Local authorities suspect a welding accident caused this huge blaze, and one quick-thinking local skipper caught the fire on camera.

 

There’s nothing more devastating for a boatowner than seeing your pride and joy go up in flames, but Larry Jodsass got a better view than most boat fire victims.

The 79-year-old retired entrepreneur lost his 31m superyacht ‘Polar Bear’ to an enormous fire last month (19 June), which local authorities suspect was caused by a welding accident.

The blaze was so large that it could be seen from all across Chula Vista harbour in San Diego, and quick-thinking skipper Kurt Roll launched his drone camera to take a closer look.

From the point of view of the remote-controlled gadget, we are treated to an excruciating close-up of the demise of ‘Polar Bear’.

Since the footage was uploaded to YouTube last month, it has received more than 1.8 million views, and it’s not hard to see why.

The vessel was valued at $24m (£14m) when it was launched just three years ago, and understandably Mr Jodsass was distraught: “Am I angry? No. Anger is not the right word. It was my toy, my wonderful, beautiful piece of equipment,” he told NBC San Diego. “I think it’s the most beautiful boat that ever has been built.”

See full article and video at Motorboats Monthly

Almost 1,000 people have downloaded anew Royal Yachting Association (RYA) smartphone app that aims to help the coastguard to track down missing boats. RYA SafeTrx is a smartphone app that enables boat users in UK territorial waters to plan their passage.

 

RYA SafeTrx, which is compatible with Android and iOS devices, allows users to plot and then upload their passage plan and estimated time of arrival.

If the estimated time of arrival is exceeded without the trip being completed, then the designated emergency contacts are automatically notified.

Using the data sent by the SafeTrx app during a voyage, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be able to pinpoint lost and stricken boats more quickly.

Keith Oliver, head of maritime operations at the MCA, said: ‘During a search and rescue incident, the UK coastguard collects vital information about the people and vessels involved.

‘When did they set off? Where were they going? When were they due back? What was their last known location?

‘These are all vital pieces of the puzzle and the coastguard welcomes any system that can contribute to the information gathering effort. RYA SafeTrx will help provide this information, meaning that valuable time is not lost.’

This technology has been in use in Ireland and Australia for some time, and now the RYA’s adoption allows members to take advantage of the service in UK territorial waters for free.

Non-members can download the app free of charge, and data logging credits are available in bundles of 10 for £1.49 or 20 for £2.49.

The app can also deliver performance analytics for those keen to plot their average speed or total distance travelled.

Stuart Carruthers, cruising manager at the RYA, said: ‘Although RYA SafeTrx is not intended as a replacement for regular approved safety devices (VHF, APIB, AIS, etc) it will be beneficial to the one million users of small powerboats, RIBs, PWCs and for dinghy cruisers for whom existing tracking technology is not always practical.

‘Until now a simple, cost-effective system of tracking and alerting has not been available for these boat users. When we learned about this app and its enormous safety benefits we knew that we had to bring it to the UK.’

RYA SafeTrx is available to download now from the iTunes app store, while Android users can find the app on the Google Play Store.
See article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

Dutch motorboat manufacturer Boarnstream has released full details of its redesigned 42 foot steel-hulled motor yacht.


The Boarcruiser 42 is the smallest model in the Boarnstream Retro range and is powered by a 148hp Perkins M150Ti diesel engine.

With a leisurely top-speed of just 10 knots, this would be best suited as a gentleman’s cruiser, while the interior layout, seen here in ‘Deco’ walnut, can be built to your exact specification.

Above decks the open cockpit and hardtop cabin compliment the Royal Tulip bow design and evokes the styling of a Cockwells launch. Technical features include the standard Yachtfloor heating system and heavy-duty hydraulic bow and stern thrusters.

In a statement to accompany the launch, Boarnstream described the 42 Retro as: “A Mediterranean beauty with a refined mix of colours and materials, combined with the functional, down-to-earth character of the Northener.”

Price is available on application, but expect to pay upwards of £300,000.

 
Read article and see more pictures at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 

Ministers today announced £7.5million of Government funding to support Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team and their proposal to be based on the Camber in Portsmouth.

 

The news follows on from Portsmouth City Council’s decision to give planning approval for the site of the new base.

The announcement took place today at 10 Downing Street in the presence of the Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: ‘Sir Ben Ainslie’s project is truly fantastic news for Portsmouth and the Solent.

‘It will not only build on Portsmouth’s global reputation as a centre of marine and maritime excellence but will also deliver a real sporting and economic boost to the UK.

‘It is a great example of our long-term plan – creating jobs as well as opportunities for young people to develop their skills through apprenticeships.

‘This is an exciting and historic challenge and I hope the whole country can get behind Sir Ben’s campaign.’

BAR Team Principal and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben said: ‘Portsmouth has a great maritime heritage and we felt it was a natural home for the team’s permanent base in the UK.

‘There is excellent access to the water for the team’s training and to host future America’s Cup events, with fantastic spectator viewpoints.

‘We hope through  our journey to bring the Cup home to Britain we will inspire more young people to get involved in the sport, along with supporting the growth of the marine sector in the Solent area to match the country’s F1 innovation hub.’

What’s next?
The headquarters will initially employ about 90 people, with many more potential jobs in the supply chain.

It will become the focal point for the design, construction and development of the team’s boats and will also provide sports science and fitness facilities.

An apprenticeship and training scheme will ensure the site is sustainable and there will be a drive to ensure the project acts as a catalyst to encourage participation in the sport of sailing, all areas of the marine industry and develop the talent of the future.

The project has the potential to bring significant economic and sporting benefits to the UK, particularly for Portsmouth and the wider Solent area.  A recent report on Team New Zealand suggested that its base in Auckland created 1,000 jobs and brought an $88million boost to the local economy.

A visitor centre showcasing the sport, innovation, technology and sustainability will be at the heart of the base, and will welcome schools and community groups. Visitors will experience the construction and on-going operation of the team’s America’s Cup boats first-hand.

In accordance with the team’s sustainability goals – monitored and supported by 11th Hour Racing Inc. – the base will be built to the BREEAM Excellent standard.

Timescale
Construction work will start immediately, with planned completion in May 2015. Jonathan Goring will be responsible for the project at Ben Ainslie Racing, and he will run a completely separate team and budget to ensure that the base construction has no impact on the crucial drive to win the America’s Cup in 2017.

Goring was Managing Director of Capita Symonds, involved in the London 2012 Olympics, and CEO of Capita’s successful consortium that was selected to run the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
See full article and watch Ben Ainslie Racing Team Base 3D Animation at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

A yacht was destroyed by fire after catching alight in County Down, Northern Ireland early yesterday morning. The fierce fire engulfed a 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht near Rostrevor Pier.


Kilkeel RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were alerted to the fiercely burning 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht, which was anchored southsouth east of Rostrevor Pier,Carlingford Lough.

The owner had been contacted and confirmed there were two gas cylinders aboard the yacht but no people.

The Kilkeel lifeboat Frank William Walton was launched at 2.20am and quickly reached the stricken yacht which very quickly was ablaze from bow to stern.

One of the propane gas cylinders had already exploded so the lifeboat with, four fire-fighters from Warrenpoint and a mobile fire fighting pump aboard, stood off at a safe distance.

When the fire had somewhat subsided the lifeboat returned to the yacht and the flames were extinguished.

The lifeboat left the firefighters and the pump ashore at Warrenpoint and returned safely to the boathouse in Kilkeel at 6.45am.

Helm Gerry Smyth said: ‘It was vital that the lifeboat crew, the firefighters and the lifeboat were kept out of danger whilst there was the possibility of the gas cylinders exploding.

‘The yacht was extensively damaged and still afloat when we left the scene but importantly no lives were lost.’

 

See article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has cleared London Duck Tours to resume trips along the Thames, following last year’s mid-cruise fire.

 


Two vessels have been approved for use, following a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report, which pinpointed the cause of the blaze. It is believed that the boats’ buoyancy foam was to blame for the accidents, which resulted in 30 people being rescued and some passengers jumping into the Thames to avoid the flames.

An MCA spokesperson told the BBC: “The operator has been working to demonstrate that two of its vessels have been improved sufficiently to meet our safety requirements.

“We believe that we should shortly be in a position to issue a short-term certificate to allow them to operate for a period of three months.”

The company said in a statement on its website that it would be announcing the date of its return to the river “shortly”, with a normal service set to resume “as soon as possible”.

 

See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

French marine engine manufacturer Nanni has expanded its in-board diesel range, with 32 new models due to be unveiled at the Cannes Boat Show (9-14 September)

The new N-series models range from 140hp to 760hp and they will be presented in the UK for the first time at the PSP Southampton Boat Show the following week (11-20 September).

Built in partnership with John Deere Power Systems, the N5, N6, N9 and N13 units further expand the Nanni collection, which features engines from 10hp to 1,800hp.

A spokesperson for Nanni spoke of the company’s great pride in this new tie-up: “Staying faithful to its values and its commitment to provide the best quality to its customers, Nanni has chosen to work with the world’s number one in its field, John Deere.”

Founded in 1952, Nanni is the preferred supplier for many European motorboat manufacturers, including Bénéteau, Jeanneau and Bavaria.
See article at Mototboats Monthly – click here

Motor Boats Monthly has been to the south of France to test out the new Jeanneau Leader 40 open sportscruiser, which first saw on dry land at the 2013 Paris Boat Show.

 

MBM boat tester Nick Burnham applauds Jeanneau’s decision to retain an open model within its sportscruiser range, despite contrary market trends.

Nick also looks at the convertible aft sunbed in the cockpit, as well as the myriad seating options on the Leader 40.

Taking to the water, Nick also comments on visibility, the helm position and how the hull copes with the choppy conditions that we encountered.

Below deck, we take a closer look at the conventional layout, including the dinette, well-stocked galley, both cabins, and the heads.

Nick’s full boat test review is published in the July edition of Motor Boats Monthly, which is out now.

To watch Nick’s video review, click here

 

Light winds turned the 2014 event into an endurance test with the slowest ever winner; 715 finishers and 791 retirees. This extremely light winds, at times recording zero knots, turned the 2014 J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race into an endurance test for its participants.

 

Held yesterday on Midsummer’s day, the race was one of the longest in the history of the 83-year-old race. There were 715 finishers and 791 retirees; race organisers said it is always regrettable to have more retirees than finishers but there was a very positive response from the majority of competitors nonetheless.

The slowest elapsed time for a line honours boat ever recorded in the race’s history was 08.51.37 achieved by Team Richard Mille on their GC32 foiling multihull – almost three times slower than last year’s winning time of 02.52.15, set by Sir Ben Ainslie’s AC45 catamaran team.

Most of the 1,585 entries started the race around the Isle of Wight in around three knots and bright sunshine and as the hours went by, temperatures rose but wind speed dropped leaving hundreds of boats becalmed and a large proportion of the 16,000 crew desperately seeking ways of making their boats go faster or resorting to stretching out on deck to enjoy the sunny conditions.

There were several standstills for many boats during the race, and other times when it was the tide, rather than the wind, that powered the yachts along.

First to the Needles was Jamie McGarry and Colin Moore’s Swan 45 Eala of Rhu but the going was slow and Sir Ben Ainslie, racing on the Farr 45 Rebel with members of his BAR America’s Cup crew, took longer to complete the first 13 miles than the record-breaking time he took to finish the entire race last year.

Rebel very quickly became involved in a match race with rival Farr 45 Toe in the Water crewed by injured servicemen and women who had served recently in Afghanistan and the lead swapped several times over the 50nms course though it was Capt Lloyd Hamilton’s ecstatic crew who nudged across the finish line ahead of Ainslie and his team of professionals.

‘This means everything to us,’ he said recording a time of 8 hours 51 minutes 39 seconds.

He added: ‘The guys are ecstatic at beating Rebel. They don’t know many of the America’s Cup sailors but they know and love Sir Ben Ainslie, so are thrilled.”

Racing debuts pay dividends
Another big battle to ensue on the water was between the brand new high-performance catamarans, the GC32s Team Richard Mille and Spax Solution making their racing debuts in the Solent.

Former line honours winner Pete Cumming had gathered together a professional crew for Team Richard Mille, including helmsman Paul Campbell-James and proved consistently faster than their rivals.

They took five long hours to reach St Catherine’s Point where the sea breeze kicked in to give the leading boats a big push over the next two hours towards the finish but just as they were within sight of the line, the wind in Stokes Bay died and their final flourish was delayed by a further hour to record a finish time of 8 hours and 51 minutes.

Cumming said: ‘It wasn’t the easiest race but these boats are superb – very fast even in light airs and fun to sail.’

First monohulls in battle royale
First monohull across the finish line was Dutch boat Tonnerre de Breskens, with a time of 9 hours 56 minutes 13 seconds but they too had a battle royale to gain an advantage over Mike Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe II, which trailed in just 22 seconds later after one of the biggest tests of endurance and patience since the Round the Island Race started in 1931.

The first Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust yacht, Scarlet Oyster, crewed by PBO News Editor Laura Hodgetts, trust volunteers and six young people crossed the finishing line at 5.57pm – almost 10 and a half hours after setting off at 7.30am.

A total of 24 teenagers took part on the trust’s five yachts. Dame Ellen and a crew aboard the trust’s flagship yacht Moonspray were forced to retire, after becoming becalmed off Dunose.

Twelve hours after the first start, 246 boats had finished and a further 445 had retired but the rest were still out on the course valiantly trying to make the finish before the cut off time of 10pm.

Prize giving
The Gold Roman Bowl was awarded to a Folkboat, Madelaine, skippered by Edward Donald, who hasn’t quite achieved the record four wins of the Gold Roman Bowl by Edward Heath but he’s nearly there, having won it individually three times and the Donald family has collected this famous trophy four times.

The Tenacity Trophy, awarded annually to the skipper of the last boat home. This year it fell to Stuart Whitmore to win the applause. He crossed the finish line on his Sigma 33, Sixes and Sevens, (IRC3) at 21.51.35, having started his race at 0730 – 14 hours, 21 minutes, 35 seconds later.

Event organiser, the Island Sailing Club, runs the event with support from title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the race partners for 2014: Dream Yacht Charter, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney, Raymarine, Red Funnel, Volvo Car UK.

Find the full results click here

See full article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has submitted plans today for a new lifeboat station in Scarborough.

 

The charity submitted the plans to Scarborough Borough Council for a new boathouse to replace the existing building on Foreshore Road in the town.

A larger building is needed to house the new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat.

In 2015, Scarborough RNLI’s current all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs, will be nearing the end of her operational life.  She will be replaced by the newest member of the RNLI fleet.

Scarborough will be one of the first of the charity’s lifeboat stations to receive a Shannon class lifeboat and Supacat bespoke launch and recovery vehicle.

The new plans are designed to offer the necessary extra space required to store the Shannon class lifeboat and Supacat launching vehicle. This will also mean the lifeboat and launch tractor can remain coupled together, which will speed up the launching process. Additionally, a space will be created within the station to enable the charity’s lifeguards to store the equipment for their summer beach safety patrols.

The build is expected to cost around £3million.
It will be funded from various RNLI sources including several generous legacies, donations and money from a variety of past fundraising activities.

Once planning permission has been granted for the new lifeboat station and the contractors have been appointed it is hoped that the build will be completed within a year.

The lifeboat station has been designed by long-established York architects Brierley Groom.

Andrew Ashton, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager, said: ‘The new lifeboat station plans were conceived not only to provide the extra space needed to accommodate the new Shannon lifeboat, but also to upgrade the volunteer crew’s facilities to a standard befitting the next generation of lifesavers.

‘The crew will have a superior space for interactive training, and they’ll also benefit from a state-of-the-art drying room for their kit, which will improve their comfort. The building will also utilise the latest eco-friendly technology, including a ground source heat recovery system.

‘Members of the public have always been encouraged to visit the station, but now they will have the advantage of a more interactive experience in the ‘encounter space’, where temporary exhibitions can take place.

‘Visitors will also be able to see the new Shannon at her best from an enhanced viewing gallery. The station shop will be upgraded and developed too, which will make for an improved retail experience.’

John Senior, Scarborough RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: ‘We’re very excited about the plans for the new station, although naturally we’ll be sad to say goodbye to the current boathouse when the time comes.

‘The building has a long and distinguished history, and it has certainly served us well in providing a base for saving lives at sea.’

 

See article at Practical Boat Owner – Click here

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