Motorboat & Yachting: The new Raymarine VHF units include a compact model and an option for a built-in AIS receiver at Fort Lauderdale Internationale Boat Show.
American marine electronics giant Raymarine has unveiled its latest range of products at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. New to the VHF radios range, the Ray70 (pictured) is being launched as the company’s flagship marine radio, with a built-in AIS receiver that should make installation simpler.
The new Ray60 and the compact Ray50 models have been updated with noise-cancelling technology, higher quality speakers and a new design to match the latest Raymarine displays.
Also confirmed at the Fort Lauderdale show is the news that Raymarine’s Lighthouse operating system will be getting an update before the end of the year. Raymarine Lighthouse II Version 12 will allow skippers to view four videos feeds at once and use any one of them to take snapshots or record video.
The update will be free to download from the Raymarine website, and the new VHF radios are priced as follows: Ray70 (£496+VAT), Ray 60 (£285+VAT), Ray 50 (£200+VAT). Additional microphones will be made available for £137 each (exc VAT).
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Yachting & Boating World: Sailor Roger Pratt was murdered onboard his yacht in St Lucia earlier this year. The widow of yachtsman Roger Pratt is concerned she could have to wait up to five years before the four men accused of his murder go on trial.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Margaret Pratt, 60, describes how she’s become increasingly frustrated with the “delays in the judicial process” in St Lucia, despite an “impressive” response to the case initially.
Mrs Pratt and her 62-year-old husband had been moored in the commercial port of Vieux Fort when intruders attacked them on board their 41ft yacht Magnetic Attraction in January.
Mr Pratt died trying to defend his wife and Mrs Pratt was later treated in hospital for cuts and bruises following the incident. Speaking earlier this week, she said: “Initially it was very impressive, the Royal St Lucia Police really put a lot of effort into getting evidence and preparing the case.
“More recently I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the slowness’s in the judicial process and the delays in the judicial process. I’m now concerned that it may be four or five years before this case comes to court.”
In a statement, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) denied that the legal process had “stalled” but did admit that they were dealing with a “backlog” of cases.
“While I understand Mrs Pratt’s frustration, one has to get an understanding of how the criminal justice system works and take into account the available resources,” they said. “The office of the DPP has the responsibility to prosecute criminal cases before the courts. Currently there is a total of over 2,000 cases in the high court and these cases are dealt with according to antiquity.
“The fact is that the criminal justice system does not have the resources (judges, prosecutors, physical resources and support services) to handle this volume of cases expeditiously and so there is a backlog.”
Since the death of Mr Pratt in January, the four men charged with his murder have appeared in court for a number of pretrial hearings and are due to attend a hearing today (31 October) regarding robbery charges.
The defendants were committed for trial over the murder charges on 17 October and the matter was adjourned to 6 February 2015 for the crown to report on the indictment.
A trial date is yet to be set.
Motorboat & Yachting: BMF Scotland, RYA Scotland and Scottish Canals are all involved in the new tourism drive.
The BMF hopes to turn Scotland into a “first choice” destination for boatowners by 2020, as part of a new tourism campaign. To this end, a group of nine industry bodies, including RYA Scotland, Scottish Canals, Sail Scotland and VisitScotland, have drawn up a new Marine Tourism Strategy for Scotland.
As part of their research, the group found that the boating industry contributes £366million per year to the Scottish economy. However, it is believed that this number could be increased significantly and the report calls the Scottish marine industry a “sleeping giant”.
The overall aim is to transform Scotland’s reputation as a boating destination by 2020, with an emphasis on high quality and value for money. The report claims that Scotland has “some of the world’s most beautiful and varied boating waters”.
Examples given include Portavadie Marina (pictured above), which was extensively upgraded last year and benefits from 70ft berths and deep waters, thanks to its man-made lagoon setting.
Martin Latimer, vice-chairman of BMF Scotland, adds: “Although the Scottish marine industry has been a major contributor to the tourism economy, only recently have the government and agencies grasped its real potential for growth.”
Boat owners are encouraged to contribute to the Marine Tourism Strategy for Scotland by completing BMF Scotland’s online survey.
To read our feature on why moving your boat to Scotland could be the best decision you’ve ever made, pick up the December edition of MBY, which is out 6 November.