The Boat Works: Visionary Superyacht Yard Opens

By George Bains

Since opening in February 2020, the state-of-the-art expansion works of the Superyacht Yard at Gold Coast-based The Boat Works has attracted several of the region’s standout superyachts. A A$100m investment has primed the shipyard to welcome vessels of up to 50m in the 25 acre site (catering for 50 x Superyachts throughout the Marina, Hardstand and Superyacht Refit Sheds), and the bespoke, luxury service has already earned glowing testimonies from clients

It has not taken long for the facility’s 300- tonne Marine Travelift to be put to good use, hauling out 7 30m+ superyachts including; Pinnacle, Settlement, Hope, Vegas and De Lisle III, MY Sahana and Motoryacht AU. Such a successful beginning to the shipyard’s new era is certainly praiseworthy, but not at all surprising.

Starting such a project from a blank canvas has enabled the shipyard to create something that feels more in tune with a luxury resort than an industrial shipyard. It is clear from visiting that great care and attention to detail has been taken in every detail of the new facility. Each superyacht shed has been fitted with high bay LED lighting by Aqualuma and dedicated air-conditioned work rooms with ensuite facilities, providing ideal working conditions for long projects. Lawns, palms and citrus trees make up the beautiful landscape to create the feel of an oasis throughout. Every aspect of The Boat Works has been designed to offer an experience.

That experience is most evident in the bespoke-built VIP Captain’s Club Lounge. The two-story VIP reception and lounge greets Owners and Captains directly from their superyacht, welcoming them into an opulent resting space with panoramic views of the superyacht marina. The Lounge boasts an interior décor that would not look out of place on most superyachts, which along with the Courtesy Cars will ensure that the transition from sea to land is seamless. Owners, Captains and crew are treated to an indulgent lifestyle while peacefully knowing that the 50,000msq of hardstand and refit sheds has everything covered for the technical needs of a superyacht.

The unique vision behind this innovative project can be credited to the shipyard’s owner, Australian motorsport legend Tony Longhurst. The Longhurst family has never been far from thrills. In 1981 the family was responsible for building Australia’s first theme park and since 2012 Tony’s brother, Rodney, has owned luxury motor yacht builder Riviera Yachts. Some of Tony’s passions and triumphant past are visible in Espresso Twenty5, a car museum and café located onsite and named aptly in honour of Tony’s racing number. The man himself, however, is more focused on the future and on providing a service to both the superyacht industry and wider yachting community.

More boats mean more jobs,” says Tony Longhurst. “Not just in the marine and boating industries but in hospitality, tourism, provisioning – all the things visitors to our region want to see and experience, as well as works they carry out on their boats.” The development at The Boat Works has seen the inclusion of the very best of local specialised trades, including Superior Jetties, M-Tec Marine Technologies and world-renowned marine lighting firm Aqualuma.

Superyacht Captains have already left glowing reviews of their experience at the new facility. Captain of 35m Sunseeker, M/Y Settlement, has lauded the standards of The Boat Works as one of the best in the world: “This is next level! Compared to the rest of the world, there is nothing close to it here or overseas. I’ve been to most yards in the world and this is unique. The attention to detail throughout the facility is unlike any other. The staff here have bent over backwards for us. We will be return customers for sure.”

In terms of functionality, all possible bases have been covered in the marine ecosystem at The Boat Works. Additional berthing of up to 70-metres adds to the 15 superyacht berths at the marina, while there is the opportunity for crew to use their time on land productively to renew and upskill commercial licensing with internationally recognised training at Paradigm Maritime onsite. Paradigm Maritime, alongside the aforementioned companies, are part of the 60 strong catalogue of businesses available onsite.

With the superyacht industry exploring ways to become more sustainable, The Boat Works will delight environmentally conscious Owners. The shipyard has aimed to “set a new benchmark” for green marinas in its design, and is committed to becoming a fully self-sufficient facility. Featuring extensive Bio gardens throughout the perimeter of the yard, Fox Environmental filtration systems separate & treat trade waste through the onsite first flush interceptors so all waste is suspended before disbursement. All water is harvested with up to 300,000 litres of stored rainwater.

The environmental and economic stimulus given to the region is a great source of pride. “We’ve had a cast of thousands working on the development and it is already delivering economic flow on for businesses in south-east Queensland,” adds Tony Longhurst. “Raising the standard has always been the motivation at The Boat Works, and the superyacht yard is testament to the Longhurst family’s dedication to eco-development and sustainability.”

There are no signs of progress slowing down at The Boat Works anytime soon. On Friday, 35m superyacht Sahana will become the latest to be hauled out at the new facility, and incredibly there is still a stage 2 of the development to be completed. Plans are in place for a stunning contemporary ‘Lifestyle Precinct’ to be built along the waterside. The Lifestyle Precinct will include marine retail, brokerage, cafes and restaurants as well as providing function rooms and some accommodation. Considering the success that the shipyard has already enjoyed in its first few months of full operations, we look forward to following future developments at The Boat Works.

"This is next level! Compared to the rest of the world, there is nothing close to it here or overseas. I’ve been to most yards in the world and this is unique."

Captain of 35m M/Y Settlement

"This is next level! Compared to the rest of the world, there is nothing close to it here or overseas. I’ve been to most yards in the world and this is unique."

Captain of 35m M/Y Settlement
By George Bains