By David Robinson

Two leading Australian marinas are upgrading their superyacht berthing facilities – Abell Point Marina, which serves as a gateway to Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands, and d’Albora Marinas’ The Spit in Mosman, Sydney Harbour.

At The Spit, located in the Middle Harbour area of Sydney, a multimillion-dollar investment is underway to refurbish the marina and expand with 32 berths of 25.8m (85ft) and two berths of 30.5m (100ft).

Under Phase I of the development, old Bellingham jetties will be replaced and a strategically located concierge’s lounge on the jetty will ensure that the needs of superyacht guests and crew will be met more effectively. Phase I is due for completion by the end of July.

As part of the development, a newly reclaimed area will be used to provide hard berthing for up to six 18m (60ft) boats. Completion of this facility is due in 2017.

A spokesman for the company told SB: “d’Albora Marinas is looking at opportunities across its portfolio of marinas to develop, where possible, additional facilities for superyachts.”

He said that recent changes that allow foreign-flagged yachts to charter in Australia, along with crew rule changes, are likely to result in more superyachts visiting the country. Investment in The Spit to increase berthing capacity is therefore timely.

At Abell Point Marina, the demand from ever-larger yachts to experience what the Whitsundays have to offer is also increasing. Superyachts such as the 80m (262ft) Secret anchored in the area at the end of 2014.

With the marina being a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, there are plans to allow larger superyachts above the existing 35m (115ft) limit – 15 for yachts of 40m (131ft), one for 50m (164ft) and one for 70m (230ft). What is now being looked at is developing a 90m (295ft) berth and possibly one or more 60m (197ft) berths. Current occupancy at the marina is around 75%.