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Old 24-02-2012, 06:05   #1
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‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

By Eric Spitznagel
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Fans and owners of ETAP Yachting boats noticed something peculiar on the brand’s website late last year. While new ETAPs haven’t been produced, or sold commercially in the U.S., since early 2009 when the former owner of the Belgian product line declared bankruptcy, the site appeared to have been newly updated.
First there was the mood music, “The Last Farewell” by Roger Whittaker, with lyrics about “death and darkness” and sailing into hell, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Feb. 27 issue.
Even more salient was a passage on the home page, under the heading “How to survive 2012?” The text -- since moved to the news section -- warned of a “tidal wave” that can be escaped only if “present and future owners” of ETAP yachts work together and save enough people “to start a new civilization.”
On online yachting sites such as ETAP Owners’ Association Forum, speculation and confusion arose over what had happened. Some people wondered whether the brand’s website had been hacked.
Those who delved deeper into ETAP’s revamped Internet pages found links to the website of Patrick Geryl, a Belgian author and doomsday proselytizer.
By Geryl’s estimation, a reversal of Earth’s magnetic field should be happening around the time the Mayan calendar ends -- on Dec. 21 this year. That would lead, in his words, to “pure unimaginable horror,” which could take the form of nuclear meltdown, volcano eruptions and -- of particular interest to ETAP owners -- flooding of biblical proportions.
Geryl’s enthusiasm for all things ETAP reads like a sales pitch.

‘Unsinkable Yachts’

“ETAP is the only producer in the world of comfortable, unsinkable yachts,” he wrote in his book “How to Survive 2012” (Adventures Unlimited Press, 2007). Geryl, who lives in Antwerp, Belgium, says he wasn’t paid for his promotion. “I only do it because they are the best and there are no
alternatives,” he says. “This is for the survival of humanity.” He says he probably won’t be on an ETAP yacht come December. “I get very easily seasick,” he says with a laugh. He plans to ride out the apocalypse in a bunker in the Drakensberg mountain region of South Africa.
Geryl’s relationship with ETAP began years ago, when he discussed the boats on TV news shows in Europe with representatives of M.I.C. Industries NV, the Lokeren, Belgium-based technical-products maker that currently owns the ETAP brand. Toni De Pape, manager at M.I.C., says he sees nothing unusual about featuring endorsements for ETAP on its website, even if they happen to be from survivalists. While it wasn’t M.I.C.’s intention to make Geryl the spokesman for ETAP,
“whatever helps our brand is OK with us,” he says.

Second Chapter

It’s a second chapter for the yachting brand. Founded in 1970 by a Belgian entrepreneur named Norbert Joris, ETAP was a lighting supplier whose name means, in English, Electro- Technical Apparatus.
ETAP became a maker of boats that won praise as being ahead of their time. They feature a hull-within-a-hull design. The gap in between the hulls is filled with a nonporous polyurethane foam, making it almost impossible for the inner hull to fill with water, according to ETAP. As the company’s reputation grew, so did its ambition.
“They started making bigger and bigger boats,” says David Morris, new-boat sales manager at Tollesbury Marina in Essex, England, and an ETAP broker for 12 years. “The volume of sales started to decrease. They just weren’t able to cover the costs.”

‘Perfect Company’

A German company bought ETAP in 2008 and went bankrupt the next year. M.I.C. then purchased the ETAP name, along with the factory molds and design instructions, for an undisclosed sum. Rebuilding the brand should have been easy for M.I.C., according to Morris.
“The people at M.I.C. are engineers, so they were the perfect company to manufacture boats,” he says. After years of promises and what Morris calls encouraging e-mails, M.I.C. hasn’t built any boats, he says, and he doesn’t expect the company to begin soon.
“They’ve not filled us boat dealers with any confidence at all,” he says. “It’s really quite sad what’s become of the ETAP brand.” M.I.C.’s De Pape tells a different story. “We are continuing,” he says. “Never have we thought anything about stopping.” ETAP yachts are back on the market and available throughout Europe, India, China, and will be in the U.S. and other parts of the world “in the next weeks or months,” he says.

‘Nothing Going On’

If the yachts are available, it isn’t information that the company has shared with many of the dealers listed on the ETAP website. Captain Jean “John” De Keyser, owner of Yachting Vacations, a sailboat-charter operator and broker in Punta Gorda, Florida, says he met twice with representatives of M.I.C. in Belgium, “and it doesn’t look as if there has been any progress with new construction.” M.I.C. has “nothing going on, except for that very strange website,” he says. The website may be just the beginning. After weeks of applying pressure, Geryl says he persuaded the company to use
the ETAP Yachting website as a global database for doomsday preparation.
M.I.C. agreed with him last month to post information about dozens of ports in countries -- including Holland, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Japan, Spain, Italy and India -- where current or future ETAP owners could meet. These users then could form alliances with would-be passengers to prepare for the end of the world.

Production Plans
“It’s not a sales pitch to sell boats,” Geryl says. “Only the boats that have already been sold can participate.” M.I.C. plans to produce 200 to 300 yachts this year, according to De Pape. The doomsday ports are “something for our customers that could be of interest,” he says. “ETAP Yachting has never sponsored nor is connected in any sense” to writings by Geryl, De Pape says in an e-mail. While Geryl says he received no money from M.I.C., he doesn’t agree that the company is uninvolved with his work. He consulted with De Pape when he produced and funded an ETAP
commercial that premiered on YouTube this month, he says. The
video promoted an “exclusive offer” from a “company dedicated
to ensuring the survival of our civilization.” “I asked what to put in it and which changes he wanted,” Geryl says.

Saving 10,000

The finished product, which features photos from the ETAP website, provides instructions for avoiding a tidal wave in late December.
“When you see the sun brightening up far more than usual, immediately set course to the open sea,” the video says. With the existing yachts, which can hold four persons in each boat, Geryl proposes to save 10,000 people. That’s “more than enough to start a new civilization,” according to the video. Asked if he believes the world will end this year, De Pape
hesitates. “I am no specialist,” De Pape says. “Even if it was 95 percent certain that the world could collapse next month, I think for myself, I would just be practical. You continue to come to work every day.” ETAP dealer De Keyser in Florida says he isn’t holding his breath, either for the end of the world or for new ETAP boats. He has for sale on his lot one used ETAP, which was listed at $119,000. After viewing the ETAP commercial on YouTube, De Keyser says he is reconsidering his options. “If anyone takes this seriously, then mine is for rent for $250,000 in December.” he says. “Charter fee payable in gold ingots.”
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Old 24-02-2012, 07:28   #2
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

Almost 90 minutes--and no-one has cared to ventue into this thread. Hmmmm!! Interestinggg!!
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Old 24-02-2012, 07:35   #3
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

lol, I came across it on bloomberg and just had to post it. I did not even know they went belly up., They used to be everywhere in Holland in the 80's/90's.
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:13   #4
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

We thought the Titanic was unsinka-bble-bble-bble.......
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:21   #5
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

Do ETAP yachts come with a one size fits all tinfoil hat?
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:39   #6
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Almost 90 minutes--and no-one has cared to ventue into this thread. Hmmmm!! Interestinggg!!
Idiocy isn't interesting. If you are buying an ETAP, or viewing their website advertising not-currently-made boats suitable for the Rapture, you are immune to debate.

Now, I happen to have a prayer cloth within which is a fragment of the True Cross. Ignore the "KD" stamp. Any takers?
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:48   #7
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Idiocy isn't interesting. If you are buying an ETAP, or viewing their website advertising not-currently-made boats suitable for the Rapture, you are immune to debate.

Now, I happen to have a prayer cloth within which is a fragment of the True Cross. Ignore the "KD" stamp. Any takers?

Ah - I've been looking for one of those mats for years!! Having survived the Millennium Bug, the Avian Flu Pandemic and the End of the Mayan Calendar (btw - has it ended yet?) - I truly Believe I am Immortal. Thus my requirement for an Etap, a Tinfoil Hat and a Prayer Mat.....Tony
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Old 24-02-2012, 09:44   #8
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

Bah!, unsinkable, pfffft! Why bother? I plan on trucking my ship inland 100 or so miles around the first week of Dec. and then sailing her back out around xmas time. Frankly I'm looking forward to spending a week or two sitting on the cradle in the middle of the woods in the winter. Algonquin park would be a nice change of pace for a bit if I can get the right papers to sail there.
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:22   #9
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

the biggist problem is going to be finding the right crew!
can't imagine what it would like to be stuck on a yacht with people you don't get on with.....but have to procreate and start a new civilization...............
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:32   #10
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

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the biggist problem is going to be finding the right crew!
can't imagine what it would like to be stuck on a yacht with people you don't get on with.....but have to procreate and start a new civilization...............
Indeed, however the "right crew" can present challenges, even in the leap-apocalypse years.
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:08   #11
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

maybe this is why cats are becoming so popular!
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:11   #12
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

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the biggist problem is going to be finding the right crew!
can't imagine what it would like to be stuck on a yacht with people you don't get on with.....but have to procreate and start a new civilization...............

I thought a "worldly" chap such as you,would make the best of " any port in a storm"
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:16   #13
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Idiocy isn't interesting. If you are buying an ETAP, or viewing their website advertising not-currently-made boats suitable for the Rapture, you are immune to debate.

Now, I happen to have a prayer cloth within which is a fragment of the True Cross. Ignore the "KD" stamp. Any takers?
I was chumming--to see what fish I could raise. Yes Mods, a deliberate troll (pun intended)
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:41   #14
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

Im gonna lift my boat on top of my raised home down the bayou, then I can just sail off the cradle and off to the gulf I will a go ! Humm maybe I better look at Cats ?? Bob and Connie
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:57   #15
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Re: ‘Unsinkable’ Yachts Touted as Noah’s Arks by Doomsday Author

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I thought a "worldly" chap such as you,would make the best of " any port in a storm"
dunno if the "YACHTSMAN SEEKS CONCUBINES FOR END OF WORLD TRIP!"
will fly in the CREW WANTED section................
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