RIVERGATE ENTERS 2018 WITH A TALENT BOOM
Rivergate Marina & Shipyard recently welcomed three new tenants, boosting the diversity and depth of talent on-site for their local and international customers.
Planet Wrap has relocated from premises nearby to Rivergate, providing a dedicated boat wrap service to vessels of all sizes.
Mark Andersen, director, said the company has been in operation for 11 years and prides itself on world-class, commercial and ocean-style boat wraps using marine-grade vinyls.
“We are one of the foundation businesses in a relatively new industry, and as pioneers, we have had to be innovative to work out systems that works best,” he explained. “This has taught us a lot as we have evolved, and in turn has given our team a strong base to grow from.”
In the superyacht realm, Planet Wrap has worked on projects as diverse as Sydney Harbour Ferries, P&O cruise liners, charter yachts and privately-owned craft, many of which specify top-end metallic finishes or custom designs which require superior talent and high-tech facilities.
“The most satisfying wrap jobs are the refurbishment wraps which are applied to give a facelift to older paints or gelcoats,” said Mark.
Mark said Rivergate is the ideal location for his company, with access to premium vessels and collaborations with other tenants. “We like the vibe and working environment and we are familiar with the other tenants. The location is very central to our commercial clients and Brisbane airport for interstate work.”
Joining Planet Wrap is Fuci Custom Interiors, another industry stalwart with more than a decade’s experience gained from the prestige automotive sector, high-end hotels, furniture restoration and premium retailers, as well as superyachts of the stature of Ulysses, Lazy Z, Patriot, Silver Fox, Norwegian Princess, Leda, Seafaris, Ophelia and Dragonfly.
“From the time I was very young, I always had passion for furniture, I was always creative,” said Franco Onate, director at Fuci, which he founded in 2009.
“My family had a secondhand furniture shop and I would do little repairs and refurbishments to pieces before they went into the showroom. After High School, I worked with a furniture manufacturer, mastering every aspect of manufacturing lounges from frame making through to upholstery, working out the best foaming plan, measuring and making templates, devising the fabric cutting plan.”
Rising through the ranks, Franco became a supervisor, dealing with major commercial, hospitality, and high end projects both nationally and internationally.
“We refurbed a 5-star hotel and restaurant chains, such as Hilton, Marriott, Sofitel, Novotel, Qualia on Hamilton Island, to name a few. Then the business expanded to luxury yachts, taking on large scale projects here and overseas, which whet my appetite for the superyacht industry.”
With his typical gusto, Franco acquired the skills in marine trimming, from fabricating biminis and clears to bags and covers. On the side, Franco explored the exacting realm of auto trimming, fitting out his own and clients’ cars, gaining recognition and awards for his work at Auto Shows and in motoring magazines.
Ready to go solo, Franco started Fuci Custom Interiors and has established a talented crew who specialize in every facet of upholstery and trimming, from marine and auto to commercial and hospitality.
“We are knowledgeable in all areas of our trade. We are detail orientated and our bringing to life our clients’ vision is what motivates us on every project.
“The quality of our work is second to none,” he continued. “We always deliver on time and most of all we are more affordable compared to our competitors.”
Now located within Rivergate, Fuci is benefitting from the steady flow of yachts, as well as external work in the region. “Rivergate is a great location that attracts a lot of local talent. The work going on at Rivergate is helping showcase Queensland’s craftsmanship to an international audience. That’s good news for everyone here!”
Interior Designer and founder of Boat Style, Sarah Egan says it will be a great asset to have talented upholsterer on site at Rivergate, particularly with Franco’s breadth of experience. “Upholstery is an intrinsic part of refitting superyachts, both interior and on deck. Having Fuci on site is fantastic and I am looking forward to working with Franco and his team on some exciting projects coming in to Rivergate.”
Also new to Rivergate, M2i Electrical brings a breadth of expertise, comprising engineers, designers and project managers. Director, Jason Locke, said the business has 11 years’ in operation, while he has more than 25 years’ experience in the marine industry.
“Our entire team is similar in terms of long standing marine experience. There ae 18 permanent staff and up to 10 contractors. Our specialties are monitoring and control system specialists, manufacturing and installing electrical systems for yachts. In terms of new build design and manufacture of boards and control systems, we currently have 14 vessels underway in Asia and Australia.
“We also have several refit and repair works on the go, including two Hybrid drive system power management projects, refit and repairs to superyachts and maintenance and continued fleet support for commercial and recreational vessels.”
Jason is proud to report that 60% of M2i work is on internationally Classed vessels. “We are very experienced with international vessels and codes. We maintain a full permanent team of experts and are able to support our clients across engineering consulting, design, programming systems, manufacture and installation.
“This is our first time being directly located within a yard,” he explained. “Being located at Rivergate allows us to be better placed to assist with vessels and also support Rivergate Marina. There is also the benefit of being close to other businesses in the marine sector.”
Rivergate General Manager, Andrew Cannon said management is thrilled to welcome new tenants of such high calibre and experience.
“We now have more than 20 workshops at Rivergate with 140 marine professionals onsite in addition to local contractors.
“All Rivergate customers have access to these exceptionally skilled marine specialists who pride themselves on being competitively priced, dedicated to world-class practices and committed to innovation and customised service.”