The award-winning team at Superior Jetties has just completed the largest superyacht berth in Australia, a genuine game-changer in the superyacht industry. At 163 metres (berthing edge of 153 metres) in length and 4.6 metres wide, the superyacht berth at the Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast has been engineered and designed to welcome and accommodate some of the world’s largest vessels.
A design workshop was undertaken with representatives including national industry professionals, local agencies and a client design team to ensure the structure will facilitate the requirements of 135-metre vessels as a first of its kind in the country.
Superior Jetties CEO, John Hogan explains the outstanding solution provided to the superyacht berthing market.
“The Superior Super Elite series reinforced 5-sided monolithic concrete pontoon is designed to meet the unique needs of these vessels. Larger vessels place more demands on the dock to service their needs, especially with wind loads. The high pontoon mass provides more stability and the pontoons cope better against environmental forces.”
With a high freeboard to suit large vessel requirements and an excessive deck loading allowance, the massive all concrete pontoons are designed with heavy-duty, hot dipped galvanized or composite reinforcement. The pontoon base has a fully welded PE base liner system and an innovative pontoon to pontoon connection system. The structure also allows good connectivity for super-sized components including large-sized pile guides, heavy-duty rubber D fenders and mooring bollards to suit commercial marina and superyacht requirements.
In conjunction with this, the new Superior Compression Coupling (SCC) is cast integrally to the pontoon and heavily reinforced to transfer the loads. The structure does not rely on through rods and walers for structural strength position and eliminates the need to ever tighten bolts.
Hogan adds, “the pontoon construction of the new superyacht berth allows vehicle and forklift access up to 6.1 tonnes with a gangway clearway width of 2700mm, an uninterrupted height and the ability to traverse vehicles at all tides at 5 km/hr onto the pontoon structure for operational, service and maintenance requirements.”
A heavy-duty 250mm diameter rubber fender is installed to the entirety of the berthing edge, and heavy-duty horn-shaped bollards coincide with the berthing requirements of the vessels envisaged to moor at the location. There are 24 bespoke fabricated steel piles of 730mm diameter with 800mm plastic sleeves and heavy-duty pile guides.
The facility includes a statement entrance with a security gate, fencing, signage, drop off area and an adjacent service lane inclusive of landside refuelling capabilities and crane access for heavy lifts when required.
Pedestal power includes up to 600A direct connect to facilitate the requirements of international vessels. The pontoon system has been designed in accordance with the QFES (Queensland Fire & Emergency Services) requirements for hydrants, fire hose reels, extinguishers and alarms to ensure berthed vessels are safely moored and complying with the most stringent marina standards in Australia.
Cat’s-eye lighting installed on the pontoons and gangway decks in addition to courtesy lighting on top of pedestals provides a clear and safe runway marking for night berthing, as well as an ambient and aesthetically pleasing dock environment for night-time activities.
This development completed in partnership with MGN Civil, will significantly drive business and welcome vessels previously unable to berth in Australian waters. With over 60 superyachts expected to visit the region for the 2032 Olympics being held in Brisbane, the demand for such facilities will continue to grow.