Seaflex is an elastic mooring solution for marinas, wave attenuators and buoys that is unrivaled in its ability to keep the floating application secured in position even in locations with high water fluctuation and waves. The product can handle extreme forces and has the longest life expectancy of mooring solutions today. Talk with Superior Jetties today about how we can help with your pontoon, marina and berthing requirements. Contact Us
Welcome everyone to my first blog of 2014. I hope you all had a break over the holidays and enjoyed some family time. We are back to work at Superior with some exciting projects this year. Over the break I had a chance to reflect on some of the highlights of 2013. Superior completed projects in South Bund Bonded Marina in Shanghai, Portland Harbour Marina, Portland Victoria, Rivergate Marine, Queensland and Nadi, Fiji to name a few. It is amazing that the large and small projects together deliver the reputation we enjoy today after 25 years.
We recently had 2 people approach us with interesting feedback. Mike stopped me in a coffee shop to let me know that the shock absorbers we made 10 years ago are still protecting his boat and lift from excessive wakes on the main river. The other request was to investigate adding kayak berths to a recently completed mini marina. This was in a special request from a customer and shows that the trend toward kayaks becoming the entry level to boating is a real event. We need to consider the needs of these boaters and modify our infrastructure to suit in way that accommodate easier berthing and egress to the craft, better storage and security in our facilities.
In 2014 we are embarking on a redevelopment of the Sydney Birkenhead Marina. This involves adding new berths while reconfiguring the existing layout and adding fuel facilities. This is being done using the Superior Elite timber whaler system and promises to be a landmark project for us in the Sydney market.
I recently attended the Marine13 conference held in Sydney on April 28th. A pleasant surprise ensued with the bestowing of an honorary Certified Marina Professional (CMP) award presented by Mick Bettsworth, the Chairman of the GMI ( Global Marina Institute ). To become “Certified” I thought I had better check on the background, and any roles and responsibilities that I may have now inherited. The marina industry has long held the CMM or Certified Marina Manager, as the pinnacle of the industry career path where recipients are acknowledged as professionals with practical and business prowess. The CMP is the equivalent for those professionals in the industry that support and supply the products used in marinas.
Those who have read the odd blog of mine will know of my love of music as well and In particular I love great guitars, and guitarists. I am regularly questioned by my family why I need more than one if I can only play one at a time! My favourite Aussie guitarist is Tommy Emmanual AM, an absolute virtuoso, a Maton (Aussie guitar made in Victoria) player, and an all round good bloke. At the last concert I attended he had the audience in his hands from start to finish. He is also a Certified Guitar Player (CGP), and award given to him personally by Chet Atkins in 1999, his childhood hero. The award states ” in recognition of his contribution to the art of fingerpicking “. For Tommy being one of only 4 in the world with a CGP award from Chet one of the leaders of all guitar music, this is a high point in his career. (Listen to some great finger picking from Tommy and Chet )
So when I reflect on a life’s work, on making the world a better place, and providing enjoyment through access to boating, I think a little bit like Tommy. What a wonderful career to do something you love everyday, in an industry surrounded by great people who have become your friends. And when a group of those peers stand up and say you are Certified, I feel happily content. Perhaps on the other hand, they were really telling me I am getting a little crazy……:)
Superior has been focussed on an export strategy for over a decade and we are involved in many international projects that are exciting and challenging. Currently we are working on multiple projects in China including one marina in Nanchang as well as work in Shanghai. Other projects include delivery of our Capri products to Malaysia and ongoing work in the Seychelles. New projects are in the pipeline in other parts of China and Fiji.
The AIMEX Awards were held to reward the outstanding achievements of Australian marine industry exporters and the Australian superyacht industry manufacturers and service providers. Superior was recognised for the category ‘Best Marine Industry Export Marketing Strategy’. Superior has used a strategy of attending international exhibitions to establish a network of dealers and licensees. These local contacts are then able to offer fast services with a quality proven product either built in Australia, or locally using Superior designs and project management. Such innovation has expanded the reach of the company, which now offers value into markets once deemed to difficult to service.
The award was welcome recognition for the significant commercial and government projects we have undertaken around the world including marinas, jetties, ferry terminals, piling and resort aquatic areas.
Last week Superior sponsored and attended the Marine13 conference in Sydney with more than 450 delegates. The group comprised marinas, boating industry businesses and boating safety professionals. With an innovative format there were multiple streams running for each area after the initial plenary sessions, which meant there was something for everyone. In fact it was often difficult to chose what to attend as simultaneous sessions meant you missed some great speakers. For this reason the presentations have been placed online at marine13.com
Superior had its commercial team there as usual and it is always fun to catch up with old friends in the industry. The MIA Marina Awards were a highlight with winners list impressive. Our clients at Royal Prince Alfred YC received their Gold Anchor flag and in general it was a celebration of all that is good in the industry. It seemed an upbeat crowd with more interest in capital projects than recent years meaning boat occupancy rates must be improving.
One of the stand out messages was the need for us all to embrace the mix of online sales with traditional brick and mortar operations. John Winning from Appliances Online was an inspirational speaker who showed with commitment to great customer service a winning online strategy can give excellent service and no longer is this channel a cheap option. We will learn from this advice as we offer new improved services over the coming year.
Finally it was the season for awards with the Global Marina Institute (GMI) awarding two honorary Certified Marina Professional certificates; one to John Spragg from Bellingham Marine, and one to yours truly. And while on the topic of “Spraggy” I want to wish my fellow director and sponsor of MIA a hearty congratulations on his Lifetime Achievement Award as well.
Many marina owners are faced with the challenge of how to determine the fair cost of a major capital investment such as a new floating marina. The actual product is a combination of structural and civil engineering, geotechnical and environmental considerations along with complex social issues throughout the increasingly detailed approval processes. After myriad issues one can hear the collective sigh of relief that the life cycle of such structures exceeds 20 years.
Given the size of the investment we like to suggest some care goes into the early choices that set the foundations of ongoing cost of ownership and maintenance. Many of these issues are covered in our book Sustainable Marina Development published recently. The primary choice is the site and this is critical with an old adage being that if the location is somewhere that is a safe anchorage, then that is the first clue to being a good marina site as well.
Once the site is closed and secured the issues turn to the type if floating berths and how they are secured in place. The primary consideration in floating berths is to have enough mass to minimise passing wakes or waves that cause movement in the marina. This movement translates into maintenance and therefore cost, so a smooth site is a happy site for all concerned. Heavy concrete marinas exceed 300kg per square metre and this serves to make the site very secure by ironing out surface chop. It will not stop a major swell and cannot make a bad site into a good one.
Sometimes metal decked systems with bolted flotation is preferred. This is useful where current or floods are a consideration as the gaps in the flotation are useful to allow debris and current to pass by the structure. The mass may be less than concrete however the system is designed with strong metal connections that hold the whole system in place.
Regardless of the system that is chosen the elements need to be good quality with a well thought out design. Services should be easily accessible and have redundancy to allow for future technology and growth in demand. Cleats need to be designed to break prior to the marina pontoons and in this way minimising damage and repair costs. This may seem unnecessary until a boater powers out of a berth with a line still connected; yes it does happen!
Overall marina design has progressed in many ways over the past 50 years and today’s quality floating platforms provide welcome harbours for vessels. Add to this the social atmosphere that attracts people and marinas are a valuable part of the urban landscape.