The announcement of the 2017 exporter of the year may have taken many by surprise Rainman Desalination a company only established two years ago won this year’s Exporter of the Year Award along with two other awards, the Best Marine Industry Export Performance – Medium Exporter and Best Marine Industry Export Marketing Strategy. Rainman designs and manufactures portable desalination systems which is a very simple two piece system that gives owners an option of whether to run their system as portable on the deck of their boat or installed like a traditional system. Rainmans export sales increased significantly over the past 12 months with revenue growing considerably over this period to make export revenue 80% of the business.


In a market where they say it’s hard to be competitive Tuesday evening (23 May 2017) saw many companies hit goals with the likes of Marine Engineering Consultants winning Large exporter of the year. Marine Engineering Consultants have successfully delivered 16 power catamarans with another 2 currently under-construction. All vessels are built locally on the Gold Coast using in house tradesman or utilizing local Queensland Australian companies. For the first time Life Marine Safety took out the small exporter of the year, having followed a very strategic path to drive sales export growth is now 68% of their overall sales.


Trenton Gay from Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard won export champion for his commitment to the industry, Trenton is a true personality in the QLD Industry thinking outside the square. Trent is a staunch lobbyist driving home key industry issues at local, state and federal government levels on matters such as dredging, Gold Coast customs clearance and recently supporting the lobby for changes to the Australian Superyacht charter regulations.


The winner of the most Innovative Marine Industry Exported Product or Service was awarded to Down Under Rally, Down Under Rally is a service provider within the Nautical Tourism sector holding two yacht rallies on an annual basis for cruising yachts. The rallies are the Down Under “Go West” Rally & The Down Under “Go East” Rally assisting cruising yachts making their way to Australian waters. The rally provides participants with incentives and benefit’s and is a great way for visiting yachts to meet other cruising yachtsmen & women with whom they can share their experience and journey with.


The activities of the Down Under Rally are focused on increasing the number of yachts that visit Australia and in turn assist in securing more revenue for the Australian tourism and marine sector. Down Under Rally director, John Hembrow and his wife Leanne have been Nautical Tourists for the past 8 years. They received this award as their unique approach to attracting more vessels to Australia has certainly seen an increase in yacht visitation.


It was great to see support from presenters in the export category of the awards such as the Deputy CEO of AMSA Gary Prosser, Roland Briene Area Director Asia Pacific for Damen Shipyards, Dominic O’Brien and Elysia Billingham from the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, Steven Rehlicki Account Manager for Benjamin & Benjamin Insurance Group and of course Richard Chapman Chairman of AIMEX and Managing Director of Coursemaster Autopilots and Hydrive Engineering.


Sponsors of the awards night were Sevenstar Yacht Transport who sponsored the pre-dinner drinks, Aqualuma LED Lighting who sponsored the entertainment, Bicardi who supplied the spirits on each table, BoatStyle who designed and supplied the centre pieces on the night, Benjamin and Benjamin Insurance Group who sponsored the small exporter of the year award, Sanctuary Cove International Boat show who sponsored the marketing award, Rivergate Marina and Shipyard who sponsored the commercial innovation award and Textron Aviation who sponsored the Superyacht awards category.


The successes and awards presented in the export category was a true reflection of the positive growth happening in the industry.