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Lots of SCRIMPing on this megayacht

Horizon Group, which bills itself as Taiwan’s largest yacht builder and the sixth-largest luxury-boat builder in the world, is constructing what will be a record-breaking one-piece SCRIMP motoryacht hull in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.

As of late winter, work was well under way on a 130-foot hull for the Horizon Premiere S130, which the company says is the longest one-piece SCRIMP yacht hull ever attempted by a boatbuilder.

The hull incorporates a sandwiched bottom and side shell with a core thickness of 2.4 inches. All main girders have been infused together in one piece, and a total of 8 tons of resin has been infused into the hull, comprising 7.4 tons of fiberglass.

Atech, the Horizon subsidiary that is constructing the hull, has been applying infusion technology to hulls, decks and superstructures for five years, according to the company.


Soundings writers honored with awards

Writers for Soundings magazine and its sister publication, Soundings Trade Only, were honored with nine writing awards by Boating Writers International earlier this year. Presented at the Miami International Boat Show, the awards recognize marine journalists from around the country for excellence in writing. The annual contest, now in its 13th year, drew 636 entries (stories published in 2005) in 14 categories; $14,000 in prize money was awarded.

Soundings senior writer Douglas A. Campbell received two first-place awards and a third-place award. “Understanding the science behind tsunamis,” captured first prize in the Ethics and Environment category, while his two-part Atlantic rescue account, “Gulf Steam gales,” received top honors in the Seamanship, Rescue and Safety category. Campbell’s “A century of sailing,” about the Nathanael Herreshoff-designed New York 30 class, took a third in the Boating Lifestyles category.

Soundings technical editor Tom Neale was honored with a first place in the Technical Writing category for his story “How to be a hero at the docks.” Neale also placed third in the Boat/Engine Care and Maintenance category for his “Tips from a boater’s bag of tricks.”

Jim Flannery, another Soundings senior writer, received first place in the Consumer Issues, News and Analysis category for “Hurricane Katrina.” Flannery also placed second in the Seamanship, Rescue and Safety category for “80-year-old survives 18 hours in the water,” about diver Ignacio Siberio’s rescue from a buoy in the Florida Keys.

Soundings editor William Sisson was honored with a second-place award in the Boating Columns category for his monthly “Under Way.”

Trade Only associate editor JoAnn W. Goddard won third place in the Business of Boating category for “The Boomer Bubble.”

Soundings and Soundings Trade Only also won seven merit awards, given to writers whose work scored within 95 percent of the third-place tallies. Neale, along with contributing writers George Sass Sr., Steve Knauth and Charles Fuss, received merits, as did Trade Only writers Goddard, Gary Beckett and Melanie Winters.

You can read the stories online at


West Marine offering boat-buyer discounts

West Marine has introduced a New Boat Owner Program that offers discounts to anyone who buys a boat. As of March 1, boat owners who buy new or used boats will receive 10 percent off all non-electronic products, and 5 percent off electronics for 30 days after buying the boat, with proof of purchase.

Members of the New Boat Owners Program also receive a free membership in West Marine’s WestAdvantage Rewards Program, where customers earn one point for every dollar spent, receiving a $10 dollar gift certificate for every $300 spent. Also part of the program is a “Welcome Aboard” gift (a 55-piece tool set) and a checklist to use when outfitting vessels in accordance with state and federal regulations.

West Marine, the country’s largest marine retailer, has more than 400 stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and its catalog and Web site offer some 50,000 products. For information, visit or call (800) 262-8464.


Marine weather data for Macintosh users

Seattle-based weather data provider OCENS has partnered with navigation and charting software provider GPSNavX to provide a Mac-compatible version of OCENS WeatherNet.

WeatherNet with MacWX provides weather-on-demand for the OSX operating system, and is designed to optimize the download of weather and ocean data products, according to OCENS, offering highly compressed text, image, chart, buoy data, radar and GRIB files. The wind GRIB data can be used with GPSNavX and MacENC marine navigation software.

WeatherNet with MacWX is sold directly through GPSNavX for an annual fee of $99 ( . For information, contact OCENS at (206) 878-8270 or visit

— Michael Hauenstein


Brunswick adds Cabo to its Hatteras group

Brunswick Corp. has acquired Cabo Yachts, adding another brand to its lineup of sportfishing boats. Founded in 1991, Cabo builds express and flybridge offshore fishing boats from 31 to 52 feet. Brunswick says Cabo will join its Hatteras Collection, which already includes Hatteras Yachts and Albemarle Sportfishing Boats.

“Cabo nicely bridges the gap in our sportfishing lineup between Albemarle and Hatteras,” says Dustan E. McCoy, Brunswick chairman and CEO, in a statement. The boats in the Hatteras Collection now range from 24 to 90 feet.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Brunswick says it includes Cabo’s production facility and headquarters in Adelanto, Calif.