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Highfield Boats - Power - LEADERBOARD

Business as usual (in this most unusual environment)

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com 3 Apr 01:00 PDT
The very new Maritimo X50 on her way down from Lake Macquarie to Broken Bay in NSW © John Curnow

Just like the bulk of the industry, Powerboat-World is kicking on. Unlike many parties, however, our purely digital format has required nary a tweak to it, as we bring you the latest releases and pertinent news.

Amongst it all I couldn't help to wonder if a boating escape never looked better amid the COVID-19, so set about ascertaining just how things are. Did not have to go too far, with Maritimo's, USA-wide, factory direct sales offices and dealer network fully operational. Dave Northrop, Maritimo Americas' President reports strong enquiry from boaters, commenting "Existing owners are looking forward to the coming summer boating season as they drop plans to take overseas vacations, or go on cruises."

"Whilst other activities are restricted, staying at home means people are looking at going boating with their families, enjoying nature and life on the water. Getting out on the water, avoiding crowed environments like airports and subways, looks very appealing to many."

Interestingly, all this is not just sales speak, for they had been completing four handovers in just three days. One of these was to a couple that moved straight onto their boat and plan to stay on it whilst travel and work restrictions remain in place...

"Our Australian design team continues to design and build our range of race-bred luxury motor yachts, channelling the spirit that lead us to secure the 2019 UIM XCat World Championship. We're sticking to our product release program for 2020, despite the postponement of major boat events. The Maritimo dealer network around the globe has made specific arrangements to demonstrate the latest M Series, X Series and S series motor yachts, as well as the new performance-enhanced R Series Sports Motor Yachts."

"We are conducting one-on-one VIP showings, and also walking people through these models online with video chat and virtual walkthroughs being arranged for interested buyers," said Northrop.

Maritimo has factory-trained dealers in Florida, Washington, California and Michigan. "The opportunities we have on offer at the moment with a wide range of new and used motor yachts in the water ready for immediate delivery are unbeatable."

"So yes, we believe now is the time to enjoy the ultimate escape of boating and with fuel reaching multi-year lows, the exchange rate firmly in favour of USA buyers and a number of race-bred new models on offer there has never been a better time to buy," said Northrop in closing.

Back on the other side of the Pacific

I touched base with our friends at Ribco to learn that they had delivered two Ribco vessels to the highly-regarded and exclusive charter operator, Ocean Dynamics. Based out of Airlie Beach, they are sole operator from the Intercontinental Hotel on the glorious Hayman Island.

On their shopping list were the specific requirements for comfort, speed, and economy, as they looked to change out of their existing vessels. They were also looking to have an even more exclusive offering to guests and needed a vessel commensurate with this level of tour.

The ability to travel at speed in offshore conditions was a key determinant, and they trialled the Venom 44 at 55 knots on a journey from Sydney to Pittwater, and signed straight after as it excelled for their specialist requirements. Previously they had only been able to get 39 knots from the existing vessel, so going faster added the option of the Yongala outer reef dive trip completed in the one day. The vessel is now in survey for up to 14 passengers, travelling at 50 knots out and back in safety.

Having the economy/range to complete the trip is just part of the suitability of these large RIBs for the type of activity being undertaken by these operators, who previously would have used more industrial vessels for the purpose. The build quality and speed of these Ribcos means they can expand the scope of their activities further, but more importantly underscores the reasons for purchase by recreational users, who can also rely on the durability of the craft that are put to the test by these sorts of operators, day in, day out.

The aesthetic of the Venom 44 added to both the appeal and ability to market their offering to well healed and discerning clientele. Ocean Dynamics liked the Venom 44 so much they bought a R28S to serve as tender to their fleet of larger vessels, and also provide for smaller group snorkelling tours and the like. A third vessel, a Venom 39, will be delivered later in 2020 to be based out of Airlie Beach operating luxury family day tours to various locations in the Whitsundays.

Back at the base in Greece

Ribco's recently opened, larger, all-in-one shipyard and modern facilities, which are now fully operational, are still operating under Government licence (as a producer/exporter) in the current environment. The yard is currently completing a new Seafarer 33 for Ribco Australia to introduce later in 2020, just in time for Summer.

Stelios Ladopoulos, Ribco's Owner, says he built his perfect boat with this model. It is part of a popular range that suits more of an SUV style of buyer. They still have all of the hull design features for speed and safety, but with some more amenity to make it more tractable for use by families for instance.

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about fast displacement craft from Sirena and Horizon, powercats, electronics, Lobster Boats of one sort or another, Gamefishermen par excellence, hybrids and electrics like the cats from Nova Luxe, Back Cove 39 Outboard taking shape, the 70 Skylounge from Monte Carlo Yachts, Alia's stylish Rüya, the brutal, delightful, and stylish Otam 70HT with Arneson surface drives, Sunreef to build a 100' powercat, the futuristic Dynamiq GTT 160, sales of Triton subs confirm they are the new go-to toy for superyachts, as well as much, much more below. If you cannot see them all, please go to the other editions, found in the drop down menu on our website, right up the top right.

So as you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Speak with you again, very, very soon. Time to go boating now...

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com

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