April 30, 2023

Monthly News - April 2023

-pic of the month- Dale Makes MBY Front Cover

Azimut-Benetti Chooses Public Investment Fund as Strategic Partner

Azimut|Benetti Group chooses the Public Investment Fund (PIF) as a new minority shareholder with a 33% share of the company. The sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, one of the largest in the world, joins the Group with the prospect of long-term investment to support the company's next phase of growth, guided by the strategic vision of the Vitelli family, which retains the majority stake.  As with previous transactions in the past, this will open up new strategic opportunities for the Azimut|Benetti Group. PIF's financial strength and synergies with other sectors will be able to support the Group in its dimensional and technological growth. In addition, the Group will benefit from PIF's prominent position as a leading global investor.  The transaction will be completed upon the favourable outcome of antitrust and regulatory clearances. With PIF, also TIP (Tamburi Investment Partner), already partner of Azimut Benetti for over 8 years, will remain in the Group's share capital with a reduced stake, a sign of the continuing confidence in the long-term growth of the Group and in the leadership of the Vitelli family.  Giovanna Vitelli, Chair of Azimut|Benetti Group, states: "I confirm the satisfaction and pride of the family for having earned - as the most important megayacht building group in the world - the trust of one of the largest global sovereign wealth funds, already present in luxury, technology and leisure. PIF will accompany Azimut|Benetti Group in the long term, offering strategic and important new business opportunities, including the Middle East, a geographic area which is undergoing strong development. The family, together with its trusted management, maintains large majority of the Group and its strategic direction".

Azimut at Milano Design Week

"The Sea Deck," the installation designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi for Azimut Yachts, arrives at the Darsena on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2023. Visitors will be welcomed until Sunday, April 23rd to learn about the desire to go beyond the expected and rediscover contact with nature as they might on boat the new Seadeck Series yachts.  Conceived as a floating promenade on the Darsena, "The Sea Deck" gives the city of Milan an unexpected experience of its ancient waterways and offers visitors the possibility to enjoy the water from a unique perspective, near Leonardo da Vinci’s historic canal.  "I am proud to present to the world, on the occasion of the event par excellence for to design, the Azimut Yachts revolution: boats with a green heart, the result of twenty years of research, for a new way of experiencing the sea" stated Giovanna Vitelli, chair of Azimut|Benetti Group.  The project seeks to re-propose the revolution that Azimut has introduced in the nautical world by inviting guests to embark on a journey and discover the technologies developed by the shipyard to reduce environmental impact and to share a moment of return to nature, the essence of navigation. For this reason, sustainable and recyclable materials have been incorporated in its realization, such as the flooring created with 2 million recycled bottle corks, which will go on to be transformed again into insulating material for architecture.  "We need to change our way of understanding sustainability, our mentality and our approach to nature. We designed The Sea Deck to give visitors the opportunity to experience the relationship with the waters of the Darsena and the urban space in an unexpected way, and discover a hidden piece of nature in Milan" confirmed the architect Michele De Lucchi.  "The Sea Deck" is accessed from the dock; once "on board," visitors can stroll - strictly barefoot - along the ring, which rests on the water, to reach the center of the Darsena; along the way, five terraces cantilevered over the water tell of the journey behind the shipyard's new Seadeck Series, the first hybrid series of family motoryachts that integrates the latest and greatest technologies designed to reduce emissions and energy consumption.  Visitors will be enticed by the experience of walking on water, on cork, barefoot.  A walk that encounters five interactive stations, telling the story of the new series of hybrid yachts born from Azimut's challenge to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption.  Each station is dedicated to one of the innovative solutions adopted.  The first stage reveals the green heart of Seadeck's design philosophy and technology: from the new hybrid propulsion to on-board systems to reduce energy absorption, from the installation of solar panels to the use of recycled materials up to the lightweight carbon fiber. A scale model of Seadeck 7, in white, gives off a green light that pulsates inside, recalling the green heart that powers the yacht.  Completely covered in carbon fiber, the second terrace is a clear reference to the material widely used by the shipyard. The Seadeck Series was made with the highest percentage of carbon fiber ever used by Azimut, amounting to 40% of the boat's surface. The use of carbon fiber makes it possible to reduce the weight of those parts by up to 30%, marking a significant contribution to the reduction of consumption and CO2 emissions.  The third station is dedicated to renewable energy. Visitors will be able to see two models, both with solar panels mounted on the deckhouse, emerging from the water. The Seadeck Series will be equipped with solar panels that help to recharge the latest-generation battery pack and extend zero-emission living at anchor.  On the next terrace, visitors can sit and rest on two cork stools designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi. In the place traditionally occupied by teak, Seadeck offers innovative, light and sustainable cork decking, while PET, a recycled material derived from plastic bottles, will be used for the construction of the bulkheads. Approximately 15,000 plastic bottles are expected to be reused for each Seadeck.  Finally, the last station is a reference to the hybrid engines of the new Series. Three painted propellers with integrated lights depict the Volvo hybrid engines that will be installed on board the new yachts. Seadeck will be the first Series in the world which, starting from 60 feet, will guarantee its owners all the advantages of hybrid propulsion, combined with on-board systems designed to reduce energy consumption together with a vast range of solutions to reduce emissions.  

Bayliss Celebrates 21 Years

April 15th marks 21 years of boat building for Bayliss Boatworks as a company. Entering this new decade, Bayliss can't help but to look back and see all that has been accomplished on it's ever-growing campus in Wanchese, NC.  34 new construction builds have been delivered, countless boatyard customers have passed through the slips, and an initial team of seven has grown to 115 strong. Bayliss appreciate all the support from the owners, captains, employees, families and friends that have gotten us to where they are today. Bayliss focus has now shifted to future endeavors of boatyard expansion and progressing itselve in every way possible. 

Benetti 2023 Yachtmaster Edition Dedicated to Sustainability

The American edition of Benetti Yachtmaster, the traditional event dedicated to captains of its mega-yacht fleet, surveyors, owner representatives and sponsors, was held at the Seagate Hotel in Florida on April 3 and 4. Under the banner of “Build Your Ideal Yacht”, this year’s event centred on the Yard’s 150th anniversary celebrations and once again on the theme of sustainability.  There were 50 participants, including over 25 captains.  The two days of this 23rd American edition of Yachtmaster, held at Delray Beach in Florida, were a great success, featuring both study and workshop sessions as well as team building activities. At this all-American edition too, the central theme was sustainability, a key value that sees Benetti working on multiple fronts to deliver a cruising experience that is increasingly environmentally friendly.  The event was opened on April 3 by Nick Bischoff, Country Manager Benetti Americas, who looked back at the milestones along the Yard’s last 150 years, making some interesting comparisons with the historical events that took place in the USA in 1873, before presenting the models in the fleet and other current and future projects. He also spoke at length on what Benetti is offering in terms of sustainability and reduced environmental impact.  Speaking next, Sebastiano Vida, Head of Product Development Custom Yachts, illustrated the solutions available to the Yard for achieving its emissions reduction targets. He also spoke about results to date, first and foremost its use of increasingly innovative materials and circular approach, as well as its adoption of alternative propulsion technologies and the latest innovations, which deliver more energy-efficient onboard services and reductions in CO2 emissions of up to 20%.  Closing the afternoon, Andrea Cecchini, Azimut Benetti Service Manager (Benetti Americas Service Team) reiterated Benetti’s constant commitment to aftersales and the support it provides for captains and crews at local and international level. Illustrating Benetti owners’ points of view, on the other hand, there was an instructive discussion between Nick Bischoff and Laura Sherrod of Newcoast Insurance, Peter Selivanoff of Fraser Yacht and Roberto Beretta, skipper of M/Y Vision 60M.  The morning of April 4 opened with a presentation of recent product developments by the VEGA sales team.  The main focus of the day was provided by the three workshops – on Operations, Smart Technologies and Conscious Design – organized by Benetti and coordinated by Nick Bischoff and Sebastiano Vida, who moderated the discussions and skill sharing with the participants, with the aim of identifying new areas for development and defining key targets for the future in terms of innovation and sustainability.  “The USA Yachtmaster has been successful beyond all our expectations. We have seen huge enthusiasm from the sponsors, captains, surveyors and other industry experts. The sustainability and the yacht of the future workshops were well received and we had active participation from everyone. The q&a session with Captain Roberto Beretta was also very informative thanks to an open forum and a willingness by all to share experiences and feedback. In these, we were very lucky to have such high-calibre guests and sponsors: their valuable contribution makes us even more aware of how important this event is and focuses us on confidently planning the next edition,” said Nick Bischoff, Country Manager Benetti Americas.  Throughout the event, training sessions alternated with networking initiatives.  Teams of participants competed in adrenaline-inducing obstacle races on Seabobs, after which the braver among them went on to have more unforgettable fun on JETSURF boards. The evening wound up with a themed gala dinner – “Go elegant yet bold with white and gold” – at the Seagate Beach Club, with its breath-taking ocean view.  The particularly positive atmosphere was also down to the willingness of the event’s partners – Firefly, Seabob and Vega and Fraser Yachts, Newcoast, Viraver and Yachting Marine Service – to fully engage with all the participants.

Dale Lifetime Commitment and Support

As the winter season came to a close, Dale as thrilled to welcome the exquisite Dale 40's,  Seahorse and Dark Stranger and Dale 28, Cunjic back into its care for the winter and work has continued in readiness for their spring commissioning. Dale's experienced team has spared no effort in providing them with a comprehensive service, ensuring that every aspect of the vessel is in exceptional condition. From inspecting all systems to servicing the engine, and conducting a thorough sea trial, Dale left no stone unturned to maintain the unrivalled quality that customers expect.  As the summer season approaches, Dale excitedly await personally handing over Dark Stranger, Seahorse and Cunjic to their owners!  As builders, Dale know each individual vessel and undertake all aspects of maintenance and repair, with its chandlery able to source supply any part required from engines to electronics, anti-fouling to anodes. 

Dale Makes MBY Front Cover

This year, we had the pleasure of celebrating our team's and proud owner's achievement of having our Dale 37001 featured on the cover of the prestigious Motor Boat and Yachting magazine after she caught the attention of Hugo, the Editor. After her debut at the Southampton Boat Show, test report  and being nominated for an MBY Award, our boat was adventure-ready.  At Dale, they take pride in treating our customers as family and delivering outstanding boats that live up to our name. Seeing our owner's boat featured on the cover of a distinguished boating magazine was a true highlight for Dale.   Dale also like to give a special mention to Richard Langdon, the incredible photographer who snapped the cover-shot during a photo shoot last summer and who continually supplies Dale with sensational images and wonderful experiences, thank you Richard!

Formula Boats on Cult Classics

Formula was recently visited by Boats Group/Yachtworld.com to explore Formula Boats and its rich history. The resulting video goes into great depth and explores what makes Formula Boats a true Cult Classic. 

Formula Marks 67th Year

Model year 2023 marks Thunderbird’s 67th year in the production of fiberglass powerboats. A family-owned company located in Decatur, Indiana, Thunderbird produces boats that are world renowned for beautiful styling, advanced engineering and exciting performance on the water. With a long-established philosophy of uncompromising quality in every detail, Formula is recognized as today’s premier powerboat. Company history reflects the constant evolution of forward-looking product in the Fas³Tech hull, trendsetting Crossover, Bowriders, Sun Sports and the new Center Console line.

Formula Makes Media Splash

The 387 CCF took center stage on Center Console Life magazine's Volume 4 Number 1! Then again according to BoatTest.com, "The new Formula 387 CCF is undoubtedly the highest-tech, most tricked-out and luxurious fishy center console on the market today." 

Four Winns Awarded Multihull of the Year

Four Winns is excited to announce its recent achievement, receiving the 2023 Multihull of the Year Award in the multipower category awarded by Multihulls World Magazine. After the successful H-series in 2022, Four Winns broke conventional barriers and tradition and expanded into the world of multi-hulls with the introduction of its twin-hull, the all-new TH36.

Greenline Says Goodbye to 33

Greenline Yachts, the worldwide leader in alternative propulsion motorboats and pioneer of hybrid yachts, has announced it will cease production of the Greenline 33.  Ceasing production of the Greenline 33 will allow the luxury Slovenian boatbuilder to focus resources and production space on its larger models. Orders placed up to summer 2024 will be fulfilled by the boatbuilder.  Launched in 2008, the Greenline 33 set a new benchmark in environmentally conscious boating and was the first production hybrid boat. Almost 500 units of the revolutionary 33ft family cruiser have since been delivered in more than 50 countries worldwide.  Greenline Yachts’ owner, Vladimir Zinchenko, says: “We are immensely proud of the success and heritage of the Greenline 33 and how it shaped the market for eco-conscious family boating. Winning more than 30 awards is no small feat, especially in such a competitive sector of the market. Due to the increased demand for larger yachts, the time is right for us to optimise our space and capacity for larger models.  “Greenline Yachts has recently seen strong demand from environmentally conscious and technologically astute customers, particularly looking for larger models. Thus, we look forward to delivering more industry-leading designs and larger yachts – and have exciting new models in the pipeline.”  Celebrated by the boating community globally, the innovative Greenline 33 epitomised modern family cruising and amassed more than 30 awards – including International Boat of the Year – making it arguably the most awarded craft in history.  Well before Prius and Tesla were household names, Greenline’s 33 revolutionised the boating world with its hybrid propulsion system and sociable, family focussed layout. The first family cruiser with single-deck saloon, full walkaround decks and aft galley with a top-hinged window that connected it seamlessly with the cockpit, the model set a new trend for safe, single-level cruising. Such is the popularity and usability of this design, Greenline’s single-level living concept has been adopted by countless other models on the market.  The iconic model’s DNA lives on in the Greenline fleet and will continue to do so with the builder’s newer boats showcasing many of those signature Greenline 33 features. Single-level living, outstanding deck storage, safe decks and versatile cabin spaces will be a hallmark of the modern Greenline range that sets its boats out from the crowd.  Luca Raumland, chief sales and marketing officer, says: “There is growing appetite in the market for a more sustainable way of boating. This marks a new and exciting chapter for Greenline Yachts as we build upon our successes and expand our dynamic fleet. Our expert team will continue to work tirelessly to produce high-quality yachts with credible alternative propulsion options.”

Greenline New Spanish Partnership

Greenline Yachts, the leading manufacturer of hybrid yachts, is thrilled to announce its latest partnership with Argo Yachting, the European luxury yacht dealer with over 50 years of experience in the industry.  Under this new partnership, Argo Yachting will act as the official representative of Greenline Yachts in Spain, offering sales and after-sales support for the entire range of Greenline Yachts models.  "We are excited to partner with Argo Yachting, a company with a deep knowledge of the local market in Spain and a commitment to providing its customers with the highest level of service," said Luca Raumland, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Greenline Yachts. "Together, we aim to offer Spanish boaters a sustainable and unique yachting experience with our industry-leading hybrid technology."  Argo Yachting brings extensive experience in the yachting industry and has established itself as a leader in the Spanish market. Its team of experienced sales professionals and technicians will work closely with Greenline Yachts to provide customers with exceptional service and support.  "We are thrilled to partner with Greenline Yachts, a company that shares our values and commitment to sustainability," said Max Whale, CEO of Argo Yachting. "Their range of hybrid yachts is truly innovative, and we believe that they will be well-received in the Spanish market. We look forward to showcasing their models and working together to offer our customers a truly unique and environmentally-friendly yachting experience."

Greenline Expands in South East Asia

Greenline Yachts, the leading hybrid yacht manufacturer, is proud to announce its partnership with Derani Yachts, a well-respected yacht brokerage and dealership with a strong presence in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.  Under this new partnership, Derani Yachts will serve as the official representative of Greenline Yachts in these for Greenline new markets, offering sales and aftersales support for the full range of Greenline Yachts models.  "We are excited to partner with Derani Yachts, a company that shares our passion for sustainable boating and has a deep understanding of the local markets in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia," said Luca Raumland, CSO at Greenline Yachts. "With their expertise and our industry-leading hybrid technology, we believe that we can make a real difference in these regions, offering customers a truly unique and environmentally-friendly yachting experience."  Derani Yachts brings over 20 years of experience in the yachting industry and a strong track record of successful sales and support in the Asia-Pacific region. The company's team of experienced sales professionals and technicians will work closely with Greenline Yachts to provide customers with the highest levels of service and support.  "We are delighted to partner with Greenline Yachts, a company that is at the forefront of the sustainable yachting movement," said Håkan Lange, CEO of Derani Yachts. "Their range of hybrid yachts is truly impressive, and we are confident that there is a strong demand for these models in our markets. We look forward to working closely with Greenline Yachts to promote their brand and bring their innovative yachts to our customers."

Holterman X-Treme Shortlisted Superyacht of the Year Finalist

Holterman X-Treme 105 genre-defying superyacht Lady Fleur has been shortlisted as a finalist at the prestigious World Superyacht Awards, to be judged in May. The 32m X-Treme 105 is fresh from winning two categories at the Design & Innovation Awards, held in Cortina in February. Now she has made the cut for the world’s premier recognition of excellence in superyacht design.

Invictus Presents Exclusive Vanilla Charter Experience

The exclusive experience and emotion of sailing aboard an Invictus Yacht or Capoforte model, discovering splendid coves and admiring unforgettable sunsets, is now within the reach of all the enthusiasts of the two Italian brands.  Vanilla Sea Chartering Network has now been established and is named after one of the identifying colours of Invictus elegance - Vanilla Sea, to be precise.  Through the dedicated website, Invictus and Capoforte brand fans will be able to spend one or more days on board these boats, learning about them and appreciating their characteristics with their family or closest friends.

Jarrett Bay Next Generation of Boat Builders

The next generation of boat builders at East Carteret High School Career Day! Eric Tiedemann, student and Jarrett Bay Boat Works carpentry intern, Josef Lawrence 2022 ECHS graduate, former intern and now full-time carpenter, join Jarrett's Bay own RV Hodge to share the rewards of a career building world-class custom sportfish.

Jarrett Bay Wins Maina Casa de Campo Open

Congrats to Hull 59 m/y Builder’s Choice on their third time winning the Marina Casa de Campo Open in the Dominican Republic! Capt. Brent led the team to release two blues on Day 1 and 3 on Day 2, with the last fish hooked at 3:58 - two minutes before lines out!

MJM Founders Book Available on Amazon

In "Maverick Marketer," Johnstone considers the course of his life, from taking the helm of a sailboat in a race at age 2, through college days at Princeton, to creating the leading performance brand in sailing, then doing same with powerboats. Regaling readers with sailing stories and how award-winning boats were created, Johnstone seeks to ignite a creative spark in others, urging them to follow their passion and chart their own course to victory.

Sanlorenzo Explores Acquisition for Simpson Marine

On 12 of April, 2023 in Ameglia La Spezia, Sanlorenzo, and Mike Simpson sign a Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate the possible entry of Sanlorenzo as a majority shareholder in the Simpson Marine Group and other affiliated companies as part of the  Sanlorenzo “Road to 2030” strategy toward a carbon-neutral future.  The attitudes toward luxury and yachting are changing fast in China, and Sanlorenzo “expects big growth in Asia”, Massimo Perotti, Chairman and CEO of Sanlorenzo, explained during the conference. “In the last year, we have seen two signs indicating change. The first is the Hainan Highlands – considered the monte-carlo of China – becoming a free tax zone. So the Chinese can go to Hainan Highlands and buy a yacht without paying taxes. A big achievement. Secondly, there is a programme from the government to increase the number of marinas from Hong Kong to Macau.”  Simpson Marine is the oldest and most established yacht dealer in Asia and the exclusive dealer of Sanlorenzo in the region. According to Ferruccio Rossi, Executive Director & General Manager of Sanlorenzo, Simpson Marine currently generates around €90-100 million annually, with “growing potential” for more sales in the region.  Outside of Asia and looking at Sanlorenzo more generally, the builder confirmed outstanding financial health with a backlog (as of 31 December 2022) cleared from Net Revenue New Yachts amounting to €1,069.6 million, compared to €915.6 million as of 31 December 2021. Sanlorenzo confirmed record-breaking orders for €452.2 million beyond 2023.  An interesting phenomenon cited in the conference was a decrease in the average Sanlorenzo client. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Sanlorenzo buyers were, on average, 56 yet post-lockdown years, this age now stands at 48 – a significant decrease that brings a “new mindset to the yachting industry”  Sanlorenzo has found that their average buyer is not only younger but is now spending twice as much time on board, with estimates as high as 120 days per year. Novel technologies such as Starlink support this trend, as owners can stay connected near enough anywhere in the world.  In regards to its sustainability mission in the superyacht sector, Sanlorenzo confirmed it is still on track to launch the first 50 Steel equipped with methanol fuel cells to power all on-board services next year; and in 2028, it will launch the first superyacht – another 50 Steel – to be powered solely by methanol.  Looking forward, Sanlorenzo expects to see high single-digit CAGR, starting with a forecast for 2023 between €810-830 million, up by 11% from 2022. Sanlorenzo also expects its margin to increase significantly, with an EBITDA margin equal to or greater than 19.5% in 2025.  Sanlorenzo plans to invest between €143-155 million over the next three years. It will also expand its current portfolio of models from 26 to 36, comprising 17 in the yacht business unit, 8 in the superyacht business unit and 11 Bluegame. 

Silent Yachts Appoint New Chief Operating Officer

Silent-Yachts hired a senior executive that is going to oversee day-to-day administrative and operational functions and will help further strengthen the shipyard’s position among the leaders in the sustainable yachting market. Fabrizio Iarrera has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer of the company that produces innovative 18-36m solar electric catamarans in Italy and Turkey.  “I’m happy to welcome Fabrizio in our strong and capable team,” said Michael Köhler, Founder and CEO of Silent-Yachts. “For sure this move will help us become even more efficient in production and make sure all orders are flawlessly executed and delivered on time and on budget. Fabrizio is an accomplished and success-oriented executive with extensive experience in business operations and development and project management.”  Fabrizio Iarrera has almost 20 years of experience as CEO and General Manager in the yachting industry with Atlantis, part of Azimut-Benetti, and Monte Carlo Yachts, part of Groupe Beneteau. At Silent-Yachts, he will be responsible for the production, shipyards workflow and operations management.  “The goal is to make sure our customers are satisfied with their dream catamarans built by Silent-Yachts as always,”said Fabrizio Iarrera. “I’m grateful for a chance to work for such an incredible and promising company and definitely the sky's the limit for our team.”  Silent-Yachts has 28 solar electric catamarans under construction in two production sites, including the flagship Silent 120 Explorer, with the order book filled until 2024.

Sunreef Yachts Double Chinese Victory

Two bestselling Sunreef Yachts catamarans have just received the Oceanway China Yachts Award 2022. While the Sunreef 80 Eco was recognized as the Best Exterior Design Sailing Catamaran, the 80 Sunreef Power won as the Best Exterior Design Motor Catamaran. The award was received during an evening gala held by Oceanway Magazine, in Sanya, Hainan.  

Sunreef New Dealer in Thailand

Long-standing yachting specialists Lee Marine have just been appointed as Sunreef Yachts dealers in Thailand. The company has been active in Thailand for over 20 years representing several major brands and guiding clients through the acquisition of superyachts.  Josh Lee, managing director of Lee Marine, commented: With our deeply experienced client base demanding personalized yachts built to purpose, it is the perfect time to represent a brand that offers such an exceptional range of yachts, both power and sail, enabling us to work extensively with the customer to create their ideal luxury yacht knowing that they can cruise the whole of Asia and beyond in complete comfort.  Following the appointment, Francis Lapp, CEO of Sunreef Yachts, commented: I am proud to welcome Lee Marine into the Sunreef Yacht’s family and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.  The growing appetite for yachting and our catamaran models in Asia means we needed experienced partners on the ground to help us support the entire customer experience.  Our new shipyard in the United Arab Emirates, opening later this year, provides a simple destination for customers to come and view our yachts, facilities and design office where we can start their journey in becoming a Sunreef owner.  Simon Turner, Sales Director for Sunreef, added: Having lived in Asia for over 10 years, I am very familiar with the fantastic cruising grounds, diverse marine life and simply stunning locations to visit by yacht in Thailand. The stability and autonomy of our yachts mean customers can cruise to the remotest locations in the region in absolute comfort and already we have many inquiries for our eco-range which enables owners to minimize fuel costs whilst enjoying silent operations with no vibrations or nuisance to marine life. Our unique solar panels, battery banks and energy management systems give opportunities for cruising in a way not possible on other yachts and our Asian-based customers have been very quick to understand this.

Sunseeker Launches New Skill Academy

Sunseeker International launches a new training initiative to address a national skills shortage affecting the marine industry. The Sunseeker Skills Academy, developed in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College, is open to those seeking a career change, offering individuals the opportunity to undertake a fully paid, 12-week intensive boat-building course.  Successful applicants will learn trade skills across five boat building specialisms, comprising carpentry, plumbing, composite bonding, engineering and electrical installations. Following an intensive training programme, students will join colleagues at the Sunseeker Shipyards in Poole to further develop competencies and achieve a nationally recognised qualification over 12 months.  Alex Bowman, Head of Organisational Development at Sunseeker International, commented: “We’re taking a proactive approach to address the industry-wide challenges in attracting and developing talent.  By partnering with Bournemouth and Poole College, we are able to create training programmes that are tailored to teach the skills that we need, in order to expand and evolve the pool of talent that is the lifeblood of our industry. We aim to start 100 new boat builders through our new Skills Academy in 2023, which will complement our existing and award winning apprenticeship programme”.  Phil Sayles, Principal and CEO at Bournemouth and Poole College, added: “Supporting companies in developing the skilled workforce they need is a key priority for our college. We are delighted to be expanding our work with Sunseeker, a key local business. This initiative will enable the creation of skilled jobs and bring more prosperity to our area”.  The news comes as Sunseeker reveals a 17 per cent increase in hourly pay since 2021 and an ongoing recruitment drive across all trades. In addition, Sunseeker has recently reported a global order book of £600 million and £40 million investment in new product development across the next three years. This includes exciting new model launches such as the recent 100 Yacht and Superhawk 55 and the upcoming Ocean 182 this autumn.

Van Der Valk Nominated for Super Yacht Award 2023

When Van Der Valk create a totally bespoke superyacht like Blue Jeans, our primary aim is of course to ensure that client expectations are fully met. That was the case with this 34-metre pilothouse motoryacht and now, like us, the owners are delighted that a wider audience has recognised her exceptional quality. Blue Jeans has reached the final round of five nominations for this year’s World Superyacht Awards in the ‘Semi-displacement or planning motor yacht 30 to 34.99m’ category.  The eventual winner will be announced in mid-May at a scintillating ceremony in Istanbul. Blue Jeans will be in good company with yachts from the likes of Riva and Sanlorenzo also making the final cut for an award that recognises the best in ingenuity and craftsmanship. This will be the 18th edition of the World Superyacht Awards and the fact that Van der Valk’s most complex build to date will feature is a testimony to the owners, the yard, designer Guido de Groot and naval architect Diana Yacht Design.  Van der Valk is on an award-winning roll currently with Lady Lene winning a special commendation at last year’s World Superyacht Awards, followed up with a Best Interior prize at the 2023 BOAT Design & Innovation Awards.  While we wait to see how Blue Jeans fares in Istanbul, check out some of her highlights on our Fleet page here.

Viking Fighting the Ten-Knots Restriction

Viking's campaign to fight the federal government’s proposed 10-knot restriction along the Eastern Seaboard is only getting stronger.  This updated pre-written letter not only asks Congress to halt the proposed NOAA Fisheries’ rule but also pushes for funding of technological solutions to monitor North Atlantic Right Whales. NOAA is expected to finalize the rule later this year, so there’s still time to make a difference by sending this updated letter to lawmakers.  Viking and key industry stakeholders (National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, BoatUS, Recreational Fishing Alliance and others) have played a critical role in an industry-wide effort to stop NOAA Fisheries’ changes to the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule. The amended mandate poses serious public access, safety and privacy concerns for boaters, and would devastate boating, fishing and coastal businesses.  The campaign has gained momentum since Viking’s impactful press conference at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last fall. We’ve taken it a step further by actively pursuing science and technology-based solutions to monitor and protect the whales. To that end, Viking spearheaded the formation of the Whale and Vessel Safety (WAVS) Task Force. This panel of experts will work to identify, develop and implement technology and monitoring tools to mitigate the risk of vessel strikes to marine mammals, with special attention to the right whales, according to Viking Director of Government Affairs and Sustainability John Depersenaire. 

Viking 2023 Key West Challenge

The 2023 Viking Key West Challenge (VKWC) was an absolute smash hit. Presented by Christi Insurance Group and Travelers Insurance, the ninth annual event drew 50 boats and more than 500 people, two tournament record fish were caught and a Viking 50 became a three-peat champion.  “It was a Key West Challenge like no other,” said Viking President and CEO Pat Healey. “This event continues to amaze me – the comradery, the fishing, the fun and – best of all – the smiling faces.”  The docks were packed with beautiful, industry-leading boats for this unique tournament, held exclusively for owners of Viking yachts and Valhalla center consoles. The fleet took over the Conch Republic for four sun-drenched days of fishing, fun and family.  The Viking 50 Roenick was the Top Boat for the third consecutive year, releasing 10 sailfish, followed by the Viking 44 Miss Peggy Sue II with two tournament record-setting swordfish and Bimini, a Viking 58 that released four sails and brought a pair of tuna to the scales.  Miss Peggy Sue II’s David Heeter earned Top Angler honors with 340- and 245-pound swordfish catches (served at the lay day lunch), and Rosalie “Roe” Apostoleres of Roenick captured the Top Female Angler award for the third year in a row.  While the billfish bite was a bit of a challenge, the teams caught plenty of cobia, dolphin, kingfish, tuna and a variety of bottom fish. “It’s so great to see the happiness, enthusiasm and excitement when the teams come to the [Spot Zero] weigh station,” said Pat. Steve Rodgers, angling on the Viking 72 Bid Time, weighed a 131.6-pound tuna, also a record-setter for the VKWC and the tournament’s first-ever Allison tuna. “It was an amazing fish, and we all had a great time,” Steve said after receiving his award. “But it was a group effort – we have an excellent team.”  Nadia Bayless was the Top Junior Angler. Fishing aboard the Viking 80 Rachel Anne, Nadia released a sailfish – her first – and took a 27.2-pound tuna, a kingfish and a mutton snapper to the scales.  The teams came to the southernmost point of the U.S. to compete, no doubt, but the VKWC – as the tagline states – is “More Than Just Fishing”! Anglers, crews and guests attended a high-spirited Captains’ Meeting Cocktail Party, al fresco Welcome Banquet, relaxing Lay Day Pool Party Lunch, energetic Kids Dock Tournament and animated Duval Street Bar Crawl Poker Run.  “We’ve been to every single Key West Challenge,” said Bimini owner Jackie Hinden. “We keep coming back because we love Viking. We love Key West, and we really enjoy the comradery and social aspect. There’s nothing like it.”  “We can’t say enough about Viking – they make it so much fun,” added Frank Tattoli, who has owned three Vikings, the latest the 52 Private Island. “We don’t fish tournaments, but this one is different, with all the events and activities. It’s like one big family coming together.”  Throughout the event, more than $30,000 worth of prizes were given away – everything from electronics and safety products to a mobile Spot Zero water purifier, a Switlik Coastal Passage Raft and a variety of Yeti merchandise, courtesy of Atlantic Marine Electronics and KVH Industries. The festivities were capped off with the Key West Sunset Awards Dinner where 41 trophies were handed out.  “We can’t thank you enough for being here,” Pat said in his closing remarks at the awards dinner. “It means an awful lot to us. We enjoy getting everybody together, and the new friendships that start here. We build something that nobody has to have – boats. So, we truly appreciate you, and we won’t let you down as we continue to build a better boat every day. Next year will be our 10th anniversary for this tournament and the 60th anniversary for the Viking Yacht Company. Incredible!”  More than 80 of Viking’s business partners sponsored the VKWC, supporting event functions, such as the Captains’ Meeting (Foley Cat), Thursday Dinner (MAN Engines), Pool Party Lunch (Johnson & Towers/MTU) and Kids Dock Tournament (The Billfish Foundation). Several companies provided assistance for the Poker Run, and the Awards Dinner was sponsored by Christi Insurance Group and Travelers Insurance.  The 10th annual Viking Key West Challenge takes place Wednesday, April 3 through Sunday, April 7, 2024. Book your slip at your favorite Key West marina today.

Viking at Los Suenos Triple Crown

Congratulations to Team Galati on their unprecedented third Triple Crown win! "We won it all on the last day– incredible!, " said angler Pat Healey. "It's truly amazing what we've been able to accomplish these past few years, especially considering the outstanding competition."  “We have a new boat every season and we learn how to fish it. Since 2014 this team has been on stage an incredible 13 times. This feat is due to the amazing anglers, crew and of course, our captain Tony Carrizosa,” added Pat.  The team won the 2020 series and then in 2021, the team was named back-to-back champs of the three-leg series. And they’ve returned to the Winner’s Circle for the 2023 season! For the 2022 Series, Carlos Pellas and the team on his Viking 72 Rum Runner captured the crown. That’s four years in a row a Viking has held the coveted honor. Read on for a run-down of this season’s excitement.  

Viking at Chub Cay Invitational 

Team SandboB topped the field at the 3rd annual Chub Cay Invitational. Bob Moss’ Viking 72 earned the top boat honors after releasing one blue marlin and three sailfish. The Top Lady Angler was Rhonda Striker, competing on the Viking 80 Wing Man. Using an all-billfish release format, a total of five blue marlin and 21 sailfish were released during two days of fishing in the Bahamas.

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