Photography by Boat Masters
The newest marine servicing and maintenance facility on the Gold Coast, Boat Masters – located on Hope Island – is attracting a diverse range of boat owners with vastly different needs. Boat Masters’ manager, Gary Klein, said the facility, which is owned by Maritimo, is able to be “virtually all things to all people.”
For example, two vessels currently undergoing significant works at Boat Masters, a Transpac 52 Sydney to Hobart racing machine and a Horizon 68 cruising motoryacht, could not be more diverse.
“The Sydney to Hobart racer is a very interesting story and is undergoing a major refurbishment and enhancement program here at Boat Masters to be readied for another tilt at the great race,” Klein said. “And the Horizon 68, which has only recently arrived in Australia from Italy, is undergoing works in preparation for its owners to head off on a lifetime adventure up the coast and across to the Kimberley.”
Both the racing yacht and the motoryacht are being worked on by numerous local expert tradespeople at Boat Masters and their presence here at the shipyard represents a significant economic boost for professionals in the marine industry service and maintenance sector.
Excited to explain further, Klein added, “Boat Masters’ 75 ton travel lift easily accommodates the 60 ton Horizon, and it was moved from the water to the work shed with ease.”
The boat was brought in from Italy after the husband and wife purchasers located it online for sale in Nice. The cruising motoryacht was built in 2008 and then launched in 2009. The vessel will be renamed Salt and will be located at Port Douglas or Hamilton Island after its Kimberley adventure.
On the hand, the Transpac 52 is a labour of love for five-time world sailing champion and veteran of 40 Sydney to Hobart races, Michael Spies.
“She is a US$3.5 million dollar boat that was damaged at the stern at the start of the Sydney to Hobart two years ago,” he said. ” Today she would cost $5 million to build and the carbon fiber mast alone would be worth around $400,000.
“We are slowly and meticulously bringing her back to her original standard, before optimising her so that she is right up there with the very latest in that category of racing,” Spies commented.
A professional yacht racer with experience both nationally and internationally, Spies explained that he could not fault Boat Masters and the professionals that operate the leading facility.
“It we were trying to undertake a project of this magnitude, over such a lengthy timeframe, somewhere in Sydney, it would be economically prohibitive and access to professionals and skilled tradespeople would not be as good.
“Combine that with the fact that Maritimo’s founder Bill Barry-Cotter, who cut his teeth in sailing, is here regularly watching what is being done and giving his opinions, is invaluable,” Spies said.