You may have noticed the distinctive O’Neill Shipwright van around Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM). That is because they are one of the newest tenants to join the facility. Headed by namesake, Andy O’Neill, the team had originally come for project work on M/Y Shirley Anne and decided to set up their Queensland base.
Andy is a shipwright by trade having completed his apprenticeship straight after school. Yet, like many people with wanderlust, he decided to head overseas to try life as yacht crew. After years cruising the Mediterranean, Andy fell back on his boatbuilding skills working on three refits in Perini Navi’s yard in Italy.
It was time to head home to Sydney where he did a little crewing but saw the opportunity to use both his yachting and shipwright skills to service the needs of a growing fleet. Thus, O’Neill Shipwrights was born with a team of skilled tradespeople with yachting backgrounds.
“Our team are qualified tradesmen yet also ex-crew. They deeply appreciate what the final product needs to be, not only in terms of finish but maintenance and usability,” Andy offered.
Clearly there was a need for such an outfit and the business took off working from their Sydney base on yachts such as Shirley Anne, Ilonka (now Moatize who recently visited GCCM), Crystal Lady, Masteka 2 and Quantum. The O’Neill Shipwright team has also continued their international work undertaking refits on Amels and Benettis in Italy. Their services are ideal for major refits including structural boat building in both wood and composite. Plus, those jobs which require finer detail such as cabinetry, paint and varnish work and teak decking.
In 2019, like many Sydney-based yachts, Shirley Anne (36-metre NQEA) spent 43 weeks at GCCM undertaking an enormous refit of which O’Neill Shipwrights were a significant contractor.
“It was a great project and we were impressed with the yard. The decision to set up permanently was very easy and made all the more simple as many of our Sydney-based clients are heading north to GCCM to complete annual maintenance and refits,” continued Andy.
With Andy based in Sydney running the NSW branch of O’Neill Shipwrights, he has Tyson Maloney heading up the newly launched Gold Coast branch. Tyson began working for O’Neill Shipwrights in Sydney and relocated permanently to the Gold Coast last year to help run the Shirley Anne refit. He brings a wealth of yachting experience and industry skills.
And they have hit the ground running undertaking work on The Star (45-metre Benetti), Moatize (45-metre Pendennis), Dragonfly (75-metre Silveryachts) and Turquoise (19-metre Pachoud).
“At GCCM, we are always looking for high-quality contractors to support our superyacht clients. We look for companies with an experienced team, a great work ethic and a customer service attitude which is exemplary. O’Neill Shipwrights certainly met that criteria and we wish them all the best,” stated Kevin Altera, GM for Operations and Business Development.
For more information on O’Neill Shipwrights, please view the GCCM online Business Directory.