Motorboat & Yachting: The volunteer lock keeper scheme on the River Thames is gearing up for its sixth year, with the Environment Agency starting up its latest recruitment drive.
The Environment Agency has been recruiting volunteers to help operate the 135-mile stretch of river since 2010, but there are still vacancies for enthusiastic volunteers to get involved.
Demetri Somarakis, who manages the Environment Agency’s River Thames volunteers team told MBY:
“The service we provide boaters on the Thames is unrivalled by any other river in the world, but our ability to maintain such high standards relies on the significant contribution of our volunteers.
“Whilst there are opportunities across the whole of the Thames, some sites are more subscribed than others,” he added.
The Environment Agency is particularly keen for people to become volunteer lock keepers at some of its more remote, and scenic, Oxfordshire sites.
Full training is included, as well as a Crewsaver 150N lifejacket, and while no experience is needed, some knowledge of the local area is required.
“There’s a sense of community reaching out to the lock as well,” Demetri explains. “The volunteer should be able to tell boaters where the nearest pub, shop or post office is.”
Volunteers are expected to commit a minimum of one day per week throughout the summer season, which normally runs from May to September, but can be longer depending on the weather and popularity of the lock.
Hours vary depending on location, but a typical day will see a volunteer lock keeper helping out from 10:00 to 17:00.
Anyone looking to get involved is encouraged to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 025 9628 as soon as possible.
Motorboat & Yachting: Turkish boat yard Numarine has announced that it will be building a new range of explorer yachts, starting with the Numarine 32XP.
The designer Can Yalman has sought to blend Numarine’s signature style with a more rugged explorer yacht aesthetic as part of the composite superstructure.
The owners will find accommodation on-board for up to 12 people, including a full-beam master cabin amidships.
Power comes from a pair of Cat C18s, delivering 715hp per side for a comfortable cruising speed of 12 knots, however Numarine 32XP owners will probably be more interested in the maximum range of 3,000nm.
Numarine has worked with the Silent Line Group to achieve the highest standards in noise insulation, while each model will be evaluated to ensure that vibration underway is kept to a minimum.
No release date has been announced for the Numarine 32XP, however the Turkish yard reveals that Hull #1 is already under construction.
Also, Numarine has plans to build a 40XP, which will be one of the largest models in its 55-130ft range.
Motorboat & Yachting: Trader Motor Yachts has revealed their 2016 edition of its popular 42ft aft-cabin model with a new joystick control for the Cummins powertrain.
Owners can also expect a quieter ride on the updated Trader 42, thanks to the new Wake Flow underwater exhaust system.
Trader claims to have made more than 120 new developments on-board following feedback from owners.
These include a diesel-powered central heating system, which should be better suited to long stays on board.
A new hull window should bring plenty of light into the all-important aft-cabin, which features a diagonally-mounted double bed.
Other key features include a sociable galley-up layout and a semi-displacement hull by world renowned naval architect Tony Castro.
Based in Universal Marina near Southampton, Trader Motor Yachts sells direct to customers in the UK, while its European partner is Dutch brokerage firm Mazer Yachting.
Motorboat & Yachting: 2016 British Motor Yacht Show will see the launch of the Princess 49 – the first IPS-powered flybridge from the Plymouth yard.
The Swanwick Marina event will also feature models from Fairline and Sunseeker, but Princess Yachts hopes to steal the show with this new arrival.
Announced at the 2015 Southampton Boat Show, the Princess 49 is the first flybridge model from the Plymouth yard to feature Volvo Penta’s IPS pod-drive propulsion system.
Princess is estimating a top speed of 35 knots, with an economical fast cruising speed of 30 knots.Key features include a pair of seating areas on the flybridge, with the aft bench converting into a sunpad. An icebox is fitted as standard, but the upper grill and wetbar is an optional extra.
The main deck features a galley-aft layout with a full-height fridge/freezer, while the accommodation is split between a full-beam amidships double, twin bunk beds to starboard, and a scissor-action double in the bows.
Princess fans hoping to get a first glimpse of the Princess 49 should head along to Swanwick Marina on May 20 for the official unveiling.
Motorboat & Yachting: Thames-based brokerage firm TBS Boats has added two new ranges – Quicksilver Boats and Waterspoor Dutch sloops.
TBS Boats has added two new brands to its portfoilio and will be selling the Waterspoor range of Dutch sloops. Two demonstrator models, a Waterspoor 711 Open and a Waterspoor 707 will be arriving early May at the Bray office in Berkshire.
Meanwhile the Penton Hook branch will be adding models from the Quicksilver Boats collection, after TBS Boats became the 19th broker in the UK to stock Quicksilver, however the Waterspoor deal is a UK exclusive.
The Waterspoor’s range of semi-displacement cruisers are classified as RCD Category C, which means that these models are best suited for coastal hopping and day trips.
A wide range of engines will be made available, up to maximum top speed of 25 knots. Optional extras include canopy, sea toilet and a fridge.
Motorboat & Yachting: Princess Yachts are cutting 172 job, down from the company’s original estimate of 350 workers because of the restructuring.
It was announced in January that Princess estimated that 350 jobs could be lost.
“Thanks to positive engagement with the workforce and trade union representatives, and a number of employees seeking voluntary severance, the company has been able to minimise the impact of redundancies”, said a spokesperson of the company to the Plymouth Herald.
Meanwhile Workers’ Union Unite, Dave Springbett told the BBC News: “The fact the union and management together have managed to protect the number of compulsory redundancies by a big margin is good news, but that shouldn’t take away from the drastic effect it’s going to have on some workers.”
Princess Yachts are one of the biggest employers in the South West, employs more than 2,000 people in Plymouth and the company recently established an out-placement service to help the 172 former employees find new jobs.
Motorboat & Yachting: The superyacht fire in Marmaris marina destroyed two vessels, and at least one of the owners got a considerable payout from Insurers.
His superyacht Barbie was one of the two vessels that were completely gutted by the blaze at Marmaris marina in the morning hours of January 4 after flames spread from nearby superyacht 73m Lurssen The One.
Now two months later, the Insurers Hiscox MGA of superyacht Barbie have confirmed that they have paid out $20 million (roughly £13.8 million) to the owner.
“Barbie is the largest claim that the superyacht insurance market has had to deal with in quite some time”, said Paul Miller, director of underwriting at Hiscox, in a statement released this week.
“That it was paid in full within 60 days of the event will hopefully help the owner to reach closure from this traumatic incident,” he added.
The insurance policy of superyacht Barbie was purchased through Yachtsure24 and was underwritten by a syndicate of 14 insurers, including Lloyd’s of London.
Whether the insurers can claim their costs from the owner of the other superyacht The One remains to be seen, as the cause of the Marmaris superyacht fire is still under investigation.
Motorboat & Yachting: Explorer Yachts has launched its latest model in Hong Kong, the Explorer 58 Pilot House, which is due for delivery in May 2016.
The company was founded by Mark Campion i 2012, and the range of yacht models has gone on to spawn five models measuring from 40ft to 62ft.
However the Explorer 58 looks set to be the boatbuilder’s most popular model yet to date, with already four orders taken off plan – the first model is due to be delivered to its new owner in Norway in May, while Hull #2 is heading to Sweden.
CEO Mark Campion has reported that the initial sea trials had been successful, with the Explorer 58’s twin 480hp Cummins engines propelling the semi-displacement hull to a top speed of 16.5 knots.
He points out that the maximum engine set-up of twin 715hp Cummins should be good for 23 knots.
Below decks, the layout comprises an amidships owner’s cabin, two further guest cabins and a pair of heads compartments.
Motorboat & Yachting: Sunseeker har announced that it will be taking 40 new Sunseeker apprentices in Poole this year.
This was announced as part of the National Apprenticeship Week, that the new intake will include 26 new hires at Sunseeker HQ in Poole and a further 14 at its Portland facility.
“Developing new talent within the workforce is essential to maintaining our reputation and position as a world leader in luxury performance motor yacht design and manufacture”, said Alex Bowman, training manager at Sunseeker International.
The Sunseeker three and four-year courses are available on a long-established apprenticeship scheme, which has been running since 1979.
Sunseeker apprentices will be able to choose from four different specialisms: marine engineers (4-year), composite boat builders (3-year), marine electricians (4-year) and carpentry boat builders (4-year).
Sunseeker is currently training 60 apprentices in conjunction with Bournemouth & Poole College, and this new intake will take the total up to 100 – the highest number of Sunseeker apprentices to date.
“Our record intake of apprentices demonstrates our investment in the future of the marine industry, enabling young people in the local community to kick-start their career in this sector,” said Alex Bowman.
For more information, visit: www.thecollege.co.uk/sunseeker
Practical Boat Owner: A man from Hull has been jailed for an additional six years after admitting his part in a smuggling conspiracy to sail more than a tonne of cocaine into the UK on a yacht.
A ninth person, Wayne Bush, 45, is to be convicted over the smuggling plot on the yacht Makayabella, intercepted by the Irish Navy of the south-west coast of Ireland in September 2014.
The cocaine found on board would have had a street value in excess of £160 million if it had it cut and sold in the UK, where the vessel was headed to.
NCA National Crime Agency investigators found that Wayne Bush was part of a three man “coopering crew” who were due to sail out and meet Makayabella to bring back the drugs.
An attempt to meet the boat had previously failed after the boat ran out of fuel, and the three men on board, including ringleader Stephen Powell, had to be towed back to port.
Two days later Stephen Powell and another gang member, James Hill, met up with Wayne Bush and to try buying another boat at a marina in Milford Haven, south Wales but was unsuccessful.
When the three men found out that their boat Makayabella had been intercepted and the drugs seized, they dumped the car that they were travelling in at Cardiff Airport.
When their car was searched, six drums containing red diesel for the planned boat trip were found in the car boot.
A marina compliments slip with both Stephen Powell and Wayne Bush’s fingerprints on it was also discovered.
Wayne Bush was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for an unrelated assault offence, but in June 2015 he was arrested by the NCA at HMP Humber in connection with the Makayabella plot.
He pleaded guilty to conspiring to import class A drugs at Leeds Crown Court on 15 March, and he was sentenced to a six year prison sentence, to serve consecutively to the three-and-a-half years that he is already serving.
“Wayne Bush’s role in this major drugs conspiracy was to assist in a second attempt to rescue the yacht when it broke down in order to transfer one tonne of cocaine to another boat out at sea. Thankfully, attempts to find another boat were unsuccessful. Had the plan succeeded, £164 million worth of drugs would have landed on Britain’s streets”, said Tarryn McCaffrey, reviewing lawyer in the Organised Crime Division at the Crown Prosecution Service.
This drug case shows that each and every member of a gang can be successfully prosecuted for their involvement in these crimes, even if they are part of a large organised crime group.