Welcoming the return of international superyachts

Leading Brisbane shipyard, The Yard Brisbane, has welcomed the arrival of its’ first international superyacht since Australian borders reopened to the world.

Arriving to Australian shores and hauling out in May, the 17-year-old Dutch-built Royal Huisman superyacht S/Y Antares is a long-awaited scene for the multitude of marine industry experts working onsite at the shipyard in Hemmant on the Brisbane River.

The Yard Brisbane International Development Manager Mark Phelps said that Brisbane shipyards are more frequently on the radar of international superyachts owing to ongoing development and increasing capabilities.

“The vessel wanted to have this work completed in Australia or New Zealand after encountering some challenges elsewhere. They last refit here in 2019 and it is a pleasure to have them back. This confidence in the Australian marine industry and our labour force is particularly good to witness in a post-COVID world,” said Mark.

The Yard Brisbane worked with yachting agent Carrie Carter from Carter Marine Agencies, the collaborative effort providing the best solution for Antares to return to Australia.

Captain John Van der Straaten said that they were more than happy to return to Brisbane, for the quality of work, facilities on hand, and the weather.

“We basically had, for the work that we wanted to do – especially with the rigging – only two options to get the best job done, and that was either Auckland or Brisbane.

“The crew had a good experience here last time, so we were quite happy to come back, and Brisbane is a great location because of its proximity to the Indo Pacific,” said John.

The availability of The Yard Brisbane’s large refit sheds also provides peace of mind for John, as works can continue unbeholden to the weather and with ample space to work in and set up rigging.

“Being able to get into the shed was great, that’s been a big plus, and all the major work we wanted to achieve is getting done properly and on-schedule,” he said.

The program of work involves many of The Yard Brisbane’s in-house project team, as well as onsite tenants and contractors, including GT Mac, RL Marine and Finishline Paint.

“We’re servicing the rigging, painting the mast, Lloyd’s survey, and maintenance on the shafts, sandblasting on the stern tube, anchor chains and anchors and regalvanising.”

Some major work is being done on their Caterpillar engine and generators, including a 10,000-hour service with bottom-end rebuild and cylinder removal.

The Yard Brisbane’s shipwright and fit out team are completing rudder and interior works including carpentry, varnish, and painting.

Currently, sanding is being done in preparation to paint the topsides, a decision brought about by the convenience offered by being in the shed.

“When we leave here, we’re not going to really stop for any major jobs until the end of 2024. We like to get as much done as we can in one block,” said John.

For local accommodation, the crew has taken a couple of short-term rentals in Wynnum and Manly, and after a bit of a wet start, Brisbane winter has turned it on for a great refit period.

“Other than the large amount of rain when we first arrived, the weather has cooperated, so it’s been a very nice stay.”

The crew have enjoyed being on dry land again and enjoyed the benefit of catching up with other crews from the six other superyachts that have been at The Yard Brisbane during their refit period so far.

They have been sharing the hardstand with superyachts M/Y Glaze, M/Y Mischief, M/Y Royale X, M/Y The Star, M/Y Tango, and a further 55m motoryacht undergoing a six-month long refit.


Final tackle on new Edition

When transforming a recreational catamaran to a trans-ocean sports fishing vessel, bespoke solutions and ingenuity are key to success. This has been the focus of The Yard Brisbane’s Projects team as they near completion of a six-month customisation on 20m MEC Yachts catamaran, Final Edition.

Under the guidance of The Yard Brisbane Projects Division Manager, Murray Owen, the team has engaged many creative solutions to re-shape the vessel to meet the vision of her owner.

For Murray, as the original boatbuilder, seeing the vessel in its next iteration is a true joy.

“To work with the new owner for the conversion to a luxury charter game fishing vessel has brought our team great satisfaction. It is a pleasure to continue to provide support and expertise to new owners over the course of a vessel’s lifetime.”

To support Final Edition’s conversion to NSCV commercial survey, customisations include a hull extension, deck extension paving way for a game fishing platform, custom tackle station, upgrades to the hull shell including stiffening, and engineering and electrical upgrades for survey.

On board you’ll discover the bespoke tackle station, hidden behind a door on the half-deck, which showcases the creativity and ingenuity of The Yard Brisbane’s fit out and joinery team, led by their Projects Fit Out Supervisor, Damien Thomas.

“The customer gave us a brief for what he wanted in the tackle station. The priority was the WOW factor.

“We spent time researching components to integrate into the final design, which has helped us deliver a product the customer is very pleased with,” said Damien.

Following initial research, the fit-out team built a prototype for the customer out of MDF before proceeding to create the final pieces in teak.

The finished tackle station holds four Shimano Tiagra 130A Reels, four rods and butts and two Plano tackle trays, and is powered by a caravan wall-motor and mechanism, with all interior elements designed in crown-cut teak finished to a high gloss.

The team encountered several challenges when conceiving the tackle station, including elements of the design itself, method of powering the slide-out function and seamlessly integrating the completed station into the existing catamaran interior.

“When designing to the owner’s specification, it’s necessary to think outside the box,” he said.

Creative solutions were particularly important for the tackle station’s motor and door.

After researching multiple solutions, the team chose parts usually found in caravans to power the slide-out feature.

“We needed a maintenance friendly power solution that would provide functionality as well as easy access to spare parts. The in-wall slide-out assembly met the brief and could support the tackle station’s weight,” said Damien.

To integrate the tackle-station’s door seamlessly with the existing wall finishings, The Yard Brisbane’s fit out team used original plans to match the doors on either side of the hidden tackle station. The tackle station door was fitted into a blank section of wall and recessed into a space which had originally been home to the half-deck shower cubicle.

Additionally, a maintenance door was built from inside the adjacent toilet cubicle to enable access to electronics and the motor powering the tackle station for repairs and upkeep.

The final touches on the tackle station are being added this week including LED strip lighting on the interiors.

Adding to the WOW factor on the vessel is the new high gloss teak dash and coordinating overhead radio console in the wheelhouse. The new teak finishings are complemented by new electronics, two new leather helm chairs and vinyl flooring, and telescopic legs have been added to the wheelhouse and saloon tables to allow for conversion into extra beds.

Sea trials on Final Edition have commenced, and the team is speedily bringing the vessel into ship shape ready for hand over.

Stay tuned for more updates Final Edition’s conversion journey, and the completed unveiling!

If you’d like to book your vessel in for a refit, contact us here or call us on +61 7 3348 5600.

Our Team

Sales team takes to the slings

It’s not often you’ll find the Business Development team at The Yard Brisbane very far away from their phones. But on Monday last, that’s exactly what happened when Business Development Representative Dominic Francis swapped the phone for the Travelift and joined our Operations team for a day of work experience on the hardstand.

The Yard Brisbane believes that a team that understands each other’s roles and contributions to success in the shipyard, is a better, stronger team, armed with all the tools to better support our customers during their refit period. Therefore, team members from different divisions are actively encouraged to take a secondment into, or spend a day working with, other areas of the shipyard.

Team members are provided on-the-job training, safety education, tools and equipment and become an apprentice-for-a-day (or more) working under the guidance of skilled leaders from an area outside their usual field of expertise.

With support and training provided by our experienced straddle carrier operators, Dominic took his first drive of the Travelift, connected slings, lifted, pressure washed, and returned a vessel to water, working on different vessel types across the day.

“It was a good experience. I found it valuable, to better understand all aspects of a vessels needs once it arrives, and how that affects our customers,” Dominic said.

Dominic found the day so helpful; he plans to repeat it again soon. Perhaps you will see him helping haul out your vessel sometime in the future.


If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the marine industry, talk to us today about a role for you. We are currently hiring across multiple areas of our growing team, with career advancement opportunities available for the right candidates.

Currently available positions can be found on or Marine Jobs.