BSE Lifts Australia’s Largest Charter Vessel

By George Bains

BSE Cairns Slipways put the world’s largest mobile boat hoist to use as it welcomed 54m Baglietto superyacht Mischief last week.

Mischief, the largest vessel in the Australian charter fleet, is run by digital charter platform Ahoy Club. The 54m superyacht was taken in by Cairns-based BSE Maritime Solutions, where she will undergo work before returning to provide unforgettable charter experiences around Australia and the South Pacific.

BSE is an example of the world-class refit facilities available to superyachts in Australia, boasting enviable marine infrastructure and in-house expertise. In August 2019, BSE launched the world’s largest travel lift, capable of raising vessels up to 1120t. Brian Keller, BSE Customer Service Manager, was proud to have lifted the first superyacht at the shipyard. “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our region’s capabilities,” said Keller, “not only at BSE, but local manufacturing as well and berthing at the floating wharf for in-water repairs.”

Australia, and Queensland specifically, is fast becoming one of the most competitive landscapes for high quality refit and maintenance work. The Queensland government has been committed to developing a superyacht hub for the Pacific, which has given great confidence to businesses and led to significant investment in infrastructure. On the East Coast, where BSE is located, there are a number of outstanding shipyards that regularly welcome Australia’s finest superyachts, and that reputation has evolved into a global appeal.

BSE and their regional competitors have experienced a greater volume of enquiry from international vessels in recent weeks, spurred on by Australia’s decisive handling of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the new opportunities for charter. Carrie Carter, Chairperson of the SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef, highlighted the importance of BSE’s project on Mischief in demonstrating the region’s capabilities. “This is a major achievement for BSE and the Port of Cairns and cements our region’s standing as a prime destination “one-stop-shop” for superyachts to homeport in, in the Asia Pacific region.”

Attracting business from the global superyacht fleet will naturally mean the presence of much larger yachts. With the staggering lifting capability of BSE Maritime Solutions, Australia is more than prepared to welcome larger projects. One such potential client could be Coral Ocean, the 73m Lurssen superyacht purchased by Ahoy Club last year, as she is expected to make her way over to Australian waters.

The example of Mischief will be an important tool when it comes to showing Owners and Captains exactly what is possible in Cairns. The Australian superyacht industry is set to welcome an influx of foreign flagged vessels as a result of new charter legislation, and Joanne Drake, Manager of the SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef, is optimistic about what the future holds. “With the America’s Cup still on track to be held next March 2021 and the Olympics in Tokyo in July/August 2021, our region holds some major drawcards to offer the global fleet as well as planning a necessary refit for the vessels’ 2-3 year itinerary here,” said Joanne.

However, as Joanne points out, there is a lot more to the region than just the shipyards. “We have the World’s largest Mobile Boat Hoist here in Cairns, Australia’s largest superyacht dock at Cairns Marlin Marina (140m), and of course the magnificent destination encompassing the Great Barrier Reef, our cultural heritage and the world’s oldest rainforest!”

A recent exemption has cleared the passage for foreign superyachts to enter Australia, with the mandatory 14-day quarantine period beginning from the last port of departure. David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia, expressed his satisfaction that shipyards have avoided the disruptions felt elsewhere around the globe. “Australian shipyards and marinas have been fortunate not to require closure or restrictions. This is a result of Australia’s success in reducing COVID-19 cases without a lockdown.

"This is a major achievement for BSE and the Port of Cairns and cements our region’s standing as a prime destination “one-stop-shop” for superyachts"

Carrie Carter, Chairperson of The SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef

"This is a major achievement for BSE and the Port of Cairns and cements our region’s standing as a prime destination “one-stop-shop” for superyachts"

Carrie Carter, Chairperson of The SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef
By George Bains
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