imagine, on that first night. But this is what we expect.

“We will try and keep it in one piece. This is a completely untested boat at this stage. I am as curious as anybody as to how she will react.”

In 1998, six sailors died and five yachts sank in a storm that hit the fleet early in the race.

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Boat dealer closes doors


The watercraft have rolled off the lot of Supreme Boats for the last time.

The Blumenort dealership selling a range of watercraft, boat motors and recreational vehicles for much of the past two decades ceased operations effective Friday.

The enterprise opened in 1991 as nothing more than a used boat dealer, dabbling in only a few new boat sales. By 1997, they started selling two boat lines, an expansion that signified the need for a 13,000 sq-ft. showroom unveiled in 2003 off of Highway 12, just north of Blumenort.

Supreme Boats had eight employees this summer. As operations slowed following news of the closure, some found work elsewhere. Four employees remained at closing time.

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Cobalt Boats dealers dominate annual rankings

Posted on December 23rd, 2014

Five of the top 10 dealers in Boating Industry’s Top 100 Boat Dealers in North America were Cobalt Boats dealers.

Gordy’s Lakefront Marine in Fontana, Wis., was selected as the No. 1 dealer in North America.

“Their commitment to Cobalt Boats is unwavering and they continue to play a leadership role in our dealer network,” Cobalt sales and marketing vice president Gavan Hunt said in a statement. “The team at Gordy’s consistently wows their customers with 100 percent customer satisfaction. Their winning attitude and phenomenal team spirit drive success in everything they do.”

The top 10 list also included Singleton (No. 3); Seattle Boat Co. (No. 5); Parks Marina (No. 6); and Strong’s Marine (No. 7).

Rounding out the top 20, Cobalt dealers that were honored include the Hagadone Marine Group (No. 15) and Action Water Sports (No. 17). Legendary Marine, the 2012 and 2013 Dealer of the Year, was inducted into the Top 100 Hall of Fame.

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