Champion honoured

Tony Longhurst was recognised on 22 May with the 2024 Marine Industry Champion of the Year Award at this year’s Australian Marine Industry Awards Gala Dinner.

Photography by © Salty Dingo

28 May 2024


Held at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the Gold Coast, Queensland, the event attracted marine and yachting industry professionals from around Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the US and Europe.

The 2024 Marine Industry Champion of the Year, presented by Steve Fisher from Rivergate Marina & Shipyard was awarded to Tony Longhurst, CEO and owner of The Boat Works, the 55-acre shipyard and marina within the Coomera Marine Precinct.

Tony, a three-time Bathurst 1000 Champion during his 30-year motor racing career, took on ownership of The Boat Works in 2012, and since then, has overseen the planning, construction, expansion and operation of the shipyard.

“His dedication has elevated it to become the premier facility of its size globally, setting a new standard for shipyards and enhancing Australia’s reputation as a leading destination for refits and maintenance services,” said David Good, CEO, AIMEX, Superyacht Australia and ACMG.


The Boat Works marine facility has grown to become undoubtedly one of the world’s best. It is the Gold Coast’s largest industrial site and supports more than 2,000 jobs within the facility.

Now, owner Tony Longhurst is leading The Boat Works into a new era of service, pioneering revolutionary in-water, undercover chutes that are unique in the southern hemisphere.

The two 100-metre long, covered, in-water chutes located adjacent to the superyacht basin and marina will provide controlled working environments for all projects, with complete privacy and protection from the elements.

Known as the Boat Sheds, they will be “a game changer for our Australian Marine Industry,” according to Tony Longhurst.

“We’re building more major marine infrastructure to keep pace with the demand and prepare for the future,” he said.

“More boats mean more jobs! There’s an urgent need for marine infrastructure to create thousands of more jobs now and into the next decade to support our economy.

“Investing in The Boat Works has always been about creating jobs for others, security for families and ensuring there is a future for the boating industry on the Gold Coast. The Longhurst family is proud of the major investment into infrastructure at The Boat Works, worth more than $150 million.

“Our vision is to attract more Boats through to superyachts to the Gold Coast and ‘grow the pie’ for everybody at every level of the marine industry, tourism, hospitality and the broader community.

“We take great pride in our reputation for fostering an exceptional internal culture among our marine trade professionals and staff. Our commitment to service, going above and beyond for our boat owners, Captain and marine trade professionals remains unwavering.”

“This award means more to me than winning Bathurst three times!”

Accepting the award, to enthusiastic applause from guests and marine business partners that gathered at the InterContinental Ballroom, Tony said, “This award is a tribute to the hard work and reputation the entire team has earned over the past 10 years.

“Our commitment to customer-focused service, quality work and providing the facilities for vessels of all kinds has attracted yachts to the Gold Coast and provided work for hundreds of small businesses, plus the flow on in revenue to the south-east Queensland economy.



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