Refit recognition

Rivergate Marina & Shipyard won the 2023 Superyacht Industry Project/Design Award at this year’s Australian Marine Industry Awards.

26 May 2023


The Awards were announced at a Gala Dinner presentation on Wednesday, 24 May, at The InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort – the venue for the 2023 ASMEX Conference.

Rivergate was a finalist in two categories: the Superyacht Industry Project/Design of the Year award and the Superyacht Industry Service Provider of the Year. In addition, they were the proud sponsor of the Marine Industry Champion of the Year award, which recognises an individual’s contribution to the success of the Australian marine industry.

“It’s always satisfying to be recognised by a panel of our peers for projects that involved so many marine professionals and our Project Managers,” said Rivergate General Manager Andrew Cannon.

“This Award is a testament to their skills, their dedication, and their great relationships with the Captain, owner, and the various trades who worked on this monumental project which showcased the full complement of talents on-site and in south-east Queensland.


“We are so grateful for the honour of this Award. Full credit goes to the contractors and their skilled teams, the Rivergate Project Management team and management of KOKOMO II for their vision and support.”

The Superyacht Industry Project/Design or Manufacturer of the Year Award recognises excellence in a project, design and manufacture in the Australian superyacht sector.

The Rivergate entry detailed the complex refit and upgrade works on the iconic 37.5m motor yacht, KOKOMO II, a regular visitor to Rivergate.

The project was the product of strong ties and trust between Rivergate management and the vessel’s Captain. Over eight months, the project involved dozens of expert marine contractors and craftspeople.

It was also significant because this heritage vessel was designed by legendary designer, Jack Hargrave, built by Lloyds Ships in Brisbane and delivered in 1987, and returned to her hometown for modernisation that will take her into the next phase of her cruising career.

Preceding the works was a long period of discussion of the brief and scope of works to ensure the owners’ priorities were accommodated.

Captain Luke Caldwell has been at the helm for 11 years and describes the Rivergate experience as “smooth and stress-free, thanks to the combined expertise of a close-knit and collaborative team”.

Rivergate project manager, Marty Johnson oversaw the scheduling of all trades and contractors to carry out the works in a timely, coordinated manner: a full repaint, the addition of new teak decks, new lazarette, and complete engine overhaul.

The heart of the vessel was stripped right back to its two engines, rewired, replumbed and the electrical system replaced.

The transom refit involved installing a new swim platform and stairs, which extended the yacht from 34 to 37m. The lazarette was gutted, refurbished to a contemporary standard and equipped with new watertoys.

The Major marine professionals involved in the project included:

Aus Yachts designed, modelled the extension and following the completion of the project undertook a lightship survey and incline testing to create a new stability book based on the changes made to the vessel.

Aus Ships, fabricated and installed the new aluminium transom extension, which was built and grafted to the hull in addition to fabricating the doors, lockers, and main deck gate.

Millennium Marine Australia undertook the fairing and painting, including a full hull repaint in Majestic Blue that incorporated the new transom extension.

Wright Marine carried out the teak deck works, including the new transom, stairs for swim ladder and from transom to main deck, aft deck, capping railing, and a complete fit out of the lazarette.

MPS  conducted Engineering works including fabrication of the stainless-steel awning supports, drainage pipework and water supplies for the bathroom faucets and transforming the ventilation pipework.

MET Electrical supplied and installed the Aqualuma underwater LED lights, strip lighting and down lights. In addition to electrical fit out for the lazarette and new Transom area.

From commencement to completion, this project attracted interest from international superyacht/marine media and the mainstream media which were fascinated by the historic value of KOKOMO II and her owners’ commitment to its conservation, while seeking to bring vital elements of the vessel up to contemporary standards of comfort, safety and operation.

Articles followed the progress of the refit and appeared in US, European, Asian, NZ and Australian print and digital news, and the video enjoyed extra mileage across social media channels.

“All in all, this was an extremely successful project and major enhancement that demonstrated Rivergate’s capacity to undertake complex refit projects for all superyachts,” said Tom Hill, Director at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard.



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