Archive for » February, 2015 «

Sailing into another season

Jack Hoad was born into a family of sailors and spent over 70 years on the sea competing in boat races. (Picture by Reco Moore.)

SAILING IS IN JACK HOAD’S GENES, a passion inherited from his father who was “a very keen” sailor.

While he was growing up on Fontabelle, the sea was at Hoad’s backdoor and when his father set out on recreational sails, his little son Jack was often on board. Hoad remembers sailing with his father as early as age five “in a little Moses about five feet long” and skippering his father’s dinghy Blaucus in a Barbados Yacht Club regatta, his first race at age nine.

Hoad paints a picture of life in Fontabelle in the 1940s and 1950s, a community with “a bunch of local boys” who were into all types of sport.

“Our place was about where DaCosta Manning is now.  We had a large backyard and we did cycling around Kensington. The Fergussons were our neighbours on one side and old Captain George Fergusson often reminded us that my father taught him to sail.”

His neighbourhood was inhabited by prominent families like the Herberts and the Badleys. But not far away in the surrounding communities were the “fisherfolk” with whom the Hoad family formed a bond.

“It was quite common to go and meet the fishing boats coming in with their daily catch and give the fishermen ten Trumpeter cigarettes and they would throw a bundle of flying fish over to us for free.”

According to Hoad, his men moved around freely as the crowd advanced on Fontabelle during the 1937 riots because of that relationship, he was told.

The Hoad home on Fontabelle was lost to progress, with the building of the Deep Water Harbour (the Bridgetown Port).

Now in his 80s, his activities curtailed by troublesome arthritic knees – he recently underwent surgery on one – and the limitations imposed by Parkinson’s disease, Hoad spends his days on shore.

“Right now I am sort of out of that,” he said when asked whether he still sails.

“I don’t have a yacht because I had surgery and at age 82, I can sail but . . .”, and immediately his wife Jeanette jumps in to finish the sentence saying, “He can sail but I don’t let him.”

Does he miss being out on the water?  “Oh yes” he replies. “Sailing is something that is in your veins.”

This Barbadian has had a long history of accomplishments with boats over seven decades and appreciates that his contribution to sport and sailing, in particular, was recognised with the recent award of the Barbados Service Star in the 2014 National Independence Honours.

Together with crew member Bill Tempro, who was also awarded the Barbados Service Star, Hoad put Barbados on the international sailing map in 1967 when he won the gold medal at the GP14 World Championship Regatta in Ontario, Canada. This remains the only gold medal won to date by any Barbadian in a world-class sailing event.

His memories are many and when he talks about boats and sailing, he takes the listener on board for the experience with vivid descriptions and vignettes about sailings.

Hoad has been at the helm of a wide range of boats, from dinghies to round the world racers, winning many regattas. Racing the Fireball dinghy in Barbados, he holds a record of 52 consecutive wins and was undefeated in numerous Grenada Easter regattas.

His exploits on the 10-metre boat Blazin, which he once owned with a syndicate, are favourite memories – like competing in Antigua Race Week back in the 1960s, and when “we took her down to Petit St Vincent Regatta and we won that in 1986.”  

In 1988 he won Racing Class in the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week Regatta and Blazin dominated the Caribbean racing scene for more than a decade, including winning several Barbados Mount Gay regattas and Tobago Racing Week in 1989 and 1990.

The joy at the end of all these yacht races was to have all the “yachties” aboard for a party with Hoad’s wife Jeanette and the wives of other sailors preparing the food.

Sitting on his patio as golfers rode by in their golf carts, Hoad remarked, “It was that type of friendship. We raced out there hard against each other but when we came ashore it was a different ball game, friends making jokes. That is where the wives really came in. The food would come up, the drink would come up, everything that was churning in the galley.”

But it was not always smooth sailing as Jeanette attested. She, like other sailors’ wives, often went along for the ride, supporting her husband all the way, until the time came when she decided she would no longer endure the kind of turbulence experienced sailing through the Bequia channel. “It could be rough and a little bit frightening too,” Jeanette said, and there did come a point where she decided “I can’t take this no more. I am going to fly home.”

The Hoads have just celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Hoad has taught, mentored and encouraged many a sailor and was instrumental in the formation of the Barbados Yachting Youth Training Association, which has trained thousands of Barbadians. He also served as commodore of the Barbados Yacht Club and remains a trustee of the organisation, which honoured him with life membership for his long and outstanding service.


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Summer dreams at boat show, then cold reality

Detroit — Temperatures soared into the 20s Sunday and with it the hopes of the winter weary, making the arctic blasts of the past few weeks a distant memory.

Almost.

The winter blast returns Monday, with a high of 8 degrees and a low of 2, according to the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

More than 140 school districts announced they would be closed Monday due to the cold, according to broadcast reports, including Detroit Public Schools, Centerline Public Schools, Macomb Intermediate School District and Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Schools.

Though Monday was expected to be clear and sunny, and commuters were not expected to face adverse road conditions, a wind chill advisory is in effect until noon, with the windshield ranging between -15 degrees to -25 degrees in the morning. After noon, the windshield will be in the negative single digits for the the rest of the day.

L. Walczak and R. Meir battle during the 86-200 ccPeople will be impressed to see it out here, heckBrad Thomas, of Kimball, Michigan, unveils a 1970 TigerMichelle Huay of Howell, Michigan leaves as littleCliff Hanel drives his 1998 Sportster sidecar downJust a couple of Jarheads says Kevin Lambert Sr.Kholton Massey, 8, of Montrose, Michigan gets on hisT. Dennis works around the first corner  during practiceAlaynnah Scherer, 6, who has been racing since sheSteve Wright, 31, controls his quad while navigatingJ. Jozwik competes in the 66-85 cc, 7-15 yr. old division.L. Bailey competes in the 12-year olds studded wheeledJustin Perdue, driver, along with sidecar racer JamesM. Pioctor heads down the back straight-away duringDriver C. Hanel Jr. , #90, takes the lead in frontB. Thomas, #68, and his sidecar partner, has to makeP. Conquest and T. Gatlin during the 52-65 cc, 6-11Austin Harrington, 9 and Heather Montgomery, 11 haveDrivere M. Revor Sr.and his sidecar racer head downM. Pioctor and D. Tent battle in the corner duringBrad Thomas, of Kimball, Michigan, and his sidecarAlaynnah Scherer, 6, who has been racing since sheSidecar racer James Jones gives a thumbs up with driverS. Heinzelman leads in the 40-plus years open seniorR. Meir fights to keep his bike under control withP. Havercroft slides sideways into the turn during

“This is almost close to being the third-coldest February in 140 years and the potential for the second, we just have to see how it pans out,” said meteorologist Sara Schultz. “This February could end up colder than January 2014.”

Temps are expected to get warmer by Tuesday, with a high of 21 degrees and chance of snow in the afternoon and evening, meteorologist Heather Orow said On Wednesday, the high is expected to reach 15 degrees.

Normal temperatures for this time of year is a high of 37 degrees, Orow said.

“It’s just much colder than normal,” she said. “We’ve been getting shots of arctic air.”

On Sunday, it was so warm, yachts and pontoons dominated the minds of thousands of visitors browsing on the last day of the 57th annual Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center.

“I called Margaret and said let’s go to the boat show,” said Ann LaTour of Grosse Pointe Woods, eying the kayaks. “If the boats are out here, that means it’s going to get warm again soon.”

Her friend, Margaret Moffat of Roseville, was busy figuring out where she could put her snacks in the kayak.

“With the other boats, you just sit there, but with a kayak, at least you can get some exercise,” she said.

Tom Clapp was visiting the boat show with daughters Allysea, 14, and Isabella, 9.

Allysea said she was looking for a pontoon.

“I’d like a comfortable boat where we can have a relaxing time on the water,” she said.

But their father had bigger dreams.

“I like the big yachts, but my budget says ‘no,’ ” he said.

The warmer weather Sunday was a relief, he said.

“I think it’s just a tease, but in a month or so it will be all good,” he said.

The boat show executives were grateful visitors took advantage of the warmer temperatures.

“The boating enthusiasts truly braved the cold to get down here for their taste of summer,” said Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “And that makes sense as it would take weeks to see this many boats and dealers on your own.”

Polan said there were close to 1,000 boats at the show, which was 50,000 square feet larger than last year.

Polan said they were “very pleased with this year’s Detroit Boat Show and the fact that boat sales continue to recover.”

“As people are feeling better about the economy,” she said, “they are ready again to spend discretionary dollars on things that are important to them, and with nearly 1 million registered boats on file, we know boating is important to the people in the state of Michigan.”

SLewis@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2296

Forecast: Cold

Monday: High 8 Low 2

Tuesday: High 21 Low 11

Wednesday: High 16 Low minus-2

Thursday: High 13 Low minus-3

Friday: High 18 Low 0

Saturday: High 20 Low 10

Source: National Weather Service


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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 rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772453

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5 comments

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

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    guella

    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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    andy

    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.

    Add your comment |
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    John L Norton

    Saturday, February 21, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site



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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.”

dhemlock@sunsentinel.com, 305-810-5009, @dhemlock on Twitter

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel


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Boat sales show steady gains in January

Posted on February 20th, 2015
Written by Jack Atzinger


Click to enlarge.

Fishermen, pontoon-boat buyers and people who are attracted to small to midsize outboard boats have been leading the recreational boating industry’s rebound from the Great Recession. They may be getting some company.

Figures for January don’t contradict what has been a two-year trend, but they suggest that some of the bigger-boat categories may be poised to play a larger role in the moderate but steady sales gains the industry has been posting. January is a slow month — typically the third-slowest of the year, after December and November — so the numbers are small, but sales of cruisers and larger yachts all showed improvement as Statistical Surveys reported results today from 30 early-reporting states.

Sales in January rose 9.9 percent, to 3,532 boats, in the main powerboat segments, compared with the same month last year, and they rose 9.2 percent industrywide, to 4,876, in states that represent about 65 percent of the national market.

“The momentum of sales from last year has definitely carried over and consumer confidence continues to grow,” said Ryan Kloppe, national marine sales manager at Statistical Surveys.

Sales for the month were highest in the 11- to 40-foot outboard fiberglass category, where the gain was 11.4 percent, to 1,549 boats. Pontoon sales climbed 21 percent, to 531 boats, and sales of aluminum fishing boats rose 6.2 percent, to 972.

“Customers continue to set the purchasing trends, telling the industry that pontoons and fiberglass outboards will remain popular segments this year,” Kloppe said. “I was in Miami [for the boat shows] and there was positive buzz around the show regarding new-boat models, new engines and a lot of people buying boats.”

In the bigger-boat categories, the numbers were small but the gains were across the board. Sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers rose by 23 boats, to 84, sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts climbed by 22, to 73, and sales of 63- to 99-foot custom and semicustom yachts increased by five, to 18.

The only category in the main segments that showed a decline was 14- to 30-foot inboards and sterndrives, where sales fell 19.5 percent, to 173. The segment has been steadily losing ground.

A majority of the top 10 states for sales in January were Southern, as is often the case during the heart of the winter in much of the nation. Florida was the leader among the early-reporting states with 1,784 sales, followed by Texas (718), North Carolina (273), California (246) and South Carolina (216).

Rounding out the top 10 were Arkansas (202), Tennessee (181), Michigan (157), Washington (113) and Minnesota (103).

Ski-boat sales showed a modest gain of three, to 132; jetboat sales fell by eight, to 53.

Sales of personal watercraft rose by 73, or 13.8 percent, to 603.

Sailboat sales rose by nine, to 106.


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Boating: Industry rides changes in sales, service

Millway Marina general manager Dana Bassett is trekking to Boston as a vendor in this week’s New England Boat Show, but he’s worried that the string of recent snowstorms will put attendance on ice.

“Not a lot of people buy at the shows anymore; they come to the shows to do their research, then they’ll go home and do more research (before buying),” he said.

The marina has historically sold and maintained Evinrude products, but has diversified in the last decade, responding to changes in buying habits since the downturn of 2008. The company has added Yamaha and Suzuki outboard motors, as well as boats from Sportsman, Roth Bilt and May-Craft.

The business model drastically changed for Millway during this time. “We focused more attention on service and keeping our customers up and running,” Bassett said.

Prior to 2008, about 40 percent of its business came from repairs and maintenance; since then it makes up almost 75 percent. It expanded its service department because of the increased demand for maintaining boats and motors.

Another change for the marina was a shift in customers buying used boats as opposed to new ones. Before 2008, new boat sales made up 25 percent of total sales, but at the worst of the recession, new boat sales dipped to 10 percent.

“We saw a lot of people getting out of large boats and downsizing, and we’re still seeing that trend,” Bassett said. “Our main focus is on that center console 18- to 30-foot range.”

But there’s been an upturn in the economy, and once again it’s having an effect on Millway’s business. “We’re starting to see some recovery from the downfall,” Bassett said.

“I think a big part of it is people looking for late model used boats with four-stroke motors, and they can’t find them,” he said. This is likely because manufacturers slowed production when the economic downturn hit, and the boats simply aren’t out there.


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Miami boat shows report increases in attendance, sales

Attendance was up slightly at Miami’s two Presidents’ Day weekend boat shows, where many exhibitors reported a bump in sales.

The 74th annual Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Strictly Sail Miami, which ran Feb. 12-16 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside, reported attendance of 96,000 visitors from around the globe. That figure represented a 1 percent increase over 2014.

Visitors to the Miami Beach Convention Center found a total of about 700 craft on display — significantly more than the 550 shown in 2014. Another 700 boats were on display at the other locations. Fishing and boating products and gadgets are a popular feature of the show.

“Early reports from exhibitors in every market segment indicate the show generated strong sales — in many cases, record sales — helping to kick-start momentum for the recreational boating industry in 2015,” said show manager Cathy Rick-Joule in a news release.

Some exhibitors said the 2015 show was their best ever. “This year exceeded our expectations,” said Lana Lohe of CNB Lagoon, according to a release. “We sold 16 boats and have two more under contract.”

Sean Halley of Boston Whaler also reported strong sales to boat show officials. “We eclipsed our targeted sales number, and those are signed deals!” he said via a release. “We still have many more to work — the show has been fantastic.”

Next year, the show will move to the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key in anticipation of the Miami Beach Convention Center’s renovation.

“The City of Miami is investing $16 million to rejuvenate the Park and prepare it for the 2016 boat show,” Rick-Joule said in a news release. “Additionally, [the show manager] will build customized docks and erect state-of-the-art structures to accommodate land exhibitors.” The Strictly Sail Miami segment will remain at Miamarina at Bayside.

At the 27th annual Yacht and Brokerage Show near the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach’s Collins Avenue, management also reported an increase in 2015 attendance and displays.

The show, which ran from Feb. 12-16, brought out several hundred exhibitors. During the five-day event, boats stretched 1.2 million square feet over a mile-long strip of Indian Creek Waterway from 41st to 51st streets.

Many exhibitors also reported “significant sales,” that have continued through this week, said CEO of Show Management Efrem Zimbalist III.

The number of show attendees and the total number of boats on display went up by 2 percent, Zimbalist said. The number of yachts on display in the 105-foot to 150-foot segment increased by 20 percent.

“As an industry, we believe that we will continue to see a rise in attendance and new exhibitor displays as the economy continues to improve and luxury condominium projects with marinas are currently in development and pre-sold in South Florida,” Zimbalist said in the statement.

Bob Denison, president of Denison Yacht Sales, said his company sold 12 boats this year, up from nine last year.

“Miami Boat Show is awesome because it’s truly an international boat show,” he said. “The entire weekend, we were having conversations with people that were from not only different parts of the U.S., but people from Central and South America, definitely Europeans coming into the show. It’s very much a global city, which makes an event like this more like an international one.”

Denison said the company sells boats at more than 20 shows a year, but the Miami Beach boat show is unique.

“The weather was absolutely amazing every single day,” he said. “There was a very positive mood on the docks.”

Justin Joyner, sales manager at Beneteau Powerboats, said his company also saw more sales this year.

“Our brand is starting to be very well recognized here,” he said.

Beneteau Powerboats exhibits at more than 70 boat shows throughout the year and has been showing at the Miami Beach event for about 5 years, Joyner said.

“It’s our Super Bowl,” he said. “It was the best show we’ve ever had.”


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Fugitive boat dealer that faked death turns himself in to police

The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.

1. Fugitive boat dealer that faked death turns himself in to police

Andrew Biddle, the professional boat racer and business manager of a New Jersey boat dealership, has turned himself into police seven months after faking his death.
Biddle and Tracy Blumenstein, owner of Professional Boat Sales in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., were accused of bilking customers in a variety of ways. On July 20, Biddle and another man were in a pontoon accident. The other passenger survived, but Biddle was never found. Within a matter of weeks, investigators reported that they believed Biddle had faked the accident in order to escape criminal prosecution.

2. Florida neighbors fear Sea Ray expansion

The Sea Ray plant near Flagler Beach, Fla., has asked for rezoning to expand its parking lot, but area residents are fighting the request, the Palm Coast Observer reported.
That’s because those residents fear it will lead to expanded production at the boat builder’s facility. The Flagler County Planning Board voted against the rezoning last week, but the issue will go before the County Commission, which has final say, in March.

3. Ohio governor’s tax plan could raise cost of boats

A new plan of varied tax cuts and increases from Ohio Gov. John Kasich would make it more expensive to buy a new boat when trading in a used one, the Sandusky Register reported.
While the plan includes a lower income tax, part of the shortfall would be covered by increasing the sales tax paid when trading in a used boat or car on a new purchase. Under the existing law, the value of the new car or boat is reduced by the value of the trade-in for sales tax purposes. Under Kasich’s plan, that discount would be cut in half.

4. Port backlog worsens in California

The number of ships stacking up off the California coast is continuing to grow as the labor dispute in the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports continues, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is headed to California to try to jump-start talks between the Pacific Maritime Assn., and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The parties have been negotiating for nine months.

5. Consumer sentiment down from January

The preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February dropped to 93.6, down from 98.1 in January, which was an 11-year high.  Analysts said the change could reflect an increase in gas prices this month.



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Mountain men take on California

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

The Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team begins its journey toward Catalina Island on Feb. 7 at the Midwinter Catalina Island Race in southern California. Despite a slow start, the team ended up crossing the finish line first among nine boats.

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team’s George Bailey mans the wheel as Stefan Fodor looks on during the race to Catalina and back.



Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 4:30 am

Mountain men take on California

By Clark Forster

Jackson Hole NewsGuide

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George Bailey and his Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team crew had a plan.

Competing on Bailey’s boat, the Santa Cruz 52, in the Midwinter Catalina Island Race against nine other boats, all of which hailed from southern California, the Wyoming crew decided it would follow the local boats west from the California coast to their halfway point of Catalina Island.

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on

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 4:30 am.


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Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team,



George Bailey,



Sargent Schutt,



Midwinter Catalina Island Race


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