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Caribbean News – Sept 07

Budget Marine signs to distribute Tohatsu outboard engines

Budget Marine Group Manager, Robbie Ferron, visited Tohatsu’s headquarters in Tokyo and new state of the art manufacturing plant in Komagane, which has a production capacity of over 200,000 units per year, this summer and signed a formal agreement to be the distributor of the Tohatsu brand in the eastern Caribbean. Tohatsu has been a pioneer of outboard engine technology since 1956 and Budget Marine has 10 Caribbean chandlery locations.  Budget Marine began retailing Tohatsu’s 2-stroke engines in 2004.  Tohatsu’s 4-stroke and TLDI series are also being introduced in Budget Marine stores. 

Grenada represented in Mallorca at Superyacht Challenge Cup

The Super Yacht Cup in Mallorca, Spain held in June featured fifty two of the world’s most expensive super yachts. Port Louis Grenada, a marina under development, was a featured sponsor of the event.  The Port Louis team set up a display promoting the marina and the island and distributed Grenada Life magazine, Port Louis caps, and polo shirts.

Solar powered ferry launched in St. Lucia

St Lucia’s Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, in July officially christened the Sunshine Express, a solar powered ferry designed and built in Marigot Bay by naval architect Bob Hathaway, Alvin Jean Pierre and Zarious Rene.  The vessel will ferry Discovery resort guests to the beach, bars, and restaurants. The building team reportedly is ready to produce the ferries and supply solar powered boats to the entire region.

TBT Paint Ban Soon Come

Interlux paint reminds us that January 2008 is the date of the complete ban on active Tributyltin (TBT) antifoulings by the International Maritime Organization.  Although the Entry into Force of the legislation will be 12 months after 25 member states of the World Shipping Fleet, representing 25% of total World Tonnage, have signed up, the January 2008 date will be applied “retroactively,” Interlux notes.  Any active TBT antifouling after January 2008 must be either sealed (using an approved sealer) or completely removed.  

Under European law active TBT antifoulings are totally banned from January 1, 2008, so if you’re sailing into European waters or even using one of the global yacht transport services to get you there, you will not be allowed entry or you will be fined.  TBT-free paint will enable boaters to enter international waters and carry TBT-free antifouling certificates.  If you don’t, Interlux predicts that you could be denied access to ports and harbors or be subjected to large fines.

Will you get more fouling on your hull when switching?  The company says no, promising that products now available in the marketplace will perform equal to, or better than, TBT-based antifouling. To download TBT-free antifouling certificates you should keep on board:  www.yachtpaint.com

Sunsail Moves, Moorings Constructs New Village

In early July, Sunsail Sailing Vacations announced the move of their Tortola, British Virgin Island yacht charter base from Hodges Creek Marina, East End, to Wickham’s Cay II in Road Town, home to the current Moorings base and Mariner Inn Hotel.  The following week, The Moorings announced the start of construction on a $10 million-plus project at its Roadtown base.  The company will build a breakwater to provide additional slip space for approximately 120 yachts and provide easier access for the beamier designs of the new monohulls and the expanding fleet of catamarans.

The Moorings village, when completed, will be located on the extended southern end of the current property and will have an open plaza of retail shops, a new customer reception area and lounge with WiFi, briefing area, shower facility, over-water gazebo bar and restaurant, conference area and new oceanfront hotel suites. The Moorings expects to complete construction during first quarter 2008.  Sunsail’s parent company First Choice Holidays, acquired the parent company of The Moorings, Grand Expeditions, in 2005. 

Need new digs for you and your boat?

In other Tortola news, the first eight of 32 waterfront townhouses with docks planned for Nanny Cay are under construction.  Pricing at Drakes Village will be $650,000 for two-bedroom and $750,000 for three bedroom unfurnished units.  Chris Smith of Coldwell Banker, the real estate firm marketing the project, says “the existing hotel at Nanny Cay runs about 75% occupancy over the year which is very high for the BVI and there is every reason to think the townhouses, which will be of a higher standard, will rent equally well. Four exclusive luxury oceanfront homes will also be made available later this year at a price of approx. $3 million.”

Save These Dates

St. Maarten Soualigaz Challenge:  September 23, 2007

Stuart Knaggs and the Netherlands Antilles Canoe Federation report that top class paddlers plan to paddle this year, with Barry Lewin confirmed and others from South Africa, USA and Australia showing strong interest.  Surfski and Sea Kayak single and double classes are planned with a race course in the channel between St. Barth and St. Maarten.  Enter before September 9 by emailing thebrowns@domaccesscom.

Venezuelan International Super Slam Tournament:  October 4 – 8, 2007

The all-release billfish tournament that last year saw a total of 336 billfish released including 21 Grand Slams aboard a fleet of 25 boats is set for La Guaira, Venezuela next month.  Charter boats are available, or if you bring your own, several marinas have slips available with accommodations only a few steps from the docks.  www.intlbillfishtourns.com .

Third St. Maarten-St. Martin Classic Yacht Regatta:  January 17 – 20, 2008

Four days, three race days, four parties, and local boat racing all kick off on Thursday evening with the skippers’ briefing for next year’s Classic Yacht Regatta.  www.classicregatta.com.

New Classic Regatta for Grenada:  February 21 – 24, 2008

Organizers of the St. Maarten-St. Martin Classic announced in July that they also will hold a four-day event with three race days in cooperation with Fred Thomas of Shipwrights, Ltd., who formerly held the Wooden Boat Regatta in Grenada.  For schedule and registration:  www.classicregatta.com.

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