Several of Australia’s most highly experienced yacht builders operate onsite at Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM). Many of their careers were born at Lloyd Ships – one of the nation’s most prolific aluminium shipyards – which operated in Brisbane in the eighties.
Whilst the iconic yard has since closed, the Australian ingenuity and craftsmanship it inspired is a legacy which most certainly lives on through many of the significant refit and new build projects completed on site each year at GCCM.
A perfect example of the Lloyd Ships influence at GCCM is onsite partner Murray Owen, Director of Marine Engineering Consultants (MEC) and MEC Yachts. Murray started his career as an engineering fitter at the Lloyd Ships yard on the Brisbane River in his youth, and moved his way up the ranks to become Engineering Manager supervising the build of a fleet of fine superyachts in the iconic yard.
In 1992, Murray started MEC, moving into GCCM when the facility first opened in early 2000. Today, he remains actively involved in the maintenance and refit programs for many of the yachts that he himself helped to build. Most recently, he has been working with the Owners and Captains of M/Y Emerald Lady and M/Y Dreamtime. Both yachts are regular visitors to GCCM and were built during Murray’s tenure at Lloyds. Originally 32m LOA, both Emerald Lady and Dreamtime have been prominent chartering superyachts in Australian waters.
What is obvious speaking with Murray about these two vessels is no one will ever know and love a yacht quite like the individuals who built them; those who turned the dream into a reality. Murray exhibits a quiet and assured confidence that comes from having a deep understanding of every nuance and detail of these vessels.
Year after year, owner after owner, Dreamtime and Emerald Lady have returned to GCCM for their maintenance, survey work, refits and engineering. In the early 2000’s both yachts were extended from 32m to 35m and Emerald Lady was repowered. MEC was involved as a major contractor on both projects.
“I have great affection for these superyachts. Having been involved in their build and ongoing maintenance, my team and I have intimate knowledge of their systems, engineering and layout. We take great pride in working on them as they are the living embodiment of the boat building capability in the area. Aside from me, there are still people in the industry at GCCM who worked on these builds, crewed them and have completed maintenance on these yachts. You can’t replicate that kind of knowledge,” explained Murray.
In February, Dreamtime arrived at GCCM to complete her AMSA five-year survey as she is a commercially chartered superyacht. At the same time, under the watchful eye of Murray, the MEC team serviced her stabilisers, air conditioning, refrigeration and tenders. Maintenance and repair work were completed to her pipework, teak decking was repaired and her electronics were upgraded.
As she left the yard, Emerald Lady arrived and was lifted onto the hardstand to complete an equally long list of works for her new owners, including fabrication and replacement of hull plate, servicing of the major mechanical and propulsion systems, fitout upgrades to her interior and servicing of air conditioning and desalination systems. All to the stringent AMSA survey standards that the GCCM and MEC teams know so well.
“Murray is one the quiet achievers of the industry and certainly, in our opinion, a great asset to GCCM. Dreamtime has had three owners since her build and Emerald Lady four and yet they return to GCCM and MEC. That speaks volumes of the quality of the work, depth of knowledge and breadth of services we collectively offers,” stated GCCM’s CEO, Trenton Gay.
The legacy of Queensland’s superyacht building past most certainly lives on today through many of the experienced contractors on site at GCCM and, 20 years into our trajectory, we still get incredible pleasure in welcoming these beautiful vessels back each year for their maintenance requirements.