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The current value of the Australian dollar is a major benefit to some industry members

by Peter Rendle 24 Oct 14:00 PDT
Aus-made motor yachts on Aurora transport to the US from the Port of Brisbane © Aurora Global Logistics

While the vacillating economic statistics have pushed interest rates down to record lows, some sections of industry have been able to capitalise on the reduced value of the Australian dollar.

Brisbane-based Aurora Global Logistics reports a healthy summer forecast for Australian boat manufacturers exporting to the US and Europe, driven by an appetite for Australian quality, ingenuity and value, thanks to the extremely competitive Australian dollar. "In the past six months, we transported approximately 90 Australian-made boats, both privately owned motor yachts, sailing yachts and racing vessels ranging from 25ft to 100ft," explains Jason Roberts, Director at Aurora Global Logistics. "We have ships going to the US, the Mediterranean, New Zealand and Asia," he continues. "The total retail value is hard to ascertain, but they are priced from US$100,000 through to US$8 million."

Also indicating a positive balance sheet is the Southport Yacht Club, located at Main Beach, Queensland. Southport Yacht Club, home of the Bartercard Sail Paradise, Gold Coast's largest regatta and finish line to Australia's second largest yacht race - Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, has recently undergone a huge redevelopment of their Eastern Lawn. The once underutilised area, which offers one of the most spectacular North facing water views on the Gold Coast has undertaken a dramatic change, by extending their main Clubhouse decking and cantilever roof line by more than 25 metres, increasing their restaurant floor space by 30% and bringing the current restaurant seating plan from 300, up to 400 seats. The Club's Board realised its need to expand two years ago, with the growing number of members, functions and in-house events stretching their current facilities.

Training within the industry is always helpful in maintaining professionalism and it was interesting to note that the Marina Industry Association is bringing its new Oil Spills Response Training to Marmong Point. Marinas have potential to impact on the marine environment because of their waterfront location and the nature of boating related activities carried out at marinas and boatyards. Prevention through protection can serve as the first line of defence against pollution. However, in an event of an oil spill in your marina or boatyard requires fast and efficient action to mitigate the risk. For that, marinas and boatyards must ensure that all involved in the response to an oil spill are adequately trained and prepared for their roles.

And staying with training, licensing and certification in all areas of boating are now available at The Boat Works with the arrival of new partners, Paradigm Training. With boat ownership on the Gold Coast forecast to treble in the next 25 years and an influx of superyachts anticipated to head to south-east Queensland over the next decade, maritime training is in high demand. Established nine years ago by Rikky Burkett and Julianne Zalite, both of whom have many years' experience implementing training and leadership programs in Malaysia, China and the Middle East, Paradigm Training was previously based in Southport.

While our boat show season is now over until May next year the world's largest marine trade show takes place in Amsterdam in November. In addition to offering showcases by a record number of exhibitors, the METSTRADE Show, which runs from Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 November at RAI Amsterdam, will also feature an extraordinary selection of learning opportunities. A dedicated program spread across three stages on the METSTRADE exhibition floor will cover a wide range of inspiring technical and engineering topics. As the largest annual B2B gathering of the global leisure marine industry, the METSTRADE Show is famous for showcasing all the very latest products on offer in this innovative sector.

And it was with great sadness that we learnt of the demise of an industry legend, Olaf Harken. Olaf died where he lived most of his adult life, in Pewaukee Wisconsin. He is survived by his wife of 47 years Ruth, three daughters, four granddaughters and one grandson. Olaf Harken and his older brother, Peter, created the hugely successful rope handling business that bears their name, by working hard, delivering excellence, and having fun every day. Harken, Inc. makes marine hardware, hydraulics and winch systems for racing and cruising sailboats of all types and sizes. Industrial hardware applications include the commercial marine, architectural, and rope access and rescue industries.

Aveagooden!
Peter Rendle peter.rendle@sail-world.com

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