Super boost in Queensland

Gold Coast-based family attracted massive global cruising superyacht Dancing Hare to South-East Queensland.

Photography by SYC

05 December 2019


Tom Hill, Director/owner of Rivergate Marina & Shipyard in Brisbane, was instrumental in bringing 57.7-metre Dancing Hare to Australia for lucrative maintenance and refit work at Rivergate, Brisbane.

The Amels-built superyacht, designed by industry icon, Australian naval architect, Jon Bannenberg, is now taking time on the Gold Coast for crew R&R over Christmas, before heading south to Sydney and eventually New Zealand in the New Year.

Dancing Hare is an exceptional international superyacht,” said Tom Hill.

“Through word of mouth referral from other Captains, the skipper of Dancing Hare approached Rivergate for an extended period of maintenance after cruising the South Pacific.

“Superyachts are a boon to the local economy in every way – from the marine trades and small businesses through to tourism, employment and then their recommendations to other superyacht owners for the professional refit and service centres in Australia and our pristine cruising grounds.”


Dancing Hare spent two stints at Rivergate – two months from late August to October, followed by an owners’ trip to the Whitsundays, then back to Rivergate for more work.

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) estimates that one superyacht spends 30 times that of a cruise liner in the port city they visit with provisions, fuel, entertainment, sight-seeing and crew spend.

Rivergate General Manager, Andrew Cannon confirms vessels such as Dancing Hare spend over and above the estimated 10 percent of their value.

“Work varies from engineering, stabilizer upgrades, new engine control room and service to all the plant and equipment, interiors such as upholstery, painting and deck works, tenders through to provisioning in food, beverage and décor such as flowers and entertainment,” he said. “They spend lots of money and small businesses benefit.”

The hundreds of sub-contractors and marine service businesses based at Rivergate benefited from Dancing Hare’s visits to Rivergate, which welcomes around 30 such behemoths each year, and many more are forecast to come with the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019, which passed through  the Senate today, 5 December.

This decision allows Australia to catch up to neighbouring countries who have booming superyacht economies. NZ, Fiji and Tahiti enjoy thriving marine industries, dominated by charter vessels.


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