Motorboat & Yachting:The Ponam-31 continues the Japanese car giant’s flirtation with the marine sector. Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has released the latest flybridge model in its Ponam range of motorboats, which stretches back to the late 1990s.
Released earlier this month (10 October), the Ponam-31 is a flybridge model that Toyota describes as a Sports Utility Cruiser, since it is powered by a pair of the three-litre 257bhp engines used in the company’s Land Cruiser Prado Sports Utility Vehicle.
Priced at 27.9 million Yen (just over £160,000), the Ponam-31 is likely to be a big seller in Japan, with Toyota’s 49-strong local dealer network expected to shift 15 units per year. The 34ft aluminium-alloy hull is the basis for a flybridge model with a single central passage and a variety of layout options, accommodating up to 12.
On the outside, the automotive-style rear spoiler is a subtle nod to its maker’s day job. Optional extras include Toyota Drive Assist and the Toyota Virtual Anchor System, which helps skippers keep a straight heading.
Yachting & Boating World: Two young men were rescued off the coast of Chichester after their GP14 capsized in a sudden shift of wind direction, which broke the dinghy’s boom.
Two men were rescued off the coast of Chichester after making a mayday call via VHF. The pair had been sailing in the area when they decided to venture out of the harbour, not realising that the strong south westerly wind over a rapidly ebbing tide had produced a lumpy sea off the harbour mouth.
As they sailed into this area the wind suddenly veered to north westerly and gusts increased under a weather front, which produced heavy rain. The GP14 came off a wave and the wind caught it, breaking the boom. With the mainsail billowing, the boat capsized. The crew attempted to right the boat but with the sail full of water, they snapped the centerboard.
After calling for help via a waterproof VHF radio, Hayling Island RNLI attended the scene within seven minutes, finding the boat being pounded by waves.
One of the crew said he felt unwell after swallowing sea water so was taken aboard the lifeboat and taken ashore. A volunteer crewmember stayed at the scene in a Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC) rib, righting the dinghy with the second casualty aboard. The man was now very cold and suffering from hypothermia and was quickly taken ashore by the HISC rib where ambulance personnel met him.
Following the incident, the lifeboat organised a tow for the batter dinghy with an RNLI crewman onboard. The RNLI’s Colin Parke said: “It was pretty rough so that when a wave overtook me I lost sight of the lifeboat until I rode the next wave!”
Both men recovered quickly in the lifeboat station and were declared fit and well by ambulance crew.