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Government defends Broads’ change to Broads National Park

Day boats, sailing boats and cruisers moored at Ranworth Staithe on the Norfolk Broads.

Picture: James Bass

Rosa McMahon
Saturday, February 21, 2015

7:00 AM

A government minister has defended the Broad’s Authority’s decision to rebrand the region’s waterways.

The name was changed to Broads National Park for marketing purposes last month – despite not lawfully being called a national park.

Broadland MP Keith Simpson wrote to the environment minister Liz Truss questioning the possibility of a legal challenge.

Lord de Mauley, Broads and national parks minister, has since replied explaining the government is content with the change.

The Broads Authority agreed there was no future ambition to become a national park in law and the Sandford Principle, which says conservation is a priority, will not be applied for. The change is only in its name – the authority’s responsibilities and legal status are unaffected.

Yet many fear that navigation, one of the Broads’ three constitutional interests, could be neglected.

But Lord de Mauley has made Westminster’s position clear on the subject.

He said: “The Broads is not legally a national park, although it does have many features in common and is treated as one of the nation parks family for policy purposes. We have no proposal to change this position. The Broads Authority considers that promoting the Broads as a national park will offer marketing opportunities to raises the profile of the area both nationally and internationally. Given it is not seeking a change to the legal status of the Broads, or of the authority, ministers are content for the authority to make a decision on this matter. We want to see rural areas contributing to and benefiting from economic growth, including tourism, whilst ensuring that valuable landscapes remain protected.”

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman has spearheaded the reform for more than a decade and sees the change as a chance to boost tourism.

Do you have a story about the Broads? Email or call 01603 772453

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  • Misrepresentation in marketing then! I suppose nobody has to have any standards nowadays.

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    Saturday, February 21, 2015

  • And of course there is no legal reason why they will not introduce the Sandford Principle! They have already made it clear they want to influence conservation in Norwich which is not part of the Broads. Give it time and Packham – and Daisy – will get their wish to restrict navigation on the Broads.

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    Saturday, February 21, 2015

  • all the publicity of being a National Park but none of the measures that National Parks enjoy to prevent rampant exploitation by commercial enterprises .

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, February 21, 2015

  • Hello folks, now off for a day out in the Rolls, well I like to call it that but it’s really a 15 year old beaten up Citreon CV6 and of course it also will help when I try sell it.

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    Twig Stevens

    Saturday, February 21, 2015

  • What a ridiculously absurd situation.

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    John L Norton

    Saturday, February 21, 2015

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Regal Boats reports record sales at Miami show

Posted on February 20th, 2015
Written by Chris Landry

regal2015 boatshow

Regal Boats said new models, an attractive display and a top-notch factory and dealer sales team helped the company achieve record sales at the Miami International Boat Show.

Regal Boats said it sold a record number of boats at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, reaching new highs in unit and volume sales. This was the 40th year that the Orlando, Fla., builder has attended the show.

“We had the best MIBS ever, and there were several factors at work for us,” Don Smith, Regal’s vice president of U.S. sales, told Trade Only. “We had two new boats and great products, a great display and a great factory and dealer sales team that was able to sell a lot of boats. When you have that type of synergy, magic is going to happen.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association recognized Regal’s booth for having the Best Boat Display at the show.

Regal had success with sales across its entire product line from 19 to 53 feet in both domestic and international markets, said Barry T. Slade, the company’s vice president of international sales and marketing.

Regal introduced two models during the show — the 2100 Surf Edition and the 22 FasDeck. The former was powered with Volvo Penta’s new Forward Drive, a sterndrive with dual forward-facing props. The system discharges exhaust underwater for a cleaner, quieter boating experience. The propulsion was designed, in part, with watersports boats in mind, particularly those used for wakesurfing.

Regal had 16 boats on display at the Miami Beach Convention Center and two boats in the water at Sea Isle Marina, including the 2100 Surf Edition with Volvo Penta Forward Drive and the 22 FasDeck with Volvo’s new Gen V 240-hp sterndrive engine with common rail fuel injection.

“The system is valuable for us because a lot of our products are geared toward wake water sports and wake sports,” Smith added.

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Sailing wanes as baby boomers, millennials find other ways to play

The pursuit of sailing is fighting head winds.

Beyond the blow from the Great Recession, sailing faces pressure from aging baby boomers turning toward powerboats and millennials enjoying broader leisure options, industry leaders say.

The number of U.S. residents who sail has been roughly flat for a decade, with about 3.5 million to 4 million people going at least once per year and 1.2 million sailing at least seven times per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and research by industry groups.

That’s despite a rise in U.S. population and trends for the affluent to seek “special experiences” like sailing, Sally Helme, publisher of Sailing World magazine, said during this month’s Strictly Sail boat show in Miami, the largest sail event in South Florida.

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What’s more, baby boomers are turning to less physically demanding powerboats, while millennials are less exposed to sailing than earlier generations that had fewer options for leisure, Jordan said.

At the Gulfstream Sailing Club in Fort Lauderdale, membership is down to about 90, off more than half from its peak decades back. And most members are older, even though the club welcomes sailors without boats and offers programs to teach children, said commodore Mike “Mick” Sazak.

“Millennials really aren’t taking up sailing now,” said Sawzak, noting that some are put off by the cost of dockage and insurance for larger boats. “I see them up and down the canals in kayaks.”

Roger Moore, the chief at Nautical Ventures Group in Dania Beach, knows the challenges personally.

When he sold a previous business in 1987, he and his wife took off sailing — on a trip around the world that lasted 13 years. Now, in their 60s, the couple live on a powerboat that is easier to handle.

At his boating business, Moore sees relatively slow sales for Hobie catamarans, long popular as an entry boat for sailing. He links the slump partly to urbanization and added rules.

“Before, you could access the beach with a sailboat anywhere,” Moore said. Sailors years back may not have needed a small motor to maneuver their boat from a dock area to open water, and areas for parking with a boat trailer were more readily available too, Moore said.

The most recent industry survey presented by Sailing World magazine highlights the hurdles. In 2014, sailboat brokers in North America reported sales roughly flat at $463 million.

The number of sailboats imported and those made in North America both rose, led by sailboats under 20 feet. Yet the value of new boat sales fell, as fewer people bought larger sailboats, the survey found.

North American sailboat production last year hit its highest level since 2008. But the roughly 7,000 sailboats produced still lagged far behind the 22,000-plus made in 2000, surveys show.

“The industry as a whole needs some marketing help,” said Sawzak of Gulfstream Sailing Club. “We do need millennials to come in and take up the reins.”

To encourage sailing, advocates are pitching the sport as affordable.

“Sailing has the perception of being expensive, but you can get a great used boat for a thousand bucks or less and still have a lot of fun,” said Helme, referring to boats under 20 feet that can be parked in a back yard and don’t require payment of dockage fees.

Sailboat captain Charles “Chuck” Harad, a retiree, said he charters his 45-foot Hunter sailboat from Pompano Beach through discount websites such as Living Social at rates starting around $60 per person for a half-day sail — less than what many powerboats might use just in fuel.

“Sail-boating is not for the rich. Powerboating is. You have to be able to start your engines and burn sometimes 40 to 50 gallons of diesel an hour,” Harad said. “I ride the wind. It’s free.”

Boaters also can share ownership or join boat clubs to cut costs on larger sailboats, advocates said.

A grass-roots sailing campaign also has been spreading since 2001. Called Summer Sailstice, it is held on the Saturday closest to the June 21 summer solstice. Sailors that day celebrate the joy of riding the wind and the water by taking out people for their first sail.

No one expects a quick return to heady days of the 1970s, when 12 million Americans sailed at least once a year.

Back then, families worked shorter hours, commuted less, had fewer child-only activities and could afford to take three hours on a weekend afternoon for a family sail, said Nick Hayes, author of “Saving Sailing.” He welcomes community sailing clubs that foster multi-enerational sailing.

“If we could get only 50,000 more people sailing [regularly in North America every year],” said Sailing World’s Helme, “that would make a real difference to the industry.”, 305-810-5009, @dhemlock on Twitter

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