Seychelles calling

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of our long term customers in the Seychelles, Eden Island Development Company. Seychelles is an island nation that lies a four hour flight south of Dubai and three hours from Johannesburg in the Indian Ocean. Eden Island is a beautiful complex five minutes from the airport and downtown Victoria on Mahe island. There are 500 villas and maisons in the final 50 Ha developed island which is connected to Mahe by a bridge. Each dwelling has a marina berth and we have worked closely with The Eden team and their project managers IOPM for over five years.

The team has been very thorough to ensure great architectural themes flow through the project but are still suitable for daily use. The design cues are based on traditional Seychellois buildings with steep rooflines and overhanging verandas to cope with the torrential tropical rains. The construction is of a high standard with solid concrete buildings and extensive use of traditional timber.

When it came to the berths the architectural team were looking for a subtle low profile system that continued the timber theme. The Superior Capri system fitted the requirements with the same timber decking as the verandas and a structural support system from a series of galvanised steel universal beams off the revetment walls. All of the floating structures are prefabricated from AutoCAD drawings with adjustable pile brackets. This makes on site connections a breeze and has allowed the teams in three different countries to stay on top of the project and deliver a simple solution.

On the economic front it has been fascinating to watch the nation develop so rapidly in the past five years we have been visiting. From a base of about four flights per week, there are now daily flights from three airlines into Africa and the Middle East. Eden Island itself boasts an improvement to the nation of over 7% GDP. Other new developments are springing up as well and tourism is an important growing industry. This was very evident on Friday while attending the awards at La Plage restaurant for the National Culinary Competition, with three winning chefs original dishes served in seaside splendour. Under the watchful eye of a 2 star Michelin chef, the local chefs produced an amazing original banquet that shows the Seychelles has a bright future with originality for those looking to escape for a unique experience.

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Critical facts when purchasing pontoons

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This week I am taking on a guest blog role in the absence of our CEO John Hogan who is away on business. Being my first blog as the domestic sales representative I want to cover the common questions customers ask when it comes to buying a pontoon.

Throughout my years of working at Superior I find it interesting that most people think of a pontoon as a floating structure out the back for mooring your boat. In fact there are many key questions I ask when people inquire about a new pontoon. The most important thing is – how big is your current boat? Is there a possibility you will upgrade to bigger boat in the future? Do you want to store your boat out of the water on a dry berth pontoon or perhaps on a boat lift? These important questions play a big role and should reflect your new pontoon size.
Most councils have rules and regulations as to the maximum pontoon size allowed, which in affect, stipulates the maximum boat size that may be moored to the pontoon. A quick way to get an approximate maximum pontoon size is to take the overall water frontage of your block, for example 20m and times this amount by 65% and the measurement you are left with is the approximate maximum pontoon size allowed, in this case 13m. this is based on a block with straight boundaries and measured at the quay line for your area. For those who don’t know what I quay line is, this is the measurement from the edge of the revetment wall to the furtherest point of the pontoon, this is stipulated by local authorities for your area and commonly on the Gold Coast it is 10m or 12m.
Many people look to buy a pontoon for their boat now and don’t consider the future. It’s part of my job to not only future proof you, but maximise the potential of your property value should you ever sell. We get many calls per week from estate agents and potential buyers asking if they can fit a certain vessel on the current pontoon legally. in some cases I have even heard of this being a deal breaker where they cannot store a boat legally, so my point is buy for the future and not for right now. I will provide further advice on dry berthing options in an upcoming blog or feel free to call me at Superior on (07) 55 94 8200
Best regards
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Fire Hose Reel Thing

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Superior has been building marinas for many years and the levels of safety have been improving as well. The fire safety devices are much more prevalent these days and the most visible item is the fire hose reel. These are installed less than 40 metres apart on most marinas and they serve an important early response purpose. Over the years when these devices are placed ready and waiting, the hose and reel components are subjected to the punishing elements of the sun, rain and wind.

In response to the damage caused by the elements there has been an effort to make some covers from PVC fabric which itself is subject to UV damage. Therefore Superior has produced an answer, The Superior Hose Reel Cover. (HRC).

This innovative product is manufactured from tough durable polyethylene which is the same material used for impact resistant road barriers where they have to endure years of service out in the elements. The fire engine red covers have been designed with a distinctive fire hose reel shown on the outer to preserve the instant recognition needed in an emergency event.

The Superior HRC also features handy hand holds to lift off the cover quickly, a slot that allows the cover to slide down over the water supply pipe and a safety clip that prevent unintentional winds blowing the unit off into the water. With research Superior has ensured that this unit will fit the reel assemblies off all of the major suppliers of fire hose reels. This means the unit adds style to the commercial installations of all fire hose reels in major building, industrial plants as well as marinas worldwide.

The product will be launched at the upcoming Marine13 show in Sydney on April 28, 2013. Enquiries from non marine distributors are welcome as we believe this is a must have accessory for long term protection of this vital infrastructure component to fire safety. Purchase the fire hose reel cover online Fire Hose Reel Cover

Fire Hose Reel Marinas

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SuperiorWORK brand adds a Steel Division

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Over recent years the Superior group has added a commercial division to service the flotation needs of general industry and the resource sector in particular. The SuperiorWORK brand was born and a range of tough, rugged innovative products has followed. In addition to the range of pump pontoons, pipe floats, floating walkways and industrial gangways, the company now has added a general steel fabrication business.

This need has arisen over time as customers have used the aluminium fabrication service but increasingly asked for a heavier duty product in quality steel design and fabrication. With recent contracts for the Port of Gladstone requiring heavy steel pontoons, the company has opened a specialist steel service at their site at 7 Jade Drive in Molindinar. The work is highly specialised with a design team experienced in structural steel design, and a team of boilermakers with quality assured welding expertise. The team has produced great results with a quality assured (QA) system.

The need for QA is now a basic requirement for mining and industrial customers. This means that the procedures that we have worked on for years must now be documented and audited by a third party, in our case SAI Global. This increased level of assurance is a positive outcome for all parties as our people have proven performance and our customers have trust in the brand.

As in all of our manufacturing operations the Superior branded products are produced however we also contract fabricate for others. We welcome your enquiries to supply your structural steel fabrication needs in the near future.

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Frozen marinas in Korea

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Every time I visit Korea it is an amazing experience.  This is from the first interaction at the arrival hall of the Gimpo airport where I landed this time.  I love the pride people take in their jobs.  Drivers of taxis and buses wear gloves and are very respectful, kind and helpful.  When the driver of the luxury limousine bus bows to the passengers before he commences the journey, it makes you feel as if you are in good hands.  That stated, even good drivers do not make up for the massive traffic snarls in this city of 12 million people.  There is no such thing as a short car trip.

The hotel where meetings were held was the Hotel Lotte World in Jamsil which is a mini DisneyWorld lookalike.  The complex is huge with department stores, hotel, amusement park and over the road work has started on the Lotte Tower that will be over 100 stories.  After working with Lotte in Australia on the Salacia Waters project we know the horsepower in this organisation and visiting the scale of their projects here in Korea only reinforces this reputation.

In the hotel there are many small innovations that we are not familiar with in Australia.  There is a complimentary mobile phone provided in the room for use while in the hotel (this makes up for our phones not working here).  In the Korean BBQ restaurant they use wood coals to cook the delicious food. Over each table there is a stainless steel 100mm pipe that electronically lowers to extract any fumes.  Each detail seems well thought out here and this design element although coming from a different culture really does show a commitment to the total customer experience.  I would still rather see a bar in the hotel, but I guess I can learn to Karaoke instead once in awhile.

A visit to the Han River showed the extremely harsh conditions that our marinas experience here.  The Capri marina frames are frozen solid into the river and the polyethylene floats have endured this for a number of seasons now.  Floating products will endure freezing in still water. It will not work if the structure is in the wrong place where an entire ice floe can break free and shift under windy conditions.  The power of thousands of tons of ice moving, forms ice mountains that make beautiful sculpture and also it destroys marinas!

korea-trip

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Sharing the excitement of boating

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When boating is mentioned, it instantly evokes leisurely images of adventure and fun, which is part of a feeling many boating and fishing enthusiasts are well aware of: the call of the ocean, and its limitless opportunities.

A saying that comes to my mind and sums up this is one from famous Captain and Ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau: “The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever”.

I remember the first time my dad took me fishing as a kid on the lagoon in front of my grandparent’s house, back home. The feeling was amazing and priceless: the breeze on my face, the fresh droplets of seawater spraying past and the promise of a good time made it all a unique, enduring experience.

However every potential new boat owner will tell you that acquiring a boat is only part of the equation and that before you can let the adventure and leisure begin, there is a lot of preparation and setting up to do.

It all starts with a very important question: Where and how will my new boat be safely moored?

If you live on a canal or by the river, Superior is here to make this easy for you, by assisting in your pontoon, boat lift or jetty needs.  We want to share the pleasure and experience of boating by delivering the safest, most durable and environmentally friendly boat mooring solution so you can appreciate the joys of on water entertainment with the peace of mind that your new investment is safe and secure when you are not using it.

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2012 METS Conference in Amsterdam

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From tomorrow, Tuesday the 13th of November, the METS (Marine Equipment Trade Show) conference will be on until Thursday the 15th at the RAI Complex in Amsterdam. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this event is internationally renowned as the world’s largest exhibition of equipment, material and systems for the international marine leisure industry. It will see over 1,300 exhibitors from over 39 countries and 19,000 professionals from over 96 countries gather to exchange, network and learn from one another during this exceptional event.

It is literally a melting pot for the international marine industry as attendees will be able to make themselves aware of thousands of new and innovative award winning products. A large array of propulsion, navigation, engine management, electronics and hydraulic systems as well as insulation, lighting and safety equipment will readily be on display. More to that it is an excellent platform for innovation and to talk to people behind the product; the people responsible for emerging marine trends.

An expanded SuperYacht Pavilion will be in place as well as the prestigious Dame Awards which recognises the best designs for products at the exhibition and helps raising money for charity. Being a finalist in 2009, Superior will be entering again next year with an exciting new product.

Furthermore, a wide array of workshops and seminars will take place during the three days with topics ranging from hybrid marine propulsion to mitigation of noise problems on boats.

The Superior stand will also have representatives from our China, Middle East and Australian offices answering your questions and assisting you with your enquiries. If you’re visiting METS this year, please come and see us  at booth 828 in Hall 11 in the Australian Pavilion. Preregistration for the event is indeed advisable and can be done here.

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Sustainable Boating

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I was recently visiting Sanctuary Cove Marina and walking along the berths near B arm when I spotted the sight of a marine revolution in progress. Berthed alongside a Superior Capri pontoon were 2 of the hard working alloy boats with Honda outboards that have done such a great job for many years. Right beside them were the new electric purpose built security catamarans. This indeed was the changing of the guard right before our eyes. Everyone knows that the Sanctuary Cove boats really do work hard as they are always on the move, therefore the new technology must be robust as well.

Security has a special role at Sanctuary Cove with staff being the eyes on the water, however the residents assist so it is an integrated neighborhood watch system. Grace Perez and the sales team also mention this feature to prospective buyers as the security team have proven their value as first responders with first aid in a medical emergency.

The 6 metre vessels are purpose built in survey GRP catamarans with twin Torqeedo Cruise 4R short shaft electric outboards connected to Lithium batteries. The top speed is 10 knots however. 3 knot working pace is most commonly used. The cost savings are considerable with previous annual operating and replacement amounts lowered by over $50,000.

This is a real world example of sustainability in action as the body corporate has received input from residents xwith experience in the area.  The equipment uses new technology that has a better life cycle result however it takes real leadership to commit to the higher upfront capital cost.  We congratulate the Sanctuary Cove community on showing the world another way forward for the global boating community.

[meteor_slideshow slideshow=”sanctuary-cove”]

Regards,

John Hogan

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Northern adventure

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This week I am on vacation and we have decided to go on an adventure with a couple of other boats north to the Capricorn and Bunker group. This area has so much natural beauty and there is lots to see. It was a straight shot north from the Gold Coast and in over the Wide Bay Bar in good conditions, which was a blessing given what this entrance can be like with breakers and dangerous conditions. After a night at Gary’s Anchorage we refueled at Urangan.

Urangan otherwise known as Hervey Bay is a thriving tourist town that has benefited from the whale watching industry. While at the Great Sandy Straits marina we chatted to the managers Wes and Helen who are members of the Marinas Industry Association (MIA) . We dropped off a copy of our book on Sustainable Marina Development as well that has a photo of their marina on the cover.

As we departed in the afternoon we were motoring through Platypus Bay en route to Rooney Point in absolutely mirror flat conditions and sparkling clear waters when we sighted two whales. People on the marina in Urangan had told us how friendly and inquisitive they were, so we just stopped and sat there in the boat. These two beautiful animals were easily 10m long and they proceeded to pop up in a spy hop or tail show, or even both tail and head out of the water at once. They swam under the boat twice and were really curious about us as they swam by ever so slowly. It is an amazing experience with these gentle giants.

If you get a chance, visit Hervey Bay and experience this event. It makes us happy to provide berthing when it gives people access to see such magic in the world.

John

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Floating berths as an sustainable necessity

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As part of delivering service to our international clients we travel frequently to remote locations. This is a valuable learning exercise as we are constantly being challenged as to our established beliefs of the way things are done in Australia. I first experienced this when in an orientation camp as a teenager about to go and live with another family overseas for a year. The wonderful people at the AFS exchange student program had a valuable lesson for us that I have never forgotten. When you find something that confronts you as just not what you expected, always remember that “it is not wrong, it is just different “. This lesson was in orientation from AFS, an organisation started after World War 1 to promote international understanding. It has been a powerful and enduring lesson.

Fast forward 30 odd years and I still recall this lesson often when I see things that seem strange. For example on a recent trip in Sri Lanka I saw marine berthing restarting in a country that has suffered 24 years of civil war. In the south of the country there are beautiful beaches around Mirissa and they have a whale watching industry. The local fishermen just raft up from a stone wall quay, however this tour operator had to provide customers with safe access off a rock wall. They made it happen with a Fibreglass pontoon that was only wide enough to berth the transom of the vessel. This pontoon was held in place with a line forward onto a sunken vessel, and rear over the rocks with a rubber thong to prevent chafing of the ropes. While it initially seems an unusual way to berth, it was nevertheless quite functional, stable and safe. This local solution is allowing valuable foreign tourism income to grow in Sri Lanka and we should never under estimate human inventiveness.

Come Friday I’ll be off travelling for a couple of weeks; some work and for the first time in a while a little R&R.  Until next time, stay safe.

John

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