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Displaying items by tag: MGM Boats

MGM Boats have delivered a new Zodiac Open 5.5 to a customer at Ireland's biggest marina at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay.

The Dublin yacht broker, who took on the agency for the leading French RIB range in December 2019 are making good on their commitment to being able to supply boats for the Summer 2020 season despite all the COVID-19 setbacks. At the start of the pandemic, the go-ahead marine company introduced 'Social Distancing Boat Shopping', a successful means of boat buying during the lockdown and MGM continue to operate a COVID-19 Service & Lift Procedure from their boatyard at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The recently delivered Zodiac Open 5.5 RIB is a useful size for diving, fishing, underwater hunting, work or pleasure trips. It comes with the ability to configure the layout for your own needs. More info here

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Following the publication of the Government's Roadmap for Reopening Business, MGM Boats at Dun Laoghaire Harbour have introduced systems and procedures that the marine brokerage firm will be implementing for its sales department until further notice.

The process of shopping for a boat during this Covid-19 crises will involve understanding changes to our day to day operational procedures, MGM Boats Gerry Salmon told Afloat.

The firm, who are agents for Jeanneau, Prestige and Lagoon catamarans and who also have a large range of used boats on brokerage, confirmed to Afloat that 'identifying, purchasing, sea trialling and servicing a boat is still possible with proper preparation'.

"We believe that through the effective use of technology, it won’t be long before customers find themselves at the helm, enjoying the best of social distancing on the water". 

SOCIAL DISTANCING BOAT SHOPPING

Instead of dropping by its showrooms and boatyard, MGM Boats are asking customers to adhere to a checklist (downloadable below).

As Afloat reported previously, the company have also implemented similar procedures for its boat servicing dept. The firm operates the only dedicated boat hoist on Dublin Bay, with the ability to lift craft up to 50–Tons.

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Enterprising MGM Boats that operate Dun Laoghaire Harbour's boatyard is, like every business, adapting to the new Coronavirus world we are operating in.

It's likely that when Dun Laoghaire Marina opens to berth holders on May 18th there will be considerable demand for the adjacent boatyard services at the country's biggest boating centre so the company has drawn up procedures for its service work to protect staff and clients. 

The firm operates the only dedicated boat hoist on Dublin Bay, with the ability to lift craft up to 50–Tons.

The lifting and servicing of boats need to continue after the winter break and the procedures (downloadable below) have been implemented by MGM Boats and are being sent to all its service clients.

'All boatyard staff are undergoing extensive training in this regard to ensure a safe and workable solution can result in boatyard services continuing,' MGM's Gerry Salmon told Afloat.

MGM Boats offer a wide range of boatyard services including pressure wash, block off and cradle, relaunch as well as boat storage.

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MGM Boats at Dun Laoghaire Harbour have announced the launch of the biggest ever RIB built by international manufacturer Zodiac. 

The French RIB builder and their Irish agents are making the most of the lockdown with the virtual launch of its 'big boy', the nine-metre 'Medline 9' RIB.

The new 55-knot top speed craft Medline represents a year and a half of research and development. (Download the spec sheet below).

Medline 9 OffWhite White Cayenne top viewMedline 9 top view

Zodiac already has 20 orders worldwide for the new marque that has yet to have its press sea trials because of COVID-9 restrictions.

Zodiac collaborated with the French agency DEMS to design the boat that accommodates up to fourteen people sitting down. Its clever bolster seat arrangement allows three sittings (two adults and a child). There are seven storage compartments.

medline 9 consoleMedline 9 console

As a result, the new edition has 'all you need in order to spend a long time on water', says Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats. The boat is equipped with a cabin with a removable bunk, 'so it is possible to overnight onboard or ideal just for a good nap', Salmon adds.

A toilet, a shower as well as a kitchen complete the standard equipment.

Download spec sheet below

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MGM Boats describes the new Zodiac Open 5.5 that has recently landed at the boatyard in Dun Laoghaire Harbour as the 'Swiss army knife of boats'.

As regular Afloat readers will know, MGM Boats became Irish Zodiac distributors last December. In announcing the new distributorship, Dublin Bay-based MGM Boats also launched a promotion on the new Open 5.5 metre RIB, a popular size model in Ireland and this March arrival makes good on that promise.

With its excellent sea-keeping performance – thanks to its deep V-hull and its optimised deck plan, the Open is a great starter package and a lot more besides because it is pretty much at ease in all activities.

Thanks to its design, it is easily transportable, even with an inflated tube, it works for getaways, fishing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and sunbathing (we hope!)

The new 5.5 has a Deep V fibreglass hull and a self-bailing deck. Full spec here. 

More details from MGM Boats here.

Published in Boat Sales
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Dublin Port Company's striking new Pilot Boat Tolka was in Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday for a maintenance lift on MGM Boatyard's purpose-built travel hoist.

The new addition to Dublin Port’s fleet plays a vital role in meeting the operational needs of Ireland’s largest and busiest port as it continues to experience growing trade volumes.

As Afloat reported previously, the new Pilot Boat Tolka arrived into Dublin Bay last December from leading UK boat builder Goodchild Marine Services Limited.

Tolka ShipNinety per cent of all goods into and out of Ireland arrive or depart via Dublin Port. The pilot boat, therefore, provides an essential service assisting ships in and out of the port to maintain the supply chain

Designed by naval architects Pantocarene and adapted by Goodchild Marine Services Limited for the local market, the boat design is renowned for its fuel efficiency, capacity to cut emissions and ability to handle high speeds in bad weather owing to an innovative beak bow design which can steady the hull of the boat as it pitches into the sea.

A separate, flexibly mounted wheelhouse helps mitigate noise and vibration, making the experience for pilots and crew more comfortable, whilst the hull form significantly reduces fuel consumption due to minimal drag. These environmental and design features are in line with Dublin Port’s commitment under the Masterplan 2040, reviewed 2018, to focus on environmental performance improvements in order to reduce the carbon footprint of vessels in port

Published in MGM Boats
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We were having one of those brainstorming discussions the other day about how best to promote sailing in Ireland, when some still small voice suggested that we were going at the challenge entirely the wrong way. We were thinking in terms of promotional campaigns and more sociable events afloat and various outreach projects and targeted material and focus groups and role models and - so help us all - celebrity involvement and endorsements.

But the trip-everyone-up-counter-thought was based on the fact that – as we’ve repeated here ad infinitum – sailing is first and last and foremost a vehicle sport. Get the vehicles right and get them in a sociable race format, said the still small voice, and the people will come and get involved.

And what is the right sailing vehicle? It’s a sporting boat which optimizes the amount of performance and fun that you get in relation to the effort involved, with that effort expended in a user-friendly set-up in which the proven protocols of ergonomics are not merely acknowledged, rather they are regarded as the Sacred Scriptures.

It’s all very well for fit and agile young folk to sport around in demanding classic craft in which every feature seems to be hard angles and vertical seatbacks, awkward sail controls, conspicuously absent footholds and hand grabs, and badly-designed companionways. But when the years pile on, and you’re coping with various chronic conditions all of which end in “is” (though admittedly there’s no sign of myxomatosis so far, it’s early days yet), you become very appreciative when a lot of thought has been put into how a boat’s layout is going to work.

2 sun fast 3300 astern2Very much a cruiser-racer cockpit with the emphasis on racing, yet within those limits, the ergonomics are sensible for comfortable sailing, and the foot-bars for the helm are of a sensible size
3 sun fast 3300 gen view3Ideas from outside the box become mainstream – “fascinating” is just the beginning of it as you contemplate the new Sun Fast 3300. Photo: W M Nixon

And there’s every sign that a properly functional user-friendly set-up has been a priority in putting the new Sun Fast 3300 together, as became apparent during a shoreside appraisal at the MGM Boatyard in Dun Laoghaire early this week where the first Sun Fast 3300 to arrive in Ireland was being prepared for launching by Sales Director Ross O’Leary and Simon Litwin. 

4 simon litwin and ross4Simon Litwin and Ross O’Leary of MGM Boats with their new baby – the Sun Fast 3300’s apparent bulge amidships underwater is not an optical illusion, it’s very much part of the concept. Photo: W M Nixon

Traditionalists will need to take a bit of time getting used to her, with her reverse stem and rounded deck edge. For traditionalists will have a fondness for great big bursting bow-waves and lots of flying spray. But those great big bursting bow-waves and clouds of flying spray are evidence that the sea is doing everything it can to slow the boat back. So if you can manage to come up with a design which zips along leaving barely a trace, with minimal bow-wave and spray which just creams across the deck with no fuss at all, then you have yourself the makings of a fast boat.

In times past, fast boats went quickly through the water by having hollow waterlines forward to facilitate the progress of their heavy displacement hulls. But the Sun Fast 330 has rounded waterlines, yet in profile there’s a slight hollow after of the forefoot and forward of the fin keel. She will be going over the water as much as possible, which will reduce the inevitable spray across the deck 

5 sunfast 3300 model5Full waterlines forward ingeniously combined with a hollow profile underwater, while the notion of stepped sides in the coachroof with forward-outlook windows is becoming mainstream.

Technically speaking, we’re told these hollows on the centre line underwater “enable an improved distribution of dynamic pressure while limiting drag on the hull and minimizing the surface below the waterline for greater performance”. As for the fin keel, it rejects the use of a lead ballast bulb and other complications in favour of a simple shape to provide a reduction in drag and an optimized centre of gravity.

You’ve heard of modern fusion cuisine? Well, this is modern fusion yacht design, with outside-the-box ideas becoming mainstream. The two great talents involved in creating the very satisfying end result are no slouches when it comes to providing completely new ideas themselves, as the boat emerges from a collaboration between longtime Jeanneau associate Daniel Andrieu (who may be 73, but he thinks very young indeed), and Guillaume Verdier, who is in the flush of youth by today’s standards, as he’s only 49. But he has been in the sharp end of the design department of some very successful big global campaigns, and is refreshingly frank about his creative approach: “My desk is messy but my mind is clear”.

6 daniel andrieu6Daniel Andrieu has designed 16 boats for Jeanneau, yet he is still bursting with fresh ideas at the age of 73.
7 guillaume verdier7Rockstar designer Guillaume Verdier – “my desk is sometimes messy, but my mind is clear”

The very first prototype Sun Fast 3300s appeared last year just as everyone was notching up the excitement dial about the woman/man two-handed offshore boat for the 2024 Olympics, and they made such a favourable impression that many are already thinking of her in Olympic terms.

But some of us view sailing’s inevitable reliance on the four-year Olympic searchlight with very mixed feelings. While acknowledging that it’s one of the few ways in which our complex and quirky sport can make itself of attention for fickle global public interest, it would be a sad business if a boat as fascinating as the Sun Fast 3300 was seen mainly in the narrow yet distorting focus of the Olympic priority.

For she seems to be much too good a boat for just that one blinkered purpose. Here you have a boat which will undoubtedly provide optimum performance for a crew of two, yet will be rewarding and fun for a larger ship’s complement. She may be only 32ft 10 ins in overall length, but she’s all boat, and with that rounded bow - which pedants will ultimately trace to Ian Lipinsky’s pioneering MiniTransat boat Griffon 2 or even to the Buddy Melges American Lake Scows – she behaves like a bigger boat as she moves over rather than through the water.

8 griffon 2 sailing8The full-bowed concept carried to its ultimate – Ian Lipinsky’s successful MiniTransat boat Griffon 2.
Yet while you will need extra-efficient foul weather gear to see off any unhindered spray which will come swiftly across the deck - for fast boats are usually wet boats - in every other way you’ll be as comfortable as possible in the cockpit, on deck, and particularly in the accommodation.

You’ll immediately notice the stepped side in the coachroof, which has become best known through its success on the all-conquering JPK 10.80. But while someone will doubtless claim that the idea was there before that particular great boat appeared, we’ll happily give all credit to Jean-Pierre Kelbert and his designer Jacques Valer for a design feature which confers multiple benefits.

9 sun fast 3300 deckplan9 The deck plan indicates the potential which is released for better utilization of space when the stepped-side configuration is used in the coachroof design.

It leaves space on deck where it is most needed, yet provides space below where it is of added value. And while you may think that the ability to see clear ahead from down below is of limited benefit, believe me you’d be surprised the difference it makes. In my own case, it was during ten very happy years with a Hustler 30 which – unusually - had a porthole in the forward end of the coachroof, a feature which - on at least two occasions while anchored in a gale - made us readily aware that another boat was dragging down on top of us while there was still time to take avoiding action.

As for the great big “bee’s eyes” which are the forward-looking side windows on the Sun Fast 3300, they really do give remarkable vision so long as you’re sufficiently disciplined to also keep a proper on-deck lookout most of the time.

But even the toughest offshore campaigner needs to get in out of the elements now and again, and it’s good to see that the adjustable sea berths in the saloon have proper grown-up adjustment tackles. When the boat is at her optimum performance, comfortably sailing at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees thanks to the high level of control conferred by the twin rudders, it does no harm to remember that a crewman below tucked comfortably into the weather cot adjusted to the optimum angle actually has his or her body weight further outboard than some unfortunate perched on the weather rail with their legs over the side, exposed to the elements and straining every sinew to maximize leverage.

10 sun fast 3300 interior10While the accommodation is basic, it’s comfortable within its limits and makes clever use of the extra space and localized extra headroom provided by the stepped-side coachroof.
11 sun fast 3300 bunk11 The easily adjusted cots optimize the usefulness of the weight below of the off-watch crew.

12 sun fast 3300 heeled12The effectiveness of twin rudders when the wedge-shaped hull is well-heeled is effectively demonstrated in this photo, but so too is the fact that the weight of the crew on the weather deck would actually be further outboard were they securely in the weather side adjustable cot below
Having twin rudders has two disadvantages. As they’re located under each quarter, there’s no doubt that they’ll more easily get fouled by a trailing line than a centre-line rudder. But in most cases, that’s a lesson which is learned once and remembered forever.

The other disadvantage is that when manoeuvring into or out of a confined berth, you don’t have the instant boat-spinning power of prop thrust working directly on the rudder. But as the Sun Fast 3300 can spin like a top with the slightest way on, this is not the problem it would be with a boat with a longer keel.

As for the standard centre-line shaft-driven propeller, it indicates just how many experienced marine engineers still distrust SailDrive arrangements and other fancy set-ups where the entire propeller unit retracts into the boat. In the Sun Fast 3300 you’ve a time-tested shaft arrangement through a P-Bracket, but it has been usefully tidied up by having everything external enclosed within a neat housing which, apart from reducing turbulence, also reduces the number of ways in which floating lines and other detritus can become fouled in the external propshaft arrangement.

13 propshaft housing13While the Sun Fast 3300 has a “traditional” propeller shaft operating through a P-bracket, all the externals are in this turbulence-reducing housing. Photo: W M Nixon
14 sun fast 3300 from ahead14No matter which viewing angle is taken, this is one unusual-looking boat. Photo: W M Nixon
This is almost all by the way. The real story with the Sun Fast 3300 is how she sails, and though as we write this she will be making her debut in a reception at the Royal Irish YC clubside pontoon this Friday, March 6th from 2 pm with a Jeanneau presentation in the club at 7 pm, as the Irish boat’s new sails are currently being tested in the Solent, the first proper sailing experience afloat won’t be available for a few days yet.

This is because the boat has been developed in a detailed process which involved half a dozen prototypes being built, tested and re-developed by a range of experts before production started in September. One of the prototypes has gone to big-time multi-hull legend Brian Thompson, who created the long-standing round Ireland record on the 60ft trimaran Lakota back in September 1993 with our own Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey and owner Steve Fossett, and this weekend he’s trialling what will become this first Irish Sun Fast 3300’s sails in Solent competition.

15 lakota brian thompson15After establishing a round Ireland record in September 1993 which was to stand for 22 years, the Lakota crew celebrating in the National YC are (left to right) Con Murphy, Cathy MacAleavey, the late Steve Fossett, Dave Scully and Brian Thompson. Brian Thompson is this weekend trialling a Sun Fast 3300 in the Solent with sails which – when approved – will go to the new boat in Ireland.

In a month or so the new boat currently in Dun Laoghaire will be sailed to her home port of Kinsale, where’s she’ll be known as Cinnamon Girl. The waiting list for a fresh-out-of-the-wrapper Sun Fast 3300 is now pushing towards the six months mark, so the Kinsale owner (who remains anonymous for the moment) deserves every congratulation on placing an early order for what is now one of the hottest boats on the block.

Meanwhile, the fact that we can’t get to sail one in Ireland just yet gives us another opportunity to run the vid showing Ken Read and Suzy Leech racing one of the first Sun Fast 3300s in America to two-handed victory in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race at the end of January.

If we really want to promote sailing, this brief movie should be required viewing. The sun shines, the breeze is steady, and two very experienced sailors are effortlessly getting the best out of a perfectly set up and very interesting boat with helming skills which minimize sail trim effort and conserve energy for when it is really needed. In a distance race, conditions are inevitably going to change at some stage. But while they are briefly steady, you make the best of it, and the boat moves sweetly along in a style which is a joy to behold.

Published in MGM Boats

MGM Boats is launching the new Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Friday 6th March at 7 pm.

The Sun Fast 3300 made an impressive debut in the Fastnet race last year and the new French marque is proving to be an exciting and multipurpose performance race boat.

In the line-up for the Olympic Boat Selection for 2024 - it is also an IRC performer, fully crewed or in a shorthanded set-up.

As Afloat previously reported, now in full production, it has confirmed orders for fleets in the Solent, France and in the States – this is the first Sun Fast 3300 in Ireland.

Sunfast 3300 MGMThe first Sunfast 3300 is prepared for her March launch at the MGM Boatyard

Jeanneau, fully behind the team at MGM Boats, is sending over members of the Sun Fast Design Team and will make a presentation on the Sun Fast 3300 at 1900 in the Royal Irish Yacht Club. They will also be available to answer any questions.

Joining the Sun Fast 3300 on display will be its larger stablemate the Sun Fast 3600. 

Both boats will be on display on Friday the 6th from 1400 until 1900 and on Saturday the 7th from 1000 until 1300 on the Royal Irish pontoon.

As spaces are limited if you wish to attend this event or to arrange a viewing please email [email protected]

Published in MGM Boats
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With the Silver Jubilee of their leading Dun Laoghaire boat agency, brokerage, dealership and boatyard only two years away, Gerry and Martin Salmon of MGM Boats find themselves in the position of being seen as senior role models in a challenging business. It’s a business in which staying on track for even ten years is an achievement, while being very active with hundreds of international customers who have become friends during twenty-three years of successful trading provides an exemplary vision of enterprise and dedication.

Underlying it all is undimmed enthusiasm. Managing Director Gerry Salmon went straight from school into the boat business, and he was soon thinking in terms of branching out on his own in partnership with his brother Martin with the emphasis on powerboats. By 1997 they were operating from Malahide Marina and securing useful agencies, and when they added the versatile Aquador 26 to their range they were on to a winner, and they knew it. Doing a boat report for Afloat Magazine (as it was then though our website had opened in 1993), it was easy to share their infectious enthusiasm, and they went on to sell more than 200 Aquador 26s, 30% of them outside Ireland. 

Aquador twentysix2The versatile Aquador 26 was a major success story in MGM Boats early years 

gerry salmon3Managing Director Gerry Salmon (left) and Martin Salmon is Marketing Director

But despite being Northsiders themselves, they knew that although they could operate successfully in the national and international market, the key to success in the lucrative Greater Dublin area was a base in Dun Laoghaire, where the new marina – with the potential to be the largest in Ireland – had opened on St Patrick’s Day 2001.

While the marina management were keen to see a proper yard being installed with modern facilities and particularly a Travelhoist, it was a difficult process securing a viable site, as the massive construction of Dun Laoghaire’s mighty granite harbour means that any new facilities have somehow to be inserted into a very fixed structure.

boatyard aerial wide5MGM’s Dun Laoghaire base well illustrates the difficulties inherent in tying to provide modern facilities in a harbour whose design was basically finalised in the 1820s. Yet despite the challenges on space, the firm thrives through providing good local services with successful international operations. Photo Barrow Coakley/Simon Coate

But eventually, in 2003 a site was carved out immediately north of the Old Coastguard Station, west of the Irish Lights HQ and located to the eastward of the Coal Harbour and the monumental ramp road which gives access to Traders Wharf. By ingenious use of this constrained space, MGM Boats now had the potential to develop full-service facilities for their rapidly-growing range of customers in the heart of Ireland’s most affluent area, while at the seam time expanding their extensive national and international business in boat agencies, dealerships and distribution.

As they settled in and the boatyard business developed in tandem with the busy boats sales side, wheelway stagings were built into the harbour in order to carry a Travelhoist. Most Travelhoists work within shelter in their own designated mini-dock, but this somewhat exposed setup was the best that could be arranged in the Dun Laoghaire circumstances, as too was the use of “luxury Portacabins” for offices. Yet despite the slightly temporary feeling of this new and properly commercial yacht yard which in time was to win international awards, the business was developing in satisfactory style, helped by taking on Ross O’Leary in 2002 to strengthen their involvement in the sailing market, where they had taken on the power and sail Jeanneau agencies.

ross oleary6Ross O’Leary joined MGM Boats in 2002 and is in charge of sailing boats and warranties
ross in laser7A keen sailor – despite being completely involved with boats in the day job, Ross O’Leary relaxes afloat with demanding sport in his Laser. Photo Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

However, by this time the name of MGM Boats had become so widely recognised that they kept it on, even though it resulted from a printer’s error in their early days of being just Martin and Gerry. They’d opted for MG Marine, but the printer made it MGM Marine, and in due course MGM Boats was the name that stuck, though their now extended staff have their own version of what it means – John O’Kane of their Carrickfergus office tells his customers and friends it stands for “Me & Gerry & Martin”.

The fact that they’ve had a Carrickfergus office serving the north for years is just part of the expansion process which radiated outwards from the new Dun Laoghaire hub. They’ve also a busy office in Kinsale – run by Alan Barton – and a Malta branch based in Marina St Julians in Portomaso, the eastern branch of Valetta harbour, while their focus of operations in the south of England is at Hamble Point Marina beside the Solent, and additionally they maintain a presence in Vilamoura in Portugal’s Algarve and in Mallorca.

jeanneau power cannes8Jeanneau Power working for MGM Boats at the Cannes Boat Show. Photo: Martin Salmon

Their current agencies and dealerships are crowned by Prestige, the French-based creators of luxury performance powerboats which - at their upper size levels - are veering into superyacht territory. Down the size scale, Jeanneau Power is there to take up its market share, while MGM also offer Bayliner and continue to maintain their long and successful relationship with Aquador. 

zodiac medline five forty9 The Zodiac Medline 540 is one of the newest additions to an important range which MGM Boats have recently added to their portfolio.

Recently they’ve signed up to the Irish distributorship for Zodiac Ribs and Inflatables, an area of special potential as Ireland’s coastline is particularly suited to Rib use, and the leading manufacturers are in the forefront of the development and use of eco-friendly electrical power.

On the sailing side handled by Ross O’Leary, the association with Lagoon catamarans is seeing the fulfillment of exotic dreams, with the Lagoon 450S Realta Bheag sailed by Dubliners Mary and George Coombes recently reaching New Zealand 18 months into a very active “retirement cruise” which has already logged an enormous variety of ports and islands visited.

realta bheag pacific10Mary & George Coombes’ Lagoon 450 S catamaran Realta Bheag fulfilling the Pacific Islands dream for two customers of MGM Boats. Photo: George Coombes
The renowned Jeanneau Sail range has long been one of MGM Boats’ great strengths, and while the marque is traditionally best known for its sturdy yet stylish performance cruisers with some specially successful deck saloon versions, the racing side has been up-grading in recent years with the potent and always-developing Sunfast range. In this lineup, the newest boat - the Sunfast 3300 - made the headlines as recently as January 23rd when an Olympics-2024-anticipating two-handed man-and-woman sailing sprint from Fort Lauderdale down the Florida coast to Key West was won by Ken Read and Suzy Leech racing a crisp new Sunfast 3300, needless to say setting North Sails President Ken Read’s personal suit of competitive cloth.

ken read suzy leech11The future is here right now – Ken Read and Suzy Leech successfully racing the new Jeanneau Sunfast 330 in the recent two-handed Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race

This not only showed that the team behind Jeanneau Sunfast are right on the button in the latest international focal points, but as well it was reminder that the prospect of a Two-handed Female/Male crew competing the 2024 Olympics is attracting the interest of global offshore racing aristocracy, as just this week Irish-Australian ace Adrienne Cahalan announced she was teaming up with Nick Moloney (must be an Irish link there too) for a 2024 Olympic campaign.

Here's a VID of Ken Read and Suzy Leech sailing the Sunfast 330

This latest success by an offshore racing boat with which MGM Boats has direct links was very timely, as the course in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race took the fleet past Miami, and that extraordinary Florida city is the centre of MGM Boats marketing this weekend, as Gerry and Martin Salmon are on the impressive stand of Prestige in the Miami Yacht Show for the duration.

Being Miami, there are two separate shows at once - the Miami Yacht Show for the biggies, and the Miami Boat Show for smaller craft in a different location, though they are linked by water taxis and buses. Needless to say, Prestige and MGM Boats are in the Miami Yacht Show, and with so many Irish links to Florida added to the fact that MGM is now such an international organisation that some of its more distant customers are scarcely aware of the Irish roots, the two Irish brothers are on high alert for an eclectic stream of visitors to the stand.

miami martin gerry12Ready to roll….Martin and Gerry Salmon on the Prestige Stand at the current Miami Yacht Show as the doors opened on Thursday. The show runs until Sunday evening, and the Salmon brothers plan to be back at their desks in Dun Laoghaire by noon on Monday.

For although the company’s offices provide fixed points of contact, MGM Boats focus of effort can be something of a moveable feast, as they’re energetic users of the international Boat Show circuit - so much so that they reckon to average one major boats show per month in every year. Thus in December it was Paris, then in January it was the marathon which is Dusseldorf, and this weekend it’s Miami, which started on Thursday and runs until Sunday.

"in December it was Paris, then in January it was the marathon which is Dusseldorf, and this weekend it’s Miami"

Before the year is out they’ll have been on site for the duration in shows as far south as Cannes and as far north as Finland, with many other venues in between and an extra push being made for the Southampton exhibition in September. For most folk, that’s a punishing schedule which would count as fulltime work in itself, but the MGM team relish it, and Gerry and Martin expect to be back at their desks in Dun Laoghaire by noon on Monday if flights are on schedule.

They’re grafters – there’s no other way to put it – yet they love their work, and an inspirational conversation with Gerry this week before he jetted off to Florida provided hugely informative insights into the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Boat Shows and the International Marine Industry. It’s a world which the Salmon brothers and Ross O’Leary and their Dun Laoghaire-based used-boat broker Josh Walsh feel at home, and with their 23-years-and-counting experience of this high-powered atmosphere, lasting friendships have been built while they’ve become connoisseurs of the properly-done sales deal which leaves both sides happy, a dynamic human interaction about which Gerry Salmon can become positively lyrical.

sunseeker distributors of the year13The MGM team receive the Sunseeker Yachts Distributors of the Year 2009 from their friend the late Robert Braithwaite early in 2010

In their time they’ve become friends with some of the great figures of the boat business, notably the late Robert Braithwaite who was the inspiration and guiding force for many years in Sunseeker International, with whom MGM Boats were Distributors of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and Bronze Medallists in 2011.

Their friendship was such that Robert Braithwaite (who died much mourned just a year ago aged 76) organized the staging of several Sunseeker International Dealer Conferences in one of the choicer venues which Ireland has to offer. And though the direct links between the two companies concluded when Sunseeker had to have a major re-organisation in the years after the recession of 2010, MGM Boats were able to step up their involvement with the 1989-founded Prestige range, doing so to such good effect that they became Prestige Distributors of the Year in 2017.

"promotion of their own identity is every bit as important as emphasising their long-established links with highly-regarded brands"

MGM Boats came through the 2008-2012 recession-battered but unbowed. They were determined to hang in there by cutting right back and preserving core activities, and Gerry’s abiding memory of that time is how, while they continued the tradition of getting together for a staff meal at the end of the week, the “meal” was a slice of pizza and a glass of Merlot wine.

“I can’t look at a pizza or a bottle of Merlot now without that image coming back to me,” he says these days, but they did hang in while others fell like pins in a bowling alley, and MGM Boats emerged from the dark days with a clearer image of themselves, with the clearer realisation that promotion of their own identity is every bit as important as emphasising their long-established links with highly-regarded brands. 

mgm in southampton14MGM Boats ready to promote their own identity as an international brand as the Southampton Boat Show prepares to open. Photo: Martin Salmon

Thus when the opportunity presents itself, such as at the Boat Shows in Southampton and Dusseldorf, they’ll have their own contact point with handy immediate access to the top boats which they represent. Unless it’s in your blood and a total enthusiasm, it would be very hard work indeed, yet they seem to thrive on it, enjoying the different mood of each show.

Dusseldorf is on such a scale in both time and show area that visitors will happily spend days there, whereas Miami with its four-day format underlines the American approach – “They’ll know exactly what they want to see” says Gerry, “and they can be in and out with a very thorough deal done in a time that might leave some Europeans breathless.”

dusseldorf boat show15The “Show of Shows” – Dusseldorf allows Prestige the space and style to spread their wings
2019 was a good year for MGM Boats, with the total number of substantial craft moved – both new and second-hand – pushing towards the hundred mark, the biggest single deal being the sale of a new Prestige 680S which the Irish owner is basing in the south of France.

Meanwhile, in Dun Laoghaire the boatyard is seemingly always busy. But with the slow progress in researching and creating a thorough and worthwhile overall plan for developing the Dun Laoghaire waterfront, to most observers it seems that MGM Boats are still having to make do with the constrained facilities which they have been carving out of an unlikely corner site from 2003 onwards.

aerial boatyard closeup16Cramped headquarters of a renowned international firm. The restrictions imposed by Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s ancient design mean that MGM Boats operate successfully despite working with a restricted site to the north of the old Coastguard Station and its gardens, jammed between the Irish Lights HQ to the east and the ramp road to Trader’s Wharf to the west, with access only across an open road to reach the Travelhoist stagings in their exposed location in relatively open water. Photo: Barrow Coakley/Simon Coate

Yet despite the challenges which the site presents, other professionals well appreciate what the MGM Boats team are achieving, and the loyalty of their Dun Laoghaire customers – for repeat business is one of the keys to their success – speaks volumes in providing an overall picture of such quality that in 2016 they were category short-listed for the International Shipyard of the Year contest.

"It makes you realise what a valuable contribution MGM Boats could make to the Dun Laoghaire waterfront of the future"

It makes you realise what a valuable contribution MGM Boats could make to the Dun Laoghaire waterfront of the future if the various consultants now producing feasibility studies could find the time to have a proper conversation with at least the three top men in the MGM team. Between them, they've got an unrivalled pool of knowledge and experience of dealing with the needs of boats and boat owners in this unique artificial harbour, an experience allied to their unrivalled acquaintance with international-standard facilities elsewhere.

MGM Boats have a global presence, with friends and customers in every continent. But in Dun Laoghaire, they’re among the most significant participants in the neighbourhood life of the harbour today, and in the future. Their contribution now - and in the years to come - is beyond calculation, and it deserves the widest possible recognition.

prestige 680s17MGM Boats largest single sale in successful trading in 2019 was a Prestige 680S which will be based in the south of France by an Irish owner.

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Irish dealers MGM Boats were on hand this morning when the new Prestige X70 was launched at boot Dusseldorf today, the first in the new crossover range from Prestige Yachts.

The X70 has been developed with space, light and luxury in mind, and materials have been hand-selected to ensure exceptional fit and finish. Prestige Yachts and Garroni Design have been innovative in their use of space, enhancing circulation and optimising room on the main deck by moving the side decks to the flybridge.

"The X70 is the most innovative yacht of her category and her generation, enabling people to experience an entirely new way to live on the water", MGM's Gerry Salmon said at the launch today.

Greatly increasing the size of the cockpit has resulted in the redistribution and bringing together of interior and exterior living spaces, ensuring entertainment areas flow throughout the vessel.

The single-story nature of the X70 offers an infinite choice of main deck and cockpit layouts, and the interior is furnished with high-quality fabrics and designer furniture from prestigious brands including RODA and Duvivier.

There is also a Beach Club fully integrated into the aft platform providing further entertainment space and proximity to the water.

Prestige DusseldorfThe Prestige stand at Boot Dusseldorf

The X70 is the first boat to be produced in the new X-Line range from Prestige. This groundbreaking new 70-foot mini superyacht will start sea trials in early summer and then have its world debut at Cannes the following month.

This flagship yacht of the X-Line range is designed to take you where you want to go. The Volvo IPS technology provides smooth, fuel-efficient cruising with exceptional manoeuvrability.

In due course, the X70 will be joined by smaller and larger models complementing the state-of-the-art the Prestige X-Line range.

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Coastal & Marine Tourism

According to the National University of Galway (NUIG) research the average expenditure per coastal day trip in 2018 was calculated at €95. The equivalent for coastal overnight trips was €310. The estimated water-based activity expenditure per person per trip across the sample was €56 rising to €73 for the subsample that actually undertake waterbased activities on their coastal visits. The results also indicate that domestic tourists undertake the majority of their marine activities on the West and South coasts of Ireland and that there are notable differences in participation rates across age groupings, social classes and by family makeup.

A domestic tourist is defined in this report as a person who spends at least one night away from home on their trip. Total expenditure by domestic tourists in coastal areas was estimated to be €698 million in 2018, which represents 35% of the total expenditure by domestic tourists (using the broader Fáilte Ireland measure for domestic tourists that includes business trips equating to 10.92 million in total trips and €2,006 million in total revenue).

The marine related activity expenditure, or what might truly be referred to as domestic marine tourism, is estimated to generate revenue of €381 million with €172 million being spent on water-based activities. Marine tourism makes up an estimated 19% of total domestic tourism expenditure.

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