Historic slipway gets upgrade to handle bigger superyachts > Latest News > About Us
1 Jul 2010
Work has started on upgrading a historic Auckland waterfront slipway used in the refit and maintenance of superyachts.
Ariadne Marinas Oceania Pty Ltd (AMO) together with Orams Marine Services Ltd (Orams Marine) has contracted Total Marine Services Ltd to undertake a $1.2 million slipway upgrade at Orams Marine Village.
A new vessel cradle used on the slipway is also being built by AMO at a cost of $400,000.
Orams Marine Village is owned by AMO, in which Ariadne Australia Limited (Ariadne) has a 50% shareholding. Ariadne is contracted by AMO to manage Orams Marine Village. Murray Boyte, Adriane’s chief executive, says the work is timely with the development of more superyacht berths at the Wynyard Quarter and the forecast increased volume of bigger boats coming to Auckland.
“The planned upgrades at Orams Marine Village are taking place alongside the planned development of Wynyard Quarter and will be of great economic benefit to the fit out and maintenance sector of the marine industry in Auckland,” Mr Boyte says.
Mr Boyte says Orams Marine Village is a strategic investment for Ariadne and its current investors in the marine industry, one of New Zealand’s leading growth export industries.
The slipway, which has been part of the Auckland waterfront since it was opened in 1915, is integral to the marine sector’s infrastructure as it is used frequently during work on superyachts.
Craig Park, managing director of the independently owned Orams Marine, says the upgrade of the slipway, which has the capacity to handle boats with a displacement of up to 600 tonnes, is necessary for handling the new, longer style superyachts.
“The upgrade will increase the tonnes per metre ratio,” Mr Park says. “New style boats are longer and heavier, although the foot of the keel hasn’t increased in size. While 40m yachts have a seven metre keel, newer 55m yachts still have a seven metre keel. When boats are hauled the keel takes 100% of the weight.”
Orams Marine has been working on superyachts in New Zealand since 1987. It was a finalist in Best Refit category in the 2010 World Superyacht Awards announced in London in May for the work it did on Shenandoah of Sark, a Classic 54m (180ft) three-masted, gaff-rigged schooner built in 1902.
Mr Park says this winter provided the best opportunity for the upgrade work. In 2011 he predicts the Rugby World Cup will be the start of a busy superyacht season and his business has work on its books during the next 18 months.
Clyde Rogers, group manager of Auckland’s regions economic development agency Auckland Plus, say the upgrade of this important part of superyacht support infrastructure is welcomed.
“With Auckland’s hosting of major events such as Rugby World Cup 2011, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and the Volvo Ocean Series combining with an internationally recognised reputation for marine craftsmanship and innovation, the development of superyacht infrastructure is the final piece of the equation to make Auckland an internationally competitive location for both tourism and superyacht refit,” Mr Rogers says.
Michele Berry, general manager of Orams Marine Village, says the work on the slipway is expected to be finished in time for the arrival of superyachts into New Zealand for the summer season.
“The slipway has had such a significant role in the history of the marine sector in New Zealand and this upgrade means it will continue to play its part for years to come,” Michele Berry says.
Since acquisition in 2007, AMO has focussed on expanding its operating capability and introduced a number of marketing initiatives in support of the services provided by the cluster of 30 marine businesses located on the site. In 2009, AMO acquired the Caltex fuel facility. This facility had previously been operated by Caltex New Zealand Limited.
Michele Berry said “Orams has a world class superyacht refit facility serviced by an experienced and highly professional range of marine companies led by the internationally recognised Orams Marine Services. The facility provides a comprehensive range of services to the marine industry and is complemented by a 310 berth dry boat stack, conference facility, and the fuel facility”.