Berthed boats held their own soirees, and one recalls a particularly pleasant one aboard the Pacific-roaming exploration vessel Itasca, whose Captain Alan Jouning is now with superyacht agency 37 South in Auckland, New Zealand.
Super sailboats held impromptu fleet races between Sydney Harbour Bridge and a mark off Manly, sailing twice around the course, which Neville “Croaky” Crichton, later a Feadship owner, generally won in his racing yacht Alfa Romeo. After these we would retire to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutters Bay for further parties.
The Sydney Superyacht Marina did have some shoreside facilities, though, and especially a very upmarket restaurant, whose owner had whimsically called Liquidity. Here many a long lunch was to take place for the city’s elite.
SSM’s ongoing venue is in Rozelle Bay, beside the distinctive Anzac Bridge, and “around the corner” from Darling Harbour, the CBD and Harbour Bridge. Sydney Fish Markets are on the other side of this bay, and many local pleasure boats arrive to sample fresh oysters, scallops, crab and a wide variety of fish straight from the ocean.
Lend Lease, a large and well-resourced Australian property company, has lately taken charge of SSM, and sophisticated mixed-use buildings now adorn the waterfront, making this a buzzing unique community in its own right. The contact there is Stephen Wan at [email protected]
When we visited again during this year’s Sydney Boat Show, of the 35 berths, 12 larger ones were occupied by Australian-owned Hey Jude, Ilonka, Crystal Bay, Tango, Texas and others, including a SanLorenzo, and the sole 75m berth was booked from October through December by a Top 100 vessel. Planning well ahead for full service facilities is essential.
Stern-to slots for 50m+ vessels can also be under pressure from the rapidly growing Australian superyacht fleet, so again, getting in touch as soon as possible is strongly advised. For high-masted and deep keel super sailboats, SSM has access to a couple of 60m berths just before the Harbour Bridge, which are ideal for watching the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Words Bruce Maxwell