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Marine

Ocean Scooter - jet ski for the pool

December 22, 2005 What’s better than an Ocean Scooter? Two or more Ocean Scooters – that’s what! This is one of the those products which just screams, “why didn’t someone think of that before?” An inflatable , battery-powered electric boat that’s fast enough to give the kids a thrill, and slow and soft enough to be used in a swimming pool for everything from polo through to your good old fashioned demolition derby. The ASTONE ‘Ocean Scooter’ went on sale in Australia this month but global supplies will be available for the next Northern hemisphere summer. The Ocean Scooter comes with a battery-powered display, a variable speed throttle, automatic power shutdown, full waterproof circuit protection and a protected propeller body which is impenetrable to probing fingers. And at US$200, it’ll offer a very high bang-per-buck factor - eight of them turns your swimming pool into a water polo contest with serious attitude!.  Read More

New breed of super maxis to tackle Rolex Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race

December 19, 2005 When Sydney businessman Neville Crichton built Alfa Romeo I a few years ago, the advanced design made the world take notice – the remarkable yacht dominated international ocean racing for 18 months and won an incredible 74 consecutive races, including every major ocean event – a yachting grand slam the likes of which has never been seen before and which is unlikely to be repeated. Wealthy yachtsmen the world recognised the advantages of running with the very latest technology and the “arms race” has resulted in a flotilla of new advanced super maxis currently preparing for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race. When they set off on Boxing Day, the world will be treated to a spectacle of technological wonder but skipper Neville Crichton believes that the deciding factor in which boat takes line honours will not be technology, but traditional sailing skills.  Read More

The Australian OffShore Challenge - one of the last great adventures

December 15, 2005 Bass Strait will rate on any list of the most treacherous places on earth – separating the world’s largest island (Australia) from one of the world’s largest and most pristine wilderness regions, Tasmania, it claimed its first recorded shipwreck in 1422 and has been claiming lives at an alarming rate ever since, including the infamous 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race in which six souls were lost. Already it plays host to one of the world’s great boating adventures, in the form of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, it will be joined by a second great competition next year - the Australian OffShore Challenge. Run in the form of a navigational rally, the OffShore Challenge will run annually from June 2006 and enable competitors from all over the planet to bring their own boat or hire one and safely sail, much less compete on a stretch of water of such renown. Travelling Bass Strait can be very dangerous and would not normally be recommended so the event offers the unique proposition of travelling in an organised event with charts, organization, air support and the company of other boats through some of the most spectacular, dangerous and remote scenery on the planet. It begins in Hobart at Wrest Point Casino on February 22, 2006, with competitors heading south on the first morning through the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, before their first taste of open water across Storm Bay. Then it’s up the east coast of the former penal colony around Tasman Peninsula, Maria Island, Freycinet Peninsula, the Bay of Fires and on to Eddystone Lighthouse. At that point, the event enters Bass Strait, but in a series of short stages around Clarke Island, Cape Barren Island, to Flinders Island. The final part of the crossing is taken after a break , navigating a passage to the mainland state of Victoria via Deal Island, the Hogan Group, to refuel at Port Albert. Next day, the national park of Wilsons Promontory before heading west to the sheltered inlet at Inverloch, then Westernport Bay via the San Remo narrows. A final rest and preparation for the big one - through The Rip at Port Phillip Heads to Geelong. The last day is then a short sprint across the Bay to St. Kilda and then a cruise to the Docklands marina in the heart of Melbourne for the gala finish. We believe this event will become one of the great adventures on the planet as it is designed to bring small motor yachts together from all over the world for a celebration of the finest yachting has to offer in relative safety and comfort.  Read More

NYYC set to create new yachting class with Swan 42

December 5, 2005 In July, two of the most famous names in yacht racing formed a partnership to create a new international one-design racing class –the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and world renowned yacht manufacturer Nautor's Swan announced a new 42 foot racing yacht specifically formulated to create a worldwide one-design racing class founded around a light and extremely fast yacht. The yacht will be competitive at international sailing regattas within open divisions including IRC, and will also provide owners with a comfortable cruising experience. The yacht was born from a strong desire by a group of experienced sailors to create a truly Corinthian class that promotes high level/high performance competition within an owner-driver and amateur-sailing framework and is also focused on containing costs. With strict limitations on equipment and sail inventory, the Swan 42 is designed to prevent the “arms race” of owners trying to out-do each other. The immediate success of the idea has been spectacular - since its announcement just four months ago, 32 of the NYYC Swan 42 boats have been sold and many other international yacht clubs are committed to the project. This coming Saturday (December 10), the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) will be making a presentation at American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, on the new NYYC Swan 42. The event is open to anyone interested in the Swan 42.  Read More

Rubson Raid Turquoise – the Cannonball Run of the Sea

December 3, 2005 The Rubson Raid Turquoise is fast gaining a reputation as one of the great adventures – akin to the Paris-Dakar or the Cannonball Run, it was held this year on Brazil’s Costa Verde. Beginning November 23, more than 60 adventure seekers from all over the world took to the waters of Brazil’s magical Copacabana Bay for the fifth running of the event begun in 2001 by Belgian adventurer Philippe Martin. Over the course of the week, the four-person teams raced identical 7.5 metre Capelli RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) powered by Yamaha Vmax 250hp outboards down the Brazilian coastline from Rio De Janeiro to finish in Sao Paulo on November 30. Along the way the teams took part in individual races, navigation tests, land-based orienteering and endurance trials, Yamaha Waverunner racing, diving, big-game fishing and water-skiing competitions. All the while, the large mother ship, the Diamant, kept pace with the fleet as the Raid moved along the coastline, offering the spectators and press crews luxurious accommodation and at night became a floating party. Get in soon for 2006 – we forecast this race will become an institution.  Read More

The SeaLegs Anaconda Amphibious Concept

December 2, 2005 With the vast majority of the world’s population living very close to the water, amphibious vehicles make loads of sense – which means we love amphibious vehicles at Gizmag, having previously reported on the original launch of Sealegs, the Gibbs Aquada Sportcar, the Gibbs Humdinga 4WD amphibian, the Platypus 4WD amphibian, the Rinspeed Splash, the Phibicat,the world’s only mass production amphibian, the Amphicar. More recently, we’ve written about the Sealegs rugged aluminium amphibious craft which which halved Sir Richard Branson's English Channel record set in an Aquada in June. Interestingly, the country where most amphibious innovation is occuring is New Zealand, home of both Gibbs and SeaLegs and one of the most interesting tertiary courses in the world – Massey University’s Bachelor of Design in Transport Design. Our latest amphibian is a concept craft created by a graduate of Massey Designs Marine Transport Course, Matt Gibson. This year Matt’s final year project was sponsored by Sealegs International and the aim was to develop a futuristic amphibious craft, which eventually took shape as the “Anaconda” pictured here.  Read More

The Surf Shark helps humans swim like a fish

October 27, 2005 NEW IMAGES UPLOADED The Surf Shark and the Electric Dolphin are electric aquatic vehicles with a difference – instead of holding onto them as with all other diving and swimming aids, the Shark and Dolphin attached to your feet and propel you from behind, just like a fish and nearly as fast. The Surf Shark is the pick of the pair for speed, having two motors, each delivering 82 pounds of thrust and capable of pushing a swimmer through the water at more than 5 knots (10km/h) – that’s roughly twice the speed of Grant Hackett at World Record 1500 metre pace. The Dolphin has just one motor but makes up for its lesser speed with twice the life, being capable of delivering about half that speed for over an hour before needing a battery swap.  Read More

US Navy orders Trimaran Littoral Combat Ship

The US Navy has announced the award of a construction contract for the Austal designed General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. The US $223 million contract for the first of two planned “Flight 0” vessels follows a similar order for the single-hulled Lockheed Martin LCS last December. The two LCS ships will be evaluated and the contracts allow for up to two of each of the two designs to be constructed prior to a decision on how many of each will be ordered, with a fleet of between 50 and 100 LCSs expected to be required over the next 30 years. The General Dynamics LCS is a far different ship to the Lockheed Martin LCS with the secret to its remarkable speed and agility being the aluminium trimaran hull. The LCSs will be the most advanced high speed military craft in the world and are intended to operate in coastal areas globally. As a key part of the US Navy fleet, they will be highly manoeuvrable and configurable to support mine detection / elimination, anti-submarine and surface warfare. The trimaran hull form permits the ship to carry a large capacity of weapons packages with space to land two helicopters.  Read More

The Amfibidiver: an amphibious submarine

Belgian diving enthusiast and inventor Rene Baldewijns found that dive boats were rarely available when or where he wanted to dive and that a lot of dive time was lost looking for the area he wanted to dive in. So he conceived a boat that that could drive itself off the trailer, along the road and into the water whilst carrying larger quantities of air and equipment than any diver could carry. His dream boat could travel to the dive area like a speedboat and then literally ... pull the plug out and dive. Whilst dived, it had to be able to cruise around underwater until he found the right area, then park on the bottom as an underwater base to support diving activities for two. When finished, the idea was to blow the ballast, surface, and return to land at high speed, driving out of the water and onto its trailer. The prototype he built has achieved all those aims.  Read More

NightConqueror Thermal Imager to Be Installed on U.S. Navy's Fastest Ship

September 14, 2005 Thermal imaging goes way beyond infrared imaging in most situations and it's not surprising that the US Navy will be using advanced thermal imaging in its next generation of warship. The fastest ship in the US Navy is the Sea Fighter FSF-1, which can operate at speeds greater than 50 knots and has a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles. The Sea Fighter is currently being fitted with an advanced NightConqueror thermal imager. The produces unmatched high-resolution thermal imagery for 24-hour observation in degraded weather conditions (smoke and obscurants). Sea Fighter, previously known as Littoral Surface Craft Experimental or "X-Craft," will be used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion system efficiency of high-speed vessels. Sea Fighter will also serve as a test bed for developmental mission packages and as a risk reduction experimental vessel for the Littoral Combat Ship and Deepwater Program concepts of operation development at sea.  Read More

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