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Marinas are like hotels for our boats. And like hotels, customer services and amenities are sacred features. Who are charged with guarding these? Let’s meet those in charge of some of Gold Coast’s marinas.


horizon_shores_boat_goldcoastPaul Sorrell, General Manager, Horizon Shores Marina

I am a Certified Marina Manager (CMM). I have sailed competitively from a young age and worked with some of the world’s most luxurious craft during major events and shows. As a marina manager over many years, I have seen it all! While I was working at the superyacht marinas in Abu Dhabi, Richard Branson spent time with us at the opening of one of our new restaurants, prior to the start of the inaugural Abu Dhabi F1. He was impressed and was also quoted as saying that our team were exceptionally well-trained and presented. At the marina, we try to minimise the risk of incidents before they occur. However, it would be false to say they don’t exist. One particular incident involved suspicious activities and reinforced the cliché, “Go with your gut feeling!” We reported to the authorities as soon as there was doubt.


Steve Sammes, COO, Gold Coast City Marinagoldcoast_city_marina

I am a Certified Marina Manager (CMM) and have been involved with the marina industry for over 25 years. I am chairman-elect to represent Queensland’s marina interests on the board council of the Boating Industry Association. Operating the largest facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, with some 600 people employed at the site, has a multitude of daily challenges. The key element to ensuring the smooth running of the marina is good staff. Happy and content staff equates to happy and content customers. A good experience for me is meeting Ray Pickering, who now in his 80s is living proof that one is never too old to enjoy boating; hence, I fondly refer to him as the Lord Mayor of GCCM!



sanctuary_cove_boat_goldcoastHelen Motteram, Marine Operations Manager, Mulpha Sanctuary Cove Marina

I grew up in Western Australia and we had a beach house where we spent all our holidays. Dad always had a boat. It was just part of growing up—crabbing, fishing and exploring the coast line. I moved to Queensland in 1990 and started working with the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show team in 1991 where I stayed for many years before moving to the marina in leasing administration, then to marina manager. The great thing about this job is every day is different, always changing and always busy. There is a lot more administration involved than most people think. You need to be on top of your marine maintenance and have a good rapport with your clients. Keeping your environment intact is a big one, ensuring it’s there for everyone to enjoy for many years to come. I love this work and the people, so I don’t feel like I’m working. Owning a boat and being out on the waterways is one of life’s treasured pleasures!


Shane Subichin, General Manager, The Boat Works


As a kid, I spent a lot of time boating on Sydney Harbour and the Pittwater. I moved to the Gold Coast at 22 to take up new employment, and then started my new lifestyle—boating on the beautiful Broadwater to Moreton Bay. I feel I have been very lucky to experience three of the most perfect boating destinations to enjoy my life! I am now raising my three-year old son, Beau, the way I was raised. I feel this is the best way for any kid if they have the opportunity. As a marina manager, I have been privileged to meet a wide variety of customers, brokers, contractors, suppliers, etc. I enjoy building relations with the clientele, and I look forward to seeing them come back each year. Satisfaction for me is knowing that I have helped and made a difference. For me, Tony Longhurst is inspirational, a very generous and a caring person, and a driving force within the business.


couran_cover_boat_goldcoastNeal Adams, Harbour Master, Couran Cove Island Resort Marina

I have 28 years of boating career. I was an RYA sailing instructor in Manly and New Zealand, and have been captain/manager of various vessels in the northern Hemisphere. In my current work, I get to meet such diverse groups of people. At Couran Cove Island Resort, I greet boat owners and day trippers, and inform them of all the pleasures that await them on the land. It is also always a pleasure to have dolphins coming into the marinas, chasing mullet, flicking their catch into the air and generally having fun. I particularly find Pete “The Pilot” of Cloud Nine Sea Plane particularly interesting. He is an excellent aviator, landing his seaplane within the marina, either on the beautiful white sand beach or at the end of “B” arm to deliver guests from scenic flights.


 Michael Aherne, Harbour Master, Hope Island Marina

Way back in the 1980s, my love of scuba diving often requirhope_island_marina_goldcoasted many hours and days on board boats of all shapes and sizes to reach dive sites around the world; that fascinated me about boating. Each day at Hope Island Marina is different, and it is this element of challenge and excitement that led me to take on this role. My enjoyment always increases when I see the local wildlife such as pelicans and dolphins on my daily walk-around. The walk-around keeps me involved in the life of the community. Around Christmas time in 2015, a young lady in her early 20s arrived at the marina to restock her 12-metre yacht. She told me she was halfway through her solo round the world voyage. You cannot fail to be impressed!



maritimo_hopeharbour_goldcoastGary Klein, Marina Manager, Boat Masters Hope Harbour, Travel Lift, Marina and Service Centre

Prior to the lengthy period spent in the swimming pool manufacturing sector in the 80s and 90s, I was involved in the shipping industry working as a seagoing engineer in the 70s. Prior to joining Maritimo, I was involved for many years in composites associated with pool manufacturing. This industry was very innovative in many ways in composite design, manufacturing techniques and transport. Pleasure cruiser manufacturers today use these techniques and materials and today’s boats are stronger due to the developments and advances made in manufacturing through the 80’s and 90’s. The priority that we, as a team at Boat Masters Hope Harbour, have on our minds each day is getting it done right the first time.


Mark Riddell, Waterfront Manager, Southport Yacht Club


Growing up in the southern beaches of Sydney, I have always been involved with boats– power boat racing and waterskiing from the age of 8. On arrival to the Gold Coast in 2001, I was employed as Operations Manager for Catafoil Australia. My job involved product sales and marketing, including large involvement in presenting the boats at the Sanctuary Cove and Sydney International Boat Shows. I then moved into the marina industry as harbour master at Hope Harbour Marina for 12 months, before moving on to be marina manager for another two years. In 2012, I joined Southport Yacht Club as marina manager, soon to be promoted to waterfront manager, overseeing SYC’s 300-berth private marina, hardstand facilities, DUX anchorage and all other things waterfront. One of the most Interesting things at SYC is dealing with super yachts from around the world. It is very important to make sure that the members are happy and that the marina facilities are up to scratch.

Photography by Juliet Cameron and Andy Kancachian

Interviews by Roselle Tenefrancia

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