Oyster Chairman dismasted in ARC
At the end of the first week of this year’s ARC Richard Matthews, owner and chairman of Oyster Marine, was dismasted when taking part in his new 72-foot Oyster, Oystercatcher XXV. He was sailing with a crew of 11 in a confused sea when, at 2.00am, there was “a loud bang, a sound like a thunderclap,” he says. “We could see a massive structural failure. We were reaching in 15 knots of wind and the mast was swaying and we could see that it was going to come down. What we didn’t want was for [it] to come down on the boat with the potential damage to the boat and the crew. We furled the genoa, let go the back-stays clevis pins, cut both sets of shrouds with an angle grinder and let the mast go over the forward port side of the vessel. We did think of trying to save it but it was too dangerous and not necessary. We knew we had enough fuel, so we motored back to the Cape Verde Islands. Fortunately no one was hurt.”
Oystercatcher XXV is still down in the islands and will be shipped to the Caribbean shortly. The carbon mast was made by Formula Spars of Lymington. “The jury is still out on what happened to the mast,” adds Richard Matthews, “but Formula are making a new one which will be shipped out to Antigua and we hope to be sailing again by the end of February.”

Cover Story: Croatia charter

Chartering: Grenada and the Grenadines

Profiles: Flotilla holidays

Destinations: The great islands of the Mediterranean - Sardinia

Med Red Rally: Meet the Neighbours

Cruising: The Red Sea

Letter from a yacht deliverer

Property: December 2005

Products: December 2005

News: December 2005

Cover Story Malaysian Take Away
Corinne Julius reports from the Indian Ocean.

Corsica The Great islands of the Mediterranean
The first of three articles about the Med’s largest islands.

Profile The swordfisherman of Scylla and Charybdis
With a bow sprit longer than a hull, we profile the swordfishing boats of the Straights of Messina.

Profile Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson
A well-known company that celebrates a centenary, but with history that goes back 250 years.

Property Go West

Malaysian Cruising A Base in the East

Compiling a pilot book Working Afloat
Compiling a cruising guide in communist Yugoslavia.

Property Beds, berths and balconies
New developments in Malaysia, France and the South Coast.

Profile Czech Yacht Club
A club that has survived Emperors and Commissars.

The scale of Raymarine’s position in the boating market can be judged by the announcement of its new out sourcing contract with Flextronics, a Singapore based company. In a contract estimated to be worth US$500 over the next five years, Raymarine will move part of its production to its new partner’s factory in Hungary. Flextronics, a company with a US$16 billion turnover, is a specialist in electronics manufacturing and distribution. “We took this decision to access the latest technologies and skills,” said Raymarine’s CEO, Malcolm Miller. None of their staff will be transferred to Flextronics.

Until the arrival of the Common Market, stocking up with duty frees before cruising abroad was always an important right of passage. But the system hasn’t disappeared completely. Until recently only commercial vessels could take advantage of duty free supplies but the Customs & Excise (now H.M. Revenue and Customs) have now extended the scheme. To be eligible, yachts must proceed directly either south of Brest or north of the River Eider. If leaving from the West Country, such a passage south is eminently possible, and W.V. Brahms (Ships’ Chandlers) will be happy to help. They run the only Duty Free stores in the south west and can arrange deliveries at most of the main ports. They will calculate the amount you are allowed, based upon the number of crew (aged over 17) and the duration of the passage. Cartons of cigarettes are around £17 and spirits £7 - £9 per litre.

Mark 1 YachtsSweden Yachts is a small specialist yard producing just 30 to 35 sailing boats a year. They offer top quality offshore performance cruisers but the boats are inevitably expensive. For people who cannot justify the time or financial commitment involved by an outright purchase, Mark 1 Yachts has introduced its second “partnership” sheme, whereby they maintain the yachts for the exclusive use of partners and look after all the running costs. Following the success of its first plan, which has now been operating successfully for three years, two new boats will be located in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean where Part- ners can use either of them for up to four weeks a year.

Contact: Mark 1 Yachts Ltd.

Four marinas in Greece are now offering longterm berth leases for boats of 10 metres and above. Triangle Berth Brokers are marketing the leases, which are avail- able for between 17 and 20 years. All the marinas are now of a top international standard, and Gouvia in particular has made enormous progress over the past few years in improving its facilities and service. All have numerous air connections, both direct and via Athens, and are situated in the heart of some fabulous cruising grounds.

Hamble Point Marina will host the UK’s largest used boat show this year for the 11th consecutive time. The event will feature over 300 used craft from a wide selection of boat manufacturers. “The show has gained an excellent following over the last 11 years,” says Jonathan Walcroft, Assistant Manager at Hamble Point Marina, “and we are committed to ensuring that our visi- tors receive the best customer service and a great day out.” MDL owned and operated Hamble Point Marina is located less than 15 minutes from Southampton Boat Show, and is home to over 60 marine companies. These offer a wide range of services such as finance, sail makers, insurance and chandlery.

Various schemes are available for minimising (or even avoiding) VAT on new boats or on EU-owned boats entering the EU for the first time. Some, however, are so complicated and expensive that it’s questionable whether they are worth it. An easy alternative was to take advantage of the unique legal status of the Azores. Unlike the Channel Islands, the Azores are part of Portugal and hence a member of the EU, but the local authorities attracted imports by levying a rate of just 12%. Following recent EU regulations, however, a minimum rate has now been set across the EU of 15% and this applies to all imports into the Azores after the 31st July 2005.

Following the success of the 2005 Med-Red Rally, the first international yacht rally to transit the Suez Canal, the organisers have announced the 2nd event for next year.

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