Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard Updates
Superyacht Australia Voyager Award 2019
Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM) was proud to be the presenting sponsor for the 2019 Superyacht Australia Voyager Award. As part of the industry association’s annual awards, the Voyager Award celebrates an exceptional passage undertaken by a superyacht in Australian waters. In 2019, the coveted prize went to M/Y Spirit for a 10-day 285 nautical mile journey from Port Douglas through the reef and back.
The expedition was requested by a long-time charterer who have visited the reef seven times in the previous 15 years. They had expressed their desire to snorkel as much of the reef as possible. As Captain Martin DeBanks explained, “The Great Barrier Reef has had some damaging publicity over the last few years, as one would expect some has been warranted. However, as we all know, some has also been purely sensationalistic journalism. My crew and I on board Spirit are passionate about the Reef; this is where we live and this is where we are lucky enough to work. This voyage took in all that the reef has to say, the good and the bad.”
Departing in mid-December from Port Douglas, the 35-metre wave piercing custom built catamaran departed from Port Douglas. The superyacht started at St Crispin Reef before heading to the outer reef where it took in Agincourt, Rachel Carson and the Ribbon Reefs to Lizard Island and then back down the coastline. Except for Southern Escape Reef which exhibited storm damage, all the other locations were in good to great health. Evidence of coral bleaching was minimal, storm damage was limited to the outer walls of the reef and the sea life was plentiful.
The trip was so invigorating the charter guests requested to go beyond their usual snorkelling for an introductory dive. The qualified team onboard obliged their request at Lizard Island for 45 minutes taking the opportunity of calm seas, clear waters and warm weather to discover the clam gardens. They also witness firsthand the array of sea life which circled the yacht.
On behalf of GCCM, we would like to congratulate Captain DeBanks and his crew in proving the Reef is alive and as the world’s largest living organism, should be treated with respect. For more information, see http://spiritluxurycharters.com.au/.
Dredging of the Coomera River
Dredging of the Coomera River has begun and will be completed in September of 2019. This long-awaited program will provide deep water access to Gold Coast Marine Precinct and the hundreds of marine businesses, thousands of craftsmen, and world class facilities which line its banks.
Opened in 2000, the Gold Coast Marine Precinct is a master planned marine service and manufacturing centre of excellence, of which Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM) was the first and leading development. Nearly 20 years on, GCCM is still leading the region offering world class facilities and services to superyachts. The owners have continually invested in new infrastructure to accommodate the growing fleet both in terms of size and number.
“The largest yacht by LOA to visit GCCM is M/Y Dragonfly at 77m. She came to complete in water work at our newly built superyacht work basin. As has SuRi and No Comment. We originally opened with a 150 tonne travelift which we upgraded a couple of years ago to a 250 tonne machine. We lifted 43m M/Y Play Pen on that piece of equipment along with many others. Now the commitment to dredging the river has come to fruition, it gives us confidence to develop our Stage 2 site. At 20 hectares, the new site will more than double our current facility and offer lifting capacity up to – at the very least – 1,000 tonnes if not more,” explained GCCM’s CEO, Mr Trenton Gay.
The Gold Coast is considered a preferred destination for superyachts seeking to undertake maintenance and refit work. The port of clearance is located within two nautical miles of open sea, accessible without a yacht needing to navigate port operations. Once cleared into Australia, superyachts and their crew have access to the highest concentration of marine trades in Australia and now through a deepened Coomera River. The Gold Coast also has some of the best year-round climate the country has to offer along with some of the world’s best surf breaks. It is an ideal place for both the yacht and the crew to receive respite and increasingly, leading superyachts are cruising to the city for just these reasons.