Archive for » February 7th, 2015«

Brick Marinas, Boat Dealers Find Success As Economy Improves


The Atlantic City International Power Boat Show, 2015 (Photo: Daniel Nee)

In the years since the 2008 mortgage crisis struck the nation – followed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 – the marine industry suffered some of the most traumatic losses of any portion of the Jersey Shore economy.

When belts tighten, expensive hobbies like boating are often first on the chopping block. Combine that with high fuel prices and coastal residents facing recovery expenses from a hurricane, and boating quickly becomes a luxury many middle class families could not afford. But signs of recovery for the industry began to line up in 2014, and two months in, 2015 is looking to be a banner year, business owners told Shorebeat at this year’s Atlantic City International Power Boat Show, which began Wednesday and lasts through Sunday.

“I think what we’re seeing is people getting back into boating,” said Paul Zamoyta, owner of Coastal Boat Sales. The dealership sells Tidewater center console boats, and this year moved from Princeton Avenue to the Lightning Jack’s facility on Route 70.

The Atlantic City International Power Boat Show, 2015 (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Atlantic City International Power Boat Show, 2015 (Photo: Daniel Nee)

“I think Sandy purged a lot of that proverbial ‘dead wood’ out there,” said Zamoyta, meaning large, gas-guzzling boats that often sat tied up at marinas. “The individual who got hit and said, ‘I’m never going to get back into boating,’ well, time heals all wounds. That individual is coming back and saying, ‘well, maybe I do want to get back into boating, but I’ll downsize a little.’”

With interest rates low and fuel prices at their lowest level in years, consumer confidence seems to be on the rise, Zamoyta said, buoyed by an upcoming presidential election year in 2016 that often produces a relatively stable economy in the short-term.

“The sales are definitely better than they were in years past,” said Kevin Curtis of Statewide Marine Services, a boat dealership on Route 35 in Brick’s barrier island section that has yet to reopen since Sandy. The business has been operating out of Key Harbor Marina in Waretown, which it also owns.

Lower fuel prices are “a bonus,” Curtis said, with better sales coming as a product of a better economy as a whole and low interest rates.

Statewide sells Nautic-Star and Pro-Line boats – mid-to-high-end center consoles – and Cruisers yachts and sport boats, which range from 20-foot ski boats to 54-foot motor yachts.

“I think most people who are buying boats have succumbed to the fact that the whole sport is an expensive sport,” he said.

The Atlantic City International Power Boat Show, 2015 (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Atlantic City International Power Boat Show, 2015 (Photo: Daniel Nee)

In the marina in Waretown, slips are between 85 and 90 percent full for the 2015 season already.

After returning to near-normal sales and slip rental numbers in 2014, likewise to her colleagues in the industry, 2015 will likely exceed past years’ sales at Green Cove Marina off Princeton Avenue, owner Karen Davidson said.

“I would call 2014 the recovery year after the hurricane, because 2013 was tough,” said Davidson, as families struggled to fit boating into their budgets as they were getting their lives back together after Sandy. “We were back to almost normal numbers last year, and this year we’ve surpassed what our normal numbers were.”

Green Cove, operated by the Davidson family since 1973, is one of the township’s larger marinas, offering a swimming pool, picnic area and features such as behind-slip parking. Green Cove is also a dealer of SouthWind boats.

“People are back in the water,” Davidson said.


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It’s all about Frostbite and Snowflakes for West Sussex sailors

For the penultimate race day of the winter Frostbite series at Dell Quay Sailing Club, race officer Graham Dalton set a simple triangle course in glorious sunshine to make the best of the north-westerly wind direction.

As the fleet sailed down the harbour during the first race, the wind backed – allowing the asymmetric boats to carry their spinnakers for the first part of the beat back up past the Quay.

At the front of the fleet, the RS400s exchanged the lead with some close racing until a gust caught one out, leading to the first capsize of the day.

With the race shortened to two laps for the slower boats, the RS400s completed a third lap.

And with results being calculated on average laps and then handicaps applied, Warwick Hoddy and John Denyer in the 2000 were placed first, closely followed by Malcolm Buchanan in his Solo with the RS400s of Peter King and Jamie Prescott and Bob Marshall and Neil Bryant taking third and fourth places respectively.
The second race saw the whole fleet complete three laps with the 400s leading on the water but dropping to fourth and sixth place, with Hoddy and Denyer being clear winners on handicap, Buchanan second and Ken Baker also sailing a Solo moving up to third.

With only two races left to complete the series, Malcolm Buchanan is set to take first place overall. Warwick Hoddy and John Denyer are firmly on course to finish second in the series with John Purdy well placed to come third.

The final two races in the series are scheduled to take place this Saturday, February 7, from 12.30pm.

CHICHESTER

Sixty boats came under starter’s orders for the third and fourth races in Chichester Yacht Club’s Snowflake series.

A helpful westerly breeze meant the fleets were able to start into a reasonable beat for the first leg of the trapezoid course.

In the fast fleet, Hayling’s David and Fiona Sayce celebrated their return to Fireball sailing taking the honours on the water as well as on corrected time securing a 14-second advantage over the Merlin of Mark Waterhouse and Matt Currell from Parkstone, with Shoreham’s Alex Jackson and Frances Gifford in third.

Meanwhile, in the medium fleet, 40 boats made for an interesting start line with a number of competitors gaining an new understanding of the intricacies of rule 20 at the inshore end.

It was evident the middle and pin ends of the line paid dividends with Emsworth’s Richie Bailey breaking into clear air and the lead which he retained for the duration of the race, only to be relegated to third on corrected time behind the Solo of Hayling’s Ian Barnett and the 2000 of Emsworth’s Jonathan Townsend and Barbara Langford.

The slow fleet were dispatched around a triangular course that proved to be to the liking of Warsash’s Sally Lorimer and Pippa Jones coming home clear ahead of Chichester’s Isabel Porter in second and Finlay Swanton from Felpham in third.

The Mirror girls carried this form into the fourth race, again taking the chocs ahead of Porter’s Topper with Emsworth’s Georgina Cosena and Bella Coote taking third in their Pico.

In the medium fleet, many learned the lessons from race three electing to use the pin-end of the start with a number of boats looking to have jumped the gun in the final seconds before the start, though in the end only one fell foul.

Bailey was again quick to establish his dominance over the fleet on the water only to be denied on corrected time,this time by the GP14 of Chichester’s Nick and Biddy Colbourne with Felpham’s Guy Mayger taking third.

In the fast fleet the racing was again a fight between the Fireballs and Merlins for the honours. This time the spoils went to Jackson and Gifford’s Merlin with reigning Fireball National and European champs, Chichester’s Sam Mettram and Richard Anderton, in second just ahead of Shoreham’s Sophie Mackley and James Warren in their Merlin.

Standings (after four races): Fast handicap – 1 David Fiona Sayce (Fireball) HISC; 2 Sophie Mackley James Warren (Merlin Rocket) Shoreham; 3 William Warren Mark Oakley (Merlin Rocket) Shoreham. Medium handicap: 1 Richie Bailey (Laser) Emsworth; 2 Guy Mayger (Solo) Felpham; 3 Jonathan Towsend Barbara Langford (2000) Emsworth. Slow Handicap: 1 Sally Lorimer Pippa Jones (Mirror) Warsash; 2 Isabel Porter (Topper) Chichester; 3 Geogina Cosena Bella Coote (Pico) Emsworth.


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Boat sales rising as economy improves

Gerald White, of White’s Cycle and Marine, adjusts a price tag on a Sea-Doo at the Chattanooga Boat and Sport Show at the Chattanooga Convention Center. The show continues through Sunday.

Photo by
Angela Lewis Foster/Times Free Press.

Christine and Greg Eidson bought an Avalon pontoon boat at last year’s Chattanooga Boat and Sport Show, so this year was just about window shopping.

“We’d like to upgrade to a bigger one someday,” said Christine on Friday.

Across the showroom, she pointed out, were pontoon boats with grills on-deck — wish list items for the future, committed to memory.

IF YOU GO

What: 2015 Chattanooga Boat and Sport Show

When: Started Thursday, continues today, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza, Chattanooga

How much: $9 for adults, children 12 and under free

“It’s like a car,” said Greg. “You buy a boat, use it for a few years and then upgrade to something newer, different.”

Talk like that warms the hearts of boat sellers, especially coming off the lean recession days, when luxuries like boats were trimmed out of family budgets.

And the Eidsons aren’t the only ones thinking like this, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

“Nationally, sales of new boats are up 7 to 8 percent,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the market watch group.

He said 2014 was “a good year,” and that “as we look forward to 2015, we look for growth to be about 5 to 7 percent.”

In terms of boat numbers, Dammrich said about 223,000 boats were sold last year, representing about $8 billion in total sales.

“The industry is very healthy today,” he said.

In Tennessee, NMMA stats show there were roughly 260,000 registered boats statewide in 2013, and $303 million in new boat, engine, trailer and accessory sales.

Meanwhile, Yamaha, one of the largest boat makers in the U.S., announced late last year that it’s expanding its Vonore, Tenn., plant, investing $17.7 million and creating 150 new jobs.

Locally, boat dealers feel the market expanding.

“The market is vastly improving,” said Greg Lee, sales consultant at Erwin Marine Sales of Knoxville. Erwin’s main location is in Chattanooga.

“It’s trending the right way,” said Lee. “It’s much better than a few years ago.”

Steve Raybourne, yacht broker at Watermark Marine Group, echoed the feeling.

Watermark is a local brokerage firm, connecting sellers with buyers, mostly for used boats. The company is fairly young, around four-years-old.

Raybourne said he feels much better going into this spring and summer compared to last year.

“We’ve had more winter-time purchases than last year,” he said. “You have a winter like this and you’re encouraged about the year.”

Raybourne said Watermark felt a slight tremble in business a year, two years ago.

“We didn’t even come to the show last year,” he said.

In 2013, the boat brokerage was discouraged by lack of interest from buyers and decided to sit it out a year.

But now, “we’re excited,” said Raybourne. “We’ve expanded our resources here in town.”

Raybourne said low fuel prices are also likely to credit for some of the renewed interest from boat buyers.

The Eidsons recall last year, plowing up and down the Tennessee River on their Avalon and seeing other boaters simply drifting to save fuel, which during the summer hit well above $3 a gallon.

It was an interesting year out on the water for the family, with Christine getting a cancer diagnosis shortly after the couple bought their boat.

But the family took advantage of every summer weekend to go out on the water and spend time together, before colder weather and treatment sessions came along.

Now, Christine is cancer-free. And eyeballing the Sea-Doos.

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.


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Norfolk and Suffolk summer holidays guide: the best new attractions

Faster access to Norwich and the Broads

Part of Norfolk’s charm is its inaccessibility, but slow traffic on the A11
has often made the journey there a long and tedious one, especially in
summer. Now recently completed improvements to the A11 should mean cuts in
the journey time to the north coast, Norwich and the Broads from London and
the Midlands. Over £100 million has been spent on creating a dual
carriageway between the Fiveways at Barton Mills in Suffolk and the
roundabout at the southern end of the Thetford bypass in Norfolk (including
a new bypass around the village of Elveden), a distance of just over nine
miles.


Major upgrade works to the A11 will speed journey times from London to the
Norfolk broads. Photo: Getty

This means there will be dual-carriage road from the M11 to Norwich. For more
information see highways.gov.uk.

New café-restaurant

The Dial House in Reepham is a new venture for Iain and Clair Wilson (owners
of the well-established Byfords Posh bb in Holt). Set in a Grade-II
Georgian house, the restaurant overlooks the main square of this rural
Norfolk market town, 13 miles north west of Norwich, and serves breakfast
(£10), lunch and dinner (£12 to £14 for main courses, which may include
grilled salmon with spiced sweet potato or butternut and lentil kedgeree)
and afternoon teas.


The Dial House in Reepham offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Photo: The Dial
House

Furnishings in the stylish rooms can not only be enjoyed, but bought;
everything (including tables, chairs and crockery), is for sale. Open daily
from 9am to 5pm (until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays), a speciality is its
aga-cooked cake at £3 or full afternoon tea at £15 per person. The Aga
Sunday lunch is a roast at £17.50, from noon to 4.30pm (01603 879900; thedialhouse.org.uk).

Check availability: Byfords
Posh bb

Artworks from the Hermitage

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia (UEA),
near Norwich unveils “Francis Bacon and The Masters”, which will run from
April 18 to July 26. The exhibition will transfer from St Petersburg’s
Hermitage Museum (where it runs until March 8), and on show will be a
collection of 25 works by Francis Bacon, plus works by Velázquez, Rembrandt,
Titian, Michelangelo, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin and
Matisse.


“Francis Bacon and The Masters” will be at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual
Arts in Norwich. Photo: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Many that have never been shown in the UK before (01603 593199; scva.co.uk)

New bb

Tinsmiths House in Aylsham is a new bb near the National Trust’s
Blickling Hall and a good base for exploring the Broads, and the east
Norfolk coast. It’s owned and managed by Paul Vater and Paul Barrett, who
both have a background in arts and design. As its name suggests, the
building was originally a tinsmith’s workshop dating from the 18th-century
and it contains many original features, including wooden panels and stone
floors. It has two guest rooms, Blofields Room with views of the garden, and
Elephant Room with views across the town’s pantiled rooftops. Double rooms
from £80 per night, including breakfast (01263 586187; tinsmithshouse.com).

Theatrical premiere

As part of the Norfolk Norwich Festival in May, WildWorks (wildworks.biz),
which specialises in dramatic landscape theatre, will take audiences on a
journey into the woods, in collaboration with the National Trust’s Felbrigg
Hall near Cromer in North Norfolk, with the premiere of “Wolf’s Child”,
described as a grown-up fairytale of love and betrayal.


Wildworks is collaborating with Fellbrigg Hall to take visitors on a journey
through the grounds as part of the Norfolk Norwich Festival in May.
Photo: National Trust

This promenade performance is one of the highlight shows of the 2015 Festival,
which takes place from May 8-24. Performances will be daily excluding
Sundays. Tickets cost £20, £18 concessions; a limited number of
tickets at £7.50 are available to under-25s (01603 766400; nnfestival.org.uk).

Anniversary celebration

As part of the Landmark Trust’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015, the
Martello Tower in Aldeburgh, Suffolk has been chosen as one of five UK sites
for an installation by artist Antony Gormley from May 2015 to May 2016. The
exhibition, called “LAND” comprises a life-size, standing sculpture cast in
iron and there will be free public access to view it.


The Martello Tower is to host work by the artist Anthony Gormley as part of
the Landmark Trust’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Photo: Landmark Trust

The Martello Tower is the most northerly of a chain of defensive towers, built
between 1808 and 1812 and can be rented as self-catering accommodation from
the Landmark Trust. It sleeps up to four in two rooms and has a rooftop
battery area with panoramic views of the sea and stony shoreline. A
three-night stay in May costs £925, rising to £1,445 in August (01628
825925; landmarktrust.org.uk)

New coastal path

Forming part of the new National Trail which is planned to run around the
entire English coastline, a new section of the Norfolk coast path opened
this winter between the east Norfolk seaside villages of Weybourne and Sea
Palling.


Coastal walks in Norfolk will be made easier with the opening of a new 26-mile
stretch of path. Photo: Visit North Norfolk

The 26-mile stretch includes the villages of Mundesley, Happisburgh and
Trimmingham, and passes some of the region’s most scenic stretches of coast.
Currently consultations are taking place on the next phase, which will
continue the trail all the way to Hopton on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. For
more information about this and the trails network (around 1,200 miles of
walks, cycle routes and bridleways in the region) see norfolk.gov.uk/Leisure_and_culture
(click on “Norfolk Trails”).

Historic sailing boats

New for 2015, the Broads boating holiday specialist Waterways Holidays will be
offering short break holidays on the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust’s 1930s
sailing yachts. The boats are built of mahogany, with traditional gaff rig
sails, and the 14-strong fleet comprises some of the oldest vessels on the
Broads.


Waterways Holidays is a specialist in Norfolk Broads holidays. Photo:
Waterways Holidays

Down below there is a cabin with dining table, full-sized seats which double
up as sleeping berths, a lavatory and washbasin, plus a small hob and grill.
There’s no engine or electricity, instead the original oil lamps are used. A
week’s hire of a two-berth yacht from Ludham, off the River Thurne, starts
at £619, three-night short breaks from £358. Three-berth and four-berth
yachts are also available. Sailing experience is necessary (01252 339023; waterwaysholidays.com).

New self-catering accommodation

Two newly restored properties will be available to rent through the National
Trust from spring 2015. Barn Owl Loft, in the small village of Itteringham
in Norfolk, sleeps two and occupies the upper floors of a Georgian manor
house. The apartment, which is south facing, overlooks the river Bure, and
costs from £360 for a three-night stay. Also new to the National Trust’s
portfolio is Horringer Park Gates at Ickworth in Suffolk; it sleeps four,
has a lawned garden and is an easy walk of the Ickworth Hotel with
restaurant and café. A three-night stay costs from £465 (0344 335 128; nationaltrustcottages.co.uk).

For more general advice on booking a holiday in Britain,
see our UK
summer holidays guide
. Our guide features expert recommendations for beach,
self-catering,
heritage,
food
and drink,
activity,
camping
and cruise
holidays.


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