Abell Point Marina restoration on time, on budget!

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This week marks the completion of the on-water restoration project at Abell Point Marina in the wake of the Tropical Cyclone Debbie. In the immediate aftermath, 20% of the on-water berthing at Abell Point was damage amounting to approximately 120 berths in this 507-wet berth marina. In a coordinated effort between Superior Jetties, CGU Insurance and Oceanic Marine Risk, the restoration works commenced 3 April, a mere five days after the cyclone passed over the Whitsundays.

In the initial stages of the project a team of volunteers from BIA (Boating Industry Australia) Queensland, arrived on-site to assist with the make-safe stage of the restoration project. Experienced marine trades personnel from marina managers, to pontoon specialists arrived on-site, including representatives from Superior Jetties to offer support and assist with commencing repair works.

Within days a temporary walkway for L Arm and the marina’s fuel dock was fitted, and by week six the walkway had been replaced for new.

With considerable coordination between the Superior Jetties and marina team, commercial operators and private vessels were relocated to the south marina for the pontoon replacement works to commence. Abell Point Marina is the busiest commercial marina in the region and with the Whitsunday region being so reliant on the tourism sector, a priority for the project was to ensure minimal disruption to the marina’s on-water tourism operations whilst the repair works commenced.

Superior Jetties, Project Manager, Ryan Hogan remarked of the project, “This project has been the culmination of our team down south working some very long hours to produce a fantastic product; and outstanding subcontractors who went above and beyond to get the marina operational again. It’s been a real pleasure to work in North Queensland again and with a client that’s dedicated to running a truly world class marina. This has definitely been the best project team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”

From initial damage assessment, to temporary repairs around the marina, from demolition of debris to piling works and the manufacture/ transportation and installation of the new arms – H/ J/ K/ F/ G and A – the team coordinated by Superior Jetties worked tirelessly to restore the marina to 100% capacity. Mr Hogan goes on to give a special mention to services provided throughout the project by Orca Marine Services, Proserpine Electrical, Whitsunday Drainage Contractors and Pacific Marine Group.

With a busy cruising season scheduled, the launch of a new Abell Point Flight Collection from the marina’s heli-pads and the opening of their floating customer lounge Ocean Club, the timing of the project completion was essential to ensure business as usual. To round off a challenging year and give cause for celebration, Abell Point Marina took out the coveted Marina of the Year Award at the Marine17 conference in August.

Luke McCaul, General Manager, Abell Point Marina explains “To have the pontoons replaced and operational in time for our cruising season was essential for the marina, but also for the region. The Whitsundays has bounced back from this weather event in record time and the natural environment around the islands is following suit.” Mr McCaul goes on to say “The start of the year was a challenging time for the marina team including our valued operators and tenants, but the future is looking bright and the completion of the project on time and on budget is a credit to the hard work and commitment of the team, our contractors and our relationship with our insurers.”

The entire restoration project has been captured by Superior Jetties in short video

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Value-adds keep and attract marina clients

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The major trend among successful marinas is to exceed customer expectations with value-added services such as complimentary coffee, the morning paper, reading lounge and other personalised touches.

In Fiji, Denarau Marina has introduced a fully-refurbished Sea Otter. Superseded as a tug, the vessel has been completely restored and refit by Nigel Skeggs and his team and is now working with a purpose-built winch adaption that now works through an A-frame to lift and service moorings.

At Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach, North Queensland, the team has brought on a well-branded, dual-purpose boat that works as a Start Boat for Abell Point Yacht Club events, and as a Welcome vessel to meet boats and guide them to their berths.

That’s not all: visitors to Abell Point can expect the full VIP treatment which includes the option of chopper transfers from Proserpine and Hamilton Island airports to the marina’s helipad, or trips to the Islands. There’s an Abell Point courtesy car to pick up guests, provisions, or pop into the town of Airlie Beach. Marina clients can also organise provisions through the marina’s full-time dockhand.

“We are the local central agent for clients to discover the Hidden Gems of the Whitsunday Coast,” says Luke McCaul, Marketing and Business Development Manager. “We can connect them to everything, from medical services to the best restaurants, walks, points of interest, day trips to the Reef.”

Coming soon to Abell Point Marina, a 5-star restaurant that takes full advantage of the panoramic water views and is destined to become another major reason to visit.

Heli Taxi Robinson R66_Resize Abell Point Marina

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Whitsunday Promotions

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This week I have been in the Whitsundays and living on board while participating in some of the events that are focused around boating.  This region of Australia is doing a great job in promoting the boating lifestyle and this activity can be seen in the improving infrastructure that has happened already as well as more planned.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, #AHIRW is a major example of a winning promotion with a 30 year tradition that brings sailors from all over the world.  The weather was perfect, the national parks course scenery is stunning, the humpback whales majestic and everyone has a great time.  There are even visiting Superyachts such as Vava II in attendance such is the reach these days.  The marina is full to overflowing and this is a healthy sign for the industry.
Of course this week was preceded by Airlie Beach race week which is the prefect build up event and this saw the Abel Point Marina equally busy along with a bustling tourist trade.  The marina is under new management and has a healthy capitals works plan already started with new facilities including a tavern on the site which will be one of the best spots in the Whitsundays.
On the weekend of the 26th the Shag Island Cruising Yacht Club held their rendezvous which had hundreds of attendees to this fun event which raises money for charity from a totally volunteer organisation.  The music played into the night in the most perfect surroundings.
Coming back to work today I feel a little sad to be leaving these pristine waters, however I am also proud of this area where I had grown up.  These world class events are putting the area on the map and allowing thousands of people to experience nature up close.  A local told us when we moored to an environmentally friendly buoy with no anchors on the coral reef around Blue Pearl Bay that this was the best spot to see it all in the Whitsundays.  Then he said “don’t forget to say G’day to the resident Maori Wras Gus”.  Isn’t this better than the days when all we wanted to do was to eat Gus?
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