The past, present and future of yachting in Australia

Some may have recently noticed new faces around Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM).  One of those belongs to up and coming yacht designer, Misha Merzaliakov.  At the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous, Misha launched a brave new concept for a 40-metre aluminium exploration yacht; a concept inspired by Australian waters and intended to be built at GCCM.  As the new guard of the Australian yachting industry, Misha’s designs draw on our collective heritage ensuring the continuation of a long tradition of yacht building and bringing it into the future at GCCM.misha_merzliakovGCX40 is a twin propelled, explorer yacht with ample space for tenders and toys, an enlarged beach club, plunge pool and expansive decks.  The hull and superstructure will be constructed entirely from aluminium meaning the yacht is less than 500 GRT and the shallow draft enables the Owner to navigate closer to inshore and reefs.  It was conceived with the intrepid Owner in mind and that is exactly who has expressed interest in the superyacht.

“We are now at a more advanced stage with six clients – most of whom are Australian but also from Europe and South Africa.  As much as we are passionate about this design, we are also passionate about building this yacht at GCCM.  Australia has had a long yacht building tradition and many of the key skills and IP are housed within GCCM,” offered Misha.

GCCM is home to over 80 individual marine businesses and 700 craftsmen, tradesmen and project managers with incredible pedigree.  Kevin Altera, General Manager of Business Development and Operations at GCCM, has led an exciting and varied career including new builds at Oceanfast and Evolution Yachts.  Equally, industry stalwarts, Murray Owen and Joe Akacich, play an important role in not only delivering projects at GCCM yet also, mentoring the future of the industry through their extensive yacht building experience. Whilst Superyacht Solutions, headquartered at GCCM, are currently working on new build projects with Misha in addition to their worldwide new build and refinishing projects.

“GCCM sees its role in the industry not only as a current service provider to superyachts and boats, yet also as a custodian of our collective history and genius, charged with taking it forward.  Therefore, fostering Misha’s designs as well as developing our Marine Innovation Hub are key.  As an industry, we are not new to the yacht building and refitting game and will certainly strive to continue to be on the cutting edge,” explained GCCM’s CEO, Trenton Gay.

The construction of GCX40 will require specialist contractors in naval architecture, engineering, aluminium fabrication, mechanical, interior fitout, upholstery, electrical, exterior and interior finishing, and systems integration.  Perhaps the most important trade will be aluminium manufacturing and for this, Misha believes Australia and GCCM is a leader.

“In my time in the industry, both here in Australia and in Europe, Australians are recognised and renowned for their aluminium fabrication capability.  We, as a people, simply do it better than anyone in the world and when selecting a yard to build a full aluminium yacht, GCCM delivers in spades,” continued Misha.

As the project progresses and those six interested parties continue on their journey of customisation, interior design and specifications, the yard will see more of Misha and his team as they gather the arsenal and details to take Australian yacht building into a bright future.

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