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2022 here we come! - MarineBusinessWorld.com Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 30 Dec 2021 22:00 GMT
S55 Sedan Motor Yacht © Maritimo

As we approach New Year's Eve, we look back on 2021 with mixed feelings. While the Covid restrictions took a toll on most people in Australia, mentally, physically and economically, the boating industry sustained the last 12 months with relatively few casualties and in many cases saw increased sales, especially boat builders and brokers. The challenge in 2022 is how we adapt to the ongoing threat of the virus and the implications it has for supply chains, where shortages of key components are holding up manufacturing and delivery of new stock.

It will also be interesting to see how the industry adapts to carbon emission restrictions and as reported on this forum over the past 12 months, alternative marine power is set to be a hot topic over the next few years. Many of the key propulsion manufacturers are investing in electric or hydrogen power alternatives while at the same time finding ways to restrict emissions from conventional power sources. Time will tell.

With propulsion being a major talking point, I have included two postings from last week that involve that subject. ePropulsion, a global leader and market challenger in marine electric propulsion systems and services, has announced its expansion across Asia with the appointment of two new distributors. Having reached 150% growth globally in sales revenue and sold over 12,000 units this year, ePropulsion is excelling and the growing market in Asia is set to continue to thrive with more customers looking for eco-friendly solutions. BADARO Yacht Co, based in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, and Motorium, based in Phuket, Thailand, have been appointed as ePropulsion's new distributors in this market.

Meanwhile YANMAR Marine International has announced the market launch of custom solutions to pair with the new SD15 saildrive by ZF, strengthening its comprehensive range of products for the sailing sector. The new systems for larger vessels up to 65 feet enables more boat owners and boat builders to benefit from the combined technology and efficiencies of YANMAR's higher power common rail engines and compatible saildrive models. Following the roll-out of the full range of easy-to-install and low-drag SD15 systems, YANMAR Marine International (YMI) will offer the largest line-up of saildrive solutions on the market to cover an engine range from 10 HP up to 150 HP. The new YANMAR SD15 saildrive, developed by partner ZF, is now available with the 4JH80 and 4JH110 engines, with the 4LV150-SD15 solution scheduled for launch in Q3 2022. Suitable for a wide range of applications, the latest YANMAR saildrive propulsion systems provide a new option for a vastly extended range of sailboats and catamarans using engines from 80 HP upwards that have previously relied on conventional shaft drive lines.

And from one of the world largest engine suppliers, The Mercury Marine Technician of the Year competition looked a little bit different in 2021. With 150 questions and 35 minutes, this year's technicians had just 14 seconds to answer each question in a Covid-19 friendly online competition. According to this year's winner, Craig Bell from Hodge Marine South Australia, his victory was thanks to his vast selection of retained knowledge of Mercury engines. "I've been a technician since 1990, working on everything - from Outboards to MerCruisers and beyond," Craig said. "Because of the experience we gain on these engines, plus the very comprehensive Mercury University learning we do, I have a diverse knowledge of a broad range of engines. "I've participated in the Technician of the Year competitions for the past three years. In 2018 I placed fourth and in 2019 I came third. "In the past competitions I've had a bit of performance anxiety because we were in front of judges and cameras, but this year I was on my own with nothing but a computer. I was able to be more relaxed and I think that's what helped me secure the win!

Finally, due to the spread of the Omicron variant, further restrictions have been in place in Germany since 28 December, including on events. Following the meeting of the Minister Presidents of the federal states on the pandemic situation on 21 December 2021, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) banned the holding of large events with spectators in January. This means that boot Düsseldorf will not take place in 2022 due to the measures decided by the state government.

So, there we have it, another year gone and new dawn on the horizon. I'll take this opportunity to thank all our readers for their support over the past 12 months, ensuring we have maintained our role as the highest accessed marine business site in Australia. May everyone have a happy and safe New Year's Eve and a successful and prosperous New Year.

Peter Rendle - peter.rendle@sail-world.com

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