Work. Play. Life

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The title of this weeks blog is our Vision at Superior. The simple three words express a lot about us and serve as a reminder of what we do. The vision is the catch cry of our longer mission statement where we commit to “Provide flotation with sustainable solutions to support work, play and life.”

The transition of Superior from a specialist provider of marine berths into a multi disciplined flotation specialist has been a gradual broadening of scope brought about by two things. Firstly our natural imaginative flair that is part of our culture means we will “have a go” if we think we can help a customer. That led to diversification which during recent economic slow downs has proved invaluable. We have already diversified into the industrial flotation arena with pump pontoons, floating walkways and pipe floats under the brand SuperiorWORK. The next stage will see environmental flotation that provides living space, solar power generation, food and water improvement systems.

This all gives us lots of opportunity and an exciting future.

We recently prepared a list of our brand values that we use to filter all of our decisions. The acronym is simple as it tells you what TIPE of service you will receive when you call us. The values are:
Trust – we commit to provide honest dealings from a team you know you can trust.
Imaginative – we always try to find new ways to create value for the customer in our solutions.
Personal – our service will be provided by individuals who take pride in their role and take personal care of you.
Exceptional – we strive to provide an exceptional product in terms of both quality and service.

We look forward to serving you.

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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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ARMA Rotomoulding conference

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Last week the annual conference of ARMA, the Australasian Rotomoulding Manufacturers Association was in Cairns, North Queensland. I was attending as a delegate and also provided one of the presentations on Becoming a Design Led Company. ARMA is a wonderful organisation that provides members in Australia and New Zealand with very professional representation in industry, government and internationally with the scientific community. As a former member of the Board of Directors I was able to see first hand the excellent results that Leisa Donlan and Michelle produce for members. Every year they surprise us with something new and this has allowed the industry to remain resilient.

One of my favourite results from ARMA has been the learning and friendships that result from having a genuine support group of like minded individuals. There are business deals, product sharing, technical benchmarking and international research all active from within ARMA. This is one of the reasons why I am sharing our experience at Superior on becoming design led in the hope to assist other companies to evolve with their unique brand values, a deeper customer insight and exciting new designs that improve the entire experience for all stakeholders.

The other reason is that many years ago when we had suffered a fire that severely limited our production for a few months, Leisa was immediately there to assist us. She gave us introductions to other ARMA members who could help us and they manufactured product for ourcustomers until we were back on our feet. I have never forgotten this as we would not have wonderful customers like Riviera, Fox Environmental or Greystone today if not for this generous support. Lets hope last week we could, in some small way, return the favour.

Fire Hose Reel Marinas

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Surf Cities inaugural event

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This week we are exhibiting at the inaugural Surf Cities conference that is running in conjunction with the Bleach festival and immediately precedes the QuiksilverPro starting March 2nd. The conference has a number of speakers that focus on the entire surf industry and also about the design, manufacture, recycling and overall sustainability of the surf industry.

Superior is excited to be exhibiting our range of SUPs that have been designed here on the Gold Coast by Dave Verrall. Once “Feral Dave” had shaped and made the original units they were water tested to analyse performance.  Superior then proceeded to adapt this design into a fully polyethylene rotomoulded version. Ram Raghuraman who heads Superior Plastech division, and his team of skilled industrial designers, with finite element analysis, produced a state of the art alumium mould with the help of Mace Engineering in NZ. Ram had to modify the design to suit Rotomolding as this process uses a metal mould in an oven that heats the mould to over 300 degrees centigrade to form a hollow structure. Mace delivered the mould that even survived the earthquake that happened in the middle of manufacture. Mace won the work due to their precision experience as this mould is very high technology for Rotomolding with over 68 kiss offs which are the columns within the unit that hold the top and bottom surfaces rigid and apart.

Once the mould was made, Mace made one in NZ and Ram inspected it. He then talked Virgin Australia into letting him bring it home as baggage! It was exciting to see the product in the flesh.  We then had to program the Reinhardt Rotomolding machine to make the board with a repeatable process that minimises the mass, while maintaining a strong durable performance. The answer lay in using a dual shot process with a specialised foam layer under the external coloured skin. This gave the strength and a wonderful new unit to take to the market.

Our initial tests were done at Leo’s operation at Currumbin Creek opposite the Thrower Drive bike path bridge, also built by Superior for GCCC. Leo showed the product was a solid performer for rental companies where durability is a major consideration. The Superior SUP is not designed to compete with the high end GRP boards, however it allows an affordable way for new people to try the sport with a unit that will perform on the water. While it may be slightly heavier than glass boards, it is strong, will not dent, and has easy cheap repairs. When you add to that a smooth base with a professional fin box and fin that cuts through the water, and 100% recyclability then the Superior SUP really tick all the boxes for this segment.

Superior's Rotomoulding Facility

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Free WiFi in the Gold Coast Broadwater Parklands

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How good is free Internet? As a result of a sponsorship agreement between OntheNet and the Gold Coast City Council, the Broadwater Parklands area in Southport, Gold Coast now benefits from a free WiFi enabled Internet network.

This free Gold Coast City Council initiative is available to locals and visitors and provides 30 minute sessions or when a limit of 50MB is reached, with a 15 minutes cool off period between.

The operating time of the Internet network during December through to March is 7am to 9pm and between April to November, will be 7am to 7pm. The coverage area comprises the Little Lawn, the Great Lawn, the Main Car Park, and the Rock Pools.

Superior has also been involved in the improvement of this beautiful part of the Coast when in 2006 the company designed and installed a timber deck on the southern end of the Parklands area, allowing people to enjoy the amazing Broadwater vistas in the comfort of a stunning on water location while also incorporating gazebos and timber seats for additional coziness.

As always Superior is proud to take part in the improvement of the Australian lifestyle by providing practical designs and aesthetically pleasing products.

Superior congratulates both OntheNet and the Gold Coast City Council for this remarkable initiative, providing Gold Coasters and visitors alike with a great service while making sure the architecture and ambience of the park was not compromised by the network facilities.

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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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Sustainability through planning, pro-activeness and commitment

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I was having a walk along the spit area last weekend, casually strolling towards the seaway opening when I was struck by the sight of something that I had pushed in the back of my mind and taken for granted over my years in Australia. This of course was the beautiful combination of a variety of Human activities and development happening at this marvelous area, which had left me with such a strong positive impression the very first time I had seen it, after arriving in the country.

The beauty of the natural environment and man made infrastructures, moored boats and people just enjoying themselves having a coffee at Marina Mirage or fishing off the seaway reminded me of exactly why I chose to come and live in Australia and not somewhere else.

I believe nowhere else in the world can you find such an advanced combination of amazing natural environments working in harmony with sustainable development and environmentally friendly business practices. Australia is a beautiful country with awesome natural resources and environments.  I really appreciate the fact that Australia has taken a strong proactive stance in regards to sustainability and has managed to face and rise up to the challenge, something that so many other nations fail to do. No doubt that being green is good and trendy for businesses this days but without dwelling too much on its obvious popularity and economic benefits, I believe it is crucial to remind ourselves of the true reasons why this so important and why we need to keep going this way.

When it comes down to it I believe these reasons are the same as the ones we have when improving ourselves or our work: it is about enhancing the quality of our life and protecting our future and the one for our children. Quite an important thing isn’t it?

I find it extremely fortunate that this concept is at the heart of Australian development and that Australians have the opportunity to exercise this crucial aspect in more ways than one.

Coming from Vanuatu, which is a tropical small country of islands in the Pacific Ocean, I have always valued and enjoyed what nature has to offer. As time passed however, I have come to witness the fact that too many times, human activities and commercial development in the world can take their toll on the environment but also the people, especially when businesses, organizations and governments lose the focus on preserving and improving the quality of life pertaining to the areas they use.

I certainly believe in Vanuatu’s development potential and sincerely hope that it will follow the great example set by Australia in conducting sustainable business practices. It would certainly be a shame if the natural environment which is where the strength of the country lies, was compromised by inconsiderate development and poor environmental management.

Here at Superior, we are all about sustainability as an organization and as people. We all know and respect the fact that we are lucky to live in and benefit from such a wonderful variety of natural environments. This is why the sustainability of our business activities is one of our greatest focus and at the heart of Superior’s philosophy.

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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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