Main photo: (L-R) Steve Sammes, General Manager Sanctuary Cove Marina, John Hogan CEO Superior Jetties

The 2023 Nautilus Marine Insurance Marina of the Year Awards on Tuesday night not only recognised the industry’s best facilities, but also the Community Support Award, BMT Environment Award and Best Industry Innovation.

MIA President and the evening’s host Andrew Chapman CMM commented, “With a record number of entries, it shows we are an industry of community and environmentally minded innovators.”

Best Industry Innovation was the most highly sought after award in the 2023 attracting a record 11 entries giving the judging panel a lot to consider. In a pool crowded by suppliers to industry, it was a marina that took out the win for Best Innovation as Sanctuary Cove Marina, winner of the Marina of the Year (over 140 boats) took out the award. Sanctuary Cove Marina is the first recreational marina in the southern hemisphere to offer its customers covered berthing. A three-year design and engineering project by local Gold Coast businesses Superior Jetties and Vector Shades resulted in the $10m expansion project with 48 covered berths ranging from 18-30metres being constructed. The protective sails were designed to integrate with Sanctuary Cove’s distinct aesthetic, with the shade structures resemblant of ribbons in the breeze. The structures offer customers protection from UV rays and extreme weather and enhance the premium berthing services on offer at Sanctuary Cove.

Innovation was also a key feature of the BMT Environmental Award, with Superior Jetties – The Superior Eco Tile taking out the Award. This eco-friendly alternative for gangways, pontoons and platforms is made in Australia from recycled, non-toxic, UV resistant polypropylene. The perforated decking surface lets sunlight through to preserve the flora and fauna. Made from recycled materials and with a longer life than alternate products, the Eco Tile will have significant long term positive environmental impacts and will minimise the generation of waste. Superior also holds its supply chain to environmental account, another reason why, Superior’s Eco Tile is a worthy winner. John Hogan accepted the Award and was a very happy man, especially given Superior Jetties involvement in Sanctuary Cove Marina’s Best Innovation win.

The Community Support Award recognises outstanding altruistic initiatives that improve community outcomes. The judges couldn’t split the winner with two very different, but equally important contributors to community support awarded.

Vuda Marina, located in the Western Division of Fiji impressed the judging panel with their selfless and altruistic initiatives that transcended boarders. These included a ten-year, $300,000 sponsorship commitment to the Uto Ni Yalo Trust, a local environmental activity and community group; support for a locals’ Sailing Outreach Program which teaches sailing and ocean stewardship; investment of over

$30,000 in coral and mangrove plant off the marina with the aim of growing and replanting to the replanting on the outer reef; contribution to funding the rebuild of a staff member’s fire destroyed home and; storage of Ukrainian foreign national’s vessel. Lisa Philp had made the trip over from Fiji for the Awards dinner and on accepting the Award said, “We are a small family-owned marina and we punch above our weight in our community support – if we can do it, anyone can”.

Coral Sea Marina Resort was the joint winner, with their Coral Sea Academy (CSA) being recognised. The CSA is designed to educate guests, locals and visitors to the Whitsunday’s marine environment, the Great Barrier Reef, better boating practices and sustainability. Based around four key pillars – Better Boating, Environment & Sustainability, Health & Wellness, Arts & Culture, the CSA offers a range of free community events, educational seminars, workshops and networking opportunities aimed to connect with visitors and locals and to assist in the promotion of sustainable tourism. The CSA brings together a range of community stakeholders including boaters, the local tourism and business community, local non-profit organisations and their volunteer and the broader community members.

The full list of Award winners for 2023 are:

  • BMT Environmental Award: Superior Jetties – The Superior Eco Tile, QLD.
  • Community Support Award: Vuda Marina, Fiji and Coral Sea Marina Resort, QLD.
  • Industry Innovation Award: Sanctuary Cove Marina, QLD.
  • Best Commercial Marina (Over 140 Boats): Sanctuary Cove Marina, QLD.
  • Best Commercial Marina (Under 140 Boats): Marina Mirage Marina, QLD.
  • Club of the Year: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, QLD.
  • International Marina of the Year: ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore.
  • Dry Stack Storage Facility of the Year: Sydney Harbour Boat Storage, NSW.
  • Best Boat Yard (Under 20 Boats): Empire Marina – Bobbin Head.
  • Best Boat Yard (Over 20 Boats): The Yard Brisbane, QLD.