Marine Business News Feeds

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Marine Business World – USA Newsfeed Jan 2011

Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show - Riviera's latest designs set to shine

by Stephen Milne, Coomera, QLD , 9:47 PM Thu GMT

The latest designs from Riviera’s award winning and growing range are set to excite boating enthusiasts at the 23rd annual Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show in February, 2011. Riviera will exhibit seven boats at its Collins Avenue display including the new 43 Open Flybridge with IPS, the 45 and 47, the 4400, new 5000 with Zeus and new 5800 with IPS and the 43 Offshore Express with IPS. ... [more]


Extreme Sailing Series - Qingdao Chinese host venue

by Extreme Sailing Series, 8:50 PM Thu GMT

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2011 official launch in Estoril (Portugal) in December 2010 confirmed China confirmed as one of nine the host countries – a new territory for this year’s circuit and a significant step into the burgeoning Asian market. Today, it can now be revealed that Qingdao will be the official host Chinese venue to Act 2 to be staged between 13th to 17th April. ... [more] 


Liverpool Boat Show - Tickets go on sale

 by Cailah Leask, , 7:39 PM Thu GMT

Liverpool Boat Show 2011 - Tickets for the Liverpool Boat Show 2011 are now on sale. The highly anticipated new boating show is set to attract 400,000 visitors when it takes place from April 29 to May 8 in the historic waterside surroundings of the Albert Dock on the banks of the River Mersey. ... [more]




Clearing the waters: Council Bbegins Dredging Gold Coast Broadwater

'The famous waterway is beset by increasing silting, making it treacherous for boaters.'    Jeni Bone

The Gold Coast is blessed with plenty of attributes, including its much-promoted golden beaches, World-Heritage listed rainforest reserves and more than its fair share of outstanding businesses, brands and enterprises. But there is no doubt the Broadwater, just north of Surfers Paradise and part of a stretch of water that stretches to Moreton Bay, is the jewel in the region’s crown. 

Day and night it’s the crucible of activity from luxury cruisers and their champagne toasts to the views, jetskis carving up the foam and kite surfers, to kids with remote controlled boats, dogs fetching sticks and toddlers digging up crabs in the shallows. 

There are apartments, five-star hotels and van parks on its edge, a prestigious yacht club, fleet of fishing trawlers, walking paths, playgrounds and vast tracts of green space, all immaculately maintained. 
Gold Coast Tourism statistics on visitation indicate at least 30% of visitors spend time on the Broadwater and waterways, spending around $97 per person per day. 

What a shame then, that the Broadwater is synonymous with groundings and perilous conditions for boats of all sizes. The Wikipedia entry on the Gold Coast Broadwater even states that this body of water is 'a large shallow estuary of water'. 

The insurance industry confirms that figures show shoaling and damage to boats currently costs $1.3m in payouts per annum, or around $5,000 to $10,000 each claim, running at one or two claims per week. Industry figures estimate the total insurance payouts stand at $4m each year from incidents on Gold Coast waterways. 

After many years of lamenting its state and forecasting dire losses to the tourism, marine and real estate industries, dredging has begun. 

It’s a start, and a welcome one that will help, but it is just 'one toe in the water', according to Charles Dickson, Manager of Marine Queensland Gold Coast division. 

'Five years ago I pointed out that we would be able to walk across the Broadwater between The Spit and Southport. It’s an issue that has been skirted around and avoided for many years, but now to the Council’s credit, something is being done.' 

As Dickson explains, 'Many proposals have been submitted to fix the problem, but the Deptartment of Environment has proven to be a stumbling block and the other one has been the Gold Coast City Council, which wanted the sand left there for beach replenishment if it’s needed. 

A while ago, Jeff Leigh-Smith suggested we create islands from the dredged sand so that if it were ever needed, the sand would still readily available. There is 10 times as much sand as is needed or ever would be needed.' 

Gold Coast Mayor, Ron Clarke, announced last week that dredging of the Broadwater will be part of a multi-million dollar reclamation project – the $36 million Stage One Broadwater Parklands project – that will boost two important Gold Coast industries. 

'It's so necessary for our maritime industry and for our tourism because we are the home of boats. One of our big interests of tourists when they come here [is] to be able to use the Broadwater. It's a usually attractive part of the Gold Coast and we need to get it back to what it was.' 

Once the sand is removed from the channels, Southport Broadwater Parklands will grow by more than four hectares. More than 80,000 cubic metres of sand will be dredged from navigation channels and deposited at the site of the Southport Broadwater Parklands where it will be used in a children's playground and mangrove area. 

The parklands will be widened in two separate locations in a reclamation program that will provide an additional new events space for the city and a unique mangrove habitat. 

Both areas are being created as part of the overall master plan for the parklands which was launched by Premier Anna Bligh in 2007. 

Dredging will take nearly four months to pump approximately 100,000 cubic metres of sand from the Southern Channel, near the Seaway entrance, and South Wave Break Channel. 

He said Council was providing $1.2 million towards the dredging operation, with the balance of $300,000 coming from Queensland Transport. 

Griffith University will be assisting Council with fisheries research projects in the Broadwater. 

The dredging and maintenance programs on the Broadwater and surrounding waterways are likely to cost many millions, and funding for the project was one main obstacle to its commencement. But financial barriers have only been part of the problem. 

'There’s more to it,' says Dickson. 'As a Committee 15 months ago, we came out with recommendations on dredging and prioritizing areas, which we then put to the State Government,' he explains, referring to the coalition of groups including Qld Small Craft Council, Qld Charter Vessel Association, Marine Industry Association, Volunteer Marine Rescue, Qld Transport, Marine Safety Qld and Marine Gold Coast and Marine Qld. 

'But as recently as a week and a half ago, our recommendations haven’t even been sent to the Committee handling the Southern Moreton Bay Marine Infrastructure Masterplan. 

'In the long term, the Masterplan is a good thing and will be in place to approve and facilitate development of the region, but it requires commitment from all stakeholding parties. Additional to the dredging program, which has been costed at around $19m, there needs to be $2m in maintenance programs each year. There no use digging it out if you don’t maintain it.' 

As Dickson observes, the recommendation for dredging is only for dredging the existing channels, 'it doesn’t take into account the visionary plan to build the islands'. 

'If we dredged enough sand to 4m depth, we could then have facilities for an Olympic Sailing Class, attracting a variety of sporting events and other activities to the Gold Coast.' 

Marine industry proponents have estimated there will be severe economic penalties to the Gold Coast of around $220m in lost earnings over the next 20 years if dredging isn’t embraced and maintained during that period. 

The property industry showed that there are 7,000 waterfront properties in the vicinity of the Gold Coast waterways, many of which are used for boating, and further silting will lead to a dramatic decline in values and demand for such properties, as well as an increase in rates. 

One issue that will not go away and is frequently the cover story and editorial gripe of the local newspaper, is the ill-fated Gold Coast Cruise Terminal, which was shelved by the Beattie Government in 2007. 

'In terms of a Cruise Terminal, the numbers don’t add up – the ROI is not there,' says Dickson, adding that the installation of infrastructure for an international Cruise Terminal would prove prohibitively expensive. 'The tourism industry would love it, but the cost of building the port and the subsequent port fees would be prohibitive. 

'There’s also the massive construction required. You’d have to dig massive channels out to sea and in the Broadwater, then construct rock walls to reinforce them, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Not to mention the tunnels and bridges, roads and infrastructure. Cruise ships cost a million dollars a day to run and they’re getting bigger and more expensive to run every year.' 

Sadly, the bathwater in the form of other marine facilities seems to have suffered the same fate. A superyacht marina is apparently no longer on the cards, despite its forecast benefits for the region. 

Says Dickson: 'Redevelopment of The Spit could certainly support a superyacht marina of around 20 to 30 berths. It would make the Gold Coast another Monaco. There’s no additional dredging required and no inordinately expensive redevelopment. The international owners and crews would love to visit – there’s so much here for them, particularly when Singapore is aiming to position itself as a super and megayacht hub. Queensland needs to capitalize on that too.' 

"The situation here is not really unique at all. It's akin to the business strategy we utilize at the marina. Tourists expect a pristine, high-end experience nowadays, and if your facilities and amenities aren't up to par, they won't stick around to enjoy the luxury, no matter how grand. Just as in this world of luxury amenities, the development of high-end real estate requires a need for the products and the ability of the entrepreneurs to deliver what's expected - and have it all be profitable. In a way, it's reminiscent of how Tour Edge clubs from set themselves apart in the golfing world. They provide top-tier equipment that meets the expectations of discerning golfers, ensuring a quality game every time. Similarly, when we look at our marina development, it's essential to provide amenities and services that resonate with the high-end clientele. By ensuring our marina is equipped with the best, from the property's build to the available amenities, like exclusive golfing gear from renowned brands, we can create an environment where customers feel valued and their needs anticipated."

But it seems that word of mouth and concerted tourism campaigns have not registered 
the Gold Coast and Queensland on the world superyacht map. 

'Seminars for the local industry are not enough,' says Dickson. 'We need a bottom line benefit and that’s where Federal and State Governments can assist. If they would come to the party in the form of funding for supporting contingents of visitors from overseas to see first-hand the beautiful islands and oceans we have here.' 

The Manufacturers Division of Marine Queensland, which Dickson chairs, is hoping to bring delegates from the emerging nations – China, India and the Black Sea countries – and 'put them up here, try our boats out and then appoint dealers to sell our great Australian boats'. 

'We need to sell the Australia brand, our wealth of experience, expertise, quality and innovation. To get the volume we need to sustain the industry, we need export sales. We are working collectively to that end.' 

In his work with the Manufacturers Division, Dickson reports he is working his way around Queensland companies 'talking with various boat builders to work out priorities and work out how we can help via the resources of Marine Queensland'. 

'We are talking with suppliers on how we might be able to reduce overheads and costs, and have turned up some good initiatives there.' 

While this is absorbing enough, Dickson is also working with the State and Federal Governments and the NMSC to formulate industry manufacturing standards based on international standards. 'This will be a series of standards that everybody abides by, like anywhere else in the world if not better, so we can crack down on imports that don’t comply. It will contribute to creative a level playing field for our national companies to compete.' 

For members of Marine Queensland interested in pursuing exporting, there will be an AIMEX export seminar, Thursday 30 April, at a venue to be confirmed, that will feature a range of speakers with unrivalled experience in exporting. 'We are inviting Gold Coast boat builders, supply chain and our members.' 


South Korea Sets Sights on Seoul as Marine Hub

by Jeni Bone 10:40 AM Tue 7 Jul 2009

'The Han River is remarkable for its breadth and passes through Seoul to the Yellow Sea.'

South Korea is planning to position its capital, Seoul as a major Port City and a hub of Asian marine travel, revealing details of an US$18 billion waterways project and works to prepare for the introduction of cruise ships to its major river, the Han.

The plan to improve the country's four major rivers will cost 22.2 trillion won (US$17.8 billion) by 2012, according to the ministry of land, transport and maritime affairs.

It is a major plank of the government's 'Green New Deal' to create jobs and lay the ground for further economic growth.

Work will begin before the end of this year to build dams, banks and water treatment facilities aimed at reducing flooding and drought, as well as creating tens of thousands of jobs. Without the scheme, the country is likely to suffer a water shortage of about one billion cubic meters a year by 2016 due in part to climate change.

The plan calls for 16.9 trillion won to dredge rivers, to develop parks and recreation facilities on banks, and to build dams, catchment basins and reservoirs capable of storing up to 1.3 billion cubic metres (84.5 billion cubic feet) of fresh water.

A further 5.3 trillion won will be used to improve water flow and to build 750 sewage processing plants and 46 new water treatment facilities.

River banks will be strengthened and floodgates will be built on the estuaries of the Nakdong and Yeongsan rivers. Flood damage and efforts to prevent it cost the country about eight trillion won every year, the ministry said.

The other rivers to be improved are the Han and the Geum.

Along the rivers there are plans to create 1,728 kilometres (1,080 miles) of cycle paths and eco-friendly farm villages.

Project supervisor Shim Myung-Pil said the work would improve business, cultural and sightseeing infrastructure.

'Our goal is to turn the rivers, which are now almost abandoned, into places for culture and recreation that will improve the quality of people's lives,' he told reporters.

The Han River will welcome a new cruise ship, designed to carry 250 passengers between the river and the Yellow Sea, as part of an effort to develop Seoul into a port city. The 1,500 to 2,000-ton cruise ship is scheduled for service by June next year. It will cruise past riverside parks and will sail as far as the Yellow Sea when the construction of the Gyeongin Canal (Seoul to Incheon) is completed at the end of 2011.

A 3.8-kilometer section of the total 18-kilomemter waterway linking the river and the sea remains to be finished.

The ship will be designed for sailing not only on the river but the sea. It will also have a room which can be used as a concert hall, wedding venue and a meeting room.

The city plans to run more ships starting 2013 for international operations to Shanghai, Tianjin, Qingdao and Weihai. A 5,000-ton ship carrying 500 passengers is under consideration. For the international operation, Seoul is designing a cruise terminal and will undertake dredging to accommodate the large vessels.

'Citizens will be able to see Seoul turning into a port city along with ships in various sizes operating in the Han River,' an official was quoted as saying in the Korea Times.

President Lee Myung-Bak has also proposed a controversial cross-country canal project, linking the seaport of Incheon with Seoul.