July 19, 2007 Sealegs
new 7.1 metre amphibious boat is about to commence volume production following successful sea trials. The NZ$98,000 (US$77,600) 7.1m Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) is the third and largest model released by the amphibious boat manufacturer and is expected to attract a lot of interest from tourism and water transportation operators. Its obvious strength is the additional space, which enables eight adults to be comfortably seated within its 700kg payload. It has a top land speed of 10 kph and with an 115hp motor can do up to 78 kph on water.
July 13, 2007 The experience of cruising the ocean waves is a joy for some, but as anyone who suffers from sea sickness can attest, it can also be completely unbearable. Boats pitch, roll and yaw much like aircraft and to counter the disorientation this causes to our bodies gyroscopic stability systems and trim tabs
have been developed to combat the rolling seas. Seakeeper
is one company addressing this issue through the research and development of stability devices for small boats under 100 feet that include products for both low and high speeds. The company has developed different systems depending on the size of their craft and how it is used. The first is a gyroscopic stability system designed to combat what’s considered the worst part of the boating experience - low speed boat roll - and the second is a stability system that makes use of sensor-adjusted small control surfaces (like a more advanced form of the traditional trim tabs) that adjusts the motion of a boat moving at speed and improves comfort, handling, and safety.
July 12, 2007 Since the last time
we caught up with the Kiwis behind Sealegs
, the amphibious boat
that can drive itself straight down into the water, worldwide sales have taken off. The eye-catching vehicle is a fully functional boat that drops "landing gear" much like a small plane to drive out of the water and overland at up to 6mph (10kph). Sealegs showcased their latest model in Australia recently at the Melbourne Boat Show - a 6.1 metre aluminium D-tube version that's essentially a ruggedized rigid inflatable - a bit heavier and around AUD$10K (US$8,600) more expensive than its predecessor, but it's a complete turnkey amphibious solution with extra armor for avid adventurers. A drive on trailer is now also available that adds high speed land transport to the equation.
July 12, 2007 Boat owners who keep their boats moored know all too well what a hassle it can be to regularly remove accumulated plants, algae and sea-creatures from their hulls - a process known as antifouling. The conventional approach is to periodically use expensive and time consuming boat lifts and dry storage to clean the hull, but an alternative is available that achieves the same objective without removing the boat from the water. Known as the Floating Dry Dock, this solution uses an inflatable protective skin to keep the boat dry while moored, providing a fast, cost-effective, drive-in/drive-out way to by-pass the need for antifouling.
July 9, 2007 Hobie is a name that’s been associated with innovation in aquatic sports since Hobie Alter started creating boards for the fledgling sport of surfing in his father's garage more than half a century ago - and this latest creation is no exception. A true “best of both worlds” invention, this unique cross between a pedal powered kayak and a trimaran adds an entirely new dimension to sailing. The Hobie Mirage Adventure Island is a 16-foot, single-person “Sail/yak” that combines the Hobie MirageDrive pedal-propulsion system with a 5.38 square meter sail and two amas (outriggers) that provide stability on the water and fold back into the hull for docking and beaching.
July 5, 2007 UPDATED IMAGES For four hundred years majestic tall ships ruled the world’s oceans carrying cargo and migrants to far corners of the globe, but the advent of steam power in the late 19th century brought the golden age of sail to an end and rendered wind-powered vessels obsolete – but did it? Recent projects in both Europe
and the U.S are seeking to breathe new life into this “old technology” and once again give sail-power a viable role in commercial shipping. The new era of sail-power wont see the return of square rigged barques or clipper ships, but rather the introduction of high-tech kite sails that generate greater propulsion power than conventional sails. These can be used to supplement the propulsion systems of all kinds of cargo vessels and in the process generate economic benefit, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and deliver emission reductions in a sector that has become one of the world’s biggest polluters.
July 3, 2007 Alinghi finally won the 32nd America's Cup Match 5-2 this afternoon, winning its fourth consecutive race in dramatic fashion. The final race of the America's Cup was befitting of what has been the closest, most exciting America's Cup since the Cup was won by Australia II in1983, ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport 131 years. The skipper of Australia II, John Bertrand, was quoted at the time as saying, “this puts yacht racing back on the map!”
His words were prophetic indeed, as the Cup is now the most expensive and technology infused peacetime contest other than Formula One. Emirates Team New Zealand spent much of the race ahead on the advantage line, but with Alinghi in strong tactical position on the right hand side of the race course. The Kiwis were never able to get a big enough lead to cross ahead and switch sides, finally crossing the line just one second behind Alinghi.
June 30, 2007 Swiss boat Alinghi came from behind for the second consecutive day to beat Emirates Team New Zealand
this afternoon, effectively snuffing out the challenge for the cup. The Swiss have won the last three races to grab a 4-2 lead in the best-of-nine series and the oh-so-close NZ team now needs to win the next three races to win the America's Cup
. One more win for the Swiss will see Alinghi hoist the America's Cup again, its first defence a success. Alinghi
led early in the race, but halfway up the first beat, Team NZ was able to squeeze up and force Alinghi to tack. When the boats next converged, it was NZL 92 which had gained on the left to lead around the first mark. The Kiwis held on for the run, but on the second upwind leg it was Alinghi's turn to find the shift, making a gain on the right side of the race course. The Kiwis tried to fend them off with lee bow tacks, but couldn't make the third one stick, and Alinghi grabbed a lead it would never relinquish, effectively ensuring the America’s Cup will remain in Europe.
June 29, 2007 Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand on Friday afternoon in perfect 15 knot sea breeze conditions to take a 3-2 lead in the 32nd America’s Cup Match. It wasn’t a straightforward win. The Swiss trailed over the starting line and around the first top mark as Emirates Team New Zealand showed aggression in the pre-start, forcing the SUI 100 helmsman Ed Baird to attempt to shake them off by using the spectator fleet. The Kiwis converted the small advantage off the starting line into a 12 second lead around the first mark. Then a single moment could well have turned the tide as a burst spinnaker on NZL 92 (pictured
) and a poor recovery by the crew, saw Alinghi slide past and grab a lead it would never relinquish, eventually finishing 19 seconds ahead of the Emirates squad. Race Six is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
June 27, 2007 America's Cup defender Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand to square the match at two wins apiece here today in Valencia. The Swiss team led the entire race, on another day of tricky, shifty conditions, with the light 8 to 10 knot wind blowing out of the East. SUI 100 helmsman Ed Baird won the right hand side of the starting line and Alinghi was in a powerful position for the rest of the race. The scoreline reads 2-2 with Thursday a scheduled 'off' day, and racing set to resume on Friday.