Since the closure of international and state borders, the superyacht maintenance industry has been a bright shining light, particularly for the Queensland economy. At the start of 2020, a significant number of vessels were repositioning from the Mediterranean and Caribbean to the Pacific ready for the now postponed Tokyo Olympics and the coming Americas Cup in New Zealand. From March, Australia and particularly Queensland saw a huge increase in enquiries for refit and maintenance work because of COVID-19.
David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia explained. “Vessels brought forward their next two years’ worth of planned maintenance when it became obvious that guests would not be able to travel and enjoy the use of the vessels for some time. Since March, Queensland has seen 19 vessels inject $16M including $9.95M in refit and maintenance”.
Queensland is the dominant refit and maintenance provider for superyachts in the Asia/Pacific region, with eight separate facilities employing 2,300 highly skilled tradesmen that rival what’s available in the USA and Europe. BSE Cairns Slipways, Tropical Reef Shipyard and Norship in Cairns; Rivergate, BSE and The Yard in Brisbane; The Boat Works and Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard on the Gold Coast; are all highly capable superyacht refit yards. “Queensland had already experienced an 80% increase in economic contribution year on year in 2019 and fortunately we have been able to continue to allow these vessels to enter Queensland during the current crisis” added Good.
The industry has been working hard to continue to service these vessels and keep our highly skilled workforce employed. “It is essential that our professional captains and crew abide by the strict quarantine rules set out by state and federal governments so that these thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic contribution are not put at risk.” stated Good.
“We look forward to continuing to working with government on ensuring safe procedures that allow quarantine in transit and onboard that does not put the community at risk and allows this important industry to continue. Any individual that doesn’t want to abide by those procedures needs to think of the thousands of workers whose livelihoods they are putting at risk by their selfish behaviour.” concluded Good.