Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM) has announced the next phase of its commitment to innovation and development of the Australian superyacht industry by collaborating and showcasing the talents of two superyacht designers: Misha Merzliakov (Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design) and Hayden Thomas (The Yacht Professionals).
“There is so much incredible talent in the Australian marine industry which GCCM is committed to supporting. Our recent event, the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous (ASR), provided the ideal platform to promote up and coming Aussie superyacht designers who are rightfully earning an excellent reputation for their work both here in Australia and internationally,” explained GCCM CEO, Trenton Gay.
Held from the 20 to 22 April 2018 at GCCM, the second edition of ASR doubled in size both in terms of yachts on display and VIPs attending. Although the event focuses superyachts available for sale and charter in Australia, GCCM took the opportunity to promote the designers and the yard’s yacht building capabilities to an engaged audience. The timing was seemingly right.
“I have travelled to many of the big international yacht shows and never have I had the volume of interest I experienced at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous. My team and I are now responding to requests from no less than five clients and countless media outlets. I am so grateful that a platform like ASR exists and I get to collaboratively promote the design and building capabilities in Australia,” stated Misha.
Held on the Friday morning of the event was an Industry Roundtable at which key personalities from around the globe discussed the trends and developments of the Australian Industry in a global context. The consensus was the yacht Owner and charterer are becoming more intrepid and seeking more lifestyle adventures from their yachting experience.
“Our members are witnessing clients seeking new and exotic destinations onboard exploration yachts, so they can cruise to places they have never been before. Additionally, clients want more and more toys to use to maximise their time onboard,” offered MYBA (the Worldwide Yachting Association) Executive Officer, Coralyn Tracey, at the Roundtable.
This market demand is clearly reflected in both Merzliakov’s and Thomas’ designs. Hayden Thomas’, from The Yacht Professionals, E39 was conceived with world cruising in mind; the key to which is an efficient and shallow draft hull. Such a feature enables comfortable sea passages and exploration of coastlines.
“I am looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with GCCM. Australia has a long history of designing and building iconic yachts. This event and partnership is a renaissance of our heritage,” declared Thomas.
Merzliakov’s two designs, a 70-metre trimaran and 40-metre explorer yacht, prioritise toys, tenders, beach clubs and being enjoyed by multiple generations of a family. Additionally, these two designs are intended to be built at GCCM.
“Queensland has a great pool of talent of naval architects, boat builders, interior fitout and project management who come from a strong local history of boat building. These designs draw on the experience of exploring the coral coasts of Australia which so many of us have done. Partnering with GCCM means each individual and trade working on the yacht build will bring expertise, experience and an innate understanding of the pleasure of yachting in Australia,” said Merzliakov.
Although these designers are now based in Australia, both have had European experience. Hayden Thomas started his career with design powerhouse, Redman Whitely Dixon then returned to his native West Australia to work with SilverYachts. Whilst Misha Merzliakov was a Naval Architect and Yacht Designer for Tony Castro Yacht Design in the United Kingdom before working with Austal and Oceanfast.
GCCM has been operating as a leading refit, maintenance and repair facility since 2000. This, however, will not be the first time a superyacht has been built at the yard which saw the launch of M/Y Silverfox (now Patriot 1) and M/Y Cambria II (now Parriwi) which went on to win the International Superyacht Society’s Best Motor Yacht 23 to 32 metres in 2007.
“Our industry can only mature and blossom as the sheer depth of Australian talent is revealed and promoted on a global scale. I really think we are starting to witness the coming of age of the Superyacht industry in Australia and government, at every level, is starting to fully grasp the economic potential of our industry,” proposed Mr Gay.
GCCM is a 17.5 hectare shipyard and marina located in northern Gold Coast suburb of Coomera. The facility offers superyachts and luxury boats 50,000sqm of hardstand, refit bays, dedicated superyacht sheds, a 75-metre Superyacht work basin, travelifts up to 250 tonne and access to 600 tonne lifts, and over 80 onsite trades employing over 700 individual craftsmen. Future developments include a Marine Innovation Hub to further support innovators in the marine industry plus the second stage of the development which will see a significant increase in the infrastructure available to larger yachts.