Thursday, May 26, 2011

UK Powerboat Racer Shelley Jory Back behind The Wheel in P1 Superstock

We've highlighted Shelley Jory's efforts before - back in 2009, well before before a pair of dramatic accidents last July left her with some very serious injuries. Earlier last year, the 40-year old had become the first woman to win a Powerboat P1 Grand Prix event, but when her boat Spirit of Belgium sunk in Sardinia, she and throttleman Patrick Huybrieghts ended up in the hospital, wondering if they would ever race again.

Describing the accident, Shelley said it was easily the worst of her career: "The front of the boat just dipped into the water and shattered on impact. It's like driving a car into a brick wall at 83 mph," she recalled, recovering from head injuries and a broken nose.

After an extended leave of absence, Shelley has decided to return to powerboat racing, planning to announce her entry into the Powerboat P1 Superstock series in the UK. Though the boats don't have the power and speed of her previous P1 championship boats, they will offer her a significant challenge.

“P1 have always been a great support to me through my career, she says. "This will take me back to my Honda race days, which were by far the most competitive and fun racing I have done.”


Jory & Huybrieghts - the first wreck in Malta. PHOTO CREDIT: motorboatsmonthly.com

From Hampshire England, Shelley has always been a fan favorite, and when she's not boating, runs a very successful bridal business. Her first race event is scheduled for Jersey on June 11-12, and I'm sure we're not the only ones wishing her the best of luck. For more information on that race, go HERE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Powerboat Magazine Ends Regular Publication Upon Aquisition by Bonnier Corp.

Long established as THE source for news, boat reviews and features covering the world of high performance boating, Powerboat Magazine will cease regular publication in August after being purchased by Bonnier Corporation, one of America's largest consumer publishing groups. With over 1,000 employees and more than $350 million in annual revenue, Bonnier Corp. ranks in the top 10 nationally among publishing companies. The company was formed in March 2007 when Sweden's Bonnier Group purchased 18 magazines from Time Inc. and combined those assets with its U.S. magazine partner, World Publications,

Rumors of a purchase offer had been floating around performance boating forums for about a week, but only today has the announcement of Powerboat's sale been officially announced on the Powerboat Facebook web page:

"Surely hope this isn't an end of an era, but it's still a sad day. After the July 2011 issue, which is being sent out this week, it looks like Boating will be coming your way if you're a Powerboat subscriber."

Bonnier currently publishes a number of marine-relate titles, including Boating, Sportfishing, Yachting and WaterSki, among others. Reportedly, Powerboat and Trailer Boats (also acquired from Affinity Media Group) will be offered from time-to-time as "special issues" during the boating season.

Of course, I enjoyed Powerboat as much as anyone else, and it has been hard to watch the magazine gradually shrink as the performance boat industry has taken a beating over the last few years. While the content has always been first-class, the fewer number of advertising pages sold has clearly had a significant impact on the cost of operation. While on the surface, it seems like the end of an era--it may be a sign that media coverage of performance boating is simply changing to reflect new technologies, new publishing models and new times. We're looking forward to being a part of that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Oneida Lake Swamp Run - Good Fun for a Good Cause

Lots of Poker Runs are run to benefit a worthy non-profit cause, and few are more worthy than the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Once again, New York State Power Boat Inc. is organizing another great Swamp Run on New York's beautiful Lake Oneida. Set for Saturday, July 30th, the run is known for its excellent water, fun destinations and top-notch organization.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sharkey Images.

This year the Swamp Run will follow the same course as last year, starting and ending in Brewerton at The WaterFront. From there, the group will run to Sylvan, have lunch and relax for about an hour and a half at Harpoon Eddie's. Afterwards, everyone will line up in front of the beach (South Side) and run in line across the front of the beach for everyone to watch.

Following this will be a run to ChMarker 117 for a card stop, then to ChMarker 135 for another card stop, then to 3 Mile Bay for a raft off with some fun and Bikinis. At 5pm, the whole group will run back to the Waterfront for dinner at 7pm with banquet and plenty of refreshments.

Last year, the event was able to raise over $10,000.00 for Make-A-Wish, and organizer Nolan Ferris has set an even more ambition goal of 21,500.00 for this year. If you've ever wondered how big a difference a contribution can make for an event like this, check out the touching story that Nolan has posted on Offshore Only.com.

To find out more and reserve your spot, contact Nolan at NysPowerBoat@yahoo.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boat Tech: Pocket Gadgets to Make Your Life Easier

We recently came across a couple of items that could come in handy on your next boat trip; the first is the Freeloader Personal Solar Charger - especially useful because it's one gadget that can help keep the rest of your gadgets running.

It's true, you can always use your 12v cigarette lighter outlet to charge a lot of your items like cell phones, MP3 players and other small items. But if you're dedicating that outlet to your iPod to play music while you're running the boat, or powering a portable Nav unit, you might want some extra charging capacity. This might especially be the case if you've got a boatload of friends along on a poker run.

The freeloader quickly expands it's solar panels to gather available sunlight, and includes a charging cable that plugs into a USB port or almost any chargeable device with one of its 11 adapter tips. Once charged, the internal Li-Ion battery can power an iPod for 18hours, a mobile phone for 44 hours, PSP for 2.5 hours a PDA for 22 hours and much more. With its tough, rust-free aluminum body, it features a 1000mAh Li-on battery and can be charged in as little as 3 hours. Pretty handy in a pinch.

Our other item here is a floating keyring; nothing new in terms of basic concept, but extremely useful in terms of its added capability. The Waterbuoy Floating Keyring is only 3" long (not nearly as bulky as many floating keyrings) but can float up to 2lbs. That's a whole pocketful of keys, as opposed to the 2-3 that most floating keyrings can support. In fact, it provides enough buoyancy to support many waterproof VHF radios, mobile phones and some digital cameras.

The secret is inside: The Waterbouy has a tiny gas cylinder that inflates a puncture-resistant balloon after submersion. It won't go off if only splashed, and also has an LED light - visible at 850ft and lasting 24hrs - inside the balloon, so it can easily be found even at night.  Pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Video: It's 1972 All Over Again as Cowes to Monte-Carlo Race Shapes up for 2013.

They are calling it the longest and toughest offshore powerboat race in the world...and they are probably right. The 2013 Cowes to Monte-Carlo Race will cover 2,400 nautical miles in deep offshore water, from England and then off the coasts of France, Spain, Portugal, through Gibraltar and across the Riviera coast. It has only been run once - in 1972 - and is open to any powerboat from 26ft to 50ft, fitted with diesel or gas, inboard or outboard engines. Since the distance between some of the stopover venues will range from from 190 to over 300 miles, long distance tanks will be a must.

VIDEO CREDITS: cowestomontecarlo.com.

So far, about 40 teams from 12 different countries have signed up to participate, and the UK organizers are hoping USA teams will eventually be among them (we do see a USA Donzi entry on their web site). In any case, it's important to move fast, since the cap for participating boats will be set at 55. We'll keep you posted as news about the race develops - but you can always check out the latest happenings at the Official Race Site. In the mean time , you can check out the video here, posted on YouTube by .

Available Now: [B3] Powerboat Weekly News for May 16 - 22

Be sure to check out this week's issue of The [B3] Powerboat Weekly. You can read why Cocoa Beach is  ready For The Thunder of Super Boats, discover Lakeside Restorations' Mid-May specials, and find out why the interest deduction for boats as second homes is under fire. Thanks to all our Twitter partners who help make it happen every week!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Boating at Night: Danger Lurks in The Darkness

If you've ever been out on a boat at night, you have to admit there definitely can be something special about it...especially if you're cruising slowly down a quiet lake. Like the old postcard image below depicts, it's an image full of romanticism and mystery; even today, I can remember coming home to our vacation cabin in northern Michigan at night on my dad's rented fishing boat. You watched the old houses and cabins pass by along the shore and wondered what people were doing inside...saw flickering campfires near the docks...occasionally hearing screen doors smacking shut, off in the distance.


Of course, we were just puttering down the lake at about 5 miles per hour, and I'm sure that made a big difference. I'm sure the location did too - for cruising home on a calm lake at night is much different than making your way down a busy ocean bay or river at night, with more traffic--including larger boats, commercial shipping and barges, bridges to dodge and any number of other hidden hazards. Whatever you're in or wherever you boat, it's clear than night boating is a different animal, and requires a much more measured and careful approach than typical daytime boating.

The Day After

You've all seen them - and they tend to stick in our minds because they look so strange: the news photos of powerful boats high up on the rocks, or planted somewhere in the woods onshore after a boater got careless at night. We all look and wonder - how in the hell did they do that?

PHOTO CREDITS: missoulian.com.
Often, the first thought goes to drinking, and that's not a surprise; it is the cause of many boating accidents. and the ones where it plays a role often get the most notoriety. But it's often just plain carelessness, disregard for the dangers at hand, or failure to understand how the darkness can play tricks on our vision that result in tragedy.

This came to mind with an accident I read about within the last week. A guy puts his 30' offshore boat onto the rocks with fatal results to him, but thankfully not his two passengers. One passenger claims he had not been drinking, but the post-mortem blood alcohol results say he was past the legal limit. The same passenger also said the driver had removed his contact lenses, and was having trouble with his vision. To further add to this recipe for disaster, the authorities estimated that the boat was traveling at approximately 65 mph when it hit some "rip-rap" - the rocks that are often pushed up around piers and bridge pilings to help combat erosion. Again, one of the passengers says the boat was only going 35 mph. I say: Does it matter?

35 mph is plenty fast enough to get you killed. A lot of boaters I've talked to refuse to even get their boat up on plane at night; they slow speeds so they can hear and react to what they can see--because at night, there are a lot of things you can't.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

700 HP V-12 Diesel Sparks Interest at Dusseldorf Marine Show

Ray at Raylar Engines recently shared some photos of this musclebound V-12 diesel offering that was recently showcased in Germany. Identified as the RED A03, the engine would be a newcomer to the marine world, as it is currently only available as an aircraft engine.

 PHOTO CREDITS:  maritimepropulsion.com.

Originally developed to fill a niche market between aircraft gasoline piston engines and the more expensive turboprops, the powerplant is the brainchild of Russian engineer Vladimir Raikhlin. Built by the RED aircraft GmbH, located in Adenau, Germany, the marine version of the engine is designed for output power of approximately 700 hp at 3,900 rpm.

The liquid cooled V-12 diesel engine has a 90 degree configuration between cylinder banks and twin double overhead camshafts. It's also electronically controlled with a common rail direct fuel injection system, and features a dry sump lubrication system, twin fuel pumps, twin turbochargers and an integrated oil-water heat exchanger.


Further details of the powerplant should be announced later this year; while it will no doubt be expensive, it would probably offer an extremely high degree of reliability, since it was originally designed for aircraft applications. In the end, this might give it a serious leg up on similarly-priced high-end gas engines, like a Merc 1350.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cocoa Beach Ready for Super Boat International Season Opener, May 18-22

SBI is celebrating its second consecutive year racing at Cocoa Beach with next week's 2nd Annual Bright House Space Coast Grand Prix. In fact, it was just last Fall when SBI teams converged on Cocoa Beach and hit the water after what had been a 20-year hiatus.

PHOTO CREDITS: Super Boat International.
Extra good news is that even more teams are expected than last year, with some of the world’s fastest boats scheduled to race along the area's sandy beaches near the famous Cocoa Beach Pier. “2010 was a very good as a first year back, and we expect this to be an even more exciting race than before,"  says SBI Founder John Carbonell. "We're pleased again to see how excited and supportive the community is about Super Boat racing. This is really going to make for a great season opener for 2011.”


Cocoa Beach fans unable to attend the race in person can follow Sunday’s activities on superboat.com and watch it through the live streaming broadcast. Super Boat International is broadcasting the entire 2011 season online through live streaming and can be found at superboat.com/live-tv on the day of the race.


The week's events start off with a sponsor and VIP party, May 18th at the Paradise Cove Restaurant. Teams, boats and support equipment will continue to arrive Thursday, May 19th in the Dry Pits across from Fishlips, and race boats will be on display for the “Powerboats on Parade” in downtown Cocoa Beach at 3pm.

Friday, May 20th is team registration and boat inspections along with parties and live entertainment in the evening near the pits. Teams will be testing on Saturday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and the races are on Sunday, May 22nd at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

High Concept: Bugatti Veyron Sang Bleu Speedboat

Ben Walsh, the wizard behind the Cadillac Converj Concept car, has recently taken his design concepts from the highway to the water, with the Bugatti Veyron Sang Bleu Speedboat.

PHOTO CREDITS: Driven.
Walsh has transformed the design elements found in a custom Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport to bring us this concept, which is similar to what Mercedes-Benz AMG did with its SLS-inspired speedboat. Bugatti stunned spectators with its “Sang Bleu” edition at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance back in 2009, so Walsh used that design as a springboard to create a 30-foot speedboat that sports the same polished aluminum and royal blue carbon fiber construction, along with the same Gaucho leather gracing the interior as the motorcar.

Walsh’s boat design “concept” remains just that for now, but it should be pointed out that company founder Ettore Bugatti also had the same vision of developing an exclusive high-powered motorboat back in the 1920s--which makes this idea not so much of a stretch. Clearly, this is one design we'd like to see out on the water.

Available Now: [B3] Powerboat Weekly News for May 9 - 15

Be sure to check out this week's issue of The [B3] Powerboat Weekly. You can read a review of Formula's  new 37 Cruiser, argue over Boating Magazine's 10 Best Places to Live and Boat, or watch US Racers as they check out P1 Powerboat's new Panther. Plus, you can catch up on recent happenings with Class 1. Thanks to all our Twitter partners who help make it happen every week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Former Honeyparty Skater to debut as Geico Caveman Boat

Word has it that the former Honeyparty.com 399 Skater V-bottom that once competed in Powerboat P1's Evolution class is being re-worked and refitted to compete as the Geico Caveman boat during this year's offshore race season. No exact word on what class the boat is expected to enter; this may depend on the sanctioning body for each race the the specific rules involved.

PHOTO CREDIT: Honeyparty.com.

Known for his aggressive racing style, particularly in rough waters, former Honeyparty throttleman Richard Carr will be flying in to handle those same duties on the big 40' vee. Powered by a couple of 1350hp Chief engines and Arnseon surface drives, the boat was constructed back in 2008 of carbon/kevlar epoxy composites built to withstand the brutal environment of ocean racing.

Geico has had a promotional Caveman Cigarette in the past, so we may have a clue to what the reliveried Skater might look like. Whenever and wherever the new boat debuts, it's sure to be an exciting addition to the Geico racing team...and we'll be sure to bring you some photos when they're available!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No Shortage of Boat Drink Ideas with Voodoo Tiki Margarita Book

As always, it's great to relax at the end of a long day of boating with a nice cool drink--and if you're doing your own bartending, it's a good idea to have some solid cocktail recipes on hand. Smart mixologists know that one of the favorites among the ladies is the Margarita, and a free recipe book, now available from Voodoo Tiki Tequila, can help fill in any gaps in your Margarita know-how.

If you haven't come across it yet, Voodoo Tiki is a relatively new brand of tequila that takes the fun factor to a whole new level. Voodoo Tiki is made from 100 percent blue agave and comes in three main styles: Platinum Silver, Reposado and Anejo. It's a super-premium brand, featuring a unique and creative package. The result--which is something of a collector’s piece--is a hand-blown, numbered and signed glass bottle with a hand-crafted tiki statuette inside.

PHOTO CREDIT: Voodootiki.com.

“The taste is clean, not harsh, hot or woody,” says company head Donna DeCunzo-Taddeo, who expects sales of $1.2 million in 2009, up from about $240,000 in her first year. The Margarita Guide, available as a free PDF download, includes over 100 creative Margarita recipes. Get your copy HERE, and give the Voodoo a try.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Formula Owners - Make Plans for Birds on The Bay 2011

Boats are in the water in New Jersey, and East Coast Formula owners may want to mark their calendars now for the 2nd Annual Birds on the Bay Formula Rendezvous, scheduled for Saturday, July 16th. The event is scheduled to kick off at 11:00AM, with the boats meeting up at Tices Shoal on the Barnegat Bay (Latitude: 39.8398415, Longitude: -74.1087476).

The event is strictly casual; participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies (beer, drinks, ice and food) and raft up with the other Formula boat owners in the area. Whether you're a Formula, Thunderbird, or even a Falcon owner, you are more the welcome to join us for what will truly be an epic day.

To RSVP, simply email FormulaOwnersOfNJ@gmail.com so organizers can can get an idea of the turnout expected. They will also be more than happy to provide any information about marinas, ramps, transient slips, or the area in general. Check it out!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gimmick or Good Idea? The Stay Alive Life Jacket.

For high-speed powerboat racing or poker running, it's hard to beat the proven protection of a Lifeline jacket. Every offshore powerboater knows that Lifelines are unsurpassed for their ability to keep you alive--especially since they are built to stay on your body in a high-speed impact with the water. While they are expensive, a typical response when presented with this fact is simply, "what's your life worth?"

Nevertheless, other options are available for those on a more limited budget. Examples like the Mustang MV5600 high impact vest are available for about half the cost of a LifeLine and are claimed to be strength-tested to 100mph.

Another interesting option we recently came across may be the Stay Alive Life Jacket featured here. First of all, I would point out that for most high-speed powerboating environments, the jacket would not be my first choice; though it does appear to be well-constructed, and offers crotch straps to keep it securely on the wearer--there is no stated testing for high-impact performance, and I doubt it offers anything like the performance of a Lifeline.

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