Motorboat & Yachting: Two major RIB brands could disappear from the market after Z Marine, the parent company of Zodiac and Avon RIBs, was declared insolvent.
The future of the Zodiac and Avon RIB brands is under threat, with parent company Z Marine declared insolvent earlier this month (April 2). The French manufacturer was named in insolvency proceedings at the Commercial Tribunal of Nanterre, our sister publication IBI reports.
It is understood that receivership proceedings have begun, as the company enters a six-month period of official observation. Investment fund OpenGate Capital currently owns Z Marine and made severe changes last year, which involved making 500 workers redundant.
Production was also relocated to Tunisia, following the closure of Z Marine’s facilities in Rochefort and Saint Jean d’Illac. Launched at the 1969 London Boat Show, the Avon Searider is believed to be the world’s first commercial RIB.
Both Avon and Zodiac remain popular brands in the RIB world, attracting a strong volume of orders at the recent Paris Boat Show, so hopes are high that a suitable buyer can be found in the coming months.
UPDATE: Z Marine North America has moved to distance itself from its French counterpart. The US-based division was keen to stress that it is financially independent and trading healthily.
Motorboat & Yachting: Up to 80 tall ships will moor in Belfast Harbour this July before the annual Tall Ships Races to Denmark.
Visiting as part of the annual Tall Ships Races, the fleet will include 15-20 A-class vessels (more than 40m long) and a number of South American military vessels.
Classic yacht fans will have four days to see the ships close up as part of the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival, which is free to attend and will include ‘park and ride’ shuttle bus services.
Moored across ten docks and quays in the Titanic Quarter, the tall ships promise to be a spectacular sight, with the backdrop of the historic Belfast cranes Samson and Goliath.
Around 500,000 people are expected to visit the tall ships festival before the vessels depart for Scandinavia on July 5.
This year’s Tall Ships Races series will see the fleet call at Alesund and Kristiansand in Norway, before reaching the finishing line at the Danish city of Aalborg on August 4.
Yachting Boating World: Devon and Cornwall Police are searching for the thieves who ransacked a motorboat near Plymouth following the incident earlier this month.
Police in Devon are appealing for information after vandals ransacked a motorboat in Plymstock and stole its rare outboard engine. The thieves cut through mesh fencing at the Plymouth Marine Centre in Pomphlett Road between 5.30pm on April 7 and 7am the next day.
Once inside, the offenders targeted a Gobbi 19 limited edition powerboat moored just outside the marina, causing extensive damage.
In a statement, Devon and Cornwall Police said: “They ripped out the seats and threw them in the sea, pulled off the boat’s transom leaving it hanging at the back of vessel and ripped out the helm box and cabling.
“The thieves then escaped with a Yamaha 1998 offshore exhaust power shorts outboard engine, valued at £3,000 and just one of two in the country.”
Officers investigating the crime are appealing for witnesses to the theft and are asking anyone who has information to call Devon and Cornwall Police on 101, quoting crime reference CR/23546/15.
See article at Yachting Boating World – Click here
Motorboat & Yachting: Prince Phillip Yacht Haven, a new £2.6m facility on the River Hamble, has welcomed its first vessels as the project nears completion.
Redeveloped by Marina Projects Limited at a cost of £2.6m, the facility is shared by the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Royal Air Force Yacht Club.
Improvements include replacing the quay wall and extensive dredging work, which required an environmental assessment. And although the project is now substantially complete, the developers are still working on final landscaping improvements before the official opening by club patron the Duke of Edinburgh on June 4.
Mike Ward, managing director at Marina Projects Limited, said: “An immediate challenge for us was dealing with the historical cross-over between the access and activities, on both land and water, of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and their near neighbour, the Royal Air Force Yacht Club.”
He also praised the two clubs’ co-operation, which has allowed this project to come to fruition, and hailed the benefits for the local village.
A members-only soft opening for the Prince Phillip Yacht Haven will take place on April 25, with tickets priced at £10 each.