Torqeedo and ZF will develop and build new electro propulsion for sailboats and water taxis: The company from Friedrichshafen, ZF will develop and build together with Torqeedo new electric propulsion systems. The aim is first to make a rotatable Saildrive for sailing boats with as a second goal, a similar propulsion system for water taxis, announced by CEO Christoph Ballin.
Yamaha returning to the water after 30 years? While clearing up an old warehouse that 30 years ago was the famous Horuichi R&D lab, a team of Yamaha engineers stumbled across the OU-32 waterjet powered hydrofoil prototype designed and tested in the 1960’s. It was displayed as a “dreamboat” at the Tokyo International Boat Show in 1988. In this issue, we introduce one example of Yamaha’s own interpretation of “looking backward to go forward.”
As the OU-32’s water-jet system propels the craft forward, its hydrofoils cause the hull to rise up and out of the water. With a streamlined hull 4.8 meters in length and a canopy reminiscent of a fighter jet, the OU-32 looks almost like a futuristic vehicle. This hydrofoil prototype was built at the Horiuchi R&D Lab, named for and led by the late designer and engineer, Kotaro Horiuchi. Horiuchi not only helped start Yamaha Motor’s boat business in 1960 but also worked on the design and development of boats throughout his entire career. The OU32 prototype was completed and displayed as a “dreamboat” at the Tokyo International Boat Show in 1988.
“We came across the actual thing when we were cleaning and cataloguing a factory warehouse, and the discovery really made us want to try repairing it and then take it for a ride,” said some veteran employees. Most of them are test engineers in their 60s in the Boat Development Division of Yamaha’s Marine Business Operations.
“The theme for the project was ‘improving boating comfort.’ So by restoring a hydrofoil from the past and analysing things as we went, the craft would serve as a platform for research into improving the comfort of watercraft, dramatically improving fuel consumption and exploring new ways to offer boating enjoyment,” they continue. “But to be honest, we came up with all that afterwards! When we saw the craft in the warehouse, we all really wanted to try riding it and wanted the younger boat engineers to try riding it as well. That was our real motive!” they laughed as children. As the fun-looking craft skims across the lake and picks up speed, it slowly begins to rise out of the water until it is skating along the surface, its two struts slicing through the water. The “dreamboat” hydrofoil was restored by five members of Yamaha’s Boat Development Division.
It took some two months to fully restore the craft based on the sole remaining blueprint. This ranged from fixing leaks and altering the seating arrangement to retrofitting the engine. When it was taken out on the water for a shakedown test, the engineers found out themselves that just as was reputed, the OU-32 took quite a bit of expertise to pilot, even for these veteran boat operators. “The very fact that it’s so unique and difficult to pilot made us want to get the hang of it even more. Isn’t that often the case?” they questioned. “Although we never had the opportunity to work with Horiuchi-san, the process of restoring this craft and then actually riding it gave us some real insights into the free, open and playful spirit of Monozukuri the Horiuchi R&D Lab brought to its creations. Horiuchi-san and his team apparently dreamed of commercializing this hydrofoil, and had times been different, they might have discovered the right approach for successfully bringing it to market.”
Today, it is quite common to see hydrofoils used in designs for sailboats and a variety of watersports like boards for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
But to have had the idea and Spirit of Challenge to try and adapt it to a powered personal watercraft over 30 years ago can surely be deemed an example of visionary foresight. It is by no means easy to operate the OU-32, i.e., getting it up on its hydrofoils and cornering while in that state, but the challenging nature of it brings an experience of Kando* that entices you to pilot it again and again.
* Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.
BRP cutting 650 jobs as it exits outboard motor business hit hard by COVID-19: Chief executive Jose Boisjoli said in a news release that it will immediately stop production of the Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard motors that will primarily affect its U.S. workforce. BRP Inc. says it will cut 650 jobs or about five per cent of its global workforce as the recreational product maker stops producing outboard motors that have been “hard hit” by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BRP says it will continue to build on its strategy that resulted in the creation of the marine group and which led to the acquisition of the boat manufacturers Alumacraft and Manitou in the United States, as well as the acquisition of Australian company Telwater last year.
Boot Dusseldorf Prepares for January 23 to 31 2021 Show: Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt says “We are aware that the water sports industry is in a difficult position at the moment. I am, however, very confident that this situation can be overcome just as positively as the crisis in the years 2008/2009, with the help of the boot Düsseldorf business platform.
Manufacturers managed to make an economic success of their business operations again back then too. They have continued to develop positively in recent years, thanks in part to boot, which has opened new sales markets for its exhibitors. It is our conviction that the chartering segment has particularly strong growth potential in the coming years, as it represents an extremely individual, low-contact form of holiday making that promises maximum fun into the bargain” is how boot Director Petros Michelidakis describes the situation in the water sports sector.
Mercury Marine enters into supply agreement with BRP: Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE:BC) and a world leader in marine propulsion systems, has entered into a strategic supply agreement with BRP to be the supplier of choice for BRP owned boat brands Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex & Stacer. BRP has made the decision to discontinue the production of E-TEC and E-TEC G2 engines effective immediately.
France reopens for Marine activity: As of May 11, 2020, after 8 weeks of Corona virus strict lock down, reopening of the marine recreational activities will take place. Restriction apply no further than 54Nautical miles from port, disembarkation of not more than 10 passengers must respect 100Km from home restrictions, foreign flag vessels not more than 54Nm from home port, Foreign flag vessels from outside Schengen zone are barred.
New fuel developments to clean up atmosphere but maintain performance: MAN is embracing the changing face of marine diesel and is conducting ongoing tests with bio-fuel and gas-to-liquid (GTL) technologies. “Our engines are ready for biodiesel according to DIN EN14214,” said Claus Benzler. “First tests also show positive results with GTL, and if demand grows, we will release more and more ratings regarding this alternative.” Bio-fuels have a mixed response with marine users due to the tendency to separate out when long-term stored and their attraction to the diesel bug, but it has great potential in high-consumption marine engines.
Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. Records Slight Decrease in 2019 Consolidated Sales: Continued growth in marine and financial services segments. Net sales were 1,664.8 billion yen, a decrease of 8.4 billion yen (0.5%) compared with the previous fiscal year. Operating income was 115.4 billion yen, a decrease of 25.4 billion yen (18.1%), ordinary income was 119.5 billion yen, a decrease of 18.5 billion yen (13.4%), For the fiscal year, the U.S. dollar traded at 109 yen (an appreciation of 1 yen against the previous fiscal year), and the euro at 122 yen (an appreciation of 8 yen).
Marine Net sales were 345.1 billion yen (an increase of 6.9 billion yen or 2.0% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 58.4 billion yen (a decrease of 2.4 billion yen or 3.9%). Foreign exchange had a negative impact of 6.4 billion on sales and 4.1 billion on operating income. Unit sales increased in water vehicles and sports boats.
For outboard motor unit sales, sales of high-end (200 horsepower and above) outboard motor models increased in North America and Europe, but sales of mainstay small to medium-sized outboard motors in freshwater areas decreased due to the inclement weather in the first half-year, resulting in lower sales of outboard motors overall.
Due to significant foreign exchange effects, the overall business result showed increased net sales but decreased income. Going forward, we will strengthen relationships with boat builders and promote the system supplier strategy, while responding rapidly and flexibly to changes in the market.
Organizational changes Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.: Board of Directors Meeting, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Tokyo:7272) resolved to implement the following organizational reforms and personnel changes, effective Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
Establishment of GET (Global Execution Transformation) (effective January 1, 2020) GET (Global Execution Transformation) will be established as a global activity organization designed for management and business functions.
Aim Executive officers and highly specialized global professionals will work together to promote global activities related to management and business functions. This work will involve standardizing and increasing the sophistication of management methods, progression on various issues, and work involved in human resource development etc.
Reminder: SMM, the biannual International Commercial Maritime Show in Hamburg has postponed its dates from 2 to 5 February 2021 due to the Corona virus pandemic.