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Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday 22 February outlining the roadmap of when restrictions are likely to be eased across England, British Marine met with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to clarify the guidance specific to the leisure marine industry. Representatives from the Department for Transport, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, navigation authorities, and user groups from across the sector also took part in the meeting.

The following statement and matrix (downloadable below) have been produced, and approved by Government, detailing how British Marine members should interpret the guidance:

On 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the Government's roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities whilst preserving the health and safety of the country. The scientific evidence shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further lockdown.

The approach focuses on data, not dates. Each step has a "no earlier than" date, five weeks later than the previous step, to allow time to assess the impact of the previous step and provide a week's notice before changes occur. The steps for easing restrictions will be taken at the same time across England in a national approach, in the absence of a significant regional disparity.

At each step, the Government will make an assessment against the following four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

From 29 March, as part of the first step, Stay at Home restrictions will be lifted. The Government will continue to advise that people minimise travel up to and including Step 3. This means avoiding making unnecessary journeys, combining trips and avoiding travel at peak times where possible. People should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to take part in their activity - for instance visiting shops or making use of services closer to home.

All references to permitted activities below assume that boats allow for social distancing rules to be adhered to. COVID-Secure guidance will also remain in place up to and including Step 3 (subject to a proposed review of social distancing rules ahead of Step 4).

Premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits at each step unless meeting the conditions for a permitted organised gathering. These will be reintroduced at Step 2 for outdoor gatherings and Step 3 for indoor gatherings. These gatherings or events must be operated by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation and can be organised subject to specific conditions: that they comply with COVID-Secure guidance, including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for organised sport or exercise, supervised activities for children or a significant life event).

Download the matrix of the reopening in the word doc below.

#MarineIndustry - With Ireland's maritime industry definitively outperforming the general economy since the global financial crisis began, "reliable statistics" on the sector are needed to understand how the health of our waters and coastline affects the country as a whole.

That's the impetus behind new research being conducted by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (Semru) at NUI Galway, together with Teagasc, to determine the indirect impact of Ireland's marine economy on the country's broader growth, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The collaboration has already produced what they call the Bio-Economy Input-Output Model, which studies the connections between Ireland’s marine and agriculture sectors and the rest of the economy – and has indicated that for every €100 in marine sector turnover, another €78 is generated across other economic sectors.

With those kinds of results, it's no surprise that Ireland's waters and coastline are being embraced as "a national asset providing incredible opportunities for tourism, energy, food and new applications for therapeutics and technology,” according to Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

“We’re building marine research infrastructure that will support and promote the development of the technology we need to harness that energy," he added. "We’re in an ideal position to become a leader in the development of ocean energy technology.”

Indeed, this prime time for Ireland's renewable energy potential was the spur for a UCC spin-out company to license a new financial modelling and analytics tool for the offshore wind and tidal power sectors.

Exceedence Ltd, founded and led by Dr Ray Alcorn, will now bring to market the ExceedenceFINANCE solution, developed by software engineers, financial analysts, industry specialists and researchers in the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) centre at UCC Beaufort.

“Our software analyses the viability of potential renewable projects and helps to make intelligent decisions on where and when these projects should proceed," explains Dr Alcorn.

The software is designed to help "a wide range of stakeholders" from State agencies, investors, engineers and developers "to create renewable energy infrastructure that can address the need for low or no-carbon energy within Ireland and abroad", according to University College Cork’s VP of research and innovation, Prof Anita Maguire

"This technology is very significant for the blue economy, in Ireland and internationally. We are delighted to see Exceedence develop commercially with the objective of supporting the marine industry and ultimately creating jobs.”

Published in Power From the Sea

#Trade - Irish yacht brokers were among a range of smaller firms enjoying some buoyant trade at last week's London Boat Show.

And it's this growth within the domestic UK and Ireland market that's keeping the marine industry afloat as Britain's export market faces another difficult year, according to the Guardian.

Domestic sales have offset an 8.7% fall in foreign sales revenues across the leisure boat, small commercial vessel and superyacht markets, claims trade body the British Marine Federation (BMF).

Taking the blame for this are continuing financial troubles in the eurozone and what the industry says is Westminster's failure to provide expected funding to the BMF to attract overseas deals at shows like London and beyond.

The trade body also points out that the renewed focus on domestic sales runs against the UK government's push towards manufacturing for export.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Trade

#LondonBoatShow - The UK's domestic boat sales market is heading back towards pre-recession levels, according to marine leisure industry body the British Marine Federation.

Releasing its latest data to coincide with last week's London Boat Show, the BMF points out that the marine sector is now in a "bullish mood" at home, thanks to the support of a strong export market.

A whopping 7.7% increase in overseas trade in 2012/13 - primarily to the continent and the United States - helped drive overall revenue up by 1.7% for the same period, for a total of almost £3 billion.

The BMF also cites strong demand for boats manufactured in the UK, and forecasts for builds and sales are up, with almost half of companies across the reporting better business.

Indeed, the federation's figures show that 48% of leisure marine businesses increased turnover between May and November last year.

BMF chief executive Howard Pridding said the federation is "confident that 2014 will welcome a new period of sustained growth for the sector" that has "exported its way back into growth".

Published in Marine Trade

#bootdusseldorf – The World's biggest yacht and watersports show is well on course for another successful showing ealry next year with boot Düsseldorf proving to be a safe haven in turbulent economic times. The yacht and watersports industry is concentrating its trade fair activities increasingly on the sector's international marketplace and filling the exhibition halls there. 1,650 exhibitors from over 50 countries will be premiering boats and presenting new products at the world's biggest yacht and watersports show from 19 to 27 January 2013. boot 2013 looks all set to pick up where its successful predecessor left off.

"We're well on course. In view of the tense situation on the international markets and particularly in southern Europe, all eyes of the industry are now on boot," says Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel, Director of boot Düsseldorf. "Numerous exhibitors want to book extra space. We are confident that the 17 boot halls will be filled pretty well to capacity and expect plenty of innovations and boat premieres and even a number of new arrivals from the international yacht scene."

The German boat and watersports market is currently "standing firm", according to the German Marine Federation (BVWW) in Cologne. It is proving to be in a much stronger state than its European neighbours, which applies particularly to the Mediterranean region strongly affected by the European debt crisis. boot Düsseldorf is benefiting from this scenario and has become the industry's premier choice.

Exhibitors are pinning their hopes on a continuation of German consumers' buying mood and on the roughly 50,000 foreign visitors with money to spend who travel to boot Düsseldorf from all over the world every year to find out all about the latest innovations in the boat and yacht sector.

International brand diversity

Roughly 40 per cent of those participating in boot 2013 will be coming from outside Germany. Some 650 foreign exhibitors from well over 50 countries are contributing to the highly international quality of what's on show at the trade fair centre. The biggest foreign contingent is the Netherlands with 140 exhibiting boatyards, equippers and service providers, followed by France and Italy each with 50 exhibitors, the United Kingdom with 30 and Austria 26.

International brand diversity is being bolstered by joint participations of leading boatbuilding nations. The UK, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary have registered with joint stands.

Magnificent selection of sailing vessels

According to the BVWW, customers are currently showing a preference for value-retaining upmarket motor and sailing yachts. But there is also demand for trailerable motor boats. At boot 2013, the customer has a huge choice. In 11 exhibition halls, 440 exhibitors will be showing some 1700 boats and yachts of all sizes, ranging from canoes to large luxury yachts.

There is a magnificent selection of sailing boats under the boot 2013 umbrella. Over 150 international exhibitors will be presenting their premieres and further-developed products in Halls 16 and 17. Devotees of multihull vessels should make a detour to neighbouring Hall 15 where 15 exhibitors will be showing catamarans and trimarans of all sizes. The small but select segment of multihulls has come along very well in the last two years and is being given its own food & drink area at boot 2013, which will also offer space for meetings with customers and exchanges of information. On the Multihull Forum stage, the German association of multihull sailing boats Multihull Deutschland e.V. will be presenting information on sailing with catamarans and trimarans.

World market for motorised leisure boating

In the motor boat and motor yacht sector, Düsseldorf is offering almost everything that's available on the market, ranging from inflatable boats with outboard motors via open sports boats, day cruisers and cabin cruisers to large yachts. In a total of six halls, more than 250 boatyards, brokers and importers will be providing a representative overview of motorised leisure boating. Hall 4 is responding to the trend towards environment-friendly drives. On an area of 1600 square metres, boats with electric and hybrid drives will be on show at boot 2013. Steel yacht building, a Dutch speciality, is being jointly presented by a total of 20 exhibitors in Hall 15.

Run on refits

Everything one needs for and on boats – marine electronics, engines, accessories, functional clothing and marina equipment – can be found in Halls 11 and 12. The equipment market is in excellent shape. "Refit" is the buzz word, and there is currently strong interest in maintaining the value of existing boats. 350 international exhibitors are offering everything that's necessary and possible for smartening up boats and furnishing them more luxuriously.

Curtain up for large yachts

Hall 6 is the dazzling showcase for large, luxury yachts. For the big names in the world of large yachts – the likes of Ferretti, San Lorenzo, Princess and Riva – there's no alternative to boot Düsseldorf even in difficult times. With some 40 large yachts coupled with high-end boats and tenders plus a number of first-time and returning exhibitors, the standard of offering in large yacht Hall 6 has clearly stabilised. The new and established participants include such boatyards as Montefino, Marquis Yachts and Prestige. In the extra-large yacht sector, Sunseeker, Princess, Acico and Ferretti will be entering the stage with a broad array of models and novelties. The biggest yacht at boot 2013 is roughly 30 metres long and comes from the UK-based Princess boatyard.

To enhance brand diversity, boot is offering its customers the chance to present themselves at image stands. Leading boatyard exhibitors like Mangusta and Dominator from Italy and Gulcraft from the United Arab Emirates are seizing the opportunity. Computer-aided applications like augmented reality, with the aid of which exhibited items such as yacht models or images can be supplemented with virtual yacht animations via smartphone cameras, can be used in this form of "yachtless" presentation to supplement the existing range of information.

The blue motion lounge in Hall 6 is available to high-calibre customers from the industry as a business and shopping zone. It comes with high-quality catering, comfortably furnished areas for meetings with customers and negotiations, and shopping opportunities in exclusive boutiques. Exhibitors from the luxury retail trade will be present with jewellery, watches and exclusive interior decoration.

Excellently booked, as always, is Düsseldorf's Superyacht Show in Hall 7a. 100 exhibitors will be demonstrating their skills in the realisation of exclusive yachtbuilding projects, showing current plans and models at information stands and reporting on sector-specific services. The joint exhibitors here include Deutsche Yachten, Superyacht France and the Holland Yachting Group.

High level of bookings for diving

The world's biggest scuba diving show under the boot umbrella in Hall 3 is recording lively interest. Overall, some 350 exhibitors will be presenting diving equipment and diving destinations worldwide. Big-name exhibitors from the equipment sector like Aqua Lung are extending their presentations, and Mares is coming with its international diving centres to Düsseldorf. Visitors can expect marked growth in the offering of the trade and an abundance of exciting scuba diving destinations. On large joint stands, the Philippines, Maldives, Indonesia and Italy will be publicising their qualities as diving destinations. Small diving bases from Egypt are presenting themselves under the umbrella.

Underwater photography now supplemented by the Watersports Photo and Video Center

The theme of underwater and outdoor photography in Hall 4 has developed very well. The Underwater Pixel World will be known as the Water Pixel World at boot 2013. This successfully established forum for underwater photography is now being supplemented by the Watersports Photo and Video Center with its brand-new action and outdoor cameras and will thus become the point of convergence for the entire leisure and sport photography world.

Experience 360° of watersports: 16 theme and adventure worlds

Under the motto "Experience 360° watersports", 16 theme and adventure worlds will await boot visitors next January. Those who practise watersports – anglers, surfers, kiters, divers, sailors paddlers or charterers – or wish to get to know a watersport will find their own special "world" at boot Düsseldorf.

This concept has been very well received. The numerous opportunities for trying out watersports in the exhibition halls attracted more young people and families to boot in the last three years.

boot 2013 will be offering international visitors this and more from 19 to 27 January daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Visitors can save time and money by purchasing boat admission tickets online. As a one-day ticket, the eTicket for adults costs EUR 14, EUR 4 less than over the counter. The two-day ticket is available for EUR 23. The ticket for a quick stroll through the exhibition centre – Monday to Friday from 3 pm – costs EUR 9 in the online shop. The tickets can be printed straight after purchase and used for free travel to and from the fair via the public transport network VRR (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr). Tickets are available at

Published in Marine Trade
Scotland's west coast will be home to the world's largest tidal power facility, it has been announced.
The £40 million (€45.9 million) 10MW tidal array, to be developed by ScottishPower Renewables in the Sound of Islay, will generate power for more than 5,000 homes.
Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney, who signed off on the deal, described the project as "a milestone in the global development of tidal energy".
"Scotland's seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland," he said.
The project comes in tandem with the consultation process for the Scottish government's National Marine Plan, intended to highlight the best opportunities for investment across all marine industries.
Energy & Environmental Management has more in the story HERE.

Scotland's west coast will be home to the world's largest tidal power facility, it has been announced.

The £40 million (€45.9 million) 10MW tidal array, to be developed by ScottishPower Renewables in the Sound of Islay, will generate power for more than 5,000 homes.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney, who signed off on the deal, described the project as "a milestone in the global development of tidal energy".

"Scotland's seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland," he said.

The project comes in tandem with the consultation process for the Scottish government's National Marine Plan, intended to highlight the best opportunities for investment across all marine industries. 

Energy & Environmental Management has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

The sales team at MGM Boats have now completed the necessary training to qualify for membership of the  Association of Yacht Brokers and Agents (ABYA). In line with the steady expansion of its Brokerage department MGM say they are committed to keeping the code set out by the association.

ABYA endorse a strict Code of Practice that has been specifically written for conducting the business of yacht brokerage. ABYA also run a Practical Yacht Brokerage Courses. This allows members to keep up to date with both legal and technical aspects of boat sales, ensuring their credibility both to the client and within the legal system.

The Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents (ABYA) exists to promote the highest standards of professionalism and expert knowledge in the field of yacht sales, and expects high standards of its members. Membership is only open to existing practising brokers and new boat sales personnel with a proven track record in the industry. For all grades of membership there is rigorous scrutiny of the applicant's work. A Continuous Professional Development scheme exists to ensure that members update their knowledge regularly, and Members' work is monitored on a regular basis.

The Association holds regular training Seminars and Forums in house and maintains close contact with other professionals in the marine industry such as Law firms and Insurance houses, many of whom are "partners" to the Association. All members are required to carry Professional Indemnity insurance.

Published in Marine Trade
24th September 2009

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Published in General

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.


The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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