Yachting World: More than 20,000 people flocked to view the classic boats moored in central London over the weekend. An average of 1,000 visitors an hour poured into the former wine and ivory docks to see the boats moored there.

 

The St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival 2014 broke all previous records with attendance and boat numbers. More than 45 historic and classic vessels were crammed into the ancient dock, two of them, the motor-vessel Havengore, which carried wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s coffin to Westminster in 1965, and Pioneer the magnificently restored East Coast Skillinger, were forced to remain moored in the lock, as the dock itself was full to bursting.

The festival included several of the Dunkirk Little Ships that took part in ‘Operation Dynamo’ in 1940, including the recently restored gaff-rigged cockle boat Endeavour from Leigh-on-Sea, and a sample of the boats that participated in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in June 2012. Even Gloriana – the Queen’s Row Barge was on special display.

First-time participants this year included an Essex Smack built in the 1860s, a yacht built for sailor Humphrey Barton, an Oyster Smack, a Danish sailing trawler, and a Fairey Huntsman 28.

Yachting Monthly was invited to present the prizes for the best-dressed vessels. Cruising editor Dick Durham sailed his own boat there – Wendy May a 1936-built 26ft gaffer designed by Maurice Griffiths – to judge the winners and the prize-giving was held aboard one of the historic craft – Cambria, the last vessel to trade under sail alone, which aptly enough Dick was mate aboard in 1970 when she discharged her last freight.

The winners were 1st: Sunbeam, a fully restored Colchester smack, whose skipper/owners, Nigel Butt, Tim Bradshaw and Tony Arnaudy were flying more match-winning pennants than any other craft. To them went a plump hamper donated by Tom’s Restaurant and Deli. Second came the beautiful Creag Dubh, whose light display put Southend Pier in the shade. Her skipper, Ian Ruffles, won a year’s subscription to Yachting Monthly.

This annual free event forms part of London’s ‘Totally Thames’ Festival and welcomed the return of many vessels from last year’s Festival as well as over a dozen new participants bringing an esoteric collection of boats.

With a large display of vessels being featured, this year’s popular event had expanded into the west marina for the first time, and included the sailing research vessel Song of the Whale. The west marina was also home to the UP Projects’ ‘Floating Cinema’ barge, showcasing arts.

With vessel information boards positioned around the central marina, visitors were able to learn about the background and stories surrounding the vessels.

Dockside activity included sea shanty singers and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

 

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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

 

A Google executive who was found dead on his 50ft yacht in November last year was killed when a prostitute injected him with heroin, say Police in Santa Cruz.

 

Alix Tichelman, 26, was arrested on July 4 and later charged with manslaughter and other charges over the death of Forrest Hayes, a 51-year-old engineer and married father of five who had worked for Google, Apple and Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley.

Police say they have uncovered video footage of Ms Tichelman injecting the victim with heroin on the yacht and leaving when he suffered a bad reaction to the drugs and fell unconscious.

Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said Ms Tichelman could be seen calmly gathering her possessions as Mr Hayes lay dying.

“The video shows the victim suffering medical complications and going unconscious,” Clark said. “Rather than provide first aid or call 911, Ms Tichelman proceeds to gather her belongings including the heroin and needles.

“The video also shows Ms Tichelman stepping over the victim’s body several times as she is gathering her belongings.

“At one point, she steps over the body to finish a glass of wine. Finally, she leaves the boat and reaches back in to lower the blind and conceal the victim’s body from outside view.”

According to KSBW.com, the two met through a website called Seeking Arrangements which aims to connect “sugar daddies” with “sugar babies” for “upfront and honest arrangements with someone who will cater to your needs”.

On her Facebook page Ms Tichelman describes herself as an aspiring model, makeup artist, writer, exotic dancer and ‘hustler’. She is being held on bail for $1.5m in Santa Cruz County.

 

See article at Yachting & Boating World – click here

 
 

Thousands are expected to flock to London’s St Katharine Docks this Saturday to welcome the Clipper fleet home. But dramatic footage has been released today of the moment the GREAT Britain team were hit by a tornado as they competed in the Clipper Round the World yacht race.

The 12-strong Clipper Race fleet will return to London this Saturday, 12 July 2014, after covering more than 40,000 miles between six continents over eleven months.

A total of 670 novice sailors from all walks of life, aged 18 to 74, were trained to take on the biennial endurance challenges, currently in its ninth edition.

Crew have experienced a wide range of weather conditions from the benign to the extreme: in addition to the tornado incident they have endured being knocked down by giant waves, battled hurricane force winds, dodged icebergs and growlers; extreme heat and cold; been on the alert for pirates; had coast guard assisted medical evacuations and rescued of a man overboard after being lost in a Pacific storm for more than an hour.

The footage of the tornado was captured by a fixed on-board camera attached to the mast looking down towards the stern. It shows the team in challenging conditions a week out of Australia heading towards the equator with heavy rain and squalls battering the fleet.

The waterspout was pretty invisible in the conditions at the time and hit without warning, rolling the boat through 120 degrees pinning the mast down on the ocean’s surface in swirling winds over 100 knots.

Crew are thrown into the sea on their tethers and scrabble to hang onto the boat which starts to right itself as the tornado passes and is visible in the upper left hand side of the screen disappearing into the distance as the crew start to clamber back onto their feet.

Crew member Paul Hardy, aged 43, an IT consultant from Brighton is seen desperately trying to grab onto the mast after he is submerged into the sea as the yacht is hit by the tornado.

He said: ‘All of a sudden the wind picked up and the noise picked up…water started to rise and I knew there was something wrong… I tried to get out of the water and climb up onto the mast and then saw the water spout.’

Saturday’s homecoming schedule
Thousands are expected to descend on St Katharine Docks to welcome the Clipper crews back to London after 11 months circumnavigating the world.

But even those who cannot attend the big event will be able to watch the action online thanks to a Live Stream, which will be available from 11:45 BST (1045 UTC/GMT), by clicking this link.

 

The Clipper Race fleet are expected to finish racing in the early hours of Saturday, ready to parade up the Thames at 07:30 from Southend.

Timings of the best vantage points to watch the fleet:

  • 10.00 – Parade of Sail starts
  • 10.19 – QE2 Bridge at Dartford
  • 11.48 – Thames Barrier
  • 12.01 – Dome
  • 12.12 – Greenwich
  • 12.30 – Canary Wharf Pier
  • 12.45 – St Katharine Docks
  • 14.00-15.00 – Final prizegiving ceremony at St Katharine Docks

Find out more at www.clipperroundtheworld.com
See full article and video footage at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 

The Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed, has announced that it has agreed seabed rights for six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones and five new wave and tidal current sites around the UK.

 

Project sites announced include: Portland Bill, England; Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland; Stronsay Firth and the Mull of Galloway in Scotland; and Holyhead Deep in Wales.

Demonstration sites announced include: North Cornwall Wave Hub, North Devon Wave Hub, South Pembrokeshire Wave Hub in England; the Isle of Harris and Islay in Scotland and West Anglesey in Wales.

It marks the first time that the Crown Estate will enable locally-based organisations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers.

Rob Hastings, Crown Estate director of energy and infrastructure, said: ‘By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy.

‘This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones to give other organisations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas.’

Greg Barker, Minister for energy and climate change said: ‘Today’s announcement is a great step for the development of wave and tidal stream industries. Wave and tidal stream are growing green, clean energy sources which have the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth, from exports alone, a possible £4billion per annum by 2050.’

The locations for the demonstration zones and project sites include three off the coast of England, four off the coast of Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and three off the coast of Wales. 

Organisation – Location – Zone type/project name

Wave Hub:

North Cornwall; Wave demonstration zone

  • North Devon; Tidal stream demonstration zone
  • South Pembrokeshire; Wave demonstration zone

Siemens MCT:

  • Dorset, Portland Bill; Tidal stream project site
  • Northern Ireland, Strangford Lough; Tidal stream project site
  • Scotland, Mull of Galloway; Tidal stream project site

EMEC:

  • Scotland, Isle of Harris; Wave demonstration zone
  • Scotland, Islay; Tidal stream demonstration zone
  • Scotland, Stronsay Firth; Tidal stream managed test facility project

Menter Môn:

  • Wales,West Anglesey; Tidal stream demonstration zone

Minesto:

  • Wales; Holyhead Deep, tidal stream project site

The Crown Estate launched the wave and tidal current leasing process in October 2013 and these new demonstration zones are in areas specially chosen by The Crown Estate for their suitability for test and demonstration activities.

With this leasing process now complete, the next stage is for the demonstration zone managers to start to attract developers for the zones and to undertake further work, such as gathering environmental data that can help developers with the consenting process.

RYA concerns
Of the 12 zones and sites announced the Royal Yachting Association has raised ‘particular concerns’ about plans to place a further tidal current installation in Strangford Lough.
 
Stuart Carruthers, RYA cruising manager, said: ‘We made it clear in our response to the consultation phase that the RYA does not believe that this area is suitable for a demonstration development. Further tidal current installations will compound navigational problems for legitimate users of the sea.
 
‘Recreational boaters are already having difficulty navigating safely with the combination of the SeaGen Tidal Turbine which is very much a surface piercing hazard (particularly when the beam is raised) and the Routen Wheel, a nearby area of whirlpools and overfalls.

‘Any further devices will only compound the problem.’
 
The site is located in ‘the Narrows’, the tricky entrance to and exit from Strangford Lough, with the tidal flows in the entrance reaching speeds of up to 7.5 knots at springs. In strong onshore winds breaking seas can extend well over a mile SE of the entrance. Even in much calmer conditions standing waves may be encountered.

He added: ‘We will be working to ensure that the installations are sensitively located in order not to block or restrict traditional navigation routes where tidal currents are utilised for safe and efficient passage making, such as around the Mull of Galloway and Portland Bill.

‘And that they are adequately marked with proper hazard marking and lighting and take into account underwater keel clearance.’

 
Any projects must go through the statutory planning process, including stakeholder and community consultation, gaining consent from relevant planning authorities before any development can take place.

 
See full article at Pratical Boat Owner  – click here

 

Boatowners are urged to check the state of their boats before venturing on the tidal Thames, following an increase in the number of mechanical incidents.

 

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has advised boatowners to make sure they carry out routine mechanical inspections before heading out onto the tidal Thames. The warning comes after an increase in the rate of mechanical incidents reported on the river, with 11 in the six weeks around Easter.

Skippers are encouraged to check they have sufficient tackle and are able to anchor safely in the case of difficulties such as engine failure. The PLA adds that navigating the tidal Thames can be tricky, with up to 1.2m waves and a tidal flow of up to four knots.

Darren Knight, assistant harbour master (recreational) at the PLA, said: “Owners need to be sure that their vessel is in a reliable condition and able to cope with these demands, where engines will have to work much harder than normal. “They also need to pause and think carefully as to whether their vessel is suitable to navigate on the tidal Thames.”
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

AOC Group has put a 200-acre private island just off the coast of Sardinia up for sale, but Isola di Mal Ventre comes with a catch.

 

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of owning their own private island? The allure of a Robinson Crusoe meets Richard Branson lifestyle is an undeniable as it is expensive. But what if you could own your own island for less than £1 million? Surely there’d have to be a catch, right?

AOC Group is selling a 200-acre island off the coast of Sardinia for 1.2 million euros (£952,000) and the only catch is; it’s empty.

Isola di Mal Ventre has been inhabited on-and-off since the Roman times and has a well and building foundations, but as far as man-made structures go, that’s about it.

Instead, the new owner is promised “beautiful sandy beaches” and “a wide variety of flora and fauna”. The sellers even suggest that it “may be possible to construct a jetty”, allowing short hops to the mainland in a matter of minutes.

What’s more, they quote a local architect, who says that a “low-rise eco-style villa” could be constructed on the largely granite island.

Private islands don’t often go up for sale in the Mediterranean, and AOC Group estimates that this is the only one currently on the market.

 
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 

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

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