Raggy Charters launches new vessel, "My China"
By Lloyd Edwards

Tuesday, 6th November 2018

Butt Cat Boats, Atlin Chemicals CC, Suzuki Marine and Nauti-Tech Suzuki confirmed their commitment to marine conservation by making generous sponsorships towards the new research and marine eco cruise vessel, "My China". Without their support this venture would not have been possible. The new vessel will greatly increase our marine conservation efforts in our Algoa Bay Hope Spot.

Other sponsors included PPG / Sigma / Braemar Paints, PG Glass, Euro Steel, Daltar Print & Copy, Dynamic Water Sports, Algoa Toyota Port Elizabeth, Rudi Projects CCTalhado Fishing Enterprises, Bridgestone SA, Algoa Security, Willard BatteriesautoXIbhayi SignsTucker Davis Insurance Brokers, La Casual, Canvas And Allied Products and Commercial Marine PTY LTD. Your generous support is also much appreciated.

My China is the first of its model and largest of the Butt Cat catamarans. It is nearly 11 metres or 35 foot long. We kept the weight to a low 4,2 tons. It is powered by 2 x 250 hp V6 3,8 litre Suzuki Outboards which are commercially rated.

The launch was held on Tuesday night at the Port Elizabeth Deep Sea Angling Club and attended by 130 people. The MC Graeme Lund Ricochet Publishing introduced all the speakers. Lloyd started off by giving a history of the The Baywatch Project and Raggy Charters. He showed images of all the 5 Butt Cats that have been used over the years. He also showed some images of the marine animals that have been seen in Algoa Bay this year. He mentioned how the proposed shark diving operation would be different from other operators and more science driven and less impacting on the sharks.

Lorien Pichegru, the resident Raggy Charters scientist, spoke about her research that has been done in Algoa Bay over the years. She has written over 40 scientific papers, mainly on the endangered African Penguin. Her efforts went a long way in helping get the Addo Elephant National ParkGreater Addo Marine Protected Area proclaimed.

Ex PE mayor Athol Trollip spoke about Algoa Bay as being Port Elizabeth's greatest asset and as such we had a duty to look after and protect it. It was paramount that we work towards a green metro. He also spoke of his cruise with Raggy Charters and meeting Lorien when we fetched her off St Croix island during her fieldwork there.

The CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Glenton de Kock spoke on how NMBT had expanded and promoted marine eco tourism in Asia over the last few years. The name "My China" was very fitting. He said that marine ecotourism was the key to developing tourism sustainably and would help stimulate the local economy.

We then all proceeded to the boat and ex CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Mandlakazi Skefile and Lorien "blessed the ship and all who sail in her" and sprayed champagne onto the bow. We were then treated to local calamari and hake by Nic Gunston from the PEDSAC Restaurant.

A big thank you to Iky Plakanouris for taking photos on the evening as well as keeping the Raggy Charters cameras tip top.


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