The largest square-rigger

At some future point when Covid allows cruise enthusiasts back on board, you might want to check out the just-launched Golden Horizon. At 525ft long (160m) with five masts and a sail area of 6,300m2 , she is the world’s largest square-rigged cruise ship.

Built in Croatia, the ship is run by the UK’s Tradewind Voyages and at full capacity can accommodate 272 guests in 140 sea-facing cabins. She is a near replica of the 1913-built vessel – France II – and retains the charm, adventure and romance of the early 20th century square-riggers.

The ambience on board is relaxed, casual and elegant – and the operators stress that Golden Horizon is first and foremost a sailing ship geared to adventures and exotic destinations.

Voyages cover every sector of the planet, and some will involve longer days at sea, bringing alive the concept of sailing. Guests are encouraged to take the ship’s wheel.

The good news is that she will soon be heading down this way. BNZ

Sumptuous accommodation to spoil even the most demanding guests.

 


Boat show adopts AC marinas

Marinas created for the America’s Cup will be getting a new lease of life in October when the Auckland (On Water) Boat Show moves in.

The show – from 7-10 October – brings a focus on innovation, commercial excellence and large vessels to central Auckland. Running for 22 years, it has become a focal point for the marine industry. Utilising the America’s Cup marinas offers further scope for growth.

New exhibitors like Euro City Marine (dealers of Crownline and Finseeker boats) will join established show stalwarts like Allan Tong Boatbuilders in showcasing industry-leading vessels.

On-water exhibitors will use the sheltered harbour in front of the North Wharf restaurants, bringing back the ever-popular feature of viewing vessels on the water. A specially-built infrastructure is to be installed to expand on the America’s Cup marina facilities, allowing easy access for show-goers to reach exhibits, displays and sea trials.

The on-land segment of the show will take place in the space adjacent to the challenger bases, which will host boat exhibitors in marquees and hard stand displays, covering everything from anchor components to sails and rigging.

From 2022 onward, the show will move to its new summer dates – 17-22 March – taking advantage of warmer weather conditions to fully promote the New Zealand boating lifestyle.

Organisers plan to use the summer timing of future shows to allow the boating public and new marine audiences to sample and enjoy boating in calmer and warmer weather conditions.

It will make full use of daylight savings so that patrons can enjoy the ambience of one of New Zealand’s newest waterfront precincts within central Auckland. BNZ


Smart lithium, smarter trolling

Lithium-ion batteries are often considered the ‘gold standard’ for trolling motors. They weigh a lot less than conventional batteries, offer twice the run-time and boast a life expectancy 10 to 20 times longer.

But there’s some confusion about the different types of lithium-ion batteries and their safety. And to get the most from them, they need to be installed and used correctly.

Lusty & Blundell, distributor of both trolling motors and lithium-ion batteries, asked Peter Sewell – electrical engineer and lithium battery specialist – to sketch the ideal trolling motor installation.

“LiFePO4 or lithium-ion phosphate batteries (used to power marine trolling motors) are nothing like the lithium-ion batteries in a mobile phone which have been known to catch fire and can be quite dangerous,” he says.

“In fact, I’d much rather have a LiFePO4 battery on board my boat than a conventional lead-acid battery. They are safer, almost impossible to make catch fire (even by overcharging) and, if they are in a fire, they don’t sustain it.”

Sewell has designed and built lithium-ion battery systems for cars, farm vehicles and aircraft for over 20 years and has used LiFePO4 lithium batteries on his own launch for six years. “They’re ideal for a boat – lightweight, safe and quick to recharge – the best combination of weight and safety.”


Lithium Battery Expert Peter Sewell (left) and Surtee's Cliff Schnick

L&B CEO, Mark Milburn, says many users don’t realise that lithium-ion batteries shouldn’t be charged while in use, and that when charging, they require a specialist charger. “Although some people try to get around the latter by installing an AC charger on board, this is actually against the electrical regulations and could cause serious problems.”

He points out that, as a general rule, electric trolling motors should only be run at 80% of their available power, not flat out, or that once the battery’s charge drops beyond a certain level, many of the motor’s advanced functions, such as anchor lock and auto trim will cease to work.

To address these concerns, the L&B team has designed an effective, reliable, and powerful solution. “It became clear we needed an easy-to-understand and simple-to-install system to protect the motor and the battery, meet all the regulations and ensure the owner got all the benefits,” says Milburn.

THE SYSTEM INCLUDES:

• A Sterling Power AMPS lithium-ion battery
• A DC-to-DC lithium-ion charger that enables the trolling motor battery to be charged while the vessel is underway, either en  route to a fishing spot or moving between spots
• A dedicated battery switch that means the battery can either be used to operate the motor or be charged – but not both
• A Victron smart shunt that acts like a fuel gauge for the battery, precisely showing how much power has been used/is      available (via cable to the MFD screen or via Bluetooth to a mobile phone or tablet)
• A battery-to battery charger for use with a normal shore-based AC charger (this tops up the lithium-ion battery once the vessel’s engine and house batteries have been fully charged). The system was recently installed in this year’s Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show’s Grand Prize, a 7.5m Surtees 750 Game Fisher fitted with an 87-inch Minn Kota trolling motor.

“It’s a really great system,” says Surtees operations manager Cliff Schnick. “The lithium-ion battery only weighs 13kg versus 35kg for a conventional battery. That’s great for the boat’s ride and performance. Not having to drag all that extra weight around will save the lucky winner a heap of fuel!”

Milburn sees the new charging system becoming the default solution for those wanting to add a trolling motor to a new boat or to retrofit one. “It’s an enhanced, elegant system that meets all the regulations, safely provides on-the-go charging and lets users know how exactly much power they have left.

“Combined with an AMPS lithium-ion battery, it will also save unnecessary weight in the front of the boat, reduce fuel consumption, deliver twice the run time and many, many times the life expectancy of a lead-acid battery. “And for those switching from a conventional battery to lithium-ion, the AMPS footprint is identical. No need for a redesign or rebuild of the battery locker.”


Turks in turmoil

On the international stage Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can be a divisive figure, but his latest proposal – a new shipping canal to ease the volume of traffic transiting the Bosphorus Strait – is raising hackles locally.

The Istanbul Canal – some 45km in length – would run north of Istanbul, linking the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. Construction is meant to begin mid-year. Engineers estimate it will take seven years to build and cost between US$9.3bn and $14.6bn.

Erdogan’s argues that the Bosphorus Strait is a bit like Auckland’s Harbour bridge at rush hour – far too many ships trying to negotiate a narrow strip of water simultaneously. About 41,000 vessels use the Strait annually. On a typical day dozens of vessels are anchored at either end, waiting for a transit window. It’s also a tricky waterway to navigate.

A new canal – allowing up to 160 vessels to transit a day – would ease the Strait’s congestion and generate plenty of dosh (in transit fees) for the cashstrapped country and its ailing economy.

But the project has plenty of critics, many of them nervous that the canal is yet another of Erdogan’s ‘Think Big’ ideas in an infrastructure spending spree he launched in 2013. With a cost of $200bn, this 10-year plan has so far seen the construction of the massive new Istanbul airport, rail/road tunnels under the Bosphorus and one of the world’s biggest suspension bridge (connecting Europe and Asia).

Nay-sayers also point to the environmental cost: the canal project would eliminate Lake Durusu (it supplies 20% of Istanbul’s drinking water), destroy agricultural and forest land and potentially contaminate groundwater with salt.

There are also sensitive geo-political implications. Critics believe the Canal flies in the face of an international treaty – the Montreux Convention – governing the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. The treaty guarantees access for civilian vessels during peacetime while limiting the passage of warships.

Istanbul’s mayor (Ekrem Imamoglu) says the canal represents one of the biggest risks the city has faced in its entire history. He suggests the money would be better spent on public transport, water supply, social projects, education and earthquake protection measures.

In a recent Istanbul survey, 80.4% of the respondents were against the canal project. Only 7.9% supported it.

 


Cup of sorrow

A replica of the Auld Mug created from trash collected on Auckland’s East Coast Bays beaches will hopefully help to raise public awareness of the plastic scourge strangling our seas.

The Plastic Cup is work of Auckland artist Cate Dine, whose unusual medium-of-choice was triggered about eight years ago during her daily walks on nearby beaches.

“It was impossible to ignore the volume of plastic rubbish washing up. So I began picking it up – like a good, cleangreen Kiwi – but there’s only so much you can carry on a beach walk. Next day I brought a bag – first one, then two, then three.”

The plastic detritus, she says, reflects the ‘throwaway’ mindset of the modern era – clothes pegs, toothbrushes, straws, bottles and bottle caps, fast-food packaging, cups, bits of fishing gear, rope – and much more.

Sadly, there's no shortage of raw materials for Cate's creations.

Among it all were thousands of ‘nurdles’ – small pellets of plastic that are the raw product from which many plastic products are manufactured. “Using a little net I collected 14,000 one day – yes, I counted them – from a factory spill. It’s all graphic proof that everything discarded around suburban streets ends up in drains, in the sea and then on our beaches. The sea is the end-stop – the ultimate garbage bin.”

In 2014 she elected to document each of the 40,000 pieces of plastic she collected over the year – carefully laying out and and photographing each clean-up. “It created a database or benchmark for me. The exercise offered a fascinating insight into what types of things are being discarded. I honestly believe society doesn’t have a clue about what ends up on our coastline. Getting a grip on the detail could help with defining a strategy to fix the problem.”

Though her creativity had previously focused on painting, the variety of colours and shapes in the rubbish planted a seed in her mind – and it quickly germinated. “Rather than being just another sole agent in the pick-up-the-plastic movement, I thought using the rubbish to highlight the problem we face might be more effective.”

The process of creating her work is very fluid – “what I make depends on the shape, size, colour and number of the objects I find. It’s about having an idea and seeing if I can find plastic rubbish to build it – the end product is dictated by what I find.”

Fashioning the America’s Cup replica took about 10 weeks – and initially she didn’t have any idea what she would do with the bits of plastic. “It kind of evolved when the real America’s Cup was being raced on our Gulf at the time. I had collected all this plastic rubbish in the same Gulf. So there was an obvious contrast, an opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum kind of juxtaposition – and one that, for me, highlighted the problems in our oceans.”

Kids enjoyed interacting with the plastic 'flowers'.

Featuring marine life such as fishes and whales – and bottle caps to reflect their precious element of water – the Plastic Cup took Cate more than 300 hours in construction time. People viewing the cup – and her other pieces – says Cate, will recognise objects from their daily lives and maybe think twice about how they dispose of things.

If we are to improve things, she adds, raising public awareness of the plastic problem is imperative. She likes to be proactive about displaying her message to the public, and recently launched a ‘fleet’ of 50 plastic hub caps into the pond at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.

Collected from suburban roads, each hub cap has been embellished with plastic objects – they look like water lilies. “The kids at the pond loved them – and the exercise generated lots of good conversations with members of the public.”

Ultimately, she is hopeful and believes New Zealand is more aware today of the plastic problem than it was say, 10 years ago. “We are making progress, but the message needs to go up the chain – not only to coorporations but also to government.”


Mighty Mercury

Mercury’s recently-launched 7.6‑litre V12 600hp Verado® – the world’s first V12 outboard and the industry’s most powerful – is the organisation’s response to emerging trends in the boating sector.

"With boats continuing to grow bigger and growing performance expectations, boaters have been asking for more capable high‑horsepower solution to meet their needs,” says Mercury Marine president Chris Drees. “The V12 Verado delivers boaters the freedom, luxury and power to pursue their passions on the water.”

The V12 comes with a range of unique/world-first features. They include it’s naturally-aspirated, quad‑cam powerhead with serious torque to get heavy boats out of the hole and on plane quickly. It also has the outboard industry’s first two‑speed automatic transmission to optimise engine rpm according to workload.

And it has a steerable gearcase – it pivots independently underwater while the engine’s powerhead remains in a space‑saving fixed position. This provides more room for multi‑engine configurations and a wider steering angle for agile handling. Using contra‑rotating propellers, it also has better ‘bite’ for docking and other close‑quarters maneuvering.

The two‑speed automatic transmission optimises engine rpm according to workload. First gear is 20% lower than second gear, leveraging the engine’s high torque to accelerate the boat and get it up on plane quickly. The hydraulic shifting mechanism eliminates ‘shift clunk’ at slow manoeuvring speeds and uses Mercury Joystick Piloting for Outboards. The two‑speed transmission also contributes to superior fuel economy.

Elimination of the traditional boat‑mounted steering system offers enhanced handling and manoeuvrability – the steering system does not have to move the entire engine, only the gearcase.
And while conventional outboards typically pivot 30° in either direction, the V12’s gearcase can pivot up to 45° under joystick operation. This feature, combined with the lower propeller speed in first gear, provides precise handling at docking speeds.

Enhanced digital controls
In addition to compatibility with Mercury’s Joystick Piloting for Outboards system, the V12 has the Next Gen Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) system. These sleek and ergonomic controls are even more intuitive with features like push‑button access to Active Trim, which automatically adjusts trim for optimal performance. A Premier dual‑handle console‑mount control for multi‑engine boats includes an integrated digital display that connects boaters with valuable system information and helpful pop-ups.

The outboard will be released in New Zealand through selected OEMs and dealers in the second half of this year.

 


Marina raises the bar

The countdown to New Zealand’s first island destination marina at Waiheke’s Kennedy Point is well underway, with off-site construction in full swing.

The marina’s design represents a first for New Zealand, with the project utilising floating pontoon technology developed by Sweden’s SF Marina AB, the world’s leading supplier of large floating concrete pontoons and breakwaters.

While floating attenuators are not new in New Zealand, says Tony Mair (the marina’s project director), the Kennedy Point development take things to a new level.

“Due to the existing deep water in the bay and a relatively soft seabed, a rock breakwater was not feasible. Instead, we decided to incorporate the floating attenuator technology.” The size and scale of the components is many times larger than anything New Zealand has seen before.

Working alongside SF Marina AB, consultants from the USA and Spain and local experts from Beca, the team ensured the size and type of pontoons would be suitable for the sea state at

Kennedy Point. “We visited SF Marina’s Gothenburg base three times to review the custom design, and the Swedish engineers also visited New Zealand to review the site,” adds Mair.

Tony Mair with Lars Gunnar from SF Marina.

The attenuator design requires 23 floating pontoons – each weighing in at over 200 tonnes and 20m long. The floating structure avoids the need for any dredging, reclamation or seawalls, and will be installed with minimal disruption to the shoreline and seabed.

“Initially, we intended to ship all the Swedish components but when Whangarei’s Heron Construction Ltd recognised the huge potential in this part of the world it decided to negotiate a development agreement with SF Marina. The company is now the licensed manufacturer for Australasia and the South Pacific.”

Heron Construction has established a large factory at the port in Whangarei and will soon cast the first pontoon. The technology will also be used for the skirted T-Heads and the pontoons for the floating carpark, office and café. All of the pontoons are larger than any previously manufactured in New Zealand.

The world's largest pontoon at Donso Harbour, Sweden.

They will be towed down the coast to Waiheke’s Kennedy Point in pairs. The journey’s expected to take 8-9 hours and minimise any disruption to the local Waiheke community. Once on-site, the pontoons will be joined by a proprietary connector system, after which the large steel piles with a plastic sleeve coating will be installed. The floating structures for the marina berths are being manufactured in Auckland by Total Marine Ltd and these too will be barged to site for installation. Total construction time is estimated to be around 24 months.

Says Tom Warren, CEO, Heron Marinas: “We’re really excited to be on-board with this project. As SF Marina’s licensed manufacturer, we’ve been tasked with constructing a world-class floating marina and we believe this will set a new standard for marina construction in New Zealand.” Following the installation of the outer attenuators, the car park and office pontoons will be installed.

The design and construction of the marina will deliver a ‘shot in the arm’ for other Kiwi businesses too, with an expected 100 jobs being created during construction, and additional new local employment opportunities on Waiheke Island once the marina is open.

About Kennedy Point Marina

Located at the entrance to Putiki Bay at Kennedy Point on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, the marina will be New Zealand’s first island destination marina. With construction due to start in early 2021, the facility will be a world-class, fully serviced, floating marina, offering 180 permanent berths as well as day-berthage for visiting boaties.

Berth holders will have access to toilets, shower and laundry facilities, as well as a café and chandlery. Secure car parking will also be available for up to 72 vehicles on New Zealand’s first floating pontoon carpark.

www.kennedypointmarina.co.nz

 


Timing is everything

For more than 60 years Rolex has forged a relationship with yachting through a natural affinity with the sport and its time-honoured values, and today it partners some of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs, institutions and regattas.

From the origins in 1905, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf set out to make wristwatches to suit the increasingly active and sporting lifestyles of the modern world.

Nine years later Rolex brought the then unrivalled precision of the marine chronometer clock – a vital navigational instrument – to the wristwatch for the first time.

By 1926 it had invented the world’s first waterproof wristwatch (the Oyster) and, in 1931, the first wristwatch self-winding system with a free rotor, called the Perpetual. These innovations formed the foundations for today’s Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II.

Rolex used the world as a real-life proving ground for the Oyster, demonstrating its reliability in the most extreme conditions: at sea, in the depths of the ocean, on land, in the air and on the tallest peaks.

Waterproof, robust and accurate, Oyster Perpetual chronometers are uniquely suited to life at the helm. The brand gravitated to yachting, forming an alliance in the late 1950s with the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), founder of the America’s Cup, with a creative influence on yachting rules.

These included ‘one-design’ racing which allowed the skill of the crew to make all the difference. Over time, this principle led to advanced events such as the highly-competitive SailGP global championship and the Rolex TP52 World Championship.

The seminal partnership with the NYYC shaped Rolex’s involvement in the sport. Yachting is steeped in tradition, nurtures a spirit of fair play and thrives on a congenial atmosphere. But racing is also fiercely competitive and technical, demanding mastery, split-second precision, resilience and the finest teamwork.

Over the decades, Rolex has harnessed the passion for yachting by establishing ties with yacht clubs across the globe, where sailing enthusiasts rub shoulders with hard-core racers and elite skippers. A dozen clubs now anchor a series of partnerships which give Rolex title sponsorship of about 15 major races in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific basin.

This circuit ranges from leading offshore classics, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race – which test Corinthian (non-professional) and professional crews to their limits – through the powerful action of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup to the pageantry of the glamorous Rolex Giraglia.

Rolex’s dedicated yachting time pieces – the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II – are regatta chronographs with an innovative mechanical countdown timer. They’re imbued with the rich heritage and experience of sailing’s elite, and symbolise the enduring bond between Rolex and the maritime world.

 


Expect the unusual

Kiwis short of ‘staycation’ ideas should check out the NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show. Held annually since 1999 at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park, the show delivers the quirky – as you’d expect from a boating event 640m above sea level.

Boaties tow their prized originals, restorations and rebuilds from right around the country, and each boat has a story to tell. Event organiser Pete Rainey says visitors relish the opportunity to chat with owners while the boats are displayed on the foreshore.

“You might see a historic Great Lakes speedboat with a bootlegging past or watch as a cup of tea is made in the ‘Windermere kettle’ of an Edwardian steam-launch fired on Vietnamese anthracite. Owners enjoy revealing the stories behind their restorations, such as hunting for kahikatea – New Zealand’s wooden equivalent to fibreglass – to reline a sailing dinghy.”

Judges are always out for a story as well as a good-looking boat, and the mash-up of flashy and humble is a hallmark of the boat show.

Rainey has holidayed here since he was a kid and urges people travelling south to make a staycation of it. “It’s worth booking in for a night or two in St Arnaud, an alpine village set among the glaciated ranges of the national park.

“As well as two days of Glorious Hydromatic Relaxation, visitors can check out the dawn chorus from the successful ‘mainland island’ nature restoration project and tackle the walking tracks of the park. The boat show features displays on land in the morning, a sail past, an afternoon of racing on the lake and an awards dinner on Saturday night.”

 


More ZIP better attitude

Trimming a boat for a more comfortable, safer and efficient ride has become much easier with Zipwake’s fully-automatic tabs, giving you more time to enjoy the company and the boat.

Though they’ve only been available for around five years in New Zealand (since Auckland’s Advance Trident Ltd – ATL – acquired the agency), the Swedish-manufactured Zipwake tabs have quickly gained a foothold.

“We’ve been enormously – and pleasantly – surprised by the demand,” says ATL director Blair Geldard. “We introduced Zipwake as a relatively unknown product and it’s fair to say the boating fraternity’s initial concerns swirled around performance.

“Would they create too much drag, slow the boat and increase fuel consumption? Well, five years later those perceptions have shifted dramatically – the growth’s been meteoric and the feedback overwhelmingly positive.”

Much of the growth, he says, is directly attributable to the proven performance of the product. “Most systems are being sold to OEMs – boat manufacturers interested in offering their customers the opportunity to optimise the boating experience.”

Zipwake tabs (Interceptors) operate at five times the speed of conventional tabs, offering instant trim. They can be run in Manual or Automatic modes and the colour LCD display gives users full visibility of the their position and the boat’s performance.

The technology has certainly found favour with local boat manufacturers. Innovision’s Simon Minoprio, for example, says “It’s a no-brainer. Zipwake is a brilliant product.” Profile Boats’ Bryan Firman is emphatic that they’re “the best automatic trim system available.”

“Fully automatic – Zipwake does it all for you,” says Haines Hunter’s Dennis Kendall. “They’re very efficient and operate exceptionally well,” says Bill Upfold. “We now fit them as a matter of course.”

A fair percentage of the installations also find their way to the retrofit market – boaties wanting to enhance their existing vessel’s performance. A Zipwake system is sold as a complete plug-n-play ‘kit’ and it’s a relatively easy project for a competent DIYer.

“Another factor in the technology’s appeal,” says Geldard, “is the versatility offered by the Zipwake range. There are two series – S and E – for smaller and larger vessels respectively. Within these segments there are the conventional straight Interceptors, the curved models designed to fit around tunnel transoms, as well as those which mirror the chines on the edge of a hull. This variety has seen the tabs successfully fitted to many hulls of different shapes and sizes.”

He also points out that the ‘mix-n-match’ nature of the S- and E-series makes it easier to find custom solutions for any boat – an installation might feature a blend of models from both series to optimise the available space along a transom.

HOW IT WORKS

Unlike conventional trim tabs which feature plates actuated by rams, Zipwake tabs comprise a ‘blade’ moving in a vertical plane, electrically-driven by a servo motor(s). This design results in a very compact, unobtrusive unit. The blade’s maximum depth of travel (full extension) is about 25mm for S-Series, and 55mm for E-Series – in practice, with the boat planing at speed, the blades are typically extended less than 10mm.

As any boatie knows, the greatest frustration with conventional trim tabs is the constant adjustment required to accommodate passenger movements, or changes in direction relative to wind and waves. Zipwake blades eliminate the frustration because they are fully automatic, reacting instantaneously to changes in roll and pitch. They also remove the guesswork that comes with manual tab settings.

The automation is courtesy of an accelerometer and a GPS antenna built into the control module, mounted at the helm. Operating on 12 or 24 volts, the system’s activated with the single push of a button.

S-SERIES

Designed for vessels up to around 16m LOA, the S-series tabs are available in four sizes – 300, 450, 600 and 750mm long. The basic rule-of-thumb for ‘sizing’ a Zipwake installation, says Geldard, is at least 50% coverage of the transom width.

A boat with a 2.5m beam, for example (a 1.2m either side of the keel) should aim for two 750mm tabs – one either side. For boats with wider transoms, fitting two tabs per side is recommended. Thanks to the plug-n-play architecture, the system automatically configures multi-tab installations. You don’t need to be a programming whizz!

E-SERIES

These are designed for vessels up to 35m LOA. They function just like their S-Series cousins, but because they are wider and heavier the blade is activated by two servo motors rather than one. The increased size of the Interceptors in the E-Series range means the technology can now be fitted to larger vessels, with the availability of curved units for boats with tunnel hulls. The E-Series also offers three versions of the curved tab – each with a different ‘radius’.

“We are witnessing a trend with boats and tunnels,” says Geldard, “where owners who’d previously struggled to trim their vessels are now pursuing the Zipwake tunnel solution. Pine Harbour’s Harkin Boatbuilders has installed a number of these with good success.”

In many tunnel installations, he adds, the transom will be fitted with a combination of curved and straight tabs. And depending on the available vertical space on the transom, some vessels might need a combination of E- and S-Series tabs. Again, the plug-n-play smarts handle such configurations automatically.

Both E- and S-Series tabs also feature models designed to be mounted at the outer extremity of a transom – the outside edge of the blade is equipped with an angled section to mirror the boat’s chines.

One of the most interesting illustrations of how Zipwake tabs affect a boat’s performance can be seen in its wake. Because the aft end is lifted as the tabs are deployed – the vessel then rides with a more ‘level’ attitude – it often leaves a cleaner wake, which in turn reduces the amount of water coming aboard the aft platform.

 


Manson vs hurricane

An 80lb Manson Supreme anchor came out on top in a grim contest of staying power against a recent Atlantic hurricane.

Guy Hall listened nervously as the Florida state news broadcaster detailed the approach of Hurricane Sally.

Coastlines were being evacuated as boaties and coastal landlubbers prepared for terrifying winds, storm surge and flooding.

His Roberts DS440 steel yacht was moored in Pensacola’s Palafox Marina. Hurricane Sally was only moving at two to three miles per hour, but the slow-moving storms often cause the most damage.

“At about 0830am the 100-plus miles per hour winds began to rage and broke all the docks free,” says Guy. “I could see we’d end up in a big pile of rubble at the north end of the marina if I didn’t do something fast.

“I quickly dropped my 80lb Manson Supreme anchor and 100 feet of chain and it bit. Relief, but wondered whether it would hold.”

Remarkably, Guy not only managed to hold four boats, but also a large section of the dock for several hours as the Category 2 hurricane howled around them.

“We held a few boats for a while, all lodged against each other, but they all eventually broke away except for a 42ft Sea Ray. Sadly, after it tried to climb our bow we watched it slowly sink right next to us.”

Hurricane Sally brought four months of rain in four hours, with damage estimates of at least $5 billion and eight fatalities.

While Guy’s boat sustained scratches and damages it was seaworthy. “Despite the hurricane’s incredible power the Manson Supreme held. I was impressed – and very grateful. We had bent shackles and bent rollers, but the anchor was in perfect condition – though it took divers three hours to retrieve it!”

“The Supreme anchor was designed by sailors who’ve experienced catastrophic conditions all over the world”, says Manson managing director Ned Wood. “Guy’s story is why we do what we do. You can’t always rely on the weather, but we like to think you can rely on a Manson Supreme. We are so pleased that Guy emerged safely and was able to share this story.”

The innovative weight distribution and design of the Supreme is approved by Lloyd’s Register to SHHP (Super High Holding Power). 

For more information contact Sarah Aldworth on 027 474 6483 or email sarah@mansonanchors.com

 


Monster iceberg threatens South Georgia

A massive iceberg which broke off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf in 2017 is now drifting northeast towards the island of South Georgia, a potential threat for penguin and seal populations as well as the local fishing industry.

Known as A-68a, the iceberg measures some 150km long by 48km wide and 200m deep. It is currently travelling through an area known as ‘Iceberg Alley’ and is now just a few hundred kilometres away from South Georgia’s southwestern shore. When it broke from the Larsen C shelf in 2017, the iceberg weighed an estimated trillion tons – the third biggest ever recorded.

If it runs aground near the island, say scientists, it could remain there for a decade, disrupting not only South Georgia’s economy but also the region’s ecosystem. It might create a barrier to the resident penguin and seal populations’ foraging routes, hampering their ability to feed their young.

Scientists also point out that the monster running aground near South Georgia could have some ‘positive’ impacts: it appears icebergs carry significant amounts of dust that help to fertilise the ocean plankton as the bergs melt. That would benefit much of the food chain.

Of course, the prevailing currents and weather will affect A-68a’s course – it may miss South Georgia altogether and eventually break up. Given the number of fissures and cracks revealed in it (courtesy of European Space Agency satellite imagery), the break-up is a likely scenario as it drifts into warmer water.

It’s a moot point as to whether climate change is responsible for the rogue berg breaking away from the Larsen C shelf – many scientists believe it may simply reflect an ice shelf’s natural growth-and-decay calving cycle.