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Boating NZ October 2020

Boating NZ inspires boating enthusiasts with reviews of new boats, coverage of technical innovations, maintenance advice, columns and cruising stories.

New Zealand
Boating New Zealand Limited
R 35,65
R 356,54
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
stuck in irons

If the Covid-19 lifestyle is causing your internal temperature to rise, spare a thought for the hundreds of cruising yachties caught up in virus-induced bureaucratic limbo. As I write there are an estimated 300 cruisers anchored at various islands across the central and southwestern Pacific. Traditionally, with the onset of the tropical cyclone season (now imminent), most would be preparing to depart for the safe haven that is New Zealand. Mainly to wait out any weather tantrums (until March/April next year), but also to catch up with overdue boat maintenance and, of course, to tour this glorious country. Their arrival typically represents a welcome injection of cash across multiple sectors. Covid-19 has thrown this annual migration into turmoil. As things stand today our Ministry of Health is refusing to allow any foreign vessels…

1 min
underwater treasures

This photo of a goby hiding in soft coral – titled Red Carpet – was among the winners of the recent Ocean Art Safe Under the Sea underwater photography contest, organised by the Underwater Photography Guide in the US. Despite the adversity we all face today, the organisers noted, the Safe Under the Sea contest brought people from around the world together to share the beauty of our oceans, and help the World Health Organistion (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their fight to improve the health of the planet and its people. The Underwater Photography Guide was able to donate 25% of the proceeds, translating to thousands of dollars, to WHO and CDC in their fight against Covid-19. Yatwai So took the shot of the goby…

2 min
shrinking waterways

Some of the world’s most significant commercial waterways are coming under growing pressure as climate change impacts negatively on water supply, river levels and shipping. A mere four years after upgrading the canal to accommodate bigger ships, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has now invited bids from international engineering consortiums for a massive new project: a water management system to improve the canal’s operation and at the same time secure the nation’s drinking water supply. Water supply issues have become a problem for the canal. When rainfall is limited and nearby lake levels fall, the ACP is forced to implement draft restrictions to keep the canal running, reducing the cargo tonnage vessels can carry. Last year was the region’s fifth-driest in 70 years. Low rainfall reduces water levels at Gatun and Alhajuela lakes,…

1 min
cruising to nowhere

The best place to get a sense of the inactivity is the English Channel, now home to a growing fleet of idle cruisers. But as the old adage goes, when one door shuts another opens. With commendable entrepreneurial flair local resident Paul Derham has begun offering boat tours to anyone interested in getting a closer look at the fleet. A cruise ship veteran of some 27 years, Derham knows the industry and the ships well – he’s the perfect tour guide. He now runs two ferries from Mudeford in England’s Dorset region, and has adapted his normal schedule (no doubt also suffering from the impact of Covid-19) to include the 2.5-hour ‘cruise ship tour’. It appears to have become a raging success. This recent image shows some of the world’s cruise ships anchored…

1 min
motorbike reincarnation

Once the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, Britain’s HMS Hermes has come to an ignoble end. She’s lying on an Indian beach being broken up for scrap, her steel destined for motorbike production. Though she was considered the Royal Navy’s flagship during the Falklands war in the early 80s, that role was a brief starburst in a career beset by problems. It didn’t even start well. Construction began in 1944 but WWII ended before she was completed, so the work ground to a halt. The forlorn hull sat in the dockyard in Barrow-in-Furness until 1953, when it was launched unceremoniously to make way for other shipbuilding projects. The unfortunate carrier carried a cruel nickname – HMS Elephant. Though the build was finally completed in 1957 she only began active service two years later. In…

1 min
crewless ships?

Last month the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, a 15m trimaran, left Plymouth in the UK on a pioneering voyage – an unmanned transatlantic crossing powered by solar energy and artificial intelligence. Supported by an impressive consortium which includes IBM and M Subs (a Plymouth-based submarine manufacturer) the project’s led by Promare, a marine research organisation. It’s also received investment from tech heavyweights such as Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, ABB and Wartsila. The technology for safe navigation at sea uses algorithms and computer vision. While pilotless drones and driverless cars are already common, experts believe autonomous shipping is on the verge of a breakthrough. “Doing this on a ship is infinitely easier than in a car,” says Brett Phaneuf, president of M Subs and the driving force behind the Mayflower project. In principle, autonomous technology is better-suited…