FLIBS 2018 TAKE­AWAYS

Passage Maker - - News & Notes -

Ev­ery Novem­ber the pop­u­la­tion of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, swells with the com­ing of the “world’s largest boat show.” If you’ve been here, sweat­ing through the crowds clam­or­ing to get a look at the lat­est, great­est on dis­play, you’d prob­a­bly have dif­fi­culty dis­put­ing the claim. But when you get past the glitz of su­pery­acht row, you’ll find sev­eral ar­eas of in­ter­est for the Pas­sage­Maker crowd. And de­spite the 100- and 200-foot­ers for which “FLIBS” is known best, there is plenty of in­ter­est for reg­u­lar cruis­ing folk. Here are some of the high­lights we think you’ll want to hear about.

NORDHAVN/VRIPACK AN­NOUNCE GLOBAL PART­NER­SHIP

On the first day of the show, Nordhavn Yachts (also known as Pa­cific Asian En­ter­prises) held a joint press con­fer­ence with world-renowned builder/de­signer Vripack Yacht De­sign. The Dutch com­pany was rep­re­sented by cre­ative di­rec­tors and com­pany part­ners, Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix Hoek­stra. The pair­ing of Nordhavn and Vripack is a mar­riage that will begin with the in­te­rior de­sign and fit-out of a new 80-footer (shown above), which, ac­cord­ing to Nordhavn’s owner and co-founder Jim Leish­man has just re­cently been re­leased from her molds. Vripack will bring a wealth of knowl­edge and in­te­rior de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence to the part­ner­ship, as well as the abil­ity to build yachts of all sizes. In the event that Nordhavn wants to build 100+ foot­ers, the im­pli­ca­tion is that the build would hap­pen at Vripack and would also likely be the first steel Nordhavn model(s). Hoek­stra and Bouwhuis were also ea­ger to al­low jour­nal­ists a view of their vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) in­te­rior tours. A

few of us donned Ocu­lus Rift VR gog­gles and “toured” fully im­mer­sive ren­dered three-di­men­sional spa­ces. It def­i­nitely felt like the fu­ture of yacht de­sign. For more, visit nordhavn.com or vripack.com

GRAND BANKS 52 AND MORE

GB’s new de­signs are well un­der­way in the mar­ket­place, with CEO and de­sign chief Mark Richards putting his trade­mark style on all-new products, from the wild metal­lic-blue GT50 (badged Palm Beach, the sis­ter brand to GB), to the new rev on the Grand Banks 60, which adds a fully en­closed bridge/ pi­lot­house to this al­ready well-re­viewed model. The lounge comes in handy whether your cruis­ing re­quires air con­di­tion­ing or heat, or you just pre­fer the look to wrap­ping your fly­bridge in visqueen. It also of­fers a num­ber of great ameni­ties for the cruis­ing cap­tain, not the least of which is a day head so that time away from the helm is min­i­mized dur­ing sin­gle-hand­ing or night runs. Def­i­nitely worth a close look, the 60SL al­ready made a splash at Septem­ber’s Bal­ti­more TrawlerFest. Richards also in­tro­duced two new projects that we are par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about: the up­com­ing GB52, as shown here, and a larger boat, a GB85. For more, visit grand­banks.com

ASPEN 10,000-MILE TOUR

Larry Graf ’s Aspen C120, Knot Waf­flen’, has fin­ished the 10,000mile tour in style, with a com­ple­tion party dur­ing the An­napo­lis Power­boat Show. We weren’t able to celebrate with them, but we were in­vited to join in dur­ing the Alaska leg as well as cruis­ing around the is­lands in the Sea of Cortez. Quite an ac­com­plish­ment, we say, and also im­pres­sive was that, at the fin­ish line, the boat looked like it had barely cruised a sin­gle nau­ti­cal mile. If you love

boats and boat­ing, then sit­ting down and chat­ting with Larry Graf should be on your bucket list. For more, visit as­pen­pow­er­cata­ma­rans.com

GARMIN PART­NERS WITH YACHT CON­TROLLER

Yacht Con­troller by The Yacht Group is a pop­u­lar re­mote­con­trol sys­tem for yachts. “Yacht Con­troller is on more than 17,000 boats,” Ger­ald Bur­ton, pres­i­dent of the Yacht Group, told our sis­ter site, Trade Only To­day. There are two ver­sions of Yacht Con­troller, an IPS joy­stick- style re­mote and one with ar­row but­tons for chang­ing di­rec­tion and con­trol. The part­ner­ship with Garmin will al­low Yacht Con­troller to be ma­nip­u­lated by Garmin’s OneHelm pro­to­col via Garmin MFDs. This will al­low some­one at the helm or chart­plot­ter to make ad­just­ments to po­si­tion­ing as well as al­low for a cleaner helm as there won’t be the need for a sep­a­rate yacht con­troller panel. See more at yacht­con­troller.com/ garmin-in­te­gra­tion

NEW KVH AN­TENNA

KVH In­dus­tries rolled out a new small-form SATCOM an­tenna at FLIBS, the TracPhone V3-HTS an­tenna. We are used to see­ing huge SATCOM an­ten­nas atop large yachts and think­ing, “That doesn’t be­long on my boat!” But the new an­tenna, with a 14.5-inch di­am­e­ter and weigh­ing only 25 pounds, is de­signed for boats as small as 25 feet. The TracPhone V3-HTS SATCOM an­tenna is de­signed to pro­vide data speeds of 5 Mbps down­load and 2 Mbps up­load. See more at kvh.com

VOLVO-PENTA’S HY­BRID POWER COM­MIT­MENT

Trade Only To­day also caught the Volvo-Penta pre­sen­ta­tion that we missed in which the lead­ing propul­sion man­u­fac­turer an­nounced plans to bring an elec­tric-hy­brid to the marine mar­ket by 2021. The com­pany has an ex­ist­ing elec­tric-hy­brid sys­tem that has al­ready been im­ple­mented in trucks and in elec­tric buses. Now the com­pany sim­ply needs to adapt the ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy for the boat­ing world.

DIESEL OUT­BOARDS FROM COX POW­ER­TRAIN

Our co­work­ers over at Sound­ings mag­a­zine came across these dual 300-horse­power diesel out­boards. With out­boards be­com­ing a go-to for many new de­signs, these diesel pow­er­plants are a unique of­fer­ing. As Sound­ings ex­plains, “Cox Pow­er­train says the diesel out­board of­fers at least a 25 per­cent bet­ter range com­pared to a gaso­line out­board. It weighs in at 827 pounds, and the com­pany says it will last up to three times longer than a gaso­line out­board.” Find more at cox­ma­rine.com

BENETEAU SWIFT TRAWLER 47

Beneteau re­vealed state­side its new­est ad­di­tion to the Swift Trawler line. The 47 looks to fill the gap be­tween the 44 and the 50 in the ex­ist­ing prod­uct se­ries. Like all Swift Trawlers, you can cruise her in the 10- to 12-knot range but also run at top speeds of 25 knots when you need to get some­where in a hurry. With three cabins and a fold-out sa­loon couch—just like on the Swift Trawler 35—the 47 can sleep up to eight and has a fly­bridge sized to match that size­able crowd. Find out more at beneteau.com n

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