A photographer traveling to Fletcher Airfield in the Greater Tulagi Area caught a prototype ship from THI – a WWII destroyer. THI, an accomplished aircraft manufacturer is not known for building ships.
A new boat, a “skutje,” has been added to the list of boats available for viewing at Dutch Harbor. As with all of the craft created by Bandit, Boss, and the Mesh Shop, the craft is a high quality and unique product. It is however, not for sale.
Boat enthusiasts have been increasingly frustrated by the companies which are so committed to excellence that they fail to release some products. “They have as many finished projects as they do unfinished,” griped one customer.
“It’s a workload issue,” a staffer at Boating Triweekly Magazine. “Many of the unfinished craft are waiting for scripting and engine testing. What makes the consumers crazy is that they see the boat itself finished, but are told it’s ‘look, don’t touch.'”
Established boat makers are facing more competition as manufacturers that once were working on other products move into the lucrative boat market, and others begin to meet the high bar set by lead manufacturers.
“Competition can be a positive driver,” said WBA President Sketch Sun, “especially if the products follow the Waterbank Fair Trade and Ethical Guidelines.”
Remi Messmer is one such up and comer, releasing boats with lower prim counts than ever before and finding market niches. The new Messmer product, the Aphrodite (link), is a classic wood paneled luxury cruiser.
Amariah Francis is another company that is getting into boats. Their new Touring Trawler (link) is even outfitted with the NTBI GPS Fuel System, and a number of other competitive features.
“It’s an exciting time in boating,” said the editor of Boating Bimonthly. “All these new boats with lots of space to move around in and with features. They’re all hitting a niche too. The new Aphrodite is hitting a niche that could have been hit by Boss Boats [Bandit Boats]. Two years ago they put out a brochure about an upcoming product, the Boss 670, a classic luxury cruiser. They built it, and it’s been sitting in a testing dock ever since. Messmer came out with theirs and now people are clamoring for a unique product. If the established boat makers don’t push out their products, someone else may catch their market.”
Retro travelers and anomaly adventurers have been taking not of the French Line, a luxury cruise line traveling through the Blake Sea. We provide “luxury cruises for people who wish to take the sea route to places such as Hona Lee Surf, Nautilius, Second Norway among others,” said François Crépin-Jaujard (franck.gazov), CEO of the French Line.
“It’s good for travel or 1930’s to 1960’s role-playing,” said Anomaly Travel Inc., a company promoting the line. “You can see a video on it if you’re interested (link)”
“The most interesting aspect of the company is that it began as a wager,” said a WBA staffer we spoke to. “The company has three CEOs and they made a wager on who takes the most important passenger. They formed the luxury line the next day.”
Two of the three CEOs are pictured here in the Second Norway office.
The French Line can be seen and departs from Second Norway (link). Travelers are welcome to book travel through their office or formal requests.
These shocking photos of a ship delivering catnip while on fire were taken by a Coastal Patrol vessel. Details have not been released by the CP, though the ship is presumed to have sunk due to the excessive damage.
“You can see Claw markings in the third photo,” a WIA analyst told us, “and it’s unlikely that the CP would have let the ship keep sailing after they saw that.”
The Coastal Patrol has claimed that five Claw ships have been sunk, and some of them are said to have been delivering catnip for dealers outside of Pippen.
Maritime agencies are pushing for mid size vessels according to a recent WBA report.
Agencies such as coast guards, port authorities, and commercial interests have all been asking for larger vessels and moving away from smaller craft. “The market is full of small craft,” explained the author of the report at the WBA. “This report outlines several causes for the agencies and who’s rising to meet the need.”
The causes listed in the report include new technology, a need for more space, and the need to increase the range of the vessels.
“Longer, better, and reach those hard to reach places,” said Boating On Us magazine’s editor, who could have been talking about toothbrushes at the time.
WBA President Sketch Sun weighed in after patting the author of the report on the back. “It’s one of several exciting emerging markets, and we already have some big boat makers that could fill the niche. Feral, Bandit, and some others have projects in the works – and hopefully soon.”
Tradewinds Yacht Club (link) is hosting a show of large ships, including many of the industry leaders. Feral Marine, Bandit Boats, and many more are displaying the watercraft that have been fueling a vibrant economy.
“It’s something to see,” gushed WBA President Sketch Sun. “There are some gorgeous ships there. Hopefully they will hit the market soon.”