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The industry prepares for the future - Australian MarineBusinessWorld newsletter

by Peter Rendle 23 Jul 15:00 PDT
Superyachts in a marina © METSTRADE

Whilst the government have announced a record deficit the marine industry is already plotting the way forward. However, the pandemic has caused a major hit to revenues and the marina industry is no exception.

The Marina Industries Association (MIA) has just released a report indicating an AU$48m reduction in Australian marina revenues over the three-month period March - May 2020. The data also indicates the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have been greatest in Queensland and Victoria. Club marinas have been most negatively impacted, followed by commercial marinas and then boat yards. The most heavily impacted revenue generating areas of business were food and beverage (64% of all marinas) and marina wet berthing 52%. 89% of marinas experienced negative impacts during the survey period. 22% of marinas experienced some positive impacts however with demand for dry boat storage being the most significant area of increase at these marinas.

On a positive note, in Queensland superyachts are setting sail for the Gold Coast as Sanctuary Cove Marina and The Boat Works, at the Gold Coast Marine Precinct, are positioned to deliver an exclusive full-service experience for vessel owners, both having recently completed significant expansions. Following Sanctuary Cove Marina's $12 million redevelopment and the February opening of The Boat Works $100 million upgraded Superyacht yard at the Marine Precinct, vessel owners will be provided a one-stop-shop for a first-class marina experience.

Marina developments continue and in Western Australia Poralu Marine has announced its involvement in the design and construction of a new jetty at Two Rocks Marina, Western Australia. This project will be completed in collaboration with Poralu Marine distributor Shorewater Marine for the Western Australia Department of Transport (DoT). The new jetty is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2020.

In another step forward in the development of "home-grown" unmanned surveillance vessels (USV's) the Bluebottle now has approval to operate autonomously in Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone. The Bluebottle USV was borne out of the initial collaboration between Ocius Technology (formerly Solar Sailor) and Steber International. Steber General Manager, Alan Steber said: "It's great to see the ongoing development of the Bluebottle project which has growing maritime border security and defence capabilities. These latest developments follow on from an 'on-water' display at Lake Burley Griffin in late 2019 with a national and international audience, including military and government regulators and both Robert Dane (Ocius) and myself present. The export potential in South East Asia for maritime security and surveillance, at an affordable price, is enormous."

New boat launches this week include the two new Beneteaus. This line of Beneteau day boats is currently in its sixth generation and has a strong history. Now, more than ever, the pleasure of driving this boat is combined with comfort of life on boat and ease of navigation. The Flyer 9 completes the Beneteau range of day boats. The model perpetuates the dynamic and elegant features of the Flyer 8. Comfort and space on boats are enhanced thanks to optimized design. "The Flyer 9 ideally embodies the spirit of the new Beneteau day-boat range," said Michaël Guinet, outboard product manager at Beneteau. "We have taken the recipe from the previous generation to erase its flaws and optimize the strengths.

The latest model from Parker Boats will impress boaties looking for a spacious, stable and versatile family weekender or sturdy sports fisher for serious angling. The 9.2m Parker 920 Explorer MAX offers all the mod-cons plus uncompromisingly competent all-sea-state characteristics, making it an outstanding choice for people looking for the perfect balance between a family cruiser and go anywhere recreational boat.

French builder, Fountaine Pajot has just announced the release of a new entry-level sailing catamaran setting a new benchmark for innovation and productivity during the industry's Covid-19 lockdown conditions. The shipyard has announced the new Isla 40 will replace the successful Lucia 40 sailing catamaran and will be available from early 2021. This compact sailing catamaran reflects the hallmarks of the shipyard's prestigious Flagship range and is the new reference for multihulls in this size range.

And finally, a success story for someone who graduated within the industry via TAFE. TAFE NSW graduate Arakel Hamamdjian pursued the job of his dreams and became the skipper of his own vessel. Now he's worked his way up from showboat waiter to proud owner of his own business - Magic Cruises - and wants others to consider a swashbuckling career on the high seas. The maritime sector has an estimated annual revenue of $5.76 billion and added approximately $2.58 billion to the Australian economy in 2017.

Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) in New South Wales have continued to operate during COVID-19 with social distancing measures in place, allowing local holiday makers to enjoy recreation activities without having to travel interstate or overseas. Arakel fell into the maritime industry largely by accident, taking a job as a waiter on showboats at the age of 21. He worked his way up until he became one of the cruise directors on the vessels and continued to work in the hospitality side of the business. He enjoyed his work but had always harboured a dream to own his own vessel and run a business.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle

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