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Will the real Black hole F…….wits, please stand up

May 10, 2009 9 Comments by

I have wanted to keep Yachtyakka a place where yachties could go and dream a little, free from the nightmare of how are we going to sell some more buckets.

However enough is enough.

Warning what you are about to watch and read will upset you and make you want to kill every accountant, banker, bean counter, you see.

Yamaha reports 35 per cent drop in Q1 sales

By IBI Magazine

Yamaha reported sales of ¥266.5bn for its first quarter ended March 31, 2009, a 35.5 per cent decrease compared to the same period a year ago. A company statement said the drop in sales was due to decreased sales in almost all of its business segments and regions. The company reported a net loss of ¥15.8bn for the quarter.

Sales in its Marine products division fell by 42.0 per cent to ¥36.9bn compared to the same period a year ago. The division reported an operating loss of ¥4.2bn for the quarter.

In different regions, marine sales in North America fell 51.5 per cent to ¥13.3bn for the quarter, while European sales were off 49.9 per cent to ¥9.0bn for the quarter. In Japan, marine sales were ¥4.9bn for the quarter compared to ¥5.9bn a year ago.

Yamaha forecasts companywide sales to be down by 22 per cent to ¥1, for its fiscal year ending December 31, 2009. It also expects to report a net loss of ¥42.0bn for the year.

(12 May 2009)

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US boatbuilders continue layoffs

By IBI Magazine

The US boatbuilding industry continues to lay off workers as demand for new boats falls. Tiara Yachts, Cobalt and Beneteau USA have all announced worker layoffs in the last week.

Holland, Michigan-based Tiara Yachts is temporarily laying off 300 workers of its 400-strong workforce for at least a month. “This is not permanent, but it is a 30-day layoff or it possibly might go longer,” said Dave Walsh of Tiara. “We will call people back as things change.”

Walsh said that, like the rest of the marine industry, demand has fallen off for its products. Two years ago, Tiara employed about 800 workers. Last year, as new boat sales continued to slump, the company laid off several hundred workers.

Cobalt Boats in Neodesha, Kansas, has laid off 30 of its workers, according to a company statement. Cobalt CEO Paxson St Clair said that company sales were off about 18 per cent at retail, compared to most competitors, who are down by 35 to 40 per cent. “It is very difficult to see fellow associates leave our company,” St Clair said in the statement. “But to be clear, our intention and expectation is to not only weather these challenging times, but to position our company to take advantage of a market rebound when it does occur.”

The statement said Cobalt continues to “build boats each week and maintain appropriate staffing” to support dealers and customers. The company said it had adjusted production to “conservative levels” early last year. “We do not have any factory stock boats and, as a result, continue to build ordered boats every day here in Neodesha,” said Cobalt president Sean Callan in the statement. “Our experience tells us that the logistics of shutting down a boatbuilding operation and restarting weeks or months later can make it very challenging to maintain your boat’s quality and seamless communication with your dealers and customers.” Callan said he expects 2009 to be soft, though there will be a “slow rebound” in 2010.

Beneteau USA, located in Marion, South Carolina, has also laid off 30 workers out of a previous workforce of about 180. Wayne Burdick, president of Beneteau’s US division, told that “continued challenges” in the economy have caused new boat sales to decline. The company has been producing Beneteau boats in Marion for 23 years.

“We are confident that with our modest production plans for the balance of 2009 and a strong team of about 150 associates remaining at our Marion facility, Beneteau USA will be poised for the needed rebound of boat buying confidence which should lead to a return of normal demand,” Burdick told the website. Burdick not reply to a request seeking comment by presstime.

(27 February 2009)

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Raymarine reports sales drop in fiscal ’08

By IBI Magazine

Raymarine said sales for the year ended December 31, 2008 dropped to £134.9m from £140.7m in fiscal 2007. The marine electronics manufacturer’s before-tax profit fell to £10.7m for 2008, down 54.4 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

“Whilst the outlook for 2009 remains very tough, our strategy for Raymarine is to strengthen our position in the leisure marine market. We will direct our sales resource to work with our worldwide distribution to gain market share,” said Peter Ward, executive chairman of Raymarine plc, in a statement. “The Board takes confidence in the hard steps that have both been taken and are being taken to re-establish an appropriate cost base for 2009; Raymarine’s market success and penetration into new sectors is well proven, however the outlook for the leisure marine market remains challenging.”

Raymarine has secured new credit facilities through March 2010, according to Ward, and is beginning to discussions to extend those credit facilities at least through March 2011.

Ward said that Raymarine’s global sales were “depressed” in 2008, with the US market in particular “suffering” last year.

“Markets in Eastern Europe and the Middle East performed especially well seeing an average annual growth of over 35 per cent in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and other territories in the Arabian Gulf,” said Ward. “China and Asia Pacific saw double digit growth however, although boat building continues to grow in Asia, it appears that it will be a number of years before the local leisure market is fully established.” He said that even the rise of new markets did not compensate for the shortfall in sales in Raymarine’s “established” markets.

“The Group believes that 2009 will be a more difficult year economically for the leisure marine market,” said Ward. “Trading in the first two months, although traditionally a quieter period, bears that out with buyers being more cautious.”

Ward said that the board is currently engaged in a search for a new CEO, after former chief executive Malcolm Miller departed the company in October.

“To mitigate the likely fall in gross margin we will direct our considerable sales resource to work with our worldwide distribution network to gain market share,” said Ward. “This is in line with our strategy of further strengthening Raymarine’s standing in the leisure marine market.” Ward said that new product launches like its G Series and A Series “demonstrate how growth in market share can be achieved by leveraging our brand with new product ranges for both the small boat and large boat segments.”

The board does not intend to pay a dividend on the stock this year, but will review the policy next year. Basic earnings per share fell from 21.3p to 10.7p. The shares, which rose above 300p 11 months ago after a takeover approach, were up ¼p at 13p in Monday afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.

(2 March 2009)

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Dodging the bullet:

Two state legislatures act on legislation that impact boating

By IBI Magazine

Two state governments have acted on legislation that has a financial impact on boating in those states. California has tapped into its state boating fund, while Illinois has done away with a proposal to implement a luxury tax on boats.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill last week that transfers US$29m from the state’s Department of Boating & Waterways to the general fund to help stem California’s US$42bn budget shortfall. According to a story in The Log, the money has been stipulated as a “loan”, and the provision says that repayment must be made “so as to ensure that the programmes supported by the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund are not adversely affected by the loan, but no later than June 30, 2013”.

The money comes from a boating trust that is funded by a share of the state tax on gasoline used in boats and vessel registration fees paid by boaters. The fund provides loans and grants for the construction and maintenance of recreational boating facility projects in California.

The Illinois State Legislature’s Revenue and Finance Committee yesterday decided not to move forward with HB 451, a bill that would impose a five per cent luxury tax on vessels sold in Illinois priced over US$200,000.

Seven marine industry organisations and businesses attended the hearing to testify in opposition to the proposal. But before the hearings began, the committee said they had concerns about the tax, and did not take up the legislation.

“While we understand Illinois must address its looming budget deficit, we are pleased the committee realises a counter-productive tax like this one is not the answer,” said David Dickerson, NMMA director of state government relations, in a statement.

In the early 1990s, a national tax on boats and other luxury items was signed into law by then-president George HW Bush. Combined with a deep recession, the tax led to 19,000 layoffs across the boating industry, pushed several boat brands into bankruptcy, and helped cut boat sales by 40 per cent for two years, before it was repealed.

(2 March 2009)

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West Marine reports 6 per cent drop in sales in Q4

By IBI Magazine

West Marine today reported net sales of US$111.1m for its fourth quarter ended January 3, 2009, a decline of 6.1 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. The company’s net loss was US$29.0m compared to a loss of US$65.6m a year ago. Same-store sales declined by 5.1 per cent compared to last year.

“We dealt with a very difficult market environment and are reporting financial results a bit better than the preliminary numbers we communicated in January,” said Geoff Eisenberg, president and CEO in a statment. “We managed our business conservatively, improved our liquidity, and reduced our debt levels.”

The company reported sales of US$631.3m for the year, down 7.1 per cent compared to last year. Net loss for the year was US$38.8m compared to a loss of US$49.9m last year. Same-store sales were down by 6.8 per cent compared to 2007.

“The company generated more than US$20m of positive cash flow from operations during 2008, and we’re reporting debt as of year’s end at our lowest level in over a decade,” said Eisenberg. “While we don’t like to experience lower sales and operating losses, we are pleased with our progress towards our key objectives of strengthening our balance sheet, improving our internal operations, positioning ourselves to weather the current market, and being poised for growth when the market allows.”

Eisenberg says he expects 2009 to be “quite challenging” for the marine industry. “With all the weakness observed in the economy, we expect sales to decline at roughly the same pace we experienced in recent quarters,” he said. “Our operating plans for 2009 reflect this weak environment, and we believe that carefully controlling expenses and managing our working capital will allow us to again generate positive cash flow and further reduce debt.”

(5 March 2009)

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Princess to cut up to 450 jobs

By IBI Magazine

British luxury motor yacht builder Princess has announced that up to 450 jobs — a fifth of its workforce — could go at its Plymouth base, following a strategic review aimed at ‘strengthening’ the company.

Princess is now undergoing a 90-day consultation period, according to a report on the BBC. Voluntary redundancies and reduced working hours will be used to minimise the impact of layoffs at the yard.

The firm currently employs 2,125 people, up from 1,712 people in 2007, and builds two yacht ranges — the Flybridge up to 95ft (29m) and the V-class up to 85ft (26m). A shorter working week was introduced across a number of departments in January.

Managing director Chris Gates told the BBC: “We have concluded that, despite market conditions, Princess has the strength to sustain a workforce of around 1,700, a figure similar to that of 18 months ago but regrettably this will require a reduction of up to 450 employees.

“We are committed to continued investment in the Plymouth area and in our people but must meet the challenges being seen across all industries and match our production capacity to the changing demand.”

Plans continue for a multi-million pound investment in facilities to build yachts up to 130ft (40m). The search for a site is underway at present with a final decision due by the end of April.

Princess was established in 1965 and operates in 1,000,000ft2 of facilities.

(6 March 2009)

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Eric Goetz rescues his yacht building company from receivership

By IBI Magazine

Eric Goetz has retained ownership of his Rhode Island-based yacht building company after it filed for receivership in January. The company went into bankruptcy after a Scottish client stopped making payments on a multimillion-dollar contract for a racing yacht.

In a Rhode Island court last Friday, Goetz bid US$540,000 for the holdings of Goetz Custom Sailboats. The payment will be used to clear a US$1.9m loan that Citizens Bank made to the company. The bank also holds a US$4.3m mortgage on two properties used by Goetz, but he had not defaulted on those loans.

Goetz told the Providence Journal that he expects a closing on the sale in the next two to three weeks. “There doesn’t appear to be anything in the way,” he said. “Our challenge now is a business challenge.”

Goetz said he plans to retain all 75 of his company’s workers. The company, which will now be called Goetz Custom Technologies, is currently building two sailboats, each valued at about US$6m.

The rescue from receivership is a positive one for Rhode Island’s boatbuilding sector, which has suffered with the rest of the US marine industry. Pearson Composites laid off half its 120-person work force in January. Both Freedom Yachts and Albin Boats have closed within the past year.

(9 March 2009)

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Hallberg-Rassy announces lay-offs

By IBI Magazine/Lars-Åke Redéen

Sweden’s leading sailboat producer, Hallberg-Rassy Varvs AB, has announced that it may have to lay off 98 employees — 91 in production and another seven on the administration side. The company currently employs 242 workers.

“It’s a difficult market situation. Not just locally, as earlier times, but it’s a worldwide economical depression,” managing director Magnus Rassy told local daily paper Bohusläningen.

He also added that the company’s turnover this year will be its largest ever.

“But we have to look forward to the 2010 season and even then it looks much harder than the golden years we’ve faced since 2006.”

The yard has full production until this year’s summer vacation.

(10 March 2009)

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Skeeter Boats lays off 50

By IBI Magazine

Skeeter Boats has laid off about 50 workers, or about a third of its workforce. An official told the Kilgore News Herald that the company intends to recall workers around the first of May when it increases production.

The Skeeter facility in Kilgore, Texas, has reduced production by 35 to 50 per cent, “depending on the week”, according to Jeff Stone, senior vice president and general manager. Stone said the job cuts were across all product lines.

Stone said the bass boat builder has new sales and marketing programs for the freshwater fishing season. “We feel like we’ll be able to create some demand for our product in the May time frame,” he told the paper.

Skeeter Boats, a division of Yamaha, has manufactured fibreglass bass boats in Kilgore since 1972.

(9 March 2009)

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Volvo Penta reports drop in sales

By IBI Magazine/Lars-Åke Redéen

Sweden’s Volvo Penta today reported net sales of SEK11,433m in 2008 — a 2.4 per cent drop compared to 2007, and a 21 per cent drop in operating income to SEK928m. Operating margin fell from 10 per cent in 2007 to 8.1 per cent in 2008.

“Operating income was negatively impacted by sharply lower volumes during the second half of the year, increased under-absorption of costs in production and one-time costs of about SEK100m associated with carried-out adjustments of operations to lower demand,” says the company.

In 2008, Volvo sold around 30,000 marine and industrial engines based on the group’s diesel engine platforms. The majority of these volumes consist of industrial engines — a business that Volvo Penta has expanded considerably in recent years.

“For Volvo Penta, the market for marine engines has declined sharply, while the market for industrial engines remains relatively stable,” says the company. “Volvo Penta has also implemented adjustments in business operations and continues to expand its industrial engine operations as part of efforts to achieve better balance between its segments.”

During the year, Volvo Penta continued the launch of Volvo Penta IPS. With new and larger drive units connected to the Volvo Group’s 11lt engine, Volvo Penta has expanded its IPS offering with two new power classes:

For sailboats, Volvo Penta has also launched a new series of diesel engines with low emission and noise levels. Standard engines from the same engine family are installed in all of the yachts taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The company’s ambition for 2009 is to secure favourable profitability in weaker market conditions, to secure successful implementation of a new, global logistics structure and to continue to expand the industrial engine business to improve balance between business segments.

Net sales for the Volvo Group increased by six per cent to SEK303,667m in 2008, compared with SEK285,405m in 2007.

(10 March 2009)

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US powerboat sales may be off by 20 per cent in 2009

By IBI Magazine

Brunswick chairman Dustan McCoy said that US boat sales could decline by more than 20 per cent in 2009 compared to last year. Speaking at the Raymond James institutional investor conference in Florida, McCoy said that US sales could fall below 150,000 units this year, compared to 196,000 units in 2008.

The Brunswick chief told the conference that it reduced its boat and engine manufacturing workforce by 50 per cent last year, and that the company is prepared to cut back operations even more to prevent dealer inventories from getting too large. “We’re choking off the new boats going into the pipeline, so the dealers can get rid of the old product,” McCoy said during the presentation. “When the economy comes back both the dealer network and we will be a lot more healthy.”

McCoy told the Dow Jones wire service that production cutbacks have hampered sales and profit growth for Brunswick. But he said that Brunswick would be able to ride out the slump by conserving cash and avoiding debt.

When orders do return, McCoy said the company will be able to ramp up production quickly. “We think we can double production in the footprint we have today,” he said.

Brunswick has eliminated seven boat brands and reduced its number of manufacturing plants to 14 from 28 in the last three years.

(12 March 2009)

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Sea Ray lays off 70 in Knoxville facility

By IBI Magazine

Brunswick Corp has announced the layoffs of 70 workers at its Sea Ray plant in Knoxville, Tennessee. Sea Ray is also laying off another 70 workers at the Riverview Plant as it prepares to close that facility.

The 70 layoffs in the Knoxville facility are because of a continuing downturn in boat sales. In early January, Brunswick said it was mothballing the Riverview plant, and cutting 575 jobs across its Sea Ray brand.

That included 300 at the Riverview facility and 275 across all Sea Ray manufacturing operations and at its Knoxville headquarters.

(13 March 2009)

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BMF reduces price of London stand space

By IBI Magazine

The British Marine Federation (BMF), together with its subsidiary company National Boat Shows (NBS), has announced a 20 per cent reduction in the price of exhibitor space at next year’s London International Boat Show.

The saving is one of three cost-cutting measures put in place by the BMF through an Economic Conditions Discounts (ECD) package. The association has also reduced membership fees by 10 per cent and halted any increase in the cost of exhibitor space at the PSP Southampton Boat Show in September 2009.

To qualify for the 20 per cent reduction at next year’s London show, marine businesses have to have exhibited this year and must also guarantee to take a minimum of 90 per cent of their 2009 stand space.

(13 March 2009)

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Caterpillar lays off workers

By IBI Magazine

Caterpillar said that it is laying off workers at facilities in Indiana and Georgia that produce engines and other components for marine applications. A statement today noted that the engine manufacturer would lay off 439 employees at its Lafayette, Indiana engine facility for at least six months beginning the end of May. This decision impacts 405 production employees and 34 management and support employees in Lafayette.

The company said lower demand for products made in Lafayette prompted the announcement. Lafayette is the company’s main source for medium-speed diesel engines for marine, petroleum, electric power, locomotive and industrial applications.

The company also said that it is laying off 200 other employees in a plant in Griffin, Georgia that manufactures engines, generators and oil service units. Caterpillar also said it intends to close its Jefferson, Georgia fuel systems facility by the end of June. It will transition work to fuel systems facilities in Thomasville, Georgia and Pontiac, Illinois. The decision will impact 89 employees.

In January, Caterpillar announced job cuts that will ultimately eliminate 20,000 positions. It also said it would cut executive compensation by up to 50 per cent and offer buyouts to about 25,000 US-based employees. The company employs about 112,000 people worldwide. “Caterpillar is rapidly executing strategic ‘trough’ plans and implementing actions throughout the company to deal with a very challenging global business environment,” said the statement. “Depending on business conditions, more layoffs and separations may be required as the year unfolds.”

(18 March 2009)

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US sailboat wholesale production declines 19 per cent in 2008

By IBI Magazine

Sailboat production in the US fell to 11,427 units for 2008, a decline of 2,731 units or 19 per cent, compared to the previous year. US sailboat manufacturers also cut their workforces by a combined total of 23 per cent. According to the latest “The Sailing Market: State of the Industry” report, production levels haven’t been this low since 1991, after the imposition of the Luxury Tax.

The annual report, compiled by The Sailing Company, said that the estimated value of sailboat production fell by 31 per cent to US$551m in 2008.

In a year of financial turmoil, all categories of US-built sailboats saw a decline last year. Sailboats below 5.8m (19ft) were down by 19 per cent to 91,60 units. Sailboats from 6.1m-10.7m (20ft-35ft) were down by 24 per cent to 1,366 units, and sailboats from 10.9m (36ft) upwards were down 18 per cent to 901 units.

The total of imported sailboats declined by 15 per cent last year. The cruiser category, from 6.1m-10.7m (20ft-35ft), showed the greatest decline at 45 per cent over 2007. But imported sailboats over 13.7m (45ft) saw an increase of 10 per cent in unit sales, and multihull cruisers reported a 7 per cent increase. The large multihulls represented a record 32 per cent of all imports compared to 27 per cent the previous year.

In the study, US sailboat builders predicted lower unit production for 2009, forecasting that sailboat production will be down 9 per cent to 10,413 units. Smaller boats are expected to see a more moderate 7 per cent decline for the year, while the builders are predicting a larger 17 per cent drop in sailboats over 6.1m (20ft).

Historically, the US sailboat industry tends to be overly optimistic in its forecasts. Last year, manufacturers predicted 14,745 units would be built in 2008. They were high by 23 per cent.

(18 March 2009)

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Sea Ray lays off 35 workers in Merritt Island facility

By IBI Magazine

Sea Ray Boats has laid off 35 workers in the product development and engineering department at its Merritt Island facility in Florida. The department now has 160 workers.

Dan Kubera, a Brunswick spokesman, told that the jobs in product development and engineering were eliminated “due to the continued difficult conditions in the marine market.”

Sea Ray has been building boats at the facility since 1972. In February 2008, it employed 1,200 workers at Merritt Island, but that number had declined to 530 by the beginning of this month.

(19 March 2009)

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Boater’s World to be liquidated

By IBI Magazine

The assets of 129 Boater’s World stores will be liquidated by a company that submitted the largest bid for the retail chain. According to its attorney, Boater’s World parent Ritz Camera Centers should collect at least US$40m from the sale.

A joint venture between Gordon Brothers Group LLC and Hilco Merchant Resources was given permission by US Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath to liquidate the chain’s assets. They were the highest bidders from Tuesday’s auction. Ritz attorney Irving Walker told Walrath in a hearing yesterday that the sale was in “the best interest” of the creditors.

In its bid, Gordon Brothers and Hilco guaranteed that Ritz would collect at least 90 per cent of the value of the goods sold during the liquidation. Hilco spokesman Rick Kaye told IBI that the liquidation sale would start over the weekend. “There is a predicted time that the sale runs its course,” Kaye said. “Very rarely does it go longer than six to eight weeks.” According to a Hilco statement, there is US$100m worth of inventory being sold.

(20 March 2009)

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Sweden Yachts files for bankruptcy

By IBI Magazine/Lars-Åke Redéen

Swedish sailboat producer Sweden Yachts has gone bankrupt, according to reports in today’s Bohusläningen newspaper. The company, which underwent a reorganisation in the autumn of 2008, employed some 60 people.

Founded by Sven Enoch in 1976 with the launch of America’s Cup yacht Sverige, Sweden Yachts has faced financial problems several times over the years. Today the company focuses on high-performance custom yachts from 12m-24m (40ft-80ft).

Sweden Yachts yard is located in Stenungsund on the Swedish west coast, where it produces 25-30 yachts per year.

(23 March 2009)

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Tracker eliminates 45 jobs

By IBI Magazine

Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine have cut 45 jobs from both companies. Company spokesman Larry Whiteley confirmed the cuts to IBI this morning in an emailed statement.

The statement noted that the job cuts were made due to “the consolidation of various operational activities” across the two companies, but did not say which departments were affected.

“It will allow the company to more effectively utilise the strengths of both Bass Pro and Tracker Marine,” read the statement.

(25 March 2009)

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Charleston cancels boat show

By IBI Magazine

Maritime Events, LLC, organisers of the 2009 Charleston In-Water Boat Show, have cancelled this year’s event, originally scheduled for April 23-26. They pointed to general economic factors influencing the US marine industry.

“This decision was extremely difficult for us to make, however, the current economic environment has placed unprecedented pressure on the marine industry as a whole,” said Robbie Freeman of Maritime Events, on the show website. “Having a show under the current conditions does not appear to be in the best interest of the boating community or the marine industry.”

McKenzie Estes, a spokeswoman for the company, told IBI that last year’s inaugural show went well, and attracted 6,500 visitors. “Dealers and exhibitors were excited about having the show in Charleston and recognise it’s a wonderful place for that,” she said. “But we decided that with the state of the economy and its impact on the marine industry, it would be best to wait until next year.”

The Charleston In-Water Boat Show was launched last year after Maritime Events bought the rights to the South Carolina In-Water Boat Show, owned by the South Carolina Marine Association. That show ran for nine years in various locations around Charleston.

The website said that show dates for 2010 would be made known later this year.

(6 April 2009)

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US retail boat sales continue decline through February

By IBI Magazine

Year-over-year boat retail sales through February continued to decline in leading US “bellwether” sales states. According to Info-Link, which tracks new boat registrations, sales fell by about 21 per cent in the 12-month rolling period. Bellwether states comprise about 60 per cent of all new-boat sales in the US. Boat sales have been on the decline since November 2005.

Retail sales of outboard powered boats over 5m (15ft) LOA fell by about 16 per cent in the year-over-year period, and are down 26 per cent since November 2005. Retail sales of sterndrive boats fell by about 26 per cent through February compared to the previous year, and are down about 43 per cent since November 2005. Retail sales of personal watercraft are down about 22 per cent in the last 12 months, and down about 40 per cent since November 2005.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) also reported that wholesale shipments for “traditional” powerboat (outboard, sterndrive and inboard-powered boats) for its control group of manufacturers (representing 70 per cent of the US market) were down 30 per cent in unit volume and down 29 per cent in dollars in 2008 compared to 2007.

(7 April 2009)

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Harken puts new manufacturing facility on hold

By IBI Magazine

Harken Yacht Equipment Inc. has shelved plans for a new US$8m production facility in Wisconsin. Co-chairman Peter Harken told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the company would wait out the recession.

Two years ago, Harken announced it would build a 100,000-sq.ft. facility on 28 acres outside Pewaukee. It currently produces its winches and other sail-handling accessories from a 60,000-sq.ft. facility in Pewaukee.

The company had hoped to begin construction before last fall, but some residents opposed the project. Harken said that because of the delays in getting permit approvals, the company postponed building the new plant because of the approach of winter. “As Peter said, it was a blessing in disguise,” Bill Goggins, vice president of marketing, told IBI. “The recession just got worse, forcing us to put the project on hold.”

But Goggins said that the company has not cut back on R&D, and will soon launch a full range of new hydraulics. “That’s entirely new for us, and there are other products that will be coming out soon,” he said. “We couldn’t make those kind of capital investments and focus on the new building in this current economic climate.”

But when the recession ends, the new facility is expected to continue. “We’re going to be okay,” Harken told the paper. “As soon as the economy turns around, we’ll be back at it.”

The company has laid off five workers, and salaries have been cut for management. But Harken says the firm has maintained most of its business. Harken Yacht Equipment has 140 workers in Pewaukee and 90 at its facility in Italy.

“Right now, we are investing in things that will be sustainable for the long term,” said Goggins. “That includes a smart reorganization of the company and going after new markets with new products. But we are still fully committed to the production facility when conditions improve.”

(9 April 2009)

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Six hundred Bénéteau jobs at risk

By IBI Magazine

Faced with a market that has contracted by 50 per cent, French boatbuilder the Bénéteau Group estimates that the company is overstaffed by 1,590 positions, but intends to safeguard the equivalent of 1,000 of these jobs.

The group presented its plan to deal with the ‘crisis situation on the global cruising market’ to the Central Works Council last week. The procedure to finalise the layoffs could take months to complete.

The loss in Bénéteau’s business for the 2009 season is so far equivalent to 2,700,000 hours of production, representing the equivalent of 2,200 positions.

Measures to deal with the drop in demand included the cessation of temporary contracts and the introduction of short time employment measures from January 1-August 31, 2009. However, Bénéteau expects the downturn to continue into 2010 and says that these measures are now insufficient.

To counteract the overstaffing and reduce the number of potential layoffs to around 600, Bénéteau intends to introduce strategies including voluntary departures, encouraged parental leave and part-time work, the transferral of staff to other group activities, and a measured reduction in outsourcing.

Reducing the cost of short time working measures with the aid of the French government — which represents the most significant component of the plan — could make it possible to retain 500 positions, representing around one third of the jobs at risk. The reduction in outsourcing is planned to save 50 Bénéteau jobs.

The Bénéteau Group is the world’s biggest producer of sailboats and one of the biggest motorboat manufacturers in Europe. Bénéteau is also a major player on the European leisure home market and is developing its position in the residential market with wooden frame housing.

In 2007-2008, Bénéteau’s turnover totalled €1.055bn, 81 per cent of which was generated by its boating business.

In August 2008 Bénéteau employed 6,000 people at over 20 production sites.

(14 April 2009)

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Viking Yachts finishes final round of layoffs

By IBI Magazine

Viking Yacht Co last week completed a round of layoffs that the company says will be its last. The New Jersey builder has cut 560 employees since December, bringing the total workforce to about 800.

A Viking official told IBI that no more layoffs are planned. “We are still providing health insurance benefits to those furloughed or laid off,” said Peter Frederiksen, director of marketing.

Frederiksen said Viking has seen “spurts of activity” in the last six weeks. It delivered an 25m (82ft) yacht to Florida last week. That yacht is valued at about US$5m. “We are also getting ready to deliver the first 46 Open which we unveiled in Miami,” he added.

Viking vice president Andrew Davala told the Press of Atlantic City that the company has slowed its production lines and is preparing for 40 per cent less product.

Other builders in the area have been similarly impacted. According to the paper, Silverton Marine Corp began layoffs in January. It filed papers with the state saying it could lose as many as 202 workers. Ocean Yachts has reduced its workforce from 130 employees to about 50 in the last two years.

(14 April 2009)

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First-half boat sales down 46 per cent at Bénéteau

By IBI Magazine

French boatbuilding group Bénéteau reports boat sales down by 46.4 per cent compared to the same period last year, confirming the company’s forecast for a 40 per cent drop in business.

Half-year boat sales totalled €173.4m on February 28, 2009 compared to €323.7m on February 29, 2008. The order book — which usually represents 95 per cent of the year’s sales by this date — is 45 per cent lower than the same period the previous year.

Meanwhile Bénéteau’s leisure home business fell by 30.5 per cent to €65.0m for the half-year to February 2009, making like-for-like consolidated sales for the whole group down 42.6 per cent on the same period last year.

The group says that the ‘wait-and-see’ trend among consumers has remained strong since the autumn boat shows, but that some countries are holding up better than others.

Bénéteau reports that markets in France, Italy, Germany, Turkey and Russia are down by 30-40 per cent while Spain, the UK, US and Scandinavia have contracted by 70-80 per cent.

The company confirms its forecast for annual sales to contract by 40 per cent like-for-like.

Last week Bénéteau announced that 600 jobs are at risk, following an assessment that found the company to be overstaffed by over 1,500 positions in light of the current crisis on the marine market.

Bénéteau employs 6,000 people at more than 20 production sites. In 2007-2008 the company’s turnover totalled €1.055bn, of which 81 per cent was generated by boat sales.

(15 April 2009)

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North River Boats shuts manufacturing facility

By IBI Magazine

North River Boats, an aluminium boat manufacturer in Green, Oregon, shut down production at the beginning of this week. The reasons behind the lockout of workers remains unclear.

Workers told the News-Review that the facility was shut the previous Thursday, and that everyone is being laid off. During a meeting this week, said one worker, about 100 employees were told the plant was “going to be shut down until further notice”.

North River Boats had been operating in the area since 1974. Officials told IBI that the company would send out a press release clarifying the situation, but has not released any information. One official said in an email that the company was not in bankruptcy yet, but was in “state court receivership,” though he added he wasn’t sure if that was the technical term.

The plant closure follows a search and seizure of company documents last week by the FBI. According to a search warrant affidavit filed in a federal court in Eugene, Oregon, North River Marine owner Brian Brush was accused by the FBI of fraudulently inflating its inventory to obtain millions in floorplan financing from Wells Fargo Bank. The affidavit said the bank’s losses are more than US$3m.

Local news sources reported that Wells Fargo took over North River’s four retail locations, which are separate legal entities from the manufacturing facility, and are selling boats and motors from the stores in order to recoup their losses.

(17 April 2009)

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NMMA discontinues three boat shows

By IBI Magazine

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said today that it is discontinuing three of its boat shows because there are too many competing boat shows in their respective regions. The trade association said it was cutting the San Diego Boat Show, the Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow, and the Virginia In-Water Boat Expo & Sailfest.

“In an industry with fewer dealers and fewer manufacturers, there will be fewer boat shows,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president, in a statement. “This decision allows NMMA to streamline its show business and focus on providing dynamic shows in markets that are not over-served.”

The San Diego Boat Show was scheduled to take place in January 2010, though many exhibitors had expected it to be cancelled following NMMA’s announcement that it would be closing its San Diego office. The 4th annual Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow was scheduled to take place February 2010, and the 5th annual Virginia In-Water Boat Expo & Sailfest was scheduled to take place next September.

(21 April 2009)

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More job cuts at Volvo

By IBI Magazine

Sweden’s Volvo Group has announced a further 1,543 job cuts within its Volvo Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Penta and Volvo Powertrain divisions.

The downsizing at Volvo Penta, the company’s marine division, affects 108 employees at facilities in Gothenburg and Vara, of which 56 are unionised and 52 administrative. In October last year, the division laid off 90 of its 245 employees in Vara.

“We are conducting ongoing discussions with the unions regarding shortening of the work week and view being able to implement parts of these notices with such a solution as positive,” says Stefan Johnsson, senior VP for human resources. “These agreements are then made locally and are aligned with the needs of the operations.”

Volvo Trucks is laying off 655 employees at the company’s facilities in Göteborg and Umeå, Volvo Construction Equipment is laying off 125 at plants in Eskilstuna, Hallsberg and Braås, and Volvo Powertrain is laying off 655 in Skövde and Köping.

(22 April 2009)

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Spanish boat registration plummets

By IBI Magazine

According to a first-quarter boat registration report published by Spanish marine trade association ANEN, the downturn on the Spanish market has further deteriorated as indicated by a 50 per cent decrease in the total number of registrations between January and March to reach 1,172 units, as compared with a total of 2,343 boats registered over the same period in 2008 under the Spanish flag.

Market demand is at present below 2003 levels, when 1,359 vessels were registered over the period under analysis. It is likely that by the end of 2009, boating market demand — as measured by craft registration levels — will shrink by a higher percentage than the 18.3 per cent decrease registered in 2008.

Looking at the trend, however, the 436 registrations logged in March compare with just 322 in January. This growth is partly attributed to the relatively healthier segments of personal watercraft and RIBs, which have both gained relative market share against other categories. This growth trend is even more evident in the personal watercraft segment.

In 2008 the market trend over the first quarter was the reverse: 780 boats were registered in January compared to 760 in March.

By product category, soft inflatables were the hardest hit, with a 54 per cent drop in registrations. Motorboats decreased by 51 per cent, sail by 50 per cent, personal watercraft by 47 per cent and rigid inflatables by 39 per cent. Although motorboats have lost one per cent compared with March 2008 to reach 64 per cent total market share, it is still the highest amongst all boat categories.

(27 April 2009)

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More layoffs at Hallberg-Rassy?

By IBI Magazine/Lars-Åke Redéen

Sweden’s Hallberg-Rassy may have to lay off another 45 workers, leaving the company with 100 employees at its main factory in Ellös and 45 workers at the mould factory in Kungshamn.

The company and the workers’ union are currently in discussion over the fate of 99 employees who have already been forewarned of layoffs.

“The workers’ representatives are unwilling to look at the employees’ competence,” says Magnus Rassy, managing director of Hallberg-Rassy.

“We’ve not agreed on how many people whose competence the company really needs to meet the production plan for the year to come. The result may be that we have to hire external companies to get the right competence.”

The situation needs to be solved as soon as possible and Magnus Rassy, says the employees’ representatives, are to blame.

“We’ll solve this, but this situation takes so much energy that we need for other things.”

(28 April 2009)

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Bénéteau reports net loss of €20m

By IBI Magazine

French boatbuilding group Bénéteau has reported €30.9m in negative operating income for the first half of 2008/2009 and a net loss of €20.3m, compared to last year’s net profit of €29.8m.

Operating income on the boat business came to -€35m for the first half of the year compared to €28.4m for the same period the year before.

The group puts the losses down to the fall in sales and the seasonal nature of its business.

Boat sales were down 46.4 per cent to €173.4m on last year for the first half of 2008/2009. Sales for the whole group were down 46.7 per cent for the semester, or 42.6 per cent like-for-like, excluding sections of the business sold off in 2008.

Bénéteau’s reported earnings and its current order books are in line with the group’s annual forecast. The company confirms its annual forecast for boat sales to be down 45 per cent and a current operating loss of €18m.

The group’s leisure home business is set to fare better. Bénéteau predicts sales to be down by 15 per cent with a €14m operating income for the year.

At the beginning of April Bénéteau announced that 600 jobs at the group are at risk, following an assessment that found the company to be overstaffed by over 1,500 positions in light of the current crisis on the marine market.

The Bénéteau Group is the world’s largest sailboat builder and one of Europe’s leading motorboat manufacturers. The group also builds leisure homes and is developing its business in the residential market.

At the end of August 2008, Bénéteau employed 6,000 people at more than 20 production sites. Sales for 2007/2008 totalled €1.055bn for the group, 81 per cent of which was generated by the boat business.

(29 April 2009)

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Welsh Boat Show cancelled

By IBI Magazine/Motor Boats Monthly

The Welsh Boat Show, which debuted in 2007, has been cancelled this year due to the ‘economic storm’.

The show, staged previously at the United Counties Showground in Camarthenshire, was due to run this coming weekend, but organisers made the decision not to add to the demands on exhibitors’ resources.

“We feel that we would not be able to deliver the strong healthy sales that our exhibitors enjoyed at last year’s show,” says organiser Nigel Burke. “Therefore we are putting all our resources into making 2010 a more rewarding and buoyant show for both exhibitors and visitors.”

The Welsh Boat Show should not to be confused with the South Wales Boat Show in June and the North Wales Boat Show in July, both of which are still going ahead.

Burke will instead be throwing his weight behind an open weekend at Neyland Marina over the coming weekend run by Quadra Boats.

(29 April 2009)

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Brunswick swings to net loss for Q1

By IBI Magazine

Brunswick Corp today reported sales of US$734.7m for its first quarter ended April 4, 2009, a drop of 45 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. The company also sustained a net loss of US$184.2m compared to net income of US$13.3m a year ago.

“The year began as expected with the continuation of unprecedented low levels of demand experienced in the second half of 2008, especially during the fourth quarter,” said Dustan McCoy, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “Retail demand for marine products was impacted in the first quarter of 2009 by declining consumer confidence and the tightening of consumer credit terms by national lenders. As our dealers work through this difficult economic climate, we continue to reduce our wholesale shipments to reduce the number of boats and engines on their showroom floors.”

Brunswick’s Marine Engine segment, consisting of the Mercury Marine Group, reported net sales of US$343.9m, down 45 per cent compared to a year ago. International sales, which represented 43 per cent of total segment sales (net of Marine eliminations), declined by 45 per cent on a year-to-year basis. For the quarter, the Marine Engine segment reported an operating loss of $US50.6m, including restructuring charges of US$11.7m. This compares with operating earnings of US$33.6m in the year-ago quarter, including $1.5m of restructuring charges.

The Brunswick Boat Group reported net sales of US$205.3m, down 64 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2008. International sales, which represented 40 per cent of total segment sales in the quarter, decreased by 59 per cent during the period. The segment reported an operating loss of US$72.3m, including restructuring charges of $25.0m. This compares with an operating loss of $17.4m, including restructuring charges of $13.8m in the first quarter of 2008.

“We are not planning for any meaningful economic recovery in 2009,” said McCoy. “Our near-term focus remains clear, which is to: maintain strong liquidity without additional borrowings, take all appropriate actions to maintain dealer health and position ourselves to exit this global downturn as a stronger company.”

McCoy said the company is “successfully managing” its businesses and has maintained “excellent” levels of liquidity throughout the quarter. “This was demonstrated by the US$359m of cash on our balance sheet at the end of the quarter, a US$42m increase from year-end levels,” he said.

(30 April 2009)

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Cummins reports 30 per cent decline in sales

By IBI Magazine

Cummins Inc today reported sales of US$2.44bn for its first quarter, down 30 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. Net income was US$7m, down 96 per cent compared to a year ago.

Citing the global recession, Cummins announced plans last quarter to reduce its workforce by more than 4,100 employees and contract workers in response to lower demand for its products. The largest declines came in the company’s Engine and Components segments.

“The first quarter was, as we expected, extremely challenging and we do not see the economy or our markets improving for the remainder of 2009,” said Tim Solso, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We have taken significant actions to lower our costs and improve our productivity in response to the global recession, which has affected virtually every market in which we operate around the world.”

Its Engine segment, which includes marine, reported sales of US $1.49bn, a decline of 32 per cent compared to last year. Its EBIT fell to a loss of $16m, compared to a profit of $194m during the same period a year ago. The engine segment’s joint ventures reported a $3m loss, compared to a $33m profit a year ago.

Cummins revised its sales and earnings guidance downward for 2009, expecting full-year sales to be slightly more than 30 per cent lower than 2008.

(30 April 2009)

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2009 Earls Court show cancelled

By IBI Magazine

The 2009 Sail, Power & Watersports Show (formerly the Earls Court London Boat Show) has been cancelled, according to IBI’s sister publication Yachting Monthly.

Instead, the show’s managing director James Brooke plans to run a British Leisure Show next spring at Windsor Racecourse, as well as a marine-based show at London’s Earls Court in November 2010.

The Earls Court show should not be confused with the London International Boat Show, which returns next year to the Excel exhibition centre in London’s Docklands from January 8-17. The show is organised by National Boat Shows (NBS), a division of the British Marine Federation (BMF).

“Over the last two years we have directed over £5m of investment to promote the marine industry through our shows at Earls Court,” says Brooke. “As we continue to increase the level of investment, it has been essential to fully understand the new challenges facing many companies within the marine industry in 2009 and beyond.”

“We look forward to returning to Earls Court in November 2010,” he says.

The 1st British Leisure Show will run in the spring next year, on the banks of the River Thames, at the Royal Windsor Racecourse from March 19-21. The show will incorporate an extensive range of products from all leisure sectors, including marine, aviation, classic & sports cars, bikes, caravan & camping, health & fitness, extreme sports and more.

(5 May 2009)

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Sovereign Yachts headed for receivership?

By IBI Magazine

The National Business Review in New Zealand has reported that Sovereign Yachts could be forced into receivership by one of its suppliers. The paper reported that attorneys for YCO SAM, a Monaco-based subsidiary of YCO Deuxmil, has begun advertising for the application. The application is due at the High Court at Auckland at the end of this week.

Phone calls and an email from IBI to Sovereign Yachts were not returned, and the company’s website seems to have gone dark.

The yacht builder moved to New Zealand in 2001 from Canada. At the time, then Prime Minister Helen Clark and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton welcomed the yacht builder. The government predicted that 350 jobs would be generated in two years. But the firm employed about 100 people during that time period.

The company also drew some heated attention from the opposition party after it was disclosed that Sovereign Yachts owner Bill Lloyd bought 4ha of Auckland waterfront property for less than NZ$500,000 from the government.

According to its website, YCO Yacht is a yacht management and consultancy company based in Monaco. It was acquired by Deuxmil Marine PLC in 2008. An email request for more information to its senior managers was not returned by presstime.

(6 May 2009)

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MarineMax reports 41 per cent drop in same-store sales

By IBI Magazine

MarineMax Inc today reported sales of US$129.6m for its second quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to US$233.3m for the same period a year ago. It also reported a net loss of US$20.3m compared to a net loss of US$3.5m a year ago. Same-store sales were down 41 per cent for the quarter.

“We made significant progress in a number of areas during the second quarter despite the continued weak retail conditions,” said William McGill Jr, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “Our ongoing efforts to aggressively reduce our cost structure allowed us to realise an approximate US$20m decrease in expenses during the quarter, the largest year-over-year quarterly reduction we have reported to date.”

McGill said inventory declined by 28 per cent, or US$155m, on a year-over-year basis. “Despite the very tough retail environment and our year-to-date losses, we produced over US$64m in cash flow from operations during the first six months of fiscal 2009,” said McGill. “We expect to achieve further declines in our inventory, which should yield additional cash from operations and result in reductions to the related borrowings.”

MarineMax had sales of US$229.8m for the six months ended March 31, 2009, compared to US$448.5m for the same period period last year. Same-store sales declined approximately 46 per cent compared with a 20 per cent decline last year. The company’s net loss for the six-months ended March 31, 2009 was $34.6m compared with a net loss of $9.9m a year ago.

(7 May 2009)

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Alan Grayson is the 8th District’s next Congressman! Thank you to everyone for your support and votes.

The Grayson for Congress campaign wants to say thank you – THANK YOU! – to the people of Central Florida, for voting for change.

In Central Florida, we produced a political earthquake.  Four hundred members of Congress ran for reelection yesterday.  Only 16 of them failed to make it.  But here, we elected two new leaders for a better future:  Alan Grayson, and Suzanne Kosmas.

And the numbers were stunning.  It’s hard to believe, but Grayson more than doubled the vote against Ric Keller in 2006.  The vote for change increased by 78% in Lake County, 79% in Marion County, 92% in Osceola County, and an amazing 118% in Orange County.  Overall, the vote for change increased by 109%, as compared to 2006.

Grayson took a higher percentage of the vote in every county in the district.  But in Orange County, the result seems almost incredible.  In 2006, Ric Keller carried Orange County by over 3000 votes.  And yesterday, Ric Keller lost Orange County, by almost 23,000 votes!

The result is that this district has its first Democratic Congressman in 24 years.  This district, and all of Florida, has gone red to blue.

“As I’ve said so many times, this race was not about me, and it was not about my opponent,” said Alan Grayson, our new Congressman.  “It’s about you.  It’s about who is going to solve your problems.  People ask voters, ‘who are you for?’  The better question is ‘who is for you?’  I’m going to start working, right now, to improve the economy, and make a better life for everyone in Central Florida.”

We congratulate Barack Obama on his historic victory, and we thank the people of Central Florida for their faith and trust in Alan Grayson.

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You want more?

I am now officially a victim of the recession. My hours of work have been reduced thanks to NZ Post cutting back their operations.

To be honest, I really don’t mind. Sunday afternoons are for sailing, not working – so getting that time back will be brilliant. Also, I have plenty else going on in my life and I’m not trying to pay a mortgage.

I’m interested to know if anyone else on here has been hit by the recession yet. Any job losses? Reduced hours? 9 day fortnight? What about small business owners? I keep hearing in the media about the impact of the recession but of course they will be about as far from reality as anyone possibly can be.

go to the forums here

Luxury boat builder in receivership

8-May-09 by AAP

Australia’s biggest luxury boat builder, Riviera, is in voluntary receivership and will be put up for sale.

Deloitte partners Chris Campbell, Vaughan Strawbridge and Richard Hughes have been appointed as receivers and managers.

Riviera operates a state-of-the-art boat building facility in Coomera on the Gold Coast and exports to more than 30 countries.

Riviera shed 117 of its Gold Coast staff in January amid the global economic downturn.

It also closed its production line for three weeks from April 10 to May 5 in a bid to clear stock held by international dealers.

In 2008 it cut more than 300 staff at the Coomera headquarters.

Mr Campbell said sales over the past 12 months had been “significantly impacted” by the economic downturn.

“The purpose of the receivership is to continue trading and to restructure the business in order to survive the current economic climate while continuing to provide a high-quality Australian product,” he said in a statement.

He said it was proposed to sell Riviera as a going concern after a restructuring of the company.

“This process may take some time,” Mr Campbell said.

“Our first task will be to review the financial position of the company to evaluate the best possible outcome for creditors and other stakeholders with interests in the business.”

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NASA have found the light at the end of the tunnel. But is it really there?

To all you lot who leveraged off the rest of us.

Enjoy your ill gotten gains, while you can.

Better still go here and buy yourself some rope and a bit of chain.

Happy Sailing

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9 Responses to “Will the real Black hole F…….wits, please stand up”

  1. Trevor Crosbie says:

    “We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”
    So wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1813.
    Nearly two hundred years later the Bank of England admits that the process of money being created as a debt on future generations is still alive and well
    The Bof E stated recently that the ‘magic’ money is not actually printed but is created electronically. The ‘cash’ thus injected into the system is in effect simply an expansion of the existing debt base and given that 98 percent of the money supply in virtually every economy around the world is souced from the banking system as an interest bearing debt the reality is that ‘money’ in the traditional sense has all but ceased to exist.
    Unfortunately the majority of politicians still function as if money is a tangible thing that exists in the vaults of the banks and is lent out to borrowers. That is the myth that the modern economy is built on and until that myth is disposed of and a mechaism is put in place to inject money into the productive economy free of debt then the periodic recession/depression will continue to haunt us all.
    Check out what the American Monetary Institute is proposing or google the DVD “money as debt” for a new pathway to real prosperity.
    Well done on your contribution to finding out the truth and questioning the historic mythology around the three hundred year old debt mechanism.

  2. skiff says:

    Thanks for your comments Trevor,

    Tell that to the 1000’s of people that are now without a job, sorry millions of people who the coming winter/summer will knot be able to pay their power bill or feed their children that its only a myth, those wizzzels in the videos should dissapear up their own black holes.

  3. Trevor Crosbie says:

    Unfortunately the 1000’s of people adveresely affected by the ‘money as debt’ system keep voting for the status quo and instal left and right governments who refuse to look where they are going. Until those 1000’s accept a different course.the motley crews they keep choosing will continue running our economy into the financial coral-heads as they have been doing for decades.
    The money system is like a GPS – as long as the right data is entered then you will track to your destination safely. The present crisis indicates that the data being used to guide our economy is seriously flawed.

  4. skiff says:

    decades?? try 100’s of years, and the next recession will be in 2020?

  5. Trevor Crosbie says:

    Right on Skiff
    All the so-called rescue packages are simply sowing the seeds for the next crisis because they do not address the debt mechanism underpinning productive endeavour.
    Until the three hundred year old mechanism of ‘magic’ money is sorted the boom bust cycles, inflation and ever increasing taxes and charges will remain an obstacle to real growth, progress and prosperity,
    When nobel prise winning economists like Prof Joe Stiglitz tell us the financial structure is broken and debt is the problem then why would we not listen or does greed and power rule over common-sense?

  6. skiff says:

    Common sence! That flew out the window years ago.

  7. Sailing & Yachting says:

    yacht management…

    … May 10th 2009 6 Comments respond trackback. I have wanted to keep Yachtyakka a place where yachties could go and dream a little, free from the nightmare of how are we going to sell some more buckets. However enough is enough. … ……

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