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Contents SEPTEMBER 2009

Inside . . . 09 Word from the water Is that optimism we sniff on the summer breeze?

15 Race update British interest on the world stage intensifies . . .

17 Outstanding accessories Eight more bits of boating kit ranked and rated

21 Power play Is Honda’s first ever 60hp outboard really good enough to compete?

27 Word from the web The hottest topics from the reader’s chat room

33 Where’s the bloody fuel?

55 Southampton Boat Show

The RYA fronts up about the availability of waterside petrol

The best show of the year is upon us

34 Pub Watch

Between Newquay and Padstow is a place much better than both

Tying up at the Ferry Boat in Dittisham

37 At the helm for £299 An ingenious route to boating with the Marine Club

44 The wonder of workboats We discover the surprising delights of the Seawork show

47 Loch Lomond Wakeboard Camp Unadulterated waterspors bliss is only hours away . . .

28 Forum Cruise

51 On board with Jack Osbourne

Sports Boat’s online readers get together for a west-country cruise

The inside story from the ‘Adrenaline Junkies’ boat race adventure

93 Exploring St Ives

98 Last wave goodbye The facts behind the bizarre resurgence in burial at sea

101 Tower time Turn your boat into a watersports platform - and keep it cheap

105 Talking tides The simple way to maximise your time on the water

109 Modern navigator Impress your mates with your radar navigation

28 It’s what weekends were made for Place private ads for free at


news Hydrolift hottie

Hydrolift, Norwegian builder of race-derived leisure boats, has revealed that a new model is currently under development. While no details are yet available, the manufacturers have told us that the new S-27 aims to be the most versatile craft in the modern Hydrolift range. If it performs with the dynamics of previous incarnations, it will be well worth the wait. We’ll keep you updated as details emerge . . .

Atlantis 26 gets a bed

Following the success of the Atlantis 26 fast fisher, the Guernsey-based boat builder has announced the Atlantis 26 cabin project, the first example of which should be completed by the autumn of 2009. Deck and cabin space will be a 50/50 split, with full head height cabin, WC and berth space combined with a large open cockpit. The proven offshore hull design is capable of making good distance in rough conditions while the steep 95cm freeboard and full-height transom give added protection and safety. Engine options will be from a single outboard of between 200hp and 300hp, providing up to 45 knots and making this a fast all weather cruiser with a range of approximately 200 miles. Final costing has not yet been confirmed but the company expects a base price of around £26,000 plus engine.

Suzuki goes Polar An expedition powered by two Suzuki DF140 four-stroke engines and led by a Danish explorer has become the first in history to successfully negotiate the entire Arctic Ocean by open boat. The boat, Polar Passage 2000, completed the 14,000 nautical mile journey over eight summers. The team of four explorers lived with indigenous people en route, recording the cultural flavour and witnessing first hand the effects of climate change. Expedition leader, Anders Bilgram, said: “Without the development of Suzuki’s four-stroke engines we would never have been able to go all the way around the Arctic – especially because of the very long distances in Siberia. The engines were reliable and extremely efficient, saving us 35 to 40 per cent on fuel.”

The twin Suzuki DF140 engines powered the POCA 600, a six-metre open boat that is also used by the Danish Police, through the toughest conditions of the Arctic Seas. Masahiro Yamamoto, Head of European Marketing Group for Suzuki Motor Corporation, said: “This is an inspiring achievement in the spirit of true adventure and I warmly congratulate the expedition team. We are delighted that Suzuki fourstroke outboards served the expedition so robustly in what must be the ultimate endurance test for man and engine.” Boat specs Boat: POCA 600 Length: six metres Type: open boat Speed: 27 knots Fuel tank: 220 litres Total weight: four tonnes Engines: Twin Suzuki DF140 outboards

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kit Sea scenes It’s not enough to own a boat and to drive it like a hero. You need witnesses who can pay testament to your heroics. And just in case your witnesses have a different version of events, you need photographic evidence to prove them wrong. Here we have a book dedicated to making that happen. It’s a beautifully illustrated guide by Patrick Roach on how to get the best shot while taking photographs at sea. From composing the image and capturing groups, to fast action and reflections, this will teach you what you need to know. It even covers confined interiors as well as dramatic creative photography and explanations of the equipment you need. For the keen boating photographer, it’s a very useful publication. Price: £19.99 Adlard Coles Nautical

Lifeline Balcan Engineering has developed a new re-packable throwline that can be used to reach those in trouble in the water. At 25 metres long it is a smaller version of the company’s renowned Balcan Emergency Life Line (BELL), which has been sold in great numbers to the police, fire brigades and other commercial agencies since its creation back in 1973. The plastic capsule in which the line is packed is bright yellow in colour so it can be easily seen on the surface of the water and, in a man overboard situation, it can increase the chances of a successful rescue by allowing faster and easier contact with the casualty. Re-useable and well priced, with a good history of effective operation, it’s well worth stowing on board your boat. Price: £29.90 (inc p&p) Tel: 01507 528500

Glo stick

AMiiVA mover The AMiiVA is a French-made folding bicycle with a full-sized suspended frame built from high-grade aluminium. The range is based around three key models: the Smart (a three-speed bike for the occasional rider), the City (a five-speed bike for everyday use) and the Quartz (a top end five-speed model with a carbon fork, calliper brakes and a 48T lightweight crankset for bike enthusiasts). The compromise between stability of ride and size of folded bike has produced a lightweight product that will take a bit of rough tarmac without catapulting you over the handlebars. The ‘Hingenious’ central hinge locks automatically when the bike is ready to go and keeps the front and rear wheels locked together when folded. It takes 15 seconds to fold her up and, when folded she measures 630mm x 780mm x 340mm. It’s undoubtedly nice kit but let’s reserve final judgement until the prices emerge . . .

The new Navi Light Glo is a glow in the dark torch. It is waterproof down to 200 metres and it comes with three lighting modes but the outstanding feature is the glowing body, which allows it to be found instantly in the dark. The torch illuminates its handle for up to eight hours after just ten minutes of daylight, courtesy of ‘strontium technology’, which apparently enables the handle to glow up to seven times brighter than old style zinc sulphide materials. The light comes equipped with a magnetic switch plus a wrist strap. The double rubber seal and shock resistant body make it robust as well as waterproof and that makes it almost perfect for marine use. Why ‘almost’? Drop it in the water and watch it sink. This is obviously one for divers rather than boaters. Price: £23.99

Price: TBA Available online from October 2009 18 I SB&RIB

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60 hp outboards

Super 60 Honda Marine has made its first foray into the 60 hp outboard market. But with so many contenders out there, is it good enough to excel? Alex Smith reports.


onda - builder of engines that never break and cars that outlast their owners, master of brandloyalty and unabashed champion of the watertight warranty. Many is the time I have seen a crusty old man in a crusty old boat with a spanking new Honda outboard. And I have known him as the type of man who has bought a Honda because his previous one lasted 30 years, becoming in the process not just an instrument of motive power but a close and respected friend. Well Honda may be known for unerring reliability but the company’s first venture into the ferociously competitive 60hp marine outboard market needs more

than just the advocacy of common sense to succeed. It needs to match the latest standards of refinement, economy, power, throttle response, size, weight, features and price. And the fact that the new BF60 is being shown to the press just weeks after the leaking of details on the new Suzuki DF60 puts even greater pressure on the Honda engine, not just to excel on the water but also to hold its own in the context of the latest offerings from its extremely capable competitors. The concept The BF60, designed principally for use on RIBs and sports boats of between four and five metres, aims to build on the

success of the recently re-launched and much revised BF40 and BF50 engines. To that end, it once again features Honda’s BLAST (Boosted Low Speed Torque system), which, in tandem with the new low-drag gear case, will apparently deliver “best-in-class hole shot and speed”. The economy of this entirely new watercooled three-cylinder engine is supposed to be first rate too, with Honda claiming its “ECOmo” lean burn technology can save as much as 13 per cent over its competitors in cruising mode (between 3000 and 4500 rpm). And the BF60 is also the first in the Honda line-up to be compliant with the NMEA2000 protocol, permitting you to connect yourself up to an increasingly >

We quickly get to grips with Honda’s first ever 60 hp outboard engine

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owner ship alternat i v e s

the Marine Club

Marine Club capers For the ingenious among us there are a million ways of making your boat life both more varied and more affordable. But isn’t it nice when someone else does the work for you. Simon Everett investigates the Marine Club . . .


oing boating is perceived as an expensive game by those who don’t do it. It is seen as money well spent by those who do. In fact they are both right. Those who boat tend to try to justify the money that gets absorbed into the bilges by the purchase of the boat, the mooring fees, the insurance, the maintenance, the antifouling, the

servicing and last, but by no means least, the fuel bill. In fact, at the end of the season if you decided to break down the true cost into the number of hours you actually went boating, it would probably frighten you - especially if you own a large sports cruiser. Those in the know tend to own something more modest and charter the bigger boat when they need one. This works out much more cheaply Place private ads for free at

in the long run, but even that is not as cost effective as membership of a new and rather exciting new club . . . The Marine Club was set up by two long time boaters, Tom and Phil Scott. They have been around boats and boating since they could walk and have had many seasons as charter skippers in the Caribbean. They came up with a plan for a local country club on the Menai > SB&RIB I 37

Seawork A show dedicated to all things maritime on the commercial front is perhaps not the most obvious choice for a visit and yet, if you do go, there is a wealth of interesting stuff to see. It isn’t just about tugs with their enormous engines and fluid drives, or variable pitch propellers. There is every conceivable use for a boat represented in some shape or form, with a good number of interesting boats on the water for demonstrations. The show is relatively young, but the last couple of years have seen it grow to the point where it is now an internationally recognised event and one which attracts overseas buyers and exhibitors in ever larger numbers. The show is obviously aimed squarely at buyers or advisors for major commercial and military purchases. Local authorities, government organisations and nongovernment organisations rub shoulders 44 I SB&RIB

Naturally enough, Seawork is a show dedicated to the world of maritime labour and yet, if you do visit, you’ll discover some ideas that could radically improve yur boat life. Stan Peakell was there.

with charter operators and military procurement divisions. However, I was interested to see that there were also a number of school parties visiting the event and I was curious to know why, so I asked one of the teachers and the answer I got was very pleasing. Apparently, Seawork is seen as a valuable visit from a careers education point of view, so any pupils with an interest in a career in the maritime industry can get an idea of the kinds of jobs that are available. There is also a great interest from the Design and Technology departments, where pupils can see where their studies can lead in real world situations. At this particular show, exhibits ranged from 20-metre aluminium catamarans built specifically to service the needs of offshore windfarm operations through to a small, polythene pipe catamaran with galvanised grating for a deck built in New Zealand. Survey vessels with the latest oceanography equipment welcomed people Place private ads for free at

aboard to see the valuable work they do. These boats are basically showrooms for the latest in cutting edge digital electronics. there’s gear for measuring the seabed at 2,000 metres below the surface, as well as for assessing the water quality and plotting temperature differentials. The range of survey work really is vast and the data is used for some astonishing applications. Along the pontoons there were plenty of RIBs, especially from the main British builders, names you would all recognise from their leisure products but who also

Loch Lomond

Wakeboard Camp It’s fine grabbing a free evening here and there. But how much better is a long weekend of dedicated wakeboarding? Matt Crowhurst heads for Loch Lomond to find out.


akeboarding here in good old Blighty is fairly unique as far as how we all get our water time. Plenty of people have their own boats and manage to hit the water on weekday evenings and weekends throughout the year, braving every kind of weather in the process. But this number is nowhere near the amount you get in America, Australia or South Africa. We are a ski school nation, grabbing 15-minute slots here and there as and when we can, so to get away for

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a few days of dedicated, uninterrupted riding at a ‘Wakeboard Camp’ is a rare and wonderful treat. Orlando, Florida, the home of this amazing sport, started out as the top place to go way back when, and it still has some of the finest coaches, facilities and, of course, weather, you’ll get anywhere. But in recent years there have been more and more camps far closer to home popping up all over the place in Europe. And now there is one closer still, in the absolutely stunning location of Loch Lomond, just under an hour down the road from Glasgow. >


Adrenaline Junkie? When the celebrities descended on the X-Cat race circuit for an episode of ITV2’s Adrenaline Junkie, it was time to get involved. Sarah Donohue was there . . .


his was the day when four X-Cat throttle men would have more than just the water to contend with. They would have four new pilots in the shape of celebrities, Jack Osbourne, Joanna Gold (‘Gavin and Stacey’), Hollywood sex symbol and ‘Desperate Housewives’, star Jessie Metcalf and Reggie Yates (Radio 1 DJ). Yes, ITV2’s Adrenaline Junkie was about to enjoy what no celebrities had enjoyed before - a genuine race experience in an X-Cat. But regardless of the agenda and the profile of the people involved, the important thing when a newcomer gets into a powerboat like this is that they step out of it having had a great time, and an experience that they could never emulate anywhere else. Well the X-Cat series is the

largest race fleet in the world with boats that regularly run at speeds in excess of 120mph. Now most of us know what 40mph feels like on the water and some of us are familiar with 50. Some of us may even know how, at 80mph and above, the experience changes entirely, with wave shapes coming upon you almost unseen. But at speeds beyond the 100mph mark, you have to wonder how these celebs would fair? For a show called ‘Jack Osbourne Adrenalin Junkie’, you’d expect them to be chomping at the bit. Time to find out . . . The Dunk test It’s mandatory, it’s wet and it always ends upside down. Safety Officer, Danny Moujaes was busy preparing the dunker

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when the celebs walked over closely followed by the camera crew. Both Danny and I ran through the importance of the dunker and how to pass first time. We did a dry run with everyone on the pontoon going over everything many times, making the celebs tell us how they would escape. I told them not to be afraid to ask questions, because no matter how small something may seem on land, it will become a big deal on the water at 100mph. Yep, Joanna asked a ton of questions and for this reason, I told her that she was going first. Strapped in, Jo was about to meet her fate. “Don’t forget. Compose yourself, then grab the air supply and breathe. As soon as you have air, you are okay.” Over she went, strapped in and was under water for about 30 seconds. >


A slice of the good life The PSP Southampton Boat Show in association with ITV Meridian is once again upon us. With almost 1000 boats, 500 exhibitors and plenty of debut kit, it should be well worth a look. Sue Baggaley investigates.

lot of people, so a show, even one of Southampton’s calibre, needs to keep things fresh. Here, I take a brief look at what you can expect from the organisers and what you can expect in terms of new stuff from some of the exhibitors.


Ocean race antics

hen the Southampton Boat Show kicks off to the tune of a nautical ditty over the open-air loudspeakers, I know I will feel genuine excitement. And then the well-heeled voice that always conducts the commentary will welcome us with a risqué joke and a chirpy greeting and the 2009 event will be underway. I know it will give me a sensation of unbridled optimism that no other show in the UK calendar can match and there are plenty of reasons for that. For a start, it’s in a proper maritime city, with a long history and a thriving modern marine industry. It’s also outside where people like us belong. And it has an extensive pontoon network, with boats in the water, where they belong.

Everything about it feels right and that even goes for the timing. It comes in early September, at the tail end of the season and it represents a final treat before the Christmas period comes upon us. That means people tend to have enthusiasm in their hearts and money in their pockets - and that’s an ideal combination because this is also the show at which we tend to see the greatest number of boat launches and debut products, giving us a real taste of what we’ll be seeing on the water when next year’s season rolls around. Yes, it’s about as good as a boat show gets, full of interesting kit, buoyed by an upbeat atmosphere and bang in the middle of a thoroughly diverting city that embraces it with gusto. Even so, these remain rather tough times for a Place private ads for free at

Yes, I know it’s sailing but the Volvo Ocean Race Experience, which aims to replicate the ocean’s most grueling and glamorous endurance event, could be well worth a look, even for boaters like us. Widely regarded as the pinnacle of sailing achievement, the Volvo Ocean Race often sees entrants racing day and night for more than 30 days at a time. The Race Experience aims to bring all the energy of this extraordinary race to Solent Park with a selection of interactive features designed to give us an insight into life aboard a Volvo Open 70 yacht. For a start there will be a high-adrenaline simulator, recreating the sailing conditions onboard a Volvo Open 70 yacht ploughing through the waves at speed. Apparently, strong winds and ocean spray will > SB&RIB I 55

Nordkapp Enduro 600

Nordkapp Enduro 600 From the nation that brought us bloodthirsty Viking hoards comes an altogether more welcome import. Alex Smith tests the Nordkapp Enduro 600.


trip to Salcombe brings a shade of trepidation along with the excitement. It’s a great place to go boating, surrounded by beautiful creeks, bays and inlets but it is also a place where the water never seems to settle down. As often as not, you face a bit of a battle to get out over the bar where the swells heap up in the shallows. And when you do get out into open water, it’s often best to seek out an area of steep rock to starboard that tends to offer much better shelter from the gusting westerlies. Today, however, the wind is from the east and there seems to be no shelter to be had, wherever we look. The sea state is certainly still manageable but the forecast for the afternoon is extremely poor, so we set about getting our test in the bag as fast as we can. And happily, the boat under review, though relatively small, seems extremely keen to take on the fight. >

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Capelli welly In the UK, Capelli is famous as the builder of boats for the marvellous spectacle that is the Rubson RIB Raid. But apparently there’s much more to Capelli RIBs than that. By Alex Smith.


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Capelli 770


ver the past ten years the world has developed a rapacious appetite for a reinvented from of RIB - one where a sturdy hull is topped not by black tubes and ranks of obedient jockey seats but by teak and cushions and tanned ladies in tiny bikinis. And the men on board these new RIBs seem to have changed to match. No longer is a RIB helmed by a steadfast bearded man with leather cheeks and oilskins. The hand on the wheel belongs to a smiling playboy with tight trunks and unfeasibly white teeth. The RIB world has swapped barnacles for brushcetta and those that have failed to make the transition have fallen from grace. Now I won’t pretend that Gary from Hockley Marine is a playboy in any

What is Capelli? Established in 1974 by Davide Capelli, the Capelli Boatyard at Spinadesco in Cremona, Northern Italy, has become a prolific builder of small to medium-sized RIBs. In fact, the modern Capelli RIBs line-up consists of 25 models across four lines, from 2.2-metre tenders right up to the flagship 1000, which measures in at 9.6 metres. Despite the prefixing of all Capelli models with the word ‘Tempest’, these boats are predominantly user-friendly Mediterranean style RIBs - so much so that the vast majority of boats sold in the UK by Hockley Marine are still taken abroad by sun-seeking Brits for use at Mediterranean holiday homes.

conventional respect but he will be the first to admit that his Capelli boats are the very epitome of this modern and rather commendable RIB ethos. Yes, these Italian builders can produce a workboat rigged for practicality and yes, they have enjoyed Place private ads for free at

some very high profile race experience through the provision of an entire fleet for the famous Rubson RIB Raid. But the once oxymoronic notion of a ‘recreational RIB’ is one that sits very comfortably indeed with the modern Capelli line-up. > SB&RIB I 63

Flipper 520 HT

Need a small boat for some pottering around and a little bit of overnighting? Haven’t got much to spend? How about a Flipper 520 HT? By Sue Baggaley.


ou know when you hold a baby’s shoe in the palm of your hand, you can’t help marvelling at how so small a thing could possibly house a foot? Well when you see two grown men driving a boat like the Flipper 520 HT it is equally difficult to avoid being charmed by the implausible loveliness of it all. Now I know how patronising that sounds but I certainly don’t mean it that way. After all, I have owned a 2CV and a Mini so I know what petite, if slightly amusing, perfection is all about. Even now, I own an eight-foot inflatable,

which frequently gets me laughed at by callous children as I sail it, like an oversized plimsole, up and down the local river . . . The point of course is that scale in itself is not an impediment to excellence as long as expectations are adjusted and the right compromises are made. As I approach the Flipper 520 HT, a boat of less than 17 feet in length, which still manages to incorporate a double berth and a five man cockpit, I am very curious to see just what kinds of compromises the designers have made in order to achieve that extraordinary feat. >

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destin at i o n

St Ives

On tour in St Ives If south Cornwall can be characterised by its pretty inlets, North Cornwall is known as a place of broad golden bays and raging surf. Stan Peakell takes a look at its most famous resort . . .


henever I venture this far west, or in fact this close to any of the mainland’s particularly remote extremities, I often fear that I risk becoming an unfortunate extra in a re-run of the Wicker Man. And yet, here in St Ives, after a long drive through the heart of the county, I find myself confronted with a delightfully elegant and surprisingly cosmopolitan little town. It’s about eight in the morning and I’m sitting at a very cool café called the Hub, eating a gorgeous breakfast overlooking the harbour. The staff, like most of the clientele, seem to be very happy, slightly ageing surf dudes who have picked St Ives as a place to bring up their funky young families. Both the town and the people in it seem to have a lovely, relaxed way to them and it makes you feel instantly welcome. The town itself is basically a maze of old streets and cobbled alleyways, with fishermen’s cottages filling every spare foot of space as they wind and tumble their way down to the harbour, which, even today is plainly the epicentre of local goings on. There are lots of good cafes and bars down here and, as you move uphill, away from the harbour, you see small B&Bs, holiday cottages and a proliferation of little art galleries illustrating the fact that, despite the tranquility, tourism is big business here. If you walk on toward the west of the town over the pretty headland you see an excellent surfing beach spread out beneath you. Go in the other direction, >

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wakeboard from your boat

Tower time? Wakeboarding is no longer the expensive specialist pursuit it once was. Today, all you need is a decent boat, a tower and a bit of know-how. Mike Dovey explains how to turn your boat into a watersports-ready platform . . . Place private ads for free at


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