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Bienvenido a Miami

 

I was going to write about that norovirus outbreak on all the cruise ships that's been going but then I remembered that next week is theYacht and Brokerage Show in Miami and I got all excited. First off, I need some sun like the desert needs the rain. The New York City winter has made my complexion go from its normal cream-cheese hue to what I would now describe as translucent pink.

Have and Have Yacht

There was a bit of a kerfuffle across the pond recently when (as my colleague Alyssa Haak noted a few weeks back) British Education Minister Michael Gove reportedly proposed that the recession-stricken country build Queen Elizabeth II a brand-new $90 million megayacht to celebrate her 60th anniversary on the throne.

Fright Night

 

Illustration by Gil AdamsThere’s more to after-dark navigation than having high-falutin’ electronics onboard.

 
I was curious, really. I hadn’t done any hard-core, nighttime navigation in years. Sure, over the past couple of decades, I’d briefly piloted a few recreational vessels around in the dark, plying parts of rivers and bayous with little more than a chartplotter, a careful hand on the wheel, and a trusty spotlight. But frankly, in all that time I’d never shepherded a vessel through the darkness into a big, working seaport with radar as my primary navigational tool. Would I be as good as I used to be?

Yacht Contracts Signed

In the past two years, I've gotten to see quite a few shipyards where megayachts get built, but most have been in Europe. (I'd name them but fear I'd leave one off.) In the process, I've learned a lot about construction methods and how projects reach completion.

But I can most clearly see the impact of a yard's success in Northeastern Wisconsin for no other reason than I used to live there and I have family that still does. My grandpa knows people who have worked in local yards, the builders and welders and other skilled craftsmen.

Stability For Smaller Yachts

Intrepid 390 Sport Yacht with Stabilizer from Mike Plante on Vimeo.

You've probably heard about the Seakeeper gyro that's showing up in all kinds of yachts 50 feet and larger. Well, now the company has come out with a less power version that's suitable for boats under 50 feet. It's actually a prototype for a new, small mode; that Seakeeper will introduce at the Miami boat show. Its compact size not only means it doesn't take up a lot of space, but also that it doesn't require a lot of electricity. Does the small unit work as well as the big one? For the answer, check out this video.

SEALs Do It Again

In a development that can only be described as disturbing, traditionally water-based sources of nightmare fuel are now trending towards exiting the water in search of new elements to terrorize. Sharks are learning how to fly and lately Somali pirates have been plundering, pillaging, and kidnapping on land.

More Flair From Carolina

Does the world really need another high-end, semicustom, mid-30-foot, outboard-powered, fishing boat? Before you say no you might want to take a look at a 32-foot express coming out of OBX Boatworks, a new builder with big plans and an impressive pedigree. OBX Boatworks says that while it has yet to build a boat, it has actually been up and running for a year, designing and building the tooling for the 326XP, as the new boat is officially called.

Is Frogtape Froggy Enough?

I'm not going to be unduly negative in the following little dittie I hope, just informative. If you're at all into onboard DIY these days, you've undoubtedly heard of Frogtape, a new product that purports to prevent tape-related bleed-through during  painting projects, both big and small. My brother told me about the stuff and, at his behest, I used some on a home-improvement job I had going around the ol' ranchero.

Currency Events

By Jason Y. Wood

Boat buying has become a truly international sport over the last few years, and the foibles of the world financial markets have made for a pitching and rolling playing field. One month may see Australians dropping dollars on merchandise in marinas Southern California and South Florida, while the next may put Koreans in a buying mood, only to be followed by a South American spending spree. Globalization has finally ended the last of the real-estate analogies for boat buyers. Location, location, location is dead, dead, dead.