Hamilton Island ramps up its watersports
The team at Hamilton Island Marina are serious about watertoys, which are among the most popular activities on this idyllic enclave in The Whitsundays.
James Burrell and crew recently added more jet ski docks to their already existing infrastructure, which also comprises floating kayak storage for up to 20 craft, and a selection of water sports equipment manufactured on Queensland’s Gold Coast by Superior Jetties.
The Marina is busy all year round with 100% occupancy this time of year and as many as 1,200 visitors keen to enjoy the island lifestyle, according to James, which means his team have to be ready, willing and able to supply gear and instruct guests on the use of Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPS), jet skis, catamarans and kayaks.
“Although winter is the peak season for Hamilton Island, with southerners escaping the cold, we are in demand year round when it comes to watersports.
“We have a team of eight in our watersports team at Catseye Beach, running hobie cats, kayaks and SUPs. And at Qualia resort, we have a team of five instructors who cater to windsurfing and SUP lessons.”
Keeping the island’s equipment and infrastructure fresh and appealing is a major priority. “There is huge capital investment in the upkeep of the island, which has included a recent extension on the marina as well. Every year, particularly prior to Race Week in August, we introduce new activities, new venues and new equipment.”
The watersports team offers guided Jet ski tours around the island, conducting up to four or five per day. “It’s a very popular activity,” explains James. “We need to have a stable, reliable and durable docking structure for our jet skis as they represent a major investment.”
Superior installed its flexible floating modular structure using the UMD system with dogbone connectors. The ski docks a manufactured on the Gold Coast from high grade polyethylene with no moving parts, therefore they have a low cost of ownership for commercial operators.
“We have a long history of using Superior Jetties jet ski docks because they supply a quality product and excellent service,” says James. “Whenever we upgrade, we go back to Superior because their products always work. John Hogan and his team always have a solution to keep up with model of jet skis when we upgrade.”
Another piece of essential equipment which has recently enjoyed docking on a Superior pontoon is the island’s 5.8m Brig RIB, used as a tender and chase boat for events on the island.
James is anticipating a busy summer period, driven by the convenience of the marina’s location adjacent to the Hamilton Island airport.
“Our biggest selling point is direct flights from the capital cities. People can fly up, arrive at lunchtime Friday and spend the weekend in paradise. We are just 10 minutes from the airport with concierge service.”