Proving once again that collaboration prioduces great results, the Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) crew have worked hand in hand with Couran Cove to resurrect a classic style river ferry now set to become the flagship of the revitalized island resorts fleet.
MV The Entertainer, 27 metres (88 feet), has been a long-term fixture on the hardstand at GCCM. At a brief glance, she seemed just a river ferry – a boat built to work and looking not too dissimilar from the canal cruisers in France. Yet she has hidden depths and a distinguished heritage into which Couran Cove and GCCM are breathing new life.
Designed by notable superyacht designer, Phil Curran, who was prolific in the 1990s and 2000s with a large portfolio of Oceanfast yachts, MV The Entertainer is surprisingly built from wood. She is indeed modelled after the classic French Riviera barges which cruise the canals in continental Europe. Since her launch in 1988 she has been a resident on the Gold Coast gently ferrying people to and from South Stradbroke Island.
Fast forward to February of 2017 and she had sat fallow on the hardstand at GCCM for a while when Steve Gibbs, Operations Manager of Couran Cove, and his colleagues found her. “It was touch and go as to whether to scrap her or resurrect her and we clearly chose the latter as she has so much history on the Coast and we didn’t want to lose that,” explained Mr Gibbs.
After consulting long-term GCCM tenant, Joe Akacich of Blackpond Marine Consultants (aka Black Joe), an extensive list of external works was devised and after nearly four months of concerted effort by the trades at GCCM and the Couran Cove team overseen by Joe, she has been relaunched. “What is wonderful about this vessel’s story is that it goes back to the old shipbuilding tradition of refitting and resurrection rather than disposal,” said Mr Akacich.
Given her age and the time she had spent on the yard, she needed sine planks replaced which called on the age-old wooden boat building trades which are found on-site at GCCM. Then MV The Entertainer was repainted plus completed a mechanical overhaul of her diesel Cummins engines and jet propulsion. She also received significant upgrades to her electrical system to adhere with current and stringent Australian standards.
“The facilities and the trades at Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard are second to none. We had a huge scope of works calling on a wide array of trades. All of them were on-site and the work was completed to the highest of standards,” stated Mr Gibbs.
Now she looks a million dollars from the outside, she is in the water and back to Couran Cove to complete her internal refit. Very shortly MV The Entertainer will become the flagship of their six-strong fleet where she will be used for day cruises, sunset cruises, weddings and luxury private charters.
It is proof that quality lasts, craftsmanship still exists and collaboration breeds great results.