National fillip for marine sector
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.
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.
He also visited and promoted the popular local marina at Oyster Cove and the Port Cygnet Sailing Club.
"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