Harwood Marine needs no introduction here. The long-established ship builder and repairer is renowned around Australia, Asia and the Pacific Islands for its practical, high-quality approach. This new multi-purpose workboat epitomises the company. It does all that is intended of it economically and with little fuss.
Harwood Marine built these boats for itself to hire out to clients for the Pacific Highway upgrade and new bridge construction. It has built The Ox, The Stag and The Bison. The Bison was commissioned by Brady Marine, which was so impressed with the vessel when hiring it for the construction of the Harwood and Grafton Bridges, that it wanted one of its own.
Managing Director Ross Roberts said 2019 was a good year with strong orders for newbuilds and repair. On the repair side, Harwood has been busy over the last month doing refits on large ocean going tugs, as well as a couple of split hopper dredges.
The company is currently building a 20-metre catamaran fishing boat of steel hull construction, stainless steel deck and second deck, with an aluminium wheelhouse. Harwood has also just completed two 12-metre truckable barges and has two 7.5-metre line boats under construction.
The slip is already fully booked for the first half of 2020, and there are a number of clients waiting for Harwood to complete its new large construction shed, to accommodate its range of new vessels.
“We don’t see [demand] stopping any time soon as more infrastructure spending is announced by Australian governments, both state and federal, and compliance on old vessels increasing,” said Roberts.
“We notice that more and more Australian and overseas clients are returning to Australia for new buildings that have previously been built in Asia. We believe this is because there is still a quality issue, if owners do not completely supervise the project and ensure quality control.
“This can be very expensive and coupled with the current low dollar, higher transport costs for delivery and no warranty once the vessel is in Australia, any shipyards that survived the last decade, are well placed for future work.”
Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.