The report identifies north-east Queensland in particualr as facing critical supply issues for marina berths. Image – Canva
  • Aurelius Marina Research Report reveals a doubling in boat registrations
  • The report indicated an urgent need for increased storage capacity
  • Over a third of marina operators have increased their fees between 3% and 6% in FY21

A pandemic-induced doubling in boat registrations could lead to a storage shortage in Queensland according to the Aurelius Marina Research Report.

The research which examines the health of the marine sector across the state has revealed boat registrations in Queensland rose 2.9% in 2021, well above the 10-year average of 1.4%. The report indicated an urgent need for increased storage capacity, especially for on-water marina berths.

The strong uplift in demand for boats in the state was driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. With overseas holidays on the back burner, Queenslanders put spending towards the purchase of items such as boats for recreational activities.

Increased boat ownership led to a sustained high marina occupancy rate of 86% in FY21, despite the pandemic.

The latest Health of the Australian Marina Industry (HAMI) survey released in June this year revealed that over half (57%) of marinas had a waiting list for boat storage spaces during peak seasons. Even at off-peak times, almost half (47%) had waiting lists.

The Aurelius Marina Research Report found that with more waiting lists, boat storage fees increased, particularly in Queensland. The report found that 35.7% of Queensland marina operators raised their fees by between 3% and 6% in FY21. For comparison, on a national level, 17.5% of marina operators lifted fees.

Sam Wade, the managing director of the Shute Harbour Marina Resort, said the findings highlight the shortage of wet berths for the marine industry in North Queensland.

“Infrastructure spending on new and existing facilities is vital if the marine industry in Queensland is to maintain its position as Australia’s boating capital.”

Sam Wade, Shute Harbour Marina Resort Managing Director

“The report identifies a sustained trend of growth in demand for marina berths, but it also reveals a trend to accommodate larger boats which is where the industry is heading. That is also putting pressure on existing supply of berthing space for smaller vessels.”

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