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Gold Coast’s maritime industry sails towards another year of uncharted growth

The region’s edge for industry has transformed its waterfront locations into one of the country’s leading marine hubs – capturing the attention of boating enthusiasts and manufacturers from across the world. 

May 02, 2024, updated May 02, 2024

The Gold Coast shorelines are world-renowned for their white-sandy beaches, turquoise waves and year-round sun. But they’ve also become home to one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most thriving marine precincts.

Gold Coast’s marine industry has grown 5 percent per annum since 2016 as the region remains the state’s largest cluster of marine activity.

The success of this industry is best embodied by the luxury water-front suburb of Sanctuary Cove – home to the maritime industry’s tentpole event, The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS).

About to complete its 35th year, the event is a prominent festival on the maritime calendar, garnering more than 47,000 visitors, 300 exhibitors and 740 boats.

SCIBS continues to break records in its attendance and sales – yielding boating brands unprecedented profits thanks to the region’s unique conditions, including The Gold Coast Marine Precinct.

The area is the heart of the national industry – which is estimated to generate $9.64 billion in productivity and exports for the Australian economy, according to the Boating Industry Association.

Located in Coomera, The Gold Coast Marine Precinct provides boating manufacturers with the prime conditions to operate.

“[It’s] one of the only places in the world that is a dedicated centre purpose-built for boat manufacture, maintenance, repairs and refit,” explained Maritimo founder, Bill Barry-Cotter.

“It is a vibrant hub for a significant business sector that supports thousands of skilled trades and many thousands of additional contractors…” he continued.

Facilities such as these have seen some of the leading names in boating opt to invest in the Gold Coast’s future.

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Riviera recently made an investment in southeast Queensland with the launch of its Academy of Excellence in Coomera to train the next generation of boating specialists.

“We have continually invested heavily in new technologies, infrastructure, and our long-serving team so that now we have a workforce of world-class master craftspeople delivering premium motor yachts,” shared Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst.

“These people are now training the next generation who will drive the industry here ever further.”

However, Gold Coast has captured the eye of these boating heavyweights for more than its events calendar and pristine marinas.

“The Gold Coast offers all the benefits of being a big city without the infrastructure constraints that are normally associated with big cities,” explained Longhurst.

“You can’t discount the Gold Coast’s natural attributes,” he continued.

“We have amazing year-round weather and sensational waterways to support the boat industry.”

The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show returns this month to celebrate the monumental relationship between Gold Coast and the boating industry for another year.

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