While Easter is a fading memory for many, thousands of Australian tykes are only just getting going. The two weeks of prime-time school holidays starting now are arguably the best time of year for boating. In late April through to mid-May there is a continuation of warm water, easing winds and waves, which are perfect passage-making conditions.
While extended warranty, one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world, has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons, boat owners accustomed to things breaking now have an extended-warranty product that should hold water. Club Marine, Australia's largest provider of recreational boating insurance, is offering an extended new-boat warranty for repairs or replacement of parts, similar to the original manufacturer's boat warranty, for 12, 24 or 36 months or up to a maximum of 500 hours of operation. Used-boat coverage beyond that offered by dealerships can be extended up to 24 months or up to a maximum of 500 hours of operation as well. Warranties are transferable when the vessel is sold privately.
With four production bases from Japan to France and Brazil, Yamaha Motor Company has announced it has manufactured its 10 millionth outboard engine. The Japanese giant released its first 7hp outboard in July 1960, and reached 10 million units on April 4. Total production from the four engine plants in 2012 was about 320,000 units supplied to customers in 180 countries and territories.
Champion returnsEntries are flooding in for the 30th Hamilton Island Race Week, with the new category for First Fleeters striking a chord. The champion yacht at the inaugural Race Week in 1984, Hitchhiker, will be trucked 5000 kilometres to be part of the celebrations. A fleet of about 200 is expected for Race Week from August 17 to 24.
Fifteen years ago, Guo Chuan was learning to sail. In 2008, he travelled with the Volvo Ocean Race around the world as media crew. Now, after 137 days, 20 hours, one minute and 57 seconds, Chuan arrived back in Qingdao as the first Chinese person to sail single-handed around the world. He covered 34,700 kilometres in a Class 40 race yacht. The feat is subject to ratification by the world speed-sailing race committee.