Boating Business | Profile – Brian May

For some 500 years, those involved with Lymington-based Berthon marina and its boatyard have been at the forefront of innovation.

From designing an early form of a speed log and screw propeller to collapsible lifeboats and sea plane prototypes, it’s clear creativity, practicality and a passion for all things boat-related, are in the Berthon and May families’ genes.

The latest generation to run Berthon, co-owner Brian May and his brother Dominic, display similar energy, ambition and dynamism. During their 30-year tenure, the company has continuously evolved, leaving it well-placed to cope with whatever challenges the sector (and pandemics) present.

When they took over the company in 1990, the brothers were keen to invest in infrastructure and develop a vertically-integrated business.

Today Berthon has a 300-berth deep water marina with dock master and concierge services; a boatyard with painting facilities and engineering, joinery, electronic and fabrication workshops to build Gemini RIBs, ASVs and Pilot vessels, and refit, maintain, service and repair leisure and commercial boats.

Acquisitions

Berthon is an exclusive UK dealer for Cox Powertrain 300hp diesel outboards and sells new and secondhand boats, with service and an after sales presence in France, Spain, Scandinavia and the US.

Recent acquisitions are: Versadock – a modular floating docking, jetty and pontoon solution and BHG Marine – comprising Yamaha and electric Torqeedo outboard engine sales, service and maintenance specialists.

Brian comments: “We’re tenants for the next generation and will continue to run the company as a family; nurturing and training apprentices so they learn the skills necessary to work in the marine industry.”

He grew up in the boatyard, which used to careen ships trading coal and salt and construct customs’ cutters and lives in his grandfather’s house – the home of earlier boatyard owner, Thomas Inman, who designed and built gentleman’s sailing yachts. His vessels were involved in the 1851 ‘Round Isle of Wight race’, the forerunner of the America’s Cup.

Playground

“The boatyard was my playground and I raced everything from Lasers to 420s and Sigmas to maxis and superyachts, 100 days a year for 25 years.

“Obtaining two separate degrees in history and economics, I was two courses and a dissertation away from an MBA, but running the university sailing team took priority.” Brian then worked in the City as a successful fund manager and by age 25 was a director of two companies. “When one was taken over and I was made redundant, I sold the second to a third party and then was out of a job.”

While interviewing for a City role, Brian moved to Berthon where he was a non-exec director. “Nine months later I was racing for the RTYC vs NYYC in America with sailing mentor Peter Nicholson and my father offered me the job of MD by phone.”

Dominic joined soon after. “It’s a relationship that works well; we complement each other.

“Our father left the business debt-free with a well-known brand to build upon. Our priority was to refurbish the marina and modernise the shipyard. We demolished old sheds, created new state-of-the-art workshops and a computer system and slowly increased our sales division and offices for the yacht maintenance and repair team.

Capacity

“We created a purpose-built spray booth – immediately becoming one of only four of the most technically advanced painting facilities in the world – ordered a new 120T boat mover and rebuilt the lifting dock along with three gantries for yacht sales. We tripled our capacity and diversified, which quickly paid off as turnover increased.”

Berthon built Felixstowe seaplanes in WWI and HDMLs, MTBs and MVFs in WWII and still works for the MOD. Over 25 years it’s built 40 lifeboats for the RNLI.

A legacy going forward, will be the apprenticeship programme Berthon designed and developed in 2008 and continues to support via the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ Apprenticeship Scheme. The firm so far has sponsored the first-year wages for 174 apprentices in 125 marine SMEs (out of 350 engaged). Berthon currently has 30 apprentices, in addition to its 140 staff.

During lockdown, business has continued. “We’re known for our attention to detail, training and skills, and this serves us well. With our rich history, we’re not going to panic; we’ve weathered wars and many storms and will always adapt to the challenges that present themselves.”

In his spare time, Brian enjoys glass-blowing, gardening and visiting France with his French wife, Isabelle who has regularly crewed in regattas worldwide during their 25 years together. His two children have yet to decide whether they want to enter the family firm.

via Boating Business | Profile – Brian May.

Boating Business | Cockwells restores historic Dunkirk ship

COCKWELLS RESTORES HISTORIC DUNKIRK SHIP

HOMENEWSBOATBUILDINGBOATBUILDINGCOCKWELLS RESTORES HISTORIC DUNKIRK SHIP

25 Jun 2020

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The ‘Fleury II’ Photo: Andrew Wright Photography

INDUSTRY DATABASE

COCKWELLS

Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding has restored a historic WWII vessel which helped rescue more than 336,000 allied soldiers trapped in France.

The Little Ships of Dunkirk sailed from Ramsgate in Kent to Northern France between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo. Fleury II was built in Christchurch, Dorset in 1936 and was delivered to Cockwells’ Mylor Creek Boatyard in autumn 2018 for much needed structural repairs.

Fusing the traditional and modern

Fusing modern techniques with traditional design allows for a flexible approach to restoration as shipwright, Mark Curnow, explained. “Originally, solid strips of thicker wood would have been used in the deck’s construction and steamed in but today, we can laminate thinner strips, in situ, to repair hard-to-reach areas.

We have also maintained the aesthetics of the deck but have gained durability by using marine ply and a layer of fibreglass/epoxy where, traditionally, wooden boards covered with painted canvas would have been used.”

The deck has been replaced as have deck fittings, stanchions and one of the aft-cabin sides. The wheelhouse and skylight have been repaired and the windlass has been overhauled, whilst the interior has been painted to lighten the space and the exterior stripped and re-varnished.

The Fleury II will participate in the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships’ return to Dunkirk to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the mission, planned for May 2020 but postponed by a year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

via Boating Business | Cockwells restores historic Dunkirk ship.

Boating Business | Soft attachment blocks from Ronstan

SOFT ATTACHMENT BLOCKS FROM RONSTAN

HOMENEWSAFTERMARKETMASTS, SPARS, SAILS & RIGGINGSOFT ATTACHMENT BLOCKS FROM RONSTAN

25 Jun 2020

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Ronstan’s soft attachment block Photo: Ronstan

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Sailtek is now supplying new soft attachment blocks from Ronstan.

Available in three sizes, the RF47109, RF67109 and RF77109 have the highest ration of dynamic load to sheave diameter of any block in the company’s keelboat block range and suit a multitude of demanding applications where high static and dynamic loads are encountered.

The blocks have fully machined aluminium cheeks and sheaves; full contact, self-lubricating composite bearings running on a polished duplex stainless steel hub; a Dyneema SK99 soft shackle with titanium dog bone and a working load capacity in relation to block size of MWL from 2000kg (series 40) to 7000kg (series 75).

With the soft shackle open, rotating the cheeks opens the head of the block so it can be fitted to a standing line as a snatch block. Rotating back to the closed position closes the block. A spring-loaded ball secures the assembly with no additional external straps or bands required.

The soft shackles supplied with the soft attachment blocks are a versatile accessory and can also be ordered separately. Both are available in the UK through IMP.

via Boating Business | Soft attachment blocks from Ronstan.

Boating Business | Spirit Yachts reveals new Deckhouse design

SPIRIT YACHTS REVEALS NEW DECKHOUSE DESIGN

HOMENEWSBOATBUILDINGBOATBUILDINGSPIRIT YACHTS REVEALS NEW DECKHOUSE DESIGN

26 Jun 2020

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The Spirit 72DH (Deckhouse) Photo: Spirit Yachts

INDUSTRY DATABASE

SPIRIT YACHTS LTD

Spirit Yachts has released designs for its new Spirit 72DH (Deckhouse) currently in build at its waterside yard in Suffolk.

Due to launch in 2021, the new Spirit 72DH is the first Spirit yacht to have carbon integrated into her build, delivering the same strength as a stainless steel reinforcement cage, but with less weight.

“By using carbon in the reinforcing structures we have saved over 800kg versus the stainless steel equivalent, which optimises the overall performance of the yacht once she is on the water,” explained Spirit Yachts’ managing director, Nigel Stuart.

On deck, the Spirit 72DH has a Bermudan sloop rig, carbon mast and boom from Hall Spars, nitronic rod rigging and electric Lewmar winches. A sail wardrobe from OneSails comprises a mainsail, self-tacking jib and conventional jib, code zero, and an asymmetric spinnaker.

Solbian solar panels sit flush with the Lignia decking and serve as lazarette covers. The panels will charge Mastervolt Lithium Ion batteries (a total of 20kW) and the yacht is powered by a Yanmar 4LV150 engine with a high output Mastervolt alternator delivering a maximum speed of 10 knots.

Below decks, accommodation for eight is split across one crew and three guest cabins and the standard Spirit mid-level seating and navigation area linking the cockpit and main interior space is gone in favour of maximising the living area.

via Boating Business | Spirit Yachts reveals new Deckhouse design.

Boating Business | America’s Cup team leads eco ferry project

AMERICA’S CUP TEAM LEADS ECO FERRY PROJECT

HOMENEWSINDUSTRY NEWSAMERICA’S CUP TEAM LEADS ECO FERRY PROJECT

26 Jun 2020

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Artemis Technologies is leading a consortium to build an electric hydrofoil-powered ferry Photo: Artemis Technologies

INDUSTRY DATABASE

ARTEMIS TECHNOLOGIES

A Belfast consortium led by Artemis Technologies, a spin-off from the America’s Cup sailing team, Artemis Racing, has won a £33m UK government grant to develop zero emissions ferries.

The project, which will total £60m in investment and create more than 1,000 jobs in the coming decade, will see the 13 partner syndicate build environmentally friendly ferries powered by electric hydrofoil and capable of carrying up to 350 passengers.

Artemis Technologies is led by double Olympic gold medallist Ian Percy OBE. He explained more about the project. “Belfast’s local expertise coupled with the city’s rich shipbuilding heritage and our own America’s Cup yacht design experience will ensure Belfast is the global lead in zero emissions maritime technology,” he said.

Unique concept

“Our concept for an electric hydrofoil propulsion system is totally unique and will enable vessels of the future to operate with up to 90% less energy and produce zero emissions during operation.”

The consortium is the only Northern Irish or maritime recipient of the UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places Fund and brings together a range of companies, academia and public bodies including Belfast Harbour, Bombardier Belfast, Northern Ireland Advanced Composites Engineering, Creative Composites, Energia, Catalyst, Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University, Belfast Met, Queen’s University in Belfast, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Belfast City Council.

via Boating Business | America’s Cup team leads eco ferry project.

Boating Business | New tell tales used by world champions

Sea Sure’s new FLO tell tales are shaped in an aerofoiled tear drop and manufactured from glass filled nylon.A rounded top surface to the tear drop allows the wool to stand 6mm off the sail so that the tell tale doesn’t stick to a sail when it is wet.“This means that whether it is raining, or you have just recovered from a capsize, you will be able to carry on sailing and get the feedback you need from the sail straight away,” explained Graham Brown, Sea Sure MD.“The tell tale is a product that has not evolved, not been updated and not been improved since they were designed despite major flaws, until now.”FLO was designed by former Americas cup designer and current coach to the British Olympic Team, Derek Clark. The product has been tested and used around the world by world champions.The tell tales are available in black, green or red.

via Boating Business | New tell tales used by world champions.

Boating Business | Profile – Marie-Claude Heys

PROFILE – MARIE-CLAUDE HEYS

HOMENEWSPEOPLEPROFILE – MARIE-CLAUDE HEYS

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MARIE-CLAUDE HEYS TAKING PART IN THE ROUND THE ISLAND RACE

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MARIE-CLAUDE WITH THE J DREAM CREW, WINNERS OF THE J CUP

MARIE-CLAUDE TOOK PART IN THE SINGLE-HANDED FIGARO RACE IN 1983

MARIE-CLAUDE ONLY WANTED TO SAIL

MARIE-CLAUDE HEYS TAKING PART IN THE ROUND THE ISLAND RACE

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02 Jun 2020

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INDUSTRY DATABASE

KEY YATCHING LTD

Key Yachting MD, Marie-Claude Heys, is the epitome of the phrase ‘follow your dreams’. Her passion for sailing, coupled with incredible tenacity, determination and self-belief, resulted in more than 20 years of competitive racing, culminating in crewing for two Whitbread Round the World races.

Marie-Claude’s parents trained in medicine in Paris and moved to Brest with her two elder brothers before she was born. “My parents had a passion for outdoor sports – sailing, mountaineering, skiing etc – and regularly raced. My mother helmed and my father skippered.”

From the age of seven, Marie-Claude sailed. “I initially thought about being a vet or going to art school, but from 12 onwards I only wanted to sail. For me it was more than a hobby; it was a lifestyle.”

At 16, Marie-Claude was allowed to skipper her parent’s boat, a 28ft cruiser. “This gave me a great sense of responsibility, for the boat and the people on board.”

A year later, in 1977, Marie-Claude dreamed of sailing around the world, particularly Cape Horn. “I saw this as a huge adventure, an opportunity to be with people, to enjoy the camaraderie, yet be on your own with so much freedom.”

Charter business

And so the journey began. After two years studying English and Spanish at university, she left to concentrate on offshore sailing and to build a charter business using her parents’ boat.  What followed was a two-year adventure in professional sailing, sailing from Brest to Tahiti via England, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, islands in the Pacific and through the Panama Canal.

Upon her return to France, and eager to learn more about sail-making and boat building, Marie-Claude honed her skills by working for local firms. “Alongside racing boats, I wanted to know everything about them and these two areas matched my skill set.”

In 1983, Marie-Claude entered the single-handed Figaro race, crossing to Ireland, back to France, then Spain before returning. “It’s a sprint across shipping lanes and in those days, there was no GPS and an intermittent auto-pilot, so you were reliant on your skills and endurance.”

She also competed in the 1987, 1990 and 1991 races and skippered female crews for the Tour de France a La Voile in 1985 and 1986.

Transatlantic race

By 25, Marie-Claude completed her first successful transatlantic race – Monaco-New York on Lady Elf. The crew were victorious and during the 1986 Paris Boat Show, she heard about Tracy Edwards and her plan for a female crew in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race. Marie-Claude applied and was invited to serve as first mate.

Despite preparing the boat ‘Maiden’ for the voyage, things didn’t work out and Marie-Claude wasn’t to compete in the Race until 1993-94, as part of a 12-women crew on ‘Heineken’ (at the helm and sail-making). Four years later, she crewed in the Southern Ocean leg of the Race on ‘EF Education’.

In between another transatlantic race and sailing a variety of J boats in numerous UK-based events (including Cowes), Marie-Claude skippered charters between the Mediterranean and Caribbean, managed shore logistics for a French Round the World Race entry and taught French. It was only when she met her future husband, Paul Heys, that life began to settle down.

History

“I met Paul in 1993, before setting off in ‘Heineken’. I cleaned boats at his brokerage and when I returned a year later, he offered me a job in after sales. We started a business together in 1996, married in 1998, and the rest as they say is history.”

Key Yachting has exclusive distributor rights for J Boats, Grand Soleil, Tofinou and Nautitech Catamarans, covering the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands. “We treat our customers like family. We’re here 24/7 and run racing events so everyone can come together.”

Marie-Claude was widowed in 2019 and received the British Yachting Lifetime Achievement Award obo Paul in December. This she says, ‘reflects the warmth of feeling and respect people had for him’.

After many years ‘living out of a suitcase’ and working on different projects, Marie-Claude looks back at her time sailing as ‘a dream fulfilled’. “It’s not a lifestyle that suits everyone; there’s no safety or security, but this is the price you pay for freedom.”

Marie-Claude still enjoys sailing, but nowadays focuses on Hamble-based Key Yachting and her second home in south east France. Her resilience is demonstrated by her motto ‘live your dream, be kind and don’t let people hurt you… rise above it’.

via Boating Business | Profile – Marie-Claude Heys.

Boating Business | Expansion for superyacht rigging company

EXPANSION FOR SUPERYACHT RIGGING COMPANY

HOMENEWSSUPERYACHTSEXPANSION FOR SUPERYACHT RIGGING COMPANY

03 Jun 2020

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Year-round support in Palma can now be provided by Marine Results International

INDUSTRY DATABASE

MARINE RESULTS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Marine Results International SL, based in Palma, Mallorca has increased its shop floor space with the addition of a double storey workshop.

The additional space has been acquired following the first successful year of the superyacht rigging company’s extension of its UK operation to include the new base in Mallorca. The new workshop complements the custom-built container that Marine Results has operated from at STP Shipyard for the past 12 months.

“We’ve always been aware of Palma as the heart of Mediterranean yachting, and whilst we have worked on large yacht projects there every winter since the company was formed, we were spending an increasing amount of our time there,” said Marine Results International head Ed Danby. “We therefore decided the time had come to provide year-round support rather than just seasonal support.”

Servicing

The new facility will house splicing and storage facilities as well as a component servicing area.

A dye-penetrant line, for non-destructive testing of mast and yacht structures and appendages, has also been installed which will be operated by Marine Results International’s partner company International NDT.

Marine Results International was founded in 2003 and is headed by Ed Danby and Jon Morris. In addition to rigging work the company has evolved advanced non-destructive testing techniques now used on superyachts.

In 2019, the directors set up International NDT headed by Giles Waterhouse.

Marine Results International continues to operate from the UK and the three companies together share mobile workshops in Carrara, Italy and La Ciotat France.

via Boating Business | Expansion for superyacht rigging company.

Boating Business | COVID-19: Cowes events cancelled

COVID-19: COWES EVENTS CANCELLED

HOMENEWSCOVID-19COVID-19: COWES EVENTS CANCELLED

08 Jun 2020

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The 2020 Cowes Week and Cowes Classic Week have been cancelled Photo: CWL/Martin Allen

INDUSTRY DATABASE

COWES WEEK LIMITED

Two further iconic sailing events have been cancelled as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 editions of Cowes Classic Week organised by the Royal London and Yacht Club and Cowes Week, run by Cowes Week Ltd (CWL), will no longer go ahead, the organisers have confirmed.

Laurence Mead, Cowes Week regatta director, said that cancelling was a huge disappointment. “We waited for as long as we realistically could to see how the situation might develop on the basis that our competitors would want us to run the regatta if it were possible,” he said.

CWL has confirmed that competitors already entered will be invited to roll over their 2020 entry to the 2021 regatta.

Classic powerboats and cars

Royal London is now focusing on 2021 and will push ahead with plans for the new Cowes Classic Day, a display of more than 50 classic cars on The Parade alongside classic powerboats on the London Landing and RYS Yacht Haven.

“We all look forward to a fantastic regatta in 2021,” said Cowes Classic Week regatta chairman, David Gower. “Whilst we know many competitors will be disappointed, it has become clear that we could not deliver a successful regatta this year and the responsible decision is to cancel.”

via Boating Business | COVID-19: Cowes events cancelled.

Boating Business | Cruising line-up is complete

CRUISING LINE-UP IS COMPLETE

HOMENEWSAFTERMARKETMASTS, SPARS, SAILS & RIGGINGCRUISING LINE-UP IS COMPLETE

10 Jun 2020

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3Di OCEAN 370 is suitable for yachts from 35 – 60ft

INDUSTRY DATABASE

NORTH SAILS UK LTD

North Sails has launched 3Di OCEAN 370, to complete the company’s line-up of 3D moulded sails dedicated to cruising.

The new product is built on the success of the company’s 3Di NORDAC polyester for smaller boats and its OCEAN 700 superyacht cruising sail.

3Di OCEAN 370 sits between those two products to meet the needs of cruising boats in the 35-60ft range for both monohulls and multihulls.

The sails use patented sail technology shaped on three-dimensional moulds that were originally developed for racing.

“Our company culture is driven by an innate desire to continually develop sail technologies that allow sailors to have a more enjoyable experience,” said North Sails president Ken Read.

Cruising community

“Cruising offers an outlet to escape life on land and the North Sails commitment to the cruising community is stronger than ever.

“We front-footed our cruising product development and brought forward almost a year the expansion of our product line. We’re looking forward to having more sailors experience the next level of cruising sail durability and performance with the 3Di OCEAN range.”

3Di NORDAC dates from 2017 when North Sails combined the use of Dacron 3Di tapes and three-dimensional moulds to develop a cloth that maintained the traditional look of Dacron sails.

The 3Di concept was taken into the superyacht arena in 2018 with 3Di OCEAN 700 for larger yachts whose owners were looking for improved handling and long-lasting sails.

The 3Di technology produces sails reduce heel in a breeze and add power in light air.

The sails are seamless.

via Boating Business | Cruising line-up is complete.