Number of working vessels has dropped by more than 90%

The 16m tug boat Peter Cookson is trying to sell out of Gladstone Harbour.
The 16m tug boat Peter Cookson is trying to sell out of Gladstone Harbour.

IT'S smooth sailing in Gladstone Harbour these days as the number of working vessels has dropped by more than 90%.

During the construction boom there were more than 250 commercial vessels motoring through the water each day, from tug boats, ferries and taxi.

That number has now dropped to about 20 and ship owners are trying to offload their unused vessels.

AB Marine Services owner Adam Balkin is looking at reducing his fleet by five or six boats.

He has only recently bought Curtis Ferry Services and is now focusing on improving and growing that business.

"Once dredging finished and the wharves were completed, a lot of the tugs, crew boats and crane barges left," he said. "There is no waterside construction going on at the moment. There are no other activities going on other than transporting of goods and passengers."

Other commercial vessels have left Gladstone completely, like Riverside Ferries.

Riverside Ferries finished its contract with QCLNG on December 21.

Nick Cheong was the accountant for Riverside Ferries in Gladstone and said at the peak of the construction boom it was transporting 400 people every trip to Curtis Island and 1000 people a day just with their two largest ferries.

Riverside had five ferries and one emergency response vessel.

"We have mobilised them to other parts of Australia," Mr Cheong said.

For other operators like Mr Balkin, it's a better option to try and sell the vessels through a broker.

SeaBoats broker Peter Cookson is trying to sell a tug boat in Gladstone Harbour. SeaBoats sell and charter vessels from Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and the United States.

But Mr Cookson said despite his wideranging customers it wasn't a good time to be selling vessels.

"With the offshore industry and mining industry fairly depressed at the moment there is a lot of equipment for sale which is taking a long time to sell," he said.

"If you went back 3-4 years, if there was a tug for sale in Gladstone they would snap it up very quickly."

But, he said, there were some vessels that were still popular.

"LNG tankers and commercial carriers and still moving. Those kinds of specialised vessels are going," he said.

"But for all of the other vessels it is very much a situation where if you're a buyer you can get a bargain. If you are selling you are going to have to wait."

Topics:  gladstone gladstone industry harbour

Dreamworld shock: Son and daughter saw parents die

 New Zealand expat Cindy Low, 42, (back right) has been named as the fourth victim who died in the accident at Dreamworld yesterday. An investigation is underway to determine how four people died on the 30-year-old Thunder River Rapids ride at the Gold Coast theme park.

It is understood Kieran was the last person to see his mum alive.

'Dreamworld may never open again'

'The equipment is said by many witnesses to be ageing'

LISTEN: How mum escaped being 'consumed by fear'

No Caption

MUM 'consumed by fear' of child birth figured out a way around it.

Local Partners

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

First look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in a scene from the TV series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

NETFLIX drops first trailer for its revival of fan favourite.

Bank reclaims Goondoon St complex plan, places on the market

Multi-million dollar development plan up for sale.

MULTI-MILLION dollar plan for Goondoon St complex on the market.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Coles to pay new owner of Tannum servo $320K

UP FOR GRABS: Expressions of interest in Tannum's new service station, which will house the new Coles Express, closed this month.

INVESTORS bid for new Tannum service station under construction.

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available