The Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM), which is already a key location for superyachts in Australia, is bolstering its support of the sector through collaboration with two local design houses – Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design and The Yacht Professionals.

The move follows in the wake of the recent Australian Superyacht Rendezvous (ASR), and is seen as the next phase of GCCM’s commitment to innovation and development of the Australian superyacht industry.

“There is so much incredible talent in the Australian marine industry which GCCM is committed to supporting,” commented Trenton Gay, CEO of GCCM. “Our recent event, the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous (ASR), provided the ideal platform to promote up and coming Aussie superyacht designers who are rightfully earning an excellent reputation for their work both here in Australia and internationally.”

Held from April 21-22 at GCCM, the second edition of ASR doubled in size both in terms of yachts on display and VIPs attending. Although the event focuses on superyachts available for sale and charter in Australia, GCCM took the opportunity to promote the designers and the yard’s yacht-building capabilities to an engaged audience. The timing was seemingly right.

“I have travelled to many of the big international yacht shows and never have I had the volume of interest I experienced at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous,” says Misha Merzilakov. “My team and I are now responding to requests from no less than five clients and countless media outlets. I am so grateful that a platform like ASR exists and I get to collaboratively promote the design and building capabilities in Australia.”

A roundtable was held on the first day of ASR 2018 at which key personalities from around the globe discussed the trends and developments of the Australian industry in a global context. The consensus was the yacht owner and charterer are becoming more intrepid and seeking more lifestyle adventures from their yachting experience.

“Our members are witnessing clients seeking new and exotic destinations onboard exploration yachts, so they can cruise to places they have never been before,” said Coralyn Tracey, executive officer of MYBA. “Additionally, clients want more and more toys to use to maximise their time onboard.”

This market demand is clearly reflected in both Merzliakov’s and Hayden Thomas’ designs. Thomas, from The Yacht Professionals, said the E39 was conceived with world cruising in mind, the key to which is an efficient and shallow draft hull.  Such a feature enables comfortable sea passages and exploration of coastlines.

“I am looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with GCCM,” Thomas said. “Australia has a long history of designing and building iconic yachts. This event and partnership is a renaissance of our heritage.”

Merzliakov’s two designs, a 70m (230ft) trimaran and 40m (131ft) explorer yacht, prioritise toys, tenders, beach clubs and being enjoyed by multiple generations of a family. Additionally, these two designs are intended to be built at GCCM.

“Queensland has a great pool of talent of naval architects, boatbuilders, interior fit-out and project management who come from a strong local history of boatbuilding,” remarked Merzliakov. “These designs draw on the experience of exploring the coral coasts of Australia which so many of us have done. Partnering with GCCM means each individual and trade working on the yacht build will bring expertise, experience and an innate understanding of the pleasure of yachting in Australia.”

In developing their careers, both the designers had previous European experience. Thomas started his career with Redman Whitely Dixon then returned to Australia to work with SilverYachts. Merzliakov was a naval architect and yacht designer for Tony Castro Yacht Design in the UK before working with Austal and Oceanfast.