Eco-responsibility creating marine sanctuary

The Boat Works has doubled in size to 54 acres (218,530-square-metres), and is on track to welcome the first superyachts to the new purpose-built facility by summer 2019.

The Boat Works superyacht yard, with private investment of more than $100 million, will create thousands of jobs in the marine and service industries. Superyacht visitation and expenditure will have flow-on benefits to the broader community.

Key to the expansion is the guiding principle of eco-responsibility.

“We have created the cleanest and greenest shipyard and marina in the world,” said owner, Tony Longhurst, adding that they are dedicated to providing a unique, marine environmentally-friendly facility within a Government Gazetted Marine Precinct.

“We are committed to maintaining the health of our waterways, to operating sustainably and with minimal impact on the environment. The innovations we have implemented throughout the existing facility and the new superyacht yard are testament to our aim of minimal impact, and in fact improving water quality.”

The Longhursts are one of south-east Queensland’s pioneer families, investing in Coomera for 40 years, the past 20 years focused on the Gold Coast Marine Precinct.

The Boat Works’ owners are passionate environmentalists and staunch defenders of the future of our waterways, underpinned by qualifications in Environmental Science.

Carolyn Rose, Tony’s sister, is a qualified Ecologist/Environmental Scientist and explained that “The Boat Works have taken a multi-pronged approach in terms of air, water and soil to being custodians of this site making it better than when we arrived”.

“To reduce our carbon emissions, we have installed a 100kw solar panel system in the south yard with a similar system to be installed in the superyacht yard. We acknowledge the benefits that mangroves can do to protect the shoreline and encourage them to establish by installing walkways to the marinas, which slow the effect of boat wash down and protect the banks from soil erosion.

“To protect the river, The Boat Works has rainwater tanks and has installed stainless steel grates to catch debris, along with water filtration, wastewater recycling and bio-garden systems to improve water quality.

“We know our customers appreciate the clean yard and great service, and that extends into the enjoyment of their boating experience in the surrounding waterways.”

The Boat Works in its entirety occupies over 500m of prime waterfront land within the heart of the Gold Coast Marine Precinct and has retained a dedicated 200m as a ‘Marine Sanctuary’, preserving the thriving natural mangrove ecosystem and ensuring run-off and wastewater are fully-recycled onsite.

“Mangrove regeneration is a crucial part in building fish-friendly marine infrastructure protecting the shoreline and encouraging natural habitats to flourish,” said Tony Longhurst. “We have made ‘a marine sanctuary’ and we are thrilled to see around 50 juvenile mangroves coming through already. At high tide, it’s teeming with fish.”

The high-tech systems The Boat Works has in place include:

  • The Boat Works south uses stainless steel drain grates to filter debris and wastewater
    prior to entry to the stormwater
  • A dedicated team on ride-on sweepers collect any plastics, contaminants and debris
    onsite further eliminating the waste into the stormwater and improving water quality
  • Bins for recycling and waste throughout the premises within easy access of all tenants
    and boat bays
  • 100 kw Solar array in southern yard with a similar system to be installed in the
    Superyacht yard
  • Fox Evo-Systems filtration and environmental water systems throughout the site
    ensuring the diversion of contaminated runoff away from the stormwater and waterways
  • Superyacht sheds, work bays and hardstand are constructed on a slope to collect all runoff
    water which is then treated to be reused or goes to sewer
  • Harvesting of rainwater, and recycling of wastewater
  • Bio-gardens planted throughout the new superyacht refit facility along the new 20 berth
    marina and the Dry Storage Marina. All water goes through bio-gardens before it reaches
    the River.

“No other shipyard in Australia, or the world, has implemented these processes,” stated Mr Longhurst. “We are confident we have designed and are building the cleanest shipyard and slipway on the planet.”

During the recent ASMEX and Marinas19 conferences on the Gold Coast, delegates undertook shipyard tours. The Boat Works welcomed 60 international delegates and they were unanimously positive in their impressions of the vision for the new superyacht facility and The Boat Works’ ethos of being the “cleanest and greenest” shipyard and marina.

Marieke Derk of Superyacht Publications said she was very impressed with The Boat Works’ aesthetics and green credentials.

“The facilities are well laid-out and maintained, breathing a pleasant open atmosphere. ‘Greenliness’ is becoming a factor of increasing concern with superyacht captains and owners and The Boat Works is making sure that their new superyacht extension will be one of the greenest we have come across so far.”

Recently, the Seabin COO, Mahi Paquette and Marine Ecologist, David Turton visited The Boat Works to demonstrate the V5 Seabin “trash skimmer” which intercepts floating debris, macro and micro plastics.

David said of particular interest to him were the extensive bio-gardens adjacent to the new 30-berth marina. He praised them as a “simple and effective system to filter and improve water quality”, comparing it to a similar initiative in San Francisco.

“We have a responsibility as a company to operate in a way that protects the environment and our waterways,” said Mr Longhurst.

“Our aim is to reduce impact on the environment and preserve natural resources. We’re constantly in search of ways to be green internally and welcome state governments, waterways, fisheries and local council to work with us to better enhance and improve eco-innovations here at the facility.”