Article: In The Spotlight

In the spotlight: Port Whangarei Marine CentreIn the spotlight: Port Whangarei Marine Centre

The recently opened Port Whangarei Marine Centre, situated at South Shipyard, positions Oceania Marine at the forefront of the marine refit and repair industry both within New Zealand, and internationally.  A world class facility, as well as promoting the Whangarei area on the international marine industry map, it sees the creation of many jobs within the company and helps to sustain the huge network of supporting companies. 

Already a popular destination for haulout, refit and repair operations for yachts that come south to shelter from the cyclone season, this facility also attracts larger projects that are growing in size and number as Oceania Marine improve equipment and facilities to support such work.  This is a local success story of epic proportions.

A brand new 100 tonne Cimolai travelift has been installed to increase the company’s capacity by easing congestion on the slipway at North Shipyard and allowing a greater number of smaller vessels to be handled than has been economical prior to the new lift installation.  General Manager, Brad Hall, who has been responsible for the travelift installation, yard setup and ongoing management of operations, tells us that the initial 100 tonne travelift has an inside clearance of 10.2 meters making it capable of handling a wide variety of craft, including large catamarans.  An additional 560 tonne lift is scheduled to be installed next year.

While Oceania Marine has a considerable body of work earmarked for the new Marine Centre from its existing operations, they are actively seeking additional vessels.  Since ordering the first Cimolai machine earlier this year an extensive domestic and international marketing initiative, led by Jim Loynes has been undertaken.  This has included attending international boat shows in Europe, USA, the Caribbean and Asia as well as many trips to Pacific Islands to meet with clients to promote the new facility and the Whangarei region in general.  The success of the campaign has been reflected in the increased levels of enquiries and bookings they are receiving.

From its creation in 2009 in hard economic times after the closure of a boat building company at North Shipyard, Oceania Marine has emerged as one of New Zealand’s top shipyard operators.  From initial efforts to preserve jobs and stop the loss of yet another part of the marine industry, they now have a solid and growing international reputation for the quality of their work, expanding markets and increasing turnover.  Vision, good business acumen, initiative and a passion for the local area, its inhabitants and the marine industry have contributed to the success of the company. 

When first established, Oceania Marine received 85-90% of their business from domestic boat owners and commercial operators.  Targeting the international super yacht market after recognising the need for a wider clientele, they have an expanding list of successful refit projects that has seen export trade accounting for 60% of turnover and this figure is expanding.  They are currently working on a 52m vessel which was bought by the owner in the Mediterranean and immediately steamed around the world to Whangarei for a multimillion dollar refit with Oceania Marine. 

It is projects such as these that deliver multiple benefits to the region. Whilst providing large injections of new liquidity into our local economy, it also creates great job opportunities and apprenticeship schemes with NZ Marine.

There are a number of factors that make the Marine Centre a cost effective option for clients:

= The efficiencies inherent in a travelift operation supported by the substantial hardstand area means that set-up costs for a haulout are minimal and a large number of vessels can be accommodated, resulting in cheaper haulout and hardstand fees.

= Lower overheads in Whangarei compared to some other areas also mean that works carried out at the Centre will generally carry a price advantage.

= The Port Whangarei Marine Centre has 4ha of refit shed space, workshops and facilities as well as large sealed hardstand areas. 

= Washdown water is collected, treated, filtered and recycled for rescue in shipyard operations.

= Live-aboard cruisers will be particularly comfortable with separate male/female toilets and showers, laundry, recreation room, kitchen and dining area - all newly refurbished.

Martin Gleeson
Managing Director of Oceania Marine Group

“The opening of the Port Whangarei Marine Centre is a massive boost for Oceania Marine and for Northland’s boating community.  As a yachtie myself I fully understand the needs of the boat owner, and we intend to make their haul out experience a straightforward and uncomplicated one. 

So as we had towards the end of a successful and exciting 2015 for Oceania Marine, we hope that 2016 is even better for us and all our partners in the local marine industry”.

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