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.
The 25 year milestone was celebrated with an event at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2013 with whom we have shared our main marketing activity for the same years since 1988.
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.
All the best in 2014
We have always looked for ways to make marine berthing easier for boaties. I love being on the water and remember my early attempts at boating when I really thought I had learned a lot about how to handle the vessel except when it came time to berth. I always loved the fact that the fuel dock had massive fenders, so even if I stuffed up a bit, the crash could not be heard by the punters up at Fishos pub. In fact like all boaties, the berthing task proved worrisome at first. I had to learn fast as my good friend Ron D’Albora had assigned me berth B23 right in front of a packed bar spilling over with judgemental gazes as we returned on a Sunday afternoon. Add to that a boatlift to navigate into as well, with 300mm on each side and the challenge and stress rose yet again.
As is usual your mates will always assist. I had good advice from my son Ryan ( the skipper) who said “just drive it as you can’t steer if you aren’t moving.”. The other great tip was from my mate Matt, who said, don’ t worry too much if you ding it, as it is only gelcoat and it’s fixable.
Over the years you do improve with practice. However sometimes wind and current conspire to still place your boat in an awkward spot, one in which you never intended to be. One of the worst of these is half way into a finger when you realize that contact is going to occur, whether you keep going in or out!
After being caught before we decided that our marine berths should be naturally soft on the vessel berthing surface and be somewhat forgiving of life’s nautical nuances. Therefore we added the Superior fender that makes the whole surface a shock absorber. However we still had the end of the finger that was an exposed risk area, with an angular shape just waiting to record every error with a sharp groove in your hull.
Therefore the FINGERTIP was born, and berths got better. Marinas now have arms, fingers and at last, fingertips. On the new project in progress at Capri on Via Roma we have featured all the fingers with beautifully moulded ends ready to guide boats into their berthing position. Darren, Dan and Steve in our factory have been crafting these Fingertips and they add a functional stylish statement to the facility.
This is design evolution with a need leading to better outcomes. Let me know if you want a set of Superior Fingertips at your marine berth.