Boating Business | Harken on show at SIBS



Harken’s Fly Block – on show at this year’s SIBS Photo: Harken



Sailboat hardware and accessories manufacturer, Harken, will be unveiling a range of new products at this year’s Southampton International Boat Show powered by Borrow a Boat.

Among the products the firm will be showing are its high-load Fly Blocks developed specifically for use with high-tech line, Element Blocks and the Reflex 3, its new furling unit for use on larger mono and multihulls.

Fly Blocks

The Fly blocks are available in three sizes – 18, 29 and 40mm – with the larger two featuring a one-piece titanium sheave that doubles as the outer bearing race for their stainless steel ball bearings. Fly Block sideplates are fibre-reinforced composite are suitable for use on foiling dinghies and sport-boats and for vang cascades and backstay systems on Grand-Prix racers.

“Fly Blocks offer the strength previously found only in larger blocks, with increased efficiency, all in a much smaller package,” said Matt Schmidt, leader of the Fly Blocks development project. “Taken together, it means increased potential performance.”

Reflex 3

Following on from the Reflex furling units 1 and 2, Harken now offers the Reflex 3. With a rated maximum working load of 4.5 tonnes the Reflex 3 furls asymmetric spinnakers on monohulls with typical boat lengths of 13 – 17.7m and multihulls of 12 –16.7m; code zero sails on monohulls 12 – 16.5m and multihulls 11–15m.

The 13mm torsion cable combines a layer of steel braid with an 11mm Dyneema core whilst a polymer cable jacket protects against abrasion. Each system comes with an attachment for the bow fitting or sprit and additional attachments are available for increased flexibility.

Element Blocks

Element blocks combine a bearing system with forged aluminium side-plates, designed to protect the fibre-reinforced nylon sheaves, resulting in a block that is said to be durable, efficient and value for money. The range of blocks is offered in singles, doubles, triples, fiddles and footblocks. They accept line from 8 – 16mm and come in 45, 60 and 80mm sizes.

“Element is a product for sailors, no matter if they are cruisers or racers,” said project manager, Jeremy McMahon.

Southampton International Boat Show runs from 13 – 22 September.

via Boating Business | Harken on show at SIBS.

Boating Business | Southampton International Boat Show 2019



19 Aug 2019







This year’s SIBS runs from 13 – 22 September Photo: SIBS



More than 600 global marine brands, boats of all types and a range of activities will be on show at this year’s Southampton International Boat Show powered by Borrow a Boat.

Making their debut at the 51st show will be new yachts from Sunseeker, Fairline and Rodman together with products from first-time exhibitors, UK distributor Celsuis UK and industrial equipment supplier, Mirka UK. Also new this year is the award winning Karpaz Gate Marina from North Cyprus showcasing its facilities and berthing packages.

Alongside the more than 300 boats at the purpose-built marina will be displays such as flyboards and the tall ship, Shtandart, a sea-going training ship and full-size replica of the flagship of the first Russian Baltic fleet whose build was directed by Peter the Great.

Also included is a comprehensive speaker schedule featuring yachtsman and presenter, Tom Cunliffe, ocean voyager and celestial navigator, Stokey Woodall, and Kate Fortnam, campaign manager at the environment programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and Britism Marine, among others.


For those keen to experience the water, the Try-a-Dive pool returns this year for a chance for everyone – complete beginner or seasoned pro – to enjoy scuba diving along with GET AFLOAT which features dinghy sailing, paddleboarding or, for the first time at the show, bellboating. There is also the radio sailing pool where everyone can have a go at sailing a Dragon 65 racing yacht.

Returning once again is one of the show’s top attractions – Try-a-Boat – giving visitors an opportunity to sail a wide range of boats including a 37ft Jeanneau sailing yacht, a 7.8m Rib or a Cheetah Marine cataraman.

Expert advice

Also at the show will be experts from local Hamble point Yacht Charters who will offer a Storm Check service to owners of yachts moored on the Hamble giving advice on how to ensure the boat is winter-ready and representatives from the Cruising Association who will be drawing the winner of the Ocean Safety Big Prize.

The show runs from 13 – 22 September.

via Boating Business | Southampton International Boat Show 2019.

Boating Business | Tom Hutchinson dies



19 Aug 2019







Tom Hutchinson was the founder of Future Fibres. Photo: Future Fibres



Future Fibres’ founder, Tom Hutchinson, has died after sustaining fatal injuries while kitesurfing off the Isle of Wight.

Tom, aged 52, was born on the Isle of Wight and spent his adult life working in and around the sea.

He left school at 16 and became a deckhand on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean before becoming a delivery skipper.

His career progressed to running a workshop in California servicing yachts competing in the America’s Cup, an opportunity that enabled him to make international contacts in the yachting world.

Future Fibres was established 25 years’ ago on the Isle of Wight and soon moved its manufacturing to London.

America’s Cup teams

When New Zealand won the America’s Cup, the company transferred its business to Auckland, later moving the operation to Valencia, Spain, where it continued to supply America’s Cup teams and also other campaigns.

The company was acquired by Southern Spars, part of the North Technology Group, in 2014.

“Tom will be remembered for his energy and infectious enthusiasm, along with his extreme can-do attitude,” Future Fibres statement. “Future Fibres was the perfect vehicle for Tom’s combined love for water sports and passion for innovation, taking the company from it’s very humble beginnings on the Isle of Wight to an internationally recognised company with a reputation for innovative products that helped our customers go faster and gain an edge on the race course, be it the field of yacht racing, motorsports or indeed any arena in which Tom felt he could make a difference.


“Tom’s loss comes as a deep shock to the Future Fibres community and we express our deepest and sincere condolences to Tom’s family and friends.”

His father Francis added: “Tom’s work took him all over the world, which suited his free-spirited, charismatic personality and he made many life-long friends in the process.

“But the draw of the Island was always with him and he returned to his cliff-top cottage whenever he could to pursue his great love of kiteboarding in the Back of the Wight.”

via Boating Business | Tom Hutchinson dies.

Boating Business | Topper official supplier to RYA OnBoard



Topper International has become official supplier to the RYA OnBoard programme Photo: Topper International



Topper International has struck a deal with the RYA to offer exclusive discounts and supply RYA OnBoard venues with its 4.2 Topper Sails for the next three years.

The OnBoard programme offers young people the chance to learn an exciting new sport in a safe environment.

The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing. Since 2005, OnBoard has introduced more than 900,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK.

Helping young people to sail

“OnBoard is all about introducing young people into the sport of sailing and these new dinghies will certainly help us to achieve this,” said Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard operations officer.

“They will be used by young sailors’ throughout the UK who are learning to sail at OnBoard venues through schools, sailing clubs, training centres and youth groups within the RYA OnBoard programme.”

Jon Manners from Topper International added: “The RYA OnBoard programme is a fantastic initiative which gets more and more young sailors out on the water offering a fantastic way to learn a new activity, have fun and make new friends and pick-up valuable life-skills along the way.”

via Boating Business | Topper official supplier to RYA OnBoard.

Boating Business | ‘Make Ship Happen’ campaign launched



08 Aug 2019







The ‘Make Ship Happen’ fundraising campaign will fund the reconstruction of the 7th century ‘Sutton Hoo’ ship. Image: Make Ship Happen

A national fundraising campaign is set to ‘Make Ship Happen’ for a £1m project to build a full-size reconstruction of the 7th century ‘Sutton Hoo’ ship.

The venture will bring together archaeologists, historians, experts in construction and shipbuilding and other skilled volunteers to reconstruct the mastless, clinker-built rowboat buried beneath the sand of Sutton Hoo across the River Deben from Woodbridge, Suffolk, for 13 centuries.

Philip Leech, chairman and director of the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company, which is responsible for the build, said: “The build is a serious scientific endeavour and an example of experimental archaeology which is carried out by replicating or approximating the feasibility of ancient cultures.

“This is done by employing a number of methods, techniques, analyses, and approaches, based upon archaeological source material – in this instance raising a ghost ship based on the indent left by the original vessel.

“Everything will be carefully recorded so we can learn from the construction.”

Build sponsorship

Different parts of the ship will then be offered up for sponsorship to pay for the build, which is likely to take about two years to complete.

The team will be using digital plans produced at Southampton University from the measurements taken at the excavation. The first stage will be to complete a fifth size model, using wood supplied by the Crown Estate, before building the full-size vessel.

The ship will be built inside The Longshed on the site of the former Whisstocks boatyard in Woodbridge.

Once built, it will be sea-trialled and used to learn about Anglo-Saxon skills, trade and seamanship. Later it will become a movable exhibition.

via Boating Business | ‘Make Ship Happen’ campaign launched.

Boating Business | Lack of impartiality claims

LACK OF IMPARTIALITY CLAIMSHOME NEWSINDUSTRY NEWS LACK OF IMPARTIALITY CLAIMS09 Aug 2019EmailShareFacebookLinkedInTwitterPrintSimon Speirs died in November 2017INDUSTRY DATABASECLIPPER VENTURES PLCClipper Ventures has called on the Department for Transport to hold an independent inquiry to establish the full extent of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Marine Accident Investigation Branch investigatory teams’ failure of professionalism, impartiality and honesty.The call follows an investigation into the death of Simon Speirs by the organisations.On the November 18 2017, Mr Speirs, a 60-year-old retired solicitor, fell overboard while helping to reduce sail.The yacht, CV30, owned by Clipper Ventures, was participating in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and was experiencing increasing winds and sea state in the Southern Ocean. Mr Speirs was tethered to the boat but fell overboard due to a failure of a tether safety clip. He was recovered but could not be resuscitated. He was buried at sea.Considerable concernThe accident was investigated by both the MCA and MAIB with the conclusions the cause of considerable concern, said Clipper Ventures in a statement.At a meeting between Clipper Ventures and the new MCA CEO the statement continued, “it was revealed that, after a new enquiry into the actions of the MCA Enforcement Official who had initiated and headed up a number of investigations concerning Clipper Ventures, multiple errors and distortions of the truth had been discovered.”These errors, says Clipper Ventures, include the fact that the MCA claimed there was a vessel within 60 miles of the yacht that could have taken the body home for burial which the MAIB has not admitted was not true – the nearest vessel was actually 1500 miles away.Lack of resourcesIn addition, Clipper Ventures says it has carried out all the MAIB’s recommendations except for the MCA inspection which the company says is due to the organisation’s lack of resources. Clipper Ventures therefore has had its systems assessed and approved by two independent auditors.In addition, the failure of the safety tether is being examined by the sailing industry, however, these industry learnings have been diluted by a number of factual errors in the MAIB report, continues Clipper Ventures.The statement concludes: “The MCA and MAIB investigations followed remarkably parallel courses and it has to be suspected that significant and improper influence was applied to the MAIB investigation by the MCA team.“Clipper Ventures has often complained of lack of impartiality at the MAIB, a belief now held more strongly than ever. The safety of its crew is the highest priority for Clipper Ventures and has been since the race was established in 1996.”SHARE THIS ARTICLE

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