Good Things Happening in the Industry

22 April 2020 By Aileen Mack

No matter where you look, there is no shortage of bad news or negative responses to seemingly good news. With the global pandemic, lockdowns, and stay-at-home orders, any positivity is welcome during these times. Companies and individuals in the industry are working to help however they can, whether in their local community or beyond. We’ve gathered some of their efforts, and if you’d like to share others with us to add to the list, do so by emailing:

Chaparral Boats
One of south Georgia’s largest employers based in Nashville, Georgia, Chaparral Boats shared on April 20 that its parent company Marine Products Corporation is donating $100,000 through The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation, which is controlled and funded by the Marine Products’ majority shareholder. The money will go to The Caring Place, a local charity that provides access to basic resources to those in Nashville and Berrien County where Chaparral is headquartered. The donation will increase the frequency of the charity’s food distribution program during the pandemic. Chaparral also donated hundreds of N95 masks to south Georgia nursing homes.

Jonathan Rothberg
U.S. scientist and M/Y Gene Machine owner Jonathan Rothberg is working to develop an at-home COVID-19 test kit that gives a result within 30 minutes. He came up with the idea on board the 55-meter vessel in early March. The home test kit’s results can be read on a smartphone. His latest update on April 21 shows two patient samples with the pictures taken by the user and the “automated iPhone app band-calling algorithm” beneath it. To follow the updates on the development of the test, follow his Twitter: @JMRothberg

La Ciotat Shipyards
They started collaborating with ID Yachting (L’Atelier d’Isabelle) and Tilcara to produce protective face masks for non-medical personnel. Both companies have facilities within the yards and specialize in the interior fit-out of superyachts, making them highly experienced in working with fabrics and textiles.

The first delivery of raw materials was received on April 2 and 300 masks were available for distribution by the end of the following day. They anticipate an increase of production to reach a consistent output of around 500 masks per day. Both companies said they’d produce as many as possible as long as they can get the raw materials, according to the April 3 press release.

This first batch of masks was to be given away for free to “priority police and public servants responsible for vital functions, in particular those working with the most vulnerable people in our society (senior citizens in particular).”

The Nautipaints Group announced on May 14 that they’ve signed a new agreement with Caritas, a charity that supports vulnerable people and aims to help people get access to resources, services, education, and welfare. The organization helps children and adults who find themselves in disadvantaged situations, from childhood programs to supporting elders.

“Each department in the Nautipaints Group has committed itself to give a percentage of every sale to Caritas!” the post says. “We are excited to see how we can help this wonderful organization going forward and look forward to telling you more about Caritas and their projects and to let you know how you can get involved and help as well.”

Porto Montenegro
The staff, residents, and shop and restaurant business partners of Porto Montenegro superyacht marina and nautical village raised 40,500 euros, which will be matched by owner and developer Adriatic Marinas for a total of 81,000 euros toward the fight against COVID-19, they shared on March 28. The donation went to the National Coordination Team for Infectious Diseases that was formed by the government to deliver a coordinated campaign to defend against and combat the pandemic within Montenegro.  

They also announced the launch of an online platform to serve marina crew during the pandemic with the aim to close the distance and boost morale among crew and the wider online community. It’s offering an innovative eSailing series on Wednesdays and Saturdays, live workout sessions on Mondays and Fridays, seminars on a range of topics on Tuesdays, and quiz Thursdays where one team can secure a prize each week. The full calendar and to find out more, visit:

Princess Yachts
After a controlled shutdown at all of its sites, Princess Yachts announced on March 27 that it donated its stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Plymouth City Council, who will then distribute to those on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.

“Beneficiaries in the region will range from the NHS, through to those who are working tirelessly to keep society functioning, such as refuse collectors and other such teams operating selflessly throughout these challenging times,” the press release said.

CEO Antony Sheriff said in the release, “We hope this donation of our PPE goes some way to helping NHS staff and other such services in these incredibly difficult times. We are in regular discussions with Plymouth City Council and if we can find other ways to help in the collective effort against COVID-19, we will do whatever we can to support.”

Sunseeker International
The company donated PPE to Poole Hospital NHS Trust, announced on March 30. The donation consisted of 400 face masks and 4,000 gloves.

Volvo Penta
At two of its North American facilities, Volvo Penta is producing and distributing Personal Protective Equipment to healthcare workers in the local communities and beyond. This is part of an ongoing initiative from Volvo Group North America, which plans to supply thousands of PPE units to healthcare operations across the country.

In Chesapeake, Virginia, the engineering team led the development of medical face shields and delivered them to Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, and they plan to continue production. And in Germantown, Wisconsin, staff focused on developing ear guards, which help alleviate pain that healthcare workers often experience wearing face masks, and they’ve delivered 1,000 units to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and pharmacies in seven states: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

West Marine
In an effort to support and help protect its local community, West Marine Fort Lauderdale donated 2,500 pairs of latex gloves to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale on April 10, according to a press release.

“West Marine as a whole has always been committed to the communities we’re a part of, and here at West Marine Fort Lauderdale, we wanted to give back to the medical professionals on our front lines,” says West Marine Fort Lauderdale store manager Peter Avlogitos in the release. “In times like this, we’re all in it together.”

According to an April 27 press release, West Marine worked with multiple researchers to transform Ocean Reef snorkel masks into respirators for hospitals and health care systems. After several weeks of testing and coordination, the masks are ready to be distributed. West Marine plans on distributing approximately 1,200 masks to hospitals able to utilize the adapted masks, and Ocean Reef pledges to donate the same number of adaptors so hospitals receive the full kit. So far, 200 masks have been sent for use in the ICU and emergency departments at Alta Bates Summit Medical Foundation in Oakland, California.

The company has donated product to help create 4,000 face shields to be distributed throughout the Bay Area, and store managers are connecting with area health care systems to determine specific donation needs, which includes 5,000 gloves in Fort Lauderdale and 150 spray suits in San Diego.

Zeidel & Co.
The crew apparel company Zeidel & Co. is making it easy to help your crew and give back at the same time. Their flag makers are now applying their talents to making masks. For every five masks that are ordered, they’ll donate one on your behalf to someone who needs it. The masks are hand-stitched and cloth consumer grade for non-medical tasks, plus they’re reusable and hand-washable.