Practical Boat Owner: Boat owners are being warned to batten down the hatches ahead of Storm Frank which looks set to hit coastal areas from the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Weather warnings are currently in place for coastal areas from Aberdeen to Shetland and from Stornoway, Belfast, down to Holyhead, Milford Haven and Falmouth.
Although additional rainfall may have an impact over land, it’s the predicted high winds that continue to cause most concern for the UK Coastguard.
Mark Rodaway, commander with HM Coastguard said: ‘Our advice to people remains the same. Check the weather and tidal conditions before you set out so you can prepare your vessel accordingly, or even ask yourself whether you should be going out at all.
‘At sea, changes in tidal streams could make conditions worse, particularly if the wind and tide are against each other, but above all, don’t take risks when a storm at sea is involved.’
He added: ‘We’ve all seen the dramatic pictures of flooding inland and seen from previous years, some equally dramatic images from coastal storms. Do not be tempted to go out and take those photographs yourself. No photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for.
However, as always, if you do see someone in trouble or are in trouble yourself, then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
Motorboat & Yachting: Boat owners in Hampshire have been warned to be on their guard after a spate of outboard thefts.
Boat owners are being urged to stay vigilant following a ‘spike in thefts’ of large outboard engines. Aside from the ‘year-round’ theft of small outboard motors, of less than 20hp, marine police have noted an increase in larger motors of 200 to 350hp.
Sergeant Damon Kennard, from Hampshire Constabulary’s Marine Unit, said: ‘We’ve had a bit of a spike and what’s unusual is that 350 horsepower big outboards stolen, predominantly from the back of RIBs. At this time of year they’re all taken from trailers or drystacks.
‘It’s early days but we think it’s probably organized criminal gangs, these are not just opportunistic thefts.
‘People are coming and moving through a region, looking for high value outboards.
‘One weighed nearly 400kg, you can’t just turn up on your own to steal things like that.’
Sgt Kennard said another unusual aspect is that marine police hadn’t yet been able to recover any of the 25 stolen outboards along the Hampshire, Dorset and surrounding coast over the past year.
He said: ‘We go to all the car boots and jumbles, we monitor eBay, the best guess is they’re going overseas. Speaking to our contacts in the marine insurance industry the consensus is that they’re all going overseas.
‘It’s unusual, normally one or two would turn up.’
Sgt Kennard said the only large stolen outboard that did turn up was found in Germany.
Boat owners with high-value outboards are advised to check them throughout the winter.
It is suspected that thieves visit boatyards and ‘take all the bolts and nuts and pieces off’ then return the same night or a few days later with a van.
Sgt Kennard urged boat owners: ‘Check your outboard hasn’t been tampered with. If it has, let us know.
‘A lot of people put covers on, leave the RIB on a drystack and forget about it. If you have a spare day, it’s not a bad idea to go and check on it.’
With some 260 miles of coastline to cover, Sgt Kennard said it was hard for the Hampshire marine police unit to know which boatyard would be targeted next to catch the criminals red-handed.
He said: ‘They turn up, take an engine and then two weeks later another engine goes missing 20 miles down the coast.’
Boaters are being encouraged to assist police by reporting any suspicious activity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 101 and quoting Project Kraken.
Yachting Boating World: Being the victim of boat theft is a nasty experience so we’ve got our top 10 tips on how to keep both your vessel and your belongings safe.
Whether big or small, marine crime has a big impact on its victims and can generate fear among boating communities. The first step to tackling the problem is ensuring that you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself from boat theft.
The following tips should help you to have peace of mind that you’ve left your boat and its belongings as secure as they can be.
1. Never leave anything valuable on display, this includes items lose in the cockpit or on deck such as rope and fenders.
2. If you can, take any valuables off the boat with you, or make sure you lock them away and keep the curtains drawn when the boat is empty so thieves can’t see inside. If you’re unable to take some items with you, ensure you mark them and photographs of the item.
3. Stickers stating that all valuables have been removed from the boat is also another good deterrent.
4. Make sure you use strong padlocks to secure any cupboards. Fit good strong locks and hinges where possible and invest in an alarm if one can be placed on the vessel.
5. Keep your life raft and engine secure as these are some of the most valuable items on your boat. You can get locks specifically designed for outboard engines that hold up against strong attempts at removal.
6. If you need to step away from the ignition, always take the key with you.
7. Keep a list of all the serial numbers on valuables like your radio, navigation equipment or outboard engine. In the event that your boat is broken into, you’ll have copies to pass the police, making it easier for them to trace stolen items back to you. It’s also worth making a note of any scratches or marks your equipment has, as it could help identify it in the event it is stolen.
8. Mark everything you buy for your boat with your postcode and contact details.
9. Keep your boat keys separate to your engine keys, so should either of them be stolen, a thief won’t have access to both.
10. Make sure you’re part of the Boatmark scheme, which will see your boat given an electronic tag, programmed with a unique 14-character Hull Identification Number.
If you’re concerned about theft in your area, consider setting up a watch with your local sailing club or motor group so that vessels are checked over regularly. Frequent patrols should also help deter thieves from targeting you in the first place.
Those who do become victims of marine crime are encouraged to contact their local police force on 101. In the event that anything is stolen from your boat, it’s worth checking sites such as eBay and Gumtree in case whoever stole your property attempts to sell it on. You should contact the police if you recognise any items being sold online that you believe to be yours.
Motorboat & Yachting: The Galeon 420 Fly offers a huge amount of customisation – including the choice between shafts, sterndrives and IPS pods – solid build quality and a keen price, we put it to the test in Southampton.
With the 500 Fly scooping up all of the admiring glances at the Cannes Boat Show, this seemed a perfect time to test one of the more “bread and butter” boats in the range, the Galeon 420 Fly.
Galeon has an incredibly liberal approach to the amount of personalisation available to the customer even on a boat of this size.
To give you an idea you can have two or three cabins, eight different types of interior wood, a dizzying array of upholstery and fabrics, four different engine options and the choice between shafts, sterndrives or IPS pod drives.
Our test boat had quite a traditional set up with a pair of Volvo Penta’s D6 435hp motors on shafts, delivering a top speed of just over 30 knots.
Though not the most exciting drivetrain on offer, the shafts offer a good balance between sweet handling and that familiar solidity that so many people like about this method of propulsion.
I did find that from the lower helm the boat responded well to half tab to get the bow cutting nicely through the waves and lower the bow to improve the helmsman’s view out.
And though the one-piece windscreen is great, the large mullions either side needed to provide support obstruct the view either side quite badly.
Yachting Boating World: The new luxury motor yacht by Prestige will be on show at the illustrious event in January, Ancasta International Boat Sales have announced.
The Prestige 680 was launched at Cannes last September and will make its UK debut at the London Boat Show 08 – 17 January 2016.
Designed by Garroni Design and with a J&J hull, the 68-foot Prestige 680 is powered by Twin Volvo IPS 1200 engines and has a top speed of 30 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots. This stunning motor yacht has all the features that have made the Prestige brand so successful and has elements of the brand’s flagship Prestige 750.
Its flybridge has a very large private space that links to the lounge area with a galley bar and a large, forward sun terrace. The helm position allows for maximum visibility to all areas of the boat.
The interior is all clean lines, light and lots of storage space, and the aft galley has the same layout of the other Prestige models, with plenty of room to cook and entertain.
The owner’s cabin is raised and forward, giving privacy and light thanks to its large windows, whilst the guest cabins are on a separate level and are accessed by their own staircase.
The model is available with a three- or four-cabin layout plus a cabin for crew and is priced at £1.51m, excluding VAT.
Yachting and Boating World: Four men spent 30 days at sea and travelled 2,000km before being spotted by a routine surveillance night flight.
On Saturday (31 October) the Mexican navy came to the rescue of four fishermen who had been lost at sea in a small fishing boat for more than four weeks.
A patrol plane spotted the group Friday night, adrift off southern Mexico’s Pacific Coast some 160 miles from Chiapas, and a navy ship was dispatched to rescue the men – two Ecuadorians and two Colombians.
The fishermen had set out from a port in northwestern Ecuador in late September and had drifted more than 2,000 kilometres north over the weeks they spent at sea.
A statement from the Mexican navy said: “The castaways said they launched from the port of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, on September 24 and got lost at sea while fishing. They ran out of fuel on October 1 as they tried to return to port, then got swept north by the current.”
Pictures posted on the Secretary of the Navy’s (SEMAR) Facebook page show the stranded men aboard their small blue single-outboard engine vessel called the Pregon.
Authorities said the men were badly dehydrated but reported no other health problems.
Motorboat & Yachting: Sunseeker has revealed the first images of the Sunseeker 131 superyacht, which is due to be launched in early 2016.
The first images of the Sunseeker 131 superyacht have been revealed, with the Poole-based yard taking a bold approach to exterior design.
The dramatic cutaway bulwarks may divide opinion, but Sunseeker has already sold four hulls ahead of its 2016 launch.
After one year in development and construction, the completed Hull #1 will now go into extensive testing and sea trials prior to the first owners taking delivery.
Sunseeker estimates that the tri-deck 131 will have a top speed of 23 knots and an optimum cruising speed of 12 knots.
The interior is every inch as opulent as you would expect from a Sunseeker superyacht, with the yard’s bespoke service meaning that fabrics, furniture and even layout are up for discussion.
On this particular model, the owner has gone for a light colour scheme with plenty of mirrored surfaces.
Sunseeker recently celebrated its 100th hull over 100ft and with the official launch of the Sunseeker 131 edging ever closer the British boatbuilder is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Motorboat & Yachting: The organisers of the Barcelona Boat Show have hailed the Spanish market, which has grown by more than 10% in the first nine months of the year.
The Barcelona Boat Show came to an end on Sunday (October 18) and the initial signs from this year’s show are that the Spanish boating industry is in rude health.
Organisers Fira de Barcelona claim that 55,000 visitors attended the five-day event, and this strong turnout reflects the level of boat registrations, which has risen 10.5% year-on-year for the first nine months of the year.
Other positive signs can be found in the total number of exhibitors, which rose by 4% to 260, and the number of new and used boats on display – up 3% to 670.
Event manager Jordi Freixas said: “This year, there have been more new products than in recent years, reaffirming the show as the leading business and trend-setting platform for the Spanish boating industry.”
Meanwhile, the dates for the 2016 Barcelona Boat Show have been confirmed, with next year’s event due to run from October 12-16.
Motorboat & Yachting: A large marina fire in the Boston suburb of Quincy destroyed 11 boats and sank three, although no-one was injured.
Firefighters were unable to save 11 boats that were destroyed in a marina fire in the Boston suburb of Quincy last week (October 8).
The blaze started at around 0730 local time and quickly spread along the dock of Captain’s Cove Marina to neighbouring vessels.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway, but eyewitness reports suggest it began as an engine fire, which eventually sent 50ft plumes of smoke into the morning air.
No-one was injured, but a young couple who had been living aboard their boat were left homeless as a result.
Boatowner Tamara Silvia told local news provider NECN: “We just sold everything to do this. We have nothing left now.”
The 11 vessels consumed by the marina fire ranged in size from 18ft to 30ft and divers began salvage efforts on Thursday afternoon.
Gary Smyth, deputy chief at Quincy Fire Department said: “We were very limited because we only had one side to fight the fire from, so we took a defensive stance.”
Pratical Boat Owner: British Coatings Federation (BCF) Marine Coatings Group has followed up on its successful survey for boat owners on the DIY use of antifouling (AF) paints by launching three additional surveys on the topic, aimed at professional applicators, boatyard managers/owners and chandlers.
The surveys are designed to better understand the current use of antifouling paints by DIY users, and to raise their awareness over the possibility that authorities may decide to restrict the application and use of AF paints to strictly professional applicators and organisations.
More then 800 submissions have been made in response to the original survey, indicating the level of interest regarding this issue and the concerns from the leisure boating sector in general.
Surveys can be accessed, for completion by the 30 November, as follows:
The original survey mentioned for boat owners/DIY applicators remains open until the 30th November too:
* Boat owners/DIY applicators: www.surveymonkey.com/r/NPNB6NW
Gareth Prowse, who is the UK Regulatory Affairs Manager at AkzoNobel Felling, with responsibility for the International Paint branded marine coatings, and also Chair of BCF’s Marine Coatings Group said: ‘The BCF are trying to generate data to better understand how people use AF Paints and what protective equipment they do use when painting. We’ve had some minor criticisms of scaremongering in response to the first survey, when in reality we’re not.
Gareth added: ‘The regulations are becoming much stricter than they have been. Our concern is that we could end up withdrawing products that can and are used safely because of the risk assessment being too conservative due to a lack of data, rather than genuine risk.’