Design, build and maintain pays off for Brisbane based Aus Ships Group

The Aus Ships Group is comprised of two distinct entities which together provide a comprehensive product and service portfolio representing design, build and maintain solutions for the commercial, defence and luxury marine industries.

The Aus Ships Group (ASG) is based on the southern side of the Brisbane River, with its design studio Aus Yachts, being established in 2008. In 2011, Aus Ships was formed to provide bespoke manufacturing solutions to the marine industry. This addition provided both national and international clients access to a complete end to end, design build and maintain full-service solution.

The group’s approach to servicing their clients has been a successful strategy for the company who deliver a ‘whole of life cycle’ management approach that not only has clients returning with more orders, it also offers opportunities for further development in innovation and design.

Their most recent projects include four custom-designed vessels for the recently re-opened Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort which was badly damaged in 2017 from Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The flagship includes the in-house designed and built  75ft Sun Harmony, a purpose-built guest transfer vessel which can carry more passengers and luggage than the resorts smaller sister vessels Sun Symphony and Sun Serenity.

Sun Harmony’s improved guest experience stands out in terms of comfort and style and it even boasts a VVIP lounge in the bridge. Sun Harmony, an aluminium semi-displacement catamaran, can seat 65 guests inside and 35 guests outside under cover with a comfortable cruising speed of 21 knots.

Tommy Ericson, ASG director, said that in addition to the tight schedule, the project posed a number of challenges.

“One of the key challenges with Sun Harmony was to deliver a design with superyacht cues but commercial functionality and performance – a vessel which reflects all that the Hayman brand stands for. We have introduced some new styling ideas which were to ensure the parallel to the brand quality and values” he commented.

“This new vessel is also a hybrid construction with aluminium hulls and main cabin, and composite upper deck structures including the wheelhouse roof, aft deck awning and side fairings. This has been done to reduce weight, improved aesthetics, increase thermal insulation properties and provide a reduction in ongoing maintenance” continued Tommy.

In addition, the 8m Reef Seeker will operate as the new guest transfer vessel for day touring around the nearby islands for guests to enjoy picnics, snorkelling and for general guest services once on the island.  Reef Seeker replaces an existing vessel and will offer improved stability, increased efficiency and reliability and includes a customised beach loading facility on the bow for easy access to shallower waters for guests to alight on the local sandy beaches. 

The newly designed dive boat for the resort is an ultra-luxe vessel taking styling cues from Sun Harmony and her predecessors with a specific focus on stability, sea-worthiness and efficient dive and snorkel operations complete with guest amenities on board and is set to delivered in 2020 to operate in conjunction with Hayman’s dive & snorkel team, Ocean Dynamics. 

During the build of Sun Harmony and the other vessels for the resort, ASG had 30 full-time staff with an additional 30 speciality recently successfully completed her sea trials in preparation to enter commercial service before Christmas.

The design incorporates a full height wheelhouse for crew and 20 open air seats on the second deck;  bike parking, a kiosk/ bar, lounge seating, tables and USB chargers as well as full height cabin windows on the main deck. A significant focus on this new generation of City Cat has been the accessibility and amenity for the mobility impaired and disabled passengers. Hearing loops, large DDA compliant toilet with automated sliding door and designated parking spaces for wheelchairs in the most enviable positions on board aims to provide the ultimate in comfort for everyone who travels on board.

The Lord Mayor has been so impressed with this lead vessel that he has not only announced another six to be built by the group over the next four years, but also secured the Aus Ships Group as the Preferred Supplier for the City Cat Fleet Replacement contract – a 10 year agreement which should see many more exciting designs grace the Brisbane River in the coming years.

Having recently become the first ever shipbuilder in Australia to achieve shipyard certification with Lloyds Register, as well as securing the 2019 Commercial Design & Manufacturer of the Year at the 2019 AIMEX Awards, the Aus Ships Group has firmly established itself as a genuine world class design, build and maintenance service.

The new double decker Brisbane CityCat  22 officially called ‘Yoogera’ came into service on Brisbane River on November 26, 2019.