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Autumn 08 | Issue 80 â‚Ź1 (Where sold)

Dufour Tested by B&Y



Maltese Circumnavigator Absolute 52 & Sessa 35 On Test Build an Electric Tender Chefs Ahoy Cruising Oman

Including a new luxury lifestyle quarterly

Showroom 96 / 99, St Joseph High Street, Hamrun. T: (+356) 21 225721 F: (+356) 21 242503 M: (+356) 7949 3656 E-mail:


Ten Fathoms


Dufour 45 [On the Cover]


Absolute 52


Sessa 35


21 Cruising Oman


A Maltese Circumnavigator [8 Episode] th




Life Rafts [PartII]


Chefs Ahoy




Macdonald Chronicles Issue Number 80 Autumn 2008 Boats & Yachting is a quarterly magazine about boats, marine equipment, windsurfing, diving and all other marine activities & sports in and around the Maltese Isles.

Welcome to the eightieth issue of B&Y.

September is nearly over and the colder months are approaching rapidly. In most other countries north of Malta, boat owners long for the equivalent of our autumn days in the peak of summer, yet here we are - leaving our boats berthed on days when the weather is in the mid twenties with a cool breeze blowing and not a cloud to be seen. The end of Summer also brings the beginning of the boat show season and by the time this magazine will be published we shall be in the middle of theHSBC Valletta Boat Show. Southampton and Cannes will be over and Genova will be on the way. This season is always highly interesting because we will see numerous new boats and products launched across the boating world. October is also a moment of truth for the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Following last year’s record breaking performance some might think that the time is too good to be beaten so quickly and it might make it harder to lure a decent number of Maxis over to race. Having said that some have already confirmed their participation and we should once again expect a tightly fought battle if we are graced with wind. This is the last issue of B&Y for 2008. We will be back in January, but don’t forget that there will be an issue of On Deck in the second week of November.

Richard Muscat Azzopardi

Cover Photo: Dufour 45 © Published by:

Directors Matthew Bugeja Richard Muscat Azzopardi 236, Mdina Road, Qormi, Malta Tel: +356 2149 0539 +356 2749 0539 Fax: +356 2149 8893 Editor Richard Muscat Azzopardi Deputy Editor Greta Muscat Azzopardi Features Editor Gustav Pace Contributors Vanessa Macdonald, Deborah Ratcliffe, Godwin Muscat Azzopardi, Alan Saunders Art Director Matthew Bugeja Designers Bertrand Fava Malcolm Bonello Prepress and Printing Progress Press Advertising & Subscriptions: +356 2149 0539 +356 9989 5100/1 It is understood that all material supplied by agents (printed or otherwise) to promote their products is supplied with all necessary permissions for reproduction. Whilst great care and attention has been taken by the editorial board to ensure accuracy of text, advertising and other published matter, we disclaim all responsibility for any omissions and errors. The editor and Publisher do not necessarily agree with views expressed in articles/ adverts/ letters etc. appearing in this publication. This magazine is being published in strict compliance with the laws of Malta. Any litigation is to be handled in Malta.






Macdonald Chronicles by Vanessa Macdonald

“what I really, really want from my boat is to get to somewhere I can spend a few days of sensory deprivation “


hat I really want...

Boaters tend to fall into categories, if you think about it. There is the obvious split between motorboaters and sailors. And you can then split sailors into racers and cruisers. If the boat is seething with men very, very early on a Saturday morning and none of them have alcohol or fishing tackle in their arms, then it is very likely to be a racer. Cruisers, on the other hand, are perhaps more difficult to break down into sub-categories. You could try to divide them into ones that have a mazra in Mellieha and those who go to the south. You could divide them into the ones who never venture beyond the fairway buoy and those who make regular trips to stock up on sundried tomatoes in Syracuse. But there is another line you can draw to divide this last batch… a mooring line. There are some boats that simply always stay in a marina when they go abroad. And there are others who anchor, far far from the madding crowd. We fall squarely into this last category. When I sit in the office, daydreaming, the picture is always of me (usually 3kgs lighter) in a bikini (without the wrap I normally wear to hide said 3kgs), with a book in my hand and a frosted beer by my side. And nothing else within hailing distance. Perhaps we are just antisocial. Perhaps we are just too stressed out by the time that we go on holiday. But what I really, really want from my boat is to get to somewhere I can spend a few days of sensory deprivation. Life takes on a completely different pace when you are marooned in the middle of a bay. For a start, Big Mac sells watermakers, generators and airconditioners for a living, so we obviously don’t have any of them on board our boat. This means that we have to be very aware of lights and water. Well, not having much water is a great excuse to do away with clothes that need to be washed. At anchor, even a sarong

means you are overdressed. Instead of having showers all through the day, you simply step over the side. And cooking is kept to a basic so that there is less washing up. Laundry is a doddle. The sarong gets washed, rinsed and hung out, and dries in seconds. How wonderful is it to get back from a twoweek holiday without facing a mountain of dirty socks and T-shirts. The need to conserve battery power is another God-send. You get up early and sleep early, read by a lantern and eat by candlelight. If you want, you can use the excuse of conserving battery power to let your phone die a beeping death and your lap top can stay in its case along with all the work you brought along on the offchance that you would get a spare hour. Instead, you spend a great deal of time in the dark, pondering the universe enveloping you or the distant twinkling lights and the hum of traffic that always manages to drift across the waves. The tight knot of your thoughts starts to break up into random ideas and whispered conversations. Sometimes, you dive into the sea in the middle of the night, just because you can, letting the darkness explode into the champagne bubbles of phosphorescence. You also have to limit the amount of time that you play music – poor Big Mac gazes forlornly at his collection of Monty Python and Dean Martin (he prefers to be associated with Rolling Stones and Simply Red) – so you have to rely on silence or conversation, just what every marriage needs some times. And sometimes, because it is simply too much hassle to get the dinghy outboard sorted out or to row to shore, you spend the evening on board. If you are lucky, you might even get out a board game. Being at anchor forces you to slow down. Time is a more fluid dimension and eight hours drift by in the bat of an eyelid. You talk. You connect. You share. You do things together because you both have the time. In fact, come to think of it, when I daydream, that is what I really, really dream of… BOATS




TEN fathoms

That Elusive Boat writes Godwin Muscat Azzopardi

“I do not want to nurse a boat like a baby, I want to be able to communicate with her on an equal footing, damn it!“


am tentatively looking for a boat. Tentatively because I am working abroad and do not know the exact date of my return, tentatively because I do not know whether to go for a new or second hand boat, tentatively because my heart still stubbornly directs my search towards a Moody Carbineer, like my last boat. There are so many imponderables. Logic dictates I go for a new boat, I am not young and should not be looking at time spent messing around in boats, but in enjoying them. Logic says I buy a boat in Malta with a permanent mooring. But I have not found what I am looking for yet. Logic determines that I should clarify my ideas once and for all so that I can decide. But is there logic in choosing a boat? That is the nub of the issue and that is why I am writing this article, in the hope of reaching a solution through unilateral debate, if there is such a thing. An exercise in thinking aloud… Assuming I do not get a Carbineer, should I go for a heavy displacement boat, to keep me in the same motor sailor class or for a light displacement one? Do you need speed when cruising? Heavy displacement will see us through tough weather, light displacement will help us avoid bad weather faster. A heavy displacement boat can take much more punishment. But then again you can make a fast boat slow, but you cannot make a slow boat fast.

not want to nurse a boat like a baby, I want to be able to communicate with her on an equal footing, damn it! Then there is the price. Carbineers are frightfully expensive for their age – they are classics. And to think I let mine go for a low price. Back comes the wisdom of my wife. We needed to sell when we did and we had every reason to do so. She is right of course. Life really is what happens while you are planning something else. I know every boat registered in the For Sale sites on the internet, I know which boats have surveys available and which do not. I know where I can get a beauty from America at a very reasonable price thanks to the weakness of the dollar, but it will cost the earth to get that boat down to the Med. I am no nearer to taking a final decision. It will have to be a case of waiting for the right boat to come along at the right time. In the meantime my only activity reminiscent of the sea will be my constant surfing… on the net.

Or do I secretly want a Carbineer look-alike to turn heads in anchorages, to see the admiring looks of the people on the shore while berthing? There is vanity in everyone, to a greater or lesser degree. Carronade was one of a handful of classics produced by Moody and her lines and teak wheelhouse made her one of a kind. I consult my wife. She is frustratingly complacent. She will support whatever I decide. I try to steer the Carbineer way, knowing she likes the wheelhouse and the light, she responds by saying that modern boats are lighter and less likely to involve us in time spent carrying out repairs, that very vital part of old boats. So I look at modern boats. But they are so plasticky, so fragile. A boat is feminine but she has to have masculine qualities like ruggedness and purpose. I do

illustration © Bertrand Fava/ BMA Ltd.






Photography © Richard Muscat Azzopardi




on TEST writes

Richard Muscat Azzopardi


t is not very often that we get to try out a boat before practically anyone else in the industry, especially when it is one of a major brand’s most important launch in years. I was taken up to Port Camargue in the south of France earlier this summer courtesy of S&D Yachts to try out the very first production boat. I was immediately impressed. Upon seeing the boat the first time, berthed next to a couple of Dufours from the Grand Large cruising range, my first reaction was - “wow, this looks fast but can it live up to its looks?” Describing it would be pretty superfluous as you can see what it looks like and judge whether you like it in the photos here. The 45 Performance looks more like an out and out racer than any other boat in the current Dufour stable.

When trying a boat out in another country you have to make do with the wind that is present and, as Murphy’s Law would have it, we got to test the boat in low but thankfully slightly gusty wind. Getting out of port Camargue is an experience in itself. The marina accommodates over 2,000 boats and you have to navigate through a maze of passages to get out into the open sea. Once out into the bay, I started off on a small speedboat to get the photography out of the way before testing the boat myself. Chris, from S&D Yachts, was hoisting the sails up with the help of a French lad and we were cruising alongside when all of a sudden the Dufour 45 shot off. By the time we had hit the throttle the boat was about 50m away. Catching up proved to be harder than we thought - the boat was doing 8 knots in gusts of around 10 knots of wind!

With the photography done and dusted, I got on the boat for a first hand experience. It is very unique to navigate -and you surely can’t accuse it of sailing like a cruiser. It sails like a dream - find the right groove and you are guaranteed entertainment. Forget getting from A to B; with this boat you’d want to sail from Malta to Syracuse via Lampedusa every time. The wheel feels light and the boat responds to the slightest touch. Balancing the sails was child’s play and, in a few seconds, the boat was sailing itself steady on course. Once again the wind conditions gave us some shocks. At one point we managed a 180 degree turn without tacking - the wind simply turned around completely but the boat did not seem to mind. We were out sailing for a couple of hours and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Once back in the harbour I took some time to have a BOATS



On Test

good look at the boat. We were accompanied by the local dealer - Dufour’s top seller year after year – who got the honour of acquiring the first boat of this very important model. As a highly experienced dealer, Dufour were counting on his expertise to improve future models. When working on the new 45 project, Dufour Yachts decided to launch a few boats way before the official launch, so as to allow for some extensive

DUFOUR 45 specs LOA

13,95 m

Hull length

13,60 m


12,16 m


4,30 m

Displacement Standard keel

10 870 kg

Long keel

10 640 kg

Draft Standard keel

1,95 m

Long keel

2,30 m

Keel weight


Standard keel

3 330 kg

Long keel

3 100 kg

Sail area BOATS


Standard engine

113 m² 55 HP

sea-testing and further improvement. Movement on deck and the cockpit is very comfortable and the two wheels allow easy comfortable handling in all conditions. The additional winches close to the wheel means that the Dufour 45 can be easily sailed singlehanded - everything you need to control and trim the sails is within reach of the helm position. The excellent headroom of the boat does result in pretty small lazarettes under the cockpit seats, but this is made up for by the two large compartments at the back of the boat. The level of detail on the inside of the boat bears testimony to the thought behind every centimetre of interior space: the floorboards are not simply plonked there - their edges have grooves which fit into corresponding parts in the boat to ensure steadiness underway. The galley is well laid out and should be

comfortable enough to cater for the eight to ten people capacity of the large folding dining table, itself of a real neat design. One thing I’m always very conscious of inside a boat is light, and despite being such a low slung boat, the Dufour 45 Performance manages some very well lit cabins all round. The engine room is tiny - I would rather call it an engine compartment - but it is still very accessible and I imagine, working on it would be pretty simple. The generator even gets its own compartment which is accessed though the rear lazarettes. Overall, I’m sure this boat will surely prove to be an incredibly popular model from Dufour Yachts and with this offering, they should be rocking the boats of much more expensive competitors. The interior might not be finished with the opulence of some more upmarket brands, but every time I see its price I suspect Dufour has made

a mistake. This boat surely deserves to be considered if you are in the market for a performance yacht. It will give you serious speed, decent interior space and most importantly loads of fun. Price: Starting: €207,000 (Ex VAT & delivery) As tested (Fastnet version + Platinum Pack): €240,000 (Ex VAT & delivery)

On Test






Richard Muscat Azzopardi




or such a young brand, Absolute has all the heritage a boat builder could want. The Gobbi family had just sold their brand off but since boating was still running in their veins they decided to start a new brand, using all the lessons they had learned from their previous experience as boat builders. We had already seen a few Absolutes at international boat shows but when local agents Nautica offered B&Y a test of the brand new Absolute 52 which was bought by a Maltese client we grabbed the opportunity.


Two things stand out immediately when comparing the Absolute 52 to conventional boats of its size. The layout of the saloon, which, in our opinion, has improved life aboard the boat significantly whereas the choice of engines and propulsion leaves the boat in a sense of compromise. First of all, when you read out the power available to this boat you will be pretty surprised. We have come to expect 12 litre engines producing 700 – 800HP on 50 – 55 foot boats yet the real power of the engines installed on this is a seemingly paltry 435HP (each). Having said that, when coupled with IPS, Volvo rate these to be of the equivalent strength of 600hp engines, which is still somewhat off the mark. The plus side of this is that you have two 5.5 litre

engines burning fuel – less than half the size. In spite of this, when testing the boat it felt pretty comfortable – we were expecting it to feel sluggish but it was not the case. We managed to max it out at just over 30 knots, but the hull was relatively dirty and the tanks were half full. On a shaft driven 800HP we would have expected around 5 extra knots, but is that really worth it when you compare the consumption levels – which go down by around 30%? Visibility at the helm is crucial in any boat and Absolute have really made an effort to make the boat as manoeuverable as possible. It would have been useless to put in IPS drives which allow inch perfect corrections and then scupper it all with poor visibility. The wind shield and windows all round are large and the pillars holding them in place do not obscure your vision. We loved the large sliding roof which has become somewhat of a standard on this kind of boat and it is even possible to stand up on the footrest to steer the boat with your head sticking out of the roof. Absolute also fit in a couple of sliding windows on the side – the result is a very comfortable and airy cabin at all times. With the rising popularity of sliding (hard) roofs boat builders have managed to fit in proper furniture above deck. In the case of the Absolute 52, the saloon and galley are both

EXterior Photography © Richard Muscat Azzopardi

On Test

absolute 52 specs LOA




Fuel capacity


Water capacity Berths Displacement Engines

above deck. This creates a large and spacious living area which is very well lit and ventilated. The galley is not what you’d call enormous, but is in a U shaped area which lies between the saloon and the cockpit. It can serve well as a galley but is also perfect as a bar between the saloon and the cockpit. The boat offers ample storage in every nook and cranny and we can see it being an ideal long distance cruiser for three couples comfortably. The finishing inside the saloon is straight out of the top drawer and Absolute’s interior designers used the highest quality materials and combined the colours very gracefully. We loved the way the TV was integrated into the dashboard – Absolute really put everything in as standard, including this flat panel TV.

The absence of a lower saloon means that Absolute could really play around with the cabins and the result is awesome. Not only do you get three full cabins with three ensuite heads, but the midship owners’ cabin is a beauty to behold. The three windows which give the Absolute such a distinctive look on the starboard hull also make this roomy cabin full of light. Thanks to their layout the three cabins offer decent privacy and each one of them offers ample storage – once again making this boat ideal for longer cruising trips in company. Living area on deck is decently sized and offers some sun bathing space on the fore deck and a table and sofa which convert into a sun lounge astern. The bathing platform is large enough

500L 6 16.9 tonnes Twin Volvo Penta

IPS600 (435HP)




On Test

to take a tender and thanks to the fact that it can be lowered into the sea it means you don’t really need a crane. It is also really fun to use while semi submerged. You can sit on it enjoying the cool sea without having to swim – ideal for that lazy guest in our hot summer afternoons. From a practical point of view we really loved the ample storage space the boat offers. Fenders all fit comfortably in one of the spacious lazarettes. The engine room is enormous, especially when you consider the relatively small size of the engines. While you can access the engines by raising the cockpit, access through a hatch in the middle of the cockpit is very comfortable and unobtrusive and there is ample space to move around in. The generator can be reached comfortably too and you even have space to store some bulky but not too delicate objects – such as a spare anchor or an outboard – in the engine room. When everything is considered, Absolute have really hit on a winning formula for cruising the Mediterranean. The boat is well laid out and cabins are spacious and offer real privacy. Living on board should be a pleasure and, while the boat will not be winning any races, it will cruise economically and at a comfortable speed. Absolute have come up with a boat which is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a 50 foot cruiser.


GENERATORS Portable, silent & 4 stroke


EU 10i : € 675

From 2.3 HP - 225 HP

EU 20i : € 908 Prices starting from € 600 - € 12,700 INFLATABLE TENDERS 2.0 Metres:


€ 675

3.2 Metres:


€ 1040

ASSOCIATED MOTORS CO. LTD Mriehel By- Pass, Mriehel. Tel: 22 781222. Fax: 21 480150 e-mail: SB AUTOCENTRE Mgarr Road, Xewkija, Gozo. Tel: 21 556776.



540e N




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Malta | Yachting Partners Malta Ltd. Tel: +356 21 25 27 27 / +356 99 49 46 85

On Test


he 35 foot open boat is one of the most saturated segments in the market, probably because it lies in the overlapping area between large and small boat builders. A large boat builder would rarely go below 30 feet and most stop at around the 35 to 37 foot range, whereas small boat builders usually do not dare to go above 35. Thus we end up with a tremendously wide choice.



Standing out is not easy and very few boats manage. Having said that, the competition means there are a lot of very good boats in this segment. Thanks in part to the introduction of the C65 later on this year, Sessa is growing as a boat builder but it has kept true to its roots by working very hard on its smaller offerings.


The boat certainly looks the part with its low and beamy aspect - one of my favourite styles for sport cruisers. Upon boarding, one notices the decently sized bathing platform, but the boat’s forte comes in the cockpit. It is evident that this was planned as the main living area; it is enormous for a boat this size. The table can comfortably seat six or seven people but that is not all. Walk slightly forward and you’ll see that Sessa have included even more seating and lounging space on the port side. All the materials used for the seats and trims have an upmarket feel which really makes the boat feel special. The boat comes with good locker space and a fairly large refrigerator in the cockpit. This is accompanied by a sink

and a surface to prepare cold foods. There was no grill or cooker outside on the boat we tested. The helm is well laid out and the controls are intuitive. Sitting at the helm is a pleasure thanks to the very comfortable bucket seat installed, and while some prefer having two seats or a bench, this option offers more comfort to the driver and leaves more walking space. Another detail I liked is ample grab rails. Some manufacturers seem to forget that boats are built to be used in the sea and, whether it is for financial or aesthetic reasons, it makes for frustrating boating. In addition to the usual passageways on the side, which in this case are quite narrow, Sessa have included


Richard Muscat Azzopardi




On Test

a path through an opening door in the windscreen. This makes access a real treat and when moored or at anchor this can be left open for very comfortable passage between the front and the aft of the boat. A boat like the C35 really excels on these little details. When you are on the boat, you realise that a really special experience is built from many neat little touches.


The salon was a slight let down. I shouldn’t really complain because the boat’s size limits possibilities, and I guess it is nearly impossible to have the best of both worlds given the marvellous exterior.

My main gripe is the lack of light. It is not actually dark, and Sessa made a very good choice of light woods and light trims to keep it feeling airy, but if one of the portholes on the side was larger and another hatch was added on top of the saloon, the experience inside the boat would have been far more pleasant. The ceiling is also on the low side as you move forward, but the majority of the saloon is comfortable for anyone up to six feet. The salon is well sized and the galley is one of the most comfortable I’ve seen on a boat this size. Once again, on the interior, Sessa have

made a brilliant choice of materials - they are truly a class above most boats in this category. The leathers are simply fantastic and, every little detail looks as like it was obsessively checked to ensure perfection. I just love the way the stainless steel microwave oven and refrigerator compliment the interior instead of being the usual white eye-sores. The aft cabin is spacious and has ample storage and private access to the head, but I am not too happy that Sessa only provided a curtain to close off the main bed from the saloon. While this does give an impression of a larger cabin in both cases, it does reduce the comfort of cruising with friends since the couple on the main bed have very little privacy. Having said that, once the occupants of the aft cabin are inside, they can access the bathroom without going out into the saloon, which does improve the situation somewhat. The head is another small miracle. Sessa have managed to fit in a decent head and a full shower with space to move in, something extremely rare on 35 footers.


The boat we tested was fitted with two Volvo Penta D4 260s which provide ample power. While it was not equipped with the oh-so-fashionable IPS, on a boat this size, I was quite happy to find conventional propulsion. The




C35 is sure to offer hours of enjoyment as it handles easily and while it does not bank too heavily in sharp turns, it offers spades of excitement. At no point in our testing could we feel the back skid off, which is reassuring because it gives a feeling of being in control at all times.


At the price the boat is offered, I would be hard pressed to find anything which comes close. While I might have a few issues with a couple of details on the inside, overall this is definitely one of the main contenders in the segment, particularly because of its levels of finishing and attention to detail. If this is the kind of boat you’re looking for, make sure to get an appointment to see it.

We would like to thank Chev Maurice Mizzi for his hospitality and for allowing us to test his boat. Sessa boats are imported by MM2 Ltd.

Engine options: Volvo Penta 2xIPS 500(2x370hp) Inboard Propulsion System Volvo Penta 2xIPS 600(2x435hp) Inboard Propulsion System

Flybridge Yacht: Atlantique 50, Atlantique 40. Master Yacht: Mediterranée 50, Mediterranée 47, Mediterranée 43. Hard Top: Mediterranée 50 HT, Mediterranée 47 HT, Mediterranée 43 HT. Offshore Class: Endurance 41. Pelican Line: Pelican 36, Pelican 32. Master Cruiser: Zaffiro 36, Zaffiro 34, Zaffiro 32, Zaffiro 28. Sport line: CSL 28, CSL 27.

ZVELT MARITIME LTD tel. (+356) 2125 0888 fax. (+356) 2125 0889 mob. (+356) 9949 2954

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Boats reinforced with KEVLAR© brand fiber







contents Some of you might wonder what this new section is doing in a boating magazine. Next time you’re at the marina, take a look around you. You’ll realise that boating is not just about how big your engine is, or how fast you can sail with your new set of sails. It is also about the lifestyle that comes along.


Yachting News


Luxury Onboard




Soaring to the Top


Alfa Romeo 159




Range Rover Sport

A Small Piece of Paradise

Why Compromise?

Cruising in Comfort

Beyond Limits

In The Yachting Life we are trying to present some of the nicest yachts in the world. We shall be discussing yachts which are unique - Yachts with a capital “Y” that instil envy in anyone around the globe, even if they happen to own more expensive, bigger boats. We will also delve into the minds of the people who own and work on these boats, to give insight into what makes their owners as unique as the yachts themselves. In addition, we shall also touch on subjects which people into yachting hold to heart, the ones at the crux of the lifestyle which is craved by many but lived by few. I’m pretty sure that most of our readers live with one major desire – getting their next boating fix. Whether it’s sailing or power-boating, we all live with the same passion for the sea. However, I’m confident that many of our readers do not get half the time they would like to spend on a boat, and spend much more time behind a wheel. Therefore, we have chosen to start presenting a few exclusive vehicles in every issue. The type of vehicles which can satisfy the taste and needs of the most exigent boat owner.

yachting news

Tickled Pink – the £11m Trideck in Malta Tickled Pink, the 37metre Trideck Sunseeker spent a cosy three weeks in Malta this summer on two separate visits. The £11m Trideck, currently the biggest semi-production boat built in the UK, marked Sunseeker’s debut in the heavy-weights league. Eddie Jordan had commissioned Snapper, the first Trideck 37 last year. Tickled Pink, which berthed at the Grand Harbour Marina, is the third custom built model. The highly distinctive boat accommodates 12 guests in four high-tech luxury cabins. It is powered by twin 2,800hp MTU engines which gulp ten gallons to the mile and produce a top speed of 25 knots – not bad for a 180 ton boat. Eddie Woods, local agent for Sunseeker, aboard Tickled Pink

Absolute première 70 at Cannes Absolute unveiled their new flag-ship model – the Absolute 70, at the Cannes Boat Show. The Piacenza based company has carved a strong reputation for its sports cruiser range and, having promised to invest every ounce of expertise in their top model, they have fuelled skyhigh expectations for the 70. It certainly looks the part; despite the voluminous dimensions, the exterior is exciting and dart sharp. As for the interior, Absolute said it would deliver the best of materials and design, with particular emphasis on light for an expansive sense of space. Power will be provided by four Volvo Penta IPS 600 units.

Pershing 80 officially unveiled Pershing have just unveiled the elder sister to the 72 – the bigger and further refined Pershing 80. A brainchild of Fulvio De Simoni, the Pershing 80 takes the Pershing sporting style, speed and control to new dimensions. Pershings are never lacking in power and the 80 is no exception. Two 2030 mhp MTU engines with ASD 15L propellers guarantee speeds of over 40 knots. There’s also a special version with an extra 800 mhp, good enough for a cool 50 knots. The boat was unveiled at the Cannes boat show.

Wait over for Predator 92 Sport At the Southampton Boat Show, Sunseeker flaunted the Predator 92 Sport, the largest boat ever to be shown on the ground in the Fair’s 40 year history. With its large dimensions, exhilarating open-air position and powerful performance, the 92 Sport is an outrageous proposition. It features a sleek flybridge as standard which has been incorporated without breaking the series’ distinctive styling. There are four guest cabins (all en-suite) and crew quarters for four. Twin FP props in semi tunnels provide a top speed of up to 40 knots and, depending on engine options, cruising at 23 knots can deliver up to 450 nautical miles. A triple Arneson engine option is available for those who require added performance.






Greta Muscat Azzopardi talked to Richard Cleland from Cleland & Souchet about luxury home and tableware brands that have important ties with the yachting industry, ties they are keen to develop and promote.

The luxury end of the yachting industry, from the larger and better bred production yachts to the one off, custom built superyachts, has long created a market for all things refined. Thanks to the recent growth at this end of the yachting industry, companies are not only striving to produce items that meet the stringent needs of luxury yachting but are also available for clients who want to recreate that superyacht-standard ambience at home. Regularly exhibiting at the Monaco Boat Show (the showcase for yachting’s jet set) and official suppliers for Ferretti and Benetti yachts, French silversmiths Christofle are more than keen on their association with the yachting lifestyle. Although none of their lines were developed with yachting particularly in mind, several are extremely well suited for the yachting industry. The K + T collection, a collaboration between designers D. Tihany and T. Keller, stands out. Crafted in heavy polished silver, this contemporary collection will definitely not get thrown around thanks to its sturdy elegance as well as the tiny non-slip silicone feet the pieces stand on. Whether at sea or on solid ground, the understated beauty of this collection raises the bar of any occasion, be it a banquet or a few marina cocktails. Among the most famous suppliers of silver for the biggest superyachts around, German Robbe & Berking hold a reputation that is hard to rival. Although none of the collections were made particularly for use in yachts, this company managed the notable feat of providing silverware for Paul Allen’s 126m ‘Octopus’ and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s 168m ‘Dubai’, which still holds the title of the largest privately owned motor yacht in the world.




To further strengthen their links with the yachting industry, Robbe & Berking have very recently announced plans to become boat builders as from next year. Having already secured orders for the first few years, they aim to build sailing yachts made out of only the finest quality wood and totally customised to the client’s needs and desires. A new name for Malta that will be launched by Cleland & Souchet at the end of September, French crystal maker Baccarat is the epitome of all things opulent. With designs ranging from classical, ornate chandeliers to sleek creations thought up by designer Philip Starck, Baccarat showcase their impressive collections through two Maisons Baccarat – surrealist palaces in Paris and Moscow decorated to the hilt with glassware, light fittings, jewelry and accessories that transform them into museums. Dreamt up by Philip Starck, the Maison Baccarat idea will soon be developed into a series of boutique hotels full of old world glamour as part of the Starwood group of hotels. This year Baccarat has kitted out a marvelous lounge at the Monaco Boat Show where visitors and exhibitors can relax or hold meetings. The leading fine porcelain manufacturers from Limoges, Bernardaud produce delectable handmade collections that will up the status of any table setting. Receiving orders for both superyachts and households, Bernardaud offer the extremely rare service of actual customisation of their lines – yacht names, family coat of arms or colours can be actually worked into existing designs rather than simply printed on a plain background. The latest collections from Christofle, Robbe & Berking, Baccarat and Bernardaud are available for viewing at Cleland & Souchet in Portomaso.

by Karen Cooper, KPMS


A Small Piece of Paradise While Capri may be very small in size, news of the isle has travelled far, inspiring people from around the globe to come and savour the wonders of this little Italian island. Capri’s reputation has undergone many transformations throughout the years: it was known as a place of power in Roman times, a place where one could devote oneself to art and culture in the nineteenth century, and a jet set haven in the 1950s. This remarkable past has paved the way for a future of both preservation and careful development, making twenty-first century Capri a place of glamour, grace and splendour that is sure to take your breath away. The simple fact that one must take a ferry or a helicopter to get to the island makes the journey feel like an exclusive adventure to an undiscovered destination. Upon arriving in Capri the cliffs loom above you, the entire Marina Grande feels alive and the flags fly in the same breeze that takes the sailors to sea and makes the tourists hang on to their hats.

boutiques and her old city centres to become a single and unique experience. Capri’s Via Vittorio Emanuele houses many of the designer boutiques that are a remarkable part of the island’s renown, but if one steps off this beaten path for even three minutes in any direction, one is suddenly surrounded by distinctive villas and gardens, a different and more hidden side of this well-known isle. The Gardens of Augustus offer a nearly aerial view of the Marina Piccola bay, the Certosa di San Giacomo and Capri’s very famous limestone Faraglioni. One of the Faraglioni has a 56 metre long tunnel running through it, and the three rocks together serve as an incredibly beautiful Caprese landmark, often depicted on postcards of the island.

At first glance one sees gelato, leather sandals, sun hats and fresh vegetables out to greet you upon your arrival to this lovely Mediterranean jewel. The marina will get busier and busier as visitors arrive for their daylong expeditions, but by 6pm the day-trippers have already started leaving in droves and the bustle calms into a lull around the dock. This is the time when those who are out and about can enjoy the ocean breeze, the sight of boats rocking in the waves and the occasional scooter toot as the sun slowly starts to go down. This is the Mediterranean, this is Italy, this is Capri…

Another incredible journey leading outside of Capri’s heavily visited Piazzetta is along Via Le Botteghe. This beautiful road passes by many authentic restaurants and ultimately leads to one of Capri’s most impressive natural wonders, the Natural Arch. Seen both on land and by water, this incredible rock window is a stunning reminder of nature’s powers, an awe-inspiring view that is both humbling and inspirational. The Natural Arch and many of Capri’s famous grottos can also be enjoyed from the water via a boat tour around the island. The unique Grotta Azzurra is one of Capri’s most famous attractions. The Grotta’s crystal clear waters are illuminated from below, giving off a celestial blue glow that is the main source of light inside the cave and a source of delight for all visitors.

The isle of Capri is divided into four parts: Marina Grande, Marina Piccola, and the towns of Capri and Anacapri. Each of these areas has something different to offer and together they allow Capri’s natural wonders, luxury

Capri has even more to offer when one explores in step with the many local and international festivities that are organized throughout the year. One major international event that takes place annually is the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, BOATS



the regatta that marks the mid-May beginning of the Mediterranean sailing season. During the Sailing Week there were nightly projections in Capri’s famous Piazzetta during the regatta. The walls became screens as images of the island, the races, and the participants joined the nightly crowds as they socialized in Capri’s ancient centre. These projections displayed modern day technology against century old buildings, and tourists, crews and locals alike were all able to enjoy this special presentation. In addition to the daily racing and events, there is also a host of unique social activities revolving around the regatta. The official Crew Welcome Party takes place the night before racing starts and leads all partygoers on

This remarkable past has paved the way for a future of both preservation and careful development, making twenty-first century Capri a place of glamour, grace and splendour that is sure to take your breath away.

a stop-and-go tour through Anacapri, accompanied by traditional food and music. The entire party walks along Via Giuseppe Orlandi, talking and eating at various tables along the way, until arriving in the Piazza S. Nicola to a two-man band playing traditional tunes. Here couples take to the cobblestone dance floor, making their own combinations of salsa, tango and waltz while local children look on and giggle at this new and very interesting dancing style. The evening serves as a joyous welcome to this Mediterranean escape and is a great way to begin the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, bringing a taste of local culture into the already incredibly international crowd. Capri - A Piece of Paradise Breathtaking views, crystal-clear waters and good food make Capri the ideal holiday destination.




But Capri’s social calendar is also illuminated by yet another highlight of the annual regatta: the Rolex Gala Dinner, held at Capri’s famous Certosa di San Giacomo. The Charterhouse of San Giacomo is a key monument from Capri’s medieval and monastic periods. Originally built in the late 1300s, the Charterhouse went through periods of both use and abandon, until full restoration began in the 1920’s following a sudden artistic and intellectual re-interest in Capri.

For last year’s edition of the Rolex Gala Dinner, the decorations and theme were brought together in “An Underwater World.” The openair entryway led the way into the heart of the monastery by candlelight. Blue and green hues helped set the tone for aperitifs and the sit-down dinner was accompanied by a live performance by French singer Florent Pagny. It was a perfect Mediterranean evening, once again underlining the fact that this annual event has become an important modern part of Capri’s longstanding tradition for glamour.

But whether it is the glamour, the beauty or the charm of Capri, the ultimate pleasures and delights of this little island go far beyond what one could ever expect or imagine. And in spite of the many changes the isle has undergone throughout the years, Capri’s fame is in no danger of extinction. From traditional dining, to walks in the woods, spectacular cliff-top views and flower-covered terraces, this small piece of paradise has much more to offer than could ever be seen in a single day – and it will leave you breathless.




© Amory Ross/

TO M PER K IN S PROFILE Venture capitalist behind such foundations as Google, Amazon, AOL. He started University Laboratories, which eventually merged into Spectra-Physics. He launched Genetech with his partners from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers venture. He was the first General Manager of Hewlett Packard’s computer division. The only one who chaired three New York Stock Exchange-listed companies at the same time. The author of two publications: a novel ‘Sex and the Single Zillionaire’ and a biography ‘Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins’.



Currently a member of Rupert Murdoch’s Board of Directors.

Marta Migdalek talks to the high flying owner of The Maltese Falcon: Tom Perkins

to the

Imagine a fighter victorious in every battle. Someone who grants success through novel concepts and ideas, backed by fortune and selfconfidence and ready to prove himself time and time again. If you are unable to conceive this much, there is one man who brings together all the characteristics – Tom Perkins. Perkins is a Venture capitalist, Silicon Valley pioneer, novelist, sailor and the owner of many people’s dreams. Most of all, he is the owner of the Maltese Falcon - the biggest and most technologically advanced clipper in the world. In his words, the Falcon is the one to display a “vulgar ostentation” upon a unique scale to set a new milestone in yachting history. The Maltese Falcon took Perkins and his designers five years to build with assistance provided by 300 laborers. The masts are so large, that the carbon fibre order for their construction went down as one of the largest ever, only exceeded in quantity by the American Air Force. Her grandeur is certainly not skin-deep. She is propelled by two 1,800 horsepower engines and has 11,000 square feet of living space. Specially designed software makes sailing possible with just a push of a button. The Maltese Falcon owes many of its characteristics to Perkins himself. Prominent and irrepressible, it will be talked about for many years.




© Giuliano Sargentini

What does it feel like to be the man who purchased the largest amount of carbon fibre ever? What drives you to get the best and what does it feel like to get everything top shelf and maxi size? The carbon purchase was necessary to achieve the fatigue free operation of the masts, I wasn’t aware at the time that it would be a world record order, but when the Chairman of Toray Industries called me to thank me personally, it began to become clear. I shipped a million, or so, miles of carbon thread, wound on giant bobbins, to Manchester England to be woven into cloth. Then we built the mast and yard moulds, our own impregnating machine and a special oven - all in Turkey - to fabricate the spars. Finally, I hired some 35 young Turkish workers to do the fabrication. I loved the technical challenges of this project, and that’s why I did it - not to have the biggest and the best, though indeed it is.

At some point I will re-flag the vessel to fly the Maltese yachting ensign; a most beautiful flag.

Why did you choose Maltese Falcon as a name? Do you have fond memories of the Islands, or is it in tribute to Humphrey Bogart? I love Malta, have read much of Maltese history, and have the big berth for the Falcon in Grand Harbour. As the name was available, I jumped at the chance to name the boat for the symbol of the island. I had the honor of showing the late Grandmaster Fra Andrew Bertie through the yacht in Porto Fino. Of course, the book also played a part as well as the movie - they are both favourites.

Was the two-year experience worth the hassle? 300 labourers, more than five years waiting, and most of all, over $130 million? Do you feel privileged to sail ‘vulgar ostentation displayed upon such a scale’ (to put it in your own words or flags)? I love projects and the Falcon was the best ever. I kid myself about the size of the boat, but truly, she is extremely beautiful, as well as being a breakthrough in technology. I am immensely proud of the Maltese Falcon; she is probably my ultimate achievement.

Sailing defines the life of many people, but sailing the Maltese Falcon must be a totally different experience, something completely unique. How does it feel to sail the biggest clipper around - a unique boat in so many ways? And why are you deciding to abandon that feeling by selling the yacht? Sailing and yacht racing are not just fun, but are also experiments in physics, to achieve the optimum. I love the actual sailing of the boat, more than being at anchor in exotic place. I spend most of my time aboard in making passages, and not in entertaining my guests. The boat has performed to all my expectations and a lot of the pleasure was in its creation, more actually than in just owning it. The boat is no longer for sale, as I have found a co-owner with whom to share the boat.




How do you recall your collaboration with Fabio Perini? Was it challenging to work together? Fabio and I have been friends for 25 years. The Falcon was the third Perini for me. I think only we two would have taken aboard the tremendous technical risks in the build. Fabio personally designed the spiral winches and most of the mast rotation motors. I personally invented much of the sail handling systems, and wrote the software flow logic. We trust each other and work together extremely well. Do you think Patrick O’Brian, your friend and literary mentor, would have enjoyed sailing the Falcon? Patrick would have been “Over the Moon” aboard the Falcon. I miss him and regret that he never saw the yacht. Is sailing your truly greatest love? Would you leave your current life and work behind to sail away? The sea is the love of my life, and my current

project is a “sports” submarine, which flies at 10 knots like an underwater airplane. It is small and highly maneuverable, carrying just two pilots. It is nearly finished, has done its first test dive, and will let me chase whales and explore the under sea world. What did you dream about when you were a child? Surely your childhood experience must have affected your future determination but could any child ever imagine such a splendid career? I was quite insecure as a child and, I suppose, I have always been driven to overcome that insecurity and prove myself. I don’t expect that to change. Have you ever considered quitting and dedicating yourself entirely to sailing and writing? You have had your ups-and-downs, times of success and moments of failure. Isn’t it high time you stopped stressing out? Stress, successfully overcome, is triumph. Very addictive.

The Maltese Falcon - Art of Innovation (£55 + P&P) This book tells the incredible story of the largest and most technically advanced private sailing yacht in the world. Adorned with hundreds of exquisite photographs of the 88m ‘black bird’, this anthology takes you from the hatching of a revolutionary idea, through the blood, sweat and tears of the build, to the thrill and pride of her launch and early life. - The photos seen in these pages are a small sample of what you can expect in this glorious presentation.

You are what you drive. A car that offers outstanding performance, comfort and safety. Alfa Romeo Showroom UCIMCO Buildings, Valley Road, B’Kara. Tel: 2149 2310 | Email: | U.C.I.M a member of the Pater Group

why S P E C I F I C AT I O N S Engine

2.2 JTS

0-100 km/h Maximum Speed

8.8 seconds

222 km/h

Max Power (bhp/rpm)


Max Torque

230 Nm


7.8 litres/100km

Alfa Romeo 159 COMPROMISE? Somebody once told me that in life you must settle for compromises. Just like that - one little comment which can take the fun out of anything when you try to expect the best of both worlds. When getting into an Alfa, and a mid sized saloon Alfa to boot - you expect to find compromises. I will probably get shot for this, but I did not like the 156’s attempt at pretending it is a coupe. It did not fool anyone (except its owners). Glancing at the car before even getting into it already has you impressed - it does not pretend to be a coupe, the rear doors get proper handles - yet it looks great. No other mid sized saloon looks half as sporty or as aggressive. The flared arches, the angle the bonnet descends at and the 18” alloy wheels of the car I tested all add up to a pretty impressive setup, however it is not ostentatious in its approach - you will turn heads in the street, but these will mostly be petrol heads. Climbing into the driver’s seat is startling - the driver will surely feel he is driving something far more sporty than a saloon. The driving position is lower, the dashboard is designed with style - even though we get the English spec vehicle in Malta, with MPH on the speedo, the dials are labeled in Italian. I’m sure this was no mistake, but something to remind you you are driving a “Cuore Sportivo”, and the

effect works. In spite of this sportiness, passengers get a veritable sofa in the back seat, and the leather trimmings Alfa use would feel at home on a luxury yacht. The most important aspect of the Alfa, however, must surely be the driving. The 2.2 litre version I tried out has this marvelous property of being able to cruise at a relaxed 35 mph (around 55 km/h) on 6th gear. Step on it here and you will be threatening to break the speed limit instantly. Cruising, though, is not what this vehicle is about. While it can cruise comfortably at speeds the Popemobile would be proud of, this car is all about being driven like a boy racer, and boy, can it go. Gear changes with the six speed ‘box are short and brutal, with the car cutting though the revs like butter. The steering is more direct than Mrs Bucket and it really feels as if the car is glued to the ground no matter what you throw at it. Having said that, I tested the car with 18” alloys - which means you get better grip but a slightly harder ride - even though thoroughly worth it when you consider what you’re getting in return. I have half a mind of borrowing it again and driving it to the person who told me you must have compromises in life. No sir, not with an Alfa 159. You might have to settle for the best of both worlds, but no compromises in sight here.






Cruising in Comfort

Whoever claims that large luxurious SUVs are pointless must have really missed out on the boating sector. If there was one type of car which makes sense for the boating lifestyle it must surely be something like the X5. It is the only segment which can give boat owners as much luxury as any BMW saloon but enough space to carry the bulky things we usually end up lugging along to and from the boat. Not that anybody would need to justify owning an X5, but at least we’ve got that little problem out of the way.

size (especially when you consider this is the slowest engine on offer), this car has mind boggling in-gear acceleration, which is called upon more often. The digital automatic stick is easy to fall in love with. You have no clunking when changing modes and it is very intuitive to use. The six speed gear box offers three driving modes: two fully automatic modes (one for driving around normally and an insanely sporty version: DS) and a semi automatic driving mode which allows you to shift gears sequentially at a flick of the lever.

The X5 drives like a dream - the engine feels like it is always ready to give you more. It feels torquey and is instantly responsive. The car just blasts you from one place to the next - probably the closest you will ever get to the feeling of driving a Jet on land. Even though 8.3 seconds for 0-100 is already impressive for a car its

Once you’ve climbed into the car you can immediately tell you are in a BMW. Seating position is comfortable and the X5’s interior is well planned and has ample storage compartments which help keep your car clutter free. The on board computer is a treat to work with and in car entertainment, communication

BMW X5 3.0d Engine 0-100 km/h

8.3 seconds

Maximum Speed

218 km/h

Max Power (bhp/rpm)


Max Torque Consumption




6 cylinder 3.0l Diesel

520 Nm 6.8 litres/100km

and navigation is all taken care of centrally. Sound is delicious thanks to a marvellous sounding set of speakers. There is no need to compromise on inputs thanks to an auxiliary input for an MP3 player and a 6CD changer. The X5 seats five people comfortably (7 seats are offered as an option) and offers ample space for carrying things around with you. The boot is gigantic and the rear seats can fold down with a simple pull at a lever to offer even more space. I’m pretty sure that no one should have problems heading over to the boat in this car because it should take the whole family and all their belongings for the trip. The loading space would also be good enough to carry a small

dinghy back home, even though I’d make sure to rinse it down well before loading it. The car comes with a set of roof rails, so sticking a set of Thule bars on top should allow for carrying anything which does not fit into the back if you have passengers. In a very special segment where all the practicality one could require is expected without compromising on luxury, comfort and staggering performance, this is the one of the few options available to those who like every possible feature packed into a single vehicle and are ready to pay for this seemingly impossible task.


Sunseeker Sales Group (Malta) The Treasury, Vittoriosa Sea Front, Vittoriosa Tel: +356 21 82 18 83 /4 E-mail: See us at the Valletta Boat Show 25 - 28 September 08 Sunseeker builds a range of luxury motoryachts up to 37 metres.

Range Rover Sport

beyond LIMITS

S P E C I F I C AT I O N S Engine

3.6 TDV8

0-100 km/h

8.6 seconds

Maximum Speed

209 km/h

Max Power (bhp/rpm)


Max Torque

640 Nm


9.4 litres/100km

Limits. Life seems to be full of them. Wherever we go we are severely limited by some human construction (whether physical or perceived). The sea is one place where the only limitations we have (outside coastal areas) are natural ones and I’m pretty sure that this is one of the major attractions for most boat owners. The Range Rover Sport, on the other hand, is only limited by human constructions - and I’m not talking about the limited roads in the country - I’m referring to speed limits here. While Land Rover have been building incredible offroad vehicles for 60 years now, with the Range Rover Sport they intended proving that they can conquer the road just as comprehensively too, but since the car would still have a Land Rover badge, it would need to be able to handle anything off the road too. Contrary to many people’s perceptions, the Range Rover Sport is not a version of the Range Rover with some little fancy kit - it is a completely new model range - only Land Rover’s 5th in its history. Sadly I cannot really help you out with its offroad performance since the version I was trying out had a set of extras which really limit it from any serious offroading (well without risking damage). What I can tell you though, is that the on road performance is mind boggling. The auto ‘box is one of




the smoothest I have ever driven, with the progression through the gears coming without you or your passengers feeling the slightest jolt. What I couldn’t get my mind around to was that accelerating and braking with this behemoth felt as rapid as a quick saloon, the space inside could take 5 adults comfortably and more importantly the dashboard looks and feels like a luxury yacht’s helm. As if this was not enough you get an engine note (or rather roar) which can be heard just enough when the car is pushed hard, just to remind you that the vehicle you are driving is Sporty after all. The car came equipped with the touch screen TV in the dash - a nice touch, I could watch Starsky & Hutch in Italian while I was waiting for refuelling. I wonder if you would have to pay the TV license in addition to the new eco-contributions... Land Rover have designed a vehicle which covers all bases and then worked on building it as rock solid as could possibly be. No corners were cut on the construction of the interior (even though I would prefer it if they left the fake wood out), and the level of in-car entertainment surely leaves nothing to be desired. With the Range Rover Sport you really get the feeling that the only limits you ever have are the legal speed limits.

1-0/(&63 #:1*/*/'"3*/"

45"//&453&&5 '-03*"/"."-5"*5&-  )*-50/."-5" 10350."40*;"$)"3:453&&5 7"--&55" 8887*$503";;01"3%*$0.

Lorenzo Marini & Associati

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The Elan E340 One of the many Award Winning boats from Elan* Germanischer Lloyd Yacht Plus







*The Elan E340 is the winner of:

- Europen Yacht of the Year 2007 for boats under 10M - Val Nautica Yacht of the Year - Boat of the Boat show at the Vene 2007 BAT in Helsinki - Boat of the Boat show at Internautica 2007 & is one of the first boats to be certified Germanischer Lloyds Yacht Plus







Deborah Ratcliffe


Off shore Oman



Marina with Cat Island in the background


Fishermen catching sardines

visited Oman earlier this year and was curious to discover its yachting potential. I don’t think it will ever become a regular destination for Maltese yachtsmen - unless you are prepared to run the gauntlet of the Somalia pirates. However, if you do, then you’re in for a treat-sailing on a pristine coast, virtually alone save for the local fishermen.


Oman realizes it won’t become another ‘Med’ destination overnight so is now concentrating on building up the charter business and developing marinas to meet the anticipated demand. There are currently seven marinas under construction that will open within the next five years (two ready for next year) – and at least another five planned. At present there’s only one real marina Bandar Rowdha, - although other places including Salalah welcome yachts. Should you sail over then Bob Looker, the Marina manager will extend a warm welcome. Few berths are available, but he will always find room for a visitor - nevertheless it’s best to contact the marina during the planning stage of the trip. Otherwise call the marina up on channel 16 to get the latest info before arriving. It is manned 24 hours per day. The marina has free water and metered electricity on the pontoons. Fuel is roughly 25 cents a litre! Berthing is not cheap. For a 42 footer with a 15 ft. beam you would expect to pay roughly €315 per week. A




simple system of length x beam is used to calculate the cost. In comparison to Dubai it is cheap. Another reason to charter I thought! The marina has a boatyard that includes a workshop able to carry out wide ranging technical service to yachts, and the travel hoist is capable of handling vessels up to 65 tons. The Capitaniere has an excellent restaurant, good toilets and exceedingly helpful staff – they will organise hire cars, taxis etc, as most have family members in the relevant businesses. Muscat, the capital, is about 10-15 mins drive away and local shops and banks about 5 mins. Current regulations dictate that all visiting yachts must register at the main port Port Al Sultan Qaboos -with Customs and Immigration. You also need a personal visa and a cruising permit. Call them up on channel 16 for directions. Again it’s sensible to contact them during initial planning as the rules are being constantly overhauled. Before entering the marina have the Cat Rock to starboard, (it has got two ‘cat-like ears’ on top) and then swing into the marina with the distinctive white residence of the British Ambassador, standing clearly then to the starboard of the marina entrance. Other than the harbour entrance lights (Fl (2) R 5s) to port and (Fl(4) G 15s) to starboard, there are no other aids. The marina will advise on berthing. The sailing is amazing although winds can be fluky in the midday heat and temperatures can soar close to 50oC in the height of summer. The coast line is truly spectacular with Norwegian type fiords slicing deep into the stark hinterland and small islets dot the coastline hiding glorious anchorages fringed with sandy bays. The water is just so clear and clean. In the early morning schools of dolphins and whales

Keep it plain sailing We’ll handle the rest Boats are a source of pleasure for many. The possibility that things go wrong should not put your good times in the shade. At GasanMamo we’ll shadow you every step of the way.

gather to feed – an awesome sight. Whilst in Oman I also visited two other marinas under construction - the Shangri-La Marina and the Wave, just outside of Muscat. The later development is basically a new low-rise village plus a 300 berth marina, situated directly on the beach front with waterways interweaving around the villas and apartments.

Oman Tourism Bandar Rowdha Marina 00968 24737288 The Wave The Shangri-La Oman charter Desert Thunder Travel & Tourism Ocean Blue Charter


Without doubt within a few years Oman will be at the forefront of chartering and marina development. Whilst there I spoke to many people in the Ministry of Tourism, (closely linked to yachting development), who have an eclectic set of plans to storm Oman into the centre of world yachting. Vast sums of money are being invested in the sport to compete on the international scene. Ellen MacArthur’s famous Trimaran has been purchased together with an Extreme 40 - other exciting developments are en route - just watch the press releases! They also intend to raise the yachting profile nationally and particularly to rekindle the nations past maritime heritage.

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Diary of a Maltese Circumnavigator’

8th Episode




n an age when mass society has rendered obsolete the qualities of individual courage and independent thought, the oceans of the world still remain vast, uncluttered, beautiful but unforgiving, waiting those who will not submit. Their voyages are not to escape, but a fulfilment... THE SLOCUM SOCIETY. I counted myself a very lucky man. I had stopped signing myself as ‘salesman’ on documents; on my passport my occupation now read ‘yachtsman’. I no longer owned a house for our home was our yacht. We had been living on the yacht for more than two years now; in those two years we enjoyed sailing and cruising most of the East Coast of Australia. However this time we said goodbye to Sydney and all the luxuries and comforts and other things we accepted before as necessities. Our dream now was to roam the oceans in Bahhar.   I was alone in the cockpit, enjoying a cup of strong, black Colombian coffee when it dawned on me that there were plenty of incentives to not simply to go out sailing for the sake of it, but also to explore the coastal scenery. When time permits, one can really enjoy nature’s beauty, and the special moments in life. When you have time like this you can really enjoy the beauty of nature and beautiful moments of life; however, in life nothing really is free - all we do is the result of concerted  efforts; still I felt absolutely and perfectly content; at that moment there was no other place on this planet I wanted to be....


Joe Schembri

It was early morning and already very warm, which was a pleasant contrast to the chilly winds from the north we had in the last few days. The night before we had been plagued by slappers as the wind shifted onto the stern and we felt every little wavelet slapping our steel hull, forcing to move into the saloon and use the two generously sized settees at two in the morning. Crowdy Head is too small of a harbour for a 50`yacht with a draft of 6.6` to drop anchor since there isn’t enough room to swing which was the reason we decided to creep up to the other side of the jetty with our stern facing the harbour entrance. From the day we arrived at Crowdy Head, we began to meet other cruising people, some of whom had been cruising the East Coast for many years. John Barne, a 72 year-old was such yachtsman. ”Listen Joe, if you plan to cruise the eastern Coast of Australia it pays to remember that there is a lot more on offer than just the

Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. If wilderness, sandy beaches with rich diversity of wildlife and spectacular cliffs are your thing then you should love it further up” I cracked a smile as I explained to my friend that `we’ve cruised this coast before`... In general a barometer rises because the air is cold, dry and constantly heavy. This indicates drying Northerly winds and usually the onset of fine weather. However a slow steady barometer rise with temperature rises indicates a shift of winds from the South- and that’s what had been happening in the last few hours. These were the winds we had been waiting for but there were lots of interesting looking clouds approaching from the south-east, encouraging but hopefully not too strong.

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“Hey guys it’s time to go sailing again, let’s go!” I yelled as I looked down below through the cockpit response, complete silence, except for the sound of snoring coming from the fore-cabin. After my third unsuccessful call I gave up; I let the ropes go as my crew enjoyed their sleep down below in their comfortable secure bunks. Slowly, Bahhar pulled away from the timber jetty with just the main and the yankee-sail up. Less than an hour out of Crowdy Head Harbour, I could tell by the state of the sea that we picked up the north going eddies. The narrow band between the north going eddies and the south going Eastern Australian Current is quite noticeable, defined, similar to two different air masses. In the northern hemisphere the warm eddies spin clockwise like high pressure systems while cold eddies spin counterclockwise like a low pressure system. Further out on our starboard side we could see where the current opposing the southeast winds was creating much steeper than normal waves given the wind conditions.   Bahhar was travelling just below 5 knots, Crowdy Heads was on our stern as we headed towards Coffs Harbour some 85 miles further up the coast. All of a sudden the fishing reel went ZZZZZZZZZZZ, I grabbed the fishing rod as I looked at the water behind the boat to see this beauty – a Dorado (dolphin-fish/lampuka/mahi- mahi) measuring about meter long. It put up a pretty good fight but was no match to my `superior` fishing skills. Actually, I just cranked a few turns and since we were travelling around 5 knots I just let it drag for a while until it lost all its energy and got tired. Pleasant sailing filled the first morning hours as we worked our way up the East Coast.

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Port Macquarie must be one of the favourite tourist destinations on the NSW coast. It is located 407-km northeast of Sydney. With over 45,000 residents it is a rapidly expanding center. Tourism, oyster farming and mineral processing are all important to its economy.  It has superb nature reserves, lovely beaches and excellent fishing opportunities both for the professional and the amateur angler. In historic terms, Port Macquarie is the most significant town between Newcastle and the Queensland border. Capt. Cook sailed past this section of the coast in 1770 as did Matthew Flinders. The town became a penal settlement in the 1820 and it was the convicts who cleared the land and established farms, built the stockade and hospital and a church. It was also here that sugar was first attempted commercially in Australia.   From a yachtsman’s point of view Port Macquarie has one of the most difficult bar river entrances on the East Coast. The attitude of most yachtsmen is “If you can get into Port Macquarie you can get into anywhere” It is a sort of a benchmark by which all boatsmen along the coast judge other barred river entrances. From my experience sailing along the East Coast I believe there are some that are worse. The previous year we had visited Port Macquarie on our way to Queensland so this time we decided to give it a miss - the southeast swell combined with it being the first hour of ebb tide, the entrance looked dangerous, no sailor worth his salt should ever consider enter a barred entrance during an ebb tide. Trail Bay is a sandy shallow two nautical wide by about mile deep. Very well protected from the south east and east by the headland stretching north from Smoky Cape to Laggers Point the shoreline terminates at the mouth of Mackay River. From previous visits we knew that the best anchorage is in shoaling water further up the bay, an excellent spot to drop your anchor in light northeasterly winds. The bay has a reputation for clear water over sand and holding is excellent with most types of anchors.




As we continued sailing further up the coast we raised the mizzen staysail, gaining another knot, speed–log shows 6 knots, our ten hour run cruise was a joy. Connie passed a tray full of cheese and tuna sandwiches; she looked at the sky, which by now it was reddish-black-grey, with a shade of yellow, the sun was soon to set and night was approaching. ”Joe, do you think we’ll make it to Coffs Harbour before dark?” – “No way, we can make it to the next bay”. That put a smile on her face. Approaching Trial Bay we saw two yachts we knew. Tequila – 42-foot ketch owned by Colin and May Margin from Woy Woy NSW – laid anchor beside our Japanese friends on their sloop Atelier III. We dropped our anchor some distance away and soon we saw Mitsuru Tsukada and Izumi Tsukada rowing towards Bahhar. They invited us for dinner and we made friends soon enough, many years later we met again in Ta` Xbiex marina in Malta, on their way on their own circumnavigation. Izumi was a master wood-carver and all his carvings were entirely hand crafted. He was so good at his work that it only took him 30 minutes to carve a beautiful teak-wood plaque with name Bahhar on it. The next day at around 9.30 am we hauled up anchor and ran out to sea under full sails. We waved goodbye to our friends as we anticipated another great day, a light southerly breeze plus the counter current (eddies) going north was enough for Bahhar to reach six knots. We were hugging the coast just close enough to enjoy the scenery while marking each landmark and plotting on the paper chart. That day Stephen my youngest son was sitting on the stainless steel pulpit when he yelled “ Look dead ahead dad,” some 30 meters ahead we spotted this huge 20-foot manta ray as it lifted its graceful ‘wings’ and then slowly glided its diamond-shaped body beneath the surface. We had seen many of these fish along the East Coast and were sure we were going to see many more. They are found throughout the tropical



Coffs Harbour TOP CENTRE

Ouen - sunrise

waters of the world, especially around coral reefs. This type of manta is the largest of the Manta rays and can grow up to 25 feet. They have a variety of common names like Atlantic manta, Pacific manta and devil fish. Some 14 miles further up the coast the wind shifted more to the south; we were almost on a dead run and Joe Jr went up front to secure the jib with the pole out to port. We started to experience a cross swell which took out some of the fun we were having sailing and watching the beautiful beaches that from this distance look so inviting, while Stephen filming everything with our new expensive Panasonic video camera as a shoal of dolphins flocked on all sides of Bahhar.

With this speed we were not sure we could reach Coffs Harbour before sundown. We decided to change heading to sail at 140 to 150 degrees off the wind. With this heading we could bring the big mizzen staysail (45% larger than the mizzen). Even with this big sail we found that there wasn’t that much difference in the handling. You had to be more careful with the squalls but otherwise the obvious difference was boat speed; in these kinds of winds (40 to 50 degrees up from dead down) we could average 7.5 knots, close to 10% faster than we could manage before. However after a couple of hours the wind disappeared and we had to rely on our engine to get us back in. Two hours later we spotted the radio mast on Yarrahapinni mountain, an excellent marker which is conspicuous from quite a distance at sea. The beach of Scott Head goes up to Nambucca, which is one of the prettiest places on the coast with a population of about 5500. There was no need for us to stop over here as we were looking forward to spend the next few days relaxing at Coffs Harbour marina some 46Km further up the coast. By chance, that afternoon my son Patrick turned our SSB (ham radio) just as one operator

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coastal resort town, also noted for its banana plantations and fishing. It is beautifully located where mountains tumble down to the sea; and only 3 meters above sea level and some 558km north-east of Sydney. Its population, over 65,000, is mostly made of retirees seeking the warm north of NSW by holiday makers.

said to another “Have you ever made contact with Joe on the yacht Bahhar? I believe he is sailing with his family towards Malta” “No, I tried a few times on 14.472 (20mhz) and on 40m,(7.169Mhz) but no luck” was the answer from the other operator. “Dad, they are talking about us in Maltese.” “Stephen come and hold the wheel, please maintain same bearing I will have a QSL with them. “QRZ, QRZ,QRZ, this is A35JS MM (Maritime Mobil), on the sailing yacht Bahhar do you copy, come in please”   “This is VK2AKP Sam Galea from Sydney, with me on the net there are other Maltese ham radio operators Joe, one of them is 9HIO Ninu Muscat, in Naxxar(Malta),N6GHW Joe Gatt from San Diego USA and 9HIGY Joe Schembri in B`kara (Malta) do you copy Joe?”   Well, that was the beginning of a very important contact for us that lasted until we arrived in Malta some 18 months later. Twice a week at the same hour we had these contacts (skeds). If conditions were unsuitable on the 40m we QSY ON 80M(3.688Mhz). We had skeds with Maltese Ham operators from around the world and we even had a QSL with a Maltese monk somewhere in the high mountains of Peru. Later on when we were hundreds of miles away from land they kept us company and informed our families and friends our position. Of course it depends on the ionosphere, (propagation)which plays a basic role in longdistance communication.   Amateur radio provides a vital communication system when you are at sea. It is the best piece of electronic equipment you can have onboard a sailing yacht, especially if you plan to do long distance cruising. Nowadays we have satellite communication, however there is still a thriving community of amateur radio users around the world.

Legend has it that the first Europeans to the area were escaped convicts taking refuge on Muttonbird Island. Timber getters were the first to settle in the area in 1841. Up until 1865 the harbour was busy with up to 460 ships visiting this harbour every year. The town was originally named “Korff` Harbour by John Korff in 1847. Coffs Harbour is also a delightful base for yachts sailing to Fiji, New Caledonia and the other islands north-east of here; it has a man-made harbour consisting of two walls extending out at sea from the beach. On our first visit to Coffs Harbour my wife and I were sailing south towards Sydney having just completed two wonderful months cruising Queensland coast. Late that afternoon with the sun behind us, wind and rain ahead, as the squall was approaching changing the smooth seas into a choppy waves, we eventually turned back, ran before the wind, and slipped into Coffs Harbour. There is no sandbar at the entrance of Coffs Harbour and the depth is around 10 meters however, in heavy onshore weather the sea breaks dangerously across the entrance. The sight of breaking waves on approaching the entrance can be worrying. But, as Bahhar could handle short steep waves it was not a problem for us entering the Harbour...and benefited the comfort of the new 183 berth floating marina. We paid A$10 for the whole week...

Located between Sydney and Brisbane on the East Coast of Australia Coffs Harbour is a major BOATS





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ll too often have I gone on cruises where, on arriving at an anchorage or marina, the activities were limited to conversation, munching, and of course a drink or two, be it ashore, afloat, or both. Mind you, I have nothing against conviviality and boat slumming, but to me, neither qualifies as powerboating. For that I need to feel a boat’s vibrating deck, to hear the smooth hum of her engines, and to experience the glorious sense of power as her bow parts the waters in her path.


Once in a mooring field—or worse, deep in a raft-up—it’s hard not to feel a twinge of longing for the little sailboats one sees tacking merrily to and fro. But the idea of being totally dependent on the whims of Mother Nature has held back many from setting forth aboard an engineless tender. So I have sat atop many a bridge and in countless saloons, club-bars and restaurants and enjoyed the company and tall tales of others. I’ve laughed, raised my elbow, and hoisted a few with the worst (the best were way out of my league) and otherwise been a reasonably good fellow cruiser. What those hours awakened in me was a longdormant desire to own a sailing tender that could go careening amongst its senior brethren for an hour or two before or after the social mixer. And when push came to shove, I wanted to be assured that my children or I would be able to return to my vessel pretty much on schedule regardless of wind or currents. That would make my day. To achieve my secret desire, I would need a dink capable of doing all the purely utilitarian tasks that my venerable Achilles inflatable had hitherto performed, and then some. My answer, I decided, lay in an unsinkable tender that could do a good job of sailing, rowing, and powering and could safely hang

off standard stern davits or be easily hoisted aboard. Not only that, this dinghy must also be capable of switching from mode to mode without fuss or bother, and do it so seamlessly that children could be entrusted with her. She would need to be fast, fun, stable, lightweight, and sturdy. She would have to have good lines (for a well-designed vessel is a pleasure to behold), be easy to right, handle well in a chop, and ferry four crew with no trouble. All in all, rather a tall order. After a long and fruitless search, I found the beginnings of my answer in a Bauer 10, a beamy, 10-foot dinghy made by Hans-Christof Bauer’s Bauteck Marine of St. Augustine, Florida. In designing and building her, Bauer put together an elegant and unsinkable fiberglass tender, a vessel that sails nicely with main and jib or with a gaff rig, a boat with a self-tripping centerboard and tip-up rudder. (The latter combination makes rowing or beaching her a gentle and smooth maneuver). In addition, she powers well with a small outboard. My Achilles, like most inflatables, lacks a keel, so rowing her can be an exercise in frustration in anything short of a dead-calm surface, never mind hoisting a sail. The wise and only alternative to gasoline, with steam and nuclear being out of the question, was to go electric. On accepting the use of electricity as motive power, two basic mounting choices became available.

Choice A:

Get a stock trolling outboard of appropriate power and use it as is. Hang it on the transom, connect it to a battery, and go. This was the simplest and cheapest option.

Choice B:

Fabricate a new housing, incorporate the engine, and glass it in as an integral part of the skeg or the aft end of the keel.

Trinkatoo New skeg gel-coated


Alan Saunders





Choice A was rejected out of hand. Stowage of the motor, shaft, mounting bracket, and controls pod would be a constant problem. Also, when deployed, the array would interfere with sailing gear, so my basic fulltime, multimode feature (sailrow-power) would be defeated.

Trinkatoo Aft hatch motor controls

Choice B, the built-in approach, was doubtless a more complex process, but with it, all three propulsion modes would be available full time, and this was my foremost requirement. Further, it would not preclude the use of an outboard for towing another vessel or at times when a much higher travel speed was desired. These, of course, are the occasions when your Mercury outboard truly shines. I selected Choice B, despite its shortcomings of higher cost (nearly all of it in labour) and its demand for some skilled glass fabrication and gelcoat work. For my motor, I chose a 54-lb.-thrust MotorGuide saltwater unit, the most powerful engine I could find at 12 volts. Of it, I kept only the motor and its stainless steel shaft. Five or 6 knots was my engine-driven target speed, modest compared to what even my Old Faithful 2-stroke Mercury can deliver, but still ample for my tender’s triple-threat needs. For my “fuel tanks” I opted for a pair of no. 24 Trojan deep-cycle, 73Ah gel-cell batteries. Even though gel cells are considerably more expensive than wet ones, they last longer, are sealed and spillproof, require no maintenance, and are much more tolerant of low temperatures, shocks, and vibration. I definitely liked all that. Thus equipped, Trinkatoo gives us a cruising range of about two hours at full power or well over 5 nautical miles, depending on load and conditions. Not only that, but the total added weight of the entire electric-propulsion components package comes to slightly over 55 kg, leaving my tender well within the 140kg limit of most davits. My first step was to break up the boat’s original continuous flotation compartment with bulkheads. I created four sections: two amidships to house the batteries, one fore, and one aft for storage. The battery housings are situated at her beamiest point, where they maintain proper lateral weight distribution as well as good fore-and-aft hull balance. All

new openings but the bow one have Tempress gasketed access hatches and are screwed down and sealed with 3M 101 polysulfide to keep them watertight. The larger bow Bomar hatch holds a mushroom anchor and its rode, plus lines and fenders. The aft one houses the boat’s controls, plus a little stowage room. The first and arguably most important step in creating my “inboard electric tender” was fabricating the new housing for the engine. We began by splitting lengthwise a 15-inch-long piece of 4-inch PVC pipe to make the mold. We waxed the insides of the two halves to keep the fiberglass parts, once they catalyzed, from sticking to them. Only after the waxing was done were the roving and chopped fiberglass mat inserted. Resin was then applied and smoothed on with a narrow steel roller. Once cured and mated, we slid the resulting glass cylinder out of the mold, trimmed it to size, and bonded it to a glass cone that earlier had been similarly treated and fabricated over the motor’s nose section. The new bullet-shaped assembly forms a loose-fitting sleeve over the motor. This provides a space for water to circulate freely within the housing so that it can do its motor-cooling job. Next came the task of cutting a path for the shaft-mounting extrusion atop the cylindrical motor housing. We bonded a shortened, horizontal tunnel to make it possible for the motor and its shaft extrusion to exit and reenter as needed. Easy motor access for maintenance or replacement was an important element of the design. Because the engine came complete with its own steel prop-protecting fin, it was a simple matter to carve a corresponding entry slot at the bottom of the new housing. The next step was removing most of the Bauer 10’s skeg to make room for the new integrated power assembly. With that done, it was a simple if time-consuming matter to glass and fair in the new housing to it. Cooling water inlet holes were drilled well forward on both sides of the housing before gelcoating the whole assembly and installing a zinc anode. The stainless steel shaft that carries the battery and control wires to the engine was cut down to fit inside the newly created stern flotation compartment. Access to it was made very easy through a new 12-by-10-inch hatch installed directly above it, thus turning that space into a small but usable locker as well. A 1-by-6-inch PVC pipe bonded to the hull became a throughhull for the shaft. Once screwed into the motor’s extrusion, the shaft was held in place BOATS



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nice touch is the lockable oar holder (also bronze), which, when securing the oars, also locks the bow compartment. Thus, valuables placed in a waterproof bag can be safely stowed there.

Bow Locker with a 6-inch length of automobile heater hose and four clamps (one pair clamping the PVC pipe, the other pair securing it to the shaft). To eliminate any chance of water entering and damaging the engine, the open top of the shaft was sealed with a healthy dab of silicone. This completed the propulsion package installation. Next came the installation of the infinitely variable speed/forward-reverse controller. This is mounted on the forward wall of the helmsman’s seat and close to the boat’s centerline. Below it is a kill-power “crew overboard” switch, and inside the compartment there is a hidden on-off-on battery selection switch so only one is ever engaged. (The center position is meant to discourage unauthorized joy rides.) Completing our controls array are a power-inlet plug for a battery charger or solar-array feed, a 12-volt accessory plug for tool or device charging, and two voltmeters that serve as our individual “fuel gauges.”

So, at a recent raft-up where munching, chatting, and drinking were the staples (not necessarily in that order), a fellow who owns a trawler started asking me questions. Not about tales told, but about what he called my “nice water toy.” At first I bristled at the term, but then, on hearing a yearning note in his voice, I realized he had meant it as a compliment. I went on to extol Trinkatoo’s charms. After all, I reasoned, with more like her afloat, impromptu sailing dink races might become an option at these raft-ups. Besides, I believe in the heart of every power-boater there is a longing for a go at sailing - a longing that is usually stifled by the thought of being left entirely at the mercy of nature. There are few better methods of understanding and learning the ways of the world afloat than with a sailing dinghy. Unlike most tenders, Trinkatoo offers not only safe and silent transport home for kids (and adults) when faced with confusing winds and tides, but also a very discreet cover-up for the means of that heroic return. I leave to one’s own conscience if and when to make the disclosure of her secret propulsion mechanism to a puzzled audience. That, of course, also depends on how long that new sailor can keep a straight face.

Early sea trials were conducted with more than 200kg of crew aboard, no sails, and 2-foot seas. We established our speed by hailing a 34-footer under sail. Her skipper said his vessel was making 5 knots as we easily passed her. (Yes, we were on the same heading.) The prop is two-bladed and fixed. To limit drag, the prop can be made to settle nicely in a minimum “up and down profile” while we’re under sail or rowing. Maneuverability and responsiveness in all modes are excellent. For rowing, the Bauer 10 comes with a pair of beautifully finished 7-foot spruce oars, complete with permanently attached bronze oarlocks and leather wraps. Another BOATS



Safety Tips

Godwin Muscat Azzopardi. continues on last issue’s article about life-raft maintenance


[Part 2 of 2]


f you are investing in a new liferaft it is worth taking time to compare the various brands available on the market. Almost all are today produced to ISO standards, which largely reflect the SOLAS standards ( 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) which specify how the liferaft should be manufactured, how many chambers it must have and that it must provide for a competent boarding system. Have a look at the list of contents because here you may see some items which are not included in all rafts. Once you have bought a new raft you need to observe scrupulously the frequency of maintaining it. Manufacturers specify the recommended frequency of maintenance and provide a list of the contents. When you buy a second-hand boat there is a possibility that both these documents are not available. It may therefore be advisable to take the raft for inspection and at the same time assess the contents and change what is required. The contents are pretty standard. There is a pair of oars and a foot pump, various types of flares and a torch with spare batteries. You also get some rations of food and water. I have read that some oars are inadequate for operation with a heavy liferaft which has no directional stability, so it may be worth investing in a good pair of dinghy oars and trying to find the necessary space for them. The foot-pump needs to be efficient as all rafts lose air through their normal porosity. Flares need to have their expiry dates checked. This is critical since expired flares are a serious danger. There are usually a minimum of two types of flares, hand-held and parachute flares. The latter are obviously much more effective and some have a visibility range of around 25 miles. Some rafts contain a signalling mirror which can be used to reflect the sun and signal other ships. Then there is the first-aid kit which in these days includes some form of protective cream against the sun. It should also contain the necessary equipment to clean and suture wounds. Sea-sickness pills are also vital since sea-sickness, combined with exposure can cause severe dehydration and can be fatal. Modern liferafts are equipped with thermal protective Aids (TPAs) which are survival bags manufactured from special material that traps the body heat and is invaluable in the cold and Mediterranean nights can be very cold and humid. When checking the contents it is




therefore wise to ensure that there are as many TPAs as the likely or maximum number of crew at any one time. Most rafts contain small plastic bags full of water but no food. This brings up the eternal debate of whether one should have a small grab-bag at hand at all times. This is the bag which you grab before going into the raft and should contain flares, food and water as a minimum. In the last article I mentioned that a couple survived for nine days on trapped birds and a turtle. It is worth having a good look at the fishing equipment included in the raft. It is advisable to stock up with equipment adapted for local fish, since that included in the raft may not be suitable for local fishing. You cannot trawl from a liferaft, so probably deep sea lines may be a better idea, assuming you are lucky enough to find or catch bait. There are usually other items included in the raft content bag. A knife, a raft repair kit and some stoppers are standard. So are a sponge and some form of bailer to keep the raft dry. The raft is very low in the sea and water is bound to come in at some stage. You will need to keep dry if you are to retain your body heat. Some rafts include items like scissors, seasickness bags, a tin-opener, a whistle and even a radar reflector. The latter makes a lot of sense but some manufacturers do not include it. Inflatable reflectors exist and if there is space in the raft it may be worth trying to include one. Naturally there is a limit to the size and weight of liferaft a cruiser can handle and this may call for a compromise. Modern recommendations for liferafts for yachts distinguish between yachts traveling more or less than 150 miles offshore. Those traveling over 150 miles offshore are advised to carry food inside the raft. Those traveling less than 150 miles offshore still have the recommendation to have a radar reflector and survival bags. But if you travel to the Ionian or Spain or further, you will be quite far from land at some times and you will have to decide on what size of raft you can take and what contents to pack. It is a worthwhile exercise.


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12 persons

Max: 150Hp


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20 persons

Max: 270Hp






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CHEFS AHOY! After an exhausting summer of sailing and with hordes of guests coming to stay on board, we have become experts in mixing a variety of punches and cocktails. After a hard day’s sail or enforced maintenance alongside in the marina thirst quenchers are the answer. Pimms has to be the No.1 choice. A refreshing long drink liberally laced with an extra shot or two of gin and served in chilled glasses with

HAWAIIN PUNCH This is a delightfully refreshing drink – ideal for the kids - serve with ‘umbrellas’ and maraschino cherries on sticks for a truly grown up ‘cocktail’ feel. quantity

Makes approx 2 litres

CITRUS MEDLEY The quantities are a guideline – add more or less to taste.


Makes approx 2 litres



Makes 1 glass




by Deborah Ratcliffe

oodles of fresh fruit and mint. I make it up in a 2 litre container originally bought for milk and store it ready made in the fridge until needed. My idea of pure heaven! It goes down rather too well and you constantly have to remind yourself it has quite a kick. Non-alcoholic drinks are perhaps better (and wiser) to cool down with - the Hawaiian Punch is very refreshing and great for kids.

non alcoholic

INGREDIENTS Crushed ice cubes 300ml white grape juice 300ml apple juice 600ml pineapple juice 475ml ginger ale 1 small pineapple peeled and cut into small dice or

Simply mix everything together and serve immediately. If ice isn’t available keep the juices chilled in the fridge until needed

1 large tin drained pineapple chunks cut into small piece


INGREDIENTS Crushed ice cubes 1 ½ litre dry white wine 150ml vodka 150ml soda water Juice of 6 oranges Juice of 2 grapefruit Juice of 1 lemon 1 fresh pineapple peeled and cut into small pieces 100 g maraschino cherries

Just mix everything together. I love to use blood oranges and red grapefruit to give the punch a stunning colour. You can substitute tinned pineapple but the taste just isn’t the same. Garnish with fresh mint.


INGREDIENTS 1 tall glass Liberal shot of brandy Top up with chilled ginger ale Add a slice of lemon and crushed ice

This was a favourite drink with the British Royal Navy and downed in copious amounts along with the immortal Gin ‘n’ Tonic. Great for unwinding…

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Mecca Enterprises Group Main Street, St Paul’s Bay Tel: 21 573 278 Mob: 79732783

Boats & Yachting Issue 80  

Maltese Boating Magazine, includes The Yachting Life, a 16 page luxury life supplement.

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