The clarity of navigation and beacons

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In this weeks blog I would like to talk about the basics of navigation and beacons (Lateral Markers) when out on the water. As most of you know there are two main coloured buoys and beacons Green (Starboard Side) and Red (Portside) these indicate the port and starboard sides of navigable waters or channels.

Some of you, like me, may have entered unfamiliar territory in you’re boating career and stopped in a confused state or worst case scenario run aground. In this blog I would like to help refresh the minds of our readers in this recap of navigation.

Below Examples of Red & Green beacons and buoys  (Beacons are fixed & Buoys float)

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 What beacon/buoy should be on what side?

When going upstream (away from the sea):

Keep red (port hand marks) on the left-hand side (to port).
Keep green (starboard hand marks) on the right-hand side (to starboard).
When going downstream (towards the sea):
Keep red (port hand marks) on the right hand side (to starboard).
Keep green (starboard hand marks) on the left-hand side (to port).

Remember there are also cardinal and special marks these are a sequence of yellow and black in colour and  indicate danger areas. These markers display a certain flash sequence for North South East & West as illustrated below.
Yellow
Information in full detail can be downloaded as a PDF from MSQ website here and remember to always check current tide times and weather radar before setting off. A list of boat ramps around Australia can also be found here
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METS – Marine Equipment Trade Show Amsterdam 2013

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CEO John Hogan talks about the upcoming 2013 METS trade show in Amsterdam. METS is the, go to place for networking and marine products worldwide. It is the largest marine trade show in the world and Superior will be exhibiting in the Australian pavilion in conjunction with AIMEX.

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Whitsunday Promotions

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This week I have been in the Whitsundays and living on board while participating in some of the events that are focused around boating.  This region of Australia is doing a great job in promoting the boating lifestyle and this activity can be seen in the improving infrastructure that has happened already as well as more planned.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, #AHIRW is a major example of a winning promotion with a 30 year tradition that brings sailors from all over the world.  The weather was perfect, the national parks course scenery is stunning, the humpback whales majestic and everyone has a great time.  There are even visiting Superyachts such as Vava II in attendance such is the reach these days.  The marina is full to overflowing and this is a healthy sign for the industry.
Of course this week was preceded by Airlie Beach race week which is the prefect build up event and this saw the Abel Point Marina equally busy along with a bustling tourist trade.  The marina is under new management and has a healthy capitals works plan already started with new facilities including a tavern on the site which will be one of the best spots in the Whitsundays.
On the weekend of the 26th the Shag Island Cruising Yacht Club held their rendezvous which had hundreds of attendees to this fun event which raises money for charity from a totally volunteer organisation.  The music played into the night in the most perfect surroundings.
Coming back to work today I feel a little sad to be leaving these pristine waters, however I am also proud of this area where I had grown up.  These world class events are putting the area on the map and allowing thousands of people to experience nature up close.  A local told us when we moored to an environmentally friendly buoy with no anchors on the coral reef around Blue Pearl Bay that this was the best spot to see it all in the Whitsundays.  Then he said “don’t forget to say G’day to the resident Maori Wras Gus”.  Isn’t this better than the days when all we wanted to do was to eat Gus?
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Day Two Superior Boat show shines

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Welcome to Day 2 of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.  We had a good crowd on day one with bright sunshine and glorious weather. There was also plenty of interest in Superior’s floating stand with the stunning Bentley GTC V8 convertible floating on our Elite Deck pontoon catching everyone’s eye.  The amazing Sunstream Float Lift also drew plenty of interest as it demonstrated the quick getaway available for the James Bond style Pegiva water craft on show.  The Superior stand has been popular as visitors come past and view the array of products we have on show including our jet ski dock, pipe floats, Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs), Fire Hose reel covers and the new to Australia Seaflex pontoon anchoring system. Our team have been kept busy talking with customers and industry clients and attending the various networking event functions including AMIEX and Club Marine last night. Make sure you drop in and see us over the weekend . We are doing special boat show deals on our float lifts and a two for one offer on SUPs. We’ll keep you updated over the next three days on what’s happening over Show weekend.

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Patterson Lakes enters the second phase

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A highlight last week was my visit to Patterson Lakes a short drive down the Mornington Penninsula from Melbourne. This wide expanse of canals is under the management of Melbourne Water and they have Fulton Hogan as the Project Managers to deliver the largest infrastructure upgrade in the past 20 years. Each structure in the canals has been audited in a complete survey by GHD and the old wooden structures are being removed to receive a replacement jetty. This new design still has a wooden piles support, however the deck is supported with long lasting aluminium and a timber deck. Each home owner is consulted and offered the option to upgrade to a floating pontoon if desired.

Superior has a 25 year tradition of servicing residential clients so it has been a good partnership with a permanent crew on site along with one of our barges, Lobster, permanently located in Victoria for piling and demolition work. The Lobster craft is ideal along with pusher workboat Shrimp to access the tight lock gates and service the whole project from outside the residential estate.

Scott Edwards and the team at VCMC are our partners in this project and this team produces Superior products now in Victoria close to the site for quick and efficient response to client needs. On a water tour this week I was struck by the amount of floating equipment on the canals with more than 50% of customers choosing floating pontoons in preference to fixed structures. One tinny hanging by its mooring ropes was proof enough that fixed moorings are not a great idea anymore when floating is so easy to install and operate these days. Added to this were many boatlifts, skidocks, cruisers and kayaks showing living by the waters edge has similar appeal wherever you live.

Superior is now delivering the Sunstream boatlift solution to Victoria so we now have stock on site and ready to go to store your boat through the winter. Now is the best time to buy while transport is subsidised with the other works on site.

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Seychelles calling

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of our long term customers in the Seychelles, Eden Island Development Company. Seychelles is an island nation that lies a four hour flight south of Dubai and three hours from Johannesburg in the Indian Ocean. Eden Island is a beautiful complex five minutes from the airport and downtown Victoria on Mahe island. There are 500 villas and maisons in the final 50 Ha developed island which is connected to Mahe by a bridge. Each dwelling has a marina berth and we have worked closely with The Eden team and their project managers IOPM for over five years.

The team has been very thorough to ensure great architectural themes flow through the project but are still suitable for daily use. The design cues are based on traditional Seychellois buildings with steep rooflines and overhanging verandas to cope with the torrential tropical rains. The construction is of a high standard with solid concrete buildings and extensive use of traditional timber.

When it came to the berths the architectural team were looking for a subtle low profile system that continued the timber theme. The Superior Capri system fitted the requirements with the same timber decking as the verandas and a structural support system from a series of galvanised steel universal beams off the revetment walls. All of the floating structures are prefabricated from AutoCAD drawings with adjustable pile brackets. This makes on site connections a breeze and has allowed the teams in three different countries to stay on top of the project and deliver a simple solution.

On the economic front it has been fascinating to watch the nation develop so rapidly in the past five years we have been visiting. From a base of about four flights per week, there are now daily flights from three airlines into Africa and the Middle East. Eden Island itself boasts an improvement to the nation of over 7% GDP. Other new developments are springing up as well and tourism is an important growing industry. This was very evident on Friday while attending the awards at La Plage restaurant for the National Culinary Competition, with three winning chefs original dishes served in seaside splendour. Under the watchful eye of a 2 star Michelin chef, the local chefs produced an amazing original banquet that shows the Seychelles has a bright future with originality for those looking to escape for a unique experience.

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Critical facts when purchasing pontoons

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This week I am taking on a guest blog role in the absence of our CEO John Hogan who is away on business. Being my first blog as the domestic sales representative I want to cover the common questions customers ask when it comes to buying a pontoon.

Throughout my years of working at Superior I find it interesting that most people think of a pontoon as a floating structure out the back for mooring your boat. In fact there are many key questions I ask when people inquire about a new pontoon. The most important thing is – how big is your current boat? Is there a possibility you will upgrade to bigger boat in the future? Do you want to store your boat out of the water on a dry berth pontoon or perhaps on a boat lift? These important questions play a big role and should reflect your new pontoon size.
Most councils have rules and regulations as to the maximum pontoon size allowed, which in affect, stipulates the maximum boat size that may be moored to the pontoon. A quick way to get an approximate maximum pontoon size is to take the overall water frontage of your block, for example 20m and times this amount by 65% and the measurement you are left with is the approximate maximum pontoon size allowed, in this case 13m. this is based on a block with straight boundaries and measured at the quay line for your area. For those who don’t know what I quay line is, this is the measurement from the edge of the revetment wall to the furtherest point of the pontoon, this is stipulated by local authorities for your area and commonly on the Gold Coast it is 10m or 12m.
Many people look to buy a pontoon for their boat now and don’t consider the future. It’s part of my job to not only future proof you, but maximise the potential of your property value should you ever sell. We get many calls per week from estate agents and potential buyers asking if they can fit a certain vessel on the current pontoon legally. in some cases I have even heard of this being a deal breaker where they cannot store a boat legally, so my point is buy for the future and not for right now. I will provide further advice on dry berthing options in an upcoming blog or feel free to call me at Superior on (07) 55 94 8200
Best regards
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