Business

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



Agnes surfer ready to break world record with 25 of his "best mates”

BIG EFFORT: Chris de Aboitiz WANTS TO SET A world record for the most dogs on his stand-up paddleboad.

Surfer hopes to break a world record for most dogs catching a wave.

Woman assaults two people after DJ won't play her songs at work party

Raquel Theresa Hudson.

IT WAS a work Christmas party gone horribly wrong.

Budding snapper wins photography competition

WINNER: Jacinta Rose Charles snapped this photo of her daughter in the water.

Jacinta Rose Charles wins Nikon camera

Local Partners

Peppa Pig trots into town

Peppa Pig is making a surprise visit to Gladstone on Tuesday


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

11 huge events coming to Gladstone in the next 6 months

Events coming up in Gladstone in 2017.

Your guide to exciting events coming to the Gladstone region

Summer SUNfest kicks off

SunFest Lazer shoot-out in the Tondoon Botanic Gardens January 11, 2016. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Tickets for SUNfest are selling fast, so get in quickly.

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Will there be a Game of Thrones spin-off?

Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage in a scene from season six episode 10 of Game of Thrones.

HBO’S original programming president has teased fans.

Time for Gladstone to kick up their heels

Dancer Tamara Drake will be teaching the kids of Gladstone to express themselves through dance.

These dance the kids will love

Ed Sheeran's intimate gigs down under

Singer Ed Sheeran

CHART-topper playing invite-only shows in Australia next month.

Eddie McGuire's scandal-free focus and new-look Hot Seat

Eddie McGuire hosts the new Millionaire Hot Seat Super Game.

HOST wants out of the hot seat himself to focus on game show revamp.

Embattled Amber Sherlock back on TV after leaked video

Amber Sherlock seems to have brushed off the leaked video

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Designer home set in lush tropical gardens

This home has it all and more

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!