Just quietly, marine technology has progressed in leaps and bounds

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  20 May 2013
 



Just quietly, marine technology has progressed in leaps and bounds



But I'm here to tell you that the boating world has evolved while we weren't looking and that innovation has found its way into marine technology, as it has in most other industries.

This point was rammed home loud and clear, recently, when I started the quietest outboard I've ever 'not' heard. In fact, if Mercury's new 150hp four-stroke was any quieter at idle it would be bereft of life. Deceased. An ex-outboard.

They really are the future of engines, with smooth acceleration and superb fuel economy to boot.

I tested the new 150 on a pair of Quicksilver runabouts and was blown away by the performance. While both rigs weighed over a tonne they leapt out of the hole with a burst of throttle.

The 3-litre, four-cylinder powerhead offers more displacement than any other 150 and it's the lightest four-stroke in that class by a considerable margin. Mid-range thrust is perhaps a tad below that of the supercharged Mercury Verado but the motor still reaches full power with limited stress.

Simplicity, durability and affordability more than compensate as well. It has a single cam shaft and two-valve head, with the cam shaft driven by a maintenance-free chain instead of a timing belt.

Look Ma-ritimo, no hands! Twin Disc's EPS holds a steady position when needed.  Mark Rothfield

In the cruiser world, meanwhile, gearboxes and electronics have also reached a new zenith with Maritimo 56 owner Roy Wells, from Port Lincoln, becoming the first boatie in the world to experience Twin Disc's Express Positioning System (EPS).

Scary as it sounds to have a 30-tonne monster impersonating the Marie Celeste on a crowded waterway, the technology allows the skipper of a shaft-driven motoryacht to safely leave the helm.

The system automatically controls the propellers and thrusters to maintain station regardless of wind and tidal conditions.

As Roy Wells says, the major benefits have come when docking: ‘We can all get into a bit of trouble docking in big weather but even in a strong wind I can hold this boat close to the dock for as long as I wish.

‘It's invaluable when I'm alone – I just press the hold station and then have time to set the fenders and sort the ropes. I also use the system when I am out fishing as I can finesse the boat to keep the fish exactly where I want.'

Imagine remaining stationary above a fishing hotspot without the need to anchor or drift. It's mind-blowing stuff for we old seadogs.

Boat show season kicks off this week with the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, so get along and see what's really out there. You'll be amazed.

We have lots of boating news ahead of the show, so read on.


Mark Rothfield



Beneteau bargains at Sanctuary Cove Boat Show
Creating Demand,
Beneteau dealers Spirit Marine and JW Marine will be on hand at the upcoming Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show to promote a selection of the latest yachts and boats from the iconic French boat builder.... [more]
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Integrity Motor Yachts show-stopper promotion
Creating Demand,
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, Integrity Motor Yachts and their national dealer network will be offering a once in 25 year deal.... [more]
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AB Inflatables, new model: Mares 10
Mike Orsmond,
AB Inflatables saw the need to provide a new generation of light weight, centre console RIB tenders and so rewrote the rule book to create a new range under the Mares brand.... [more]
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New NEEL 60 shatters convention with impressive results
Multihull Solutions,
NEEL Trimarans continues to set the benchmark in innovation with the launch of the new NEEL 60.... [more]
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Chaparral rolling out new models at SCIBS
Dani Limback,
Chaparral Boats have an impressive line up earmarked for the upcoming Sanctuary Cove Boat Show including two stunning Queensland debuts.... [more]
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Pacific Motor Yachts appoints new manager
Propel PR,
Gold Coast based Pacific Motor Yachts has announced the appointment of Scott Davis to the position of Brand Manager for Prestige and Jeanneau Motor Yachts.... [more]
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Momentum builds for the 2013 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,
With international delegations arriving and hundreds of leading exhibitors locked into a multi-million dollar display across land and water, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) (Thursday May 23-Sunday May 26, 9am-5pm) is charged and set to celebrate 25 dynamic years.... [more]
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Sparkling Fairline launches at Boating Syndication SCIBS display
Imprint Media,
Boating Syndication Australia will launch a new model into its fleet at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show next week.... [more]
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Laser Lawsuit - Kirby┬┤s dramatic move
MarineBusiness-World.com,
Kirby Inc. yesterday dramatically increased the pressure on LP, ISAF and the ILCA when they asked the US Federal Court in Connecticut to issue a prejudgment remedy against LP. If this was to be granted as requested LP and its associates would be unable to build Lasers or have anyone else build them for them, while the Courts then could take their time hearing the case.... [more]
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RYA is reminding everyone of the need to wear kill cords
Louise Nicholls,
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the RYA are reminding everyone driving powerboats and RIBs to wear a kill cord. In its bulletin the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) says that the RIB involved in the tragic accident in Padstow over the May Bank Holiday was fitted with a kill cord but that it was not attached to the driver at the time.... [more]
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Kayaker credits lifejacket for saving his life
AAP Medianet,
A man who survived more than six hours in the ocean off Port Stephens on Sunday night had hired a lifejacket just minutes before setting out in his kayak.... [more]
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Marine Rescue NSW to commission new offshore rescue vessel
Ken McManus,
At 11am on Saturday 18th May Marine Rescue Ulladulla will commission its new offshore rescue vessel, a fast response, long-cabin Steber 38, with deployment capability for up to 30 nautical miles offshore, at the Marine Rescue Ulladulla base, Ulladulla Harbour.... [more]
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Super special end of season Musto clearance sale
Musto Media,
Don't miss this super special end of season clearance sale of Musto technical and lifestyle clothing, with up to 75% off selected stock* (*samples and discontinued lines) at RAN Sailing Association from Friday 17 May - Sunday 19 May.... [more]
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Countdown til SCIBS 2013
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,
With just over a week to go til the ribbon is ceremoniously cut by Mayor Tom Tate for the opening of its 25th edition, organisers of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) promise a spectacular event this year to celebrate a quarter of a century since the show's inception.... [more]
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Marine Auctions - rise in enquiry indicates positive sentiment
Jeni Bone,
Marine Auctions will be hosting its next on-site auction at Runaway Bay marina on Queensland's Gold Coast, Sunday 26 May, coinciding with the 2013 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. And preliminary enquiries indicate, consumer sentiment is looking up.... [more]
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Chaparral rolling out new models at SCIBS
Dani Limback,
Chaparral Boats have an impressive line up earmarked for the upcoming Sanctuary Cove Boat Show including two stunning Queensland debuts.... [more]
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ASMEX attracts strong international contingent
AIMEX,
In a bid to strengthen business to business relationships on an international scale, organisers of the Australian Marine Export and Superyacht conference (ASMEX) have ensured a strong list of international delegates will be present.... [more]
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Simulators go live at BIA Melbourne Show
Greg Shoemark,
The 2013 BIA Melbourne Boat Show will have the ultimate interactive treat in the form of true-to-life simulators for both big ship navigation and small boat handling.... [more]
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Joystick option brings boating ease to a whole new level
Promedia,
With some of the weather conditions that are experienced around Port Lincoln boaties often need all the help they can get in maneuvering their vessels in that part of the world and Maritimo 56 Motor Yacht owner Roy Wells is one step ahead of all his counterparts.... [more]
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Alloy Yachts & Yachting Development win big at World Superyacht Awards
NZ Marine,
New Zealand marine companies have again taken out prestigious international awards with Auckland superyacht builders Alloy Yachts and Yachting Developments winning major trophies at the 2013 World Superyacht Awards at the Boat International Media Group-run ceremony in Instanbul, 4 May.... [more]
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Sailing Handicap Calculator - A distinct advantage on the water
Lachlan Ritchie,
Former Etchells world champion, Bruce Ritchie wishes there was such a thing as a sailing handicap calculator app when he competed on the international scene in the early 80s. This Sydney sailing veteran of 65 years may have proved himself on the water over the decades but working out handicap race result times both mid race and post-race had always proved an elusive task, until now.... [more]
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Another move made by WPPA to stage XCAT event in Stockholm
Karien Jonckheere,
With plans in place to host one of the international legs of the UIM XCAT World Series in the Swedish capital, XCAT action could as well take to the waters of Stockholm in 2014. A UAE delegation from the World Professional Powerboating Association (WPPA) visited Stockholm this week to discuss plans for a Stockholm race.... [more]
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