World-cruising superyacht Batavia berths at The Boat Works

WORDS: Charmaine Webb PHOTOGRAPHY Boat Promote

After more than five years exploring South-East Asia, the 41m Sovereign superyacht MY Batavia cruised to the Gold Coast for two months of maintenance and refit work at The Boat Works.

Batavia’s owners had intended to make the trip to Australia for maintenance ahead of attending the America’s Cup in Auckland in March 2021 until COVID19 travel restrictions forced a change of plan.

Captain Mark Clacher has been skipper for the owners for the past 16 years and at the helm of Batavia for six years, navigating the tranquil waters of Langkawi, Thailand, Maldives, Indonesia, Cambodia and Borneo.

“The owners had cruised all of Australia and wanted to see all the wonderful islands right here on our doorstep, so we’ve been based in Asia for the past five and a half years,” Captain Mark says.

When it came time to undertake repairs and some refurbishment, Captain Mark contacted Rod Twitchin, director of RTM Marine, based at The Boat Works. Rod had overseen work on the owners’ previous vessel and had carried out the pre-purchase inspection on Batavia.

“There were a lot of things we couldn’t get done in Asia,” says Captain Mark. “Rod told us about The Boat Works’ new 300-tonne Travel Lift and Superyacht Yard. After this first lot of work, we’ll be travelling south to Sydney for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, then we’ll be back in early 2021 to complete the rest.”

The scope of the project included engineering work, upgrading and repairing plumbing and air-conditioning, new anodes, underwater antifouling, repainting of the superstructure, interior refurbishment, replacing teak on the deck and flooring in the galley, as well as new deck head panelling.

Project Manager Rod carried out the Insurance Condition Report and Valuation, while RTM’s refit division carried out replacement of the teak deck, Sapelle and Silver Ash timber flooring in the galley, engineering upgrades, servicing of black and grey water systems and installation of underwater lights. The painting was undertaken by Superyacht Solutions.

“It all went smoothly,” says Rod. “The biggest challenge was working to the tight deadline of seven weeks, which is often the case with commercial and privately-owned vessels. However, we all collaborated and got the job done.”

Captain Mark and his crew of four have enjoyed their stint on the Gold Coast, commenting on the laid-back lifestyle, spectacular beaches and waterways, idyllic weather and warm hospitality at The Boat Works.

“The facilities here are fantastic. All the trades in one location and all top quality and efficient. The Chandlery is very handy – all the bits and pieces you could want.

“The yard is impeccably clean, landscaped gardens and highly competent staff. Nothing is too much trouble. We were handed the keys to the Captains’ Lounge, which was impressive.”

At 41m, Batavia is just a fraction too large for the 40m sheds. By the time she returns in February next year, The Boat Works will have added a 50-metre shed to accommodate the ever-increasing size and stature of superyachts calling into the Gold Coast for service, repairs and refits.

“These large superyachts represent a lucrative boost to the local economy,” says Shane Subichin, General Manager at The Boat Works.

“They typically stay a month or two and can involve 20 to 50 contractors over the course of their works, not just within the Marine Precinct, but from all over the region. Their captains and crew enjoy a few weeks of rest and relaxation on the Gold Coast, seeing the sights and spending money. Before they head off, they restock provisions and refuel.”

Since its official opening in February 2020, The Boat Works’ state-of-the-art Superyacht refit yard has won industry accolades and attracted a steady stream of both commercial and recreational vessels from all over the Asia-Pacific.

The visiting vessels have included the 42m Gulf Craft MY Delisle III, 37m Sunseeker MY Vegas and 35m Sunseeker MY Settlement.

“We’ll be back in early 2021,” says Captain Mark. “We’re very happy with the service and standard of work here. Everything has run smoothly and to budget.”

Depending on COVID restrictions, the owners of Batavia hope to travel to New Zealand and the South Pacific following their next stint at The Boat Works.

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