Superyachts Down Under: Putting Australia on the World Stage in 2016

Mike McKiernan
Posted February 2 2016

The Sydney Olympics in 2000 was the defining moment for the Australian Superyacht industry.

The games created an unprecedented opportunity to attract some of the world’s largest and most prestigious yachts to our shores, however at the time there were no existing facilities designed to accommodate them.

The progress over the past fifteen years has been phenomenal – initially with the establishment of the Superyacht Marina at Rozelle Bay and the subsequent formation of the NSW Superyacht Industry Association, which recently reported that more than $400 million per year has been injected into our economy as a result.

More than 50 international superyachts now visit Australia every year, and the recent activities of some of Deckee’s marina partners has highlighted the increasing enthusiasm towards attracting luxury vessels down under.

A new push for increased international recognition is now underway, lead by a growing number of first-class facilities like Abell Point Marina – situated in the picturesque Whitsundays – who recently hosted the world’s largest catamaran S/Y Hemisphere.

“Since the upgrade of the marina facilities and services under new ownership, we have experienced a huge increase in Australian and international superyachts ranging from 35-50m visiting the marina,” says Luke McCaul, Abell Point Marina marketing and business development manager.

The comprehensive redevelopment made way for berths stretching to 70-metres, with onsite concierge services, including a dedicated helicopter for transfers, a highly-trained team, provisioners, crew services and other amenities all on site. South of the border, superyachts are soon to become a regular sight in Sydney’s Middle Harbour after d’Albora Marinas recently completed a $5 million expansion of their popular facility at The Spit, enabling yachts of up to 131 feet to feel at home in the area.

d’Albora Marinas CEO, Brett Bolton, said that the ability to accommodate larger vessels was a logical next step in the evolution of the site.

“It stands to reason that when times change, we need to keep in line with demand. For instance, when d’Albora Marinas The Spit was originally designed some thirty-plus years ago, thirty foot used to be considered a large boat on the harbour.

Now however, 50ft is the norm and there are a large number of 80ft plus luxury yachts that now call Sydney Harbour home as well as the visiting yachts from afar which are even larger in size.”

For these Australian marinas venturing into superyacht territory, it is equally important to implement the right strategies and support key initiatives to ensure there is a return on investment.

“Changes to the legislation in the middle of last year removing the requirement to fully import a foreign flagged vessel is a great start and we are of course very supportive of that change,” Mr Bolton added.

“Like Tourism Australia, a key focus for us is to make it easier for superyachts to stay longer in Australia and enjoy the fantastic facilities we have to offer both owners and crew.”

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