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Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show paves the way - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 20 May 15:00 PDT
2021 ASMEX Conference: Regional Focus WA Panel © Sheree Burke

After 12 months of pandemic restrictions, the first boat show for some time opened yesterday. The four day show in Queensland will pave the way forward for further shows to assist in promoting the industry and will be followed by the Festival of Boating taking place in Sydney at the end of July.

Preceding the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was the 2021 Australian Superyacht, Marine Export and Commercial Industry (ASMEX) Conference held at the 'Cove on Tuesday May 18th, and it successfully delivered a diverse and dynamic cross-section of speakers and session topics on the Australian marine industry. Now in its tenth year, the one-day conference tackled hot topics including economic recovery, growth in marine exports, defence innovation, electric hybrid engines, importing a superyacht into Australia, and the latest superyacht visitation data for 2020. The overall perception from the delegates present was that the Australian marine industry is experiencing strong sales and positive business results as demand for recreational vessels and accessories climbs and government funding for commercial and defence projects continues.

Data released at ASMEX by Superyacht Australia, the peak body for the superyacht industry, shows that foreign-flagged superyachts stayed an average of 128 days in 2020 compared to an average of 73 days in 2019: representing a 75% increase in the length of stay. The economic impact of this was just over $100M and represents a 58% increase on 2019's already impressive economic impact of $63M. The passage of the Special Recreational Vessel Act in December 2019 by the Federal Government now allows foreign-flagged superyachts to charter in Australian waters. As a result, Australia saw its first charter client in December, with Hollywood actor Will Smith chartering a superyacht out of Cairns. With the passage of these laws, it is expected that Australia will see a further 300% increase of visitation over the coming three years.

Looking further ahead, the Boating Industry Association joined with TAFE NSW recently to deliver the Green Light Day webinar as a promotion of skills, training, and career opportunities in the marine industry. The BIA and NSW's vocational education/training provider used the webinar to showcase job opportunities and pathways in an industry that has recorded significant growth over the past year. Boating has proven to be a standout choice in leisure activity through the pandemic. The combination of no international travel, the staycation phenomenon, flexible work practices and the need to be Covid-safe have seen interest in getting out the water ramp up significantly.

And in Victoria a Try a Trade Careers Expo has shown more than 3,000 secondary school students the range of career possibilities in the marine industry. Mercury Marine worked in collaboration with the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) and other marine industry companies to present the Boating Industry Hub at the South East Careers Expo held at Cranbourne Racecourse in late April. The hub promoted the marine industry as a career path for Victorian students in years 10-12 and demonstrated the array of potential opportunities for apprenticeships and career development. "This was an exciting experience for us and very confidence-building for the future of the marine industry," said Mercury's MercTECH/Training Manager Trevor Henri. "Any time an opportunity arises for Mercury to get involved in this kind of career expo we're eager to get onboard. It's all part of our ongoing commitment to strengthening and building the future of the marine industry."

More evidence of a heathy marine environment is reflected in this news from Queensland. Just one year since opening its $100 million, 25-acre dedicated Superyacht Yard, The Boat Works has reached capacity, with slips and sheds booked out months ahead, motivating owner, Tony Longhurst to bring forward development of Stage 4. The adage "build it and they will come" is perfectly embodied in the evolution of The Boat Works, a full-service marina and shipyard over 55 acres of waterfront on the Coomera River. The Boat Works hauls out 50 vessels per week. Both yards are at capacity, including the superyacht marina built by Superior Jetties and the out-of-water maintenance precincts comprising the hardstand and refit sheds. The Boat Works' recently completed Stage 3, a new services hub for marine professionals, representing an additional $30 million investment. Four new tenants have recently moved in, taking the total marine businesses on-site to 80 across the two facilities. Stage 4 will add five new 50-metre refinishing sheds, a controlled work environment for respraying and sandblasting.

New products this week: Oceanic Systems (UK) Ltd, manufacturer of alarm, display and control systems for leisure, commercial and military vessels, continue to expand their Poseidon system range with the new Poseidon NVR, a high reliability server-grade network video recording (NVR) system. The dedicated system provides full control of a vessel's security and monitoring, bringing flexible solutions to vessels with more complex needs. The Poseidon NVR works independently with multiple dedicated CCTV displays or integrated into the Poseidon monitoring and control system displays.

Answering significant demand from boatbuilders and sailboat owners for a low power, high output watermaker, Fischer Panda UK is introducing the new H20 ECO Series of reverse osmosis water desalination systems. The next generation Parker Hannifin unit is engineered for small to mid-size sailboats and catamarans that have limited power options, providing reliable production of 400 or 600 gallons per day of safe water for drinking and cooking. Incorporating patent pending energy recovery technology, the automatic H2O ECO provides up to 14.2% more power efficiency compared to other leading watermaker brands, drawing just 1 Amp for approximately 3 litres of water production.

Launching at the 2021 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, TotalCommand is the latest marine propulsion controls family from ZF, continuing on the tradition of sixty years of innovation in the field. A reliable and customisable solution for both leisure and commercial vessels, TotalCommand features a series of functionalities that fully utilise ZF's industry-leading transmission technology, including unmatchable clutch responsiveness, optimised control of proportional valves, and adaptive gear engagement.

There is plenty more news on the website this week as we get back to normal trading conditions. You can check it out below, or at and if you have colleagues or business associates who want to keep up with all that's happening in our industry they are able to subscribe to this newsletter.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle

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