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Tropical Cyclone Debbie aftermath: Abell Point Marina restoration officially complete
Mike McKiernan
Posted September 13 2017

This week marks the completion of the on-water restoration project at Abell Point Marina in the wake of the Tropical Cyclone Debbie. In the immediate aftermath, 20% of the on-water berthing at Abell Point was damage amounting to approximately 120 berths in this 507-wet berth marina. In a coordinated effort between Superior Jetties, CGU Insurance and Oceanic Marine Risk, the restoration works commenced 3 April, a mere five days after the cyclone passed over the Whitsundays.

In the initial stages of the project a team of volunteers from BIA (Boating Industry Australia) Queensland, arrived on-site to assist with the make-safe stage of the restoration project. Experienced marine trades personnel from marina managers, to pontoon specialists arrived on-site, including representatives from Superior Jetties to offer support and assist with commencing repair works.

Within days a temporary walkway for L Arm and the marina’s fuel dock was fitted, and by week six the walkway had been replaced for new.

With considerable coordination between the Superior Jetties and marina team, commercial operators and private vessels were relocated to the south marina for the pontoon replacement works to commence. Abell Point Marina is the busiest commercial marina in the region and with the Whitsunday region being so reliant on the tourism sector, a priority for the project was to ensure minimal disruption to the marina’s on-water tourism operations whilst the repair works commenced.

Superior Jetties, Project Manager, Ryan Hogan remarked of the project, “This project has been the culmination of our team down south working some very long hours to produce a fantastic product; and outstanding subcontractors who went above and beyond to get the marina operational again. It’s been a real pleasure to work in North Queensland again and with a client that’s dedicated to running a truly world class marina. This has definitely been the best project team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”

From initial damage assessment, to temporary repairs around the marina, from demolition of debris to piling works and the manufacture/ transportation and installation of the new arms – H/ J/ K/ F/ G and A – the team coordinated by Superior Jetties worked tirelessly to restore the marina to 100% capacity. Mr Hogan goes on to give a special mention to services provided throughout the project by Orca Marine Services, Proserpine Electrical, Whitsunday Drainage Contractors and Pacific Marine Group.

With a busy cruising season scheduled, the launch of a new Abell Point Flight Collection from the marina’s heli-pads and the opening of their floating customer lounge Ocean Club, the timing of the project completion was essential to ensure business as usual. To round off a challenging year and give cause for celebration, Abell Point Marina took out the coveted Marina of the Year Award at the Marine17 conference in August.

Luke McCaul, General Manager, Abell Point Marina explains “To have the pontoons replaced and operational in time for our cruising season was essential for the marina, but also for the region. The Whitsundays has bounced back from this weather event in record time and the natural environment around the islands is following suit.” Mr McCaul goes on to say “The start of the year was a challenging time for the marina team including our valued operators and tenants, but the future is looking bright and the completion of the project on time and on budget is a credit to the hard work and commitment of the team, our contractors and our relationship with our insurers.”

The entire restoration project has been captured in a short video.

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16 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Mike McKiernan
Learning to sail: This is how to start
Jessica Watson
Posted November 16 2016

Another post for those new to the water. Apologies to those with plenty of miles under their belts, but I come across a lot of people who are a little stumped as to how they can start sailing. Sailing doesn’t necessarily have a reputation for being easily accessible, but I’m not convinced that reputation is fair; sailors are an agreeable lot who, of course, have a vested interest in seeing their sport, hobby or lifestyle thrive. Starting out in sailing also doesn’t have to mean the huge expense of purchasing of a boat. Here are a few tips to get you out on the water.

Read, scroll and watch!

The perfect way to figuratively dip your feet into the water is with the help of a few good books. Sailing stories are a great way to learn a little of the vocabulary and provide some background before you jump right in.

Here’s my list of the most iconic sailing books. Although now I think about it, maybe it’s better if you leave Fastnet, Force 10, Fatal Storm and Red Sky in Mourning at the bookshop, along with any other sailing titles about storms—those books are a little intense, even for those with solid sea legs.

Of course, it’s not just the traditional paperbacks that will expose you to all things sailing. Social media is another great way to immerse yourself. Check out our list of the best Sailing Facebook groups to join. And just about everyone’s watching young Australian couple Riley and Elayna’s Sailing La Vagabond YouTube videos.

Discover sailing

When you’re ready to actually dip your feet in the water, it’s time to head to the Discover Sailing website. I’m afraid that this isn’t the most helpful suggestion for any internationals, but Sailing Australia has a fantastic initiative called Discover Sailing, which, as the name would suggest, helps you start out on the water. As part of the initiative, participating yacht clubs around the county put on free ‘Discover Sailing’ days, inviting anyone along to get a taste for sailing. The days are typically scheduled throughout spring and early summer, and all the details are on the Discover Sailing website.

Bareboat chartering

There’s a lot to be said for learning to sail in a lovely holiday location, and while some level of boating knowhow is usually required yacht charter companies cater those with little or no sailing experience. Charter boats are designed and set up for simplicity, and often come with manuals written in very plain language.

Your local club

And, of course, there’s nowhere more logical to start than your local sailing or yacht club. Many of the big clubs are fantastic with well-run programs and a greater variety of boats to sail, but I also encourage you to give the smaller clubs plenty of thought. Small clubs are guaranteed to be very welcoming and grateful for new sailors, but ultimately your choice will need to reflect the type of sailing and boat you most enjoy.

You would also be surprised by how many clubs welcome visitors looking to participate in their casual or twilight races, often with little or no experience required. Again, in Australia the Discover Sailing website is the place to go to find a suitable club and sail training programme.

Choosing your crewmates

If you have the misfortune of finding yourself on a boat with a skipper who likes to yell, feel free to ditch the boat. But don’t give up on sailing; there’s plenty of great skippers and crews out there. Choosing who you want to sail with is a choice that should be given as much if not more consideration as the type of boat you want to sail.

I’ve previously talked about the importance of a kids’ sailing instructor having a lovely cool, calm and collected personality, but this doesn’t just apply to kids; everyone is comfortable with different levels of intensities on board.

See you out on the water soon!

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1 person found this helpful. Do you?Thank Jessica Watson
First Australian Female Clipper Race Skipper Returns For Second Circumnavigation

Wendy Tuck, 52, from Sydney, is set to become the first Australian skipper to complete two circumnavigations with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Wendy, who was also selected as the inaugural Australian female Skipper in the 2015-16 edition, has been named as one of the twelve Skippers for the 2017-18 edition of the eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile ocean adventure, which starts in the UK in August.

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