Significant Expansions Draw Superyachts to Gold Coast

By George Bains

The Queensland government’s effort to become a superyacht hub for the Asia Pacific region have passed a huge milestone with the opening of new facilities on the Gold Coast. Sanctuary Cove Marina and The Boat Works have both completed significant expansions, which has seen an investment of $12 million and $100 million, respectively. The projects are as aesthetically pleasing as they are practical, and the creation of a new one-stop-shop for superyachts on the Gold Coast has already attracted a steady stream of yachts.

The Queensland government’s plans are laid out in its Superyacht Strategy, which involves a 5-year plan to establish the Australian state as a superyacht hub for the Asia Pacific by 2023. Despite the challenges of this year, development projects have continued to go ahead with full force and the progress is now there to see. The Gold Coast is a key area for visiting yachts in Australia, located between the marvels of the Great Barrier Reef to the north and the energy of Sydney to the south. The Gold Coast is an alluring destination for superyachts in its own right, with magnificent cruising grounds, an enchanting hinterland, as well as sublime weather all year round.  

The new developments will facilitate superyacht travel to the region, unlocking its potential for discovery and creating a seamless flow between the two facilities. Sanctuary Cove Marina has been well acquainted with superyachts as the host of the annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. The development at the Marina now extends its capacity to accommodate superyachts up to 70m in length, while just a 20-minute cruise away the Boat Works Superyacht Yard has a capacity for up to 50 superyachts at any one time. Both facilities are striking in terms of the attention to detail in their design, ensuring that everything an Owner or Captain could ever need has been incorporated into the developments.

Steve Sammes, General Manager of Sanctuary Cove Marina, highlighted the luxury wrap-around service as a key distinguishing point for the Marina. “The unique service offerings here at Sanctuary Cover Marina are truly exceptional and have never been seen or experienced before at any other marina in Australia. Here you can experience luxurious resort, lifestyle and retail facilities while ensuring your vessel is serviced and catered to just a short distance upriver. Our services, combined with our relationships with the Marine Precinct, mean that vessel owners can enjoy a holistic experience in one convenient location.”

Over in the Gold Coast Marine Precinct, the Boat Works has swiftly followed the opening of its $100 million Superyacht Yard in February by beginning work on a further $30 million Stage 3 development. The initial opening preceded a flurry of visits from notable vessels in the Australian superyacht fleet, with rave reviews about the facilities and high level of service on offer. Like Sanctuary Cove, the Boat Works has paid close attention to the needs of arriving Captains with the creation of a VIP Captains’ Lounge that ensures a smooth transition from sea to land. Each of the new state-of-the-art refit sheds is fitted with dedicated air-conditioned work rooms and ensuite facilities. With citrus trees lining the spectacular landscape and a vintage car museum at the entrance, the Boat Works aims to offer a more pleasant and engaging experience than a rugged shipyard.

The Boat Works is now beginning Stage 3 of its development to add an additional 10,000m2 of purpose-built marine workshops and retail facilities, expanding its on-site capabilities and expertise. 12 marine service workshops will occupy a 5,000m2 hub including marine retail showrooms to showcase a range of marine professions. The overall number of on-site trades and marine professionals will rise to 1,000 on any given day. Four new high bay Super Sheds will make up the other 5,000m2 for specific controlled work environments for larger vessels. This includes an expansive dedicated sandblast bay with unlimited height options, able to accommodate superyachts of up to 55m in length.

Tony Longhurst, Owner of the Boat Works, revealed why Stage 3 of the yard’s development has come so soon after the last opening. “We have fast-tracked Stage 3 due to demand following the new Superyacht Yard, which officially opened in February and has been opening at capacity since May,” said Longhurst.

Superyacht Australia CEO, David Good, believes the developments at the Boat Works and Sanctuary Cove have enhanced a key superyacht location in Australia. “We’ve seen a huge growth in international superyacht tourists within Queensland, with majority being in South East Queensland, which is a huge coup,” explained Good.

“Sanctuary Cove Marina and The Boat Works providing these services mean that Superyacht owners can enjoy incredible facilities with no reason to leave the northern Gold Coast waterways.

"We have fast-tracked Stage 3 due to demand following the new Superyacht Yard, which officially opened in February and has been opening at capacity since May"

Tony Longhurst, Owner of The Boat Works

"We have fast-tracked Stage 3 due to demand following the new Superyacht Yard, which officially opened in February and has been opening at capacity since May"

Tony Longhurst, Owner of The Boat Works
By George Bains
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