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Practical Boat Owner: Scotland explores the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites.


The world’s largest floating offshore wind development will be installed off the coast of Peterhead after the application has been granted a marine licence by the Scottish Government.

Statoil propose developing a pilot park of five floating 6 MW turbines which is to be located approximately 25km off the coast of Peterhead with a generating capacity of 135GWh of electricity each year. It is expected that the Hywind Scotland development could power up to 19,900 houses.

Unlike conventional turbines, Hywind turbines will be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system.

The turbines will be connected by an inter-array of cables and an export cable will transport electricity from the pilot park to shore at Peterhead.

The Carbon Trust believe that floating wind concepts have the potential to reduce generating costs to below £100/MWh in commercial deployments, with the leading concepts such as Hywind, with even lower costs of £85-£95MWh.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: ‘Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it’s a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world’s largest floating wind farm.

‘The momentum is building around the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites. The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology.’

Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions Irene Rummelhoff said: ‘Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source. Statoil’s objective with developing this pilot park is to demonstrate a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase the global market potential.

‘We are proud to develop this unique project in Scotland, in a region that has optimal wind conditions, a strong supply chain within oil and gas and supportive public policies.’

The Royal Yachting Association is taking a keen interest in this and other floating offshore wind developments, particularly as operational safety zones are being requested by developers and in the case of Hywind, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has not supported the developer’s application for them.

See article at Practical Boat Owner



Categories: Ability, At sea

Motorboat & Yachting: Superyachts built in North America and the Caribbean will have comply with a new emissions limit on NOx emissions from next year.


The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is cracking down on superyacht NOx emissions, with a new limit due to be imposed next year.

The new Tier III limit on NOx emissions is 74% lower than the outgoing Tier II and will apply to all vessels built in the USA and Caribbean from January 1 2016.

This is likely to hit the superyacht industry hardest, as the limit only applies to recreational vessels that measure more than 24m in length, weigh more than 500 tonnes, and have engines with a total power output in excess of 130KW (excluding emergency back-ups).

And with the widespread trend towards driving down gross tonnage, the IMO has stipulated that the weight limit will be removed from the regulations in 2021.

Peter van der Heijden, managing director at NPS Diesel, told Yachting Pages: “Many technologies already comply with PM (soot) and NOx regulations, and the marine industry has fallen behind, it is the last in the row.”

He added that such restrictions are likely to be applied to the Mediterranean within the next twelve months, which could drive up costs for the big yards.

According to Mr van der Heijden, potential ways to comply with the latest NOx emissions include using advanced no-soot diesel filters that have been widespread in the automotive industry for many years now.

See article at Motorboat & Yachting

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.

See article at Yachting & Boating World

Motorboat & Yachting: The MAIB has released its report on the Brixham powerboat accident in May that killed 14-year-old Emily Gardner.


The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has delivered its report on the Brixham powerboat accident that killed 14-year-old Emily Gardner back in May.

And although the report makes no formal recommendations, there are plenty of valuable lessons that boatowners can learn from this tragic event.

Firstly, that giving children ill-fitting buoyancy aids can increase the risk of them snagging on a mooring cleat. Also that boats built before 1996 should be purchased with caution as they do not have to conform with the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD).

The MAIB explains that Emily Gardner took to sea in a group of six people at around 1100 on Saturday May 2.

The trip went ahead despite local weather warnings of “Wind east south east (ESE) at 15-17 knots (Force 4-5). Significant wave height 1m”.

The father of one of Emily’s friends was at the helm of a Fletcher 115 powerboat, which was fitted with a 75hp Mercury outboard engine.

The boat was accompanied by two PWC users, one of which was a co-owner of the Fletcher. At 11:34 the skipper raised the revs to bring the boat onto the plane, but less than a minute later a large starboard wave caused the vessel to capsize.

The skipper and two of the passengers were thrown into the water, but Emily was trapped beneath the waves by her buoyancy aid, which became snagged on an aft mooring cleat.

The situation was worsened as the weight of the outboard engine dragged the stern down to a depth of 4m, leaving only the bow exposed.

Lessons learned
The MAIB report contains several valuable lessons for boatowners to help avoid incidents like this from happening again.

The most prominent of which is the need for children to wear appropriately sized buoyancy aids.

Emily was wearing an adult’s extra-large buoyancy aid (pictured right) with a chest size of 44-50 inches, and the MAIB reports that its bulkiness increased the likelihood of it snagging.

What’s more, since the Fletcher 115 in question was built in 1989, it did not need to comply with the 1996 RCD requirement for open boats to float horizontally when upturned.

The MAIB explains that if the boat had completely inverted, then the other passengers would have been able to disentangle Emily’s buoyancy aid more quickly.

The cause of the capsize is partly explained by the unfavourable weather conditions, but also by the lightness of the bow-end fuel tank, which had only been filled with £20 worth of petrol, resulting in insufficient ballast.

The report also explains that the outboard engine had been refitted with a five-bladed propeller to improve acceleration, and this may have played a contributory role in the boat’s capsize.

Finally, the skipper was not wearing a killcord at the time of the accident, which the MAIB says “highlights the need to continue raising awareness of the issue in the speedboat community”.

The Royal Yachting Association and the British Water Ski and Wakeboard Association has ensured that all of these points are covered in their training syllabi, and the MAIB has made no official recommendations to Fletcher, Mercury or the RNLI.

The full 12-page report on the Brixham powerboat accident can be downloaded from the MAIB website (1.4MB PDF).

See article at Motorboat & Yachting



Categories: At sea, Rescue at sea

Pratical Boat Owner: A 10m yacht that ran aground two miles north of Hook Head, in County Wexford, Ireland is believed to have drifted free from its moorings.


Volunteer lifeboat crew launched yesterday morning following reports of the grounded cruiser. Upon arrival, the lifeboat crew found the unmanned yacht sitting deep in the water, perilously close to the rocks.

First on scene was Fethard RNLI Inshore lifeboat whose crew established a tow with the yacht, however this proved unsuccessful.

Shortly after, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat arrived on scene and put two crew on board the casualty vessel with a pump to try and drain the water from the yacht and establish a tow to recover it to a nearby harbour.

However, once on board, the lifeboat crew discovered that the yacht had taken on a large amount of water and that it was in danger of sinking.  When they attempted to establish a tow the vessel dangerously dipped low into the water and the attempt was abandoned.

The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter Rescue 117 were also called out to the incident.

A decision was taken to leave the vessel as it was determined that the crew were in danger if they stayed on the yacht.

Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat spokesman Neville Murphy said, ‘The yacht had taken on a huge amount of water and as such it proved too difficult to safely recover her.

Once it was established that there was no threat to life and it was clear it was too dangerous to safely recover the vessel we made the right decision to step away.’
At present the vessel is still aground and an attempt may be made to recover her at low water.

See article at Pratical Boat Owner

Pratical Boat Owner: The wife of an imprisoned drug smuggler and three others have been jailed for their involvement in a plot to smuggle more than a tonne of cocaine into the UK on a yacht.


The conspiracy centred on the yacht Makayabella, which was intercepted by the Irish Navy of the south-west coast of Ireland in September 2014.

Cocaine found on board would have had a likely street value in excess of £160million, had it been cut and sold in the UK.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Dawne Powell, 56, played a crucial role in the purchase and insuring of the vessel, paying for flights for the crew and a satellite phone.

The yacht, skippered by her father-in-law John Powell, was tracked as it crossed the Atlantic from the Caribbean in an operation involving the National Crime Agency (NCA), French, Irish and Venezuelan authorities, the UK’s National Maritime Information Centre and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (MAOC-N) in Lisbon.

The boat was due to transfer its illicit cargo to a powerboat, the Sea Breeze, skippered by Stephen Powell, Dawne Powell’s husband, and crewed by Philip McElhone, 30, and David Webster, 44.

However, the plan hit the rocks when the Sea Breeze ran out of fuel on the way to the rendezvous. It was rescued by the RNLI and towed to Rosslare in Ireland before returning to Pwllheli, north Wales.

Mrs Powell was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of money laundering following a week-long trial. She was cleared of conspiring to import class A drugs.

Co-defendant James Hill, 31, who had assisted her husband, was sentenced to six years after being found guilty of conspiring to import class A drugs.

McElhone and Webster both pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and were given sentences of 11 years each.

David Norris, NCA branch commander, said: ‘We have successfully dismantled an organised crime group intent on flooding the north of England with illegal drugs.

‘This was a colossal seizure, and I’ve no doubt that had it not been stopped the cocaine on board the Makayabella would have ended up on our streets.

‘Dawne Powell has been found guilty of laundering money which was used in the purchase of the vessel. This enabled the conspiracy which Hill, McElhone and Webster played important roles in.

‘This investigation has relied upon international co-operation to bring it to a successful conclusion, and we will continue to work with our partners at home and abroad to disrupt and bring to justice those involved in drug trafficking.’

The convictions mean eight people are now behind bars in connection with the Makayabella smuggling attempt.

Stephen Powell was jailed for 16 years in December 2014 for orchestrating the smuggling attempt. He initially disappeared, but following publicity about the seizure and an NCA raid on his home in Guiseley he handed himself in.

The three men who were on the boat when it was stopped, Stephen Powell’s father John, from Silesden, West Yorkshire, Benjamin Mellor from Bradford and Thomas Britteon from Grimsby were handed sentences of between 10 and eight years after being arrested by An Garda Síochána and prosecuted by the Irish authorities.

Specialist Crown Prosecutor Tarryn McCaffrey said: ‘When the Makayabella was seized by the authorities, it contained over a tonne of cocaine being transported from Venezuela. Dawne Powell and James Hill may not have sailed either of the boats used to import the drugs, but the scheme could not have been run without their involvement.

‘The street value of these drugs would have been £164 million had this massive shipment reached the intended destination, it is vital this type of organised crime continues to be disrupted and offenders brought to justice.’

See article at Pratical Boat Owner



Categories: At sea, Boats, Yacht Technology

Pratical Boat Owner: A yacht that crossed the Atlantic after being abandoned more than a year ago has been sunk just as its owner made a last dash to retrieve it. Yacht owner Thomas Mallunat left the boat, Troll, in October 2014 near Bermuda because of a medical emergency with his wife.


Although never expecting to see it again, he was advised of a recent sighting by an Irish Maritime Patrol Aircraft and travelled to Cornwall in the hope of retrieving the boat, however it had been sunk in the meantime.

Spokesman for Defence Forces Ireland said the Naval Service received some correspondence from Mr Mallunat after the yacht had been sunk last month.

The spokesman said: ‘Although obviously disappointed, he does not seem to bear any ill will to the Irish Naval Service and appears to accept the rationale. He had in fact left hatches open when he abandoned it as he did not want the empty boat to be a hazard.’

This cruiser was adrift in the UK Search and Rescue area of responsibility (that lies within the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone).

At the request of the UK Coastguard (from Falmouth MRCC), the L.É. EITHNE sunk the yacht Troll in position 49 18.85N 010 32.36W on the evening of 19 August 2015.

This position was approximately 131 nautical miles south west of Mizen Head, on the south west coast of Ireland.

The spokesman said: ‘This was a prudent measure taken because the vessel was adrift in the transatlantic shipping lanes and was deemed to be a navigation hazard to merchant traffic. No pollution emanated from the vessel when it sank.’

See article at Pratical Boat Owner

Three people were rescued from their sinking yacht in the Indian Ocean – thanks to assistance from the Falmouth Coastguard.

The crew – all British – had been desperately pumping and bailing out the UK-registered vessel as it began taking on water after suffering serious damage to its main rudder.

Falmouth Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) received an emergency positioning beacon alert (EPIRB) from the 45ft yacht at 0830 yesterday morning.

Falmouth MRCC asked the captain of a tanker in the region – the Maersk Mediterranean – to divert to the yacht’s location, around 300 miles south of the Seychelles.

Bad weather, with rough seas and wind speeds in excess of 25 knots, meant the ship’s progress was slower than normal, and the yacht’s crew were preparing to abandon ship and take to a life raft when they were finally rescued at around 0045 this morning.

The Falmouth MRCC had also alerted nearby authorities, including the Seychelles Coastguard, and other resources in the region, but the yacht’s remote location meant that a rapid rescue was not possible.

Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager, Martin Bidmead, said: ‘We are very relieved that the Maersk Mediterranean was able to reach this yacht in time and rescue the three people on board.

‘As first point of contact for the EPIRB alert, we were able to coordinate the rescue remotely, staying in contact with the yacht and updating crew with the progress of the rescue.’

All three people on board are reported as being uninjured.

Picture: A Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Operations room
See article at Pratical Boat Owner – klik her



Categories: At sea

Moving tribute from families of the lost sailors aboard the foundered yacht Cheeki Rafiki have issued a statement thanking all those who signed a petition to get the US Coastguard to re-start the search.



“We would like to say how indebted we are to the public for its overwhelming and unprecedented support. In the end this petition gained 240,000 signatures. That is equivalent to the population of a city the size of Southampton.

This has helped quell our distress somewhat, but in particular Paul, Steve, James and Andrew would have been enormously touched to have known that they were in the minds of so many people. It would have brought them great comfort in their moment of need and could, just could, have made a vital difference in saving their lives had the circumstances only been different.”

The yacht a Beneteau First 40.7 was lost in the North Atlantic while the crew were on their way home form Antigua Sailing Week.

A statement from the petition organiser, Nicola Evans, read: ‘On behalf of the friends of the Cheeki Rafiki crew, thank you so much for signing this petition and for all the support you have shown. Sadly, the outcome wasn’t a happy one, but your support has meant a great deal to us, and having started this petition for friends, we are so grateful.

‘Our thoughts are of course with all of the crew, their friends and families. In particular, members of last year’s Cheeki Rafiki Fastnet crew, including myself, who were due to take part in this year’s Round Britain and Ireland race with Andy. We were looking forward to sailing with him again.

‘In tribute to Andy, we will now be racing to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The RNLI are an amazing UK based charity who save hundreds of lives at sea every year, and are dependent on donations from people like you. If everyone who signed this petition gave us a pound we could fund a new life boat! Anything you can give would help show your respects.’

For the full story on the tragedy see Yachting Monthly Summer issue.

Read article at Yachting Monthly – click here



Categories: At sea

Yachting & Boating World: Ten men rescued from the water as tensions escalate in dispute over oil rig the South China Sea.

Vietnamese fisherman claim that their boat was sunk in an attack by a Chinese vessel during a skirmish in a disputed area of the South China Sea.

The Vietnam coast guard have said that the boat was surrounded by 40 Chinese vessels before one rammed into it, knocking 10 men overboard and sinking the vessel.

But the official Chinese state media body Xinhua said that the Vietnamese boats were “engaging in harassment” and caused the collision.

All the men were rescued and no one was injured.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated since China positioned a controversial oil rig called Haiyang Shiyou 981 in an area claimed by Vietnam, Philippines and three other nations. The moved sparked deadly anti-Beijing protests in Ho Chin Minh City.

China says that Vietnam has “on many occasions dispatched various boats with the sole intention of harassing Chinese-linked companies drilling in that part of the ocean”, according to a report by BBC News.

Vietnam has sent dozens of patrol boats to confront the rig and China has responded by deploying a number of vessels to protect it.

Vietnam claims they have been attacked with water cannons and their boats have been rammed into, damaging the vessels and injuring some workers on board.

Read full article at Yachting & Boating World – click here



Categories: At sea

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