Innovation Drives ‘Cross-Continental’ Growth at The Yard Brisbane

By George Bains

The recent return of S/Y Antares to The Yard Brisbane marked the first international refit project at the Australian shipyard since borders reopened. During that time, The Yard Brisbane has been a remarkable success story. The shrewd approach taken to enhance its capability and service offering has seen the shipyard capitalise on an opportunity that has led to a period of significant growth.

As highlighted in the recent documentary series, Australia is going from strength to strength not only as a cruising destination for superyachts, but also as an important service hub for the Asia Pacific.

The investment in key infrastructure to accommodate yachts has bolstered the capability of a country that is already renowned for its specialised marine trades and services. With new charter legislation among the many reasons attracting international superyacht Down Under, The Yard Brisbane has consolidated a prime position to accommodate these visiting vessels.

“Australia and New Zealand have long been not just a destination for cruising, but renowned for world-class and exceptional shipbuilding and repair services,” states Julie Cook, CEO of The Yard Brisbane. “The degree of talent and craftsmanship in South-East Queensland is a significant drawcard for visiting superyachts. When the safe, incredibly beautiful, and interesting cruising grounds of Australasia are chosen by our maritime friends from the Northern Hemisphere, it makes sense for them to take advantage of the world class facilities and talent we have on the east coast of Australia.”

The Yard Brisbane, in the heart of the 2032 Olympic City, is a a premier refit destination for superyachts exploring Australia’s east coast. Situated between the major cruising grounds of the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney, the shipyard has always seen considerable superyacht traffic between seasons.

The 7-hectare facility on the Brisbane River offers comprehensive refit and maintenance services, from its 600t travel lift to expansive hardstand areas, purpose-built sheds, and specialised workshops. On site, there are over 350 marine professionals whose expertise superyachts can tap into, working across field such as fabrication, engineering, and upholstery, while dedicated project management teams ensure the seamless delivery of all projects.

Recently, The Yard has been managing multiple large superyacht projects and the return of S/Y Antares is a testament to the reputation of Australian service capabilities.   

“The vessel wanted to have this work completed in Australia or New Zealand after encountering some challenges elsewhere,” explains Mark Phelps, International Development Manager at The Yard Brisbane. “They last refit here in 2019 and it is a pleasure to have them back. This confidence in the Australian marine industry and our labour force is particularly good to witness in a post-Covid world.”

The repeat business from S/Y Antares also reflects the positive approach taken by The Yard Brisbane to further enhance its service offering over recent years.

“Rather than see the pandemic as an obstacle, we were adamant that the shipyard emerges bigger and better than before. We took the rare opportunity to tool up, grow our team and increase our project management scope and capabilities, building onsite capacity for when superyachts returned over the horizon.”

The investment and risk has undoubtedly paid off for the Brisbane shipyard, with 42m Austal yacht Tango and 44m Benetti yacht The Star among the other recent clients to visit the facility. 

The Yard Brisbane’s period of growth can also be credited to investment made in new technologies to further expand its services to yachts locally and internationally. Such investment has been made in both computer aided design and manufacturing services.

The Yard Brisbane offers a complete 3D scanning service to accurately measure your vessel, from smaller craft up to 600t superyachts. Using state-of-the-art scanning technology, the team is able to capture the contours of vessels by projecting a grid of millions of laser points onto its surface, creating a dense ‘PointCloud’ of accurate measurements.

The interior and exterior of your vessel can be scanned in full colour, creating an accurate historical snapshot or ‘as-built’ record for repair, refit, or further modification. Scans can be performed either at the vessel’s current location or on-site at The Yard Brisbane.

This 3D scanning service is also complimented by 3D modelling and manufacture services. The shipyard’s Computer Aided Manufacturing services provide high accuracy (sub-mm) 3D scanning of smaller objects such as engine components, pipe fittings, and hatch sealing faces. Accurate 2D and 3D CAD drawing can be created from the Laser Pointcloud that can be exported to virtually any format.

“The equipment used is top-of-the-line for the size of objects (up to 80m),” says Adrian Gooch, Design and CAM Manager, The Yard Brisbane. “We know how our equipment will perform in different environments and with different materials. We have experience in reverse-engineering scan data, along with in-house CNC machining. We can offer a rare all-in-one service when it comes to Computer Aided Manufacturing.”

In 2022, utilising the CAD CAM technology, The Yard Brisbane is breaking the borders of the traditional shipyard, project managing and implementing a cross-continent refit.

At this week’s Monaco Yacht Show, The Yard Brisbane will be exhibiting within the exhibition space on Quai Antoine Premier. Further information on the exemplary services offered at The Yard will be shared soon, while the team at the Monaco Yacht Show are on hand to provide visitors with their insight to the benefits of superyacht projects Down Under.

For those at the show, this is a prime opportunity to come and speak to the Brisbane shipyard’s management team about the potential of refit and maintenance projects Down Under and beyond.

"The degree of talent and craftsmanship in South-East Queensland is a significant drawcard for visiting superyachts."

Julie Cook, CEO of The Yard Brisbane


"The degree of talent and craftsmanship in South-East Queensland is a significant drawcard for visiting superyachts."

Julie Cook, CEO of The Yard Brisbane
By George Bains
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