HALF MAST: BOATING SA FEELS THE BRUNT OF CORONAVIRUS

But when the going gets tough…

Derrick Levy is not one to dwell on problems, even now during coronavirus. True to form the zesty co-owner of Boating World SA is forging ahead with online ‘walk-throughs’ to showcase his boat at his Granger Bay marina where he is currently in 21-day lockdown. Where some see Armageddon, others see opportunity. With countless millions confined to their homes across the globe, online marketing is booming as business adapts to unprecedented times. “We’re still getting enquiries, still working with clients,” says an upbeat Levy of his current situation. “I’m a positive person. The bottom line is that everybody in the world has to try and combat this thing. That will happen.” No point moping about and feeling morose about it, in other words.

“We’ve done a complete video walk-through of the boat here on the marina, for a client, showing everything,” he says. It is but one example of a key boating stakeholder refusing to be cowed by the global pandemic.

It’s the same story on the other side of the Atlantic for SA-born designer and CNC kit specialist Dudley Dix, who has made construction plans for his boats available in download format in response to coronavirus constraints. Dix is using his regular website blog to air his views about life in the time of Corona: “When stuck at home, staying productive helps to fill the days and lift the spirits,” Dix writes. “A big enough project can involve most or all of the family, racking up quality time and keeping minds off wanting to be elsewhere. Making something worthwhile with our own hands is very satisfying and can provide the balance needed to keep us sane, reducing cabin fever.” “If that something worthwhile that you build is a boat then you will have a new family toy when summer comes or when we can get to the water again. Some of my happiest times as a child were those spent sailing or fishing with my dad. As a teenager those prized memories were made on the water, rowing our family dinghies and, especially, sailing my own boat,” says Dix.

To assist would-be builders the 70-year-old designer is delivering all plans as PDF files, rather than traditional paper prints: “If you are considering building, we will do all that we can to help you,” Dix says.

For Balance Catamarans founder Phil Berman the current crisis, though tragic, is at least a chance to reflect and seek personal renewal. Balance was due to showcase its 526 model at several European events. In a statement posted on the company website Berman said he hoped the global upheaval would provoke a deeper appreciation for life: “The most painful thing about this crisis is that we know that many have died and many more will,” Berman says. “The only silver lining that I can see is that the Coronavirus may collectively compel us to confront our own mortality and therefore enrich our appreciation for life's preciousness; to teach us about the stuff that really matters and how to live more vibrantly, compassionately, meaningfully,” he concludes.

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