Royal welcome

One of Australia's most beautifully built, classic motor yachts, Princess Iluka, was recently entrusted to The Boat Works in Coomera, Queensland, for a major refit.

24 August 2022


The Boat Works recently welcomed Princess Iluka, the one-of-a-kind, 115-foot timber motor yacht, along with and the 120-foot Oceanfast, Antipodean – both proudly Australian-built superyachts, though from vastly different eras.

Princess Iluka spent time in the in-water service berth before being hauled out into the super refit sheds ahead of an eight-month period of works.

Designed by Bernie Cohen and built in Tasmania in 1979 out of rot-resistant Huon pine – one single tree believed to be around 750 years old – Princess Iluka is a veritable heritage motor yacht, as owner, Robert McVicker explained.

“She is a piece of Australian history and I see myself as purely a custodian,” he said. “Never again will a vessel of this size ever be built from Huon pine; firstly the cost, and secondly, the availability of the timbers.”

The unique heritage vessel had a series of complex works carried out which involved more than thirty marine professionals and consisted of a varied scope of works, including engineering and refinishing works and removal of a boat wrap to the topside hull.


Robert said he chose The Boat Works for its high professional standards and the skilled craftspeople on-site.

“It’s an outstanding complex with the size of sheds to accommodate our vessel. There’s plenty of support available from the array of onsite marine professionals, suppliers and contractors within the precinct,” he said.

“It was extremely convenient to have access to specialists in paint, carpentry, electrical, stainless-steel work, and Engineering by Stella Marine who do so much general work.”

Of great appeal was the VIP Lounge. “The ability to conduct private meetings directly with the captain and skilled trades within the VIP lounge right on-site, which is world-class and fully stocked was wonderful.

“A convenient and great value-added service we used regularly. I don’t know any other yard that comes close to offering such a facility.

Princess Iluka is a timeless masterpiece,” he continued. “Proof of this is that she looks as good today as she did when we completed the nine-year rebuild/redesign in 2009.”

And because of her sturdy Huon pine hull, Robert is confident that with regular maintenance, her allure will endure. “Unlike many superyachts, Princess Iluka should still be around in another hundred years.”



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