This Saturday’s event will see the largest collection of boats ever assembled on the River Clyde. More than 1,200 sailors in 250 boats are expected to flock to the River Clyde this weekend to take part in the Commonwealth Flotilla.

 

The Scottish branch of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is calling for spectators to come out in force to support the event, which will see the largest collection of boats ever assembled on the River Clyde.

If your boat isn’t one of the 250 registered to take part, there are still lots of other chances to get involved and enjoy this historic occasion. It is still possible to join the flotilla onboard Clyde Cruiser passenger boat, watch shore-side in Greenock or at the Glasgow Riverside Museum or even sign up as a volunteer for the event.

The flotilla will leave Greenock at 10am and travel 17 nautical miles to Pacific Quay (next to BBC and Glasgow Science Centre) on Saturday 26 July 2014.

Spectators are urged to get to Greenock for about 9am to give the flotilla a good send off. The best viewing point is just outside the Beacon Arts Centre where there will be a big screen and live commentary.

Another dedicated spectator area will be set up at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, with activities held from 11am until 3pm. The flotilla boats are expected to arrive from 1pm.

RYA Scotland CEO James Stuart said: ‘The response we had from people wanting to take part in the flotilla was overwhelming, and we want as many people as possible to join us.’

Glasgow Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Flotilla will commemorate the start of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which runs from 23 July to 3 August 2014.

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors. Running until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time.

There are two strands: a Scotlandwide programme called Culture 2014; and a Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action called Festival 2014.
Read full article at Practical Boat Owner – click here

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News that Team Australia has pulled out of the running for the next America’s Cup will have come as a blow to the organisers but the decision will have implications for the remaining teams as well.

Losing a team, (technically Hamilton Island Yacht Club, represented by Team Australia), at such an early stage doesn’t bode well however you dress it up. And when it’s the Challenger of Record that that makes an exit the alarm bells really start to ring. In their position as chief negotiators on behalf of the other challengers, if this team of all teams sees a reason not to continue, shockwaves are bound to spread through the broader Cup camp.

Add to this the fact that the team’s key player and former Cup regatta director CEO Iain Murray, who is also a previous competitor, is someone who knows the modern Cup and its characters inside out and you can’t help wondering if there is a serious issue brewing behind the scenes.

I for one saw Murray’s appointment as a big advantage when it came to negotiating the balance of power between the Defender and Challengers – a means of providing stability to a notoriously volatile event.

So given this, and that the Australians are out at such an early stage, there is little surprise that speculation has been rife since the announcement over the weekend.

So why has Team Australia pulled out?
“The challenge was initiated with a view to negotiating a format for the 35th America’s Cup that was affordable and put the emphasis back on sailing skills,” said team owner Bob Oatley as he explained the reasons behind the decision.

“Ultimately, our estimate of the costs of competing were well beyond our initial expectation and our ability to make the formula of our investment and other commercial support add up. We are bitterly disappointed that this emerging team of fine young Australian sailors will not be able to compete at the next America’s Cup under our banner.”

So in short, money
His comments confirm the recent chatter that in being first out of the blocks to challenge for the Cup they had underestimated the true costs and over estimated the possible revenues that might be generated.

Murray believes that the timeline is also an issue according to an interview with Sail-World.

“The timeline is the killer in this Cup,” he was quoted as saying. “Sponsors want to know where the venues are, and the dates. The gap gets pretty wide trying to get the sponsors to commit against the timeline of the expenditure,”

On the other hand the withdrawal of the team was perhaps not that surprising. Earlier in the year we were hearing of serious tensions and frustrations between the Challenger of Record and the Defenders as the Protocol was thrashed out.

To add an interesting twist, it is believed that the Australian Challenger of Record deal was set up by Oracle boss Larry Ellison, much to the surprise and frustration of Russell Coutts who had planned for Artemis to take this role on. The talk is that Coutts only discovered this on the final day of racing last year. If this is indeed the case, perhaps there was less incentive to make the Australian deal work.

But the timing of the Australian announcement is also surprising and causes difficulty for the organisers in announcing what happens next.

Technically the Challenger of Record duty passes to the next team to have entered, which is understood to have been Luna Rossa. But the problem is that under the Protocol entries cannot be accepted until there are three teams, at present there are just two, Luna Rossa and Artemis. While Ben Ainslie Racing and Team New Zealand intend to be there, they have as yet to enter. The entry deadline is 8 August.

The process going forwards is that teams must submit $1.025 million to enter by 8 August even though competition dates for 2015 might not be known until November, and details regarding the Finals for 2017 will possibly not be released until the end of this year.

Secondary entry fees of $1 million cash and $1 million performance bond must be submitted by December 1, 2014.

But the biggest issue and current unknown is that of the venue. How can you plan and budget for an event when you don’t know where it is? At present the two venues under consideration for the Cup itself are Bermuda and San Diego. The preliminary stages could see teams having to travel to other additional locations. Just planning for this is expensive let alone executing the plan.

The bottom line is that all the players know how fragile this stage of the process is, hence the carefully chosen language in the teams’ responses.

“We remain supportive of the Defender’s continued drive towards a more commercial event format, along with a more sustainable future for this historic trophy,” said Ben Ainslie. “Ben Ainslie Racing will be bidding to host two America’s Cup World Series events in 2015/16 at our new home in Portsmouth; as a key part of the road to the 35th America’s Cup. While the withdrawal of the Challenger of Record is regrettable, it is also not unusual and we will continue our own preparations for the 35th America’s Cup and look forward to an exciting future.”

Max Sirena of Luna Rossa said, “We had the meeting in Los Angeles with the other teams last week and I think it went very well. It was a positive meeting with all of the teams discussing the issues. It went really smoothly actually. So it was a surprise to hear about the Australians, but our plan doesn’t change because of this news. I think we’ll meet with the other teams again over the next few days and we’ll keep moving forward. It’s a shame, but nothing changes for us. Our aim is to win the America’s Cup.”

Such comments from the teams paint a different picture of the recent meetings than some online commentators have suggested. Despite the recent blow and the usual disagreements that are inevitable along the way, even Grant Dalton, who has previously been critical of some of the plans for the next event, is sounding positive.

“We have the class rule and the design team is well into its programme; the sailing team continues to compete successfully overseas, with great recent results by Dean Barker and Glenn Ashby in the A class cats worlds and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke still dominating the 49er scene,” he said. “In addition, we have never been in better shape with potential sponsors.”

If nothing else, there is even more reason for the current Challengers to agree than before. Without a collective agreement their own Cup campaigns will be in jeopardy.
See full article and blog by Matthew Sheahan at Yachting World – Click here

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The latest big name boat brand to confirm its Southampton line-up is Sunseeker, with the British manufacturer confirming a world debut.

 

The Sunseeker Manhattan 65 will be unveiled for the first time at the PSP Southampton Boat Show (12-21 September 2014), alongside the 86 Yacht, which will be making its first UK boat show appearance.

As the fourth model in the Manhattan line-up, the 65 will fit in between the 63ft and the 73ft versions. Other Sunseeker models to go on display at Southampton will include the 28 Metre Yacht, the 75 Yacht, the 68 Sport Yacht, the Manhattan 55, the San Remo 485, and the Portofino 40.

The Southampton show comes at the mid-way point of boat show season for Sunseeker, with the company also due to exhibit at the Cannes Yachting Festival (9-14 September 2014) and the Monaco Yacht Show (24-27 September 2014).

In other Sunseeker news, Motorboats Monthly has learnt that the company will be undertaking its largest and most ambitious boatbuilding project yet.

Currently under construction, the 168 Sport Yacht isn’t due to launch until 2017 and it will certainly be out of our price range.

But nonetheless, this tri-deck model promises to be truly spectacular, with a 4,000-mile range and a maximum speed of 25 knots. Watch this space.

 
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 

A Thames passenger ferry has crashed into a barge, causing hundreds of people to be evacuated from tourist boats and four suffering minor injuries.
 

Everyone on board the vessels was safely disembarked by emergency services following the crash at 2.15pm today. The City Cruises vessel suffered visible damage as a result of the incident near Blackfriars Bridge, but was not sinking.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called to the Thames, near the Oxo Tower, at 2.15pm today following reports of a passenger ferry and cargo boat in collision.
 
“The Metropolitan Police’s Marine Support Unit, Coastguard, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service are all in attendance and are currently in the process of taking those on board the ships to shore. At this stage there are believed to be a small number of people with minor injuries including cuts and whiplash.”
 
“Nobody from either vessel entered the water following the collision, and neither boat is believed to be at risk of sinking.” It’s not yet clear why the two boats collided.

 

See article at Yachting & Boating World – click here

German motoryacht manufacturer Bavaria has revealed details of its latest model, which will make its UK debut at the PSP Southampton Boat Show (12-21 September).

 

The Bavaria Sport 360 Coupe is a variant on the existing hardtop and open Sport 360 models, and the new vessel promises the utmost in versatility. Designed by Marco Casali, the 360 Coupe boasts large windows for better visibility, while the interior comes with a wide selection of fabric and woods.

Bavaria describes the helm design as “practical and simple”, while power on the base model will be drawn from twin Mercruiser 5.0 MPI DTS Brav III engines.

Meik Lessig, head of sales and after-sales at Bavaria, said: “We have analysed the needs of our customers along with our dealers around the world and incorporated them into the new Sport 360.

“A requirement of the market was to build a Bavaria Coupe also in this size range. And the lines of the Sport 360 realize our plans and we have succeeded very well with this new model.”

Interior pictures and technical specifications are yet to be released, but Bavaria has confirmed that the starting price will be 129,900 euros (£107,000) excluding VAT.
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 

The economic impact of the UK marine industry and spend associated with boating participation was an estimated £6.2billion in 2012/13, according to a new report released by the British Marine Federation (BMF). The sector is healthier than a year ago with high future expectations.

 

Latest industry trends results also announced by the BMF show encouraging signs of an upward trend for this key contributor to the UK economy.

The two reports were announced in a week when the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry came together at the BMF’s annual conference in Liverpool. 

In addition to highlighting the £6.2billion contribution, the BMF’s “Economic Benefits of the UK Boating Industry” also revealed expenditures are estimated to support approximately 141,000 full time jobs and more than £5.3billion of Gross Value Added in the UK economy, taking into account all direct and indirect effects.

The estimates in this report include associated manufacturing, repair, servicing, distribution, retail, finance activities and other consumer and business activities as well as wider tourism activities and spend.

According to the BMF’s “Industry Trends Report” (November 2013 – May 2014) the sector is healthier than a year ago and future expectations for the marine industry are also more promising.

Almost half of the 353 BMF members who responded to the survey said they had experienced an increase in overall marine business activity over the last six months and profit levels showing ‘the most positive trend since pre recession’.

Hit hard by the downturn, the leisure market is now improving steadily and new build activity is seeing uplift over the last six months ago compared to last year.

In the superyacht and small commercial sectors, both of which are still performing ahead of the leisure sector overall, the most significant improvement is being seen in the aftermarket/ refit markets.

‘Great news’
Howard Pridding, chief executive of the British Marine Federation, said: ‘This economic benefits report now completes the picture and we can appreciate the full economic impact of the marine industry; £6.2billion is a significant total.

‘It’s also great news that latest indicators from our members really do show that the industry is moving forward. ‘We’ve seen the sector experience two consecutive years of positive growth and BMF membership numbers recently reach 1,601, the highest since pre recession.”

‘Many marine companies reported good sales at our two last boat shows – PSP Southampton in September and London in January – and it is very positive that interest is high for the forthcoming PSP Southampton Boat Show, with 97% of space already sold.

‘This progress and positivity for the industry was also evident at our annual conference in Liverpool this week.  With a theme focusing on growth, many members came together to share best practice and discussed ways to develop both businesses and the industry.’

Annual conference
The BMF Annual Conference took place in Liverpool as part of the International Festival for Business 2014. Former John Lewis Partnership customer service specialist Andrew McMillan addressed the group as its keynote speaker this year.

 
See full article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 

Practical Boat Owner: Boatowners now fleeing from Croatia after charges for EU registration. Cruising Association members who had contracts to keep their boats in Croatian marinas when Croatia joined the EU in July last year, have had to pay up to 600 Euros for documentation to allow them ‘free circulation’ in EU waters.

And some have been told their boats will not be put back into the water until the fees have been paid in cash – without a receipt.

CA member, Mr Winslow Foot, who took his 11m ferro schooner called Iris to Croatia last June,  returned to his boat at Marina Kastela near Split in April and tried to pay his berthing fees as well as the forwarding agent’s fee. Forwarding agents liaise between boat owners and customs officials to organise necessary paperwork.

Mr Foot said: ‘As well as the yard fees I asked if I could also include the 600euros to the agent. I was told this was not possible and I would have to pay separately in cash and they would not launch my boat until the cash was handed over.’

He asked for a receipt for the cash but this was refused.

‘I should have visited the customs and police in Split but by that time I was very nervous of further charges and deadlines for my crew so I simply fled Croatia and did not check out.’

The CA contacted the agent who at first promised a full refund to Mr Foot but later retracted the offer and said he had registered the payment with the Croatian Ministry of Finance.

Before July last year boats taking up contracts with Croatian marinas were regarded as being held under a “temporary import procedure” and, according to a circular issued by the Croatian Ministry of Finance, a customs declaration needed to be filed to release the vessel for “free circulation”.

This involved the presentation of a T2L document which, for British registered vessels, is issued by HMRC in the UK and confirms that a boat was properly imported into the UK and duty paid.

HMRC regard the T2L as unnecessary in this context but they have co-operated by issuing them on application. Mr Foot had applied for and received a T2L document which he had given to the agent.

Several EU-flagged boats recently arrived in Vieste, Italy, who said they had to leave Croatia in a hurry as they didn’t have a T2L form or an EUR1 document and that a number of boats had already been impounded in Murter.

Another CA member, Peter Ibbotson, said he paid €250 to an agent in Zadar and obtained the free circulation status in 24 hours.

Not all bad news?

As well as the T2L document Mr Ibbotson was asked to produce his marina contract, vignette (pre-accession permit to cruise in Croatian waters), bill of sale, a copy of his passport, registration papers or SSR certificate, inventory list, last entry into Croatia, Power of Attorney authorising the agent to act on his behalf and photos showing the hull number, engine number and the boat.

‘My understanding is that new arrivals in Croatia require only the T2L to prove EU origin, plus evidence of VAT-paid status. My guess is that any impounded yachts have been in Croatia for more than 18 months, and either been unable to prove their VAT status, and/or failed to obtain Free Circulation within the required timeframe.’ If it is not possible to prove the boat is of EU origin, import duty may be payable.

CA Past President Stuart Bradley has kept his Cromarty 36 in Croatia for the past five years. He said: ‘There is confusion about the guidance issued by the Ministry of Finance, and their latest circular doesn’t mention agents at all.

‘A Croatian friend telephoned the customs in Split and Zagreb on my behalf and got different versions of what needed to be done. This situation affects thousands of boat owners from all EU countries so there is potential for a lot of money to be made.

‘It’s a great pity that a country that offers such glorious cruising opportunities continues to earn an unfortunate reputation for overbearing bureaucracy.’

While the CA is raising awareness of agents over-charging, the RYA says another key concern is reports that Croatian marinas are requiring owners to produce a T2L before they will allow them to use marina services such as lifting and storage.

The T2L is a form which, if properly completed and validated by HMRC, provides evidence that the boat it relates to is of EU origin. A T2L is linked to customs duty and not to VAT. It does not remove the need to prove the VAT status of a boat. Documentation proving the VAT status of a vessel, such as a VAT invoice, remains important.

RYA helping UK boat owners
The RYA has helped more than 100 boat owners to apply for a T2L by providing the form and a set of instructions detailing how it should be completed. The T2L is not normally issued to boats sold new within the EU as it is designed to establish the community status of a boat which has been imported.

HRMC originally refused to validate T2Ls for the purposes of obtain community status in Croatia. However, in February 2014, after extensive lobbying by the RYA to the EU Commission and directly with HMRC, they were persuaded to do so.

Carol Paddison, RYA Cruising Advisor said: ‘We have not been informed of any cases where boats have been immediately impounded for not producing a T2L.

‘It is clear however from the members we have been in contact with that the fees being charged by the agents processing the paperwork for vessels which were lying in Croatia at the time of its accession to the EU on 1 July 2013 have been quite varied; in the region of 250 euros to 600 euros.

‘The key concern at the present which the RYA is working to address is reports that Croatian marinas are requiring owners to produce a T2L before they will allow them to use marina services such as lifting and storage.

‘The requirement to be EU VAT paid has extended to Croatia since it acceded to the EU on 1 July 2013.

‘In addition to requiring evidence of the VAT status of the boat, however, the Croatian authorities are also requiring separate evidence of the boat’s status for customs purposes before accepting that the boat has community status.

‘A notice to vessel owners issued by Croatian Customs acknowledges that documents other than a T2L are acceptable to prove community status (e.g. a VAT invoice), but Croatian Customs is not ensuring that people inspecting paperwork (presumably on its behalf) understand this.

‘The RYA considers the situation pleasure craft owners find themselves in to be unacceptable. They are being penalised for not having a document which they have not and should not ever have been given.

‘We are therefore currently lobbying the EU Commission and HMRC in an effort to encourage them to persuade the Croatian authorities to take a more pragmatic approach.

‘HMRC has indicated to the RYA that it will be taking the matter up on behalf of UK boaters and the RYA understands that HMRC will be contacting both Croatian Customs and the EU Commission.

See full article at Practical Boat Owner – click here

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The 50ft yacht where Google executive Forrest Hayes was killed has been put up for sale in California.

 

The yacht where a Google executive was killed has gone on sale for $345,000 in California. Forrest Hayes, 51, was found dead aboard the 50ft vessel named “Escape” in November last year following an alleged heroin overdose.

Broker Richard Boland Yachts is now selling the boat, which was recently moved to the marina village in Alameda. The Alaska Flybridge 46 was built in 2006 and comes with twin Cummins 380hp engines and thermal night vision cameras.

It’s been reported that lots of people have been looking at the boat, but so far there have been no offers. Broker Richard Boland told SFGate that he doesn’t think events onboard will deter any potential buyers.

“I don’t think it will make a lot of difference. The massive upgrade that Forrest made to the electronics on the boat is what people are really looking for.”

Hayes installed a security surveillance system onboard to monitor a refurbishment of the vessel, which later proved prostitute Alix Tichelman had been on board when he died.

Santa Cruz police recently charged the 26-year-old woman with manslaughter after discovering footage of her injecting the victim with drugs and then leaving the boat when he fell unconscious.

See article at Yachting & Boating Worldclick here

BBC News: The wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has been successfully raised from the under-sea platform it has been resting on for the past year, salvage workers say. The wreck – the target of one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history – is now floating about 2m (6ft) off the platform.

 

In all, the refloating operation is expected to take six or seven days. The ship will then be towed to its home port, Genoa, where it will be scrapped.

The Concordia struck a reef off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people.

Workers are slowly lifting the vessel by pumping air into tanks attached to the ship. The wreck was hauled upright in September but was still partially submerged, resting on six steel platforms.

The BBC’s Alan Johnston at the scene said that by midday a weed-covered streak of the hull had become visible as the previously submerged part of the ship gradually rose above the waves.

Salvage workers cheered with delight as they returned to Giglio’s port.

“The ship is upright and is not listing. This is extremely positive,” the engineer in charge of the salvage, Franco Porcellacchia, told a news conference.

He said the sixth deck of the ship had begun to emerge on Monday, and once that was fully above water the other decks would become visible in quick succession.

“When deck three re-emerges we are in the final stage and ready for departure,” he added.

Tugboats attached to the ship by cables have moved it a short distance away from the shore.

A search for the remains of Indian waiter Russel Rebello, whose body was not recovered from the wreck, is due to be carried out.

The Costa Concordia’s owners, Costa Crociere, estimate the operation to remove the wreck from the reef and tow it for scrapping will cost 1.5bn euros (£1.2bn; $2bn) in total.

 

‘Risks’

An engineer with Costa Crociere described the salvage efforts as “unprecedented”. “As with anything being done for the first time, there are risks. But we are confident,” Franco Porcellacchia said.

Hundreds of divers and engineers have been involved in operations to salvage the Concordia, which is twice the size of the Titanic.

Towing the ship to Genoa – about 200 nautical miles (370km) away – is due to begin on 21 July and take about five days. “The operation began well but it will be completed only when we have finished the transport to Genoa,” Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti told reporters on Monday.

Local residents have said they are glad the wreckage will be removed. “I am happy they are taking it away because to see a ship like that always there, with the deaths that happened, it gives us the shivers,” Italo Arienti told Reuters news agency.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship, charges he denies.

 

 See full article, videos and pictures at BBC News – click here

 

BBC News: Hundreds of sailors have returned to London 11 months after setting off on the 40,000-mile (64,000km) Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The 12 boats in the Clipper Race sailed between six continents.

 

Crowds greeted the boats as they arrived at Tower Bridge at 12:45 BST. Twelve teams, largely made up of novices, tackled hurricanes and tornadoes as they raced between six continents.

The crew from the winning vessel, Henri Lloyd, was presented with a trophy at St Katharine Docks.

The race was founded by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.

He said: “It is a tight race, but in racing with a tight crew that is teamwork and that’s where you learn you can do things you didn’t realise you could do. You work together and you trust your lives to each other on a boat.”

 

Most of the crew members – 670 from more than 40 nations – were novices, although each boat was skippered by a professional.

The Clipper Race took in South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and the Netherlands before returning to London.

Most of the crew members – 670 from more than 40 nations – were novices, although each boat was skippered by a professional.

The Clipper Race took in South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and the Netherlands before returning to London.

 

See article and more pictures at BBC News – click here

 

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