Dispatches

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Fore! A speeding powerboat with no one on board launched about 30 feet into the air and onto the sixth green bunker at Scotland’s exclusive Loch Lomond Golf Club on the shores of Loch Lomond.“We do deal with a number of beached vessels, but I don’t think that we have ever had one which landed in a golf course bunker,” said Calum Murray, the local coastguard’s watch manager.

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The incident, which occurred last year, sparked a comprehensive search for people in the water when the skipper wasn’t initially located, including a military helicopter, an independent lifeboat and a coastguard request for help to all vessels on the 27-square-mile lake. When the skipper was found, he told authorities that he jumped overboard after his course was altered by the wake of another boat, causing him to lose control of his boat and putting him on a collision course with the beach, according to a report in the Telegraph. He was the only person on board. Police chalked it up to an accident and filed no charges against the man.

New sterndrive is corrosion's enemy

Volvo Penta has come up with a powerful one-two punch in its fight against sterndrive corrosion. The engine manufacturer’s new OceanX sterndrive, expected to hit the market in July, is completely covered with a titanium-ceramic coating to protect the drive’s aluminum casting.

“The very aggressive environmental tests we have been conducting on this new coating have provided outstanding results,” says OceanX project manager John Marsh. “OceanX easily achieves the highest corrosion-protection level over any available system.”

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The second weapon consists of two sensors that alert the operator of water intrusion into the drive. One sensor warns when the drive oil is contaminated with water or is too low. A second sensor, mounted in the universal joint bellows between the drive and the transom, sounds a warning if water enters this critical area and may lead to failure.

The OceanX replaces Volvo Penta’s Ocean Series, a sterndrive encapsulated in a composite casing for protection against corrosion. The Ocean Series was introduced in 2001. “To offer true worry-free boating, we wanted to take the salt-water product to the next level,” says Susan Lee, the company’s senior press coordinator. “Volvo Penta decided that the current Ocean Series product would not meet our high requirement and that an entirely new product was needed.”

OceanX is available for the following gasoline engines: 5.0-liter GXi, 5.7-liter Gi-300, 5.7-liter Gxi, 8.1-liter GI and 8.1-liter GXi. It is also available with the D3-130, D3-160 and D3-190 diesels. The sensors are not available with the diesel packages. The OceanX package’s suggested retail price is $2,990 more than Volvo Penta’s standard V8 package, says Lee.

— Chris Landry

Suit dismissed in Lake George capsize

A federal judge has dismissed all liability claims against Scarano Boat Building for its modifications to the tour boat Ethan Allen, which capsized Oct. 2, 2005, on Lake George in New York, resulting in the deaths of 20 passengers. The decision concludes a legal battle over the much-publicized accident, which drew questions about the modified 40-foot boat’s seaworthiness.

U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy says his decision was based on the simple fact that the court had no information about the boat’s original canopy, which was replaced in 1989. The boat’s owner, James Quirk, settled claims against his company, Shoreline Cruises, and captain Rich Paris in June 2008.

Take your shakedown cruise around Cape Horn

One of the last frontiers for cruisers just got a little more accessible. Antares Yachts is offering buyers of an Antares 44 the opportunity to sail it around Cape Horn with an experienced captain and access to full technical support.

The idea was inspired by the location of Antares’ new building facility. While the design, marketing and sales offices remain in Whitby, Ontario, Antares shipped the tooling for its 44-foot catamaran to San Fernando, a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and recently finished hull No. 3. Antares Yachts sees a synergy between the boat, Argentina’s sailing legacy and new owners seeking offshore experience with the security of local knowledge and technical support on their side. www.liveantares.com

Rowing the Indian Ocean

About three-dozen rowers — solo, in pairs, four-crew teams and an eight-crew team — set off April 19 from Western Australia, intent to cross the Indian Ocean. The Woodvale Indian Ocean Rowing Race is the world’s longest, at more than 3,100 nautical miles. Rowing 12 hours a day for anywhere from 60 to more than 100 days, it will take some 850,000 strokes to make the crossing, according to organizers.

An eight-person crew dubbed Aud Eamus comprising three Americans, three Brits, an Australian and a Belgian is raising funds for the California Adaptive Rowing Program. Follow the team at www.piraterow.com, or the race at www.indianoceanrowingrace09.com.

In our wake

On July 25, 1956, the 701-foot ocean liner Andrea Doria capsized and sank after she was struck amidships on the starboard side by the 525-foot cruise ship MS Stockholm in heavy fog south of Nantucket, Mass. Only 46 of the approximately 2,000 passengers and crew aboard both vessels died in the collision, thanks to the rescue efforts of numerous vessels, including the Stockholm. Rebuilt from the waterline up in the early 1990s, the Stockholm continues to sail under the name Athena. In December, she escaped a well-publicized pirate attack off

Somalia in which the crew prevented boarding by firing water cannons at the attackers.

This article originally appeared in the July 2009 issue.