Whitsundays get together celebrates boating lifestyle

Whitsundays get together celebrates boating lifestyle

A precursor to a sensational summer of boating, Alexander Marine Australia welcomed 80 owners and their family and friends to the tropical surrounds of Hamilton Island for their annual – this year being the first multi day event – Whitsundays Get Together.

Set against the sublime backdrop of the jewel in the crown of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, the fun, fabulous three-day festivities took full advantage of the island vibe, kicking off on Friday 21 September with a cocktail party at the brilliantly situated Keel Deck beneath the famous Bommie Bar at the spectacular Hamilton Yacht Club.

Of interest to guests was the collection of Grand Banks, Palm Beach and Ocean Alexander vessels glistening at the marina and visible from the Keel Deck as the sunset deepened – the ultimate backdrop for these avid boaties.

Todd Holzapfel, Dealer Principal, welcomed guests, who had travelled from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Townsville and the Gold Coast for the rendezvous. Todd thanked them for their loyalty and enthusiasm for boating, with all the camaraderie, lifestyle benefits and memories of a lifetime it brings.

“This event is about getting to know each other, enjoying time together, renewing ties and making new friendships – all of us united in our love of the on-water lifestyle,” he said.

The main event took place on Sunday 23 September, the much-anticipated raft up comprising the trideck charter catamaran, MV Hamilton Star, and the new Ocean Alexander 85 – an ocean-going superyacht and the ultimate entertainer. The OA85 boasts the perfect socialising setup, including a massive top deck with bar, dinette, sun pads and bean bags. Several owners’ boats joined in, including elegant Palm Beach Motor Yachts which looked every inch at home on the azure waters.

Making the short jaunt to Cid Harbour, under clear skies and buoyed by a hearty breeze gusting between the islands, the Alexander Marine flotilla dropped anchor at what is surely the most picturesque bay in the region.

Those impressed with the Ocean Alexander 85 were interested to hear that Ocean Alexander will debut its new 90R (R for “Revolution”) model at this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show – the first in a new series of Revolution models to complement the existing model range.

The 90R boasts the increasingly popular plumb bow design and features an on-deck master layout. The details of various new Ocean Alexander models are pending public announcement in the months ahead, testament to the prowess and productivity of the acclaimed design team and expanded production facilities at Ocean Alexanders’ Taiwan and Florida facilities.

In response to queries from new boaties the old salts alike, David Rowell, better known as “Skeet”, sales supremo for Palm Beach Motor Yachts Australia, spoke of the origins of this now iconic Australian marque.

Founded on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1995 by seven-time Sydney to Hobart race winner Mark “Ricko” Richards, PBMY are in demand by yachting connoisseurs globally for their classic lines, craftsmanship and customisation.

According to Skeet, it started with the concept of the ideal boat to take you from Palm Beach to Point Piper in all kinds of conditions. “Ricko said for seaworthiness and style it could only be a Maine lobster boat, and thus, the legend was born!”

Next on the agenda for the iconic brand is the launch of the PB70, the first of which is destined for San Diego.

Like previous models, the PB70 is built on a semi-displacement warped-hull design that produces less resistance to achieve planing mode, additional buoyancy aft and a shallow draft which means this serious cruising motor yacht is fit to undertake bluewater passages and explore remote reaches. Equipped with the standard twin Volvo IPS 1350 engines, it’s estimated to achieve a top speed of 38 knots.

Construction is well underway on the new flagship for a scheduled completion at the end of 2018, with the first two hulls sold. The PB70 will no doubt strike a chord with the European market when it’s shown at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2019.

Another “first” for Alexander Marine Australia scheduled for early 2019 will enervate the Aussie boating scene – the introduction of Polish-built brand, Galeon Yachts.

As Todd Holzapfel explains: “We are looking forward to presenting the 460 and 510 models which we have purchased for stock, complementing the other new boat brands we sell and specifically the Ocean Alexander range, which starts at 70-feet.

“Galeon motor yachts are totally unique and exceptionally innovative. With 30 years of boat building experience, embracing the designs of leading naval architects such as Tony Castro and Roberto Curtò, the Galeon product range offer unique features such as the fold down aft side balconies and supersized sliding glass panels not seen on vessels in this class.

“We’re sure the Australian boating public will take notice of Galeon when these new models arrive on our shores.”

As the sun set on a superb day, replete with colourful characters and camaraderie, the value of such occasions was expressed in the feedback from guests.

“We need to take time to unwind! You can’t do that at home . . . there’s always something to do,” said one contented owner. “Only a boat can force you to slow down and smell the roses, or in this case, the rosé!”

And so, as the blush of evening blended into a blanket of dazzling stars, and those guests fatigued by sun or sangria returned to Hamo onboard the MV ‘Hamilton Star’, the party continued aboard the Ocean Alexander 85, boosted by a spontaneous acoustic performance by the band on the flybridge of the 85.

Another utterly awesome Alexander Marine Rendezvous!