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Tasmania’s Stories

National fillip for marine sector

Edition 191_Incat

Tasmania's maritime engineering capability has been given valuable national exposure following a Brand Tasmania-backed visit to the State by magazine editor and specialist writer Simon Enticknap.

The December-January issue of the nationally circulated Marine Business magazine featured some of the State's best known maritime businesses, along with others that few people outside Tasmania would know about.

Such well-known drivers of the State's brand as aluminium ship-builder Incat Tasmania and winch, windlass and anchoring-system specialist Muir Engineering, were prominently featured.

But there was also a share of the spotlight for lesser-known businesses including Channel Moorings Maintenance, Oyster Cove Marina and Denman Marine.

The hitech and expanding Prince of Wales Marina was featured, along with the proposed Margate Marina.

After visiting Muir Engineering, which celebrates 50 years in business this year, Enticknap wrote: "Few companies in the world are capable of encompassing such a wide range of marine market sectors, spanning everything from small tinnies to luxury boats as well as commercial vessels and navy warships.

"The company's sales are split roughly 40/40/20 across recreational, superyacht and commercial markets and it exports about 60 per cent of its production."

When the writer called at Incat, the world-leading fast-ferry builder was finishing off its latest vessel for Sydney Ferries, May Gibbs.

Named as the result of a competition, it is one of six harbour ferries being built by Incat.

A fast catamaran, Bellarine Express, was also under construction for Port Phillip Ferries in Melbourne.

A 110m wave-piercing catamaran destined for Virtu Ferries in the Mediterranean caught the visitor's attention.

"Seeing a large vessel such as this come together is an awesome sight, like a giant metallic kit gradually being assembled.

"The shed where it is being built is designed to be partially flooded, enabling the vessel to float out on to the River Derwent.

"This build will be followed by another huge 109m catamaran for ferry operator Naviera Armas in Spain which will be the first high-speed ferry in southern Europe to feature a dual vehicle deck."

Bob Kelly from Channel Moorings Maintenance showed Enticknap his self-built barge North West Bay and told him there are about 2,500 moorings in southern Tasmania and 4,000 around the State.

Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) requires that each mooring is inspected every two years, but owners often leave it a lot longer, increasing the risk of failure during rough weather.

“MAST are on the cusp of trying to tighten it up,” Mr Kelly said, "but there’s a great deal of pushback from the boating public.”

At the Prince of Wales Bay Marina, Enticknap noted the French Poralu Marine pontoon system combining aluminium infrastructure and polypropylene walkways.

"This makes for a lightweight, very durable and flexible docking system compared to wood and concrete constructions," he wrote.

"The UV-protected polypropylene decking is also designed to be easy to lift and replace, as well as being non-slip and enabling filtered light to penetrate below."

The marina is now embarking on another expansion phase which will see the addition of 110 berths.

Margate Marina is a new 300-berth enterprise scheduled to begin construction this year.

Approval has been given for the marina and for a hardstand area, clubhouse and function rooms, as well as a residential development.

Stage 1, due to begin soon, will see the construction of 124 berths.

Work will be carried out by a Queensland company, Pacific Pontoon & Pier.

A key part of the marina development is the installation of a 400m by 4.5m wave attenuator.

The site will be dredged to increase its navigable depth and the fill will be used to extend the hardstand area.

"While the final development calls for some imaginative visualisation at the moment, there’s no doubt about the potential for this site," Enticknap reported.

"The location is ideal for boating access to Bruny Island and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and yet only half an hour’s drive south of Hobart."

He also visited and promoted the popular local marina at Oyster Cove and the Port Cygnet Sailing Club.

While in the south, the journalist also called on the Wooden Boat Centre Tasmania at Franklin and Denman Marine at Kettering.

"Andrew Denman and his team have built about 60 boats over the past decade," he wrote.

"The attention to detail is hard to beat and the end result is something unique, personalised and guaranteed to turn heads."

Let's hope a few interstate customers are inspired by Simon Enticknap's words.

Image courtesy of Marine Business

8 February 2018, Edition 191

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Facts about Tasmania


Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.


Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012–13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.


Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.


The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island’s land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.


About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.


Twice named ‘Best Temperate Island in the World’ by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.


In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.


The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.


Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.


Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.


Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.


The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.


The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.


A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.


Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world’s biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.


The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.


Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.


Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.


The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.


Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.


The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the State’s gross product in 2010–11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

Brand Tasmania

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