Tom Hill Discusses Rivergate’s ‘Perfectly Timed’ Expansion

By George Bains

In October 2020, Rivergate Marina and Shipyard announced its plans to construct a new $200m Superyacht Hub. The Brisbane-based shipyard is one of the most important superyacht facilities in the southern hemisphere, and will significantly enhance its refit and maintenance capabilities with the expansion. Tom Hill, Director of Rivergate, spoke to Superyachts.com about why he feels the development has come at the perfect time…

Rivergate already boasts a strong reputation globally, why is the new development important at this time?

The world is experiencing a superyacht boom and the average size of vessels is also increasing, so the expansion at Rivergate is perfectly timed to accommodate this growth. Our extensive market research tells us there is substantial pent-up demand to visit Australia and the South Pacific but without appropriate infrastructure, many of these larger superyachts often found in the Caribbean and Europe simply can’t bring their luxury vessels to our waters. The $200 million Rivergate development will instantly overcome this issue, opening up an amazing part of the world for more superyacht owners.

How will the Rivergate development increase your capacity to accommodate large international superyachts?

Rivergate has long been a premier destination for superyachts with a great track record of service and reliability. The new development will dramatically increase our shipyard’s capabilities by creating the largest facility in the Asia Pacific region capable of lifting out and servicing multiple superyachts.

A key piece of infrastructure at the new $200 million Rivergate precinct will be $35 million syncrolift shiplift and vessel transfer system represent a massive 10-fold rise in Rivergate’s lifting ability – up to 3,000-tonne vessels and 90 metres in length. Other key components include a hardstand with capacity for up to 10 vessels, 3 large refit sheds and two in water service berths.

Rivergate will also become even more appealing to visiting Captains and crew with new hotel-style accommodation, a café, pool and other recreation facilities also part of our expansion.

Still a family-owned business, what advantages does this bring to the shipyard?

At Rivergate, we are more than a business, we are a family with incredible passion for the marine industry, which is evident in the service we deliver to our clients. Our family is very proud of the evolution of Rivergate into a world-class refit centre and the fact we have been able to maintain this family feel for almost 15 years.

When it comes to visitors, nothing beats family hospitality and that’s one of the really big things that set us apart at Rivergate and why the same customers keep coming back. Our team is renowned for looking after our guests, organising social activities and providing the best tips on the many fun things to do and see around Rivergate.

The Queensland Government has backed the superyacht industry through its Superyacht Strategy, what makes Australia’s sunshine state a great destination for superyachts to be based?

We wholeheartedly agree that Queensland is a great place for superyachts and are equally confident that Rivergate in Brisbane is the best location for an Australian base.

From our all-tide deep water access to an abundant supply of highly skilled trades, a 24-hour international airport only minutes away, great capital city services and perfect weather for year-round operations, Rivergate has everything superyachts need. Located halfway between Sydney and the Whitsundays, and an official Customs and Clearance port, we are an easy choice for owners and crew entering Australia.

The Queensland Government has definitely got the right strategy and we commend them for this vision and commitment.

Last year we saw how Rivergate was able to adapt quickly to the Covid environment when Ramble on Rose visited, how busy has Rivergate been with superyacht projects since? 

During this unprecedented time, Rivergate welcomed 28 superyachts from all over Australia and the Asia-Pacific, among them MY Amatasia, MY Pangaea Ocean Explorer, MY Samaya, SY Ningaloo, MY No Comment, MY El Leon, MY Miraggio, MY One-o-One. Each of these vessels were attracted to Rivergate for refit work and maintenance because of our strong international reputation and ability to provide a best-in-industry COVID-safe experience for Captains and crew. Basically, it’s been all hands on deck.

"The world is experiencing a superyacht boom and the average size of vessels is also increasing, so the expansion at Rivergate is perfectly timed to accommodate this growth."

Tom Hill, Director Rivergate

"The world is experiencing a superyacht boom and the average size of vessels is also increasing, so the expansion at Rivergate is perfectly timed to accommodate this growth."

Tom Hill, Director Rivergate
By George Bains
More news About…
More news From ...