October 31, 2008

Monthly News - October 2008

- pic of the month - Maritimo Muster

Azimut to Increase Production Capacity and Introduce 2 New Lines

Azimut Yachts, a leading brand in luxury yachting, is getting ready to face the recently begun yachting season with an ambitious growth plan that has two main thrusts: enrichment of the range, aimed at responding to the requests of an increasingly demanding clientele, and development of new production sites, needed in order to significantly increase the number of boats built each year. With regard to new products development, alongside the traditional flybridge and "S" lines, which will be enriched with new models to take advantage of all the opportunities on the market, two new lines are set to make their debuts: Leonardo and Magellano, each designed for a very specific type of customer and therefore destined to attract new classes of owners. With its Leonardo line, Azimut Yachts aims to offer its customers custom-tailored boats to enable maximum enjoyment of socializing at sea. They will be boats characterized by roomy interior spaces, extremely pleasurable and luxurious, with special attention to the saloon, conceived as a large loft. Other distinctive aspects will be the large terrace on the sea and the care lavished on the interior design, inspired by the most sophisticated, modern trends. The Magellano line is instead aimed at a more mature customer who may have already had a Fly and wants to strike out on a new adventure, fully living the sailing experience but without forgoing comfort. So Magellano will be focused on those who have an authentic passion for the sea, who like long trips (the Magellano boats have a range of 1,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of over 20 knots) and aren't afraid of adverse weather conditions but nevertheless want to surround themselves with fine details and luxurious finishings. The design of the Magellano line was entrusted to the noted architect and designer Ken Freivokh, already the author of highly successful yacht designs. The production capacity, concentrated until now in Avigliana, will be more than doubled thanks to the use of new shipyards (in Avigliana, Viareggio and Savona) but especially thanks to the birth of a new production facility at Arbatax, in Sardinia, where the company recently purchased a third of the former Sardinian paper mill (around 100,000 m2) in order to convert it into an important new production center. With these prerequisites Azimut Yachts plans to present nine new models to the market in the next 14 months. The first two, made their Italian debut at the Genoa Boat Show, are the Azimut 82 and the Azimut 70.

Baglietto General Manager Resigns

Italy's Gruppo Baglietto has revealed that Francesco Pisciotta, general manager of Cantieri Navali Baglietto, is to resign from his position on October 31, 2008. The role will be filled by Maurizio Cei, Cantieri Navali Baglietto's CEO.

Baglietto Opens London Sales Office

Gruppo Baglietto is proud to announce the imminent opening of a new sales office in London headed by Mark Cavendish. Mark Cavendish, previously Sales and Marketing Director of Benetti shipyards brings to Baglietto over 20 years of experience in the international yachting industry. Gruppo Baglietto London will support the Commercial and marketing department of Gruppo Baglietto, lead by Fabio Ermetto.

Bavaria New Chief Executive Officer

Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH, one of the largest global sail and motor yacht builders, announced that Andres Cardenas has been appointed chief executive officer, effective immediately. Cardenas replaces Kay Schwabedal who has left the company by mutual agreement. Bavaria Yachtbau expressed its appreciation to Mr. Schwabedal for his contributions over the past year. Mr. Cardenas’s professional career spans more than 17 years with logistics companies in the automobile and boatbuilding industry where he established a strong track record as a chief executive officer and general manager. Most recently, Mr. Cardenas, age 48, led the Rodman Group - Spain’s largest producer of motorboats, effectively repositioning the company’s international business and driving new product development. He previously served as head of Logistica and Akront S.A., and in senior management positions with Opel and BMW, where he successfully implemented a series of initiatives driving the firms’ reorganization, performance and international positioning. Mr Cardenas, a native Spanish, grew up in Germany and lived in Germany for more than 20 years. Andres Cardenas is a technical engineer by training and holds a MBA-PDA degree from IESE in Spain.

Beneteau Enters Luxury Yacht Market

The Bénéteau Group, the world number one for sailboats and the European leader in the 5 to 15 meters powerboats market, is preparing for its arrival on the yacht market (powerboats over 15 meters). In Italy, which leads the way in luxury yacht design and innovation, the Group has just created Monte Carlo Yachts SPA, the company that will be responsible for developing a new range of Open and Fly-Bridge Yachts. The Group is entrusting the management of this new company to the Italian manager Carla Demaria. Carla Demaria has forged her career within the Italian group Azimut-Benetti, where, for over 20 years, she served on its management committee, and since 2002 as the President and CEO of Atlantis. The experience she has built up and her in-depth knowledge of the market have also seen her being appointed Vice-President of UCINA, the Italian yachting federation.

Benetti Successful Shows

Benetti’s order book is constantly filling up even in this period of a rather unfavorable international economic situation. It seems as if the shipyard in Viareggio has not been affected by the crisis as it is celebrating the nautical season with four new contracts over and above the three with which they inaugurated the 2008-2009 nautical season, being a 60 m, a 45 m, a 30 m and two 85’. There have been many appointments fixed by "hot" clients totaling 850, distributed over 3 nautical shows being 232 at Cannes, 398 at Monaco and 221 at Genoa. The French shows were attended mainly by clients from Eastern Europe, whereas Genoa was attented by Italian, English and French clients. To this must be added the visits to the stand mainly during the Genoa exhibition by student bodies, by students of the Nautical Institute and final year student in naval engineering and trade schools particularly by carpenters that the said group organizes in cooperation with professional institutes to recover short-handed professionalism, which in this case refers to the shipwrights.

Bertram Announces 2 Year Warranty Program

Building a Bertram Yacht is a pledge of passionate craftsmanship. The production behind these yachts is a beautiful combination between creative engineering, advanced technology, quality construction, fine materials and especially the dedication of those very individuals that manufacture the luxury vessels, some of whom have been building Bertram's since the company’s inception in 1961. To prove Bertram Yachts longstanding commitment to excellence, the leading sport-fish manufacturer is spearheading a new initiative that is sure to give the brand a true competitive advantage. Bertram stands strongly behind its product and is so confident that it is announcing a limited warranty that will now be extended to two years on manufacturer built construction and encompasses five years for the yachts hull and fiberglass structural components. This new two-year warranty period will apply to all 2009 and future Bertram yachts; this is a distinctive offer in the sport-fishing yacht industry. The new warranty program is an all encompassing process that starts with a new tracking program that facilitates faster claim processing. Alpha Data Systems, a boating industry company that focuses on warranty claim systems, has provided a software platform that was altered to fit the unique Bertram parts and claims process. Dealer service organizations are able to submit claims using the on-line platform and are provided with on-line training to support their use of the user-friendly program. The new two year warranty period under the Bertram Limited Warranty will cover repairs or replacements for defects in warrant able items manufactured by Bertram for two years from the date of purchase. Additionally, all of the yachts hull and its fiberglass structural components will be covered for a warranty period of 5 years.

Fiart Wins Boats of the Year 2008 / 2009

In the gala night organized on the 8th October 2008 at Villa Lo Zerbino the nomination for the Boat of the Year, Motor section was won by the new Fiart 4SEVEN Genius. From the renowned Italian builder, the new model represents an example mixing latest new technology with traditional workmanship. In less then 15 meters the new Fiart offers great maneuverability, intelligent use of spaces. Very clever the solutions of the aft bathing platform and the hard top with soft top opening in Kevlar, not adding much weight to the boat.

Fountain Wins Second Powerboat P1 Championship

The Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com offshore powerboat team, piloted by Craig Wilson and James Sheppard, captured the necessary points for a back-to-back championship title. In very rough seas off the southern coast of Portugal, the Fountain team ran a conservative race focused on keeping their nearest point’s challenger behind them. With a third place finish in race number one of the Portuguese Grand Prix of the Sea, the team ended up on the podium, but more importantly they earned the right to call themselves Powerboat P1 world champions for the second consecutive year. In a series covering 7 countries, and 2 continents, Powerboat P1 is a true international series with teams from all over the world. With the competition model of P1 featuring a horsepower to weight ratio formula, the series provides a level playing field for marine manufacturers to test their products, and demonstrate their capabilities. Boat builders, engine builders and drive train manufacturers compete head-to-head, with representation from both the United States and Europe. For the marine manufacturers, the level playing field offers the opportunity for true ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ promotion. This philosophy is the life blood of Fountain Powerboats, the builder of the repeat championship winning boat. Fountain is based in Washington, NC, and has built a reputation on winning races and taking that winning technology to the consumer. The Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com team is powered by Ilmor V-10 engines, the marine version of the engine that powers the awesome Dodge Viper. Paul Ray, President of Ilmor made the trip the Portimão to watch the team, and was thrilled with the outcome.

Grand Banks Launches Microsite on Fuel Economy

Grand Banks Yachts today launched a new "microsite" – a specialized section of its main corporate web site – designed to offer information, insights and comparisons about the fuel economy of today’s Heritage, Eastbay and Aleutian models. The microsite includes several sections, including an overview of new electronically-controlled diesel engine technologies that enable today’s GB owners to gain fuel efficiency even with bigger, faster engines. The site also compares third-party information about the fuel burn rate of older GBs with smaller engines to today’s GB models, and offers testimonials from owners about the fuel economy they have observed first hand. Other sections provide tips on how owners can help to make their boats more fuel efficient, and provide observations that can help boaters evaluate their options when it comes to matters of speed vs. fuel costs.

Luhrs and Mainship Centralize

US boatbuilders Mainship Corporation and Luhrs Corporation will close their St Augustine, Florida plant and relocate their operations to Luhrs Marine Group's existing Millville, New Jersey production facility. The transfer of tooling will commence immediately. Beginning in January 2009, Luhrs and Mainship models will be manufactured concurrently with Silverton and Ovation units. The decision was made by John and Warren Luhrs after an 18-month critical evaluation of the production and cost efficiencies that would be realized by the centralization of the power boat division in Luhrs Marine Group's New Jersey manufacturing facility.

Maritimo Muster a Huge Success

Maritimo Offshore, manufacturer of luxury long-range cruisers recently held its biggest ‘Maritimo Muster’ ever with the running of the second annual Queensland Muster. A total of 15 luxury Maritimo vessels took part the Muster which was run from Hope Harbour on the Gold Coast to Port Hinchinbrook in far-north Queensland. The 13-day Muster took in a round of the Australian Offshore Powerboat Championships at Redcliff on its way north. The Maritimo Musters are free to all Maritimo owners and are designed to help owners get the most out of their boats as well as to allow them to socialise with other owners and talk about their boats. Participants can enter and leave the Muster at different ports and there are lay days where activities like golf, sightseeing, shopping or enjoying some of the local restaurants can be enjoyed. This year’s Muster travelled through some of Australia’s most spectacular cruising grounds including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and the Whitsundays.

Maritimo Positive Italian Show

Long-range luxury cruiser builder Maritimo on Australia's Gold Coast has reported a successful Genoa International Boat Show, which saw the yard sell both its display boats and secure three further orders. The news follows the lay offs which the yard says was a result of the loss of more than AU$20m in international orders, due mostly to the global financial downturn. Maritimo CEO Bill Barry-Cotter says that the current economic climate is 'not all doom and gloom' for Australian exporters. The CEO foresees a positive 2009 for Maritimo's American operation.

Mochi Wins Innovation Award

Mochi Craft last week received the "Gran Premio per l'Innovazione" or Prize for Innovation, at the Genoa Show. The award, presented by "Vela e Motore" magazine, was given to the Ferretti Company for its new Long Range 23. The Long Range 23, launched at the Genoa show, was hailed by the magazine for its "Zero Emission Mode" hybrid propulsion system and the innovative FER.WEY (Ferretti Wave Efficient Yacht) trans-planning hull. The hybrid engine was earlier acknowledged by RINA with its "Green Star Clean Energy and Clean Propulsion" rating, Italy's most stringent green certification for pleasure craft. The award ceremony was held at the Villa Zerbino with more than 300 guests that included entrepreneurs, designers, technical experts and industry professionals.

Morgan Yacht for Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has commissioned the construction of the Morgan Yachts flagship, the Fast Commuter Morgan 93, which will be delivered in the summer of 2009. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, protagonist of both the automotive and design worlds, has chosen a Fast Commuter which is unique. Morgan, in fact, is one of the few shipyards that still builds these classic megayachts which were used by New York tycoons to commute from Manhattan to Long Island during the period between the end of the 19th Century and WW II. The Morgan 93, designed by Tom Fexas who is among the most important naval architects in the world, is a real cult icon, where technology and style combine and intersect to create extraordinary details. The 93 is the flagship of the Morgan range, and a symbol of class and exclusive refinement. It has a unique appeal which envelopes the boat owner and his guests in an old-world dimension. The visual impact is one of harmony between a modern and performing fiberglass hull and a classic, solid wood-paneled superstructure. The result is contemporary comfort adapted to a welcoming and elegant 1950s ambiance which is both intimate and inviting. Every detail and option has been seen directly by the future boat owner in collaboration with the Morgan Style Center in order to create a tailor-made product where the keyword is excellence. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, former president of Confindustria, is at present President of FIAT Spa, President of Ferrari Spa and the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS).

Mustang Prepares for New Growth

Australia's Mustang Marine, which is now owned by Asia's Standard Bank, is preparing for a new stage of growth with the re-launch of its brand and several new models. The company says that the recent signing of a new dealer in Thailand and Singapore, combined with its commitment to grow its international dealer base, is testament to its focus on the future. Mustang is currently putting the finishing touches on its new 430 Sports Coupe, which will make its debut on Australia's Gold Coast in December

Sea Ray Passes Four Million Work Hour Safety Mileston

Sea Ray Boats' Riverview facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, recently surpassed 4 million work hours without a lost-time incident. A lost-time incident is an injury that prevents the employee from returning to work the next day. According to a statement, the Riverview plant reached 4 million time-loss-free hours on September 12, 2008, after completing four years and 10 days of safe operation.

Sealine Pulls Out of London Boat Show

Sealine International will not attend the 2009 London Boat Show in light of the 'current economic climate and its impact on the global leisure marine market'. Sealine traditionally has one of the largest stands at the London show. The news follows last week's announcement that Sealine is scaling back production in 2009 across its three sites at Kidderminster, Hartlebury and Burntwood, resulting in the loss of almost half its workforce. The company says it will attend one major boat show per country in each of its major European markets in 2009. Sealine will attend the Southampton show rather than London in the UK. The boatbuilder will be present at Düsseldorf, Moscow, Cannes, Genoa and Barcelona. Sealine, a subsidiary of Brunswick Corp in the US, builds sports cruisers, flybridge cruisers and motoryachts from 8m-18m (25ft-60ft) in length. The company produces more than 300 yachts a year and employs 660 staff.

Sunseeker to Appear in Quantum of Solace

Three Sunseeker craft to appear in Quantum of Solace. The much-anticipated new James Bond film QUANTUM OF SOLACE, due for UK release on 31 October, will feature two Sunseeker motoryachts in one of the biggest-ever 007 boat chases – as well as a further Sunseeker model. It’s the fourth consecutive time Sunseeker’s world-leading luxury motoryachts have appeared in a James Bond release. Daniel Craig reprises his role as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures release of EON Productions’ 22nd adventure in the longest-running film franchise in motion picture history. The film is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay was written by Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. Filmed on location in Panama in March 2008, the boat chase sequence – which took three months of preparation and comprised of more than 100 boats in support – features a lead role for the Sunseeker Superhawk 43 – from one of the company’s high-performance range. A part of Sunseeker’s proud history will also appear in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, when one of the company’s very first open-cockpit speedboats is used to transport James Bond. Originally built in 1970, the Sunseeker Sovereign 17 was fully restored in 2005 to celebrate the company’s early years and long history designing and building luxury motoryachts. The Sunseeker 37 Metre Yacht M4, one of the company’s latest and largest vessels, will also appear in the film. Sunseeker’s 37 Metre Yacht is the company’s most ambitious build in more than 45 years and the largest semi-custom production motoryacht ever to be built in the UK. Cameo Role also for Chairman Robert Braithwaite, the scene filmed on location in Italy in April 2008, features James Bond in an original Sunseeker Sovereign 17 one of the company’s very first open-cockpit speedboats. Robert Braithwaite’s appearance in the first boat he ever built is a shining example of how the company has grown over the past 35 years, as Sunseeker International is widely recognised as one of the finest marine brands in the world today.

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