Demand Fast-Tracks Stage 4 Development at The Boat Works

By George Bains

Just one year since opening its $100 million, 25-acre dedicated Superyacht Yard, The Boat Works has reached capacity, with slips and sheds booked out months ahead. The resounding demand at the Gold Coast shipyard has prompted owner Tony Longhurst to bring forward Stage 4 of the development.

The adage ‘build it and they will come’ is perfectly embodied in the evolution of The Boat Works, a full-service marina and shipyard spanning over 55 acres of waterfront in the heart of one of Australia’s principal maritime hubs.  

The Boat Works hauls out 50 vessels per week and both yards are at capacity, including the superyacht marina built by Superior Jetties and the out-of-water maintenance precincts comprising the hardstand and refit sheds. 

The Boat Works recently completed Stage 3, a new services hub for marine professionals, representing an additional $30 million investment. Four new tenants have recently moved in, taking the total marine businesses on-site to 80 across the two facilities. 

Stage 4 will add five new 50-metre refinishing Sheds, a controlled work environment for respraying and sandblasting. 

Consistent with the yard’s commitment to constructing an eco-friendly marina and shipyard, the new sheds are to be built with effective gradient for channelling and collecting water used on site for antifouling and other works. 

“It’s a case of supply and demand,” explains Shane Subichin, General Manager of The Boat Works. “All our hardstand area and sheds are occupied. We need more sheds to accommodate the influx.

“We will commence work on Stage 4 ahead of schedule to be ready for the return of the superyacht fleet and motor yachts heading back south after winter cruising in The Whitsundays.”

Superyachts such as 41m explorer Batavia have chosen The Boat Works for complex refit projects in the past six months. Batavia is just one of the 50+ superyachts from the Asia Pacific and Australian fleet to have visited The Boat Works since February 2020. 

Captain Mark Clacher of Batavia highlighted the 300-tonne Travel Lift and high-tech facilities of The Boat Works’ purpose-built Superyacht Yard as key motives for the selecting the shipyard. “It’s amazing how busy all the trades are here in the yard,” says Captain Mark. “It’s heartening to see the confidence in the industry with so much investment. There’s a lack of berths for vessels over 40m, so we’re pleased we can book at The Boat Works on our return trip.”

Batavia arrived at The Boat Works in mid-2020 to carry out a range of interior and exterior projects, before heading to Sydney for a season. She then returned to The Boat Works in March for a major interior revamp ahead of winter in The Whitsundays, and is planning to return for further works in October.

Prior to the ASMEX Conference in the Gold Coast last week, Superyacht Australia CEO David Good took a tour of The Boat Works facility, describing it as ‘phenomenal’.

“What impresses me the most is the number of utes, vans, people around each and every vessel. It’s one thing to build infrastructure, but it’s incredible to see how many people are employed by every one of these big boats in every shed. There were up to 20 people working on every boat: trades people, deliveries, various marine professionals – and these are all individual businesses not big corporations.”

Australia is currently experiencing a superyacht boom, and this is only expected to rise as David Good reports. “There were another five vessels over 100-feet uploaded at the Port of Newcastle last week, and another ship on its way now with boats that Australians have bought from overseas or bringing their boats back.

“There’s never been a better time to go boating. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the value of time spent with family and friends on the water, relaxing and appreciating our amazing coastline and waterways.”

With the growth of the Australian superyacht industry set to continue, The Boat Works has firmly established itself as one of the country’s most sought-after facilities, and Stage 4 will further increase the world-class infrastructure available to yachts. 

"It’s a case of supply and demand."

Shane Subichin, General Manager of The Boat Works


"It’s a case of supply and demand."

Shane Subichin, General Manager of The Boat Works
By George Bains
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